Ever dreamed of having a home that looked like a Wes Anderson film? Well fear not, here is a close look at how you can capture that Wes Anderson style!
When you think of a Wes Anderson film, what comes to mind? Whether you pictured stills from The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox, or even the coming-soon-to-theaters Isle of Dogs each film’s vibrant color palette and symmetrical framing is probably all you could see. Wes Anderson himself once said “[in] the kind of movie I like to make... the world is an invented reality... the details [are] what the world is made of,” and in that detail exists the technique that made his stylistic filmmaking so iconic. Now, I’ll be honest, I used to hate Wes Anderson. I thought his films were pretentious and overrated, but after a few “hate viewings” I started to fall in love with what he was doing. In the way his characters act, I started to realize he isn't taking himself too seriously, and I started to fall in love with his quirky writing and unique compositions. His films are truly freestanding art pieces, and in that it is easy to draw inspiration from his work.
After watching The Royal Tenenbaums a few weeks ago, I started to think about that inspiration, and how the way Wes Anderson dresses his sets parallels with the way interior designers decorate homes. So, why not look to his films for home decor inspiration? I broke down his filmography into my top three films, dove into the color palettes and composition of their most iconic stills, and found interior designs that paralleled each film’s aesthetic. So, if you are looking for a unique and eccentric way to decorate your home, here’s how to decorate with that Wes Anderson style!
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When decorating like Wes Anderson, there are three things you need to keep in mind. You must include vibrant colors, do everything in twos, and keep everything beautifully symmetric. The most iconic film stills all follow these rules if you pay close attention; and, if you apply these to your home design, a Wes Anderson set is all your guests will be able to envision!
1. The Life Aquatic
Image via Cinea, Color Palette by Erin
I had to start off with The Life Aquatic because not only is this my favorite Wes Anderson film, but it is also the film that single-handedly changed my opinion of Wes Anderson. From Bill Murray’s fantastic performance to its perfect balance of tragedy and comedy, this film is hard not to love. The most iconic design out of this film would have to be the sharp contrast of the blue suits and red beanie uniforms with the vibrant yellow submarine (which had to be a little ode to The Beatles). I chose this particular still because I love the warmth that this color palette brings. After a little more research, I found a few rooms that perfectly captured this film’s sea life aesthetic!
All images via MessageNote
The Wes Anderson color palette from The Life Aquatic includes blues, reds, and yellow. The first room on the left is almost an exact match in color to Team Zissou’s uniforms! I also love the way this room is set up. The wallpaper, compact layout, and metal door frames remind me of a quaint bunking area aboard a ship. Picking a wallpaper like this would be perfect in any sea inspired room.
The middle room layout also perfectly encapsulates the blues, reds, and yellows of this film, but what I love most about this set-up is that symmetry I talked about. If you are designing an area just like this, be sure to buy everything in twos to get that iconic, duplicated Wes Anderson look.
The last picture on the right reminded me so much of the still of Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic above. Pink and blue will always be a timeless pairing and they work so well together in this design. Choosing to pick these colors as carpeting and wallpaper is a bold choice, but one that will clearly pay off, especially if you're looking for a unique interior design!
2. Moonrise Kingdom
Image via 1001plus, Color Palette by Erin
Up next is Moonrise Kingdom - easily the most beloved film in all of the Wes Anderson filmography. The way this film captures the raw innocence of childhood is unmatched. Its natural color scheme of gorgeous browns, greens, and yellows reminds me of warm childhood memories. I also love the way Suzy’s colors of pink and blue always seem to pop on screen, just the way her character does around others. This film would be perfect for drawing inspiration for a child’s bedroom design or any room really!
The image on the left above really captures those iconic greens we saw in the previous still, and the second image perfectly incorporates practically every color! I could see Sam living proudly in a room just like the room on the left. Having a space that pops with such vibrant greens and luscious plant life is perfect for any of those little adventurers out there. The dinosaur wallpaper is also a cute touch. The only thing this room is missing is the iconic symmetry. If you choose to replicate this design, maybe consider buying all of your plants in twos to create a beautifully symmetric set-up against a focal wall.
The pink couch in the room to the right stands out just as wonderfully as Suzy’s pink dress. I also love how the art pieces parallel the Moonrise Kingdom palette. Choosing to have a completely white walled and floored room with pops of color added through furniture pieces and wall art, never fails to look incredible. Also, the minimalist design coincides well with the Wes Anderson cinematography look.
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
Image via Classiq, Color Palette by Erin
The last Anderson movie we are going to look at is The Royal Tenenbaums. In a film about family, it is only natural to have a warm hued color palette. The reds in this film are hard not to love immediately, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson definitely know how to rock them! This film is interesting because most scenes take place in a home, so direct interior design inspiration is a given, and has been popular ever since the film came out. I was even able to find room designs that were directly inspired by this film.
The complementary deep reds and browns in these images transport you right into the Tenenbaum living room. The first and last rooms above look almost identical to the color palette! I also love all of the antiqued light fixtures. They really give off that old American home vibe. Whether you paint your walls these reds or just use these hues in accent furniture, pairing them with picture frame covered walls is a must. I also love how the stripes on the walls of the last room match the stripes on Margot’s dress almost exactly.
I chose to include the yellow room in the middle not because it matched the color palette, but because it reminded me so much of Margot and Richie’s yellow tent in the film. The wood ceiling paneling parallels the structure of a tent so well, and is an architectural addition that I haven’t seen much of lately. The yellow wallpaper and flooring would look adorable in any kid’s room, especially with the addition of the identical twin beds. Keeping everything monochromatic is a unique choice, but one that will work well if you use the iconic “Wes Anderson yellow."
The inspirational possibilities seem endless and we only looked at three films! So keep my three rules in mind and your home will be looking like a Wes Anderson set in no time. I hope this list helped give you a little creativity to work with, whether you are in an apartment or home. I would love to see which ways you used Wes Anderson’s symmetrical and vibrant aesthetic in your home, so be sure to tweet us your thoughts or designs. Make sure to share this post with your friends and comment with some of your favorite Wes Anderson films!
**Featured image adapted from Daniela Ferrari