Interior Design Inspiration: Marilyn Monroe's Monochromatic Chic

Marilyn was the classiest woman when it came to fashion; but her sense for what worked and what didn't work certainly carried over to her interior design skills. She seriously had the "je ne sais quoi", and one could learn a lot by taking a cue from her sophisticated style and incorporate it into their own design style!

Sadly, a quick Google search will not be of much help. Go ahead. Type in any combination of the words "Marilyn Monroe Interior Design" and you will find a somewhat hideous array of Andy Warhol knockoffs, black & red hued rooms, and fluffy pink chairs.


These are far away from the reality.


Marilyn Monroe was not flashy when it came to her home decor, in fact, she was almost the exact opposite. She was known for decorating almost completely in white.

She loved art, and reportedly purchased a Rodin statue of a couple embracing. She also loved Goya, Picasso, El-Greco -- the list goes on and on. 

When she purchased her first home in Brentwood, she finally had the chance to make a house her home, one of her very own. A place she could feel safe in. I have pulled inspiration from furniture she had in that home (Greg Schreiner's private collection was a huge help for reference), along with examples from previous apartments she had in New York and Los Angeles, to compile this list of home decor. 

Items Inspired by Marilyn Monroe's Style (INCLUDING PIECES THAT LOOK SIMILAR TO Furniture She ACTUALLY Owned)!

White Chest of Drawers

The last check Monroe purportedly wrote was for a white dresser, which makes sense, the woman loved the hue! I was unable to find photos of the dresser she ordered, probably because it was never delivered. But this one is beautiful and has a Marilyn feel to it.

marilyn monroe sheets

Silk Sheets

In an interview with Resource, Douglas Kirkland (photographer) quoted Marilyn's instructions for their famous photo shoot: “I should have a silk sheet. Nothing on but that silk sheet.” And she added, “It must be silk.”

marilyn monroe red couch

Deep-Seated Red Couch

While Marilyn's style was almost overwhelmingly simple when it came to interior design, she clearly loved pops of color. A red couch similiar to the one pictured sat in the living room of her Brentwood home.

marilyn monroe tiles

Hand-Painted Tiles

Marilyn Monroe brought back a number of souvenirs from her 1962 trip to Mexico. Tiles in this style were scattered throughout various places in her house. Some of the tiles she used in her Brentwood home ares still there today (others have been sold at auction for ridiculous amounts of money).

Gothic Mirror Marilyn Monroe

Gothic Mirror

In her Brentwood home, one of the doorways was a Gothic arch. It may not be possible to remodel your home this way, so go the easier rout -- evoke the feel with this Gothic Mirror.

Marilyn MOnroe table

Wood Coffee Table

Amongst Marilyn's collection was a coffee table believed to have been sourced (handmade) from Mexico. It is difficult to find something identical because the piece is so unique, but with its striking lines and distinctly non-manufactured look, I think this fits the bill.

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Floral Oil Painting

She had a beautiful floral painting hanging in her bedroom. Swathed in purples and oranges, this gorgeous oil painting of poppies by Janet Peters reminds me a lot of Marilyn's!

Marilyn Monroe Chair

Chippendale-Style Corner Chair

There is this delightful picture of Marilyn Monroe perched atop a chair that looks similar to this. It looks like a Chippendale to me. Other than the green cushion of the original, they look pretty similar!


Several notes in the spirit of doing the right thing... Marilyn Monroe did NOT endorse any of the products listed here, but based upon my research they look very similar to things she actually owned (you can see the original photos from her house with some Internet searching). That said, if you buy from any of the links included above rather than going straight to the vendor site from Google or another search engine, I get a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. :)

love marilyn monroe? so do we!