While on a recent photo shoot for my day job, we all started comparing notes on our most inspiring movies, in terms of decorating of course. I have a bunch I could name and they all depend on my mood. But there is one movie I consider a decorating hit and have to watch at least once a year. Sure, it seems an unlikely choice, but Rosemary’s Baby is a horror flick that has you on the edge of your seat as much for the decorating as the threat of being impregnated by Satan.
Directed by Roman Polanski in 1968, the film is set in The Bramford (in exterior shots, NYC’s famous Dakota building stands in for The Bramford), a gothic revival building that has lots of original charm but has become dark and dreary over the years. As a viewer, I totally understand the excitement felt by Mia Farrow’s character, Rosemary Woodhouse, as she spies the high, beamed ceilings, thick panelled doors and all the beautiful millwork of the now-vacant apartment she hopes to rent. You know the feeling, her wheels are spinning, she knows she can turn this apartment around. “Yellow and white wallpaper will brighten it tremendously.” And it does, along with much white paint, mid-century furniture, and hits of olive green and more yellow. Funny thing is, the mix of the modern classics against the intricately trimmed white-painted walls feels very current. The Woodhouse apartment seems like something you’d see in Living Etc. If you have some time and want a rental, try Rosemary’s Baby, avails on iTunes.
Guy (John Cassavetes) and Rosemary (Mia Farrow) in front of The Bramford (The Dakota).
Guy and Rosemary take possession. Let the decorating begin!