101 Guidesamy merrickliving inproduct

living in: the virgin suicides

by amym

I (who am normally a proud brunette) have only ever dreamed of going blond once and it was because of The Virgin Suicides, a movie I desperately dreamed of living in 10 years ago when I first saw it. Minus the whole, tormented and lonely misery part. The Lisbon sisters awoke a little part of me that dreamed of being mysterious, feminine and shy with a whole gaggle of cute boys following my every move. Well, high school didn’t exactly pan out as such for me, but that doesn’t mean that this back to school season I won’t be incorporating some groovy 70’s teenager in my grownup life.

Directed by the champion of artsy girls, Sophia Coppola’s 1999 The Virgin Suicides is rife with dreamy, soft focus shots of doodles in notebooks, floral nighties, Heart albums, bike baskets, high waisted jeans and Trip Fontaine. Oh Trip Fontaine. I’ll forgive your bad 70s hair because you are a timeless dreamboat/jerk combination that girls throughout the ages will always fall for.

[image above, clockwise from top left: macramé planter $48, iron canopy bed $179+, crazy daisy fabric $15/yard, portable turntable $140, princess phone $49, leather butterfly chair $248, charm bracelet $178, alarm clock $58, knit pillow $34, pillow $228+ for set]

I’m years and years out of school, but I still get a kick out of the September rush to sharpen your pencils and get a new haircut. This fall I’m switching to scribbling my daily lists and other important adult notes from scrap paper into a trusty 70s composition notebook instead. But more likely, I’ll end up just writing my name over and over again, testing out various boy’s last names. You can take a girl out of high school, but try as you might, you can’t take the high school out of the girl. – : amy m.

[image above, clockwise from top left: lockers $524,bestie necklace $13, school clock $33, whale ashtray $16, composition notebook $1.20, leather backpack $170, perfume bottles $24+, lipstick pen $5, paper fans $1]

Suggested For You


  • Ahh I love this movie’s look, it was pleasantly distracting from the twistedness of the story. That ‘crazy daisy’ print is a perfect fit!

  • I also loved The Virgin Suicides despite its depressing, somber ‘princesses-stuck-in-the-top-of-all-tall-tower’ ambience throughout. It’s a case for why being blonde isn’t always a good thing :)

    I’m in love with these ‘living in’-s by the way; such an interesting way to find design inspiration.

  • Oh, how I love that backpack! Brings back memories of my California college days, which are in the distant past…

  • oooh, i did live this suburban bit of hell, but it looks so much better here. this is a favorite book & film of mine, and i love this new series, grace!! awesome.

  • I also love the “living in” series – keep it up! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    even though I know the idea is to create design schemes you’d actually want to use in your home, i can’t help but think of what this column might look like using movies with less-than-pleasant settings. living in: fargo, anyone?

  • Funny, I was thinking about this film yesterday. The soundtrack was dreamy too.
    Great choices, I really like that alarm clock, and the backpack!

  • I LOVE your “living in” series – what a great idea!
    I always find myself trying to recreate the atmosphere of movies I’m fans of & longing for objects that would bring it into the real world. A few of my favorites for atmosphere are:
    Corrina, Corrina
    Cold Comfort Farm
    Kamikaze Girls
    the HBO series Carnivale

  • i hope you’ll do North By Northwest. I love the clothes and the scene at the Frank Lloyd Wright house is amazing. Just a suggestion…

  • As I recently blogged, I just read V.S. after having it on my bookshelf for years. I read it in conjunction with The Lovely Bones. They made a nicely spooky, loss of innocence, 70s-inspired pairing. Thanks for this great post!

  • Living in Fargo! You people are geniuses! Just wait till it gets cold enough for me to handle looking at parkas online.

  • My nomination for a Living In: Coraline, the real and unreal worlds had interesting different takes on what makes a little girl’s room.

  • I really like this feature. And I love the “Living in Fargo” idea. My nominee for this category would be Slingblade.

    Seriously, Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility would be great to see. The Dashwoods’ “cottage” is a home I’d happily occupy today.

