Archive for the ‘Film Friday’ Category

After being added to Netflix recently, it reminded me that I must watch The Danish Girl again, for both the heart-warming and heart-breaking story and for the interiors. The Danish Girl tells a story loosely based on two painters, Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, of which Lili went through one of the first gender reassignment surgeries. The film is set in the mid-1920s in Copenhagen, a wonderfully moody and beautiful setting for the story.

As well as the interiors, we also get a beautiful view of the misty fish monger markets and lovely exterior shots. Below, an absolutely lovely view of a street full to the brim of yellow painted houses, a real sight for sore eyes.

The inside of Einar and Gerda’s apartment is a beautiful hazy blue, with lovely detailing everywhere. Their studio has moody, charismatic charm, the perfect cool, sparse setting for artists.

Their bedroom is a darker blue, with beautiful internal windows creating a stylish and intriguing feature. While the furniture in the bedroom is made of dark woods; the ornate, gothic detailing of the bed gives it grandeur, while the softer, bohemian linens and pillows create an interesting combination.

Here you can see some gorgeous pieces of furniture, I love the two toned nature of the wood and how it works wonderfully with the blue walls.

While in Copenhagen we also see another beautiful setting, with a touch more flamboyance this time; the backstage area of a theatre where a party is being hosted celebrates the arts with hanging ballerina’s tutus as decoration. A charming and highly effective way to give the room charisma and personality.

The Danish Girl is a lovely film, and full of beautiful interiors, and a great way to spend one of these cold evenings watching.

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For this Film Friday, I wanted to write about a sweet little film from 2013, directed by Richard Curtis, About Time. It follows the story of Tim, played by Domhnall Gleeson, a young man who learns he can time-travel back through his life. Though it as sci-fi element, it’s much more of a romantic-comedy than anything else, with endearing characters and beautiful sets. The film also stars Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, and if you’re ever in need of something to watch on a lazy Sunday, or a wintery evening, I recommend this feel-good, funny film.

The main house, Tim’s family home, is a stunning property in St Austell, Cornwall. Built in the early 19th Century, it’s a beautiful white exterior, with green-blue woodwork, with roses running up the walls, it shows off a very classic, elegant English style. I love the detailing that’s been added; the vibrant green metal benches are a lovely touch. By the front door, a faithful dog statue guarding the place, a rusty old ornate wall light and a pretty array of plants all make welcoming, lived-in touch.

The home is able to capture the quirkiness of the family, like their movie nights in the rain, projecting a film against the walls.

In inside of the home is just as lovely, and is perfectly decorated. There’s a thoughtfulness to the interiors that makes the house feel like any other home, with ornaments, artefacts, lamps and books piled around like ordered chaos. Liz Griffiths, the set decorator, did a great job creating a rhythm between rooms, and giving a timeline and history to the place; making it feel like the interiors had been naturally and unconsciously built up over time, rather than all at once.

I love the random assortment of bric-a-brac in this room, where often important conversions take place over fun games of table tennis. The trumpet in an old frame, dancing dog painting, old keyboard and a collection pots create a playful and relaxed homely style.

The hallway displays beautiful Georgian panelling. The panels are painted in a light blue, with a contrasting tomato red door at the end of the hall. Below Uncle D, played by Richard Cordery, sits in a mismatch of seventies curtains, turquoise walls, antique table and chairs and a wonky lampshade, that all just work together somehow.

As the story progresses, so do the interiors, and we see Tim move to London and in with his father’s playwright friend Harry, into a beautiful London home in Queen’s Park. It has the same cluttered sense that the family home does, full of artwork and books. I love this image of Tim sitting rather nervously against a bold red wall and posters.

There are some great touches to this house as well, this delicate wallpaper and the arched doorway of this bedroom are a sweet finish contrast to the pop art poster.

For that quintessential blustering English interiors, full of nostalgia, full of stuff, all perfectly in their rightful place, the home in About Time really hit the spot. Easily a reflection of the lovable characters the homes are charming and inviting, just like the film itself.

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The Crown is the latest original series from Netflix that has taken the world by storm. It’s a biopic telling the story of Elizabeth II’s early reign. The series reportedly cost £100 million to make, and it’s not hard to tell why. With an amazing cast, beautiful script and glorious cinematography, the whole show is head-to-toe style and grace, fit only for a Queen.

Here Elizabeth, played by Claire Foy, is shown in Buckingham Palace and we begin to get a glimpse of the inside of the famous building. The room is filled with oversized bouquets, while the walls are decorated with gold gilding and crimson red curtains. The style is rather typical of what we might imagine the inside of Buckingham Palace might look like.


