Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Have you ever watched a television show and found yourself admiring the color of the main character's sofa, a handsome piece of artwork mounted above the fireplace or the inviting shade of paint color on the walls?

As a designer, when I watch television, I often find my eye wondering beyond the actors and into the background, studying the set's design. From attending my first Broadway play with my mother as a little girl to watching family sitcoms with my children today, I have always been intrigued by art of set design.

Set design is just as important as the story being told. A well thought out set transports viewers to the space and time being depicted, allowing the story and characters to truly come alive.

I love the set of ABC's hit family sitcom Black-ish, featuring Anthony Anderson as "Dre" and Traci Ellis Ross as Rain"Bow". The setting is fresh, inviting and reflects an ideal contemporary family's lifestyle.

Maxine Shepard, the show's Production Designer, did an amazing job creating a stylish yet comfortable home.  Her design for the show reflects how thoughtful and intricate a process interior design can be. She includes family photos, clothing, artwork, books, toys and other thoughtful, tell-tale signs that create a space that feels current, authentic and lived-in.

Through color, lighting, furnishings and pattern, set design creates a specific mood for the entire production and reflects not only the characters, but also the time and place of the show.

Set designers spend lots of time researching the story's characters to better understand what the character's space might look like.  They work with directors, producers and even costume designers to make sure they get every nuance just right.

Just like in real life, how a space is decorated is a reflection of those who live there.

Each episode, I am so impressed with the level of detail included in the show's design. 

The twins, Diane and Jack, share a bedroom that features bold color and fun pattern.  The furnishings are practical for children their age and make the space feel genuine to the characters' personalities. 

What I also love about the show is that instead of using custom pieces, the set's designers chose to incorporate pieces from retailers readily available to the public such as Target, IKEA, and Crate & Barrel.  I recognize many of the items used on the set.

One of my favorite spaces on the show is Bow and Dre's bedroom.  I love the contemporary yet warm and cozy feel of the space. Some of my favorite features of their bedroom are the tufted bed with nailhead trim, the rich wall color and the dark wood floors.

The benefit of the set designers choosing accessible furnishings is that recreating a similar look in your own home is completely doable.

Here's a bedroom design board I created inspired by Bow and Dre's bedroom on the show.

For purchasing information and more details about each of the items shown in the design board I created, click on the direct links below:   

LampsBenchCurtainsBed, Nightstands, Wall Art, Wall Color, Blue Pillows, Purple Pillows

The cast's chemistry coupled with the genuine set design make for a truly winning combination. Black-ish airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm on ABC. Tune in this week and I'm sure you'll feel right at home!

1 comment:

  1. This is so perfect! I usually watch episodes of this show several times just because I love the set so much. Hopefully you can do a design board for the family room area some day. :) That is my favorite!