Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Set Design from "The Help"

If y'all haven't seen The Help yet, you definitely need to get yourself to the theater!
I plan on seeing it again, just to concentrate on the costumes, hair styles and especially the set design.

Above, is Elizabeth's kitchen. Elizabeth lives in a mid-century ranch house with a kitchen very similar to what I grew up in.

I feel like I've actually been in this den! The set designer was spot on with this room, evoking feelings of nostalgia, especially for someone my age!
Fake brick linoleum, knotty pine paneling, braided rug, "colonial" style tables--and how about that metal sculpture!

Elizabeth's formal living room with wall to wall carpet and 50's sofa.
The designers based the decor for this home on Better Homes and Gardens decorating books from the 60's.

The exterior of Elizabeth's home looks very similar to the rancher I grew up in!

In stark contrast, Celia's plantation home has a kitchen stuck in the 30's.
I actually would be very happy with this house!

Isn't this wonderful with the fireplace and farm table as kitchen island?
Oh, and I love the hutch to the right, filled with treasures.

I got such a kick out of Celia! She inherited her plantation home from her husband's family and dreams of redecorating it "all in white!"
I'll admit, the stuffed bear is a little too much, but evoked the layering and history the designers were going for. They found it in a Wisconsin taxidermy shop.
Mark Ricker said this about Celia's home:

"Celia's house was a ton of work because we did EVERYTHING in it. All wallpaper, complete reconstruction of the kitchen, building all the curtains, and the sheer amount of layering in the house. We wanted it to have the most "history" so we just kept buying and buying..."

It's easy to hate on Hilly, the villain in the movie. Her house represents perfection of the day.
Not a plantation home, not a rancher, but a tastefully decorated colonial.

I found it interesting how classic the furniture, rug and accessories are in Hilly's living room.

And then, there's Hilly's Pepto Bismol pink bathroom!
Brings back memories of my husband's bathroom in the home he grew up in.
This bathroom is very important to the plot, initiating the little rebellion that takes place in the movie.

Last, but not least, is the heroine, Skeeter's parent's home.
Their living room looks comfortable and lived in.
Pretty, but a little disheveled, just like Skeeter herself!

The set designers Mark Ricker and Rena DeAngelo, who won an Emmy for the pilot of Mad Men, had 47 sets to dress.

They scoured flea markets and antique malls in the South, and even people's attics in Greenwood, Mississippi where The Help was filmed.
Audubon prints, silver sets and punch bowls, vintage wallpapers and lots of chairs and sofas.
The vintage appliances and even the books. They thought of everything!

There is a revived interest in the 60's, with The Help, the new television series Pan Am, as well as Mad Men.
Although I'm not ready to see the 60's influence interior design, I am ready to see fashion go in that direction. The costumes from the movie were amazing!

In case you haven't seen The Help, here is a trailer to pique your interest!
All photos via Better Homes and Gardens


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