Director Guillermo del Toro is known for making movies that are both imaginative and disturbing, and those are good words to describe the bizarre collection of macabre memorabilia that he keeps in his office and sometime home. Del Toro works out of a residence that he calls Bleak House. It’s a fitting name, and not just because it features a Charles Dickens-themed room. The house is filled with grotesque objects that have inspired del Toro throughout his career. This summer, many of those items will be on display at LACMA in an exhibit that will then travel around the world.
Del Toro, creator of morbid fantasies like Pan's Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, based the concept for his extravagant man cave on the cabinets of curiosities that were the precursors of museums in Renaissance-era Europe. Thus, it's filled with biological specimens, skulls, and "malformed children," as he enthusiastically explains in a video tour of the house released a few years ago. There are also tributes to some of del Toro's favorite sources of inspiration, including Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and HP Lovecraft. "I made it a point to live with all the guys I admire," del Toro tells the New York Times.
Still, del Toro doesn't live at the house full time. He shares a comparably ho-hum residence with his family, using the Bleak House as purely a work space for himself and the artists who collaborate with him. The many curios on display are meant to inspire creativity. And, if that doesn't work, there's also a screening room with 7,000 classic films to get those creative juices flowing.