The 89th Academy Awards may have passed but we're ready to celebrate the often overlooked "set design" category. From James Bond to the Hunger Games, here's 9 movies that showcase Oscar-worthy interiors.
The Cullen Residence, Twilight
Whilst the same can't be said about the plot (or even the acting), Stephenie Meyers' Twilight boasted some pretty impressive interiors when adapted for the big screen. In fact it could be said that the best thing about the 5-part saga is the luxury Cullen residence - a sleek, contemporary home located in a secluded area of the woods in a Portland Forrest.
The house (formally known as Hoke House) is owned by Nike Director John Hoke and has an ultra-modern feel due to the natural materials used in its construction. The wooden walls, huge glass windows, concrete finishes and Knoll furniture makes this a truly Oscar-worthy interior.
The Stark Mansion, Iron Man
Though an impressive feat of interior set design, Tony Stark's Mansion in Iron Man only really made headlines when rumours started circulating that it was up for a sale a few years ago. For the lucky few who happened to have a spare $25 million lying around, this turned out to be a disappointing case of fake news - the house doesn't actually exist and is a very clever use of CG technology. The house is depicted on Malibu's Point Dume- a historical land mark where building is prohibited!
Nevertheless we think still it's Oscar-worthy, not least because the real home that inspired it stops nothing short of an architectural masterpiece. The Razor Residence in La Jolla, California, is an 11.000 Sqaure Foot Estate conceived by San Diego architect Wallace Cunningham. It’s composed of staggering layers of glass and concrete floor-to-ceiling expanses that look built into the mountainside. Inside you’ll find four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a glass elevator, an underground garage and a rooftop fitness room along with SEVERAL infinity pools. If Tony Stark really did exist, we're sure he'd reside here!
Cameron's House, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Another glass-fronted beauty, Cameron's House in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is almost as Oscar-worthy as the film. Though it doesn't actually get much air time, that famous scene in which Cameron's Dad's 1961 Ferrari goes careering through the glass windows has turned it into something of a pop culture icon.
The sleek, 4-bedroom home is located in Highland Park, Illinois, not far from Chicago. Made from glass and steel, it stayed on the market for five years before being bought for $1.3 million in 2014. Even so, its Mid-century Modern style is award-worthy to us. It just goes to show that whilst life moves pretty fast... the same can't be said for property!
Christian Grey's Apartment, 50 Shades Darker
We can't help but love Christian Grey's Penthouse Apartment in 50 Shades Darker despite his questionable personality (no offence Grey-lovers). The apartment described in the book was inspired by the real-life 5,170-square feet Escala Penthouse in Seattle, which is now on the market for $8.8m. The same apartment inspired the set design for both movies, although the interior in the latter was given, you guessed it, a darker makeover.
Whilst the first film featured a colour palette of blue and green jewel tones, the second saw "a very concerted effort to get texture into this movie and to get a richer coloration so that it felt little more ominous but also more masculine" according to production designer Nelson Coates. The result is a ultra-luxe bachelor pad with a dark, Oscar-worthy colour scheme.
William Whyte's Mansion, James Bond: Diamonds Are Forever
Whilst all the Bond Movies feature impressive interiors, the Oscar-worthy award has to go to the 1971 film Diamonds are Forever, which showcases the legendary Palm Springs Home Elrod House. Designed by visionary architecture John Lautner, the home was built in 1968 for interior designer Arthur Elrod and is an example of 'free architecture'. The house is cinematically sited on a craggy ridge and incorporates huge, natural boulders as walls and room dividers, combining architecture with nature.
The interior is equally as impressive as the exterior. Its best known feature is the 9-petaled circular concrete canopy above the ginormous circular living room, which has a monumental diameter of 60ft. If that's not impressive enough, the house (which went on the market last year for $8million) is complete with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, an open air patio offering panoramic views of the desert, a roof top deck, a gigantic swimming pool and a gym.
Jackie Treehorn's House, The Big Lebowski
The classic cult film The Big Lebowski shows the highs and lows of Los Angeles Real Estate, but it's the James Goldstein House (Treehorn's home in the film) that makes its interior Oscar-worthy to us. The famous LA residence designed again by architect John Lautner is another master of modernism. It's mostly made of glass and concrete and is built into the side of a canyon, offering panoramic views of Los Angeles.
The inside of the home is sparse and minimal, but it's full of surprises: the wooden ceiling opens to let down a huge TV and there's a glass sink with no faucets — a hidden spout offers water with the wave of a hand. Meshing the outside and inside was a Lautner signature, so there's a lot of greenery and natural materials integrated into the house. For the last 30 years until Lautner's death, both the owner and the architect worked together on renovating the house. As well as a swimming pool, it now boasts a tennis court and a night club where stars like Rihanna and Beyonce have reportedly been entertained!
Last year the Goldstein House was donated to the LACMA, with Goldstein saying "Hopefully, my gift will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do the same to preserve and keep alive Los Angeles’ architectural gems for future generations."
Barbara Novak's Manhattan Apartment, Down with Love
We couldn't write a blog about Oscar-worthy interiors without featuring Down With Love. The movie is set in the 60s and the sets are full of iconic design from this time, especially Barbara Novak's Manhattan apartment. This candy-coloured pad is kitted out in Knoll, with the Knoll Saarinen Womb Lounge chair taking centre stage in many scenes! It also boasts stunning views of the Manhattan skyline thanks to its wall to ceiling windows.
The set was built for the film and digitally enhanced to give it a glossy look. Most homes in the 60s didn't look like a Barbie Doll Dream house and the set playfully re-imagined the decade to suit modern perceptions of what it was like. Nevertheless, the combination of vivid pops of colour, distinct light fixtures and wacky texture combinations gives it the thumbs up from us. Definitely an award-wining movie interior.
The Train to the Capitol, The Hunger Games
We've given a lot of awards out to Mid-Century Modern pieces in this blog so in the interest of diversity it's time to take a look at something more futuristic. The Hunger Games might not instantly bring to mind great interiors what with most of the film being set in a killing field, however the inspiration behind the set design is actually really interesting, especially when you compare the design of the Capitol to the Districts.
The set, props and costumes are visual cues taken from times in history when socio-economic disparity between the classes was extreme, from the French Revolution to the Great Depression. Yet whilst scenes in the districts are period precise- designer Philip Messina took inspiration from Soviet Architecture and the 1930s Depression Era to capture the mood of deprivation- the vision of the future in scenes from the Capitol is much more bold and radical. Rather than re-image old-world wealth, the designers set out to create a dystopian future of excess that was scary to an outsider but cool to a glamour-obsessed insider. The result was some pretty impressive futuristic decor that helped tell the story - making The Hunger Games set design Oscar-worthy to us.
Last but not least we have Everything, Everything. The film isn't actually released until later this year but the trailer was enough to prove it'll feature an Oscar-worthy interior. Based on the young-adult novel of the same title, the film is about a teenager who leads a sheltered life because she's allergic to everything. That is until she falls for the boy next door....
Most of the film is set in a house the protagonist can never leave, so naturally the set designers went all out in decorating the interior, kitting it out with design classics. Being confined to your house doesn't sound like much fun, but having an Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman to relax in might be some consolation!