New Orleans is Hollywood South, with movies and TV shows being filmed here on a daily basis.
Earlier this year a movie called Earthbound starring Kate Hudson was filmed close by.
The Set Designer Helen Britten shopped the enitre city of New Orleans, including the store I work at, perch. We got to know each other while working together for a few weeks.
I found some photos of one of Kate Hudson's homes. I don't know if she lives there anymore, because movie stars seem to buy houses in multiples, and sell them off as they move on.
But I wanted to show the style of Kate's home, a sort of luxe bohemian hippie pad.
In fact her personal style seems rooted in a lovely retro bohemian arty mix.
I often wonder about art imitating life, and vice versa.
In the movie Earthbound Kate plays a single woman, with a good job and an interesting life. She lives in New Orleans and her personal style is quirky, upbeat, and bohemian.
Helen Britten the Set Designer for Earthbound made some dynamic and interesting choices for the set that is the home of Kate Hudson's character. Stuart Wurtzel is the Production Designer.
The pecking order goes like this: Director (Nicole Kassel) tells Production Designer Stuart what she has in mind. He designs it, and hands it off to Set Designer Helen to make it real.
Helen shopped all over New Orleans, from the boutiques in the French Quarter to the shops on Magazine Street. She also shopped consignment shops, and big box furniture stores, and discount stores.
The set is very upbeat and bright, much like the character who inhabits it.
At first I thought nobody lives like this in New Orleans, but then as I really studied Helen's choices, and the homes of my New Orleans friends Sabina, Nick, Robin, Mitchell and Thomas, and Brian and Emily, came to mind.
Their New Orleans homes reflect artistic bohemian personalities, filled with lots of cool stuff to look at, lots of color, lots of art, some kitsch, all done up with humor and sophistication.
Helen and Stuart allowed me do something astonishing.
Ikat pillows on vintage couch are from perch. New Orleans
Helen had the couch from Neophobia recovered in the leopard print
Helen had the couch from Neophobia recovered in the leopard print
On the night before Kate Hudson and the other actors took possesion of the set, they allowed me to come in a take photos!
Maybe it's not a Nancy Meyers movie set, but still I cannot tell you how exciting it was to get a sneak peak that was truly exclusive to civilians.
I took a ton of detail shots, because the genius of the set design is truly in the details. Just look at each photo and see if you can see how the personality of the character is revealed. I certainly can!
The set was in an old house in the Lower Garden District, on an out of the way street. Unless you stumbled upon it, you would not know a huge Hollywood movie was being filmed there.
The house was under renovation and the movie crew turned the floor plan all around to suit camera angles. The house is at least 150 years old, a huge raised "cottage" that might be a center hall house. It was hard to tell with all the temporary walls built by the crew.
The color is what hit me in the face! Every hue of citrus seemed to be in use. Lime green, vibrant orange, aqua, pale lavender, dashes of red - it was amazing.
The furnishings looked mostly vintage. I recognized stuff from the haute vintage emporium Neophobia. I saw things from the art studio of Dr. Bob. There was alot of local art being used. The pink bull head is from perch.!
The older stereo system and LPs tell us that the character is low tech and old enough to remember using these things, or uber hip and young eschewing the iPod docking station.
I also spied a rug and chair from Anthropologie, and Helen showed me things she found in TJ Maxx.
The subject matter in the large photo looks like the strip clubs on Bourbon Street. It's kind of glam and naughty.
Of course I saw all the things Helen got from perch. It was as if she created the lifetime of a girl who loved shopping with the results coming together over years instead of weeks.
The effect was decidedly feminine. It did not look like a man lived here.
Though there were many playful elements, it did not look like children lived here either.
There were so many nice pieces, though this created home is not a rich girl pad by any means. I imagined the good things with a pedigree were probably purchased by the character before they had any value.
It was fascinating to see what books were on the shelves, and what food was in the cupboards. It was also amusing to see how many of the objects I had in my own house!
