Set Design: The Great Gatsby & Anna Karenina

Set designers are becoming more influential in the world of home decor, offering inspiration and nostalgia on the big screen and on television.

A perfect example is the huge influence Mad Men has had on fashion and furnishings. Set decorators Amy Wells and Claudette Didul paid attention to the smallest details to recreate the homes and clothing of the 1960s, sparking a mid-century-modern trend that is still going strong.

I predict that two films coming up later this year will have a similar impact on home decor: The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina. Gatsby has already inspired a collection by Ralph Lauren that picks up on design details from the 1920s. And look for the Jazz Age to make its mark in home fashions this fall.

Banana Republic, a retailer that had a very successful run with a Mad Men line, is debuting a new collection inspired by the 19th century Russian set and costumes for Anna Karenina, a movie that will be in theaters in November. Look for plenty of velvet, pearls, and faux fur.

Will that also spark a trend for dramatic and romantic furniture designs? We’ve already seen an increase in velvet upholstery and deep jewel-toned colors.

If you’re looking for inspiration from the 1960s, the 1920s, or the 1800s, the Bienenstock Furniture Library is the perfect place to start. Browse a book about the designs and details in Russia’s Winter Palace or flip through a book of Art Deco motifs. The Library has the world’s largest collection of books and publications on the history and design of furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes and construction.

Start your search online here:

One of the Mad Men sets, designed by Claudine Didul. Photo from

One of the Mad Men sets, designed by Claudine Didul. Photo from

About the Author

Cheminne Taylor-Smith

Cheminne Taylor-Smith

Tobi Fairley & Associates

Cheminne Taylor-Smith is Senior VP of Brand Marketing for Tobi Fairley & Associates, a full-service design and consulting firm. She has held posts in the home industry in retail, manufacturing, media, and most recently as VP of Marketing for the High Point Market Authority. Her full-spectrum experience in home décor, combined with the talented branding and interiors team at Tobi Fairley & Associates, bring a fresh perspective to promotion and marketing. She has a proven track record in marketing and public relations, including at Elle Décor, where she worked as part of the team that took the publication to the top rung in the shelter category. Margaret Russell, now editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, calls her a ‘creative visionary’ in home décor marketing. She also has strong ties to media, including print, online, blogger, and broadcast, which allow her to achieve strong media coverage for her clients.