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Embracing an eccentric aesthetic: Accidentally Wes Anderson

There’s so much to love about the Anderson oeuvre, but we’re drilling down into the design details and interiors of his films.

21. 12. 23

When you’re watching a Wes Anderson film, you know you’re watching a Wes Anderson film.

There’s an unmistakeable Anderson aesthetic that touches everything from script and set design through to costume, dialogue and soundtrack, and has now crept into real life, with hotel, bar and restaurant design inspired by the trend.

It’s safe to bet that you've also seen the Instagram account (along with 1.8 million others) and hashtag, and have no doubt consciously clocked a real-life venue or setting as being 'Accidentally Wes Anderson' - pastel-coloured or sun-bleached, perfectly symmetrical scenes that look straight out of the indie director's films.

Accidentally Wes Anderson: Gran Teatro de Manzanares, Spain. (Photo courtesy of AWA: The Exhibition).

Accidentally Wes Anderson: Kaeson Station, North Korea (Dave Kulesza).

The much-loved project began in 2017 when Wally and Amanda Koval launched the Instagram account @accidentallywesanderson and today includes a bestselling book and now an exhibition, which landed in London this December. Head to Old Brompton Road to enjoy over 200 Anderson-esque scenes from around the world, designed to give a dose of delight and inspire a sense of adventure and curiosity.

There’s so much to love about the Anderson oeuvre, but we’re drilling down into the design details and interiors of his films to identify the essential elements of Wes Anderson’s signature style.

A true renaissance man and polymath, Anderson has even tried his hand at interior design, working on Bar Luce at the OMA-designed Fondazione Prada in Milan. Drawing on the atmosphere of Milanese cafés from the 1950s and 1960s, it features a fabulous pink terrazzo floor, a vaulted ceiling covered in patterned wallpaper and fixed Formica seating upholstered in gelato pink and pistachio green.

Bar Luce, Milan.

Nostalgic pastel shades are also found in this salmon-hued café in Melbourne - designed by local studio Biasol to reference Anderson's 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel, specifically its symmetrical compositions and whimsical colour palette.

The simple cane chairs are a classic, painted in ballerina slipper pink, they sit perfectly alongside the terracotta banquette seating. Our Tribeca Side Chair wouldn't look at all out of place. 

The Budapest Cafe, Melbourne.

Tribeca Side Chair.

There are always vintage vibes in an Anderson interior, with mid-century style a core element, often featuring statement seating in pairs or groups, teak or walnut wood veneers and upholstery in tonal or clashing shades.

The colour palette and combinations vary from film to film, with The Royal Tenenbaums featuring mainly muted browns, yellows and reds while The Grand Budapest Hotel has a palette of bright, highly saturated colours that changes for each era across time periods. The colours used feed into the overall look and feel of each movie, giving a distinctive aesthetic that reflects the mood and themes.

Seeing red: Hotel Sacher, Vienna (Paul Bauer).

We've taken a spin through our collection to find a few pieces that might make the cut in a future film - all with a touch of vintage style that works perfectly in a contemporary interior.

The Lap Sofa has real retro appeal - the pared-back design includes a simple cushioned seat, arms and back, encased in a sleek metal frame. We love the combination of the brass metal legs and frame with upholstery in a rust coloured Kvadrat fabric - this sofa could slip seamlessly into an Anderson scene.

Lap Sofa.

The London Low Coffee Table also features a metal frame and legs - paired with a light walnut wood veneer for a nod to mid-century style. Set matching armchairs either side to tick the symmetry box and you’re hitting another key part of the Anderson aesthetic.

London Low Coffee Table.

The Fox collection is a great choice for a compact commercial space - again combining wood with brass metal detailing, the mustard fabric upholstery says 1960s and we can picture the icon Margot Tenenbaum sitting on this sofa in style.

Fox Two Seater Sofa.

The choices we’ve made so far have been pared back and streamlined, but there’s always space for a statement piece in an Anderson-inspired interior. The Pipo Lounge Chair is oversized and voluminous, with a distinctive silhouette that works perfectly in hotel lobbies, lounges or bedrooms.

Pipo Lounge Chair.

Our Tuilli High Back Lounge Chair has a generous, curved shape that creates an inviting seat for a hotel lounge, lobby or bar. There’s a retro feel to this design, and we love it upholstered in two different shades of pink - vintage rose and mid-century candy pink work well together and are reminiscent of the palette used by Wes Anderson in The Grand Budapest Hotel design.

The Byron collection is a contrast, with clean geometric lines. This Lounge Chair is upholstered in powder pink velvet to create a classic sleek piece with a touch of softness and elegance. A quilted back cushion and brushed metal legs give a contemporary look that sits comfortably in a hotel lobby, bedroom or bar area and can be upholstered in almost any fabric, leather, or faux leather to suit.

Tuilli High Back Lounge Chair.

Byron Lounge Chair.

There’s inspiration everywhere in Wes Anderson’s films, and in the Accidentally Wes Anderson sub-genre - whether it’s hotels and restaurants, Buckingham Palace or a restored Edinburgh swimming baths, there’s an offbeat appeal to this trend with plenty of choices for sofas, armchairs, lounge chairs and tables to suit.

To keep up to date with our latest collection and new additions to our contract furniture range, join our mailing list and look out for our regular email newsletters, or follow us on Instagram.

Main image by Joe Byrnes on Unsplash.

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