Living In: Vertigo


Although the name Alfred Hitchcock might bring to mind images of bloodied shower curtains and murderous birds, the psychological thriller Vertigo remains one of the director’s finest works. Based on the 1958 novel D’entre Les Morts, the  film revolves around Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart), a private eye who is forced into retirement due to his crippling fear of heights. At the behest of a desperate friend, however, Scottie finds himself agreeing to one last case— this one of a rather supernatural nature. His friend’s wife, played by a stunning Kim Novac, appears to have been possessed by a spirit from a former life. As Vertigo’s mind-bending, deeply convoluted plot unfolds, one finds that things are hardly what they appear to be.


Equal parts thriller, romance, mystery, and ghost story, Hitchcock’s classic tale of obsession has topped Best-Of lists for decades and is regarded by many critics to be one of the greatest films of all time. Although the film owes much of its success to its gripping suspense and twisted storyline, Vertigo is also a stunning example of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful cinematic eye. Harnessing color as a powerful symbolic tool, Hitchcock has wonderfully exploited the saturated hues of Technicolor. Roses are not merely red, they jump right off the screen. The same goes for eerie greens and chilling blues— all work together to create a spectacular and oftentimes thrilling feast for the eyes. —Max

(For more Living In: Hitchcock, check out Living In: Rear Window and Living In: North by Northwest)



1. Black Luxo Lamp, $171 | 2. China Markers, $11.88/pack of 12 | 3. Marc Jacobs Cardigan, $795 | 4. Moscot Glasses, $225 | 5. Globe Lamp, $144.99 | 6. Bertoia Side Chair, $677 | 7. Long-Stemmed Red Roses, $114.95 | 8. Rattan Lounge Chair, $935



1. Vintage Grey Dress Suit, $246 | 2. Victorian Teacup Bouquet, $32.95 | 3. Antique Necklace, $42  | 4. Vintage Opera Gloves, $18.88 | 5. Floral Print Jeans, $245 | 6. Floor Screen, $1,498 | 7. Red Velvet Flock Wall Covering, $195

1. Cape Cod Bed Frame, $1,710 | 2. Crystal and Ivory Hoop Earrings, $250 | 3. NARS Pure Matte Lipstick, $25 | 4. Pink Princess Phone, $39.95 | 5. Pink Porcelain Lamp, $336 | 6. Vintage Floral Box, $14.99 | 7. Green Chiffon Dot Top, $128

  1. Anna @ D16 says:

    This is great, Max! Vertigo is one of my all-time favorite movies, and it’s so stylish.

    p.s. Poor Midge, having to spend her days working while sitting in a Bertoia chair! Her lower back pain must be insane.

  2. Shannon says:

    There is a certain irony to recreating the dress and scenery of this movie given that the movie is all about impostors and the purposeful recreation of history or at least an illusory history.

  3. Lisa says:

    Nice point Shannon, was thinking that quietly to myself, too. Now we can all look like Madeleine…!

  4. Shelley says:

    I’ve always loved that scene in Podesta Baldocchi’s shop in S.F. I think I need black and white tile flooring here at Bow Street.

  5. Vebo says:

    one day i would loooooove to see something like “living in Almodovar films” :D

  6. Tina says:

    This is gorgeous, Im kind of obsessed with that necklace now. Major bummer that I cant get through to Etsy at work. Also an almost 800 dollar sweater? I know I live in the midwest, but thats more than my rent. The sweater better be hand made my unionized workers with better health benifits than congress and a european vacation schedule.

  7. So funny growing up I only knew Barbara Bel Geddes for her days on the hit TV show “Dallas.” It was only later that I learned that she was in the classic movie Vertigo. Bel Geddes had quite the career, don’t you think?

  8. Lydia says:

    I loved the green Rolls Kim Novak drove in this movie.

  9. Oh, I love what you rounded up for Vertigo. Kim Novak makes some great transformations in this movie and Mag is the best, so clever, talented, but unable to get what she wants from Jimmy Stewart.

  10. Mrs. Vallejos says:

    With the recent shows “Face Off” and “Hot Set” bringing the world of production design to the forefront, my appreciation grows for great directors and their art producers. How they establish a look that backs up a story. All these objects and spaces become characters, too.

  11. Bec Castelijn says:

    Can I suggest a Living in Amile? It’s a beautiful French film that’s super-quirky and delightful design-wise (if a bit rude.. just close your eyes for those bits)

    1. Amy Azzarito says:

      Hi Bec –
      We’ve done a Living in Amilie – http://www.designsponge.com/2010/08/living-in-amelie.html :)
      Thanks!
      Amy

  12. Nicole B. says:

    I’m so glad this is back! I always love how the fashion and the decor in these film can be replicated. Now I would love to see “Living in Bound”, “Living in Cleo from 5 to 7″ and “Living in In the Mood for Love”.

    1. Amy Azzarito says:

      Hi Nicole!
      Thanks for the suggestions. We’ve done In the Mood for Love – http://www.designsponge.com/2010/03/living-in-in-the-mood-for-love.html
      xo Amy

  13. Paul H. says:

    This is great. The close up of Kim Novak’s gloved hands with the flowers s beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the other Hitchcock pieces.

  14. Love Alfred Hitchcock! So glad to see you have done another one! Very well done too. Still waiting on my suggesting for Living in ” A Good Woman” with Scarlett Johannson.

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