The Illusory World of films has always been able to transport us to a different reality altogether. And the realization that interior design and production design, both are concerned with the selection of furniture, products, accessories, and backdrops in the hopes of creating a scene or aesthetic should come as no surprise. It is a strange analogy, but many parallels can be drawn between the arts of production design and interior design. The two arts also share some common ground, we just need to establish what that common ground is.
The skills required to be a set designer are often interwoven with interior design. In fact, many set designers also have an architectural or interior designing background. There is also close proximity between how these artists create what they create. Interiors in the cinema and in reality, are concerned with ‘atmosphere’. In cinema this atmosphere gives context to the script and actions, in someone’s home, it provides aesthetic. And the many practitioners involved in these arts are fully aware of and exploit these traits.
As a result of these parallels, there has been the intermingling of the two industries for a long time. There has been a steady influx of interior designers collaborating with set/ production designers to create home décor products. A wonderful example of this is the collaboration between Tektura Wall Coverings and Helen Strevens. Helen Strevens has produced the movie sets of legendary Hollywood films like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, etc. There are also many who enjoy their homes being decorated with quirky and edgy designs and arts that are displayed in films like The Grand Budapest Hotel or The Great Gatsby.
For ages, movies have been a source of inspiration in all aspects, including home decor. From Alia’s chic studio in Dear Zindagi to the Tropical decor from Salaam Namaste to the edgy and modern sets of Golmaal 3, these beautifully done interiors have often awakened the interior designer in all of us, making us want to replicate some aspects in our own homes. The Friends’ couch, Penny’s apartment in BBT or the cultural and antique decor from Piku, all these set pieces have shown us but one thing, i.e. never sacrifice function/comfort for beauty.
Another takeaway from prominent movie sets while designing your home interiors is to start with a single key piece and generate the whole vibe of the room from that piece you truly love. And in this way you can let your home be a scrapbook of your life.
Despite many similarities, there exists a silver lining between set design and interior design. The silver lining is as fine as creating realities and mimicking reality. But this silver lining also brings in many key differences. The differences are mainly around the approach these artists take. A set designer will dictate the scenery by supplementing home elements with props whereas, for an interior designer the walls, chairs, doors, and ceilings aren’t just elements but the very basis of their vision and design. Another key difference is that reel designs look great but are not optimised for living. And that is why movie sets can go with beauty while sacrificing on functionality.
However, one thing is certain interior designers might create real, tangible products that beautify and adorn our homes. And production designers create entire worlds and realities where all of our preferred and treasured characters live and breathe in.
#Image from Friends