|[Unless credited otherwise, all images are screengrabs from Barefoot in the Park.]|
A spirit of adventure, a sense of humor, love and, in terms of aesthetics, a Matisse (just a poster if not the real deal), a fresh coat of paint, a potted fiddle-leaf fig and a bit of flea market furniture covered in punchy colors. That's all that anyone really needs, in 1967's Barefoot in the Park.
|[Barefoot inspiration board. Clockwise from the top: FEED for Target cereal bowl; |
Lulu DK Catwalk stripe; screengrab from Barefoot; Henri Matisse lithograph,
Madame de Pompadour, 1951, LACMA.]
I'm hardly a film historian, but I wonder if Barefoot is sort of a bridge between the classic romantic comedies of the decades that preceded it and all the less-conventional movies that would follow in the late-60s and 70s. The decor, blending graphic, then-modern fabric with touches of Victoriana, nods to Corie and Paul's generation -- the idealistic real-life youthquakers who would move into old rundown 19th-century townhouses from New York to San Francisco with thoughts of renovation.
Regardless, the movie's bedroom design is fun.
If you've never seen it, one of the big jokes in Barefoot is the miniscule scale of the room. Probably meant to be a dressing room or walk-in-closet, it's too small for a double bed and even the "large single" that's been squeezed in fills the entire space. (At night, they're forced to "turn in unison.") Corie responds by transforming it into a warm jewel box of a room, with a strategically placed mirror and lantern.
For a hypothetical remake, I'd use these Robshaw fabrics in Lotus: clockwise from the top: Algiers, Vintage Stripe, and Phulkari.
These days, I think, a set decorator would be given a brief to go quite quirky with the apartment; spell out to audiences that Corie is a free spirit and that the couple's furniture is random. Here, though, the message is more nuanced. At least to contemporary eyes. Maybe the apartment felt zanier in 1967. Barely visible in the picture above is a lacquered chest -- Asian, likely -- used in lieu of a traditional coffee table. Of course, now that's a traditional approach.
And lastly the art. Along with the Matisse poster, the Bratter's digs are peppered with repros of works by modern masters: Toulouse-Lautrec; Degas; Miro; Modigliani. There's a bold bullfighting poster, too. Either this marks the beginning of the trend to hang exhibition posters at home, or we're supposed to deduce that Corie was an art history major. Perhaps in the mid-60s there was a major museum exhibition of late-19th/early-20th century artists? Alternatively, the pictures could be tongue-in-cheek. I'm not sure. Mostly I like how the blue-striped pillow on green upholstery relates to the Matisse.
framable Matisse notecards and Rebecca Atwood's hand-made-in-New-York, dip-dyed linen, diagonal stripe pillow. Learn more about Brooklyn-based Atwood here. You may recall that Frances and Sidney Brody owned the Pompadour lithograph. More on the their legendary collection here.