While the interiors are dripping in luxuriousness and elegance, there is almost something understated about them. Though you can tell that there are countless priceless possessions, just casually placed in the corner of shots, the interiors come across in a simple, delicate way that isn’t about showing off. I think the shot above is rather wonderful, whilst taking no attention away from Matt Smith, who is playing the young Duke of Edinburgh, we can catch a glimpse of three grand chandeliers decorating the room in the background.

We get a look into the more personal rooms of the Royals as well, the dressing room of King George IV shows off the elegant but understated style. The room holds many beautiful antiques, I especially love the standing mirror and the traditional style rug.

There are of course lots of grand interiors to be seen, a shot follows the King as he makes his way down the palace’s staircase on Elizabeth’s wedding day, showing off beautiful ironwork, marble columns and balustrading as onlookers stop and watch from the gallery.

Buckingham Palace isn’t the only famous and wonderful location depicted in The Crown, here Cambridgeshire’s very own Ely Cathedral takes on the role of Westminster Abbey for Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding, and makes for a spectacular view.

I found this scene of the wedding party posing for their photos rather lovely, with the changing of the backdrops and the grand columns framing them, the scene has been shot fantastically. Here you get a look at Elizabeth’s wedding dress, which was an exact replica of the original, which the costume department reportedly took seven weeks to create and cost £30,000, and you can see just a glimpse of the detail of the train as it glides over the stairs in front of the bride and groom.

In the same episode we take a ride into the future, a few years on, in Malta. Here you can see some wonderful interior architecture in the form of columns, cornices and pediments, which frame the room wonderfully and against have an understated sense of sophistication about them.

Another from the Malta villa is this study, where the bookcase well and truly steals the show. The hint of the red damask embossed wallpaper peeping in from either side of the shot is a rather lovely feature as well.

One of my favourite shots from episode one, for its theatrical element, is the scene in which King George undergoes surgery. The operating theatre is lit by some amazing glass chandeliers, I find the juxtaposition of the clinical procedure and the grand, romantic nature of the chandeliers a rather charming concept, and it makes me wonder whether this is in fact a factual depiction of what really happened, or whether the scene has had a dose of artistic licence added to it. Either way it creates a beautiful, but chilling scene.

The whole series is shot through a dusty, romantic lens, which not only gives the whole film a romantic edge but it also gives the series a vintage and elegant feel, that is perfect for  its subject matter.

Here you get a look into King George’s office, which again is beautifully decorated in a classic style, and in the back you can see some lovely looking trim, which we’re always a fan of here at Angel + Blume.

The Crown is a marvellous series, there are so many reasons to watch it and the stunning interiors are just one of them!


The Crown is available now on Netflix


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This month for our Film Friday we have the beautiful, witty film An Education from 2009 starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard. The film, which was nominated for three Oscars is based on the autobiographical essay by journalist Lynn Barber. The screenplay, written by Nick Hornby, follows the story of sixteen year old Jenny who meets a mysterious older gentleman, David, and gets whisked away by the romance of a glamorous London lifestyle, only to have everything come crashing down when David turns out to be a less than genuine character. The story is set in 1960s London, and is top to toe beautiful, and as the story unfolds we get to see more and more wonderful interiors, buildings, houses and shots all composed together by the wonderful director Lone Sherfig.

There is a clever juxtaposition between Jenny’s normal, boring home-life and the extravagant world she is introduced to after meeting David. This is displayed rather wonderfully through the various interiors and sets. Here you can see the mundane, ordinary setting of a suburban area where the audience first meets Jenny and her family.

Her family home is a typical semi-detached 1930s house that can be found almost in all towns across the country. The inside is bland, decorated with generic ornaments and dark corners, almost to emphasis the typical, dreary lifestyle she’s living.

In contrast one her first night out with David and his friends, the audience is catapulted into the glitz and glam world of the 1960s in cosmopolitan London.

David’s friends Danny and Helen, played by Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike respectively, live in a picturesque London flat, which while Jenny’s family home is the epitome of middle class suburban life, their flat on the other hand is the essence of the upper class fashionable London highlife.

Their flat is full to the brim of priceless antiques, paintings and furniture all of which capture ‘good taste’, therefore portraying not only their assumed financial wealth but their cultural wealth as well.

A particularly lovely scene for interiors is when Helen is dressing Jenny up in her bedroom. The room is wall to wall plush satins and luxurious pieces of furniture.

