Monday, May 27, 2013

SHELTER Sets: The New Normal

Note: NBC has cancelled this program but I still had a draft post for its set design, so here it is! In fact, here's a piece on the auction house, One Kings Lane that sold the remains.

I didn't get to watch it much because it was on the same time as some other show that probably got cancelled too but I still think Andrew Rannells is amazing. The main set, a Spanish Colonial Revival home for his character Bryan and his husband David is a gorgeous and believable abode for a the Monterey-based TV producer and a gynecologist. The house was based on the design and style of a 1920s home owned by Diane Keaton, perhaps because the show's creator Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) owns another of her past homes.

Master Bedroom
Bryan and Tony shopping for props
Furnished and styled by set decorator Bryan Venegas and production designer Tony Fanning the New Normal home set is eclectic and full of leather, dark wood furniture and floors all accented by colorful tile and pottery. The rare and expensive Monterey furniture was replicated by an artisan woodworker.


Detail of kitchen island tile

Interesting tidbit gleaned from an L.A. Times article; the tile in the kitchen is fake. Trying to replicate the tile featured in Diane Keaton's kitchen would have been too expensive. Instead, they photographed the inspiration tiles and printed the images on medium-density fiberboard (MDF). They were then routed, grouted and sealed just like real tile. In another example of creative thriftiness, expensive pottery was crafted in foam and then painted to look like cement.

Home office
Dining room and home office
I don't know why more TV and film productions don't do things like that. If it looks the same on camera, why not? It helps the budget (in this case by thousands) and  the actors don't need the real thing. Win-win.

A detail from Georgia and Shania's cottage
However, the set I prefer on the show is not theirs but that of their baby surrogate and friend Goldie and her daughter Shania. It's compact one-room size with kitschy details, bright colors and its frugality is more my style. Too bad I couldn't find more photos of it.

Living room and bedroom
View from kitchen

Living room and kitchen

Images: One Kings Lane, NBC, Twentieth Century Fox

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