Do You Dare Bring Home Some Liberace Razzle-Dazzle?

I just finished watching Creating Behind the Candelabra, and it has me more excited than an undercover rhinestone salesman prepared to land a Liberace lover’s account. Soderberg, Douglas, Damon, Debbie Reynolds and each one of the over-the-top, overdecorated, overbedazzled, overmirrored fabulousness that was Liberace’s costumes, sets, cars, mirrored pianos and homes in the late 1970s and early 1980s all in one movie? Yes, please!

Liberace did all of his own decorating, and he loved surplus. He likened himself to King Ludwig II, another king of bling. He overshopped, and once one house filled up, he’d purchase a different location. As someone with a loft full of things for “my lake house” (I don’t have a lake house, and at this rate, I will) I totally relate. Behind the Candelabra premieres on HBO Sunday, May 26, 2013, and I Can’t wait. Here is a peek at the movie sets and some approaches to add only a dash of Liberace’s exuberant style to your home.

Home Box Office (HBO)

Liberace got lots of repairs of his own image through mirrored walls, doors, pubs, cars, pianos … even some of his costumes resemble mirrors. A candelabra on the piano was Liberace’s trademark (as well as crystal-encrusted and mirrored pianos). In addition, he utilized candelabras and chandeliers extensively throughout each room in the house.

Home Box Office (HBO)

The moviemakers utilized Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house in Los Angeles to stand in for Liberace’s Las Vegas home. Liberace decorated in a style he dubbed “palatial kitsch.”

Home Box Office (HBO)

Liberace could not get enough of his own image and had a wonderful sense of humor about it. He had portraits of himself everywhere — fulfilling a cardinal, his face floating over his Grecian tub, etched into mirrors … everywhere. Within this picture, I’m sorry that Michael Douglas is obstructing the one of himself as Liberace playing with the piano, however you can also see his shape to the left of Matt Damon. Portraits e-ver-y-where.

The film’s set designers painstakingly re-created many of the pictures from the originals they obtained via the Liberace Foundation, but together with Douglas as Liberace.

Home Box Office (HBO)

Liberace not only had lots of bling, but he had a lot of swag. Windows were adorned with as many layers as you can, in luxe fabrics trimmed out in fringe, tassels and other finishes.

Home Box Office (HBO)

Home Box Office (HBO)

Liberace commissioned his variant of the Sistine Chapel for his bedroom. He also loved to collect items; one of the set designers notes she bought most items for the sets in pairs, such as you see in his sack (he even had a pair of elaborately mirrored pianos, which appear in the movie).

He had a mural on his Grecian toilet’s ceiling.

Home Box Office (HBO)

Liberace’s had one of the world’s most extensive collections of their most elaborate costumes, some of which weighed over 100 pounds. His $300,000 white fur and crystal coat had a 16-foot-long train. (Do not fret, animal lovers; for the movie version they employed faux fur.)

Laura U, Inc..

Hints of Liberace Around ?

Mirrored walls have come back into style but with some fresh designer twists, such as the diamond pattern found here, in addition to antiquing. The Venetian design and marble inside this toilet make mirrored furniture and walls glam and sexy again.

If you watch the trailer, you’ll spy a full mirrored wall in Liberace’s dining room. The appearance is obsolete, however there are ways to enjoy reflective surfaces while dining.

For example, antiquing gives this centered grid of mirrors today’s popular patina-style look in a streamlined way. It is a great mixture of old and new.

Robeson Design

Statement draperies stand up to the scale of big rooms and high ceilings. These are lavish yet tasteful — streamlined long curtains hanging between custom valances. If you look at the high windows above these, you can find an notion of just how much window treatments changed this room (without going full Liberace).

Sean Gaston Interior Design

Statues and busts. Component of Liberace’s “palatial chic” included many statues and busts; many many many statues and busts.

The statue in this photo is actually from Liberace’s estate. Its classical form is complemented by the new crude, minimalist Palm Springs structure surrounding it there is a pleasing balance between conventional and modern here.

Heavenly Homes

Ceiling murals. Today many designers add artificial architectural components via ceiling murals. To me, this bathroom is an elegant, toned-down variant of Liberace’s.

Michael Merrill Design Studio, Inc

Candelabras make you think of many dangling crystals in the case of Liberace, but streamlined contemporary versions can be found, and they still add the same quantity of romantic candlelight to a dining table.

Elizabeth Dinkel

An apple-green chandelier shape is an unexpected touch in this outdoor area.

Habachy Designs

Luxe cabinets. Liberace’s elaborate costumes deserved an equally fabulous home, like this modern closet. It seems to be channeling Liberace, by the mirrored doors to the chandelier, the blue rug to the white throw, and it is all a fantastic thing. If you have the means and Liberace design, don’t wait when it comes to the location where you store your outfits.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

A grand piano needs not only a lot of room, but a place that can highlight its acoustics and the player’s skill. This beautiful foyer suits its own grandeur. I believe Liberace might have oohed and ahhed within this curved staircase and intricate railings.

Home Box Office (HBO)

If you watch the movie, please come back and tell us what you think!

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