Those behind the set design of the new film adaptation of the classic novel, Emma have revealed how they came up with their ideas.
Production designer Kave Quinn and set decorator Stella Fox had the task of creating the authentic look of a Georgian country house in the early 19th century for the movie.
Most people think that the colours used in the Georgian period were muted, but this was not the case. For example, ceramics from the period featured vibrant colours. The designers made each room in the film’s Harfield House brighter than the next with a distinct colour in different gradients.
Colourful fabrics were sourced from Europe with lots of Italian silk and hand-embroidered items. Flowers were used to further brighten rooms. Fox said:
“We took a lot of references from original Robert Adam buildings. They are just very courageous with their drapery choices and their furniture upholstery.”
Two Chippendale cabinets, owned by the owners of Firle Place, the real house, were featured in the film. After filming, most of the colourful items were removed as the owners did not want to retain the bright look, but they kept some of the less vibrant items to liven their home.
If you want to re-create the look of Emma’s home, visit a Lancashire antique dealer to find Georgian antique cabinets, dining tables, desks and other furniture. Add vibrant coloured curtains, rugs and other textiles in gradients of the same colour. You may not want the vibrant pinks of the film, but a few brightly coloured items can enhance the look of a room.
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