The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

It’s been absolutely ages since my last Movie Monday post, and I’m simply dying to talk classic film with you again. If you’re thinking that my syntax seems a bit odd, just reread that first sentence in a poorly disguised Haley Mills American accent, and it might make a bit more sense. Yes, this girl’s been watching the original Parent Trap again, and it’s seeping into every nook and cranny of my brain!

The Parent Trap 1961

Rather than summarizing the plot and offering a sort of quasi-review of the 1961 Parent Trap, I thought it would be a bit more fun to just talk about the style influence this movie can offer to our modern day homes (and wardrobes!). So click through if you’d like to take a walk down memory lane with me, and, of course, drool over that killer 1960s Monterey California house.

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

What is it that enchanted me so much about this movie when I was young? Though I’m not from a divorced family, you can’t deny the pull of a reuniting love story where two people are able to reconnect despite better judgement for the sake of nostalgia and their children. Sure, it’s poorly thought out and the premise of bad judgement people entertain when thinking of their exes or, you know, what could’ve been… but still. A desirable plot for those of us who like escapism and implausible romance.

When you through in a fun Summer camp experience complete with canoeing, pranking, drastic makeovers, and of course a dance with, oooh, squeal, ooooh— BOYS!— and you’ve got yourselves the making of a great young adult flick. When you add the element of long lost twins separated at birth who discover each other unbeknownst to their parents, and this classic movie is just over the top too amazing to ignore. Ha! What a crazy plot. But I love it anyway.

What do I love more? The sites! Oh, the sites.

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

I never went to Summer camp as a kid (!), but if I had, I wanted it to be just like the one Molly attended. You know, Molly, right? The American Girl? I wanted to be her, minus the father away at war thing, but mostly because of the adventures, unique experiences, and can-do attitude. The summer camp experience was definitely a major factor. Check out these quaint cabins and uniforms! I’m sure I would’ve hated the uniforms as a kid, but I definitely want to go there as an adult. Would that be weird? Adult summer camp complete with uniforms, sailors’ neck scarves, and canoe races? I’d go!

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

The exciting prospect of meeting your mother for the first time is a thrill, to be sure. I’m glad they ignored the ugly angst of having been abandoned by one’s own mother and the wondering how your mother could just walk away from you because of a quip with her ex…. that sure would’ve cramped the fun romcom vibes this movie’s got going on. Major buzz kill. Though a great premise for a dark comedy version of The Parent Trap. (Idea!)

Anyway, how fun would it be if you met your twin at Summer camp and suddenly your wardrobe multiplied by two, plus you got to go home to a new house complete with a maid staff and affectionate grandparents? Not to mention not having to pay for your long distance phone calls to your secret sister. Your literal secret sister. That would be the life.

The Parent Trap 1961

Give me her chic dress and matching cozy cardigan. And her basket style carry-on. Give me all of it.

The Parent Trap 1961

Alright, now we’re cookin’ with gas! THIS. HOUSE. It has been in the back of my mind as a designer since the first time I watched this film in my youth! Never mind what the heck that weird rock in a pot is on the coffee table at the bottom left of the screen. Just look at that floor plan! The stone wall. The beams. The wooden grills in the window. The tilework. There’s more…

The Parent Trap 1961

Sure, this bedroom is a little over-the-top in the vintage department, but I actually would love staying in this room, as a visitor at least. That headboard! I want two. One for each of my girls. The tassles on the vanity cushion. The tall bedside lamps. I’d choose simple monochrome with a simple shade, but what a great look for a grand bedroom! She even has her own radio and telephone by her bed! I love all the perfume and portraits at her vanity too. What a hoot.

The Parent Trap 1961

The first floor is so open, with two separate living spaces that are open to each other. Perfect for entertaining! I love that yellow oriental rug and the plaid slipper chairs. And don’t miss the random sculptures throughout the home as decorative accessories. Very Jonathan Adler, eh?

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

Give me this kitchen. Maybe a new dishwasher, but I love the configuration, the stone wall, the beams, and the openness to the outdoors. The tree outside the window is begging for a treehouse.

The Parent Trap 1961

How crazy is this bathroom! Overdesigned for my personal liking, but man, what a dream nonetheless! I love the mix of tiles, marble, and unique color scheme. I’d stay at this hotel and Instagram the crap out of it!

The Parent Trap 1961

The Parent Trap 1961

Random girls sitting at the dock screen shot. Because I want to be here too. In one of those swimsuits.

The Parent Trap 1961

Look at those windows! What a dream! The brass touches are very contemporary, no? Look at her, all like, get out of my room, dad!

The Parent Trap 1961

Novelty floats! They’re nothing new. But I’ll take all of this patio furniture too.

The Parent Trap 1961

This is what I’m assuming is like a three seasons room? But in Monterey, it’d definitely be a four seasons room! I love the openwork concrete wall to the left, the trellis in the back with the dracaena plant off to the side, but I wish I could get a better look at the tufted leather furniture behind the girls! Can we talk about how wacky that stone wall is? You just don’t see materials like that these days.

