Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interior Design Inspiration From Eat, Pray, Love

Before the movie hits our shores, let's get load of the breathtaking scenes (and we're not talking about Javier Bardem).

Article taken off

Around the World with "Eat Pray Love"

Romantic rooms, exotic destinations, and global style make this must-see film a feast for the eyes

Written by Leah Konen

"I want to go someplace where I can marvel," says Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, the new movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir. In the wake of a divorce, Roberts’s character, Liz, sets out on a high-carb, peace-seeking, and ultimately romantic journey across the globe. Liz gets her wish: She marvels at the world around her, and so do we.

Eat Pray Love was shot on location in four countries, with palettes inspired by earth, air, fire, and water. "We scouted Bali first," says production designer Bill Groom. "It became clear that you’d never get away from the sense of water." After that, the other settings came vividly to life: a bohemian New York filled with an earthy sense of style; an Italy of open windows and curtains billowing in the breeze; and an India rich in smoldering reds and oranges.

Teams of local artists, designers, and set decorators worked in each country. The resulting sets are sensational spaces that reflect local culture and style, taking viewers on a breathtaking global trip without ever leaving the movie theater.

Set in New York’s East Village neighborhood, the apartment of David (James Franco), the “yogi from Yonkers” who Liz dates shortly after ending her marriage, is earthy brick-red. With its matchstick shades, distressed pine floors, and a smattering of curiosities, many from an Indian antiques dealer on the Lower East Side, the studio contrasts with the straitlaced home Liz shared with her husband.

The Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most famous and beautiful squares, is the perfect spot to savor gelato. The gray-blue doors and gates of the Sant’Agnese in Agone cathedral reflect the film’s elemental color scheme. “In Rome, we were taken by the light and air,” says production designer Bill Groom. “Liz takes a breath in Rome. She eats. She tries to reorder her life in some way.”

Liz’s apartment in the heart of Rome has 20-foot-high ceilings, a cream palette, and oversize windows that draw in the light of the city. The ornate chandelier was original to the space, as was the scaffolding, which was even written into the script. It holds the ceiling up, Liz’s landlady quips.

While studying at an ashram in India, Liz befriends Tulsi (Rushita Singh), a 17-year-old girl struggling with her impending arranged marriage. The two friends share a quiet moment in Tulsi’s family home. The production design for elements of fire includes floral garlands, beaded curtains, and a red-striped floor covering made of printed jute.

“Weddings in India are something else,” production designer Bill Groom says. “The entire village turns out.” Hand-strung floral garlands made of marigolds, gerbera daisies, baby roses, jasmine, wildflowers, and herbs add festive, authentic flair. They also attracted crowds during the shoot. “We had local residents showing up for the wedding feast not realizing that it was a film set.

Liz finishes her journey by studying and meditating at the Bali compound of healer and medicine man Ketut Liyer, whose actual home in Bali was used during the filming. Traditional metallic fabrics, available in the local markets, adorn the space.

Located in the rice fields on the outskirts of Ubud, Liz’s breezy Bali retreat is centered upon an antique iron bed from East Java, draped in mosquito netting and Balinese batik. It’s an ideal environment for a budding romance.