living in: Kramer vs. Kramer

by

There is something about fall in New York that always puts me in a 1970s mood. Kramer vs. Kramer hits all my favorite fall notes — minimal but warm, classic, erring on the side of masculine. It’s also the one movie that makes me weepy on command, an impressive feat, considering its lack of overwrought melodrama. It is, simply, the story of a custody battle. We’ll skip living in the courtroom, but a cozy home with a stylish and caring papa seems like a good life to me. Amy Merrick

1. APC Gabardine Trench Coat, $575; 2. Vintage Popsicle Stick Lamp, $54; 3. Repro War Poster, $14; 4. Mid-Century Walnut Console, $2200; 5. Red Swingline Stapler, $23; 6. Vintage Television, $95; 7. Vintage Wicker Basket, $150; 8. Truman Leather Journal, $110; 9. Angelpoise Lamp, $250; 10. Chocolate Rotary Phone, $55

If they awarded an Oscar for best use of sleek furniture combined with vintage kilim textiles, Kramer vs. Kramer would come out on top. The masculine, clean spaces have me itching to repaint everything white and throw out three-quarters of my junk, and I think I just might do it. If it’s good enough for a young Meryl Streep, then it’s good enough for me.

1. Vintage Oushak Rug, $2095; 2. Newgate Quad Clock, $166; 3. Caran D’arche Pen, $17; 4. Brachiosaurus, $24; 5. Pom Pom Hat, $62; 6. Theater Two-Seater, $2800; 7. Stella Lucido Espresso Maker, $104; 8. Kilim Pillows, $39+; 9. Postalso Document Case, $270; 10. Brass Cocktail Table, $2250; 11. Grenson Brogues, $280

  1. Oh god, I love that movie. I don’t know how it took me until about 2006 to see it for the first time, but better late than never. A friend of mine was appalled to learn I hadn’t seen it, as a newly admitted attorney practicing family law. I wept like a baby – its lack of overwrought melodrama is precisely what makes it such a beautiful film (as well as the gorgeous set of course!).

  2. Laura says:

    This is such a great movie! Just discovered it this year.

  3. I just ordered Kramer vs Kramer on DVD after reading this! I think I saw it once several years ago (I would have been quite young at the time) and now you’ve really made me want to see it again! I’ll be paying extra attention to the interiors this time. ;)

  4. I know this movie is really old but I only just saw it very recently! It’s so moving and obviously very well acted. The young Meryl is beautiful as always and brings such life to the role that you feel simultaneously sympathetic but also angry toward her character.

  5. max says:

    I was just commenting on how amazing the styles were… in fact I just got an old army field coat like his after recently re-watching this movie… we are totally simpatico!

  6. Helen says:

    This was the first movie I ever saw (thanks, Mom and Dad, for bringing a TWO YEAR OLD to see a movie about an acrimonious divorce) and it freaked. Me. OUT. I still avoid getting stitches at all costs and have some really gnarly scars as a result.

  7. Susan Hazel says:

    Great post! I never noticed how great the styling is in that movie. Also, Meryl is really wearing that trench coat!

  8. Thanks for pulling all the good stuff out of the (gloomy-looking) screenshots. I’m a little obsessed with the idea of an old, worn Persian rug. Now what did I do with that spare $2000… =)

  9. Amber says:

    I was watching this movie about a year ago, and the decor is piece for piece identical to my in-law’s stuff. They’re about the exact same ages as the couple in the movie, and it gave me real insight into the way they decorated as a childless DC couple in the 70s…and why they still have all the same timeless furniture.

  10. jennifer severtsgaard says:

    i’m pretty sure he has a barcelona coffee table. why not pull that instead of brass?
    just curious.

  11. Lori says:

    One of my favorites – high school boyfriend took me to see it when it premiered in 1980.
    I thought I was the only one who noticed such things – I think the old school furnishings are making a comeback, just like the 50’s eyeglass frames.

  12. Claudia Garza says:

    One of my all time favorite movies. a classic. beautifully acted and wonderful writing about real people and relationships. wonderful blog about the set decor, fall setting. makes me want to fly to NY and take a stroll around central park.

  13. Lucy says:

    This was the first film I saw at the cinema with my father when I was 8 years old. Although I don’t remember the interior decor very much, I’ll never forget the autumnal atmosphere of New York and the compassion I had for the young lad. Brilliant movie.

  14. Karen says:

    So cool!
    I remember when I watched the movie for the first time…..yes it was thought provoking about divorce and everything, but in addition I remember being just incredibly envious at Meryl Streep’s closet full of cashmere sweaters! There’s this scene where she goes to her armoire to pack because she’s moving out–she opens the door, and there are TONS of nicely folded, beautiful sweaters inside! OMG, I was soooo wanting that!

  15. Suzy8track says:

    Wow, I haven’t seen this for a long time but I remember loving the apartment where they lived in the film. Definitely need to watch it again soon, so I can check out those gorgeous interiors.

  16. Can we all just take a second to pause and reflect on how gorgeous Meryl Streep was/is? I mean, you could cut glass with those cheek bones up there. Sheesh! : )

  17. Teresa says:

    I saw this movie when it first came out. I was a college sophmore, and even all these years later, that long opening scene focusing on Meryl Streep’s face as she looks at her sleeping son still haunts me. I remember thinking even then – what an actress.

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