Get The Look: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson tends to divide people; you either love his films or you hate them. I fall in the love camp, primarily because of his meticulous set detail. If you want to step into that world, I gathered some products inspired by his latest release, The Grand Budapest Hotel. As usual, I was blown away by the world created by Anderson and his Oscar-nominated art director, Adam Stockhausen.
Stockhausen has said that he and Anderson looked to archival photochroms (colourized black-and-white photographs) from Eastern European hotels and buildings to get this colour-scheme. (If you’re looking to add a touch of Anderson aesthetic to your home but aren’t prepared to go all out, this type of photograph can be found at almost any antique or vintage store that sells ephemera. I picked up some vintage photochrom postcards of Versailles from a Toronto shop a few summers ago).
“The construction of the sets and the design of the sets, even if it’s on location — this is all carefully planned,” Anderson told NPR. There’s always a very specific colour palette in Anderson films; The Darjeeling Limited had light blue, red, teal, orange and golden yellow; whereas Rushmore featured dark greens, burnt orange, beige and royal blue. The Grand Budapest Hotel follows this with olive green, baby blue, Cartier red, carnation pink, pale yellow and dark purple.
The hotel’s dining room features a huge mural of mountains and rolling hills that has all of these tints. Murals are very on trend and can be found at a variety of price points. If you have a blockbuster budget, try de Gournay for gorgeous prints that harken back to Regency England. The above image, from Surface View and sourced from the British National Gallery, is a great inbetween example. Surface View allows for a bit of customization: you can search their catalogue and isolate parts of an image that you want for your walls. Anthropologie also sells murals but at a much lower cost (a bit better for a renter, like me).
Moving between three eras but primarily set in two, the 1960s and the 1930s, Anderson used an abandoned German department store from the 1910s as the hotel’s interior. The ’60s saw more of the olive from the palette, and the yellow was used in marbled walls and the shade of wood used in the era’s popular paneling.
The Art Nouveau (Jugendstil in Germany) styling of the department store was given a more brutalist look that would have been found throughout Eastern Europe in the Post-War period. If you’re drawn to the mid-century style furniture, try a DWR chair in a bold shade or a colour-blocked rug.
The hotel’s heyday in the ’30s begins with various vignettes that show off the interior and exterior based on the colours in the old photochroms. The lobby’s high ceilings, intricate stairs and large chandeliers (Restoration Hardware has one that could be pulled right out of pre-war Europe) are set off by the pale yellow and carnation pink; giving the room the luxe feel typical of grand hotels of that era.
The Cartier-red used for the elevator’s lacquered walls and the concierge desk convey complete opulence.
Stockhausen said that it took nine coats of the vermilion to get the look in each space, but painting out some shelving, or even a door with Farrow & Ball’s Rectory Red would add a shot of Anderson’s bold vision into your space.
Scenes set away from the hotel take place in a variety of locales, including the estate owned by Tilda Swinton’s character. The mansion is dressed a bit like a hunting lodge: lots of wood, leather and animal heads.
Although more subdued and simple than the hotel and Swindon’s estate, main character Agatha’s (Saoirse Ronan) bedroom is curtained off with the same yellows and pinks found in the ’30s hotel lobby, and her bedspread pairs the olive and yellow shades of the ’60s lobby.
I particularly like the rustic barnboard flooring and wrought iron bed frame. I’ve had my eye on Anthropologie’s Cosette Bed, which has a similar whimsical sensibility as Agatha’s, and pulls in the Art Nouveau look of the hotel’s lobby and entrance. Throw an HBC Millenium Stripe blanket or a Macausland throw on top and you’ve got a similar vibe.
The movie sets’ extensive detail and saturated colour palette may be more fantastical than real, but sometimes it’s nice to step into a highly-stylized space (and maybe borrow a few ideas for the real world).
See our photo gallery for more inspirational movie sets.
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
3. Bantam Armchair in Leather, DWR; Blue Block Rug, CB2
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures;19th C. French Empire Crystal Chandelier, Restoration Hardware
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
6. Rectory Red (217), Farrow & Ball
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
8. Papier Mâché Animal Sculptures, West Elm; Woods Wallpaper, Cole & Son
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
10. Cosette Bed, Antropologie; Macausland Throws, Drake General Store; Millenium Stripe Throw, The Hudson’s Bay Company