Silver Screen Candy: North By Northwest


I don’t know about you, but I love old movies. My husband has actually recently introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock films and I must say I really enjoy them. One of my favorite things about old movies is to pay attention to the decor. (Shocking isn’t it?) Not long ago we watched North By Northwest and I decided to share some photos with you of the Vandamm house because I thought it was just too cool. And with a few tweaks, it could still be incredibly chic today… 

I just love a modern cantilever structure…especially when it juts out over a great view. Can’t you imagine an infinity pool, maybe on the other side, overlooking the river and mountains? And with decks for days, this place is begging for parties, romantic cozying up under the stars, and breakfast, coffee, (and a cigarette then, I’m sure) in the morning…   image


I am absolutely crazy about the stack-stone. It’s a natural material that will never go out of style in my opinion. Other notable features- the metal sunburst on the fireplace and that gorgeous lamp, which probably could be made fairly easily with a lamp kit, vintage shade and parts of a newel post (at the end of a staircase). To update this, I might change the lamp shade to a black one and get rid of the picnic blanket-looking drapery and just do the grey. (And I’d probably toss that “thing” on the table…is it some sort of gnome-goat? It’s a little creepy.)  image

Now this is a love-hate shot for me…


  • you have to adore the walls of windows
  • the carpet is pretty fabulous
  • the ottomans are great for extra seating
  • the flokati flung over the chair is something I’m seeing a lot of these days (a great additional to change up the look and feel of a chair- especially in the cold, cold winter)
  • the little poker table and stools


  • the weird, sparse furniture layout- it’s a little awkward looking…it looks a bit like some cool cat just got a big new house and brought his groovy furniture from his studio bachelor pad in and just stuck it places…the arrangement doesn’t seem to have a clear point/purpose
  • too many little furs- love the flokati on the chair, but with the two by the window, it’s a bit much…the room dwarfs them in scale


I love the ethnic patterns, colors, and texture in here with the carpet, the flokati, the little tray table next to it, and these great little woven chairs with the cushions…image

The sofa is pretty sexy with the grey tweed on the long single cushions. A nice, clean, modern contrast to the natural woven chairs and the stone. Great lamps, too! I like the dash of shiny metallic and that near life-size oriental statue turned lamp. I will say the staircase is nice, but it reminds me of the one in the Brady Bunch house. Just that era, I suppose…  image

Another great lamp and I’m really diggin’ the dramatic stone carried all the way up and against the creamy wall color. Nice that it’s open here to the downstairs and has access to all those windows…image

Great black leather dining chairs paired with the wooden table. I would change out that metal piece since the room already has the bronze sunburst and definitely do a different centerpiece. I think a mix of just bright green floral would look nice, bringing the greens from outside on in through the room and adding another natural color. But that’s just me.  And of course it wouldn’t be a good 1959 movie without a couple of martinis…yes, please…over here…no, you’re walking the wrong way, lady! image


  1. Hello! I forgot how I stumbled into your blog :)Though I'm really happy that I was able to find someone who likes looking at the sets of old movies. Robert Doyle's work here kinda reflects Frank Lloyd Wright's taste :)

  2. Hi Mars. Welcome aboard! I love old movies, but it's a bit difficult to find the photos I'm looking for...This is the first post on movies sets, but I will be doing many more- once a month. If you have any suggestions or requests I'd be happy to feature any of your favorite films that I can find photos of! And you're right...Robert Boyle's work IS sort of reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright. I visited the Robie house in Chicago not long ago. It was a real treat. I love his work.

  3. Hi there Alicia,
    Thank you for leaving such a great comment and also for visiting akmagnoliahouse. I am glad you did because now I have found your blog! It is fabulous!
    I must say, wouldn't it be great fun to be a set designer. I mean, multiply projects, likely great budgets...oh the list goes on. Happy weekend!

  4. In my comment above, I meant to say found your blog again! For some reason I had you missing on my favorite's list of blogs...weird. Anyway, your back!

  5. Great! Thanks for making me one of your favorites! I LOVE set design...I think it would be a killer job. Talk about your publicity... one job and thousands and thousands of people see it and will continue to see it for years to come. How cool is that? By the way, you've got a great blog. Tracery Interiors does some fantastic work (I've noticed you've featured them a few times recently.) I live in Birmingham and they have a new shop here. I've seen their work in person at a Showhouse I helped do a room in, and I must say, they do incredible work. I was very impressed with the room they did, it caught my eye and has stood out in my mind since I first saw it. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back soon!

  6. Now I want to rent the movie. I tend to get distracted watching movies with beautiful interiors anyway. This one looks like a movie I'd have to watch twice, once for the story and once for design inspiration.

  7. What a fun post! I love these stills from the movie and how you analyzed the decor! I would do the same thing! I think you may have introduced me to a new hobby :) You are so right that these rooms would still be considered awesome with some minor tweeks. Hope you share some more soon!
    Have a great day!

  8. Yeah, Karen, I find myself getting lost in movies and t.v. shows constantly because I'm like, "Ooh! Look at that painting on his wall! Oh my GOD I love that!" or "Oh my God, that is the most gorgeous chair in her office. I wonder who makes it..." and then I realize that so and so apparently kissed and now they're acting all weird around each other and trying to keep it from all their co-workers and I apparently missed the whole damn thing because I was off in la-la land.

  9. Thanks Kelle! Glad you stopped by. I think I may throw in some t.v. show sets as well. I would sooo love to do set design. One of my favorite shows to pay attention to the background in is House. I'll be featuring it soon, possibly this month. Have a great weekend!