Archive for hollywood glamour

You Asked, I Listened…The Ghost & Mrs. Muir Cottage Floor Plan

Posted in movie houses, houses in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2012 by Christine Haskell, PhD

It amazes me how interested people are in this movie, the memorabilia of this movie and the infamous house.

Mary Casey of Colorado sent this in…the floor plan from the house from in the pilot of the TV show. The house is located in Montecito, CA. They added the Widow’s Walk, the stone lions, and the ship’s wheel on the balcony outside the master cabin.

She went on to tell me “If you are a fan of the show, the differences are easy to spot – the biggest being the real house in CA has 8 steps that lead up to the front porch, where the TV house had two steps and a wide porch that goes around the whole outside of  the house.”

60 Olive Mill Road, Montecito, CA
Here is the youtube link when the house went up for sale.
May confessed:
I think I first saw this film when I was about… maybe 12 or 13.   I saw the TV show first, loved it, especially the ghost, and my mother told me the show was based on the movie, that was based on the book. Of course back then (1970!) there were no VCRs or DVD’s, but I happened to look in the TV Guide and found out that it was running on some afternoon movie channel during the week.

I cannot tell a lie – at that point in my life, my mother was divorced and raising four of us, and sometimes we had babysitters, and sometimes not.  I actually faked sick to stay home and see the movie!   Loved it, in a whole different way than the TV show, but did think it was rather sad that he left her, and didn’t come back until she died.  Then I found the book, in paperback (now a collector’s item!) and read that, and was relieved to know that in the book he left, but came back years before she died.

Tell us when you first saw The Ghost and Mrs. Muir…

Saving A Seat For You,


Movie Real Estate: Grey Gardens

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Christine Haskell, PhD

I know I’m a bit late posting on this one, but it’s worth noting the set. I would recommend seeing the documentary and movie back to back, as they were both spectacular on their own, but inform one another.I collected some photos from Grey Garden News and Old Hollywood Glamour.

Grey Gardens starred Drew Barrymore as “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale and Jessica Lange as “Big” Edith Bouvier Beale and each gave a very moving and sensitive performance. It’s just had it’s first high school performance, that would have been interesting along side playbills for Hello Dolly!

I was left with strong feelings of what mental illness really means (clearly there was an alternate reality present when cats are peeing behind large artwork) however I also felt these women had really found an independance for themselves and truly cared for one another.

Costume designer Cat Thomas covered the 1920’s through the 1970’s fashion brilliantly. Dressing characters that were based on true eccentrics-come-fashion-icons without turning them in to caricatures is no easy task.

An interview from sums it up best:

STF: Little Edie is one of those characters that has been so deeply mined for inspiration over the years–fashion just seems to love her. What do you think is her enduring appeal? And how did you manage to bring your own new twist to something that we’ve already seen so many iterations of?
CT: I think the thing that’s interesting about her, and one of the reasons people are so drawn to her, is this evolution of a young woman 17, 18 years old, you get to see both of them [Big Edie and Little Edie] at the prime of their lives with all of this glamour and ease and in the context of the Hamptons. It was sort of a careless, carefree, youthful and also very innocent moment. And then you get to see that departure point, which is important. She was beautiful, she was modeling, it was the pinnacle of her life, and then you get the deterioration which she still manages to make fashionable.

Edie Beale, Style icon, in her "costume for the day"

Visit Grey Gardens News for all things Grey Gardens!

Resting Decay

Eery to see pianos in such run down condition and seeing the singing in the movie makes this photo even more silent.

The main artery in any home...the stairwell.

Beautiful glass details

Set Design Print of living room

Set Design Print: Living Room

Grey Gardens, in the manner it is accustomed.


Living Room

Living room, this portrait later kept Big Edie company by her beside, and was a frequent area for the cats to relieve themselves.

Staged aging...

The start of seclusion...I love the asian inspired wall paper and classic 1950s bedding, everything in that time period had a "frosted paint" job. A pity, because it was generally over very valuable hard wood.

Independant to the end...

To learn how you can get your own Edie Doll, complete with Wonderbread bag for the attic raccoons, click here.

Saving a seat for you,


Movie Real Estate: House & Garden, The Movie part II

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by Christine Haskell, PhD

I know I’ve written about this in a prior post, but the topic of Nancy Meyers films just never gets old for me.

I STILL haven’t seen this movie, have you? There’s been so much dishing of the movie already I know I’m already behind in adding my humble thoughts so I thought I’d share some links to various excellent posts and articles around the web.
Over at The Remodelista (a new favorite hangout of mine), they have a couple of excellent “Steal this look” posts. On the kitchen and the garden (both below).

Jane's Living Room

Jane’s Living Room:

The french-inspired kitchen, very much like the one in the Julia-Julia movie.

Meyers movies are like traveling to Europe (on a $10 budget). You always get the consistency of the First World experience, a color pallette that is unique to that area of the world, specically France in the summer, and leave wanting to bring home a vase you don’t need. Someone, tell me I’m wrong.

