Have you heard of the SDSA, Set Decorators Society of America? When Rachel gave brief mention of them in Beachy Blues, I wondered why I’d not mentioned this sooner. Their website, though not as thorough as I’d like to see (not enough films that interest me, and where are the product resources?), it is very interesting to browse if set decorating intriques you at all. I know it certainly fascinates me. Don’t miss the SDSA interview with designer, Susan Eschelbach, who worked on films, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, and Monster In Law with J-Lo, to name a few.
Do you recall the set in the The Break-Up? The movie was great, but even more memorable for me was that Chicago apartment. Designed by Stephanie Gilliam, those digs won the hearts of women everywhere. Especially the sofa (I heard it’s from Crate and Barrel).
I remember back when it released, googling The Break-Up until my fingers cramped with hopes of locating the set designer and a possible website that listed items used to pull the look together. I mean, wouldn’t that be brilliant? Why is there not a magazine or website doing this already? Imagine the earning potential for sponsors? Their products are in movies and on television shows, and now millions of viewers know to click on a certain website, locate the movie or sitcom title, and instantly gain access to everything used in the set that can be purchased, right down to the color of the paint on the walls. Is this not a fabulous idea? But this just doesn’t exist. Why people continue to spin out more of the same, not thinking of alternative ways to educate people (and earn money from it), baffles my mind.
I’m not the only one viewing movies and sitcoms hoping to score something I saw on film. Last summer, I jumped in on a thread over in the Domino forum when a woman posted, ‘The Break Up’ I want thier stuff! because I found the topic of interest since I did too! As I followed the thread, I noticed someone else jumped in because she was looking for the coffee table used in Sarah Jessica Parker’s apartment on the set of Sex in the City. Then I had a question of my own, so I inquired about the pillows I saw in Failure to Launch. It was like the blind leading the blind over there, because no one ultimately had answers, but we had fun. But it shed light on a simple truth. There’s a growing interest in locating the products we’re exposed to on film and television. We aren’t comfortable with merely looking, we want to touch and ultimately, purchase.
[update: I was just directed over to Shelterrific and found that they have a great thread going on a similiar topic, only their asking “What’s Your Favorite Big Screen Home Decor?” Click here to join their thread!]
Surf’s Up! We kicked off our trend report with Mad About Morocco and The Nurturing Naturalist, but with so many other hot looks out there, let’s explore a few more. For this trend, think beach parties, palm trees, and lots of California cool, and relaxed interiors. You can even support the environment by incorporating pieces that are eco-friendly, especially with Beachy Keen because so much of the look is based on what’s au natural. We’re talking more Denmark or coastal Maine faded vs. Lily Pulizter preppy.
The Look: Serene and subtle, natural shapes and finishes, sun-kissed. Images of sea, sand, pebbles, driftwood, and raw raffia come to mind. The look incorporates light and medium wood tones, and plenty of organic materials and fibers. Try to find sustainable, durable products when you can. Beachy Keen can be relaxed and soft (slipcover sofas, for instance), or streamlined and contemporary (a chair in wicker and chrome). Look for pieces with clean lines and uncomplicated, organic patterns. Bring the outdoors in to immerse yourself in a total resort-like atmosphere with lots of found objects neatly arranged. It’s all about personal preference.
As with any look, don’t lay it on thick… You want your home to function and breathe and it can’t if smothered to death. Think of the coast when it is quiet – a few people, some gulls in flight, you, the sand and surf. Nice vision, isn’t it? Now think of the beach during peak season with wall-to-wall bodies, so packed you can barely see the sand. Not as relaxing a thought. Same with your home. Packing a room with too much visual clutter isn’t the goal here, Beachy Keen is about good organization and well thought out displays and a smart floor plan. Lean on having too little over an abundance. If you have collections you’d like to use in the room, pottery or jars of shells that you collect, group them together in one place so they can be appreciated. Scattering them doesn’t show them off nearly as well. It’s hard for the eye to appreciate any one object in a room that is too busy. Examine the images below for further confirmation. Aren’t they soothing?
To create your very own peaceful escape, here are some beautiful pieces to get you started, from lighting to linens. Have fun!
Furniture – Wood, wood, wood! In blonde or acorn, monkeypod, walnut, bamboo, driftwood, teak, elm, wicker, rattan, or painted in white or pastel. Lacquered works if it’s pastel, acrylic if it’s clear, and glass top tables with a wood base work fine as well. You can mix periods – think fusion bohemian. Lines can be raw and natural, traditional (mid century European pieces, such as Finnish or Scandinavian pieces) or clean and contemporary. Here are some examples. In addition to options below, try Maine Cottage for some painted wood furnishings that may suit your tastes. I’m more of a clean, contemporary girl myself, so most of what is featured in this post are items I would own or suggest to my clients.
Clockwise from top left: Concentric coffee table from Z Gallerie, Bradenton Cube End Table from Pier 1, Lyabak pouf from Bleu Nature, Akta stool from Bleu Nature, rolling table from Excel DK showroom.
Benches and tables, clockwise from top left: Barn Beam tables from Viva Terra, Truck Tarp ottoman from Anthropologie, and the Z Bench from Branch Home.
Prints range from organic shapes to wood grain, palm branches, stripes, sea fans, and bamboo. Keep metals to a minimum, although a little silver or gold goes a long way, especially hammered or in a matte finish.
Pillows from Hable Construction
Contemporary and clean Waves bedding from West Elm. A great gender neutral option.
Rugs from Angela Adams via Design Public.
Walls: Never forget the power of wallpaper! Grasscloth is ideal. Think of non-tacky ways to bring the sea home without it becoming a theme park. You can do it!
Surprise! These light fixtures are from Pottery Barn.
I’m so impressed with their selection this season.
Surprise! More Pottery Barn beauties. I love these.
Bubble Bud vase from Rare Device, Surf Stripe grommetted gift tags from Hable Construction (sweet to hang around the neck of a pretty glass bottle), knit ceramics from Loop in London, and vessels from West Elm.
Ceramics from Papa Stour in Scotland.
Glassware from West Elm
Soap, soap leaves, and candles from Simplemente Blanco
Psst: I highly suggest picking up the current Domino magazine, it’s all about going green. You can even find their green list that Graham from Treehugger pulled togther for them. It’s packed with resources from furniture to rugs, many of which would fit nicely with your new ocean-inspired decor.