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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.

tree of life house

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.

tree of life living room

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.

tree of life brad pitt

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.

tree of life kitchen table

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


Design Inspiration

6 Responses

  1. HGTV_Kelley says:

    I love the living room, especially that celery green. One of my grandmother's guest bedrooms was painted that exact color, and I've always found it cooling and current.

    > Surely I’m victim to the lure of thinking that the past is always somehow slightly better than the present.

    Speaking of, have you seen another of this summer's great movies, Midnight in Paris? I won't spoil it for you, but if you haven't seen it, you should.

  2. Amy says:

    Lovely! You may be interested in a great blog – Hooked on Houses – have you heard of it? She blogs about great tv show and movie houses all the time! Check it out!

  3. ocblogger says:

    I love the house in the country in Marley and Me which, by the way, is for sale in West Chester, PA. A beautiful example of a restoration done right!

  4. Dgirl57 says:

    wish I had a place to live so I could plan to decorate. : – $

  5. marivic indemne says:

    i love hgtv…

  6. Andy Z says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting this! I, too, loved the Mid-Century set! I think the picture of the living room, though, is from their second house (I loved the movie, but it was confusing at times, wasn't it?!). If I remember correctly, the first house you see is a Mid-Century ranch, then they flash back to their first house, which does contain some of the same furniture. I'm going to have to search for more images!

Lili ZarghamiLili is Editorial Director of HGTV.com. Her personal obsessions include looking for just the right sofa, ogling real estate listings, and reading floor-plans. She has an admitted "chair problem," collecting...


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