101 Guidesamy merrickliving inproduct

living in: out of africa

by amym

Hi friends! I’m Amy Merrick from An Apple a Day and I’m so thrilled to join the design*sponge team as an editor. Wow, I can’t believe I just got to type out that sentence (and better yet, have it be true!). About me: I’m crazy for antiques, live for a good handmade project and compulsively hoard houseplants in my Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment.

If you’re like me, sometimes you see a movie and just want to crawl in the screen and live in the character’s homes. Or hop into the pages your favorite book and never come out. Well, every Tuesday I’m going to be gathering a group of products that are inspired by your favorite books, movies, artists, restaurants or anything else makes you swoon…. Is it The Great Gatsby or The Secret Garden? Annie Hall or Amélie? Leave me a comment and let’s see where you’d want to live!

Out of Africa

One of my hands down, all time favorite movies is Sydney Pollack’s 1985 “Out of Africa” staring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Set in 1914 colonial Kenya, the movie combines a to die for mix of elegant, ladylike charm, utilitarian safari and spectacular handmade Kenyan crafts. Not to mention it’s just about the most romantic movie. Ever. Seriously, it can make me weep even after dozens of viewings.

[image above, clockwise from top left: masai folding chair and footstool, brass anchor lantern $99, antique canteen set $3,850 (I had to include it, I’m sorry!), bronze binoculars $84, bulrush placemat $30, cotton hammock $11, brass pocket compass $26, canvas tent $606]

Based on the true story of Isak Dinesen, a Danish women who struggles to make a place for herself in Kenya, it’s the kind of movie where the characters bring starched white shirts, limoges crystal and a fancy pants gramophone on safari. While I’ll probably pass on investing in fancy crystal to use at a picnic in the park, I’m crazy about the idea of taking along a few favorite indoor items outside with you. A portable record player and some sweet chipped plates? Yes, please!

[image above, clockwise from top left: hamman cotton towel $32, queen anne pitcher $99, white desk $349, African palm baskets $50+, bamboo room divider $95, market basket $42, wicker trunk $135, campaign bed $1250]

Suggested For You


  • I love this idea! For me, it would have to be Anne of Green Gables, but in her dream house on the ocean. Sigh, for bygone eras.

    • thanks, joy! i am so lucky to have amy as part of the team- she overwhelms me with her awesomeness. ;)

      and i’m introducing another new amy next! i am overjoyed to have such talented ladies as part of the team


  • This is a WONDERFUL column idea!!!!!!! YAY! I have to echo Tara’s comment of Anne of Green Gables…some of my other comfort books: Rebecca, the Little House series, Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden, multiple Barbara Kingsolver novels….oh I could go on and on.

  • Oh, how wonderful! I’m a big fan of 1930s England – the Lord Peter Wimsey novels (by Dorothy L. Sayers), especially, but Inspector Alleyn (by Ngaio Marsh) and the early Christies (Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence) work too!

  • I want to live in the movie “The talented Mr. Ripley”…and Diane Keaton’s house in “Something’s gotta give”….

  • You forgot to include where to get a young Robert Redford to wash my hair! :)

    As for living in movies, for me it would have to be The Thin Man. I even used to have a dog named Asta! I also love Amelie.

  • welcome to the team, amy :). . . watching the “directors cut” extras of the movie “amelie” definitely made me appreciate the interiors (especially the color selections) so much more. excited to see what’s to come!


  • How about:
    – the south of France, arid landscape, al fresco dining, warm summer afternoons, etc. in “My Mother’s Castle/My Father’s Glory”
    – 1960s Catskills family-summer camp/vacation vibe of “Dirty Dancing.”

  • I havent seen ‘Out of Africa!’ But I love Meryl Streep so I must see it. I think I could live in Greece after watching ‘Mamma Mia.’ (another nod to Meryl) Some recent movies I’ve loved are ‘Australia’ (Nicole Kidman and Hug Jackman) and ‘The Proposal.’ (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds) I loved the locations of both; Australia and Alaska! Someday I may visit…until then I am stuck at my day job sneaking onto blog sites to escape! Ha!

    • ooh! amy i second the mamma mia nomination – i seriously looked into santorini travel rates after seeing that for the…um…3rd time.

      g ;)

  • Say Anything (1980s Nerdy California Bungalow)
    Anne of Green Gables (Victorian Canadian Youth)
    Amelie (Single in Paris)
    Kissing Jessica Stein (Single Creative NYC)
    Secret Garden (Floral Garden Cozy Private)

  • 100 Years of Solitude or House of Spirits. The amazing descriptions of traditional open airy courtyard homes makes me want to build my own such home. The fanciful and magical descriptions of interiors are also a lot of fun.

  • Welcome Amy! I am a huge fan of “An Apple a Day” so I’m super psyched for this column. Yay!

    […and I’d love to use the colors of every/any Almodóvar film as summer inspiration, maybe just toned down a teeny tiny smidge!]

  • Seconding Anneth–Agatha Christie would be amazing! Then The Wind in the Willows? And Little Women/Little Men/Jo’s Boys? And I can’t resist but ask for some Wes Anderson-esque roundups.

  • I’ve always wanted to live in Narnia ever since I read the books as a kid. I can hardly stand to watch the movies because it makes me so sad that it isn’t real!

  • Great column. I always find myself torn between the contradiction of the modern and ramshackle French homes in Jacque Tati’s Mon Oncle.

  • Love, love, love this idea (of course, I also love An Apple A Day)! Sure to be a fantastic column. I second the vote for a Wes Anderson flick. I think Moonstruck would be pretty awesome too. Hehe.

  • What an amazing idea! I would love to see what you could do with the Secret Garden too. Oh, and also Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – not necessarily my dream environment but it fascinates me …

  • Please do Great Expectations (the Ethan Hawke/Gwyneth Paltrow version)!
    Ms. Havisham’s house is ah-mazing.
    Great idea!

  • oh my goodness – Amelie! And The Royal Tennenbaums house with a little Steve Zissou thrown in…? And even if it’s a little cheesy – something that evokes the rainy Northwestern forests in Twilight. Sigh.

  • I loved the NYC apt. in Hannah and Her Sisters. Ditto Susan Sarandon’s house in Stepmom, and the little bungalow where Rene Zellewegger lived in Jerry Maguire. Oh also: Meryl Streep’s house in One True Thing. Seriously gorgeous…

  • Great column! Wonderful suggestions – would like to add the movie “Hilary and Jackie” – I love the feel of the entire film but also the home where they grow up and the country home where Hilary lives with her family.

  • wow congrats! i love this idea!!

    some of the first two that come to mind…Days of Heaven or Spirit of the Beehive. Love the atmospheres and colors in both of those movies

  • My favorite thing in the film was the baby owl (live) that sat on a
    perch on her dressing table.

    Another great set/story to live in would be Mama Mia!

  • i’ve frequently said the my ultimate dream aesthetic is a mashup between the (cancelled too soon) tv shows Firefly and Carnivale.

    Carnivale has that beautiful, romantic 30s era loveliness, whereas Firefly combines elements of Victorian and pan-Asian fashion with a sci-fi/steampunk twist.

    Both just completely gorgeous.

  • Oh my god. Y’all are blowing my mind with ideas! d*s has the best readers, EVER!!! I can’t get over how you are listing my favorite movies! And i need to netflix momma mia asap!

    I can’t wait to pull something together for next week!

  • someone already said but i LOVED all the houses and furnishings in the newer “pride and prejudice” with kiera knightly. and i just watched “marie antoinette” yesterday and i would love to see a feature on versailles furnishings. oooh! or “pretty in pink” – you could do iona’s apartment or molly ringwald’s.

  • I once mentioned to the shampoo girl at a salon that I wished she was Robert Redford washing my hair like in “Out of Africa”. She said “who’s that?” I can only assume she was born under a rock in the 1990’s.

  • Love it, love it, love it! Please be welcome!
    As someone has already said, I would love to live inside Mama Mia’s greek island and get that feeling of living at the beach…

  • I have always wanted to live in the apartment from the movie Sweet November.

    I would also love to see Murder on the Orient Express (original movie, not the remake).

  • i remember an lovely movie from the 90’s called “the scent of the green papaya”. The movie was apparently shot entirely in a a movie studio in Paris although it took place in Vietnam… the house was BEAUTIFUL. Made me feel elsewhere. Thanks for giving us the oportunity to remember these places in time!

  • I am in LOVE with this column! So great!
    I would love to live in Michelle Pfeiffer’s house AND clothes in the new-ish movie, “Cherie”. Art Nouveau and Art Deco galore!!

