TV shows are visual comfort food, and not only because of the pretty faces and simplified lifestyles they feature but because of their cleverly designed sets that speak to us and invite us to join the characters in their romanticised lives. We can easily picture ourselves becoming part of the familiar crowd and laughing the night away as we enjoy binge-watching our favourite TV show.
The most successful TV series and movies use interior design to set the overall mood and support the storytelling. Sometimes, the set can even be considered as an extra character as its contribution to the narrative becomes essential. Anyone who was a regular viewer of the show can recognize the Friends or the Mad Men movie sets in a blink of an eye as their impact on the story was so monumental. And not just the story! The Mad Men mania of a few years back brought the Mid-century modern interior style back in favor with an unprecedented number of homeowners eager to revisit their childhood home style.
Let’s find out what makes us fall so desperately in love with these spaces and then steal their best design aspects to recreate the look with the vintage gems found at Vinterior.
Friends – Eclectic 20th-century style
The decade-defining and probably the most popular sitcom ever, this year Friends turn 25 years old. This may sound like a lot, but the truth is – the show still feels as fresh as a daisy. Obviously, Millennials keep rewatching Friends for its nostalgia. They use it as an opportunity to walk down memory lane and revisit the days of growing up in the ‘90s when there were no smartphones and social media to get in the way of real human connections and a deep sense of belonging. But even though they cannot relate at this level, younger generations still find Friends to be a fantastic show.
The iconic purple-walled living room in Monica and Rachel’s apartment is the heart of the show. Its open-plan layout creates a seamless flow between the kitchen, dining and living area, spacious enough to host the entire cast and versatile enough to make them all feel at home.
Close your eyes for a sec and think about Friends. What colour do you see? It’s purple, isn’t it? The elegant purples provide such a magnificent backdrop for neutral furniture and make it feel incredibly inviting. Other than the teal and gold accents, everything else remains neutral to help us focus our attention to characters and their adventures.
The interior style of Monica and Rachel’s apartment brings together ‘80s chic with ‘90s sophistication. Paying homage to the shabby-chic aesthetic, all the furniture in the room appears to be mismatched. From the oriental-style rug, the apothecary table, antique storage and randomly chosen side tables, each piece is just bursting with character.
The sitting arrangement is crucial here as it sets the dynamic for the entire show. The unpretentious sofa oozing in comfort is surrounded with an oversized armchair with rounded arms and another one with an antique ottoman. With a huge table in the centre, the TV and a surround system this space is just perfect for a hangout.
Exposed brick, open shelving and mismatched dining chairs make everything feel effortlessly stylish and incredibly relaxed, while patchwork cushions and patterned throws bring in a punch of the warm boho style. Not too much put together, but not messy, either.
Here is how you can reconstruct this set in your own space:
Mad Men – chic Mid-century Modern
Image credit: AMC Networks
It’s been four years since the last episode was aired and we still can’t get over Don Draper’s Upper East side apartment. Notoriously well-researched and decorated, this set is an impressive time-capsule to the East-Coast mid-century modern style.
Matthew Weiner, the creator of the show, production designer Dan Bishop and set decorator Claudette Didul created a fantasy. By looking at the local ads and documentaries from the ‘60s they researched everything down to the most intricate detail.
The open and airy layout leaves room for thought yet still makes you feel protected. The furniture is quintessentially Danish mid-century modern, featuring Herman Miller, Knoll, Hans Wegner and Steelcase classics. The colour scheme is mostly earthy browns and creams with pops of mid-century champions – burnt orange and teal. But the real magic must be in the lighting scattered around the place to create an intriguing mood for entertaining.
It’s warm. It’s sexy. It’s elegant. It’s empowering. It’s right out of a magazine.
Lucky for you, you can now steal the look of this stunning apartment. Just stay away from Meghan’s favourite white carpet unless you are going to use the space to practice levitation.
Pride & Prejudice – Traditional Regency antiques
To live out our Regency era fantasies, let’s make a visit to the Pride and Prejudice set. In her most famous novel, Jane Austin used houses as part of her masterful study of the human character. The interiors tell stories about their inhabitants and help us better understand the characters and their social status. She was never huge on detailed interior descriptions, so it was up to directors to come up with their vision for the big screen. But when you are tapping into the Regency era, you better be careful as your audience is well-educated.
Everything was filmed in the actual homes, not built sets, so the interior designers had to make the most of the given space. The picture above shows the charming Bennett household and its peculiar furniture arrangement. In this room, the beautiful fireplace is not a focal point of the layout. Two loveseats are placed back-to-back in front of the fireplace to break the space into zones to be used for both moments of solitude and intimate conversations.
Sumptuous curves of the pieces and objects of art are toned down a bit by their worn off condition. The entire home is mostly shown in shadows, with blues and browns dancing through the dark.
But as Jane Austen would say: “There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” In all its mess, the Bennett household still feels warm and homelike.
If you feel the same, check out the products below to shop the look.
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