Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Something to Talk About

 [All screengrabs from 1995's Something to Talk About written by Callie Khouri; set decoration by Roberta J. Holinko and production design by Mel Bourne. Pictured above, Kyra Sedgwick.]

Maybe you'd like a little break from anything remotely related to food preparation and family meals, but I have a few tidbits worth sharing. 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I found myself glimpsing at Callie Khouri's mid-90s Something to Talk About as it played in the background.

While her earlier picture is my personal favorite, StTA was filmed in familiar territory -- the South Carolina and Georgia lowcountry -- and the production design conveys a really strong, authentic sense of place.

In parts of the blogosphere we've been keeping an unofficial, ever-expanding tally of iconic chinoiserie wallpaper spotted in film and throughout history.  Today, I add to the list the fictional King family dining room paper. It only appears on screen for a couple of minutes but is nonetheless memorable. We're given the sense that the classic dining room has been decorated this way for decades, if not centuries.   
For me, what feels authentically Southern is how the family is using the room in the middle of the day for a casual lunch. And I like how the bare windows and slightly rumpled rug counterbalance the lush, feminine wallpaper.

[Photo my own.]

Of course, about ten years after the movie was in theaters we saw this traditional 18th-century-inspired paper explode on the contemporary design scene, in all sorts of incarnations. (Emile de Bruijn offers a terrific look at Fromental's current mix of tradition and modernity within the realm of Chinese wallpaper.)

Another memorable dwelling in StTA is Kyra Sedgwick's chacter, Emma Rae's, rustic cabin.

Movie stills don't capture the essence of this place. The idea is that Emma Rae has commandeered an outbuilding on her parent's farm. She has hung some contemporary photography and has a few graphic textiles thrown here and there, but the integrity of the old structure -- rough walls included -- remains intact. Interesting to look at now that rustic style is back, following on the heels of the ultra glam years. When I see Emma Rae's walls, I'm reminded of Angie Hranowsky's Enoteca

These hand-block-printed kitchen towels -- some new patterns, some old favorites -- from Pacific & Rose would probably appeal to Emma Rae. (I'm slipping them in as a very budget-friendly holiday gift idea.)

And if you've seen the movie, you know that cookbooks and recipes are part of the story. Chef Sonya Jones, the Edna Lewis-trained author of Sweet Auburn Desserts and founder of Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Bread Company, will be at the independent Eagle Eye Book Shop on Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m.


TSL said...


I have not seen the movie, so intriqued. I am also absolutely astounded and in awe at how thorough your posts are, you are absolutely amazing. Just amazing. Truly.

Style Court said...

Tina -- thank you so much!

Emile de Bruijn said...

How interesting to see this wallpaper - its colour scheme and the nice chunkiness of the trees reminds me a bit of Swedish eighteenth-century chinoiserie wallpapers.

Style Court said...

Emile -- I'll now be on the lookout for chunkier trunks and branches in various papers. Appreciate the observation.

MLP said...

LOVE this movie! :)

Style Court said...

ML -- More for us to talk about!

La Maison Fou said...

I just luv this one! I am going to have to pull it and watch it again.