Set Decoration

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Julianne Moore’s Hair(!?!?)


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So I finally got around to watching Tom Ford’s A Single Man last night. I know, I am a year overdue on this, and there was a Netflix queue mistake that involved another movie called A Serious Man involved. This was worth the wait; I cannot believe I did not see it sooner. The sets are absolute perfection.

The movie takes place in L.A. in 1962 (that makes it about two years behind the current season of Mad Men – I think I am completely stuck on Sixties period sets right now). From the college classrooms where smoking is permitted to the bank safe deposit room, each set is stunning. I loved the contrast between Colin Firth’s Mid-Century Modern glass house and Julianne Moore’s Hollywood Regency house a few doors down. As set after set blew my mind, the most brilliant one was Julianne Moore’s living room. Obviously, this room was planned around her hair. I’m not even kidding. It had to be. Every single shade from root to tip was represented and complimented in this lush regency room. Not since The Royal Tennenbaums have I seen such obsessive-compulsive attention to detail, or attention to matching hair to wardrobe and sets. Enough jibber jabber, let me go take some pictures of my telly screen and share with you…

Check out the way everything from the pillows to the tablescape goes perfectly with her hair!

Love the symmetry of the mirrors, chests, and lamps.

Even the alcohol on the bar coordinates.

Love the modern painting in orange on the white brick wall.

The pillows, the shag carpet, oh, and their black and white costumes make them stand out against the palette in the living room and not be swallowed up by all of the shades of oranges, gold, ambers and apricots –  there is one black and white painting in there that plays off them. It’s just so brilliant I can’t even stand it. Bravo!

I’ll try to insert the gallery below, I’m also wild over her Chinoiserie dressing area and ikat headboard, turquoise rotary phone and nightstand lamps.

All photos taken (badly, sorry!) from the movie A Single Man.


Monday, July 26th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Mad Men’s New Digs


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I am so excited to see Sterling Cooper Draper Price’s new digs in the Time Life building. Apparently there is a non-existent second floor, and they have The Emporer’s New Conference Table. The set designers on this episode are so genius. I’ve been all over today looking for videos about the new sets but so far I’ve come up with nothing, but they are great about feeding us tidbits about their process so I feel hopeful there will be some good videos about the sets there soon.

There were many nuances in the set design. Betty, who now has a new husband in her bed, has tossed out the peacock blue velvet upholstered headboard for something more traditional (along with all of her fifties nipped-at-the-waist frocks for frumpier roomy suits and a double strand of oversized pearls). Don has moved into a depressing, pre-furnished, divorced dad apartment in the city (above), complete with bunk beds for overnights with the kids. It has absolutely no feeling of home, unlike his old house in the ‘burbs.

The most exciting thing about the episode were the shiny new offices of the new firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Some of the artwork has evolved, their are shell chairs and Saarinen everywhere, and everything looks just a little bit more modern than the old firm. I can’t wait to see Cooper’s office and accompanying artwork, which they did not reveal last night. Doesn’t this area look like something that could exist in some hip start up? I love the detail of the Lanvin shoe on the inspiration board on the right.Oh wait, you can’t see it in this shot, but you can in the one below it:

Roger Sterling’s white office is my favorite. Complete with tulip table, I’m blanking on what that white lamp is called (please help me in the comments section! Thanks CapreeK “Nesso Table Lamp by Giancarlo Mattioli for Artemide”), white mirrored console, graphic black and white curtains and black and white painting. Check out the chrome table lamp and coat rack!

Breaking through more glass ceilings, Joan now has her own office. She’s kept it more traditional:

Still no conference table – it will be funny to see how that works out:

Finally, Don’s office hasn’t changed much. He still likes his mid-century modern dark woods, though it’s lightened up a bit. The spirits are still the most important part of the office:

Did you watch? What was your favorite part of the set design (or the show, I’m always happy to dish about this show!).

all images from


Monday, May 24th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Think “Big”!


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Do you recognize this loft from the crappy picture I took of my television over the weekend?

Here’s another clue:

Tom Hanks’ loft in the movie “Big” is one of the best, most fun set designs I’ve ever seen. It still stands up today. The guy’s got a Pepsi machine, a pinball machine, blow up dinosaurs, bunk beds, and best of all, a trampoline. That would surely require some really high ceilings and some sneaking in past the co-op board!

Sometimes I think we all take design too seriously. Sometimes I look at it so much that I get burnt out. Then I watch a movie like “Big” and start to think about lightening things up and approaching design like a kid, and I’m reinvigorated.


Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Kelsey Grammer’s Scandanavian Kitchen


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So the other day I fell down the rabbit hole, browsing pictures of celebrity homes on, and I came across Kelsey Grammer’s kitchen in the Hamptons. All I could think of was Frasier’s ultramodern (minus Dad’s hideous recliner) Seattle bachelor pad. Now some song about tossed salad and scrambled eggs is going through my head.

I love those tiles, that ceiling, the blue and white, the touches of rich wood and the overall lightness of this kitchen. It looks like you could transport it to Sweden and besides its huge size, no one would know it came from the far end of Long Island New York. It’s just shocking to see something so traditional from a guy who I will always associate with one of my first exposures to a fantasy modern luxury abode. Knowing how much everyone in Hollywood moves, he probably doesn’t even live in this house anymore. This was the only picture I could find online of Frasier’s kitchen:

Hmmm, there weren’t enough design blogs around when Frasier was actually on the air, it’s tough to find pictures of that kitchen. However, during my search, I’ve learned that his couch was an exact replica of Coco Chanel’s, that the set included a Chihuly sculpture that had to be locked up ever night after filming because it was worth $30,000, that one of the paintings was by Robert Rauschenberg,  that there is an “I Hate Frasier Crane” site, that I can waste a lot of time ogling television set sites…I finally realized the only way to get a good shot of the kitchen was to buy the Season 1 DVD, which apparently has a tour led by set decorator Roy Christopher. Despite the great actors and my love for Cheers, I wasn’t a huge fan of Frasier (too much annoying bickering and canned laughter),  but I may just have to buy that DVD for the 9-minute tour, it sounds fantastic.


Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Bachelor Plaid Wallpaper on “Cougartown”


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The first sitcom on network TV that I have actually chuckled over in a long time is ABC’s Cougartown. The set design is rather brilliant, and I love the context of Graham and Brown’s Marcel Wanders-designed Audrey wallpaper in the hunky neighbor’s bachelor pad. I thought I’d share it with you, though I don’t know a lot of bachelors who have purple curtains:

photos via my television, which was on ABC