living in: cold comfort farm


Cold Comfort Farm is a new-to-me mid-nineties BBC movie suggested by a reader and given a thumbs up by our very own Kate Pruitt. English countryside period piece? Twist my arm. The movie’s heroine, Flora, grows up amid London privilege in the 1930s and eventually moves with relatives to a rundown country farm. Emma-esque hijinks ensue as Flora plots the betterment of each of the farm’s residents, and you can’t help but want the 1930s farm girl makeover, too. — Amy Merrick

1. Erie Basin 1940s Diamond Band, $385; 2. Globe Lights, $35; 3. Spring Meadow Wreath, $68; 4. Cheese Knife, $52; 5. Vintage Stool, $350; 6. Enchantment Heels, $128; 7. Antique Toile Tray, $450; 8. Clay Pitcher, $39; 9. Wendy Kromer Cake; 10. Pearl Drop Earrings, $49

The full post continues after the jump . . .

Not only does the movie feature what may be the sweetest of country weddings, but also the farmhouse has serious charm behind its grimy windows and cobweb-covered corners. Flora’s little bedroom would be perfect for an evening spent scribbling in a notebook, and with a coat of fresh paint, the family’s kitchen couldn’t be any better. A little spit and shine around the place and I’m ready to move in.

1. Kaweco Fountain Pen; 2. 1920s Brass Lamp; 3. Pilot Goggles, $60; 4. Pallavi Bedspread, $260; 5. Revlon Lipstick, $5.75; 6. Antique Dutch Truck, $890; 7. Vintage Leather Books, $150; 8. Vintage Iron Bed; 9. Pen Refills, $4; 10. Postal Co. Notebook, $19

  1. Teresa says:

    One of my absolute most FAVORITE films (I have it on VHS and DVD, so obsessed!) The film is fantastic, as well as the novel it was based on! Glad to see this as a “Living in”. :-)

  2. Krista says:

    Ha! Just saw this film for the first time yesterday and then stumbled on this post. That dressing gown in the bedroom shot is totally gorgeous.

  3. Jill says:

    This is a wonderful movie, I recently read the book which is priceless, btw, and now need to see the movie again!

  4. Meg says:

    I adore this movie and just watched it last week because it was on Netflix instant.

    “I saw something nasty in the woodshed.”
    “Yeah, baby, but did it see you?!”

    Lovely Living In post!!

  5. Rachel says:

    Haven’t seen the film, but the book is fabulous – if you like the film you should read it!

  6. Kate Pruitt says:

    I’d love to take credit for the suggestiona, and I do love this movie, but the suggestion came from a D*S reader who emailed us with the idea. I have since lost the email, but I want to extend a thanks on behalf of Amy and me for the tip!

  7. Rachel says:

    While visiting family in the UK last week, my great aunt told me that this is one of her favorite movies! I wish she had the Internet; she would love this post.

  8. Allison says:

    Aaaaahhhh! I love this movie and quote it constantly! My cousins and I are always going on about seeing something nasty in the woodshed. Best Living In ever!

  9. Suzy8track says:

    Excellent film, so glad to see it made the Living In post! Planning on watching this film, haven’t seen it in years!

  10. Katherine says:

    Can’t wait to watch this in a moment of missing my British roots. I’m also considering rocking that headscarf look above!

  11. Barchbo says:

    I LOVE this movie! I saw it in the theater and I laughed so hard that I missed a lot and had to see it again! Kate Beckinsale immediately became my favorite actress.

    Something nasty in the woodshed – I am used to saying that and having people look at me like I am nuts. :)

  12. I haven’t seen it, but sounds divine. I always love your movie inspirations for lovely lifestyle picks and products. The goggles, bedframe and fountain pen are wonderful.

  13. Dee says:

    I have waiting for this post! Three cheers for the reader who suggested it. :)

  14. I am absolutely hunting this movie down ASAP! How beautiful!

  15. Jen says:

    @Meg HAHAHA My coworker and I were just quoting those lines at each other the other day.

    Love this movie! Love this post!

  16. freckleddiva says:

    Thank you for this one. I also LOVE Stephen Fry in this film. The iron bed is great!

  17. Great film, great suggestion, great Living In
    Something in the woodshed indeed
    (and… cue Neil Hannon / Divine Comedy song, at least in my head.)

  18. Oh my god, you covered Cold Comfort Farm!!! Hooray! It’s my favorite movie of all time and no one ever knows what it is unless I’ve shown it to them. I saw it in an obscure movie theater during its limited US run while I was in high school with absolutely no idea what it was, and I’ve watched it 100s of time since. A+ on the choices. That iron bed is iconic. Thanks for making my day :)

  19. Marla says:

    Love love love this movie! The best! Had almost fogotten how wonderful it is.

  20. Harriet says:

    LOVE this film – what a great choice! I used to watch it with my Mum after school, with a cup of tea, and we still quote it all the time.

