16th Aug2011

Inspiration from The Help

by Dinah Wulf
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Inspiration from The Help

So I recently finished reading the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.   It was a great read and I definitely recommend it.  It was one of those books that you can’t put down and are saddened when you finish it because you want it to keep going.  You instantly fall in love with the characters, both protagonists and antagonists. I love it when I find design inspiration from reading books.

The book The Help is now a film currently in movie theaters starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Allison Janney.   It takes place in the South in Jackson Mississippi in the early 1960’s and explores the daily lives and conflicts of gossip loving, bridge playing homemakers and their African American maids. This was a controversial time of racial hierarchy during the Civil Rights movement where Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks helped change history.

I’m interested to see how the book is depicted in film.  When reading books (at least for me), your imagination allows you to escape back in time and visualize each scene. The interior design at this time and place consisted of horizontal lines, heavy drapery, canopy beds, wood paneling, and floral and Asian inspired prints. Checked patterned floors and wallpapered walls in kitchens were popular in the 1960’s as well.

The pictures above are stills from the movie.  Here is some other inspiration from House Beautiful.  These are rooms that were featured in issues during the early 1960’s that are similar to what I pictured while reading The

This is a versatile kitchen featured in the February 1962 issue of House Beautiful.

This is a wood paneled living room featured in the October 1962 issue.

This is a wallpapered bedroom with a canopy bed featured in the November 1962 issue.

Pictured below is a living room featured in the October 1961 issue.

Exploring interior design from the past reminds me of what I love about design and provides new inspiration for me today.


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Dinah Wulf
Dinah is a craft, home décor, & DIY Blogger for www.diyinspired.com, a creative blog promoting repurposing through reinvention. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California State University Fullerton. Formerly an educator at CSUF and business owner, she now is a full time writer, Curator for Style Me Pretty Living, Real Simple Lifestyler, and a member of Martha’s Circle. She has blogged for multiple websites including Angie's List, Fix.com, Home Made Simple, and Sprout Online and has been published in a few magazines and ebooks. Her website, DIY Inspired has been recognized by Mashable, Parenting.com, and Buzzfeed.
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