It’s Spooky season, so we decided to have a little fun and do an official review of the window coverings of The Addams Family. Specifically, the one filmed in 1991 and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Why start here? Great question! Between the original cartoon, the TV series, and the many movies that came after, we decided to start at the beginning of the more modern-day films as we felt this would be most relevant now.
Left: Original Addams house, Right: Addams Family film house
Built in 1888, the original 19th-century Victorian-Era design house, located at 21 Chester Place, was real and in Los Angeles’ West Adams District.1
The house in the movie looks a bit different, but you can see the inspiration they took for the film. The facade was built on a mountain that overlooked the Burbank Hills but the rest was shot at Hollywood studios. From the outside, it looks like it has five floors but we’re pretty sure there are more based on the movie. It is said to have 25 to 30 rooms but the rooms are not always displayed.2 Many cannot be accessed unless you know the secret to open them, such as selecting the right book from a shelf or pulling the right lever. The most significant difference between the original house and the one in the movie is the windows.
The original has some arched windows but most of the windows are squared off at the top. The film makes the creative decision to change the home to reflect a Gothic style by arching all of the windows with the exception of one porthole window to the right of the front entrance. We agree with this creative decision and feel it was a good choice given how “goth” the residents of the home are and how spooky it makes the house. The windows look like little tombstones for goth sake!
The Window Treatments
All of the windows in the house were covered with dark wooden shutters. The shutters on the first floor seem to be in reasonably good shape, but the further you go up in the house, they begin to break down with broken slats allowing hazy light to beam through. Interestingly enough, most of the lighting in the movie seems to come from the natural light pouring through the windows which makes sense given most of the shutters were in ill repair. It was surprising to realize that the Addams Family really didn’t care about privacy as much as you would have thought they would. The shutters were always open and it was clear in the movie they didn’t care if others judged them for their actions. Maybe that’s why they didn’t repair them. They always took the utmost care with their appearance but their home and window treatments seemed to be an afterthought.
Admittedly, we’re surprised by the window treatments chosen, but we see how it added to the creepy feeling the film was trying to convey. We were actually expecting something more dramatic – maybe some roman shades in dramatic materials like velvet or elaborate floor-to-ceiling drapes that could be drawn to create extreme darkness as well as add to the “goth” feeling.
That said, we have gone through the effort of making selections for each of the main characters in the movie based on what we think they would have wanted.
It’s guaranteed that Morticia’s window treatments would be black. From black evening gowns to shimmering black cloaks drenched in “jet” which are semi-precious black stones made of coal often worn to replace diamonds during the Victorian era during periods of mourning, she was always dressed as a high-class, goth aristocrat.5
There is a great scene at the beginning where Morticia and Gomez are having a private moment and Morticia becomes annoyed by a bright beam of light that hits her eyes. Gomez angrily gets up to close the shutters. He grabs a sword and angrily slashes the shutters to close them. We literally “shuddered” during this scene as you can imagine the damage a sword would do to natural wood. This is the moment we used as inspiration for our recommendation for Morticia.
We recommend a Dual Shade for Morticia, specifically the Architect Dual Shade in the color Dark Secret. The dual shade or sometimes referred to as the “zebra” shade is very edgy in appearance due to its alternating horizontal stripes. What makes this shade so cool is that it moves up and down like a shade but opens its slats like a blind. Check out this video to see it in motion. It can be motorized as well, at the moment when Morticia becomes annoyed by the light, Gomez can just grab the remote control vs a sword to close the shades. Crisis averted! Window coverings have been spared.
Wondering about the arch in the window? We recommend adding floor-to-ceiling drapes for dramatic effect. This allows the arch to let in light when desired but the Zebra shades will create privacy. For a full blackout effect, the drapes can be drawn to cover the arched window. We think Morticia would love our Jewel Toned Drapes from the Velvet Collection in Velvet Onyx with a blackout liner of course.
The epitome of male elegance, Gomez Addams reminds of a male bird whose feathers are more colorful than that of the female. He colorfully mixes patterns and textures into a beautiful tapestry of eccentricity.6 Gomez seems like the kind of man who chooses fashion before function and flashiness over subtlety. Therefore, we have chosen a tailored but layered approach for him using patterns and textures we know he would love. The Lifestyle Roman Shade in the color Shadow reminds of a dapper tailored suit with a smart pattern. Layered with our Jewel Tone Drapes in the color Velvet Ruby it’s as if the drapes act like a dramatic velvet jacket to a tailored suit. Layering roman shades is not always necessary but in this case, we felt that Gomez would want the extra drama.
Wednesday was a stoic child who very much acted like an adult and was adorably obsessed with death and darkness. She remained very likable due to her playful but morbid exchanges with others. She wore an extremely tailored, black and white, Edwardian-inspired dress with a chaotic scribble pattern.5 When we realized that the pattern on the dress was a chaotic scribble, there was no doubt about which window covering to choose. Our Little Dreamer Room Darkening Roller Shades in color Black and White Cloud Climber is a whimsical take on a little black cloud. We think this captures Wednesday’s childlike quality but embraces her love for all things dark with little dark “chaotic scribble” clouds.
Pugsley was always up for any adventure Wednesday threw at him. From sword fighting with real swords to almost electrocuting him in their “at home” electric chair, Pugsley said yes to everything with a joyful smile on his face. We think given his simple and adventurous spirit, Pugsley would have wanted the Little Adventurer Room Darkening Roller Shade in color Charcoal Woodland Traveler.
Fester was dressed nicely but seemed to almost always wear the same thing, a black long-sleeve velvet coat. It was impeccable in design but understated with no detail or texture, almost as if it was a disguise. Since Uncle Fester’s personality literally conducted electricity, we think it makes sense that his attire didn’t need to demand too much attention. We would recommend the Cozy Roman Shades in color Cool Grey Matte Velvet.
Even though black was such a happy color to Morticia Addams, unfortunately, we were underwhelmed by their choices in window coverings. For such a magical home, were they going for graveyard chic, or were form and function just an afterthought? This is not uncommon as most homeowners make the “grave” decision of selecting their window coverings last. They set the tone for your home, establishing ambiance and style. They are also responsible for: privacy, protection, efficiency for sleep quality, sound, and temperature control. The window coverings chosen were creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky, but that was The Addams family! 🤌🏼🤌🏼
If you had fun reading our review of The Addams Family and want to find out what we would recommend for you, our Design Consultants would be happy to learn about your needs and make a recommendation. Call (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!
1Moler, D. – 5 Fictional Homes That Exist in Real Life
2 Addams Family Wiki – The Addams Family Mansion
3Addams Family Wiki – The Addams Family (1991)
4Movie-locations.com – The Addams Family (1991)
5Gragert, G. – The Art of Costume, How the Addams Family Made Everyone Want to Dress Like Morticia and Wednesday 6Sandoval, M. – Elle Magazine, The Addams Family 30th Anniversary: Costume Legacy