Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Set Design from "The Help"

If y'all haven't seen The Help yet, you definitely need to get yourself to the theater!
I plan on seeing it again, just to concentrate on the costumes, hair styles and especially the set design.

Above, is Elizabeth's kitchen. Elizabeth lives in a mid-century ranch house with a kitchen very similar to what I grew up in.

I feel like I've actually been in this den! The set designer was spot on with this room, evoking feelings of nostalgia, especially for someone my age!
Fake brick linoleum, knotty pine paneling, braided rug, "colonial" style tables--and how about that metal sculpture!

Elizabeth's formal living room with wall to wall carpet and 50's sofa.
The designers based the decor for this home on Better Homes and Gardens decorating books from the 60's.

The exterior of Elizabeth's home looks very similar to the rancher I grew up in!

In stark contrast, Celia's plantation home has a kitchen stuck in the 30's.
I actually would be very happy with this house!

Isn't this wonderful with the fireplace and farm table as kitchen island?
Oh, and I love the hutch to the right, filled with treasures.

I got such a kick out of Celia! She inherited her plantation home from her husband's family and dreams of redecorating it "all in white!"
I'll admit, the stuffed bear is a little too much, but evoked the layering and history the designers were going for. They found it in a Wisconsin taxidermy shop.
Mark Ricker said this about Celia's home:

"Celia's house was a ton of work because we did EVERYTHING in it. All wallpaper, complete reconstruction of the kitchen, building all the curtains, and the sheer amount of layering in the house. We wanted it to have the most "history" so we just kept buying and buying..."

It's easy to hate on Hilly, the villain in the movie. Her house represents perfection of the day.
Not a plantation home, not a rancher, but a tastefully decorated colonial.

I found it interesting how classic the furniture, rug and accessories are in Hilly's living room.

And then, there's Hilly's Pepto Bismol pink bathroom!
Brings back memories of my husband's bathroom in the home he grew up in.
This bathroom is very important to the plot, initiating the little rebellion that takes place in the movie.

Last, but not least, is the heroine, Skeeter's parent's home.
Their living room looks comfortable and lived in.
Pretty, but a little disheveled, just like Skeeter herself!

The set designers Mark Ricker and Rena DeAngelo, who won an Emmy for the pilot of Mad Men, had 47 sets to dress.

They scoured flea markets and antique malls in the South, and even people's attics in Greenwood, Mississippi where The Help was filmed.
Audubon prints, silver sets and punch bowls, vintage wallpapers and lots of chairs and sofas.
The vintage appliances and even the books. They thought of everything!

There is a revived interest in the 60's, with The Help, the new television series Pan Am, as well as Mad Men.
Although I'm not ready to see the 60's influence interior design, I am ready to see fashion go in that direction. The costumes from the movie were amazing!

In case you haven't seen The Help, here is a trailer to pique your interest!
All photos via Better Homes and Gardens
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Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

One of the best movies out there and I may go see it again, too. Even my husband liked it and he didn't really want to go see it.

Michele Smith said...

I haven't seen that yet. I usually wait til they come out on DVD since we don't take my little one to the theatre. Love that plantation home though!

Lauren@BaylorSays... said...

Just saw it this weekend, so much more of a tearjerker than the book. And that Emma Stone, is she the cutest??

I thought through the whole movie how much these homes reminded me of my childhood!! We definitely had the red brick linoleum, ha.

Gerry said...

The red brick linoleum definitely brings back memories. My mom had it in her kitchen and we had a house full of "colonial" furniture from Ethan Allen. Of course my bedroom was decorated with white French Provencial and a canopy bed!
I don't really miss all that but, like you, I am happy the 60's fashion is coming back. Everyone looked so "pretty" back then.

Unknown said...

Wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane! I'm obviously aging myself, but having grown up in the south, I've seen a LOT of houses like these. And that pink bathroom - they were everywhere! My mom moved into a true ranch house that had several bathrooms, each in a different color with the wallpaper to match! Oh, and there was a bear in that house as well, only on the floor as a rug - with the HEAD! My youngest daughter wouldn't go in that room because she thought it was real.
I'm taking my younger girls to see Spy Kids this afternoon. Hmmmm.... The Help is showing in the next room. Wonder if they'll notice if I slip out for a long bathroom break?

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

I ahven't seen it yet but am DYING to go!!! As soon as I saw the pic of Celia's kitchen I fell in love! MUCH better than Elizabeth's kitchen!!!! I am so glad to hear that husbands are liking this movie too, cause I need my hubby to take me! XO, Pinky

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Saw The Help a couple of weeks ago, after reading the book. Loved both book and film.

Absolutely agree with you about the sets and costumes. I was a young wife and mother during the 1960's. Had the "brick" flooring, wall oven (coppertone as was the fridge). Green brocade sofa and gold linen chairs, fruitwood tables in the living room and a "den" full of hard rock maple.

