Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Charming on-screen apartments we wish were real


From Holly Golightly’s charming crash pad on the Upper East Side to Amélie Poulain’s whimsical retreat off the winding streets of Montmartre, we take a nose around the silver and small screen’s most delightful city homes.

Sixties swing

Breakfast at Tiffany's

As featured in: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

Holly Golightly’s rented apartment on the Upper East Side is the ultimate dwelling for a single woman of leisure in the city.

Little flourishes, such as the random golden weather vane in the living room, are testimony to Holly’s happy-go-lucky, carefree existence. With no discernible source of income, it’s unsurprising she takes a few shortcuts when it came to storage solutions. Ballet shoes in the fridge? Why not.

And Holly was in on the upcycling trend way before the rest of us. You only have to look at her sawed-off bathtub-turned-sofa to understand that.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Bohemia in Paris


As featured in: Amélie (2001)

To cross the threshold of Amélie Poulain’s flat – tucked away in the winding, hilly streets near the Sacré-Coeur – is to enter her own personal universe of magic and delight. 

Vibrant, impulsive splashes of scarlet are interspersed with amber-gold hues. Dabs of deep, velvety greens and royal blues appear here and there. Aptly enough for an old-fashioned soul who believes in the power of love, Amélie’s accessories – such as the anthropomorphic pig lamp – are kooky and charming without being twee.

The various objects d’art that strew her apartment have nothing to with practicality or function. This is a flagrant celebration of style over substance.


Amelie 2

London calling

Bridget Jones

As featured in: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Few 30-somethings could bag themselves a neat little patch of real estate in London’s Borough Market these days. But the real appeal of Bridget Jones’ top-floor apartment lies in the way it is imbued with her particular brand of shoddy PJ charm.

Things here aren’t exactly ship-shape. The sofa’s a bit manky, the wallpaper’s dated and the shelving units are only half-finished. And yet – it’s the perfect, low-maintenance retreat for a singleton who lives life by her own rules. And the allure of it lies in its cracks.

Cheap fairy lights bring a cosy ambience to the place, which is enhanced by the romantic rattle of passing trains. The large Victorian windows could've been made for late-night smoking/brooding/spying on approaching dates (delete as appropriate).

Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones

Dreamin’ in Queens


As featured in: Julie & Julia (2009)

Julie Powell is so distracted by paying homage to her culinary hero Julia Childs in Julie & Julia, she doesn’t seem to notice how delightful her bijoux Queens, NY, apartment is. For one thing, it’s above a late-night pizza joint. What better saviour for when the boeuf bourguignon doesn’t quite work out?

For another, it’s filled with snippets of cool, mid-century furnishings. Like the curved chair that uplifts the otherwise unremarkable desk area, and the Parisian grey dresser in her kitchenette.

Perhaps the finest aspect of Julie’s city hangout is the incredibly large roof terrace laced with fairy lights, and with views of the glittering New York skyline in the distance.

Julie & Julia
Bridget Jones

Manhattan gem


As featured in: Sex And The City (1998 – 2004)

The woman who was once so broke she spent her money on Vogue rather than meals (“I felt it fed me more”) somehow magically stumbled upon a brownstone apartment on the Upper East Side – an easy skip away from all her favourite romping grounds.

We’re unclear which part of Carrie Bradshaw’s lodgings we love the best. It could be the elegant flight of steps where our favourite Manhattanite is often to be found, hanging in a series of fabulous outfits. 

It could be her walk-in wardrobe, spiritual home of her life-affirming collection of shoes, hats and all things wonderful. Or it could be her bedroom, where a free-spirited approach to design goes hand-in-hand with Carrie’s sense of sexual adventure.


Riviera chic


As featured in: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Let’s do a little hop over to south-eastern Italy in the Fifties now, for a peek at the stunning villa that belongs to Marge and Dickie – aka Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law.

This home radiates la dolce vita vibes at every turn (ignoring for a moment the creepy psychological undertones of the film itself). The garden is the stuff of Mediterranean fantasies, opening up sweeping views of the Bay of Naples. White yachts cut across a hazy expanse of turquoise ocean, broken up here and there by dramatic islands of volcanic rock.

The terrace area is a haven of romantic tendrils and vines that curve and fall over the ancient stone arches of the house. Indoors, the apartment is no less seductive, with an array of deep mahogany furnishings and a graceful whitewash curved ceiling that frames the entire scene.


Good times in Greenwich Village


As featured in: Friends (1994 – 2004)

Who could fail to love the familiar laid-back warmth of Monica Geller’s apartment in Friends? What you often forget about this snug NY bolthole is quite how spacious it is. As with Central Perk, it’s a home-from-home for all six of the Friends crew, yet it never feels crowded.

Its enormous window provides an evocative city backdrop, plus a front-row seat to the naked dude across the street. The teeny-tiny slice of outdoor balcony is a nook ready-made for confessions and chemistry, as Rachel and Ross can attest.

Sure, Monica is a little picky about her design – she’s not a fan of the racing car bed – but the colour theme is surprisingly exuberant for one so uptight. Remember the one where Rachel and Monica lost their apartment to Joey and Chandler in a bet? The boys were on to a good thing there…


Barcelona charm


As featured in: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

An artists’ retreat in Barcelona is a very apt setting for a tangled love affair, as depicted in Woody Allen’s rom-com Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The sprawling home of Javier Bardem’s character, Juan Antonio, is pleasingly ramshackle and brimming with character. 

A capillary of warm yellow arches creates an open, sinuous sense of space where boundaries ebb and flow. Shady courtyards lie here and there, next to alcoves filled with palm plants, vintage suitcases and sculptures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the layout, but the balance between light and shade is masterful. The place is scattered with artists’ debris throughout, from clumsy jugfuls of brushes to paint-splattered pots and discarded trays.


All photos: Rex Features


Hydration fit for the silver screen

smartwater sparkling offers a refreshing, carbonated kick. Elevated by tiny bubbles, smartwater is vapour distilled from British spring water with added electrolytes for a clean, crisp taste. Each super-sleek bottle is also 100% recyclable.

.For more refreshing content, follow @glaceau_sw on Instagram




Dream designs: step inside Britain’s most striking restaurants

food art.PNG

Inside the world of Instagram's most spectacular food art


The most beautiful buildings in the world, as chosen by architects

diane hill.jpg

Five cutting-edge women you need to know about in the world of design


Creative home office designs for freelance inspiration

graphic designer.PNG

Graphic designers share their top tips for a standout CV


Get free tickets to see Call Me By Your Name

17 Oct 2017

“In defence of birthdays: why we should celebrate each and every year”

Writer Kate Townshend on why birthday parties shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of adulthood

17 Oct 2017

Life can be ‘torturous’ for a sex addict, according to an expert

“It sounds like fun... that couldn’t be further from the truth”

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Why you should wear red if you want to succeed

From ancient history to modern catwalks, why are we all so obsessed with red?

by Alexandra Jones
17 Oct 2017

These are the world’s best and worst major cities to live as a woman

London makes the list – and it’s not all bad news for the capital

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017

Your Starbucks Halloween Frappuccino fix is here and it’s fangtastic

Sink your teeth into this

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

This Princess Bride revelation will make you see the film in a new way

It’s been 30 years since it hit the big screen

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hold up, there's an avocado chocolate bar – AND it’s vegan

Don't fight it

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

What is perspecticide and could it be happening in your relationship?

This form of coercive control is incredibly damaging

by Megan Murray
16 Oct 2017