Ever since I was a little kid, I've been obsessed with set design. One of my earliest memories is being fucking psyched that I found a hubcap on the side of the road when I was walking home, because I could start emulating my dream bedroom: that of Clarissa Darling.
Looking it back, it cracks me up that I lusted after a bedroom with beige carpet and a cheap basic comforter, but looking back, it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. It would also set the stage for me really loving homes full of knicknacks, creativity, and a little bit of chaos and clutter.
I readily admit that I have the taste of a 65 year old woman, but when it comes to homes in movies, I love different things than what I love in magazines or design sites. On design sites, I want clean lines, beautiful woods, stunning textiles, unique art. When it comes to homes that actually look like a home to me, I love mismatched furniture that looks like its been accumulated over 30 years, kitchens with pictures on the fridge, vintage fabrics and overstuffed sofas. I don't have a childhood home, so I am obsessed with cozy family homes on TV. I just want to spend Christmas in all of them or go over there when I'm sick or something.
Today, we're going into my current favorite house: Zeek and Camille Braverman's Berkeley, California home on NBC's Parenthood.
This is one of my all-time favorite fictional houses. All of the colors are muted but warm, it's full of great old house details and weathered woods. I know it would be a "Before" in an Apartment Therapy kitchen makeover, but god I'm so obsessed. (When Violet and Stefan bought their Berkeley fixer-upper, the first thing that needed to go were the muddy green cabinets and dated wooden backsplash. "We want to get rid of all the clutter and sterilize the space until its void of all personality", says Violet. "We would love to bring in stainless steel appliances and something unique for the backsplash, like subway tile.") The mismatched stools look like one broke so they bought the closest they could find. The weird shit on the counter looks like gifts and memories accumulated over the course of raising four children. It just looks like the kind of place that would feel like home.
Even if old woods and dark colors are not your style, the takeaway I get from this house is that every single room is designed to facilitate conversation. The kitchen island has stools facing the cook, there are several dining areas, the living spaces have chairs that face each other and not a television set.
More rich textures and weathered woods, along with floor to ceiling books. The only thing is, who told them that track lighting in the hallway was okay? It's such a weird detail that does not match their aesthetic at all. Also, the more I see big leather couches, the more I want one. It's a total departure from the clean lines of my grey MCM sofa, and I know my ass would stick to it in the summertime, but I love the masculine and comfy look of chunky, overstuffed, worn leather.
More mismatched, but coordinated textiles. Of all the houses on Parenthood, I love Camille and Zeek's choices of art the most. There are so many pictures of their kids, but they also have art that suits their characters and looks carefully selected. Kristina and Adam predictably have a lot of mass produced art from Target and Pottery Barn, where Julia and Joel have some nice pieces but they also look like they are either from Ikea or someone told them to buy them. Camille and Zeek have very personal details around their house that their children often lack, though I feel like Amber would have some good art.
Let's be real though, everyone is in it for the backyard. The perfect string lights, the table long enough to seat 20. The year-round outdoor family dining. Bravermans, if you are looking to adopt a bright and shiny-new 27 year old, you know where to find me.
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