Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

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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Gushing over big Hollywood mansions, especially those own by celebrities, has been a guilty pleasure of mine since I can remember. So a book that gives an exclusive look into the world of the rich and famous and their glorious properties is quite frankly a must-have. From old Hollywood starlets to modern-day directors, Hollywood at Home, gives you a fantastic insight into the houses of your idols. It’s the perfect coffee table book to flick through as you daydream about what your own Beverly Hills mansion would look like. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite homes from the book to share with you.

This Italian Renaissance-style mansion located in Malibu belongs to none other than the iconic Cher, and though the property might be considered a little flamboyant for the average Joe, the home is a little more understated than one might expect from the original goddess of pop herself. However, one thing that isn’t understated is that ocean view (which each room has not one but two views of)!

The interiors of the mansion are classic Hollywood style, with just the right amount of leopard print. The combination of the leafy greens, animal prints and renaissance-style paintings create the perfect glamorous setting without being overzealous.

The elements of a dramatic Gothic Revival theme in the design are rather fitting for this home and location, in any other place they might have drowned a house or interior, but in Hollywood there’s a certain amount of gumption in each and every home that gives them the attitude to pull off such outlandish design schemes.

Popping over to the neighbourhood of Venice and to the home of actress Anjelica Huston and the late sculptor Robert Graham. The house is a subtle, sleek and artist marvel and captures the laid-back, modern, sophisticated side of Los Angeles and its surrounding boroughs wholeheartedly.

The house embarks on a mission of originality and flair, even in its foundations. The walls are not just there for shelter, and the windows not just to let the light in, you can tell that each architectural decision has been made with the utmost consideration, creating the perfect artisan bunker, a sculptural masterpiece.

Sunset Boulevard in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles was once the home to Jayne Mansfield’s Pink Palace, until its demolition in 2002. Rarely does a home embody the character and nature of its owner quite as well as the Pink Palace  personified Jayne. Known as one of the original ‘blonde bombshells’ of Hollywood it seems only fitting that Jayne Mansfield’s home be as much of a bombshell as she, although swapping the blonde for her signature pink, the Pink Palace was Jayne’s real estate doppelganger.

From the baby pink shag pile that covers every surface, to the heart shaped, gold leaf bathtub, everything about this room is so wrong its right. It’s the same excessiveness and over the top glamorous nature that had everyone hooked on its occupant, and although you’d probably never dream of installing a similar design in your own bathroom you can’t help but wish you could visit the house and possibly take a quick dip in that tub.


While each of the previous homes above capture the essence of a particular style of Hollywood, the outlandish, the sleek and modern, Mansfield’s home represents the overtly decadent and unreasonably luxurious that is only acceptable in Hollywood. It puts style over functionality and glamour over practicality and I’m not sure we’d have it any other way.


Architectural Digest Hollywood at Home is available from Abrams Books

All photograph credits to Architectural Digest




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