How To Decorate Your Home Like The Movie What A Girl Wants

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, "What A Girl Wants" is about a young girl called Daphne Reynolds from New York. All her life, Daphne (played by Amanda Bynes) has been plagued by the fact that she never grew up with her father. When attending a wedding and witnessing the father-daughter dance, her yearning to meet her own father deepens. After the wedding, Daphne heads home, packs her bags, and embarks on an adventure to the U.K. to track down her father (who ends up being Lord Henry, a British aristocrat living in London.) 

Due to Daphne's dual nationalities courtesy of her parents, this movie takes place on more than one continent and therefore boasts home decor influences from both the U.K. and the U.S., in addition to North Africa (particularly Morocco), where Daphne's parents first met. Keep reading to discover how to infuse the different styles and features in the film — such as Moroccan fringed carpets, regal English paintings, and pink floral bouquets — into your own abode.

Add a room divider for privacy

Daphne's mother, Libby (played by Kelly Preston), is a struggling singer who raised her daughter on her own and tried to give her the best life she possibly could. The movie begins with Libby making a fuss over young Daphne, who is celebrating her birthday in a Chinese restaurant. If you're recreating the movie's aesthetic, one feature in the restaurant you need to have is the room divider. This wooden feature works subtly to carve out some sort of privacy for those who are seated on either side of the divider. 

In a small room where two roommates reside, such as a university dorm or a kids' room, a room divider can be placed between two beds, working wonders to instill privacy within the space. To create the illusion of a larger room, you can choose one that is made in a light color, such as cream. Consider this three-panel screen version from Amazon, which comes in different colors so you can choose according to your desired aesthetic. Equally, even if you have a large living room, you could benefit from implementing a few dividers to section off different areas into designated spaces for reading, watching TV, and so on — making your living room appear more homely with strategic functional areas. 

Create a makeshift bedside couch using cushions and a trunk

As mentioned earlier, Libby had little money to splurge, but this never stopped her from giving her daughter a wholesome upbringing and making her bedroom look cute. Working with a limited budget, Libby turned to creative DIYs to make key pieces of furniture. For example, she transformed a thrifted trunk into a makeshift couch using pillows and cushions. Vintage trunks could be purchased at a steal when you peruse through your neighborhood flash sale or through online thrift stores. A lot of creative storage space is needed when working with a small room, so Daphne's trunk couch also doubles as a storage container, thanks to the storage space inside.

Besides ottomans and chairs, trunks could also be repurposed for other furniture, such as a coffee table for your main living room, per Sierra Living Concepts. If you're lucky enough to find two matching trunks, do not hesitate to grab them and use them as bedside tables, per Girl in the Garage. You could also enhance them so they look even more fabulous by painting them in a rich color.

Make way for Moroccan rugs

When Libby was a free-spirited nomadic singer, she took the opportunity to explore the world, finding herself in beautiful countries like Morocco. While exploring the Moroccan desert, she accidentally slipped and fell right into Henry's arms, then dropped onto a rug in front of him. It was love at first sight for the pair, as they got married in the desert almost immediately. It was also love at first sight for any design-conscious audience members who noticed the artistry of the rug she fell on.

If you are decorating your home like "What A Girl Wants," you will surely need one of these lavish rugs to be placed in your home and add character to it. According to Nodus Rug, Moroccan rugs were made using densely knotted fibers derived from wool, and if you are trying to ensure the originality of your rug, then make sure you look out for this technique. Aside from purchasing rugs, you can also tap into this decor by implementing it in other areas, such as on your dining room table, as seen here on Etsy.

Juxtapose different tile designs in an artsy fashion

As "What A Girl Wants" progresses, we realize that Daphne's father, Henry (played by Colin Firth), is actually a very affluent man and from a deeply-rooted political family. When he brings his new bride Libby to meet his family, all doesn't go as he imagined and soon after, at the request of Henry's parents, Libby is made to pack her bags and leave forever. Libby's belongings were waiting for her in the front foyer, which was tiled in contrasting designs, showing the family's wealth.

