I realized it’s been a while since I’ve put together an inspiration board—whoops! For a while, I guess I just felt sort of uninspired. Our little condo was more or less “finished” (at least, I’d momentarily run out of rooms to mess with) and while I saw plenty of beautiful spaces on Apartment Therapy/design*sponge/etc., I didn’t feel like I had much to add to the conversation. Last weekend, though, I found myself at a showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel. In the past, I haven’t been Wes Anderson’s biggest fan, though I’ve always enjoyed his art direction and attention to detail. This one, though, was different—I fell head over heels for the world he’d created and everything in it. I wanted to live there. I wanted a stamp in my passport from (sadly fictional) Zubrowka. I wanted to eat Mendl’s courtesan au chocolat (which, fortunately, you can!). And suddenly, I was inspired again. If I couldn’t live there, maybe I could just design a living space inspired by the film.


This room is a little more “whimsical” than my usual taste, but I think if you’re going to live in a Wes Anderson movie, it has to be, right? You could easily substitute other colors and patterns if these aren’t to your taste—the important thing is the fearless, more-is-more mixing of styles and fun, unconventional colors. Also important is an overarching symmetry; Anderson meticulously arranges his shots to be as symmetrical as possible, for a dramatic, slightly-surreal look. So, without further ado, let’s take a look:

budapestroom1. Pink is so overwhelmingly featured in this movie—from the stunning ombré exterior of the Grand Budapest to the ever-present Mendl’s pastry boxes—I felt it had to be the base for the room. This paint is Benjamin Moore’s Ribbon Pink.

2. Rather than filling the nightstands with lamps, I went with brass wall sconces—matching for symmetry, of course. This sconce, from And George, looked industrial but still luxurious, just right for the old-world charm of the Grand Budapest.

3. An intriguing portrait brings to mind the film’s battle over Boy With Apple and gives a focal point to the room. For maximum impact, hang it in an oversized, elaborate gilded frame. This print, by Replaceface, features one of Anderson’s favorites (Bill Murray) in an appropriately anachronistic setting. Not feeling Bill? Try Dave Grohl, Robert Downey Jr., or Alan Rickman, among dozens of others.

4. A vintage brass bedframe in an Art Deco/chinoiserie style lends luxury to the bed without being overly feminine. Try your local thrift shops, or snag this one from Etsy.

5. With so much going on in the room, the bedding itself should be serene, unfussy, and reminiscent of a luxurious hotel. This seven-piece set is by Duck River Textiles, but really any hotel-style white bedding would work here. For a subtle nod to the colors of the film, swap out the boring white sheets for classic blue ticking, like this set from Serena & Lily.

6. That being said, no grand old hotel would be complete without piles of pillows. Keeping symmetry in mind, I chose two matching square pillows (these, from West Elm), one long velvet bolster (from Etsy), and one charming tasseled linen rectangle (from Anthropologie). The square and rectangle pillows bring to mind the colors and shapes of Mendl’s pâtisserie, while the velvety purple bolster gives a nod to the classic uniforms of the Grand Budapest’s staff.

7. A classic bench, upholstered in deep blue velvet, gives depth to the bed and offers a convenient spot to slip on your ski boots. This one is vintage but newly upholstered, and found on Etsy.

8. The Grand Budapest’s lobby is carpeted in a stately array of red, patterned rugs. A vintage one would work well here, but failing that, try this overdyed wool from Rugs USA.

9. A pair of lacquered red Hollywood Regency nightstands anchor the bed and reflect light. This pair was found on 1stdibs and is sold, sadly, but look there for your own, or DIY something similar from thrift store or IKEA finds.

10. To keep the room from being too static, you can break the symmetry when it comes to styling the nightstands. On this one, a pair of cheery yellow candlesticks and a vintage alarm clock keep things playful. I found the candlesticks here on Etsy, or you could easily spray-paint a thrift store pair (even mismatched!). The alarm clock is also an Etsy find.

11. On the other nightstand, a stack of Penguin Classics books with brightly patterned covers add color (and reading material). The vintage Foo dog (half of a pair, found here) is a regal touch that ties into the upholstered bench, and a plant in a vintage brass cachepot adds life to the room. I found this dish on Etsy, but they abound at thrift stores.

And that’s it! There’s a lot going on, color- and pattern-wise, but the symmetrical structure keeps things harmonious. What do you think? Could you live at the Grand Budapest? I’ve usually favored a more streamlined MCM look, but I’m feeling weirdly drawn to chinoiserie and Regency style lately! I’m feeling inspired to try some new DIY—I’ll let you know what I come up with…