How To Decorate Your Home Like The Movie The Notebook

The movie "The Notebook" is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. The story follows two young lovers, Allie (played by Rachel McAdams) a wealthy man's daughter, and Noah (played by Ryan Gosling) a blue-collar worker, as they fall in love in 1940s South Carolina. Despite the values of society and the views of their families, the duo enjoys a summer of love before life finds a way to intervene. As the film progresses through their many seasons of life, Noah focuses on restoring an old mansion to its former glory. Allie, all grown up, catches wind of the renovation and has to see it for herself. Any fan of the film knows the significance of the house and its beauty.

The film features classic southern-style homes with grand interior and exterior features. As you watch, you'll notice wrap-around porches, hand-carved furniture, wood floors, elegant light fixtures, and floral wallpaper as notable features. What if we said you could include one or all of these elements — in contemporary fashion — in your home today? Make a place your own, just like Noah, for your family and generations of others to enjoy. Whether you're in awe of the traditional home style or the love story, here are some ways you can inject southern charm and touches of "The Notebook" into your own home. 

Lounge on outdoor porch chairs

Some of the most pivotal scenes of the movie are shot in or outside of the house that Noah renovated. While presented as a fixer-upper in the film, Noah's house is actually a real plantation home located in Martins Point Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, according to Hooked on Houses. The house was originally constructed in 1875 and had seen quite a few renovations over the years, including the removal of a second-story porch, pillar replacements, and other interior and exterior updates. In "The Notebook," Noah and Allie visit the plantation property in its years of disrepair. It's then that Noah makes a vow to restore it one day. He kept his promise of making the home his own — chairs and all.

If you have a front porch or open entryway and really want to capture a scene right out of the movie itself, consider adding a pair or more of Adirondack chairs for lounging. Just like in the picture above of Noah and Allie seated in white outdoor chairs, you too could set the porch for comfort and conversation. Consider investing in quality wooden or composite outdoor chairs that are also foldable for easy storage. You can certainly keep the color choice classic with a white finish or alternatively paint them any shades to match the exterior of your place. Whether painted or stained, add a bit of charm to the front of your residence with the perfect pair of chairs.

Maintain the wood floors

When it came time to design the home of his dreams, Noah worked really hard to make what he needed for the home with his own two hands. As you glance around the restored plantation house showcased in the film, you may quickly notice one material in abundance — wood. Throughout the upstairs and downstairs of the remodeled home, there are exquisite wood floors and furniture as seen in the image above. As a natural and renewable material, wood planks are known for their durability and classic home feel. 

Due to the warmth, coziness, and timeless appeal, wood floor planks can make any house a home. With so many layout options, the best way to begin choosing a flooring design is based on your preferences. Opt to keep it traditional as Noah did in the remodel or choose a contemporary design. "My go-to at the moment is herringbone-pattern wood floors — I love a nod to the past, and they give you just that," Travis London, an interior designer based out of Miami, told Architectural Digest. Now you can certainly lay wood flooring yourself or outsource the home project to professionals. If you're like Noah and you plan on trying to install some wood flooring, The Home Depot suggests doing so using one of three installation methods: glue down, floating, or nail down. If you are looking to mimic the style of homes in "The Notebook" in your own place, definitely consider upgrading or refinishing the wood flooring for a decorative element that will last.

Cover the walls with floral wallpaper

As "The Notebook" progresses, you are able to catch glimpses of more than just the home Noah built. Consider the picture above of Allie on the phone in a hotel room. Take a moment and admire the wall decor specifically. The all-over, wall-to-ceiling, floral wallpaper is impossible to miss. Although not a part of the renovated home, the wall feature is attention-grabbing and an element to consider adding to your home for a film-worthy moment. Wallpaper can be added to any living area, bedroom, bathroom, hallway, or foyer in your residence as a way to make the space more visually interesting.  

