Set design plays a vital role in TV and film, setting the mood and exploring or introducing aspects of a characters’ persona. Style can say a lot about a person’s likes, dislikes, and interests, in a way that can’t always be expressed in dialog. The designs of our favorite prime time shows are perhaps the most widely viewed interiors today, and they may just have an influence on the design of your home as well! Don’t believe me? See for yourself…
Let’s explore the sets of a few of today’s most popular TV shows and take a look at their design in relation to trends in modern residential interior décor. First up, it’s Modern Family, which follows the lives of the Dunphy family and their extended relatives. Production Designer Richard Berg describes the Dunphy home as “Pottery Barn-Restoration Hardware traditional modern.”
Inside the set we see transitional furnishings with a bit of an eclectic mix of accent décor, as well as a fun and playful use of color- not unlike the Dunphy’s themselves. I especially love the collection of plates and art on the far kitchen wall in a warm color palette, giving this set a cozy and “lived-in” vibe. To keep design interesting and to give this color scheme balance, they paint the front entryway and hall a gorgeous shade of blue, creating a triadic color scheme (using colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel) of red, yellow, and blue.
Here’s another shot of that blue paint, which is Benjamin Moores ‘Labrador Blue’, in the entryway. Notice the red runner on the floor and the fun yellow lamp, bringing that triadic color scheme throughout the space, and keeping things vibrant and fun! See anything familiar yet?
Next, let’s take a look at the series Two Broke Girls, which follows the misadventures of two girls working toward their dream of opening a cupcake shop in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Setting aside the fact that, even in Brooklyn, broke girls wouldn’t be able to afford the apartment they’re living in, let’s take a look at some set design. Set designers chose to feature a bold and quirky wallpaper at the café where the girls work: Graham & Brown’s ‘Trippy Orange’ from the Superfresco collection, in a not-so-subtle throwback to the color palettes of the 70’s.
I love the attention to detail in the geometric and slightly retro cone-shaped wall sconces. Even if this wouldn’t be your first (or second, or third) choice of wallpaper, we’re seeing some truly gorgeous things happening with the new patterns and textures of wallpaper today. If you thought it was just for your grandmother’s powder room, think again! Printed raffia, boldly scaled geometric designs, and fresh new colors are just some of what modern wall coverings have to offer.
Speaking of wallpaper, let’s take a look at the last set on our list today: Hanna’s bedroom on the show Pretty Little Liars. Wrapping around to cover two walls, this accent wallpaper features an abstract watercolor butterfly design that’s a charming combination of girly and grown-up. Keeping things soft and light, the set designer went for an analogous color scheme (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) of muted reds, soft pinks, and subtle purple which keeps things feeling calm and serene. Just to spice things up, pops of bright yellow are thrown in on the chair and accent pillow.
Great details are everywhere- take a look at the lacey, lattice-like open work of the side table, mirror, and chairs. The armchairs featured in this bedroom, in the Chinese Chippendale style, are becoming very popular in residential designs today. Be it formal dining, casual kitchen, or a stylish home office, they can work for almost any space. One of my favorite versions is the one shown above, by Jonathan Adler.
So as you can see, the designs created by the production and set designers of your favorite shows are becoming the styles you see being created in your home. Design is always evolving, and whether it’s a fun spring update or a total room renovation, we’ve got ideas to get you inspired!