Katelyn @ Pure Panache said...

I have not seen the movie yet, but you have completely whetted my appetite! I can't wait. I adore Celia and Hilly's houses, although all of them are absolutely exquisite. Thanks so much for this little taste of The Help!

Tretswelt said...

WoW!Sehr interessant diesen Einrichtungen...für mein Ehemann ein Traum.Wunderschön nostalgisch sieht das aus.
Schöne Woche liebe Delores.Bussi,Lu.

inmygardentalesfromdeepinmysoil.wordpress.com said...

Though I didn't grow up in the south I lived in the "mid-century ranch" for 20 years - complete with a 1957 Tappan oven. They are great homes. Now I've moved on to a late 40's cape cod. I'm still using the the "aqua" version of Hilly's pink sink - chrome legs and all! Loved the book - see the movie tomorrow - can't wait.

Sarah said...

I enjoyed the book, but haven't seen the movie yet. We just completed watching the entire first 4 seasons of Mad Men on Netflix streaming. Now sure how we missed this series before. Great writing, and the costume and sets are truly a walk down memory lane. I'm not interested in going back to mid century modern decor, but it's fun to see the styles. Thanks for sharing all the photos.

the girl is craftee said...

I love Celia's house. And I love Hilly's pink sink. That'd be so cute in my daughter's bathroom minus all the other pink! Best book ever and they did a great job on the movie.

The French Tangerine said...

planning on seeing it again as well... love this post! How interesting! I noticed the Charles Chips pretzel can in Skeeter's kitchen and remembered getting those delivered by truck to our house! They were very detailed and thorough!

Kathy said...

GREAT post showing all the movie sets. They were all awesome!!! Loved all the information you shared about building the sets, they did an incredible job. Wonderful movie!

Shawna @ mycherishedviolet.blogspot.com said...

Nate Burkas did some of the design on The Help as well. I saw his name in the credits list at the end of the movie!

Christie said...

I read the book and can't wait to see the movie! I could read the book again, it was so entertaining! The tile in the bathroom on the walls is what gets me! Christie at Three Pixie Lane

under spanish moss said...

This was such an interesting post. Yes, brought back a few memories. We haven't had a chance to see the movie yet and can't wait.
Angela and Renee

Karena said...

Such great set designs, and they do bring back so many memories!! The book was great as well!

Come and join my new fashion Giveaway from Fresh Produce!

Art by Karena

Lori said...

Read the book then loved the movie. The sets were amazing! I would love to see some of those clothes come back in fashion. The cardigan sweaters already have.

Linda said...

Loved the book, loved the movie (saw it for the 2nd time this past weekend)... and LOVE this post!

Allison said...

I'm a little behind! I'm just now reading the book and am excited about going to see the movie. Great post, Delores and loved the tour of the homes. I'm going to be staying up late a few more nights to finish the book!

tableandtop.com said...

Great designs. Love the pink bathroom!!

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The Devine Life said...

Saw the movie last weekend. Its really a must see.


Such a great movie! Love these pictures also. I was trying to look at everything during the movie so this was a real treat. Thanks!

Kitten said...

There is a cross-stitch picture called "Mallards in Flight" in the den to the right of the doorway that looks as though it opens up to a dining room...just curious to know if it was in the house or the set designers found it in their searches for furniture, etc. for the movie. My mother's sister made that picture for my mother and used wool crewel thread. When my fiancee saw the picture in my parents' home he asked my mother if she would leave it to him. My mother & I were trying to think of something for me to give my fiancee as a wedding gift (we did that in the south in the 60's). My mother went to Natchez, MS to look for the pattern which she found in the McCall's pattern book. We kept her stitching a secret and instead of using the wool crewel thread she used all six threads in a skein of embroidery floss to give the picture more body. We still have that picture and it is now in our Duck Camp in Waterproof, LA. My brother has the original picture that my aunt made. So you can see why I would be curious to know where the set designers found that picture! When I saw the movie on DVD my friend & I were watching when suddenly I spotted the picture and started yelling..."there's my picture...there's my picture!" Thankfully there was one more scene that showed "Mallards in Flight" ~ how thrilling!
Gobbled up the book ~ being a daughter of the South the book was so right on for the time. I also loved the movie and never would have known my wonderful picture my precious late mother hand stitched for my husband was in a movie if I had not seen the film.

Anonymous said...

My grandmothers end tables were used in the movie "The Help".

Losing My Marbles said...

Hi there! Awesome collection. "Elizabeth's House" is actually my family home, and I can assure you that family room floor is actual smooth-glazed brick. Forced you to run vary fast to the carpet when you came in barefoot from swimming (very cold!!!). The whole place is a time capsule. They had very little to do to take the house back to its original state other than props and furniture. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

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