Decorating your home to mimic the movie requires picking a wallpaper pattern. "I would start with the wallpaper and design around it, especially if it is very bold," Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors told My Domaine. Knowing the pattern allows you to accessorize with complementary tones and designs that don't compete with the intense pattern on the walls. Decorating with wallpaper can be super simple nowadays (compared to the era the film takes place in) seeing as we've come a long way from traditional glue-and-paste varieties. Now, there are peel-and-stick wallpaper styles in endless patterns that are an effortless alternative for adding a statement to your walls. Like a scene right out of the movie, add elegance and class to your humble abode with your choice of floral wallpaper.  

Decorate with wood furniture

If you're building something to last like Noah in "The Notebook" then you'll want items in your household that are durable and strong. Solid wood is one of those must-have materials for a proper southern home, and not just on the floors. In the film, Allie is stunned by the handcrafted furniture she stumbles upon. The barn house is stacked full of chairs, desks, and tables made from all sorts of wood. Recreate the look inside your walls by filling them with timeless solid wood furniture.

When shopping for wooden furniture, try your best to learn what type of wood you're looking for. Why? The reason is simple — some types of wood will last longer than others. Per Basset Furniture, there are several types of wood including hardwoods, softwoods, and manufactured woods that furniture can be made out of. In searching for furniture for your home try your best to find dressers, nightstands, and tables made from resilient hardwood species such as oak, walnut, maple, cherry, and mahogany. Softwood furnishings can be equally as impressive in a home, so don't completely count them out. Pieces made from pine or cedar, although softwoods, are budget-friendly and may do better outdoors. Curate the wood furniture in your house using a variety of species and mixing and matching wood tones for an authentic aesthetic that you and your family and friends can love and admire. 

Create your own extra tall headboard

If you want a bedroom like the one from "The Notebook," make a moment behind the mattress by creating a floor-to-ceiling headboard like in the scene above. Something so oversized instantly makes the bed a focal point. An extra tall headboard draws the eye upward, making the room feel larger, and does so on a budget. "Headboards are an inexpensive way of transforming a bedroom. They are essentially alternative forms of artwork," Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, told Livingetc. Look again if you must but since there is no competing artwork on the walls, the headboard does all the work for stimulating visual interest in the room.

Oversized custom wood headboards could be expensive. So rather than buy something brand new, opt to take a page out of Noah's book and create an extra tall headboard all by yourself. According to A Piece of Rainbow, with the right measurements, hardware, power tools, and pliable wood you can build an impressive headboard for any size bed. Just be sure to measure the current bed frame for the size bed you actually have so the proportions and dimensions are appropriate. You'll have a stunning DIY headboard inspired by "The Notebook" that you can show off in any bedroom of your house.

Hang sheer curtains over the windows

Decorating your space to look like it belongs on the set of "The Notebook ” is possible with a simple upgrade of a common household feature — the windows. Every house has them, the question is, are yours dressed? Add the on-screen element from Allie's art room to your home by swapping the window treatments around the house for ones that let more light in. Hanging sheer curtain panels around the windows can easily find its place in any interior preference. They instantly upgrade a room by allowing natural light to illuminate the space. 

Invite the outside in with sheer curtains in light textures that help make the space feel more open. These types of curtains aren't for those who need more privacy or the ones who want to block sunlight completely out. The whole idea of sheer, practically see-through, curtains is to let the natural light set the ambiance in the room. Sheer curtains introduce a sense of airiness. When choosing which ultra-fine curtains to add dimensional decor around the windows in your home, it comes down to the fabric selection. According to Nicole Draperies, sheer curtain panels can be made from silk, lace, cotton, linen, and polyester. These curtains, whether they touch the floor or hang just below the windowsill, can be the ultimate way to add a breezy feel and part of the movie into your home.

Go vintage when it comes to lighting

There are excellent light fixtures in "The Notebook." Updating the lamps around your home is a great way to include some of what you love about the movie in an affordable fashion. While big furniture items can run you up to thousands of dollars, lamps and shades can be found to fit any budget. There are so many styles of lights for you to choose from but one, in particular, captures the film perfectly. Antique lamps are a must-have item in a home inspired by the movie.