An Education is beautifully shot, using classic London locations and architecture to propel us back in time and to create an atmosphere that ties into the character’s feelings in the film. Each scene is delicately made, and perfectly curated to not only recreate a sixties vibe but a romantic and stylish one as well.

If not for the charming coming-of-age story, then for a few hours of style heaven, An Education is a delightful film that is perfectly executed and well worth a watch.

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The Help is a period drama set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. The narrative follows a young aspiring journalist, Skeeter Phelan (played by Emma Stone), who writes a book based on the viewpoint of the black maids in the town. The film is beautifully made, drawing on all our emotions as it tells a personalised history of the treatment of black people in the deep south of America during the 1960s.

Something that I always cherish about a well-done period film is the production and set designers’ ability to create an authentic setting that allows us to time travel without any hesitance, something that Mark Ricker, the production designer of The Help, has done masterfully. While The Help takes the audience through a story of American history it also takes us through a small architectural and interior design history from old plantation mansions to the modern homes of the sixties.

Here is an exterior shot from an antebellum style house, which translate from Latin as a pre-war home. The antebellum style, which had heavy neo-classical influence, was hugely popular in the deep south of America, particularly for plantation mansions, which this house would have been. Below you can see an aerial shot of the old plantation house with its surrounding acreage.

Homes such as this one would have been kept in the same family for generations, and the artefacts and furniture in the home would have reflected this sort of heritage, as well as the history of the town and state. However, as the film was set in the 1960s you can begin to see modern cultural pieces edge their way into the scenes. This whole combination helps create an authentic setting and ambience that shows how these older, more traditional homes would have slowly transitioned through history and styles. Here we can see Emma Stone’s character in her kitchen, there’s a lovely juxtaposition between the historical shaker style cabinets and the vibrant colours of the modern canned goods on the shelf adjacent.

From a traditional southern plantation home to a newly 1960s built house, the contrast between the two homes shows the evolution in architecture and culture that took place in southern America. The modern ‘Brick Ranch’ home was a somewhat generic style that was replicated all over the US, becoming a symbol of the socially-mobile middle class. Mark Ricker, the production designer of The Help, commented that the purpose of using this type of house in the film was create a “bland and uneventful” setting to represent the lives of the families living there.  However we do get a little peek of some mid-century pieces of furniture, the dining chairs for example are rather sweet.

Another type of house that we see in the film, is the traditional colonial house that is perfectly regimented and proportioned. This home belongs to the up-tight, racist and generally awful queen bee character of Hilly Walters Hillbrook. The film charmingly uses the different styles of each home to capture the traits of each character, Mark Ricker stating that the home of Hilly Hillbrook was “prim, perfect, pastel and icy”. There is a cocktail of traditional southern style and modern colours depicted in this home; the exterior of the home is grand and stately, while in the interior introduces some modern 60s colours and wallpaper.

Finally, the last home featured in the film is effectively a superior home to the others, but is belittled by Hilly for being 30 minutes outside of town and for its occupant. The home is a large plantation mansion that has been passed down through generations, which is reflected in the interiors. There are layers upon layers of artefacts and collections that would have been growing for decades. However, the character that lives here is somewhat of an anomaly to the system. She’s the wife of the man whose family has owned the home for centuries and has been barred from changing a thing, even though her dream would be to cover the place in white carpet and completely modernise it.

Here we witness a rather comical view of Minnie, one of the maids, attempt to clean the old relic house, which results in the vacuuming of a stuffed grizzly bear.

The Help is a lovely film, and well worth a watch for the story, the characters and the interiors.

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This week I wanted to write about the wonderful film My Week with Marilyn, with wonderful interiors to match! It’s a few years old now, but having re-watched the other day it reminded me how cinematically beautiful and well directed the film is, so of course it needed a mention in our Film Fridays.

The film is based on a biographical book by Colin Clark about his time spent with Marilyn during the filming of The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) and tells his tale of his short but sweet romance with the iconic movie star. What is fantastic about the production of My Week with Marilyn is that they kept the authenticity of the filming locations true to history, using many of the same studios and houses that would have actual been used by Marilyn, Arthur Miller, Lawrence Olivier and Colin Clark during the original filming of The Prince and The Showgirl, which at the time was titled The Sleeping Prince.

The film begins at Saltwood Castle, the home of Colin Clark’s father, Lord Clark of Saltwood, and there are some lovely exterior shots that really begin to create a marvellous, over-the-top Americanised impression of what the English countryside looks like, but it’s this exaggerated romantic nature that makes the film so captivating.


