Who me? A flair for the dramatic? Well, perhaps a little. I tried acting in Junior High. While I wasn't bad, I also wasn't going to win any awards either. So, I guess that I decided to pursue drama in other areas of my life, and what I found is that drama in interiors has fewer consequences and produces fewer headaches than drama in other areas of one's life. We're talking guilt-free drama. Don't you agree?
Perhaps this explains my fascination with set decoration, especially that from the 1930s. One of my favorite sets is that of My Man Godfrey, a 1936 screwball comedy starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. We all know that on movie sets, everything has to be bigger and larger than life in order to register on film. There's drama in scale, color, and in the case of films from the 1930s and 40s, in quirky decorative details too. I think it's this pastiche that captivates me. I mean, on the one hand, it's a little tacky, but it's also charming in an exuberant and hopeful kind of way.
If I had the space, I would seriously consider decorating a few rooms in the spirit of my favorite 1930s movies. Sure people might think I had lost control of my mental faculties, but it would be fun. And more importantly, it would be a most proper venue in which to wear my satin bed jackets, something which recently amused a friend who was touring my house. Who knows, I might even graduate to marabou bed jackets soon à la Carole Lombard. Because you know, I just can't give up the drama.
Do you think this would be ridiculous to wear for lounging and sleeping?
My favorite era of kitchen design is the 1930s. How many kitchens have you seen with such glitz? I'm taken with that chrome trim on the walls.
A kitchen like this would not be complete with a charming butler, plenty of silver serving pieces, and a battalion of cocktail glasses.
Here is a better shot of that modernist handrail that was in the kitchen.
1930s sets were filled with decorative oddities like painted motifs that were stuck everywhere...on doors, screens, walls. Plaster reliefs were also popular- like this one that adorned a door. I think this beats your average paneled door any day.
Something else that fascinates me are 1930s bathrooms. Note the frosted glass shower door; it looks like it has an underwater theme to it. I think I see fish.
Fireplaces were always ripe for high drama. This baroque fantasy had that large circular mirror complete with that plaster figure on a bracket. It's so....theatrical.
A white klismos chair in the spirit of T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.
Calla lilies were huge during this decade; this arrangement has me rethinking them.
It might be a little difficult to see, but take a look at that register (or is it a radiator cover?) underneath the window. I think that something like this needs to be put back into production, although I know that the pat answer would be that it costs too much.
This diamond and circular trellis is quintessential Hollywood. It almost looks like a bird cage.
(All images from My Man Godfrey, Universal Pictures)