A couple of crew people were taking clothes out of several garbage bags. The clothes were purchased at the thrift store, and they were being hung in the closet and put in drawers as filler.
The office was filled with all kinds of old fashion office supplies, boxes and notebooks, and pens and pencils. There was a printer, but no computer.
It was all messy with a lived in look. I felt like a voyeur peeping into private spaces.
I tried to imagine organizing all this stuff, and the hours it took to unpack it and arrange it, not to mention all the shopping and hunting and gathering.
Actors love to have props to play with, and this set has so many!
The kitchen was placed in a part of the house where a kitchen did not exist. All the cabinets, counters, and appliances were brought in for this make believe kitchen.
Every cupboard, counter top, and cabinet was filled with stuff.
I started to look around and see what all of these things could tell me about the character, like the French wine bottle holder saying she likes to drink, and the chicken feet painting telling me she has a sense of humor.
Everything had a folk art quality to it, a one-of-a-kind feeling.
All the cooking tools said this is a woman who likes food, and one who can cook.
The industrial counter and stools says she is resourceful.
The inside of the cupboards are painted, which says she's visual and likes detail.
There is alot of New Orleans specific art, which says she loves her city.
Refrigerator magnets say she is one of us!
The king cake boxes on top of the refrigerator are an excellent detail, that would place a date, a time frame for when the story unfolds.
The elephant tray comes from perch.!
The cans of dog food tell us there is a pet in the house.
The big foot sculpture is another nod to the sense of humor of the character. And I spy some altar candles here and there, something many New Orleans homes have.
More wine on the counter! And books. This girl loves to read!
And I love the cocktail napkins (I may have even gotten some of these as a gift from Sabina!).
Unmatched glassware says alot about the character, don't you think?
This bit of New Orleans art and humor will not be lost on locals.
The crowning element in the kitchen is a swing!!!! It's done by uber artist Dr. Bob, with his iconic "Be Nice Or Leave" painted on it.
It's kind of the bridge to the open floor plan that leads to the living room.
There's a dining area that was still being set up when I was there.
The lotus light fixture is a vintage treasure from Neophobia.
The bedroom is as quirky as all the other spaces, a kind of baroque hippie romantic space. The hand painted mural behind the bed is very fairies and white witchy.
The iron fence bed and patchwork quilt is very gyspy-hippie-boho.
The antique Tibetan fragment is from perch.
The vanity has so many clues about who lives here. The lint roller says pet owner. Using it as a place for bracelets, says girly girl. And the sheer number of cosmetics gathered is mind boggling attention to detail.
The pillow door stop gives a hint to the breed of the dog who lives in the house.
And the portrait of the dog in the dressing area tells you for sure it's a bulldog.
More things on the vanity tell us more about our character: incense, retro sunglasses, inlaid imported boxes, bangles, dangling earrings - looks like a hippie chick vibe.
Perfume and a little Buddha - she's spiritual and romantic.
The mannequin draped in scarves and jewelry is another girly touch.
More beads and scarves - this girl loves to collect things.
The bright aqua bathroom with vintage fittings says she is old fashion. And I love the cypress board wainscott.
Look at this box on top of a vintage wicker hamper, and the hex tile floor.
This green lady is pretty funny (as is The Thinker on the toilet tank). You know the character has a wicked sense of humor.
The stained glass window in the bathroom is pretty arty.
It was night when I went to take these pictures, so I couldn't see the outside of the house very well. It was all draped in black, very mysterious looking.
No one lives in the house. It belongs to a guy who flips houses.
If you want to read more about the movie Earthbound go HERE.
It's being a called a love story and a love letter to New Orleans.
I hope you enjoyed this Visual Vamp exclusive.
It was so magical for me to be behind the scenes with all the wonderful creative people who let me poke around, and to imagine Kate Hudson or Whoopi Goldberg or Kathy Bates coming on the set the next day.