Antique light fixtures are ideal for adding a bit of the past to the present. Consider decorating the entryway tables, desks, or side tables in your home with a Stiffel lamp that mimics the fixture on Allie's father's desk. When sourcing lamps, focus on the base and use the design to relate all the fixtures in the room. Studio McGee suggests finding something that all the pieces have in common in order to achieve a balanced design. You can capture the era of "The Notebook" at home by illuminating your spaces with a cohesive variety of fixtures that nod to the time.

Make a good first impression with the staircase

Do you have an old, worn-out staircase in your home like Noah's? One way to decorate your place like a scene out of "The Notebook" is with a stunning staircase to welcome all who enter. When there are multiple levels in a home, the stairs are more than just a necessity. The flights of steps are like an open hallway that helps guide guests throughout the rest of the house, transporting them to other areas. Due to frequent use and proximity in the home, it's not a structural element to ignore. Perhaps it's time for the steps in your home to receive a lift, either by restaining, repainting, or restyling in order to take them to new heights.

If you're one of many with a multi-level home, use the staircase as a part of the decor. "I think that the staircase is the statement of how the rest of the house will feel and flow, so its importance is at the top of the list," Christy Dillard Kratzer, an interior designer, tells Livingetc. "It's the first impression someone has as soon as they walk through the front door." 

Make your own stellar first impression with a staircase sure to welcome any who enter your home. A great way to makeover the staircase is by staining the existing wood or painting it using your choice of colors in either variety or a combination of each like Noah did in the image above. When using a stain, Home Made Lovely suggests first choosing between a water-based or oil-based stain. Test out each on an extra piece of wood before applying directly to the entire staircase.

Decorate with oversized flower arrangements

If you walked into Allie's parents' house from the movie "The Notebook,” there is no doubt that you would notice the oversized floral arrangements on the tables. Just take a look at the two enormous table vases pictured above. There is a key to decorating with such large decorations though. In order to be successful in creating visually pleasant floral arrangements at home, consider the scale and proportion of each arrangement you make. It's this very detail that will determine if the setting will be big screen worthy or not.

Like a scene right out of the movie, decorate your space with vases holding long-stemmed flowers and greenery. "When someone comes into a room or space and they see a great floral arrangement, they're taking in the flowers and the composition, but what they don't know they're noticing is proportion," Christopher Graham, owner of Artistic Manner Flower Shop and Greenhouse in New York told Martha Stewart. "That's something that's part of the wow factor that which you really don't know you're noticing, but you're like 'man, that looks great!" 

Arranging flowers can be considered an art. To style a vase sure to impress the Hamiltons, it's a good idea to make the entire arrangement at least two and half times that of the vase itself. Any color combination in any type of flowers you adore will be the perfect accent to the movie-inspired space you are creating at home.

Create a library or nook

With the lack of technology available in the 1940s, reading was a popular pastime and books were a common household element. Large homes like those depicted in "The Notebook" could have an entire room dedicated to volumes of books, collectible titles, and other interesting reads. If you want to recreate the movie at home, create a home library for you and your family to enjoy a calming moment in. Choose any space within your home to create a place for storing and displaying your favorite titles, just like in the image behind Allie's parents above. It can be as simple as a blank wall that you can designate as the space for your home library. "If you are struggling to find areas in your home for your small home library, creating an eye-catching bookshelf in a corridor, hallway, or landing can add a unique element to a space that we often just pass through," suggests Homes and Gardens editorial director Sarah Spiteri. Stage the books in visually appealing order for the most aesthetic shelves to help balance the look. 

Whether you're planning a renovation of your living space or looking for a budget-friendly upgrade, you can have your house decorated with elements that remind you of the movie "The Notebook." Choose one or all of the ideas as inspiration for your next home project. Incorporate floral wallpaper, plenty of wood elements, antique lighting, and the perfect porch chairs to decorate your place like the homes in the movie. You'll add character and charm as you pay homage to Allie and Noah's love story in "The Notebook."