It’s five years since Wes Anderson wowed audiences worldwide with multiple Oscar winning The Grand Budapest Hotel. To mark this, we show you how to style your home in his iconic aesthetic.
When The Grand Budapest Hotel first hit screens, critics were blown away by Anderson’s vision. From bubblegum-pink decadence to the rustic charm of softly decaying swimming baths, every detail has its place. The director’s mesmerising style found its way into billion-dollar Gucci campaigns and music videos. Here’s how to harness the magic in your home.
Embrace absolute symmetry
The Wes Anderson aesthetic has been compared to a pop-up book. Each scene is strangely satisfying, largely due to the director’s eye for symmetry.
Create this effect at home by treating each room like a mirror. From light switches to furniture, every detail must be balanced. In Anderson’s 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom, the interiors in the Summer’s End house look kaleidoscopic – three cubic shelves are balanced beneath windows following the same pattern.
If you have a bay window or a galleried staircase, like those in the film, use them as centre points. Keep large furniture balanced at each wall and make sure every lamp and ornament is partnered. You may not want to drape your children like symmetrical accessories, but you can still use shape smartly. This might mean trading your corner sofa for a duet of two-seaters arranged around the fireplace. For Anderson-style decadence try the Stamford. Traditional leather sofas work well in pairs since they belong to an era before TVs were focal points.
Satisfying colour palettes
Each Wes Anderson film has a unique colour scheme – vintage neutrals, zesty pastels or bright, striking colours. Balance is key, so break up monochromes with golden wall panels or arched lighting a la The Grand Budapest Hotel. Or, turn the rules on their head by pairing similar colours.
The Grand Budapest Hotel’s beautifully jarring elevator and lobby scenes set deep purple against glossy red. Because the shades are related but unequal, the effect is beautifully loud. Try the Hetty in vibrant turquoise. Pair with colours that stray close to clashing – like purples or yellows. A safer, but no less impressive, option is to layer with similar shades, like the iconic yellow hotel interior in Hotel Chevalier. Creating a cinematic home suits the mustard yellow Perle or the candy cane Linoso.
Utilise height and levels
Even prison cells look easy on the eye in The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is because of how Anderson uses height – by elongating bunk beds across three tiers, he is able to really highlight the symmetry.
Anderson famously used the 1930s Academy ratio (1.37:1 – close to older televisions) for his blockbuster and home designers can follow suit. Split the room into thirds, with the sofa taking one third of the wall space. Sofas in unusual shapes, such as the winged Etienne, can deliver this effect. If your ceilings are high, don’t waste vertical space. Use the top third for elegant shelving, hanging light fixtures or exposed roof beams.
Touches from distant eras and places
Anderson’s work also includes postmodern hints such as the vintage lampshade in Hotel Chevalier, 1970s-style turntables or the African masks and zebra patterns from Margot’s bedroom in The Royal Tenenbaums.
Get the look with mechanical technology such as a vintage jukebox. Patterned fabrics on curtains, rugs or sofas can channel the energy of distant lands. The glamorous Savanah sofa is the obvious choice, with wild energy worthy of Margot Tenenbaum herself. Pair with bright Indian patterns like those from The Darjeeling Limited for a bohemian look.
Great interior designs don’t have to be nostalgic. Isle of Dogs draws influence from a futuristic Japanese architectural movement to create a world where old, new, natural and urban combine. Experiment with house plants and cityscapes to get the look.
Think about movement
Take any frame from a Wes Anderson film and it will usually look like a work of art – even when the plot is building to a climax. In The Grand Budapest Hotel’s famous chase scenes, even dramatic falls end harmoniously.
Hopefully, your home is rarely this dramatic – but you can still think about how your design complements movement. In an open-plan kitchen, streamlined sofas like the Neve can scoop up the troops when they arrive home.
As well as strategic props for your very own movie set, use colour and lighting to match the natural flow. This might mean rolling out glamorous hallway rugs or fixing lights along bannisters to invite guests upstairs just our favourite hotel’s iconic concierge.