Television

Design Utopia

Utopia, a British Television show, is one of the most well designed programs I have seen in a long time.  Every set is striking, with particular attention paid to color and geometry.  It is hard to pick just one room to show you, but I did.  

This is the meeting room of a shadowy organization with nefarious intentions. The walls are bonkers. 

Outlier Outlander Chair

Outlander: Season 1, Episode 16 - A Scottish monistary

Outlander: Season 1, Episode 16 - A Scottish monistary

This chair came out of nowhere in the season finale of Outlander.  The show is set in 1743 Scotland, during a war with the English, so it wasn't a time when craftsman were thinking up new gorgeous chairs.  But then, behold!

This chair seems to fit the room and the time period, but has such contemporary lines.  What makes it extra special is that it only has three legs.  Ingenious!

Harvey Specter's Throw Pillows

Suits: Season 4 - Harvey's slick bachelor pad

Suits: Season 4 - Harvey's slick bachelor pad

Harvey, from Suits, has such great throw pillows.  They have an incredible tribal quality, while still being slick and graphic.  Or maybe it is a take on Arabic writing?  

UPDATE (July 7, 2015):  

I noticed a similar style of fabric in the film Blended (2014), which takes places at an upscale South African resort.  And yes, I watched Blended.

In the below pictures you can really see how the fabric is constructed by layering a maze-type design over a solid.

Per Wiki, this style is called Kuba and it is indigenous to the Congo. Kuba seems to refer more to the design than the material or technique.   

The Odd Sculpture

The Odd Couple: Season 1, Episode 1 - Generic Sit-Com Bachelor Apartment, yawn.

The Odd Couple: Season 1, Episode 1 - Generic Sit-Com Bachelor Apartment, yawn.

I watched the first episode of the new The Odd Couple, and it was pretty abysmal, but I will give it another go because I love Thomas Lennon.  

The apartment set is a snooze, and I couldn't help but notice the generic space-filler sculpture on the bookshelf.  It reminds me of the ugly-as-hell sculptures I found (per producer request) for the show The Hero.  

My eyes are bleeding.  

 

Me and The Rock on the set of The Hero

Me and The Rock on the set of The Hero

A Despot's Palace

The Dictator (20120 - Home of a North African idiot man

The Dictator (20120 - Home of a North African idiot man

I finally watched Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator, and thoroughly enjoyed it (despite all the body humor).  In it he plays a North-African-oil-controlling-child-like-psychopath, and of course an absolute ruler deserves an absolutely over the top palace.  

Tyrant (2014) - Home of a Middle Easter dynasty 

Tyrant (2014) - Home of a Middle Easter dynasty 

However, the first shot of his palace, looks remarkably similar to the first shot of the palace in FX's Tyrant.  This got me thinking:  Are these structures representative of the homes of Mid-East/African rulers, or are they representative of what we collectively assume they look like?  Are these images helping us get a clearer picture of life on the other side of the world, or cementing an outlandish image in our collective conscience?

Aladdin (1992) - Home of the adorable Sultan of Agrabah

Aladdin (1992) - Home of the adorable Sultan of Agrabah

Good lookin' chairs

Ray Donavan: Season 1 - Sitting room in the home of a big Hollywood action star.

Ray Donavan: Season 1 - Sitting room in the home of a big Hollywood action star.

I started watching Ray Donavan, and I am hooked.  If you put it on mute, the show would just be tough guys visiting Los Angeles mansions.  

I grabbed this picture because the chairs are stunning.  They are similar to chairs I have seen in the past, but these feel more relaxed.  The stuffing is more generous, and the backs are at a semi-reclined angle. 

Jack Stand Lamp

Elementary: Season 3, Episode 4

Elementary: Season 3, Episode 4

Couldn't help but notice the jack stand table lamp in the background of a scene in Elementary.  It caught my eye because my friend Nathan made jack stand pendant lamps for his design company, Eastchester & Orange.  

Out of context, there is something surprisingly elegant about jack stands.  They have a balanced pyramid shape with an attractive use of negative space.  

Unfortunately, Nathan has sold out of his lights, but I found a similar table lamp at Conant.

Conant Car Jack Table Lamp $285

Conant Car Jack Table Lamp $285

Cozy in Bed

The Affair - A bedroom that looks mighty knackered.

The Affair - A bedroom that looks mighty knackered.

A show I love, and a bed I love, unite!  

I have had my eye on the Supra Bed from CB2 for quite a while.  I have always loved its low profile, elegant caning, and cozy curves.  I was so happy to see it used in the love nest on The Affair.  

The Affair - A beautiful bed holding a nude man.

The Affair - A beautiful bed holding a nude man.

CB2 - You can have this bed for $1100-$1300 (nude man not included)

CB2 - You can have this bed for $1100-$1300 (nude man not included)

I spy a VITTSJÖ!

The Affair: Season 1, Episode 5 - Montauk home of a lady folk musician. 

