Friday, July 5, 2013

Gothic Style - The Good, the Bad and the Southern

Hooked on Houses recently showcased a post on Kat Von D's house.  It was recently posted for sale, but then taken off the market.  It was, however, a chance to peek into her goth decorating style. 

After looking through pictures of her house, my overall impression was that I've seen goth decor done much worse, but I have also seen it done much better.  Her entryway was lovely, I thought, other than the sickle waiting blade-up in the corner.

And I liked *aspects* of her living room, though overall it was a bit overkill...pun intended with all those stuffed animals.

But the dining room was overdone, as were other spaces I thought.  It got me thinking about goth interiors done well.  And in my opinion, if you want an elegantly macabre space, you have think less goth, and more Gothic...

One great recent example was the house from the recent tragically short-lived Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane. 

As always, click images to see larger.

The house is delightfully Victorian, decrepit but elegant.

You can see it sits down on a hill below street level, and a dark elegant entrance shows you to the steps to the front door.

All the woodwork is nearly onyx in dark richness.  And the wallpaper is elaborate and dark too.

A patterned floor celebrates the vast size of the entry. 

What was I saying about vast size?

 No gothic home is complete without a secret passageway or two.

This is the scene that made my little Domythic heart go pitter-pat.  Note not only the ravens, stained glass, and branch, but the gorgeous murals. 

More of the murals.

We see very little of the house besides the entry and the dining room in the one short episode.  But we do get to see the main bedroom.  Yes.  Oh lovely. 

 This shot better shows the Burne-Jones-esque shields mounted on the walls behind the end tables.

The gorgeous room we saw earlier appears to have been turned into the dining room...a Gothic triumph.  And of course I'm not biased at all because it's teal and tree-themed....

 Beautiful stained glass windows, and whaaaaaat is Portia wearing??  Wait a second...

Quick detour, is that garment gorgeous. 

I mean, LOOK.

 Ok back to the house.  Here you can see the stairs leading down from street level, with tilework on them.

 Little Eddie sleeps in a roll-out worthy of Dracula.  Mysterious cupboards with no immediately clear purpose add that goth edge...

 Gosh...look at all the gorgeous patterns and textures and colors on the house exterior!

 A quick glimpse of the study or library.

The house at night.

One final shot of everyone in the gorgeous dining room.

Then there's Southern Gothic style....that gnarly, swampy, half-abandoned mysterious look that makes it an exceedingly legit atmosphere for vampires (Interview with a) or witches (this movie).  Thus was the case with the recent movie, Beautiful Creatures.  Only a mediocre story in my opinion, it's still worth a watch for the visuals.

Look at this GATE:

Deep shadows against a mysterious house with a beautiful bench and urns outside.

The main room seemed a bit of a let-down to me...a bit too modern, though I do love those branchy sconces...

Old ironwork tangled with dead vines.  Deliciously atmospheric.

Ahh, once again it's the dining room that steals the show in this house.  And it's the tree theme that makes me love it.

A rich teal tablecloth sets the scene for a feast. 

One more non-decor shout-out for this film: when I am older, this is what I want to look like:

For one more example of deliciously well done Gothic style interior design, see my earlier blog post on the movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.


  1. Excellent post, Grace!

    I see what you mean about Kat Von D's house - some potential, but lots to be desired. I like the drippy-wax around the fireplace, but yeah...why do some people equate goth with loads of taxidermy?

    I also lamented the short life of the Munsters reboot (I ADORE Eddie Izzard), but the house was exquisite. Such a shame it didn't get picked up for a full series, because I would have loved to see more of that house!

    Loved the Beautiful Creatures house - so very southern gothic outside, although the film itself was a bit of a let-down. As usual, the books are SO MUCH richer in detail, especially as regards the house itself - it is portrayed as more of a living entity that changes it's inside look based on the moods of the inhabitants (well, mainly Macon's and Lena's moods). In the film, they went with one look for the entrance hall and stuck with it - in the books, the room is different every time Ethan visits.

  2. Mary, I agree. I mean, you a cabinet of curiosities with a few odd skeletons is more elegantly macabre to me if you HAVE to have that sort of thing, you know?

    I would have loved to see much more of the Munsters reboot, including Portia's wardrobe. Wow!

    Your description of the book Beautiful Creatures makes me want to read it!

  3. Oh, I agree, none of that permed short hair stuff for me when I'm old, I want my hair to be long and grey and most of all, my clothing eccentric.

  4. I love Kat's wax fetish. She has the same kind of freeform wax installation in her office at LA Ink. The foyer was a stunner - but with that old era CA style architecture how can you go wrong?!

    I admit I liked the Munsters too - it was a bit too simple, but fun...

  5. I think it is quite hard to do gothic without it being over the top or looking like a parody. Some of the best homes I have seen in castles and manor houses have been austere, with simple furnishing and then a touch of ornate, a well placed velvet cushion, an ancient tapestry, (unravelling of course!) or some beautifully glazed pottery. On the other hand some rock star type homes have been purposely done with tongue in cheek and they can be fun too. x

  6. You might be interested to view this Gothic revival castle in Wales. Restyled by William Burges for the 3rd Marquess of Bute.
    2 good websites are

    Also on the same theme but bigger scale Cardiff Castle.

  7. Oh dear, that sickle! I am so clumsy, I would be dead within minutes of stepping into that house! That would definitely fall on me!

    I loved the sets in Beautiful Creatures, it really was a beautiful movie, there were some great costumes, too! and I will definitely look like that lady when I am older!

    While I love all things Victorian and Gothic, the main white room from Beautiful Creatures is probably more what my future home will look like as I would love to experiment in black and white, and plus I have to keep things a little toned down for my much less flamboyant partner. I am thinking elegant Victorian in black and white, but of course, there will be some medallion backed sofas and the like. And of course a four poster bed. It may get slightly out of hand...