In a Film, a Home I Love

In a Film, a Home I Love

Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures via .

Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures via

I just watched the film Take This Waltz, directed by Sarah Polley, and I found myself at times distracted by the home the characters lived in. That is, instead of reading their faces for emotion in a very emotional film, I was thinking "Wow, I love that kitchen... the blue used in the bedroom... teal or turqoise?" 

I am not the only one drawn to find the story behind the interiors

It was a perfect example of a home that looks as if it evolved out of creative endeavors and a love for color and art and most importantly, it appeared to have been a space  that can only have evolved out of good living. I have come to believe that this look is one that cannot be bought or stylized. 

Except for the fact that, apparently, it was stylized. But never mind that, for a moment.


To some in the minimalist camp, this home may seem cluttered. I will concede that, but would argue that clutter is relative to a degree. To create, you need things, materials, objects that trigger generative processes. I read the Italian writer Italo Calvino when I'm stuck. Invisible Cities never fails to dislodge the minor block. It's good medicine. So I will never decide it is clutter. I'm sure plenty of folks feel the same about many objects in their home.

If you have a love, as in cooking, you want to be surrounded with the tools and even the ephemera of that love. How much you have is in direct relation to your wish to express that love. I assume the same must be for art, whether you collect it or make it. I was that way with books until I realized I had too many and then I whittled down my collection to a manageable amount for a gal who has moved 31 times. I don't read any less, I just know I can borrow it at the library and return it when I am done.

In the film, the kitchen is stocked, the dining room walls brimming with picture frames, the windows are flooded with light. The furniture is refreshingly NOT recognizable as IKEA. Nothing against IKEA, of course, but I see it enough in my own house and my friend's homes as well.

Most importantly, I am trying to get at a name for this look, this lived in, thoroughly unique look. It is a look I don't see enough of in the interior design world.

Finally, film critic Emmanuel Levy wrote a comment on the interiors of Take This Waltz,

As envisioned by Polley, the hero house in Toronto’s Little Portugal (which is the scripted neighborhood) is a fine example of real estate as biography, embodying the spirit of Queen West: a liberal, independent middle class couple would have bought the place when the market took a momentary downturn and then began extensive renovations which dragged on.

The phrase "real estate as biography" gave me pause. This is perhaps one element behind the magic of a home like this and the real ones like it in the world.

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