By Malini Aikat
In Quantum of Solace, dishy Daniel Craig is in an intense who-blinks-first engagement with the villain - smooth talk laced with menace and vodka. But what’s in my crosshairs is the cushion on the couch he’s sitting on. Design geeks literally miss the plot. But I can’t wait to warm to my theme - the cushion – patterned with thin black chevrons on dazzling white. This contrasts with the wallcovering of widely spaced black pin stripes on dazzling white. So basically, straight lines are broken by jagged chevrons and the effect is startling - electric and elegant at the same time. Respect and awe at the set designers all over again. It’s James Bond reborn as room décor.
There are other movie star wallcoverings. Margot Tenenbaum’s bedroom in the Royal Tenenbaums. Zebras being chased by arrows on a background that has been provocatively called ‘Masai’ red? It’s a crazy pattern and so is Wes Anderson. Little known fact but well known in design circles: this is an iconic wallcovering and originally appeared in the legendary New York Upper East Side restaurant, Gino’s – favourite of both the rich and famous and the utterly anonymous. The owner Gino loved the idea of African safaris but didn’t have the money to go on one. His friend, Franco Scalamandre – who would become a legend in his own right as a textile designer, designed the wallcovering for him. Gino’s became an iconic New York landmark where Frank Sinatra handed out $500 tips to his favourite waiter, Nick; the wallcovering went on to star in a Wes Anderson movie.
While you were absorbed in Leo di Caprio’s psychological spiraling that was Scorsese’s Aviator, another wallcovering refused to stay in the background. In a stunning design subplot, a scene stealing wallcovering known to adoring fans as the Martinique Banana Leaf co-stars with a superb art deco bathroom – magnificent swaying banana leaves that are almost 3D in their graphic effect. Originally designed by the multitalented Don Loper for the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Less dramatic but quietly magnetic is a serene and graphic series of birch trees, once more a part of the Wes Anderson world, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
If you like bedroom scenes, check out the pretty pattern in the latest Wolverine outing – Logan – a soft, classic design that till now, to my mind, was straight to DVD material. Now I totally get it. It totally works in rooms for little people – it’s soft, soothing and perfect for bedtime when soft lamp light makes it spread its benign influence. I’m dozing off just thinking about.
It occurs to me that life as a movie fiend design geek has its major ups – you get a lot more than plot and popcorn. You get set design and pattern.
If you die for movies and live for design, you might want to stop by at: http://www.filmandfurniture.com/
Get the look from our collection-
striped wallpaper in Quantum of Solace: Wide Pinstripe wallpaper
leafy wallpaper in The Aviator: Bali Leaves wallpaper
trees wallpaper in The Grand Budapest hotel: Next Move wallpaper