Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

June 28, 2011

After years of devouring classic movies, I developed an obsession with decorating my own living space with the same attention to detail that I saw in films: the glamorous safari trappings in Out of Africa, the English countryside appeal of Howards End. In 2009, I started a column called “Living In” on the blog Design*Sponge that distills the aesthetics of stylish movies down to a few key elements. To find pieces, I keep a notepad handy while watching my favorite scenes, then scour Ebay,, boutique websites, and big box stores for similar items. With summer in full swing, there's no movie that makes me want to dress up my place and host an indoor-outdoor cocktail party more than The Graduate, in which every scene is a primer on 1960s-style entertaining. Chic barware, lush plants, and modern furniture nearly stole the show from Mrs. Robinson as she seduced the boy next door. Here's how I re-created the look.

Garden Design - Mrs. Robinson

1. Since cocktails are so important to the era, I started with this slick Trombone Cocktail Shaker to mix martinis ($75;

2. For a sweeping backdrop, Architectural Pottery's 5-foot-long Peanut Planter adds cinematic drama to the garden ($1,695;

3. People will gather at the stylish rail of Modern Line's VIP Bar Table ($599;

4. The modern Donnabella Cube Table pulls double-duty as party seating in a pinch ($575;

5. Glassware with an interesting finish, like these vintage gold-leaf tumblers, can elevate a drink ($38 for six;, for these and others).

This article was first published in Garden Design July/August 2011