We get a lovely glimpse of the beautiful art deco interiors, where the London offices of Lawrence Olivier were based. The solid wood panelling mixed with the stunning accessories really helps to create the rose-tinted, seductive Hollywood glamour we associate with this time and especially with Marilyn Monroe.

A lot of My Week with Marilyn was filmed on the same production sight, Pinewood Studios, where The Prince and The Showgirl was filmed also, Michelle Williams even used the same dressing room as Marilyn. I love the classic vanity mirror and the dusty pink daybed they used to dress the room, it really creates an effortless sense of old Hollywood style.

The film also beautifully masters a ‘scene within a scene’, perfectly recreating the set from the 1950s film, as well as the crew.

There’s a wonderful use of shadows and light in My Week with Marilyn, not only does it show off the interiors and the set magically, but it also sets the mood and tone of the film and its characters.

The original house, Parkfield House in Surrey, where Marilyn and Arthur Miller stayed during the filming of The Prince and The Showgirl was also used as the home of the characters in My Week with Marilyn.

I love this exterior shot, the combination of the period car, the white walls and the wonderfully overgrowing foliage creates a regal and elegant look, perfect for the Hollywood starlet. The interiors are no different and are shot masterfully.

There is another lovely location used near the beginning of the film, a classic 1950s ballroom in south London, the Rivoli Ballroom, where Colin Clark takes Emma Watson’s character on a date before his is wooed by Marilyn. The Rivoli still exists today and is considered one of the last remaining original ballrooms from the fifties.

For a sneak peek into the world of Marilyn Monroe and a look at some fantastic interiors, My Week with Marilyn is the perfect film for just that.

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On New Year’s Day I’m sure many of you tuned in to catch the Sherlock Special on BBC One, I certainly did and I was completely smitten with gorgeous house used in many of the scenes and just had to find out more about the property.

After a little research I found the house in question, Tyntesfield House, a Victorian Gothic Revival property located near Wraxall, North Somerset. The entire place is absolutely stunning inside and out and looks completely breath-taking on screen, so much so I was paying less attention the plot line and more to the spectacular interiors!

I rarely find a Gothic Revival building that I don’t like, in fact it’s an architectural soft spot for me. It’s the striking yet sinister appearance of the Tyntesfield House that makes it just on the right side spooky and therefore the ideal location for a story from Sherlock.

The land was originally home to a 16th Century hunting lodge until the 1830s when a Georgian mansion was erected in its place. In the 1860s the property was bought by businessman William Gibbs, who expanded and remodelled the entire house, turning it in the work of art it is today. The Tyntesfield House stayed in the Gibbs family up until 2002 when it was acquired by the ever reliable National Trust.

The house’s interiors are a design marvel, they manage to maintain the historic ambiance whilst still not looking out of place in the 21st Century. Despite Gothic Revival architecture being infamous for over-embellishment and excessive decoration the house still maintains clean and elegant lines. I love the beautiful stone carved window in the background of this scene, and though a little fuzzy and out of focus in this still it makes quite an exquisite impact.

All credit to the director of the Sherlock special, Douglas Mackinnon, for the wonderful camerawork throughout the episode, the sneak peek through the archway into the grand hallway makes a lovely viewpoint, especially with the statue hidden away in the shadows and the different levels of the staircase and continuing gallery.

In fact I was particularly taken with the staircase feature, for something that is made out of solid stone it seems to glide around the room with effortlessness and ease. I love the iron work and the beautiful red runner carpet that was a replica of the original carpet fitted in the 1860s, particularly when it’s contrasted with the adjacent leafy palm tree.

Another exquisite feature of the hallway is the fireplace and all its ornate Gothic carvings, demonstrating what Gothic Revival did best, making once just functional features of a home into show-stopping interior ornamentation.

The show also gives you a quick look into a few other rooms including the lounge and dining room. Here you can see the wonderful red hues of the lounge, accompanied by no less than three chandeliers. The high ceilings, large windows and great archways create the perfect balance of light and shadows to keep up the eerie appearance of the house. The furniture is perfectly scattered throughout the room as if it had never been touched, even though for the filming of Sherlock the production team removed over a 1000 pieces of original furniture and replaced it with replicas.

As the characters pace through this walk way we can catch a glimpse of the original tiling and wood carvings the interiors feature. The rich colour of the wood and the snappy green tiles are symbiotic and create peaceful and mellow surroundings.

If you haven’t seen the Sherlock Special yet check it out, if not for the plotline but for the wonderful scenery!


