Help me live in a Wes Anderson movie
November 11, 2012 6:06 PM   Subscribe

How can I decorate my room to look like a Wes Anderson movie?

I moved a few months ago, and haven't gotten around to decorating yet. I need to fix this! I want to give my room the feel of a Wes Anderson movie (leaning more toward Life Aquatic / Darjeeling Limited / Moonrise Kingdom than others).

Things I have now: Nothing. (well ok, all of the walls are blank except for one thin panel of wall, which I put these mirrors on going all the way up). I have basic furniture (the IKEA birch colored bed & dresser & bookshelf) and am not interested in getting more.

Things I want: Color (lots of color!), a floor lamp (or wall lamps hanging OR possibly using these as lights and decoration in some way). Cool other details? Possibly more mirrors?

Constraints: My walls are white right now. Our landlord doesn't let us paint them. One of my walls is really cool & curves, but that makes it a bit hard to decorate. I've also never really decorated any room or apartment I've lived in before, so this is all new to me and I have no idea how to even begin to approach it. I would also like to stay under $300 total on this.

I live in DC, so anything that I can buy here (or get on Amazon Prime) is ideal!
posted by aaanastasia to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Whatever you do, make sure it's got bilateral symmetry.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:12 PM on November 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

To get around the constraint of the "no paint" policy, you can starch fabric to the walls to mimic wallpaper.
posted by xingcat at 6:35 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mark Friedberg was the production designer on Life Aquatic & Darjeeling Ltd. His website has a few production videos which might lend some inspiration.
posted by cazoo at 6:36 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hang a lot of artwork/photographs/etc. (bonus: made by children or naive adults) "salon style" in disparate (bonus: old fashioned) styles of frame.
posted by EL-O-ESS at 6:50 PM on November 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you find these Wes Anderson film color palettes plausible, you need at least two mustard/rust/orange colors featured prominently with a complementary but desaturated blue somewhere. The stills in the article show that's not actually always true, but the color contrasts are usually noteworthy.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:52 PM on November 11, 2012 [6 favorites]

Here is a big style post regarding Wes Anderson film interiors, along with a few "where to buy" notes, but most are expensive. But you can easily copy.
posted by sweetkid at 6:56 PM on November 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: All three of those movies have small functional "kit" spaces as their main settings. A train sleeper car, a boat, and a scout camp. So maybe that could be your theme? Think of how spaces like that are organized. There's a place for everything, and everything in its place. Only exactly what is needed, never more. Everything goes together perfectly and is perfectly organized.

Beyond that, keep in mind Anderson's overarching aesthetic. Timeless styles. Natural materials. Small iconic objects.

I don't think you should either paint or do the fabric + starch wallpaper thing, unless you find specific inspiration for that in the films, and it really calls to you. The movies you mention imply that this won't be the case. I think you can create the right color palette through objects.

The spaces in the movies you mention aren't overly decorated. Everything has a purpose. I don't think you need to be minimalistic, but if you're thinking "what STUFF can I get to decorate with that calls back to Wes Anderson", you're not going to get the desired look. You probably more need to find everyday objects that are the sorts of things he'd feature in his movies.

I'm not sure they've done any of the specific Anderson films you're looking for, but you might enjoy Design*Sponge's Living In series.
posted by Sara C. at 7:02 PM on November 11, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Royal Tenenbaums on Design*Sponge's Living In series (l didn't see any of the specific films you mention, either.
posted by sweetkid at 7:29 PM on November 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's always an element of vintage - objects that look dated but also have modern plausibility, letting you 'float' in time - is this now or then? New or old?

Wander through some thrift shops.
posted by Miko at 7:31 PM on November 11, 2012

Best answer: How about getting reproductions of vintage posters and maps for one of the walls? I think a lot of them would fit in with the Wes Anderson colour story and add a retro-vintage look which will be key.

Something like this or this or this depending on what colours you want to focus on.

I really like the EL-O-ESS's idea of a studio wall of pictures and if you have the time to look at garage or rummage sales i bet you could find some really cool frames quite inexpensively. If its a bedroom I think you'll get a lot of millage out of finding bedding and pillows. Perhaps with a mix of fabrics and prints.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:34 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some of the stuff in the Tennenbaums Living In link is spot on for almost any Anderson-inspired space.

That clock, especially.

You'll also want a record player. The one featured there is too Richie Tannenbaum and wouldn't have been used in any of the movies you list, but this one or this one would be ideal.

The Victorian camp stool is a little too Royal Tennenbaums and a lot too expensive, but a camp stool, in general, would be perfect.

Anything with the Futura typeface is gold.

I like the prints and maps SpaceWarp13 suggests. I wouldn't do folk art portraiture -- again, that's too Royal Tennenbaums and not what you're going for.

For a nod to Darjeeling Limited, bold Indian patterns (especially anything with a 60's/70's feeling to it), exposed metals (maybe something like this?), I'd say raid an Indian imports store, but you should do it judiciously. Mark Friedberg used a very specific look that's hard to replicate by just buying stuff willy-nilly at World Market or the like.

Ideas for quirky decor items: vintage cameras, old leather suitcases, a pair of binoculars.
posted by Sara C. at 7:50 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think Urban Outfitters does vintage/travel decently well at a low price point. Check out their accessories, furniture, and vintage cameras/flags/globes.

You also might like nadeau (furniture with a soul) for unique pieces sourced from around the world. Not too expensive, either.
posted by xo at 8:26 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

from the Blue, these guys nail the style pretty well. a source of ideas, perhaps?
posted by j_curiouser at 9:47 PM on November 11, 2012

Score a DYMO labelmaker and make discreet use of it.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, typewritten material. For example framed poems or songs, typewritten. Desk drawers with typed labels. A row of coat hooks with typed names, etc. It has to be from an old manual typewriter, i.e. a Courier-type font.

Bonus points for actually having the typewriter too.
posted by werkzeuger at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Awesome, thank you all! I will follow-up with how this turns out!
posted by aaanastasia at 9:13 AM on November 14, 2012

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