  • I LOVE anything directed by Sofia Coppola. If this movie is on, I’m watching it. Here is a link to here new movie called Somewhere

    Could you do a “Living In” post of Juliet’s room from the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo & Juliet? It’s one of my favorites! Especially with all of the statues of Mary and candles!

  • Oh, you made me remember how I liked that movie! Lovin’ all the goodies too!

  • oh, oh, oh. this was the first film my husband and i ever saw together. i love it still and the hazy wooziness that pervades it. such a perfect choice for Living In.

  • I find the “living in” particularly fun if I haven’t seen the film or read the book.

    It’s a cool way to enter into something from purely the aesthetic and design perspective.

  • this is such a fun series! I love it. these all remind me of awesome, visually stunning movies i have loved and/or want to see! Romeo & Juliet could be great indeed.

  • please continue this series about living in a movie ! this is fabulous !
    i read the other comments and i love the idea of Romeo+Juliet… and i propose sense and sensibility by ang lee…

  • I agree, this new series is awesome. My vote for a movie would be Great Expectations… all that green!

  • Beautiful! I thought I was the only one who fantasized about being blonde and delicately feminine and mysterious after seeing this movie… Sofia Coppola always gets it just right. I’d also love to live in Lost in Translation…. sigh.

  • I love all of sofia’s movies (and her champagne :) ) I could easily ive in Marie Antoinette or Lost in Translation or this movie! She does girly so well. I think I have to go out and buy this movie now, excuse me.

  • I too am loving this series. Can you do a living in: Notting Hill?! Watched that movie the other night and thought it would work perfectly for this.

    You are doing an amazing job – I look forward to Tuesdays on here, just because of this!

  • I knew you would do a virgin suicides one, It has been on Starz and Showtime all month long…ofcourse that meant Ive watched it about 5 times within the last 3 weeks…..

    When I was watching the movie at like 2am, I was on here reading the Annie Hall post, and thought “this would make a great Living In post” but then I thought it might be too depressing and who wants to live in a house that reminds them of suicides but lol. So I suggested doing a Marie Antoinette post instead bother by Coppola (but a beheaded 300 year old french queen seemed less current).

    I love everything from the 70s so this post was amazing…I would love if you did two living ins a week, something to get me through work lol.

    I suggest anything by Wes Anderson (would love to see what you pulled from those movies) and a Breakfast at Tiffanys post is a must, Im sure everyone agrees….

  • Ooooh I just thought of a really good one, and when you read it you will agree!..

    Far and Away!

    I know It has tom cruise in it, but it was such a good fun turn of the century era movie! Irish famine/New York motel/wild west! come on you know its a good one! the bowler hat, the fancy house they snuck into, the boxing, its all great!

  • What a perfect movie to discuss on “Living In”! I loved that movie and am transported back there anytime I hear one of the songs from the awesome soundtrack, especially “Magic Man by Heart”

  • I LU-HUV this movie! So glad you did this. Great aesthetics in the movie and in your picks. Thanks!

    I also LURVED the soundtrack. Air, Heart, Todd Rundgren? Perfect!!!! xo

  • i loved and feel the same way about this film, too! the soundtrack by air only helped convey the dreaminess of it all.

  • Amy,

    Again, I’m loving this series. Don’t know if anyone has mentioned an older Andie MacDowell movie, Green Card, but I thought that garden conservatory in her apartment might interest you. There are lots of other cool visual elements to play with as well.

    I’m still really anxious to see Jane Campion’s Bright Star, and then in terms of Asian fare there is Raise the Red Lantern, Last Emperor etc. Keep up the inspiring work!

  • I LOVE the virgin suicides, its one of my favorites, and i too wish i could be living in the movie every time i see it. I think it portrays the mystery and magic of becoming a woman well.

  • Could you do a feature on the house and garden in Practical Magic?(Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman)

  • I would love a living in The Life Aquatic and Darjeeling Limited. Wes Anderson has such a vibrant aesthetic.

  • Admired the movie but I wouldn’t go through any part of my 70s high school “career” again for a milion bucks.

  • Love the soundtrack of this film. When spring and summer comes around, that’s what I love to listen to.