Step inside: A tour of the furniture and decor in The Trouble With Jessica

Step inside: A tour of the furniture and decor in The Trouble With Jessica

Selling a house can be a tumultuous affair, but how far would you go to ensure a great offer gets over the line? In The Trouble with Jessica we’re introduced to middle class couple Sarah and Tom who are hosting a dinner party just as they are on the verge of selling their London home. And a very stylish home it is too. However, an unexpected incident threatens their plans and as this farce plays out, we get a great look around their exquisite home. Film and Furniture’s Paula Benson delves into the central role this house plays in the film with Director/Co-writer Matt Winn and we invite you to take a virtual tour of the drool-worthy furniture, lighting and decor.

The Trouble with Jessica emerges as a black comedy featuring an ensemble cast including Shirley Henderson, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams, Indira Varma, and Alan Tudyk.

The narrative unfurls as architect Tom finds himself entangled in financial woes due to a loan taken for one of his design projects. Amidst their celebratory dinner with best friends Richard and Beth, unexpectedly accompanied by the outspoken novelist Jessica, chaos ensues when Jessica takes her own life.

A moral dilemma evolves: What do you do when a friend has killed herself in your back garden and you’re close to exchange on a house sale? Tom goes to call the police when Sarah realises if the buyer finds out, the sale will collapse, meaning definite financial ruin for their family. The only solution is to convince Richard and Beth to take Jessica’s body to her flat and make it look like she killed herself there. What could possibly go wrong?

The Trouble with Jessica emerges as a black comedy featuring an ensemble cast including Shirley Henderson, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams, Indira Varma, and Alan Tudyk. Drawing parallels to Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry and evoking the essence of a modern-day, sophisticated Abigail’s Party (with a ‘cheesy pineapple one’ replaced with the french dessert clafoutis), the film navigates the complexities of British middle-class life with wit and satire.

Director Matt Winn shared with us how he selected the house, emphasising its pivotal role in setting the stage and delineating the characters’ personas. The meticulously curated interiors not only serve as a backdrop but also offer subtle insights into the protagonists’ lifestyles and aspirations.

He had a clear vision of what he wanted when choosing the house, which he eventually found near London’s Queen’s Park. He had envisaged a very middle class house which becomes a central character in the film and tasked himself and his team to find the most aspirational house possible, because otherwise “there would be no drama, no cinematic conflict: This terrible thing has happened, but these people can’t do what they normally do and phone the police, because they would loose everything they’ve got. Therefore what they’re going to loose has to be worth it” he told us. His intention was to convey “these people have worked really hard for what they’ve got, the house and all it’s decor and objects, so how far would they go to defend it?”.

After looking at about 75 houses, Matt chose this real home due to the allure of the main open plan room which fitted with the characters of Architect Tom and his wife Sarah. Join us on a virtual tour of this captivating London home, from its distinguished exterior to its meticulously designed interiors. Even the film’s part cards are based on Farrow and Ball colours!

The exterior

The Trouble With Jessica: The house exterior
The house exterior in The Trouble With Jessica.

The exterior presents a picturesque view of a double-fronted Edwardian house, setting the tone for the narrative’s unfolding drama. In real life this house is not in fact double fronted, it was created from the basis of a semi-detached house in post production as Winn wished to created a more impressive and symmetrical view.

The hallway entrance

The Trouble With Jessica: The Hallway
The Trouble With Jessica: The Hallway

Upon entering, the hallway boasts restored black and white chequered Edwardian tiles, complemented by striking geometric metal art (find similar on Etsy), offering a glimpse into the home’s charm and the design sensibilities of Tom and Sarah.

The Trouble With Jessica: Towards the hallway from the kitchen
The Trouble With Jessica: Towards the hallway from the expansive kitchen island with study area off to the right.

The grand open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, with a study area to one side exude good taste: We spotted a green Snoopy lamp sitting on a wooden side console table below a large framed photographic artwork on the wall.

The Dining area

The Trouble With Jessica: Dining table
The Trouble With Jessica: Dining table

A set of black Eames wire DKR chairs (originally released by the Eames Office in 1951) all with black seat and back pads, sit around the wooden dining table to create a sophisticated dining experience.

The Trouble With Jessica: Dining and living area
The Trouble With Jessica: Dining and living area

The lyrical grouping of bamboo pendant lights of varying sizes hanging above the dining table create an ambient lighting source and a beautiful visual highlight to this area of the house.

The kitchen area

The kitchen area is a culinary haven, with ample space to prepare a dinner part for guests (even unexpected ones) and for Tom to make his signature dish Clafoutis. An Alessi white metal Trinity bowl sits on the counter top, ladened with fruit.

The kitchen carpentry is finished in a slate grey/blue, the enormous island in a warm grey, and a black wooden breakfast bar extends at 90 degrees from the island worktop. This additional eating area is furnished with four rattan breakfast bar stools which add texture and compliment the bamboo pendant lights above the dining table. You can find similar rattan bar stools at Dunelm and Amazon.

In terms of cookware, it’s only the best for Tom and Sarah: The Le Creuset Signature enamelled cast iron round casserole dish in ‘volcanic’ orange is colour-matched by the orange pepper mill and Le Creuset orange utensils jar.

  • Le Creuset jar-the-trouble-with-jessica-film-furnitureLe Creuset Utensil Jar

    Le Creuset Utensil Jar

    Director: Matt Winn

    The Le Creuset Utensil Jar is a stoneware utensil jar to store whisks, spoons, spatulas and more. 

    The strong stoneware is made with a durable chip-resistant enamel which comes in a variety of colours to match the other Le Creuset stoneware cookware to create a colour-coordinated kitchen setting, as is the case in Tom and Sarah’s house in The Trouble With Jessica.

    Shop Now

Above the breakfast bar hangs a brass tiered pendant light and above the kitchen island we find three blue Riviera Maison Coqotte lamps. A silver conical-shaped Alessi Il Conico Kettle also sits on the kitchen Island.

The kitchen area is set off by a bold abstract painting on the wall.

The lounge area

The open plan lounge area features a Berber rug (find similar economical versions at Dunelm) and a light grey sofa with right hand chaise.

In front of the sofa sits a vintage Mid-century glass-topped coffee table with wooden ‘jacks’ legs. This could well be a vintage coffee table by Illum Wikkelsø.

the trouble with jessica sofa

The sofa is decorated with yellow and teal cushions, and a mustard yellow knitted throw. 

Another bold abstract artwork in steely blue sits on the wall.

The study

the trouble with jessica study

The study area sits to one side of the open plan kitchen and features a small wooden desk with a Robin Day 675 chair, built in grey cupboards and shelving for books and a turntable, and a black metal wall light.

The office

STAIRway the trouble with jessica
An architectural staircase leads to Tom’s office in The Trouble With Jessica

Tom’s office, situated atop a stunning architectural staircase, showcases practicality and elegance with wide panelled wooden flooring, a grey shelving unit, a central work table and handy 3-tier white storage trolley (find similar on Amazon).

the trouble with jessica toms attic office
Tom’s office in The Trouble With Jessica

The Garden

Finally, the garden where Jessica does the evil deed, is framed by expansive glass sliding doors which encapsulate the bittersweet reality of Sarah and Tom’s predicament.

Find a summary of furniture, decor and lighting from the house in The Trouble With Jessica, and where to find these pieces for your own home, in our marketplace.

Director Matt Winn’s top tips for films which were influences include Down Terrace by Ben Wheatley and Yorgos LanthimosDogtooth.

The Trouble With Jessica is in UK and Irish cinemas from 5th April 2024.

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