    PS. My parent’s built their home in L.A. area and based a lot of the design on “Somethings Gotta Give”. One word: Gorgeous.

  • For the Out of Africa one, I am not happy with the chair. In the screenshot, it was obviously a wooden one, maybe like a brit campaign chair. I have some of those, and a friend has some of the convolutedly folding U.S. campaign chairs. They are all more comfy, more sturdy, but mostly have a Victorian charm about bringing something that unfolds to an actual Chair, vs. a fabric sling directors chair out into the wild. Works much more to the civility thing.

    World Market had a cheap but functional British campaign chair for a long time, so they pop up at normal places; you don’t have to get antiques.

    • stephen

      i think the point of amy’s column is to find pieces inspired by the movie, rather than direct sourcing of the same objects. an all-wooden chair would be equally nice, but i think amy’s choice of folding chair fits the theme nicely, even if it’s not the exact style from the set :)


  • Love in the Time of Cholera – I have to admit I have never seen the movie, just read the book. But, I am totally obsessed with Cartagena. The fusion of style that has gone into the ancient coastal city is just amazing.

    Great idea – Can’t wait to see more!

  • I LOVE this idea–thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I, too, love the sets in Amelie and would love to know how to pull off an Emerie et Cie inspired look for us poor Americans. Like, comparable colors in local paint stores?
    Thanks again–

  • this is such a great idea! I love it! I have to admit that i sometimes like movies (including some sinkers) just for the environments. I second Royal Tennenbaums and Great Expectations. There are so many great ones, gotta get my thinking cap on…

  • Amelie is a given for sure all that red and green! Next on my list would have to be “A Good Year” (oh how I luv France), Chocolat (Vianne’s red shoes and the dinner party scene!). Now, dating back a bit, Practical Magic, I remember really liking the house that the aunts lived in.
    This is a great idea, I look forward to reading more from Amy!

  • I fell in love with Holly Golightly’s sparse but stylish apartment the first time I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s a million years ago. I love that late 50s/early 60s style.

  • Yes, yes, yes! I love this new column, and Out of Africa was a wonderful way to begin – I would love to step inside that world, and Amy, you did such a lovely job capturing the spirit! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next :)

  • I second “A Good Year” – don’t know if its the house and garden- the Rhumba records – or Russell Crowe – but I can’t resist it

  • I’d love to see a post on Marie Antoinette or The Duchess, 18th century opulence of any kind really. :)
    I’m also in love with the rose cottage in “The Holiday”.

  • I can’t believe you forgot to source Robert Redford for us!

    Great post, though! Grace- I’m enjoying this new line-up!

  • I have to agree with Heather that some Wes Anderson films would be great. Another one I love is Wong Kar Wai’s 2046. Every frame of that film could stand alone as a breathtaking still photo.

  • Amelie! The Royal Tennenbaums! Marie Antoinette! A very long engagement! Godard’s Breathless! Felleni’s 8 1/2!
    ps. Amy Merrick rules!

  • Oh what a great idea for a column! Love it. And Out of Africa– I have to rent this again. I don’t think I’ve seen it in 15 years!

    I have to put my votes in for Anne of Green Gables (gosh how I wanted to be her when I was a kid!), and Chocolat, and Mamma Mia.

    I keep thinking about Blue Lagoon for this too…or any audrey hepburn movie!

  • SUPER rad post!!! I think Out of Africa is a brilliant beginning to what is surely going to be an incredibly fun and much-loved series at Design*Sponge. Welcome, Amy!

    I nominate the following:

    Under the Tuscan Sun (film set amid the beauty of Tuscany and the Amalfi coast)

    Atonement (the book was MUCH better than the film, though the film was gobsmackingly gorgeous)

    Sixteen Candles (one of the funniest films ever and it’d be so entertaining to see items culled as insipiration)

    I second The Secret Garden!

    • tanya is the best! i love her lyric bread- i saw something like that in a store the other day and almost yelled “lyric bread!” out loud ;)


  • I would love to live in Little Women, Atonement, To Live (Imperial China….gorgeous), and Vicky Christina BARCELONA! I love this column, such a great idea and so inspiring!