The Parent Trap 1961

Headboard love!

The Parent Trap 1961

Side note: I love the way he looks at her. But even more, I love the archways and wickerwork.

The Parent Trap 1961

The seamless cabinetry on this wall is aspirational. So is the enamelware collection. If I were the type of person who says “hashtag goals,” I would say it now. But I’m not. So I won’t.

So what’s your favorite part of this movie? The nostalgia? The iconic plot? The design? Discuss!

10 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    I’m so glad you posted a movie monday again! And Parent Trap was one of my childhood favorites. My mother had an affinity for Haley Mills (growing up in the sixties) and she passed that on to me (growing up in the 80s)… have you seen Summer Magic? Castaways? Back Home? (I recommend all of them. :) ) I loved this movie for so many reasons: summer camp, I did have a sister near my age so we related to the plot and wished we could switch places,… and I never forgot the land the dad lives on… BEAUTIFUL. That scene where they are riding horses, I was always like ‘I want to go there.’
    Also, ‘I don’t say a word, not one single word’. :)
    Thank you for posting about such a fun movie.

  2. abby says:

    I loved this movie! I was just wondering if my 3 year old is old enough to watch it with me! I’m so glad you’re bringing this series back and hope to see more youth-oriented films? My daughter is super sensitive and the few nostalgic films I’ve tried watching with her were just too much to handle (the scary cat in Cinderella, the parent’s dying in every other disney film… I’ve been thinking about old live action films and how they actually may be a good solution and more tame, but I’m drawing a bit of a blank. Anything you recommend? I went to school for interior design but my first year was full of architecture classes that required a lot of time spent pouring over foam core with my exacto knife, and I filled it by playing old movies I’d gotten out of the library, so I’ve seen a surprising number of the ones you’ve featured here.
    Congrats on being featured in Country Living (or at least their instagram, I don’t get the magazine)!

    • Anna says:

      When my sisters were the age of your daughter. they watched old Shirley Temple movies. Some of them are sad and may not be a good idea, but some of them are cute, with the sad parts being the background story and easy to go over the little ones heads. You could give one of them a try. Also, try non princess Disney cartoons like Robin Hood, my 3 year old daughter loved it!

  3. Liz says:

    This is one of your best posts, ever.

  4. I was actually looking for a film to watch today or this weekend and I haven’t seen the original Parent Trap, such a shame. Thanks for the suggestion x I love movies from the 50’s and 60’s :)

    http://www.wildfirecharm.com

  5. Anna says:

    I love this movie!! And I love this house too!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Joan says:

    Can. Not. Even. Begin. to count the number of times I’ve tried to describe my vibe by looking at a designer and asking “did you ever see the original Parent Trap movie?” I think I must have seen this movie during some critical spatial development time in my life because all I want is wide open spaces, cool architectural details. Eventually, I learned to stop asking about the movie and to try describing what I want as California Ranch and at least got head bobs instead of puzzlement. So, do you know if this movie was on a set or in an existing house?

  7. Tonya says:

    Such a good movie! I love watching this and Summer Magic back to back.

  8. One of my favorite movies ever from my childhood, if not THE favorite. I am sorry you never went to summer camp. This movie made me beg to go to summer camp! Every year I’d watch it before going to the all girls camp in the Adirondack mountains for a week to a month depending on what was going on that summer. I eventually worked two summers there with the horses. Every time I came home from camp, I made a giant sheet tent because there was a portion of the ceiling that dropped so I could pin the sheet up. We had a pull out bed. I’d watch this film and camp out with my mom in the living room. It eventually came to me doing a marathon between this and Gidget. It seriously was one of the ONLY good times of my childhood (sad but true).

    The only portion of this film I never liked is that back then people called me Vicki. It made me sad that the “bad guy” in this was Vicki. Definitely want to make sugar and water insect repellent for her!! haha. Maybe scare some mountain lions away with some sticks too. As a former Vicki (maybe this is why I go by Victoria now instead because I tell people Vicki is too snotty sounding), I can’t imagine telling twin girls to “give your sister her half of this” with the slap on the face. :( I used to dream of having a sister so I liked that Haley Mills IS her own sister!! I think I talked to myself because of it! Oh my. You know that there was a sequel Haley Mills did for this? Not so good though. The remake. . pfft. I saw it once and said, “OKAY, 1961 here we come again!” . . Maureen O’Hara and Brian (what’s his last name. . the dad. . .ah) they were in another movie together alongside James Stewart!!! You’ve probably seen that one since I know you and I both have a love of him as a favorite actor.

    I love all your screenshots of the film! I truly also love all the outfits, swimsuits, scenery, and rooms/set ups. Oh man now I must go camping. I have it planned to do so in a month and can’t wait! Now I need to rewatch this film because of it!!

  9. helen says:

    Love this–i was pretty infatuated with this house when I was a kid, so much so I tried to figure out what the floor plan was and tried sketching it out. I so badly wanted to live in a house like it–i loved the courtyard and how the bedrooms were upstairs off the balcony with an outdoor entry.

    Great post!!