Set design for movies and television shows – 7 of my favorite picks

Dear readers,

do you pay any attention to the sets of your favorite TV shows or movies? I know I do. I might not be the handiest person when it comes to hammers (or heaven forbid automatic drills) but I can paint them walls like nobody’s business. And we all know what kind of aesthetic we like, don’t we?

Down below are some of the movie sets I have found particularly appealing. I do have to mention I wanted to add White Collar too because the main character Neil Caffery (played by Matt Bomer) lives in absolutely stunning abode in New York. Some further digging revealed it is the Schinasi Mansion (the only free standing single family mansion in Manhattan) but unfortunately I could not find any set pics.

I have been thinking about doing this post for ages but it was this post by Holly over at Decor8 that finally given me the much needed kick in the arse to do some writing.

So tell me dear readers – did you ever see a movie or a TV set set that you just loved? Feel free to share your likes and dislikes down below in the comments.

It’s Complicated
Set designed by Beth A. Rubino.

Meryl Streep’s character Jane has her own coffee shop in Santa Barbara. And while I think it’s absolutely gorgeous (and the baked goodies on display look delish) it was her home, or to be more precise her kitchen that made me swoon. And the exterior shots of the house were to die for. Over at Remodelista you can find 2 blog posts in case you want to do some remodeling in both your kitchen and garden to try and emulate that relaxed California vibe.




Source: Traditional Home and Silver Screen Surroundings and

Coco avant Chanel
Production designer: Olivier Radot

Coco Chanel revolutionized fashion and who better to play her then Audrey Tautou? On Hooked on Houses you can check out images from Coco Chanel’s flat and at Travel and Leisure you can learn more about some of her favorite haunts in Paris.





Source: Warner Bros. via

Production design by Aline Bonetto, set design by Marie-Laure Valla

Another movie with Audrey Tautou that has over the years become a fail safe feel-good movie. Her little flat was a fun, eclectic and I simply loved all the little details. Like that blue lamp. Or the dresser in her bathroom. If you are planning a trip to Paris here is a handy guide for all the film locations.




Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Production design by Sarah Greenwood, set decoration by Katie Spencer.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is another one of those lovely movie that will do just great for a Sunday afternoon. It was Miss Pettigrew’s employer Delysia Lafosse, an American singer and actress who lived in absolutely gorgeous flat in London with wonderful art deco details. Her bedroom, the bathroom and that lovely living room with a sweeping staircase – oh my! And it does make me wish I am earning millions to be able to afford such a flat in London.





Sex and the City (the movie)
Production design by Jeremy Conway and set decoration by Lydia Marks

I might like shoes as much as the next girl but I was far more enamored with the redesign of Carrie’s flat to notice any Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks. I loved the colors (what can I say I’m a sucker for deep blue) and the accents (although I would totally leave out the $300 pillows). While Lydia Marks worked on the set decor for the movie (she also did Devil Wears Prada and Synecdoche, New York) it was Ondine Karady who worked on the set design for the series (you can see pics for Barishnikov’s loft down below and while a bit masculine for my taste it is still gorgeous – I mean it’s huge but it is still warm and inviting, love that).





Source: Lydia Marks and Ondine Karady

Ugly Betty
Production design Mark Worthington, set design Archie D’Amico, Rich Devine and Janet Shaw

While I am still sorely disappointed that Ugly Betty got canceled (boo and tsk to ABC!) I do have to mention it as it has not only served as a source of fashion inspiration but interior design inspiration too. The Mode offices are sleek, modern and quirky and how can you not love the Suarez residence when it looks so warm, inviting and like a proper home? (unlike most TV homes which all seem a bit too generic, too perfect and frankly too boring). And while I am sooooo not about bathtub in the middle of the room (the kitchen counter and the stove are RIGHT THERE, seems a bit unhygienic and a potential hazard but that’s just me being a Domestos lady), I do love Betty’s Manhattan flat. It has character, I love the colors and it is well… so Betty.





The Holiday
Set designers: Cindy Carr, Al Hobbs, Anna Pinnock, David Smith

I left The Holiday for last because there are so many wonderful images it is difficult to choose from. I loved the relaxed, urban Californian style of Cameron Diaz’s character’s LA abode (just look at that bathroom, to die for!) but it was Kate Winslet’s gorgeous cottage in English countryside that had me swooning good and proper. I absolutely loved every single detail from kitchen to bedroom with the cozy reading nook thrown in between. You can pop over to Linda’s at Silver Screen Surroundings if you fancy a few ideas on how to recreate that particular look.










8 thoughts on “Set design for movies and television shows – 7 of my favorite picks

  1. I love the Santa Barbara police station set for the TV show Psych and I would like to know where I can learn more about it. Any ideas?

  2. I love the paint colors used in Peter & Elizabeth Burkes apartment on White Collar. any idea on how I can find out what those paint colors are?

  3. Does anyone know the paint color inside the home of the character, Jane, played by Meryl Streep in, It’s Complicated?

  4. I have been drooling over the Burke’s entire house on White Collar. I LOVE the paint colors, the white, the bits of warm wood. So good!

  5. I second the Santa Barbara police station on Psyche. I LOVE the colors and design. How can I get this info?

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