interior design blog

Interior Design Inspired by "Auntie Mame"

Auntie Mame the movie (1958) has to be one of one of the most quintessential movies representing interior design, Talk about the ultimate high-end client - Mame changes her decor to match her mood and her outfits to match her decor.   

Its been my philosophy in interior design is that the areas of ones home where you can introduce some visual drama is the dining room, guest bathroom and foyer - Well Mame's foyer certainly has all of that. Nora the nephew's caretaker remarks that the foyer resembles "The ladies room at the Oriental theater".
When they ring the doorbell, steam shoots out the dragon's nostrils and the eyes move - now that's a dramatic entrance.  

As an Interior Designer it's fun to watch the revolving design elements in the living room.
The three main areas to watch is the ever changing fireplace wall with its flanking windows and treatments, the staircase and its banister railing and the entrance.   

This must be Auntie Mame's serious brown phase where she has decided to wright her memoirs -
Please note the bookcase and that all of her books are covered in coordinating covers, come to notice Mame is covered in a coordinating color as well. 

This is a very unique and divers interior design concept from 1958 that seems to have some contemporary elements including floor to ceiling beads that when pulled upon, to Mame's delight the sofa-bench rises to extraordinary heights therefore jilting her not so welcomed prospective new in-laws. The unexpected item that I can ignore is that not the fireplace has been converted to a glossy white Kachelofen which is an antique from of room heater from Germany and found in old castles.

The bedroom Auntie Mame offers to her nephew Patrick is called "The Marie Antoinette Room" Please click image to see my vignette titled "Marie Antoinette goes to Key West" on my Murals - Faux Finishes page.

Mame's bedroom offers up such extravagances as a round bed, fur chaise, ornate white marble fireplace with a roaring fire all sitting on pink carpeting.       

Pretty in Pink

 Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (1960)

Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (1960)

As an Interior Designer I derive great inspiration from the movies and set design -
Here we see the great Elizabeth Taylor entering an all pink bathroom, and I mean all pink!
Everything is a textured pink, I am not sure if it is suppose to be marble (probably Formica) but all the walls, moldings, cabinetry and counter-top, right down to the towels are all exactly the same shade of bubble gum pink - everything except for the mirror frame, towel bars, bench and doorknob which are all a very 24 K gold. Even Mrs. Taylor's slip is a pale pink with a matching bubble gum pink lace trim.
I wonder if she is drinking a Pink Lady cocktail and to bad she doesn't have a Poodle, I bet we all can guess what color it would be - after all this movie was made in 1960 and is titled BUtterfield 8. As a side note Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award for her performance in this movie but it is my belief that the award was given to her for her performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) where it is said that she was over looked by the academy for being Hollywood's bad girl due to the affair and marriage to America's sweet heart, Debbie Reynolds husband Eddie Fisher. Elizabeth Taylor hated the film and referred to it as "Butterball 4" and was forced under protest to fulfill a contractual obligation to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer before being allowed to contract with 20th Century Fox to make Cleopatra - where we all know that Mrs. Taylor found her next husband Richard Burton. 
Thanks to the set designers Gene Callahan and J. C. Delaney Elizabeth Taylor truly does look "Pretty in Pink"   

Please feel free to view a clip from the movie showing the pink bathroom