MODERNIZED VICTORIAN BACKGROUNDS GIVE SOPHISTICATED AIR WE have come to regard the fascinating back grounds used in motion picture sets as charm ingly idealistic but impractical and quite beyond the average purse. This is not necessarily true, for many of the home interior scenes are comparatively simple and could be easily and inexpensively dupli cated. Often it is merely the proper use of wall paper as a background. For the most part the charm of motion picture interiors lies not so much in the use of costly fur nishings as in the carefully planned co-ordination of wall coverings and furnishings. It is the rule of motion picture sets that the background must ac complish precisely what it is intended to doto strike the keynote of mood or feeling of the setting. And just as in real life this keynote must harmonize with and enhance the personality of the character belonging in that setting. Retail dealers will readily concede that only through the ensemble idea of harmonizing wall paper with fabrics, floor covering, and furnishings can the most satisfactory results be obtained. In terior decorators strive for this goal of co-ordination, yet few carry out the idea with the consistency of the decorators of motion picture sets. Motion picture designers are not purists in any sense of the word, for although the keynote struck in the wall covering is carried through to the minutest detail, still several different periods and styles are combined in a single set. None-the-less so carefully are these different elements chosen that the result is usually pleasing and always expresses a single mood. As an example of how this scene mood is ob tained, modernized Victorian design is much in vogue at the present time to express an air of smart modern sophistication. In the setting from "For saking All Others," illustrated here, Cedric Gibbons, E. B. Willis and Fred Hope of the M-G-M studios have created a smart 1934 drawing room as a scene of sophisticated entertainment. Against a background of brilliant yellow wallpaper with a pattern of grey and white leaves the scene is built. Nineteenth century furniture of three countries is combined successfully in this grouping. The chintz sofa with its shell pattern in blue and white was adopted from the Civil War period. The two cabinets in fruitwood are Venetian. The tufted back chair is English Regency. The essentially PAGE 160 modern flower painting adds a decidedly modern touch but is Victorianized by a silver frame that suggests the rococo curves of past eras. Carrying the idea still further, the alabaster lamps have shades of blue net over white silk with large blue velvet bows. The curtain treatment uses color in quantity and yet the effect is smart and pleasing. Lemon yellow satin striped moire curtains are trimmed with sapphire blue ball fringe and held up with blue cords and tassels. The carpets are grey with accents of sapphire blue in the shell. Although motion pictures necessarily lose the color values of the settings, the harmony of hues remain. While usually not so much attention is given to the color plan as to the harmony of in tensities and design this set has a very definite color scheme of lemon yellow, sapphire blue, dove grey, and white. Many different color variations, how ever, would produce practically the same effect pho tographically. The staircase of this motion picture home is in the same Victorian style and offers an interesting study in lines. Striped wallpaper in tones of yel lows and blues carries the vertical feeling of the balusters in direct contrast to the horizontal lines of the late Empire sofa. White rhododendrons are refreshing in the Empire flower stand. In the same production the feeling of a smart but comfortable library is effected by the use of Chinese floral wallpaper. Trees, birds, and flowers in green, cream yellow and coral set the keynote. Against such a background mahogany and old Chinese por celain are especially pleasing. The two chairs are upholstered in cream corded velvets. The carpet is deep coral. On the opposite side of the same room a fine breakfront mahogany bookcase between two win dows is the dominating factor. Curtains are the same color as the background of the wallpaper. The Chinese influence is evident in the curtain cornices and the ornaments. The lamps also are of Chinese design. Pickled pine stands are pleasing against coral colored Venetian blinds. Georgian mahogany furniture of the Chippendale era is used. In each of these settings the individuality of the character to be portrayed is clearly and definitely delineated by the use of backgrounds built up from carefully chosen wallpaper designs. By Charles F. Berry. WALLPAPER

Wallpaper en | 1935 | | page 6