On a recent trip to the movies, I expected to be transported for a couple of hours by a great story. What I did not expect was to think, “I have got to blog about this house!” Tree of Life, the newest film from director Terrence Malick, centers around a family in a small Texas town and moves from birth, through death and every moment in between. What I couldn’t help but focus on, though, was the warm and unassuming house that a good portion of the story takes place within.
The story jumps back and forth in time, but the family home is the epitome of 1950s and 60s design. As scenes ticked by, I started trying to keep a mental catalog of the furnishings and the perfectly natural arrangements that production designer Jack Fisk created. This living room alone I would like to transport from celluloid directly to my house.
Gratuitous Brad Pitt shot below. Well, it’s not completely gratuitous. The Handsome One is surrounded by 50s charm. Just look at those curtains and the low profiles of the arms on both the chair and the sofa. The palette of earth tones and jade greens are so gentle and calming, setting the perfect scene for family life: solid, free of ostentation and comforting.
Finally, this kitchen dining set is probably exactly the one that thousands of Americans sat around in the middle of the past century. The formica-topped table and its gently curving legs along with the pinkish-red vinyl chairs tucked under the windows are perfectly evocative of a childhood that doesn’t really exist in the same carefree way anymore.
Surely I’m victim to the lure of thinking that the past is always somehow slightly better than the present. No doubt the filter of a movie lens which removes any ugliness contributes to that feeling. However, the designs that came out of this era (and are just as relevant today) can perhaps bring a little of that nostalgia for a simpler time to our homes today.
All photos courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures