How to Decorate a Room in a "Gone With the Wind" Theme

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Floral wallpaper adorns many of the rooms in "Gone with the Wind."
Floral wallpaper adorns many of the rooms in "Gone with the Wind." (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

“Gone with the Wind” has captured the hearts of moviegoers for generations, and the interior decor in the Civil War-era film offers timeless, traditional appeal as well. Although much of the film revolves around Scarlett’s plantation home, Tara, many of the scenes in the last half of the film take place at Rhett and Scarlett’s lavish estate on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. The couple’s Atlanta mansion exhibits more ostentatious furnishings than Tara, but both estates showcase rich woodwork, ample square footage, and opulent touches. You can replicate the style by accessorizing with antiques and Victorian furnishings, but you’ll also need to modify the walls and floors for a complete transformation.

Things You'll Need

  • Velvet drapes with tassels
  • Lace curtains
  • Interior shutters
  • Floral wallpaper or blue paint
  • Chair rail
  • Wainscoting
  • Brass handles
  • Dentil molding
  • Wood floors or red carpet
  • Persian rugs
  • Antique lighting
  • Silver candlesticks
  • Four-poster beds
  • Chenille or silk bedspreads
  • Black paint
  • Gold paint
  • Turquoise glaze
  • Victorian furniture
  • Gold-framed mirrors
  • Wall shelves
  • Pendulum clocks
  • Portraits
  • Ferns
  • Water pitchers
  • Silver tea service
  • Doilies
  • Vases
  • Roman head statue
  • Globe

Hang dark-green velvet drapes with golden tassels around large windows. Select lace curtains or interior shutters for smaller windows.

Decorate the walls with floral wallpaper or paint them robin egg blue. Mount chair rail and dark wainscoting on the lower one-third of the walls. Install brass handles on doors; frame the doors with white-dentil molding.

Stain the floors a deep, rich shade of brown or install red carpeting. Lay large Persian rugs on wood floors.

Brighten the space with electrified-kerosene lighting, custard-glass lamps, crystal chandeliers and wall sconces with orange-glass shades. Place silver candlesticks with beeswax candles on mantels and tables.

Decorate bedrooms with four-poster beds and chenille or satin bedspreads. Scarlett O’Hara opted for a dusty-rose silk bedspread in the master bedroom of her Atlanta home.

Brush black paint on tables; highlight the corners and edges with gold-metallic paint. Paint china cabinets with a turquoise glaze and distress the edges.

Furnish the room with Victorian chairs and tufted settees. The sofas should have traditional style, walnut frames and blue or red upholstery.

Adorn walls with gilded mirrors, ornate shelves and wooden clocks with pendulums. Hang small portraits of ancestors up the staircase, and install one large, gold-framed portrait above the mantel.

Accessorize the space with live ferns, water pitchers, silver tea service and lace doilies. In their Atlanta home, Rhett and Scarlett displayed ornate vases, small Roman statues and a globe on a floor stand.

Tips & Warnings

  • Kerosene lamps create dangerous fumes and pose a fire hazard. Always use electrified versions of antique lamps for safety.

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References

  • Gone with the Wind; David O. Selznick's Remastered Production
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