Gothic Interiors: The Set Design of Crimson Peak

If you’re not a fan of horror movies, you may have avoided the Gothic-styled viewing that is Crimson Peak (2015). However, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the phenomenal set design – and subsequent interior design – that director Guillermo del Toro and his Set Designer Thomas E. Sanders achieved. The visuals are spectacular across the entire film, the cinematography stunning, but much of the story’s impact is owed to the house it is set in. The main foyer immediately establishes the tone, its immense detail including tracery, Gothic arches, columns, tapestries and gold-framed oil paintings. Despite the level of decay that clearly exists – there is a literal hole in the roof above that allows snow to fall several stories down onto the marble foyer floor  – this somehow increases the stunning effect of the chosen aesthetic, creating incredible spaces full of hidden depth, rich fabrics and intricate features.



A Wealth of Detail

The main staircase and upper gallery are carefully constructed from beautifully carved wood, forming complicated tracery, rose motifs and twisting columns with double Corinthian capitals. Similar designs follows through into the long hallways, the stretching spaces intersected with arches and panelled walls. The level of detail is incredible across the baord.

Photos: Pinterest, Tomsprojects



Focal Points

Past the candelabras, heavy drapes and leaf-covered marble floor, a magnificent fireplace creates a focal point in the central sitting room. Carved marble reliefs sit above the mantle – a picture of grandeur that has clearly seen better days.

Photo: Crimsonpeakawaits




From the construction of the brass lift, to the detailed bathroom ceiling, there are ornate touches in every corner of this house/set. The delicate bars of the classic lift twist and curl into swirls and foliage-like motifs – almost cage-like, but still incredibly beautiful. The pre-Art Deco  ceiling above the bath is dressed in lines of tarnished gold, almost mimicking the panes in the round window at the centre of the room.

Photos: Crimsonpeakawaits, Architecturaldigest



Light – Or Lack of Light

When the sets aren’t lit by fire, candle or flickering lamps, the result is a gloomy blue version of the same setting that lends it an entirely different feel. The flaking wall colourings, bannisters and floor are rendered in a moody teal tone that completely alters every visual.

Photos: Pinterest, Wmagazine



Many Rooms, Many Thoughts

Every room in the house is full of once-rich furnishings, some better maintained than others. The slightly worn gold ceiling of the bedroom stands out as particularly gorgeous; the fan vaults and interlocking lines relaying a heavy, expensive and almost Baroque styling. Similarly, the natural light filtering in through the huge arched window of the main sitting room onto the grand piano is a visual delight.

Photos: Slate, Tomsprojects, Tomsprojects, Tomsprojects



Art Attack

If we manage to avoid getting distracted by the phenomenal wardrobe of Mia Wasikowska, we can see the effective display of paintings behind her that finish the foyer space so beautifully. The heavy gold frames filled with dark scenes and old golden landscapes provide another dimension to the overall interior layout – despite their palettes remaining close to the colours surrounding them.

Photo: Crimsonpeakawaits


So, would we like to live here? Having seen the film, certainly not! But if searching for interior inspiration on a grand Gothic scale, this set has a wealth of points to pull from.







*All characters and sets are the property of Guillermo del Toro, Legendary Pictures, DDY Productions, Universal Pictures and affiliates.