Now a staple of Meyer's films, the french sink.

These sinks are doing me in. Every time I see one, I want one – in my stocking.

A perfectly equipped kitchen, for the pastry hobbiest.

I mean, Martha has one…why shouldn’t Jane?

The Norman Rockwell feeling made current.

There are many things in this set that one can get, dare I say…at Ikea. I don’t think that it has to be local pottery on the table and quite frankly, those hanging pots in the back could stand some blackness to them. While the sets are “aspirational” they shouldn’t be so posed. If Jane is supposed to be able to cook, than those pots should be seasoned…dammit. I paid $10 for this escape from my life! But if you must stretch my ability to disbelieve…

Jane’s Dining Room & Kitchen:

As Martha Stewart, one of the first Queens of Aspiration, would have left it.

The still life of the Average American Housewife, with a BIG divorce settlement.

I can see the want ad now...single, divorced woman of ...49, seeks able-bodied male to stack wood (in California).

Now THIS photo made me laugh, truly. The wood pile, stacked so neatly-I can totally see Jane…place an order for that.

Maybe Jane's people know Martha's people.

Saving a seat for you,


Movie Real Estate: House & Garden, The Movie

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by Christine Haskell, PhD

See Jane juggle. See Jane tumble, into bed…and be the object of two men while in her 50s. Meyers creates the ultimate fantasy movies for women. Jane is a mom, girlfriend, garden hobbiest, mistress, gal pal, hostess with the mostess, owner of a thriving bakery, and therapy patient. Most of us can relate, mostly. Her balancing act reflects what most of us deal with: many roles. But Hollywood casts a sheen of sugar coating over all of it, and it’s like looking at a glistening sugared fruit bowl. You want to pick at it, even steal from it, but you know hers is a life of unattainable surrounding beauty that is just meant to look at.

The token photograph showing several of the luxury materials in Jane's environment.

Let’s start with the environment of perfectly chosen materials which create an aire of casual serenity, where barely a square inch of floor is ungraced with sisal, no window untreated with glazed linen. In the comfort of her rambling, terra-cotta-shingled ranch, Jane bathes in a claw-foot tub (which we love) and dines atop gray-veined Carrara marble. You want for her to find love, if only to have someone to admire it all with her. You hanker for one of her homemade chocolate croissants, afterall we believe she can actually make them. But something about Nancy Meyers films, I just wish I was holding a gift-registry scanner.

But Hollywood is Hollywood because they “do aspiration” so well.

Jane actually lives in the fictional space of It’s Complicated, the film starring Meryl Streep and directed by Nancy Meyers. Meyers’s movies (Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) have earned her a cult following among the design-porn set; the Hamptons beach house from 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give was a sensation—it even inspired a headboard collection for Williams-Sonoma Home. But It’s Complicated sashays into theaters at a very different time. Before Home Depot closed its tony Expo Design Center, before “HGTV” became a slur for compulsive nest-feathering, Meyers’s Hamptons set was termed “aspirational.” Now a quarter of mortgaged American homes are underwater, and movie montages about cashmere sheets are an irksome reminder of how we can’t afford them.  This is our generation’s Hollywood glamour.

Gone are the glossy titans House & Garden, Vogue Living, Domino, Metropolitan Home, Southern Accents, and Cottage Living (for which I wanted to light a candle), all boarded up alongside the housing market. In fact, It’s Complicated appears in December’s Traditional Home, where a “real” home might once have been.

What has irked me as elitist and exclusionary though, attracts me as well and has turned into an asset, and not just for Meyers. A Single Man is like so many of director-designer Tom Ford’s glossy ad campaigns: it may be one page deep, but you almost don’t notice amid all the brooding, the sexual tension, and the va-va-voom ’60s ambience. Nine’s fizzy Fellini redux is Chanel No. 5, all-Marilyn musk, and Harlow ostrich feathers. Are these great movies? Unfortunately not. They are design porn. Their over-the-top tableaux distract the heck out of me (as opposed to serving narrative purpose, in the way MadMen’s visual experience leaves shadows for the viewers to bring meaning in the absence of a chatty script; true hollywood glamour). But it almost doesn’t matter. Escapism is all too enticing right now, and no one takes you out of your own head like Hollywood—witness the $10 billion record-breaking box office for 2009. For proof you can really take to the bank, look (yes, look) at Avatar. Even its most ardent fans dismiss the plot and writing—the bad guys are on the hunt for a rare ore called unobtainium. Wow. I would have loved to be in that pitch session. Yet this is a world built on flowing, gossamer, almost tactile beauty. Director James Cameron takes even the most ordinary hunk of blue rock (the über-literal unobtainium) and spotlights it in the manner of Ming porcelain.

It’s amazing what a little light can do. The destruction of the world never looked so good. When there’s less magic and Ming in our own lives, marveling at fantasy is not altogether unpleasant. It’s unfortunate though that we can only use our eyes and not our brains when watching though.

Saving a seat for you,


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