How To Decorate Your Home Like Holly Golightly In Breakfast At Tiffany's

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"... being rich and famous. That's very much on my schedule, and someday I'll try to get around to it; but if it happens... I want to still be me ...and have breakfast at Tiffany's." This is one of Holly's quotes that highlight her character to a "T" in the 1960s cult classic "Breakfast At Tiffany's."

According to IMDB, the Paramount Pictures blockbuster was initially a book written by Truman Capote which was then turned into a screenplay by George Axelrod. The film has remained a huge classic for the past 60 years, possibly due to Audrey Hepburn immortalizing the lead role of Holly Golightly — a dainty, happy-go-lucky protagonist cast alongside Paul Varjak, the movie's narrator, Holly's neighbor, friend, and lowkey crush. Holly's living quarters (in the movie) is a New York City brownstone based which you could potentially rent for a pretty penny in order to relive Holly's lifestyle (via Guest of A Guest). However, despite the building being in New York, everything inside Holly's apartment, particularly the decor, was created on a set. Holly's eclectic decor is quite captivating and in order to decorate your home like Ms. Golightly, you need to first understand her character. After which, you'd find ways to infuse that character all around you. 

Lit Charts describes Holly's persona as quirky, spunky, elegant, and somewhat erratic. This is a perfect character breakdown of someone who owns a bathtub couch as a focal seating in her living room. Someone who stuffs shoes in her oven instead of displaying them on a shoe rack, and the same spunky persona who drinks milk from champagne coupes. Let's not even get started on the phone that remains stored within a chest. The fictional fashionista socialite who loves Tiffany's so much is stubborn, but viewers cannot help but have a soft spot for her throughout the movie. Fans of "Breakfast At Tiffany's" may wish to insert some of Holly's personality into their home decor, and if you fall within that category, keep reading to discover how to turn your home into a haven that exudes spunk, elegance, free spiritedness, and ambition.

Dare to decorate with a rotary phone

The movie begins as Holly hops out in her classic black dress and pearl necklace, with her breakfast in hand, munching and sipping as she window shops at Tiffany's storefront. Ms. Golightly is presented to the viewers as a put-together princess, a vision of style and eternal elegance. Three scenes later, Holly is awoken by her new neighbor, Paul Vajark, who seeks permission to use her phone. It's then that we first get a peek into her eclectic home decor. Holly lets Paul in and she struggles for some seconds to find the phone only to recall that she placed it in a suitcase.  "I stuck it in the suitcase.. Kind of muffles the sound," Ms. Golightly says. In order to decorate your home like Holly Golightly, you first need to procure a cordless phone. This will add an antique vintage aesthetic to your space. New York-based designer, Jim Walrod, firmly believes in decorating your space with a vintage phone or three! Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, he encourages everyone to scatter them around to boost the home decor, saying, "A vintage phone gives a sense of grandeur to any interior—not just certain periods of décor,...The phones anchor a room and suggest permanence. They're the opposite of kitsch." 

If you have no clue where to find Holly's vintage version, Etsy has a good selection that you can explore. Holly's phone is black which can work within any color scheme but you can also feel free to choose any other color depending on what hue works best for your current palette. Alternatively, you could find an antique phone and if the color is not something you're keen on, you can easily revamp the phone just like Becky Treager Art did, using paint. Feel free to place it on a shelf like Becky placed her revamped rotary phone on a shelf, or you could also channel your inner Holly Golightly and find a vintage suitcase to hold the phone.

If you are still on the fence about inserting one into your home, one thing you can guarantee is that vintage rotary dial phones offer a good backup, should emergencies occur. When speaking to Concord Monitor, rotary phone owner, Bill Lounsbury, claims to have kept one in his woodshed for this specific reason. He says, "We keep it going because if we have a power outage we can call on it. It's a useful tool if we have a power outage when you can't charge up cellphones," 

Be open to having a bathtub sofa

Do you remember Holly's bathtub couch? Or rather, can you ever forget such a masterpiece? Pictured in this scene above where she reclines on the couch as she enjoys milk from a martini glass, it is displayed in all its glory. If you wish to recreate Holly Golightly's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" decor within your home, inserting this furniture is the ultimate move. From the looks of it, the clawfoot bathtub was sawed in half to allow it to have the perfect depth, which a sofa should offer. Then it was padded with a purple cushion as seating and pink throw pillows as plush padding for the backrest. The rim of the bathtub allows for arm resting much like a Chesterfield sofa. The gold-plated faucet adds a hint of quirkiness to the design. Similar bathtub couches can be found via Etsy, within the $2,000 range. 

