I'm Going to Decorate My New Apartment Like I Live Inside an Untitled Wes Anderson Project

I know what I like when I see it, and I love what I see — want to live in what I see — whenever I've watched an Anderson film.
Publish date:
February 12, 2016
style, furniture, decor, decorating, wes anderson, home accessories, bedding

Because I enjoy nothing more than unclogging a toilet within earshot of my beloved, my boyfriend and I are moving in together in a couple months. Our respective leases just happen to be ending at the same time, we love each other, he loves my dog, we love saving money (the main reason any couple moves in with each other in New York) — it all feels very right.

We both care quite a bit about how the as-yet-undiscovered new place gets decorated, and although we're coming to the table with different tastes, as I mentioned in my xoVain Open Thread last week, we landed on a motif that we can enthusiastically agree on: Wes Anderson. Well, I mean, not Wes Anderson the man — that would be creepy AF. Rather, Wes Anderson's set designs and color palettes.

I realize how obnoxiously "hipster" or "blogger" or "Instagram" (or whatever the latest derisive Brooklyn adjective is) this sounds to some; I also realize it's a friggin' great plan and I'm a goddamn decorating genius.

OK, I'm not actually a decorating genius. Like, at all. I know no terminology and cannot hang a level shelf to save my life. I have only the vaguest ideas of decorating, furniture and art styles and did not inherit my mother's knack for crafts and DIY projects. I just know what I like when I see it, and I love what I see — want to live in what I see — whenever I've watched a Wes Anderson movie. My boyfriend does, too.

And that's all that this is about — nailing a decor we can both love being surrounded by and make work with a combination of what we're each bringing from our respective current apartments and what we're buying or making. It's not a strict ode to Anderson (I love his films, but I've seen only three in their entirety) or an attempt to mimic any one set so our apartment looks like it's in a Halloween costume all year. It's just a framework, and one I think we'll have a lot of fun with.

So, what is Wes Anderson's aesthetic? Here's my laywoman's interpretation:

  • It's retro, but not faithful to one particular era of the 20th century.
  • It's colorful, from oversaturated pastels to deep jewel tones to dusty mustards (that's fun to say). Anderson's color gamut is vivid and broad, but he specifically excels at bringing together certain handfuls of colors (as evidenced on the highly addictive and not-updated-nearly-enough Wes Anderson Palettes Tumblr).
  • It's a balance of kitsch and elegance. In the same room, you'll see a vintage plastic princess phone and a crystal chandelier, Baroque wallpaper with tchotchke hodgepodge (also fun to say).
  • It doesn't take itself seriously, but it does pay rapt attention to detail.
  • It's whimsical, but not to, like, Seussian levels.
  • It's NOT shabby chic, Southwestern, East Asian (although the North Korean Interiors Tumblr might beg to differ), romantic, or utilitarian.

Not everything we're bringing (my IKEA bed, his IKEA bookshelves, my IKEA dresser, his IKEA kitchen table, my IKEA armoire, my IKEA full-length mirror, my IKEA credit card debt) is necessarily a perfect fit for our plan, but none of it would clash so badly that it would violently pinch you out of the decor dream we're hoping to construct — especially if the furniture and other home stuff we purchase over the next few months holds true to the Anderson aesthetic.

Here are some of the pieces I'm eyeing.

Since my boyfriend and I will probably be coughing up first month, last month and a security deposit in the very near future, a lot of these purchases will have to wait (some forever). But hopefully, with some paint and some artful spatial arrangement, it won't be long before we can get our new place looking like Owen Wilson is going to show up any second.

Cover image: Touchstone/Buena Vista