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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Grey Gardens: The Wallpapers

Becky

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Grey Gardens is my home. It’s the only place where I feel completely like myself” -Big Edie to Jackie O. in HBO’s Grey Gardens

As I sat in front of my TV trying to take decent pictures (oh well) of HBO’s Grey Gardens on Monday, I was struck the most by the wallpapers. It’s funny; I was looking through images of this year’s Kip’s Bay Showhouse and somehow it seemed like the movie version of the Grey Gardens estate would have made a perfect showhouse. I wonder if they have ever considered using it as a theme (the 1930′s version of the home, obviously!). Back to the wallpapers. I would love to know where the set decorators found them. Check out the girly ribbon and butterfly pattern in Little Edie’s girlhood bedroom:

And this lovely Chinoiserie botanical in Big Edie’s room. I love the way they were not afraid to mix it with a slew of other prints, like the floral drapes and painted furniture:

Finally, my favorite one was in Little Edie’s room at The Barbizon. I could not seem to get a decent shot of this one, at least not one that does it justice, but here’s what I did get:


It’s a green botanical print, with a loose trellis pattern made up of tiny leaves and flowers, with different flowers featured in the middle of the trellis diamond shapes. It’s so sweet, yet still so interesting due to it’s geometry and the way the flowers are rendered. And check out that fabulous needlepoint chair on the right side – I would love to get my hands on that chair for my bedroom!

I have a few non-wallpaper shots I’d like to share as well. This is the foyer, according to Little Edie only a student of architecture could appreciate that carved banister. Those mouldings and the telephone tablescape are the cat’s meow (bad joke, I know). Also, the periwinkle walls are actually papered but it’s hard to see the subtle pattern in this shot:

This was the only shot I could get of that divine dining room. I did spy a set of chairs at my favorite store in Atlanta, Pieces, that are very similar:

Finally, this is the room that screamed “Showhouse!” to me at the highest volume. I mean that in a good way, as the Kip’s Bay Showhouse images always fascinate me. Chartreuse sofa, deep purple and gold fringed ottoman, layers and layers of pieces – phenomenal! This year Bunny Williams has created an Albert Hadley-inspired living room I wish I could see in person. I just flipped through and recycled all my magazines; I wish I could remember which one featured the 2009 house – does anyone know? 

 

Oh my gosh, P.S.! I just went over to check out Visual Vamp’s Grey Gardens posts and they put mine to shame. They are wonderful and she has fantastic images and great insight. Hop over here to check it all out. Thanks to Mrs. Blandings for the tip-off; Visual Vamp will now be a must-read for me!

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Monday, April 20th, 2009

HBO’s Grey Gardens

Becky

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I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: If you ever need motivation to clean up your house, go rent the documentary Grey Gardens. If you want to see the HBO take on how it got to be such a mess, watch their version, as it provides that fantastic look to what the house looked like in its prime, and how it came to be covered with cat pee and newspapers a little bit at a time.

Over at HBO.com, they have some anorexic yet quality slides of the set design. They actually re-created the facade of the house in a few weeks:

Then they only had a few days to create the decayed version:

While they did not have a lot to go one, this is the recreated 1930′s version of the living room:

I was surprised to see so much deep purple.There was a wallpaper on The Barbizon set I simply must have and must share with you. I’ll leave you with this teaser while I go take pictures of my television screen and edit them!

One more thing, these set decorators and costume decorators were very meticulous. Remember when Edie would wear a tablecloth as a skirt in the 1970′s? They made sure that tablecloth was out on a table in the part taking place in the 1930′s. Nice.

all photos from HBO.com

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Friday, March 27th, 2009

Make Your House Modern!

Becky

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I was leafing through a 1958 H&G and this ad cracked me up:

The entire theme of the magazine was all about how to be modern, yet it was still very family-oriented and full of features about picnics. It was so very Mad Men; I can picture the readers just leaving their trash on the ground when they were done picnicking. Obviously the modern part only regarded aethetics, as this girl is still wearing a poodle skirt and Bobby socks. It’s an interesting ad; clearly people were desperate to be considered modern, yet are grasping desperately to the past. The very transitional time is clear in the aesthetics down to the smallest detail.

A few other gems from this issue:

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