  • this is awesome! it would be amazing to see some inspiration from JAKE RYAN in sixteen candles. that preppy but cool, clean cut look with the work boots, khakis, etc. other picks: dirty dancing – think baby in her white keds and tied shirt with short shorts; and lastly the virgina suicides. pure ’70s little house on the prairie meets hippie.

  • Diane Keaton’s house in “Something’s Gotta Give” and Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn’s apartment in “The Break Up”. I live in Chicago and I am dying to know where that place is – way too nice for a art gallery asst. and tour guide!!

  • Great topic! I love Howards End the house in Practical Magic, Maggie Gyllenhalls apt. in Stranger than Fiction and Ingrid Bergmans apt. in Indescreet. I could talk about this stuff forever…

  • I’m so happy to read this column is coming my way! I dressed as Streep’s character in O.o.A. just to try to channel a bit of the Scandinavia meets Africa pre-war glamor…I’ve been trying to redesign my bedroom in this style, but have been totally stuck – these pieces give great ideas! What fun!

  • What an amazing new addition to d*s!!! It certainly fills the hole in my heart left in the absence of a lot of great Domino articles. Kudos!!

  • Great idea. :)

    Films I’d like to live in: Amélie, About a Boy, Catch Me If You Can, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stranger Than Fiction, Pride and Prejudice, Penelope.

  • I want to live in the film Sunset Boulevard. I’m trying to make it a reality, but being only 23 makes it hard for me to be a washed up middle-aged, glamourous, AMAZING Gloria Swanson. If you need help finding turbans, candlesticks, a butler named max or Cecil B. Demille, give ear here!

    ps…i love an apple a day!!! SO MUCH! i can’t wait for this!!

  • I loved this article! Out of Africa is a favorite. How about the Italian villa and the clothes of Enchanted April or Jane Campion’s 1850s New Zealand setting for The Piano..I loved the Scottish influence that showed up in the plaid fabrics versus the tribal influence of the natives; and who can forget that hoopskirt tent on the beach.

  • I’m totally gonna get into this. Amy, I read you on Apple a Day as well! See, I love this idea so much that I don’t want to even pick a movie house that I love without doing research. I am going to be paying attention in every movie I read from now on.
    Oh, but now I’ve thought of one, even though I haven’t seen this movie in a really long time, but I remember loving the great room covered in plants – Great Expectations with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow, her grandmother’s (great-aunt’s?) house.

  • Loved Out of Africa – I dream of having one day a large porch with the record player and daybeds and lounging chairs for afternoon naps! I would also say I would love to be in The English Patient. Cooling desert clothes and sexy 20s evening wear! (Being near handsome Ralph Fiennes & beautiful Kristin Scott Thomas wouldn’t hurt either)

  • I probably didn’t need another reason to obsess over Design Sponge, but here it is!

    I second (or third) Royal Tenenbaums and most of Wes Anderson’s films:

    Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    The Darjeeling Limited (oh, that train!)
    Hotel Chevalier

    500 Days of Summer
    Moulin Rouge
    Marie Antoinette
    Quicksilver (Kevin Bacon’s loft)
    Factory Girl
    Science of Sleep (office, Stephanie’s apartment)
    Ghost World (Seymour’s retro apartment)

  • This post brought me out of lurkdom…can’t wait to see future posts like this.

    And, yes, Science of Sleep…the interiors were complex and quirky, like the characters.

  • Any wes anderson movie, especially the royal tennenbaums and darjeeling limited are immensely inspiring… the textures and textiles – colors, would be a welcome addition!

  • Oh, I also vote for Anne of Green Gables!

    Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version in particular) would also be wonderful to move into.

    Or maybe The Scarlet Pimpernel (with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour) but minus the Guillotine.

  • oh . . . and if you could sqeeze in a little Gilmore Girls love one day, that would be delightful, or a little Bewitched love (with Nicole Kidman).

  • J’adore cette idee! (l0ve this idea but sounds much better in French!!!)

    How about:

    The English Patient (book or movie)

    The Year of Living Dangerously

  • Yay Amy! I am thrilled for you over your new position here and just as thrilled for me since I’ll now be able to read these wonderful posts every week! Seriously, what a wonderful idea for a weekly post, can’t wait to see what you do with it :)

    As for movies, I’m definitely a fan of some previous suggestions: Amelie, The Secret Garden, and The Royal Tennenbaums… all would be amazing. Another one I wanted to throw out there is the late 60’s Parisian flat in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, it’s a dream for sure :)

  • Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park does a fab makeover to that drab, pokey little apartment in New York where she and Robert Redford have just moved into. Love the 60s aesthetic.