The flooring combines two different patterns of tile, however, they are of the same color and material. There is the diamond-shaped tile which is used in the middle of the full floor grid, and the intertwined symbols that covers the four corners of the floor grid. If you want to update your flooring and plan to tile it yourself, The Tile Shop suggests taking your time to perfectly lay the seams of the contrasting tiles to create an expert finish. There are some pretty unique tiles out there, and you may not even need to go farther than your local home improvement store to buy them. 

Decorate your walls with paintings and iconic pictures

In the movie, numerous artworks and paintings are displayed in the dining room and throughout the palace. There are brass bust sculptures, possibly created from the images of historic icons and past members of Lord Henry's family, and there are also a lot of paintings mounted on the walls. If these individuals are indeed late family members, this further expresses how home decor can be both aesthetically pleasing, in the sense that paintings add character to a room, while also offering sentimental value. 

One way to be surrounded by ancestors and loved ones is by hanging up photos of them as art. To create a gentrey-like aesthetic, you can put them in gold frames like the Dashwoods did. If you buy more gold frames than you now what to do with, you can turn some of them into mirrors by swapping out the glass for mirrors. This ornate, gold frame from Melody Jane is a perfect example of one you could use to elevate your space. 

Make an impact by decorating with gold accessories

Often times, you may wonder if using lots of golden accessories to decorate your home is tacky. The answer is no. Firstly, this is your home, so always remember you can do as you please in your space. Secondly, you can insert golden accessories in so many different parts of your abode, but you need to ensure that you're doing it right. Take note how gold accessories have been implemented in "What A Girl Wants," especially in the grand drawing room, which houses fascinating features and decor techniques, including the gold table clock that's placed between the golden candelabras. Because the candelabras are two in number and taller than the clock, they can flank it and balance it out. All three items have been placed on a table beneath a painting in a gold frame. They work together cohesively without overwhelming the space. 

It is necessary to note that the candelabras do not even need to have candles displayed within them. Because of their gleaming nature, just using them as they are will convey that affluence exists within your home. If you are decorating with them, Jade Thomson of LuxDeco encourages you to, "Let their luxe-modern vibe lead the way for upgrading your existing table decor." She'd match hers with "pristine white plates and sculptural serveware." 

Position decorative columns in as many sections of your house as possible

According to Houzz, whether you consider decorative columns trendy or not, these household features can offer a lot of value to your home. In "What A Girl Wants," the U.S. architecture featured included columns, as seen above. In addition to this, the U.K. architecture, particularly the palace where Henry lived, also boasted columns which were used to add further structure to a home's design. 

The columns seen above were used more creatively, as they were erected as decor for the wedding where Libby performed and were introduced in order to display winding floral arrangements. If you have columns in your home, you can take this decor one step further by making them more aesthetically pleasing and customizing their appearance through tiling. Consider these sheets of backsplash tiles from Amazon for your next DIY project.

Put houseplants into pedestal vases

According to Mayfair Gallery, vases have been around for a long time. There are tons of flowers all over the garden in Lord Henry's palace exterior, some of which have been strategically placed in regal pedestal vases made from the same stone material used in the construction of the driveway and other parts of the building. This makes it clear that to decorate your home like "What A Girl Wants," you will need to invest in some pedestal vases or planters.

The palace exterior is not the only place where we see vases being used. In the garden of the wedding party where Libby and Daphne held shifts, pedestal vases were also used to house the florals, which added character to the decor. A few of these vases were also painted white to match the pillars upon which they were placed. When inserting your vases in different areas of your home, try to imitate the movie by implementing planters which boast the same material as other features in your house. For example, if blue hues are part of your aesthetic, then try to lean towards blue planters to complement the existing features. 

Match your curtains with your furniture

During the wedding scene when the bride is unsure that her husband-to-be will show up, we are introduced to her Barbie-themed floral wedding decor which includes pink everything: pink flowers, pink table cloths, and pink curtains that match the pink fabric of the seat covers used to decorate the guests' chairs. You may not have gone to school to learn decor techniques, but that does not mean you cannot appear to be a high-end interior decorator. One simple tip to keep in mind is decorating with matching features, and in this case, matching your furniture and accessories to your curtains.

Flooring America further defends this matchy-matchy decor hack and confirms that when two separate features of a room boast the same accent color, it gives off a monochromatic aesthetic that brings elegance and sophistication into a room. In order to successfully nail the technique seen above, you could purchase curtains and chairs in a similar hue or keep things fresh by choosing a custom fabric and commissioning the production of your own upholstery, chairs, and curtains.

