• Mockingbird Lane

Cinematically Inspired Design

Updated: Jan 10

I've developed a design style I call Cinematically Inspired Design. Whenever I remodel a TV home, or any home for that matter, I pull inspiration from a stage other than TV - the cinema! Especially the classics.

White Christmas - one of my favorite classic movies and home to one of the most captivating inns of all time.

I often draw from the rich hues of the classic movies of the 50's and 60's that were dripping with saturated colors. I always thought it looked as though the cinematographers had poured a layer of golden honey generously over each frame.

Marilyn Monroe in Niagara 1953

Rear Window 1954

And when we watch it, it's as though we are looking through that layer of honey. There is a warmth and a glow. Color in film was a relatively new thing back then. And I think they took advantage of that to help give a film more impact and to create a mood.

James Dean in Rebel without a Cause 1955

Everyone has their favorite classic movies. And we don't just love them for the actors or the storyline - they usually have a feeling or mood that goes along with them. That's part of what connects us to the film on a deeper level.

Harry Potter - Gryffindor Commons Room

Set design plays a HUGE part in that. Whether we realize it or not, it's working hard in the background to set the tone of the film. It's part of what seeps into our brains, connecting us to the film on a much deeper level.

Father of the Bride 1991

When it's done well, it tells a story of the people who live there. It tells it brilliantly, with colors and artwork and hues and textures and lighting and even the specific placement of items. The classics often used dramatic architectural features as well.

Christmas in Connecticut 1945

And, though all of those details may go over our heads while we watch a movie, they are a part of what seeps into our brains, connecting us to the film on a deeper level. It's that intangible, almost mystical "thing" that gives the movie a special place in our hearts.

White Christmas 1954

My remodel of the I Love Lucy apartment.

What I've tried to do is capture some of that cinematic magic in the redesigns of these homes.

My Cinematically Inspired remodel of the kitchen from The Andy Griffith Show.

But, there is no intrigue in just copying a style. You don't want to copy a movie verbatim . . . yawn. The question becomes - how might that look be implemented today? How can it be fresh, but still remain a classic? And, most important of all - how do I carry the mood and feeling into another home? My home. Your home.

My redesign of the kitchen from Bewitched, using the principles of Cinematically Inspired Design

So, rather than copy a home from a movie, I study the elements and principles that are used in the cinema to evoke a feeling, create a mood, tell a story of the family that lives there.

Why not bring that into our own homes?

My redesign of Mike Brady's Den, using the techniques of Cinematically Inspired Design

As I design a home, I'm thinking of the family that lives there. What kind of feeling/mood/atmosphere makes sense for that family?

Brady Kitchen Remodel - using Cinematically inspired Design

Taking cues from the cinema for home design makes sense. They have 2 hours to tell us a story about the family that lives there, 2 hours to set a mood, to create a tone. So, they have to condense design down to the essential elements, to provide the greatest impact.

The Parent Trap 1961

If you look at the homes in classic movies, most have held up over time. You could step right into them today. Oh, you may change a wallpaper or a fabric on the sofa, but overall the design stands.

North by Northwest 1959

That's because they were working to create a mood and tell a story, rather than follow a design trend.

My redesign of Mike & Carol Brady's bedroom

When I'm done with a room, my hope is that 10 years from now, no one will say - Oh, that must have been done in 2019. I want each room to look like a movie waiting to be filmed, and yet still be very livable.

The living room from The Dick Van Dyke Show re-envisioned, using Cinematically Inspired Design.

Most importantly, I want it to tell a story of the people that live there, I want it to set a tone. That's what you can do in your own home!

My remodel of the kitchen from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Think what story you want to tell about the people who live in your home. Think about what tone you'd like to set there, what mood you'd like to convey, what feelings you want attached to your design. Become the director and producer of your own home.

And why shouldn't we live that way? The set designs of classic films have stood the test of time. They don't follow trends; they transcend time. But, most importantly, they set a mood and an atmosphere. You can live in a home that creates the mood and atmosphere you want to have there. That is what Cinematically Inspired Design is all about.

In the coming months, I will have a page for each home that lets you in on the reasoning behind the particular design choices that were made for each home. It will clue you in as to why certain decisions were made, where I drew my inspiration from - was it a particular film? or some basic design principles we see play out in cinematic settings?

Until then, thanks for pulling back the curtain, along with me and checking out what's going on backstage. For now, that's a wrap.


© Mockingbird Lane Design 2018