Text by Hannah Jones
Turns out, all those hours of binge-watching have been good for something: honing your interior design skills. From Regency-era England to modern-day California, these movie and TV show sets are nothing short of inspirational when it comes to styling your own home.
The exterior of Lorelai Gilmore’s Stars Hollow abode is straight out of a storybook. With large shutters, ivy-laden lattice, and a plentiful surrounding of trees, the home looks charming in every season of the year. The inside of the Gilmore home is the true gem, though. Three words come to mind when first viewing the home: vintage, quirky, and, most importantly, cozy. Stuffed with books just begging to be read and a couch cozy enough to entertain hours-long movie marathons, the Gilmore house is the essence of what home should be. If you want to bring a little bit of Stars Hollow to your own cottage, a neutral color palette with pops of pastel red, yellow, and green can be a starting point. From there, cozy up the space with plenty of lamps, florals, and linens. Make the room feel personal with framed memories and mementos scattered alongside family heirlooms and beloved antiques.
Nancy Meyers’s movie sets are nothing short of iconic. There’s a good chance you’ve fallen in love with one of her characters’ homes without even knowing of Nancy Meyers. She’s the force behind popular films like Father of the Bride, The Holiday, and Something’s Gotta Give—just to name a few. But her design in It’s Complicated takes the cake for us. The California casual-style home lends as much to the movie as the acting, with effortless interiors that make you feel as though you’re sitting on the couch next to Meryl Streep (in our dreams). To recreate the look in your home, play with neutrals, incorporating a heavy focus on natural textures and vintage and well-loved items. The important part of this look is to not try too hard. Open shelving, overflowing countertops, and a sense of home all blend together to make this one of our favorite movie sets.
Care to promenade to the more elegant side of interior design? Then, Shonda Rhimes’s Bridgerton should be right up your alley. The Bridgerton family home is ornate and exquisite and classic Regency-era style, but a light and airy color palette brightens and uplifts the entire mansion. The result is a space that is the definition of opulence but not at all stuffy. Interestingly, the set designers of the show credit their inspiration to a time-honored china pattern that many collectors are familiar with—Wedgwood’s iconic Blue Willow. Damask patterns and luxurious fabrics like velvet and silk can be found alongside ornate architectural details in the Bridgertons’ home, along with mile-high windows and crystal-laden chandeliers. Inspired by this slice of Regency England? Antique wood furniture overlayed with crisp white linens adds elegance and softens the space, making this look ideal for homes today. Hints of gold add the slightest touch of opulence but stay true to the blue-and-white color palette to keep your space welcoming.
The Great Gatsby
Scott Fitzgerald’s book-turned-film may have taken place nearly 100 years ago, but Gatsby’s Long Island mansion shows truly timeless style when it comes to luxurious living. Is anything more extravagant than a personal Wurlitzer organ? Much of Gatsby’s home is in classic Gothic Revival style, with arched ceilings and window frames, gorgeous stonework, and stained glass. You’ll also find quite a bit of Louis XIV influence, with opulent gold gilding and crystal chandeliers. But, pops of other styles make appearances, too, such as the traditionally elegant and masculine library with ceiling-high bookshelves stained the perfect coffee hue. The terrace brings a hint of the French Riviera, with an ornate, double-sided stone staircase and multiple arched entries with baby blue awnings. What would Gatsby’s home look like today? Naturally, no expense would be spared to create the home. High ceilings and large rooms allow more than enough space for the furnishings that lie within to dominate with their appearances. Think glittering and gold, crystals and candlelight; add in plenty of arches, and you’ve got Gatsby’s home.
Hello, color! In Friends, Monica’s apartment is classic 1990s style, with painted walls and quirky knickknacks throughout. The doorless upper cabinetry painted in the brightest of blues shows a distinctly youthful vibe set alongside heirloom living room furniture. The apartment’s New York City influences aren’t to be missed either, with the exposed brick wall and massive loft-style window outside the living room. The set brought a little extra fun to the show (not that it needed it), and many parts like the framed peephole in the front door became as iconic as some of the characters. In 2021, we imagine Monica’s apartment would be just as bright and colorful as ever, but those purple and blue hues would be traded in for some with a little more richness and depth, like emerald green, elegant wine, and classic navy. And plenty of cozy seating is a necessity so friends can gather and chat for hours.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
On the opposite end of the New York City design spectrum lies the Maisels’ Manhattan apartment. Large windows accentuate the high ceilings and allow the gorgeous view of the Hudson River to join the design of the space. Miriam balanced a love of the classic and traditional with utterly ’60s styles, including plenty of pink, painted cabinetry, and floor-to-ceiling subway tile. The home is notably full of art as well, from the antique painted screen divider to the Fauvist painting above the fireplace. Even the lighting is more akin to sculptures and antique vases than traditional lamps. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the abundance of wallpaper in the apartment. Fully covering rooms, acting as an accent set within molding, and even backing bookshelves, bright, floral-patterned wallpaper is abundant, which makes transitioning this style to contemporary design even easier. The key to Midge’s style is a balance of old and new or classic and on-trend. Wallpaper has made its comeback, and fashionable patterns can be used in the exact ways seen in Midge’s home. Antiques and vintage pieces set against more contemporary lines create a welcoming and hospitable home that feels both sophisticated and upbeat.
Payton Hobart’s opulent Santa Barbara, California, mansion is fit for a king—or a hopeful future president. Every detail in the home was immaculately curated with the most intricate details. The moody midcentury sitting room features delicate but domineering architectural work on every wall, paired with patterns reminiscent of the finest Oushak rugs. The mansion’s garden is the epitome of lush, blooming beauty that perfectly complements the home’s exterior. And we couldn’t talk about the Hobart house without mentioning the palm tree-painted stairwell. Accented with black iron and gold railing and an Oriental stair runner, the space is absolutely captivating. But it’s Payton’s bedroom that makes our hearts skip a beat. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s bedroom, the space features a neutral base so luxurious that the linens around the large bed have room to shine. If you want to bring a little presidential style into your own home, then drama is the key. Bold patterns and prints mixed with even bolder design give each room its own identity, something we think Payton would approve of.