  • So nice to see Amy here! I second (third?) POIROT! Brideshead Revisited would be pretty amazing too (the original series with Jeremy Irons) – oh and Darjeeling Ltd.

  • just a small error – isak dinesen was just the psuedonym of karen blixen, who wrote ‘out of africa’..

    love the idea for a series of posts based on movies and books though!

  • OMG! This is the greatest idea ever, Amy!!! So excited to see what you pull together.

    The following are my ideals:
    ** The Aviator (divine art deco inspired opulence)
    ** Sean Connoroy era James Bond movie sets
    ** Get Smart (the original – amazing 60’s decor)
    ** Hichcock i.e. North by Northwest
    ** For inspiration, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless mind, Romeo and Juliet and anything by Tim Burton

    and of course, the ones already noted:
    ** Secret Garden
    ** Great Expectations
    ** Agatha Christie

    Soooo excited!!!

  • The Edge of Love (while in London during the Blitz)

    and of course Kate Winslet’s one room pad in the Reader.

    I’m a sucker for small spaces.

  • please do Mama Mia!! It seems to have multi generational appeal. Grandma mom and my daughters all LOVE this movie and all the trimmings!!!!

  • Oh! Erin is absolutely right! Kevin Bacon’s loft in Quicksilver! that’s my place too. And this column is already my favourite :-)

  • Green Card (1990) with Andie MacDowell -the apartment with a greenhouse in New York no less
    if a girl has to have plants this is where you would want to keep them

  • I think it would be cool to have a house based on the Central Perk and the appartments in Friends.. I always loved the colour combos

  • I know I already commented on this post yesterday-BUT-I just have to add that not only is this a fabulous idea for a column, but reading through all the comments has given me SO MANY things to add to my “to watch and to read” list-I was feeling stagnant, this is so perfect!

  • love love this new column!!!!

    oooh, my votes:


    science of sleep

    perhaps the new alice in wonderland once it’s out?

  • Ideal living spaces:

    1. I agree, the house in Out of Africa :)

    2. For a more urban setting: The house and pool in the film Laurel Canyon (2002)

  • What a fantastic idea! I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the above movie suggestions realised in this new feature.
    Now I’m probably getting ahead of myself…but the buzz about Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is exciting….so I’d really like to see a take on this e.g. plays of scale, oversized and miniature furniture, surreal appeal, tea party chic and products with human characteristics. It is one of the interior trends we are predicting for Spring/Summer 2010 at Scarlet Opus.

  • With reruns I’ve been reminded how gorgeous the old Merchant-Ivory movies were… Howard’s End, Room with a View… Also the lush colors of Monsoon Wedding would be fun!

  • I’d love to live in any of Wes Anderson’s films… The Royal Tenenbaums, specifically. I love the colours and the textures used in that movie.

  • This is strange and specific, but MJ’s apartment in Spiderman III always grabs my attention. It’s only featured for a scene, but all those dark greens and blues are gorgeous.

  • love, Love, LOVE Out of Africa! I get a little drunk off the scenery and the settings and … Robert Redford.

    Other “worlds” I’d love to see featured: Madmen or Down With Love (60s mod), Under the Tuscan Sun, Amelie, and Pushing Daisies.

    Loving all the comments and looking forward to reading more!

  • These will be so much to read!

    It’s an oldie, but my votes goes to the Rosalind Russel version of Auntie Mame. Each iteration of Beekman Place (Auntie Mame changes up her decor often) is spectacular. My favorites are the Chinese themed home at the opening and the ultra- Modern one in the engagement party scene,

  • 5oo days of Summer. Most definitely. I have an apartment similar to Summer’s in the movie. (I like to think) but she does have some wonderful extras!

  • Hi Amy! Your new column sounds great. I adore movies and know there are several I’d like to live in, but you had me with ‘Out of Africa’ – my all time favorite movie, especially after moving far from home and ending up on a remote farm (though not in Africa!).

    I just watched it for the umpteenth time the other day. It’s such a magnificent film, and I still see something new each time I watch it. Have you seen the ‘making of’ documentary and the other extra stuff included on the DVD? They’re fantastic. And of course I have the soundtrack, too. ;)

    So glad you’ve joined Design Sponge.

