Set Design Standouts

Our August 2013 issue features an interview with the set designer Beth Kushnick of the hit drama, The Good Wife. Not only do great sets bring a character to life, they can spark envy. It started us thinking about all the memorable sets (and shows) we would have loved to make a cameo in. Here is a roundup of some H&H editor faves.

Spotted: a Missoni-covered Eames lounger! How decadent. Perfect for the home office of the Upper East Siders that populate Gossip Girl. The show may have ended but snippets of the posh life lingers in the gold-infused sets that made up the Van der Woodsen Manhattan home.

The consummate Cali kitchen is a theatre for major drama for the Walker family following the death of their father on Brothers and Sisters. Set designer Bryan Venegas says, “The house is a beautiful Spanish home in Pasadena so I wanted to sell the fact that the Walkers were financially well off without making them stuffy or material. I also made sure the house had a sense of history and functionality. Nora (played by Sally Field) is very organized, obsessive, and a mother so I made sure her surroundings told her story.”

Here is the dreamy backyard shot of the Walker’s family home dressed for a dinner party.

What girl wouldn’t love to wake up with a walk through Carrie Bradshaw’s closet on Sex and the City? Not too shabby for a freelance writer living in the Big Apple.

There are many, many things to love about Mad Men, especially how the time capsule sets capture the rapidly shifting design ethos of the ’60s. Despite the appropriately space-age feel, the marble-topped Saarinen Tulip table and Nesso table lamp from Artemide in the office of glib ad exec Roger Sterling wouldn’t look out of place today. Except for the full-to-capacity ashtray.

Let’s venture back to the ’80s to Family Ties and a kitchen that sparked a lot of nostalgia for H&H staffers. The Keaton family (Michael J. Fox and Brian Bonsall played sons Alex and Andy) kitchen kicked off a desire for Wolf stoves (seen top right corner), which were just beginning to gain popularity. Executive producer Gary David Goldberg, who was very specific about the set’s decor, had a Wolf range in his L.A. home. Unlike most shabby sitcom sets that centred on a threadbare sofa, the Keaton’s fictional Ohio home was an upscale Victoriana throwback with a camelback sofa, velvet armchairs and Persian rugs.

Well looky here, it’s Alex P. Keaton’s sitcom girlfriend, (aka Courtney Cox), all grown up and the star of Cougar Town. After her character Jules remodels her bathroom, it’s so beautiful she refuses to leave it until her friends stage an intervention and carry her out.

So what tops your list of memorable sets?

Photo credits:
1., photography by Jonny Valiant
2-4, 7. Hooked on Houses blog
5. House Beautiful, photography by Michael Yarish/AMC
6. Architectural Digest, photography by Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photobank

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