One movie that I was just thinking about a few weeks ago was The Nanny Diaries. My friend Watson had given me the book to read when it was first released, and he said that I would really enjoy the witty humor, and, most importantly, a peek into a few of New York’s high-society participants. After reading the book I was looking forward to the movie. So last summer, upon seeing the movie and thinking about Mrs. X’s apartment, I had remembered reading a small article in the April 2007 issue of Domino. The article was with production designer Mark Ricker, and in it he shares his secrets of creating that look for Mrs. X, and reveals what you could do to achieve it for real.
First, he talks about the overpowering symmetry that was used. He said, for the screen “I created this absurd sense of symmetry, so that everywhere you look there are pairs of chairs, sconces, mirrors. “It gives the sense that there’s no freedom for anything to be out of place.” He then adds that, to do this for real “symmetry is pleasing but becomes suffocating when taken too far…Leave space for uneven arrangement to loosen up a room.”
A nice example of symmetry that he is talking about it!
Next he talks about the pattern on pattern – which I have to admit I could never ever pull off, and not even with their purse strings. He quotes, “Park Avenue apartments tend to have this extreme manipulation of designs on top of each other.” He shares, “To pull this off, carry through at least one color for continuity, and change the scale of patterns that sit next to each other. I for one happen to love color and pattern, and find this very helpful indeed.
Mrs. X's Living room
Now for that beautiful chinoiserie that was used. Mark finalizes, “I used this throughout, in fabric and wallpaper. Because it’s classic and beautiful. The birds, trees, vines and flowers are like having a garden inside.” For me personally I love it! So he states back to us real folks, “If miles of pricey chinoiserie are not exactly in your budget, try framing a small piece of beautiful wallpaper--you’ll get the feeling without the expense or the over-the-top-ness.
Mrs. X's Bedroom
All Images from Traditional Homes
Also see Traditional Homes for more with Mark Ricker regarding the set design.
On a final note, I personally think Mr. Ricker did a wonderful job. And in case you’re wondering why I’m blogging about this like my hubby is—I’m looking for the wallpaper that was used in one of the bathrooms! Hmmmm any idea?