  • well, again, i’m a little late but i’d like to nominate

    Atonement – the actual house is in Shropshire and they do guided tours. i’m going camping near there next week!

    Kramer vs Kramer – they fight in the nicest apartment.

    High Society – for all American poolside old school glamour. and Grace floating her boat in the cutest swimsuit.

    and The Ice Storm! has anyone else mentioned that? oh, that house is amazing.

  • Lord of the Rings –

    Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End- Who wouldn’t love a round door?

    Rivendell – beautiful, hand-carved furniture and Liv Tyler’s velvet gowns!

    The Princess Bride, Pride and Prejudice, Rear Window, The Little Princess, The Bourne Trilogy, Ocean’s 12

  • i totally agree with alice in wonderland and peter pan but i’d have to say that i’ve always wanted to live in the royal tenebaums, lost in translation or the darjeeling limited.
    those movies are not only visually stunning but they make my heart all warm inside.

    i cant wait to see what projects you have on the way. i’ve got a big, beautiful new apartment and i cant wait to decorate and i’m looking for new ideas!!

  • What a fanastic post! Some that I like not yet mentioned:

    -2008 Brideshead Revisted
    -Happy’s white, sparse NYC apartment in Gigantic
    -the pink jewelry store in the Umbrellas of Cherbourg
    -Scottish beach house and light house in the movie Half Light
    -Bridget Jones’s Diary
    -the early 90’s feel of Tom Selleck’s house in Her Alibi.
    -The awesome 80’s look of the Weekend at Bernie’s movies, remeber Bernie’s huge vacation home?
    -So I Married an Axe murderer with Harriet’s artsy-nautical apartment
    -The Skeleton Key
    -Harry’s apartment in When Harry Met Sally
    -Just Like Heaven
    -No Reservations (shrink’s office)
    -Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
    -Barbra Streisand’s A Star is Born

  • Alexandra—Ooooooh I second that on Bronte’s apartment in Green Card!!! the floral prints and vintage McCoy planters and celluloid picture frames….one of my Favorite movies. I wanted to name my daughter Bronte too but I didn’t get my way on that!

  • Dittos on the Thin Man (with extra credit for a Garance Dore guest columnist for Nora Charles clothes!), Amelie (duhduhduh), and the Royal Tenenbaums. Hated the movie The Hand that Rocks the Cradle but loved the house. Room with a view.

    And oh the books! Jane Eyre and The Moonstone!
    But as a new mom – my latest home decor inspiration? All the books of Eric Carle. Definitely. And the Up movie.

  • oooh, this is fun,
    in addition to so many already listed, I will add:

    Fellini: especially “Juliette of the Spirits”, what a 60’s fantasy!

  • Oh my goodness Amy, I’m so excited for you! I’ll have to start reading d*s again, just for you (not that I don’t love it, I can just never keep up with the deluge).

    Meanwhile, can you believe I’ve never seen this movie? I’ll make sure to rent it before I go to Kenya in March!

  • i love this column idea desperately! i’m overwhelmed by all the comments so i am not going to read them (ignore if there are repeats). i would actually kind of love to live in the cramped faded glamour of the cartoon the triplets of belleville, oddly enough. amelie is a given (i have a blue lamp inspired by that movie that has brought nothing but good things into my life since i got it), and there’s also a gorgeous movie (dutch?) called antonia’s line.

    i loved prime, with uma thurman, and also love me if you dare – though i think both of those may have been more about mise en scene and light than they were about the actual homes. and intimate strangers. so many! but mainly i’m looking forward to seeing what gems you come up with :)

  • what a lovely series! i have to say that i always dream of living in the world of Mad Men. without all the societal constraints, of course.

  • I second “bewitched” with Nicole Kidman. I also would love to see Either Cameron Diaz or KateWinslet’s characters homes from “The Holiday”. I know it’s not a house, but the Shop Around the Corner from “You’ve Got Mail” is also inspiring.

  • I’ve always really loved the singer’s studio apartment from High Fidelity, the one that has the old window frames partitioning off her sleeping area. So cool!

  • How about Harold and Maude? Both of their homes are completely different and unique! Great idea for a column.

  • i second:
    babettes feast
    little women

    and would like to add:
    a clockwork orange…a little retrofab, but still awesome.