Does this sound overwhelming to achieve as a DIY project? Maybe, but trust that it is not impossible. Eco-friendly designer and director of Reestore Ltd., Max McMurdo, builds this exact furniture in his workshop on a consistent basis. The materials he uses to build are usually items that have been condemned to be destroyed in a landfill. McMurdo's LinkedIn confirms that he not only designs and produces upcycled environmentally friendly items, such as the Holly Golightly-inspired sofa from roll top baths, but he also does it to encourage the eco-friendly movement. If the bathtub couch is not enough for you, McMurdo also makes an upcycled chair out of a shopping cart trolley, named "Annie." This masterpiece was displayed in Sotheby's London for a period of time after it was created, per Max McMurdo's official website.

NoahW also blogged about creating a similar furniture piece for Instructables. The most interesting part of this contributor's process is the finding of a used clawfoot bath off Craigslist for a price that helped save so much money on this DIY, as opposed to buying it from the store which would have cost much more. If you are buying a used version, NoahW maintains that there are three important things you need to look out for: Damage, lead paint, and cracks.

Release your inner wild child with a zebra rug

 "Well this is .... A nice little place you got here, " says Paul as he steps into Holly's space. One item that surely warranted that statement is the zebra print rug placed smack in the middle of a living room. Holly is a party girl; she either goes out all night or brings the party scene to her home, hosting wild raves with New York City's elite. Every good hostess needs a lively space for guests to dance and jive and gravitate towards. This could be the reason why the main floor area which serves as the dance floor during her house parties is left bare with only an eye-catching zebra print rug. This is such a bold and fearless choice to make, as the black and white hue offers a bold, fun look to the room's aesthetic. If you do not want the real deal of a Zebra rug, go for a similarly colored patterned rug much like this geometric patterned black and cream "Abby" rug from Joybird. The low pile texture ensures that it is low maintenance and could be used both indoors and outdoors. 

Alternatively, instead of purchasing your animal print rug, you could just make one for yourself at home, using faux suede material with felt backing to give off the felted rug effect. This is exactly what Heather of The Decor Fix did for a client, except the stripes she added to the rug were gold, not black like Holly's. The trick to making the rug look like hide is to fold the fabric in half and cut both edges of the rug at the same time so that it is equal on both sides. After you've done this, use an ink pen to draw stripes onto the suede similar to the zebra stripes seen on Holly's rug, then outline and fill in all the stripes using acrylic paint and two brushes.

Repurpose wood crates as furniture

Holly has a wood crate table in the middle of her living room, on top of the zebra print rug. In order to decorate your home like Holly, find this sort of crate-like table on websites like Great Crates, or keep an eye out for them at resale shops, flea markets, or estate sales. This rustic addition adds charm to the all-white modern minimalist apartment aesthetic. Since the crates Holly has are wooden, depicting timber and forest trees, it marries well with the wildlife vibe which the zebra print rug exudes.

DIY-er Karrina Barreto is making a case for DIY wooden crate coffee tables. In her vlog on Youtube, she expresses that the charming dark-hued oak brown crate coffee table she has in her living room was created via a DIY that cost under $30. So, straight away, this is proof that it does not cost too much to create a luxurious-looking accessory. Holly Golightly did not make any changes whatsoever to her crates before introducing them into the decor. She simply turned the crate's bottom over and used the bottom half as the tabletop surface. 

If you wish to elevate your coffee table, make like Karrina and grab used crates from any green grocer's market, farm, or antique store. Ensure you pick the ones in good condition. Sand them down with sandpaper machines, then buff them to fix any blemishes and ensure smooth surfaces. Grab your desired polyurethane stain paint color and paint over your crates in a wiping technique as opposed to a back-and-forth brush technique to ensure the paint is slathered on in a seamless manner. Dry the crates, then use a large sheet of plywood and arrange them onto the flat wood surface. Drill the crates together so they aren't loose and they remain joined to each other.