  21. margaret says:

    So funny, I just watched this movie the other night, for about the 20th time…. it still makes me laugh!

  22. Oh YAY! Love this so much. Looooved Kate in this. (I loved her in these types of movies before she tried to turn herself into a Hollywood glamazon)

    Very inspired ‘Living In’!

  23. Maria says:

    Wow, I love this movie, this post made my day!

  24. BM says:

    Again: so happy to see this movie here!!! Long time lurker, but this finally got me to comment. All that is missing is the old twig for washing the dishes.

  25. This is a great movie :) All I can here is “there was something in the woodshed …. ” LOL

  26. InkSketch says:

    You must be a mind reader. I added this to my Netflix instant queue about 3 days ago. Still haven’t seen it but will watch tomorrow. Thanks.

  27. Miss Heliotrope says:

    The book is the cult classic & fabulous – the movie is great but nowhere near as fab. Thank you for doing it, however – mind you, if you clean it up too much it won’t be Starkadder Farm! You seem to miss pointing out that the movie (& bc the book is) is extremely funny.
    BM – Try Ancient Industries for a twig based dish-washing device…

  28. Emma says:

    I sleep in a very similar bed when I visit my granny’s farm in Ireland! Lovely post, Em

  29. Mr. Glitter says:

    What a funny coincidence – I just noticed this film on Netflix Instant last weekend and added it to my queue. I’d never heard of it before, so when I saw this post yesterday, I decided to watch it last night.

    LOVE. It’s filled to the brim with one-liners and Joanna Lumley’s character was my favorite!!

  30. Katie says:

    All time favorite. I’ve been lurking for a while but also have never commented til now, because I was delighted to see it pop up here! There’s rich soil here if you care to dig for it.

  31. Heather says:

    There’s something nasty in the woodshed! Gosh I love this movie! So glad you chose it for your weekly living in.

  32. Chloe says:

    “I saw something nasty in the woodshed-” “Yeah baby, but did it get a look at you?”
    Oddly the American is I think my favourite character :) I love this film and book such a brilliant farce. It makes me a little sad when I watch it now because it always reminds me of how you used to actually recognize Kate Beckinsale when you saw her and now you always just wonder if it’s her or about 5 other actresses who all look exactly the same.

  33. ~gloria says:

    I first saw Rufus Sewell in this movie. Now he’s a favorite. And what about that twig for washing dishes! So funny. Great choice, this.

  34. Joanna says:

    “I saw something nasty in the woodshed” “Sure you did, but did it see you, baby?”

    One of my favorite films and I’m so psyched to see my recommendation up on the pages of DesignSponge!

  35. Martrese says:

    I was SO surprised to see this gem featured in “Living In!” Excellent post. Like so many others, I quote and reference it often. I can’t hand wash dishes without reaching for a twig.

  36. Kate says:

    A fabulous film to be inspired by. Kate Beckinsdale was marvellously sharp in her red lippie before she got all serious and started wearing leather catsuits! Thanks x

  37. Steven Reeves says:

    I just discovered this column and love the idea. My friends and I have had these discussions for years and I’m pleasantly surprised to see how many films that I was ready to suggest are already included and how many visitors to the site are being introduced to some great movies through a design site. Now may I suggest…..
    Grand Hotel, Duck Soup, My Man Godfrey, After the Thin Man, Easy Living, The Palm Beach Story, Meet Me in St. Louis, Mildred Pierce (1945 and 2011 HBO versions both), Leave Her to Heaven, Sabrina, Pillow Talk, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Lover Come Back, For Pete’s Sake(1973), The Seven Per Cent Solution, Pennies From Heaven(1981), Tucker:The Man and His Dream, Places in the Heart, Roxanne, The Mask of Zorro, Pleasantville, The Artist, Hugo, Dark Shadows
    All have great design and all are great to watch. Well, except maybe “For Pete’s Sake” which is kind of stupid but is largely redeemed by Barbra Streisand’s way cool early ’70’s NYC pad whic I remembered for nearly 40 years and it still holds up when I saw this movie again after almost that long. Have fun with these!

  38. Suzanne Oost says:

    My husband and I stumbled on this movie several years ago and LOVED IT!!! WE want to live on that farm too! So glad everyone else enjoys too!!

  39. mab says:

    “Do you believe that women have souls…?”

    Fabulous pick!

    May I also suggest for future Living Ins: “A Room with a View” – gotta love Edwardians in Florence!

  40. Sarah says:

    GORGEOUS! I love Cold Comfort Farm. I’d love to see living in “The love letter” or “Danny the Champion of the world” Living In is my fave of all the posts!

  41. Ann says:

    Oh yes, just one of my favourite ever TV adaptions of a period novel. Recorded it onto VHS years ago and was delighted to see it broadcast again a few weeks ago. Reminds me I must look out for a DVD. Don’t you just love Flora’s wardrobe!


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