  • I’d love to live in Wes Anderson’s created world… Particularly the world of the brothers in the Darjeeling Limited. I’d like to be a part of the world each of the brothers lives in when not traveling together in India.

  • Nice Post. The person responsible for bringing you these looks is the PRODUCTION DESIGNER of the film. Thanks for noticing!

  • So many wonderful suggestions have been made already! My faves:
    The Secret Garden
    Old Savannah (Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil)
    Practical Magic House!
    The Orient Express
    Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow
    The English Patient

    What a delightful column!

  • I thought of a house! I saw the movie and thought of this blog entry! :) It’s the one in the Time Traveler’s Wife, their house after they get married in Chicago. Go! :)

  • I love this post!

    And you definitely called out one of my favorite movies — The Secret Garden! I swear, I credit this movie with my move to England!

    Also Pride and Prejudice.
    500 Days of Summer for some awesome apartment decor

  • I love ‘Living In’ and wanted to chime in with my suggestions. Someone suggested The Dreamers, and I couldn’t agree more. What a beautiful apartment, and I would soo love to crawl inside and live there forever! And how about ‘Two for the Road’? Just lovely.

  • I realize that I’m way behind on the commenting, seeing as you posted this at the beginning of August, but puh-leeeeaaase do Atonement. So so so beautiful.

  • Ok…the living in idea is perfect, and all of these movies are some of my favorites! I mean, Mamma Mia? The Godfather? Little Women? Out of Africa? I feel like designsponge is reading my mind. I think an interesting idea would be A Little Princess – totally a kid’s movie but the NYC Victorian girl’s school mansion in it was one of my favorite interiors…not to mention all the Indian influences!

  • years ago I had my furniture covered with the Out of Africa fabric from her living room. Is this fabric still available?

  • Out of Africa is one of those movies that I never get tired of. Every time I come across it on TV, I’m drawn in and sit through the whole amazing show again. I also adore the “new” version of Sabrina with Harrison Ford. I love, love, love the coach house. My third favorite movie is The Holiday. I can’t get enough of the house in California and the cottage in the English countryside. Keep up this fabulous column! Thank you.

  • Ditto on the movie! The best thing I loved about the movie besides Meryls’ gorgeous wardrobe is the spectacular house she lived in ! I dream of one day having a place such as that…

  • -Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    -Blade Runner
    -Royal Tenenbaums
    -Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    I have come back to these design*sponge articles more than any others. So intriguing to look at.

  • I absolutely adore Out of Africa and anything British Colonial from that time period. Also another stylistic favorite is The Three Colors: Blue, White and Red. Juliette Binoche’s home in the French countryside was breathtaking!

  • Gone with the Wind – Tara!!!
    Empire of the Sun
    Baby Boom – her New England house
    Beatrix Potter
    House of “Family”( tv show – sorry!) with Sada Thompson – loved the blue & white themed kitchen and cottage out back – beautiful home!

  • Amost forgot:
    Housesitter – loved the glass enclosed hallway to the master bedroom. Also the furnishings – fun!

  • just found this series and it’s great! you’ve already covered so many of my household/film fantasies, but i wanted to add Surviving Picasso with anthony hopkins – his french coastal house. while i’m at it i’ll add shadowlands… debra winger’s peacock blue suit and the christmas paper “party hats and garland”! richard attenborough picks some darn good production designers. oh why not chaplin too?

    oh and i second the vermont house in babyboom. i also love the friend’s snowy-country modern house in bourne identity. OR michael caine’s house in children of men.

    anyway, REALLY good job so far, loved fantastic mr. fox and gosford park. thanks!

  • “Philadelphia Story” (yes it is in black & white..1940) Introduce a whole new generation to Kathryn Hepburn’s fantastic wardrobe. …and with Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart in the cast…and a great house. If you’ve never seen it…..well it is a CLASSIC! mmmm

    I watch “Somethings Gotta Give” just for the house…and wish I had done my kitchen remodeling after I’d seen it.

  • I just started reading this feature and wondered if you’d done “Out of Africa” because it is the No. 1 movie I want to live in. Of course it was the very first! Thanks for doing this!

  • Twin Peaks was a big design influence for me– that Pacific Northwest hunting-lodge vibe. I second the request for Mad men. What about the Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman?

