Salon 01: Aesthetics

February 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Film

The 1985 film took the Oscar for Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, and it’s not hard to see why! Here are some views of the drawing room at the pension:

Drawing Room - Lucy plays Beethoven

Drawing Room - Mr. Beebe listens

Drawing Room - Charlotte enters

Drawing Room - Bickering

Drawing Room - Mr. Beebe

The drawing room design likely took its cue from this description:

And even more curious was the drawing-room, which attempted to rival the solid comfort of a Bloomsbury boarding-house. Was this really Italy?

Miss Bartlett was already seated on a tightly stuffed armchair, which had the colour and the contours of a tomato. (7)


As beautiful as the film sets are, I’m not looking to recreate 1908. The play of light and shadow in the first two stills above would work well in a translational sense (the contrast between the two having a symbolic role in the novel), but the agoraphobic nature of Victorian interiors doesn’t speak to contemporary preferences. Playing off the novel’s structural contrast, as well as my own inclinations, I plan to blend traditional and contemporary aesthetics:

Aesthetics - Inspiration

Inspiration from existing interiors

Inspiration Collage

Initial inspiration collage from August

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