The Affair: Season 1, Episode 5 - Montauk home of a lady folk musician. 

I have had my eye on IKEA's Vittsjo shelves for years, but have yet to find a reason to purchase them.  This double wide unit costs $80, and the series comes in so many other shapes and sizes.  

The scale and style of this piece is just perfect.  It is contemporary without going out of style, and its proportions allow it to showcase a variety of objects.  Use it for books, kitchenware, etc.  Pack it tight, or leave a single bowl on a glass shelf.  

IKEA hackers have manipulated this pieces with great results.  

Spray paint the black metal for a pop of color:

Or replace the glass shelves with stained wood:

This one is a hoot.  Someone painted the shelves gold, and added a hardware to the corners to make it extra fancy:

Just Google "Vittsjo Hack" and you will find so many more images of people getting creative.

Ubiquitous Blanket

About A Boy: Season 1, Episode 1 - Bachelor pad

About A Boy: Season 1, Episode 1 - Bachelor pad

My cat, Deirdron, hanging out on my bed

My cat, Deirdron, hanging out on my bed

Major Crimes: Season 1

Major Crimes: Season 1

As a follow up to my Ubiquitous Rug post, please observe IKEA's HENNY blanket.  It is killing me that I can't think of other sets with this blanket because I see it all the time.  ALL THE TIME! 

For some reason I feel like it was in the first Thor.....but I am not rewatching that, no matter how much I love blankets.

Note: I can't seem to find it on the IKEA website anymore, so maybe it has been rotated out.  Such a shame.

UPDATE - Feb 12, 2016

You're The Worst: Season 2, Episode 9 - Living room of an amazingly cliche Silverlake couple

You're The Worst: Season 2, Episode 9 - Living room of an amazingly cliche Silverlake couple

UPDATE - Jan 10, 2017

Mozart in the Jungle: Season 3, Episode 8 - Rodrigo being is kooky self

Mozart in the Jungle: Season 3, Episode 8 - Rodrigo being is kooky self

What's up, Watson?

Elementary: Season 3, Episode 1 - Jane Watson's new bachelorette pad.

Elementary: Season 3, Episode 1 - Jane Watson's new bachelorette pad.

Season 3 of Elementary opens with Watson living in a sweet new apartment, so she can keep Sherlock out of her personal life.  

She seems like she has her life together, so what is going on with the sofa!?  I know the sofa must be expensive, but I do not understand it.  It seems like the arm piece is a dash too small, so it doesn't fit snugly to the back or line up flush with the front.  Or maybe this is a part of sectional that lost a limb.   

What ever is going on, I will keep you abreast of any breaking news.  

Swinging on the Bad Side

Swinging with the Finkels - The Chesterfield sofa of my dreams

Swinging with the Finkels - The Chesterfield sofa of my dreams

Before I watched the film Swinging with the Finkels, I checked Rotten Tomatoes, only to find it was given a 0%.  I decided, what the hell, and watched it anyway.  This was the right choice because I am the target audience for wooden, corporate-looking, rom-coms.  I found this movie "watchable".  

Swinging with the Finkels 1.JPG

In the Finkel's beautiful open plan living room, they break up the space with black Middle Easter screens draped with rich warm fabric.  It's fabulous.

Swining with the Finkels.JPG

And they have giant wall art of themselves so they can conveniently get into fights in front of it.  You see this a fair amount in sets, but 90% of the time, the art is Andy Warhol-esque (example below).

Kroll Show: Season 1, Episode 3 - The home of Rich Dicks.

Kroll Show: Season 1, Episode 3 - The home of Rich Dicks.

Although honorable mention to the Keith Haring-y wall mural of Robin Williams in The Crazy Ones advertising office:

The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams.JPG

Benzy Land HO!

Mulaney: Season 1, Episode 3 - Living room in an apartment with three comedian roommates = breading ground for crippling insecurity

Mulaney: Season 1, Episode 3 - Living room in an apartment with three comedian roommates = breading ground for crippling insecurity

The Benzy Land pillow from IKEA, $12.99, popped up in the most recent episode of Mulaney.  This pillow is one of those IKEA magic items that is well prices, unexpected, and looks good everywhere.  You can rock it in a man-cave, bohemian opium den, Cape Cod, shabby-chic boudoir, etc.  It is insta-style for design know-nothings, so jump on it.  

Mid-Century Mulaney

Mulaney: Season 1, Episode 1 - Gay-old-man-neighbor's mid-century rent-controlled apartment

Mulaney: Season 1, Episode 1 - Gay-old-man-neighbor's mid-century rent-controlled apartment

I watched the first episode of the new sitcom, Mulaney, last night, and it seems promising.  The highlight was Elliott Gould's $80/month apartment (oh magical rent control).  It is decorated in a masculine, layered, mid-century style that I can really get behind.  

Eye-Spy these elements that I love:

Eames lounge chair

Oriental rugs

Abundance of house plants

Successfully executed gallery wall

Brass sconce