I love movies, and I love interior design. Throughout history, movies not only have inspired us on ways to decorate our homes, they also have created trends.
So many films have brilliantly incorporated a historically famous style and in return showed us, the viewing public, how to use these looks in our own homes.
One of my favorites is the original “Wall Street” movie, with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. This was about the opulence of the '80s and the quick money that these guys on Wall Street were raking in.
Their greed and yearning for the high life was depicted in the character of Gordon Gekko and his office. It was opulent with textures of metal, leather and rich, deep colors, but it was the paint finishes that had me on the edge of my seat.
Surfaces were painted to emulate the luxury of velvet, the coldest of steel and the warmth of leather. I was hooked!
I remember “Something's Gotta Give,” with the fabulous Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. In the theater you could hear a collective intake of breath from the audience at the sight of the home belonging to the woman played by Diane Keaton.
I listened to the murmur of enthusiastic whispers as friends discussed the subtle shades of pastels with fresh, white moldings, the oversized oat-colored sofas, and bookcases paneled in glossy white wood.
How many of us, I wonder, rented the movie just to help choose a color palette for our own walls?
Movies and TV shows can offer us a vision of trends that are about to reappear.
“Mad Men” is the perfect example.
Furnishings, patterns, colors and textures from the early 1960s are once again becoming a staple in our homes, albeit with a slight twist.
Colored appliances are now back in vogue, creating a sigh of relief from the decades of stainless steel and white.
I just bought a lemon-yellow toaster, a joyful upgrade to my mom's Harvest Yellow, and I have a wild “noodle” rug in pistachio green, again a modern version of the green shag.
This year we spent my birthday at an ancient castle in Tuscany, which is the hotel where the romantic movie “Letters to Juliet” was filmed starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave.
Not only was I treated by my beloved husband to this wonderful evening, but we also stayed in the actual room where they filmed many of the scenes.
Borgo Scopeto (www.borgo scopetorelais.it), which should be added to everyone's bucket list, was built more than 600 years ago.
The latest restoration to this now-stunning hotel incorporates today's modern comforts, and paint techniques have been applied that have been used in Tuscany for centuries.
The use of color blocking and what is known as “lining” in the hallways and bedrooms of this hotel encompass both the practical and aesthetic sense integral to good design.
Creating blocks of color on a wall brings large rooms to scale, an ideal solution for anyone who has cathedral ceilings in their home.
Bands and lines of color usually replace baseboards in these old villas, a fabulous remedy if you have 3-inch baseboards that you would like to make more impressive.
A roll of low-tack masking tape, a base color on your walls and an alternate color will create a clean, modern and interesting element for the plainest room.
The next time you watch a movie, whether it's a historic European romance or an America drama, dwell on the backdrop of the homes as well as the action on the screen.
You will find so much to be inspired by for your own home.
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis and visit her website, www.debbietravis.com.