  • In the movie Out of Africa, when Karen is telling the boy to go to the hospital for his wounded leg, Baron Blixen comes out on the porch holding paper and a coffee cup. What company makes the coffee cup and no doubt the breakfast ware that goes with it (ie, saucers, plates, etc.)? I’d like to have a set just like it. The cup holds a generous portion of coffee and you can get your forefinger in it and best of all, it appears to be a light weight china cup.

  • Where to live? Oooh, that’s tough! I’m drawn to all things Victorian and Edwardian and your “living in Out of Africa” idea is great! That house was fantastic. But I’d have to go with something more sumptuous, like Granny Mingot’s mansion in New York City in Scorcese’s “The Age of Innocence”. Or her summer “house” in Newport, for that matter. (If you’re from NYC, you will get a thrill out of the recreation of all the different mansions in “Old New York”, ca. 1877).

    For more fantastic, turn-of-the-century, East Coast mansions and vacation spots, feast your eyes on Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart in “The House of Mirth”.

    Ever see “On the Wings of the Dove”, with Helene Bonham Carter? Her rented house in Venice is almost as evocative and decadent as Heath Ledger’s one of many in “Casanova”.
    Speaking of Europe, I’d move right into Diane Lane’s Tuscan Villa in “Under the Tuscan Sun”!
    One of my all-time favorite houses is the Italianate country house in upstate N.Y., the stage for a re-telling of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Woody Allen’s early-1900’s “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy”. It sits in a beautiful field, surrounded by woods and streams.

    For a ritzier, British version of this, how about “Norland manor” in Sussex, home of the Dashwood girls in “Sense and Sensibility”?

    Though not in a film, I would kill to live in the Empress of Austria’s Edwardian summer “Tea House” in the Salzkammergut mountains of Austria, which I visited one summer. They left it just as it was when she died! It was all pinkish stone, with a wraparound veranda, and inside, dark wood, inlaid floors, chandeliers, and huge, carved divans and pianos! *sigh*

    Also related to Austria, the retreat at Versailles, of Petit Trianon, in Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antionette” was unbelievable! I could stay there forever!

    Totally out of character, I adore the lakeside cottage inhabited by Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) in Stephen King’s “Secret Window”. He takes endless naps on an overstuffed sofa, avoids writing and gets threatened by John Turturro. It’s scary, but at least comfy!

    (P.S. Films I would NOT want to live in, though I loved them, were mentioned, “Ghost World”, “Babette’s Feast” and “The Piano” (the latter two, espcecially, were so dark and depressing!).

    I loved Mia Wallace’s ultra-modern house in “Pulp Fiction” and the house Kate Winslet both lives in and rents in “The Holiday” – what a perfect, English cottage!

    While in L.Al, I wouldn’t mind kicking those girls out of the house in “Charmed” and moving in!

  • I just ADORE THIS!! Hate that I’m just now finding it, but so glad I’ve got a lot of reading material. :)

    I have two movies that I just adore that I thought I would share: Penelope & Waitress. Two beautiful and fabulous movies!

  • If anyone can find her porch furniture or those hats she wore I will purchase. I want the entire outfit when she goes to Belnap to ask for work in the coffee. The hat is divine. I have looked everywhere. I have a loveseat that looks like hers and is covered in Laura Ashley linen. I am send a photo.

  • It’s been a rainy morning in my hills. Make that torrential. What to do? Curl up with a good book? Cuddle with the cat? Or, slip Out of Africa into the DVD player? I opted for the last of the three choices. True, I hesitated. What is it, the 15th time maybe? But, OOA runs in my veins. I mean, this is not a movie you view but a movie that you visit and don’t want to leave. Still, I enjoyed it thoroughly, considering a 16th time if it rains again this week. But, the best thing of all, is watching the director’s cut or commentary. It not only provides more insight into the story, overall, but also Karen and Denys as well – with vintage photos of the pair and Kenya during the time period involved. While one of the best love stories ever, it is so much more than that – a changing world, shifting values, individualism, ideals, autonomy and so on; and, of course, the corrosive nature of love. But, anyway, I’m thrilled to find this website proving I’m not crazy – just enthralled – like all of you.. Oh, great idea about “Movie and Design,” etc. I landed on this website while Googling “living room interior of Out of Africa.” It’s 2018 and rather late but, still, great idea.

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