For more information on the Tyntesfield House visit, http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield

Watch Sherlock: The Abominable Bride via BBC iPlayer

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For Film Friday this week I wanted to blog about the cult classic, Mommie Dearest, the biographical film about Joan Crawford, played by Faye Dunaway, and her turmoil relationship with her adopted daughter Christina. Whilst she might be the mother of your nightmares, her house is a classic Hollywood dream.

A sneak peak of the house here shows off its classic colonial style exterior, and the house used for the film is located in the heart of Los Angeles and has the same airs and graces that most properties in the land of the rich and famous have.

The all white marble mansion is typical Hollywood and the perfect house for a Hollywood starlet, the grand stairway in the house creates the perfect combination of elegance and intimidation that most Hollywood homes project.

The luxurious walk in wardrobe is shown-off here, looking more like a shop than just one person’s closet! I just love this oversized, cream silk chaise lounge that is located in the walk in, it screams all things debauched and lavish in the most fantastic way.

Running with the same theme and style, Joan’s bed is almost a futuristic marvel, it’s completely over the top, and is perfectly fitting for her drama queen nature, I especially love the huge silk bolster pillows!


I’m even slightly envious for her daughter Christina’s four poster bed, (though less so over all that pink!)


After a sea of white marble in the interior, these blue lounge chairs are rather striking and create a beautiful effect scattered around the poolside.


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The beautiful use of windows and glass panelling in this house creates an air of modern sophistication, even if it is all a little too much and perhaps unrealistic living quarters, but as with all LA mansions there’s a certain level of theatrics and overzealousness when it comes to the  architecture and interiors. But the grandeur and the drama of this house are what makes it the perfect companion for the wild and dangerous nature of the lady living it in.

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For my first Film Friday blog, Cate asked me to think of some films with beautiful interiors, and immediately I thought of the 1998 version of Great Expectations. I first saw this modern adaptation of the Dickens novel when I was fourteen, and I was completely taken with the theatrical nature of the old ruins of Ms Havisham’s mansion. It’s been a film setting that has stuck in my mind over the years and despite its derelict appearance in the film, there is something very special about the building, perfectly capturing Ms Havisham’s character.

The dusty old home is located in Florida, where the film is set and scrubs up nicely. The Cá d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida was the home to circus owner and art collector John Ringling and his wife and today is open to the public for tours and visits all year round.

Built in the 1920s in a Mediterranean Revival style the building is truly mesmerising and was the perfect location for the Great Expectations film.

I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for film adaptations of famous novels, especially modern versions. Having studied Great Expectations in school, I’ve always had a little soft spot for it, but even more so for this film. For me, there’s something about exciting about forgotten buildings left to be covered in dust and vines, whilst hidden underneath are architectural masterpieces. They’re grand old houses, completely impractical for modern day living but works of art none the less; they’re the kinds of buildings that have souls.

This beautiful ballroom, where Pip and Estella learn to dance, leading out onto a ocean view is my particular favourite. It’s authentic in its elegance, from the beautiful stained glass, to the chandelier, to the balcony, there’s something magical about it.

In the film the house is rather fittingly named ‘Paradiso Perduto’ which translates to Lost Paradise. Great Expectations is one of those films where a lot of credit and admiration should be given to the set decorator, Susan Bode, and her ability to turn a well-kept historical home into a well-orchestrated forgotten land of mystery.

This truly is a beautiful location for an interesting take on some classic literature, so if you’ve never seen it, it may be worth taking a look, even if it is just for the stunning scenery!

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I was totally enthralled watching Iris, the new documentary film about Iris Apfel, the interior designer and fashionista, which was made over a four year period by the brilliant Albert Maysles. It wasn’t just her fabulously dry sense of humour that I loved, or her energy which in her 90s seems almost unrelenting, or her great passion for the subjects that interest her, or her outspoken views which she unashamedly delivers throughout the film, or the wonderful relationship she has with her husband Carl to whom she has been married since 1949, but it was, of course, the glimpses we get of the interiors she has created which are as flamboyant as I had hoped and expected.

Iris Apfel

Many scenes in the film are shot in her New York apartment which is as lavishly accessorised as she is (indeed some of the accessories are accessorised) and inevitably I was dying to see more. Fortunately I found a wonderful article about her in a back copy of Architectural Digest accompanied by a series of luscious photos of the interior of the apartment which are below.

Architectural Digest 1 Architectural Digest 2 Architectural Digest 3 Architectural Digest 4 Architectural Digest 5 Architectural Digest 6 Architectural Digest 7 Architectural Digest 8 Architectural Digest 9

If you love fashion or interiors, or if you would like to know how to age well, I highly recommend this film. I will be getting the DVD as soon as it is out and in the meantime, a much larger pair of glasses.

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