Other than holiday classics and favorite rom-coms, there are a handful of movies that you watch over and over, like Wes Anderson films. From the charming, boyish love story of Moonrise Kingdom to the wanderlust brotherly escapades of The Darjeeling Limited, each film reveals an intricately curated universe, each quirkier than the next. Each scene is a visual feast for the eye. Take for example the following distinguishing characteristics that tie all of his films together:
"There is a sheen of antiquity in all his films," a Screen Rant article writes. Hand in hand with Anderson's love for nostalgia, have you noticed that his films all take place in time periods before the current day? As such, film set décor helps set the tone distinctly in the past. "Try imagining a Wes Anderson movie set in 2014; it's pretty hard to picture," writes Screen Rant. On that note, midcentury décor would feel right at home with the Wes Anderson aesthetic.
Distinct Color Palettes
A Wes Anderson film is never without a whimsical color palette, from "the oceanic setting of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, the Indian provinces of The Darjeeling Limited, the urban confines of The Royal Tenenbaums, and the flinty coastal backdrop of Moonrise Kingdom," writes Screen Rant. You may have noticed Anderson's use of pattern, too. We agree with The Art of Language when they say that it's almost as if Anderson brands each of his films using color. And by color, we mean rich burgundy to mint green, royal purple to bubblegum pink and everything in between.
And when it comes to styling your space, Wes Anderson style, consider applying one of his characteristic filmmaking techniques: Symmetry. According to Screen Rant, "The man simply cannot resist the draw of reciprocal arrangement of props and characters in front of his camera." For example, Screen Rant points out Bottle Rocket and Rushmore as early examples, and adds, "check out everything from The Royal Tenenbaums onward, and it becomes more and more prevalent."
Commitment to Theme
Anderson's filmography spares no details when it comes to set design. "From tiny brownstone apartments to color themes to elaborate costumes," writes The Art of Language, Anderson is meticulous. They add, "In a way, Anderson makes everything that usually surrounds a character a portrayal of that same character, defining personalities and conflicts, creating unique cinematic landscapes."
And it's this attention to detail that has resonated with audiences; so much so that some of the films’ props have become iconic in the décor vernacular over the last decades: The Scalamandre zebra print, the pink princess phone, or the Darjeeling luggage, for instance.
Want to infuse a little quirk into your space? Here are our favorite Wes Anderson–inspired décor picks, arranged by movie.
If you're new to Wes Anderson's genius, Screen Rant recommends beginning with Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, or diving straight in with The Grand Budapest hotel, which Screen Rant calls "the most Wes Andersony" of his films.