Display animal sculptures in various spaces

The drunken husband-to-be was tipsily lying on the ground underneath the table, and Daphne, who was waiting tables at the wedding, chose to shake him out of his stupor by snapping off the beak of the iced swan sculpture and throwing it into the groom's shirt. This swan ice sculpture was regally displayed in the middle of the venue to fill up the space within the wide garden, offering beauty and an opportunity for chilled beverage lovers to pick at it and add the shavings to their drinks. Another animal sculpture worth mentioning is the massive white marble tiger pictured above, which is one of the major focal points within the garden of Lord Henry. 

If you have a vacant space on a tabletop in your home, lean towards a miniature addition such as this gold chrome dog sculpture on Amazon, which is the size of a paperweight. If you wish to be cheeky with your decor, you could integrate a massive structure, like this snake statue from Design Toscano, in your garden. Although, beware that it looks so real that it may cause an actual fright!

Make your fireplace the focal point in your living room

Fireplaces not only create a stunning focal point in a room, but perform an important function — they keep people warm and help set a cozy mood. Daphne's dad's humble abode, which she ends up staying at when she tracks him down, is far from modest as he resides in a ginormous palace with lots of vast rooms and equally large fireplaces. The artistic carvings used to design it, as well as how the fireplace is styled, makes it quite the focal point in the room above. 

According to Vertical Chimney, fireplaces need not be restricted to homes in cold climates because that cozy vibe and charm could also be created with an electric fireplace, which gives off minimal heat. Electric fireplaces can be used all year long, as even during some summer nights it can get chilly. It'll give your room a little extra warmth and a whole lot of aesthetic value.

Pick various pink flowers as floral decor

Throughout the wedding, we saw lots of flowers in every nook and cranny of the venue, all of which were different shades of pink. According to ProFlowers, pink flowers such as azalea may be useful to have in your garden as it grows within shrubs.  They could be planted in a row and used to demarcate your plot of land from your neighbor's, offering privacy while adding color and beauty to your space.  

Roses are a classic option to consider having in your home, but let's face it, they do not come cheap. So, if you are looking for a close alternative, then you should definitely consider begonias. They are super valuable because when they grow, they tend to blossom in a plump fashion, which means that you will need fewer begonias to fill a vase as opposed to if you were decorating with roses. They can survive with limited attention so busy bees who are barely at home can invest in these plants without having the guilt of later abandoning them. According to Homestead Garden, even if you are not super consistent with watering practices, or there is a low level of sunlight, they will still thrive, unlike some other species of flowers.

Insert beaded curtains to add charm to your space

When Daphne's mother refuses to support her in reconnecting with her father, she chooses to go on a solo adventure to find him. As she heads out of her home, she steps through beaded curtains separating her room and living room. The curtains not only add a layer of privacy to her doorless bedroom, but they also add a boho touch to her eclectic space. Plus, they're quite fun to walk through!

Because of the ease with which light can pass through beaded curtains, they will be a great addition to be used as an actual curtain in a room with small windows, or perhaps a dimly-lit bedroom with not enough windows. As an example of a beaded curtain that fits the vibe, check out this version from Walmart, which comes in a vibrant red shade with shiny beads, somewhat similar to the one pictured above.

Say yes to painting and etching patterns on your ceiling

In the film, Daphne broke into the palace to take a peek at her father. Unfortunately, she was mistaken for a member of the paparazzi, so he dragged her into the hallway to interrogate her. The view of her looking up at him from her chair gave us the perfect moment to adore the artsy ceiling which was painted with a dark shade of brown and also boasted etched diagrams and patterns incorporated into it.

If you are looking to add character into your home in a unique manner, look towards painting your ceiling. Don't just take it from us, listen to these two decor pros who are encouraging homeowners to go all out with regards to their ceilings. Martin Kesselman, colorist and interior consultant at Black Lacquer Design told Architectural Digest, "I have been considering it the fifth wall for some time." Caitlin Murray, associate at Black Lacquer Design, added that, "A contrasting or unexpected ceiling paint color can add instant interest and anchor a room."