Display a weather vane as a conversation starter in your apartment

Holly's personality comes across as free-spirited with an energy that moves as fast as the wind. This could be the reason why she owns a wooden wind vane with a fish statue at the top, which she placed right next to her apartment door. The gold and red wind vane or weathervane, as some may like to call it, is yet another decor piece in her space that stands up in a great way. In modern times, with the rise of the internet and other weather forecast gadgets, weathervanes have slowly phased out. Nevertheless, if you wish to decorate like Holly Golightly from "Breakfast At Tiffany's," entertain the thought of inserting one into your living space. First, take a look at your current decor and map out spaces that can benefit from a bit of a zhuzhing up. Feel free to add a floor-standing version like Holly's in your home as a focal point against the wall of your entryway. This will help showcase your character right away once visitors step inside. 

If you have a garden, you can also use a free-standing weathervane to beautify your garden. According to Thrifty, the first step is to decide if you want to display the weathervane solely for its beauty or if you want one that is functional and decorative at the same time. If you are doing the former then aim to install it at a level that makes it visible to whoever enters the garden so they can enjoy its beauty effectively. If you need your weathervane to read the wind, place it about 6 to 7 feet above the ground. Keep in mind that the further away your vane is from buildings and trees, the more effective it will be when reading the wind as there will be fewer objects mitigating an accurate read of the wind. 

It goes without saying that cupolas are also a classic roof accent upon which you can place your wind vane as well. You can seek the help of a professional to mount it on your cupola or on the ridge of your roof. You can also mount it by yourself, per Do It Yourself. Gather your tools together and drill a hole, but keep in mind that installations vary according to the type of vanes you have; whether it's a copper weathervane or a cast iron version.

Enlist an easel as a display stand

Inside Holly's apartment, she has an easel that holds a painting that is most likely unfinished and may most likely remain unfinished forever, considering Holly's nonchalant character. Whether you paint at home or if you just have artwork that you do not necessarily wish to mount on the wall, then place it on an easel as a stand to display the art. Art is Fun confirms that easels are not only for artists who use them to hold their canvas as they paint. In fact, there are so many forms of easels that you need to know so you can choose a decorative easel correctly. If you already paint at home and you have an easel then by all means you can substitute that for the bench easel, single mast, hybrid, or any other artist easel which can be functional and decorative at the same time. However, if you do not paint regularly, but want a fun way to display your wall art collection, then aim to acquire a display easel just like Holly's version.

Bird's Party proves that you can create a DIY tripod easel version which was used as wedding decor but yours could be used to put up pictures, sign boards or it could offer the perfect support structure to hang vine leaves. Depending on the size of your TV, you could even use an easel-like structure to display it. For example, consider the "Carry TV Stand" from Eva Solo which Yanko Design highlights as a perfect addition to any home since it does not take up too much space like the normal bulky wooden easel and is a lot more modern in style. 

Hands down, this easel stand offers a more interesting focal point because instead of using it to display paintings, you can use them to display your tech gadget thereby making you the talk of the town when you have friends over for movie night.

Stack up vintage cases as a focal point plus extra storage

You would recall that Ms. Golightly has a vintage suitcase in which she keeps her rotary telephone. But this is not the only place where suitcases have been sighted in her apartment. Suitcases have been spread around many corners of her abode for various functions.  Shiplap and Shells maintains that the use of suitcases as decor in your home gives off a fall aesthetic, so as the leaves begin to fall this season, this may be the perfect time to imitate Ms. Golightly and add a few inside your home.

Pictured in this scene above, Holly has stacked the suitcases by her entryway to use them as an entryway table. When choosing the suitcases which you aim to stack, consider a few things. If you want to arrange them vignette style, then you can get different shapes that are not necessarily identical in form but have different ascending sizes. But if you aim to use it for an end table, then you must be particular about the appearance of the table hence feel free to buy a few extra items such as paint, table legs, screws, and drills which you can use to transform your suitcase into a proper DIY furniture version, per Home Talk.

This Wald Imports version from Amazon looks super close to the version Holly used to hide her telephone. Keep in mind that, depending on which suitcase you find, whether it's outdated and dull in color, or it comes in a color that does not match your current aesthetic, you can always paint the suitcase to suit your needs, no pun intended! Find various areas to display your cases, apart from the hallway as a makeshift entryway table, display them in your bedroom, the kids' nursery and so many other areas, per Stuff.