As a designer, I have always taken notice of homes in movies and on television. As a kid, I would sit with a sketchpad and draw the floor plans of the rooms that I liked. I even imagined what the rooms would be beyond what we were allowed to see on television. There was something magical and exciting about those home settings that sparked my imagination - whether they were homes like those featured in I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, Please Don't Eat The Daisies to checking out the classics with the homes in I love Lucy (their Connecticut house) and The Andy Griffith Show. Later on, I was inspired by the main home settings in the shows thirtysomething and even Family Ties. Homes on screen were always something that intrigued me.
Years later, as a grown up designer, I still value the importance of homes seen on television or movies because they inspire me personally, but I have also found how they can be an inspiration and empowering creative tool for the everyday homeowner wanting to make their home better. A visual guide - a tool that can help you figure out what you like or respond to. So even though you may be sitting back watching your favorite show or film - I want to motivate you to take notice of the homes you are seeing with new eyes and with a new purpose.
Adam's house foyer design seen on "Parenthood"
Having done makeovers on television and in magazines for years, I always have people coming up to ask me: "How do I figure out my own home style?" or "I just don't know where to begin to figure out what my style should be because I'm not a designer." My answer usually is - "What house in a film or on television have you seen that you respond to?" Their answer is the starting point.
In my role as Contributing Home Editor for Family Circle Magazine - I still get those questions and many more. The bottom line is that we want our homes to be good to us and our families. However, in the midst of our busy lives and hectic schedules - our homes sometimes take the backseat. Being a husband, father of two and a homeowner with that ever-growing To Do List on my fridge - I understand that clearly. So I wanted to explore other ways to help people figure how to find their style, design their homes and truly make it inviting for them - by making design accessible and attainable to everyone.
I tried to address that earlier this year with the release of my book NO PLACE LIKE HOME. I dedicated a whole chapter to using film and television homes as a way to guide you towards what you like, making note of that and then integrating those ideas or solutions into your own home. Maybe it's a paint color you love. Maybe it's a kitchen style. Perhaps it's the way the sofa and chairs are arranged in the space. Details that can help convey what you like and respond to. In the end, giving you more clarity on what your home should be.
Now, with this series of Designer Dad : On Location features - I'm taking all that one step further. I'll be visiting the home sets of some of the top television shows on television and talking with the talented designers that bring those spaces to life. To me, they are visual guides to illustrating to you how to bring a look or mood together directly from the places you already know and love on television. Plus, these environments are usually capturing the essence of how we really live. The idea that the rooms are not overly-styled or picture perfect is something that I also respond to because that is not how you and I live. So I am bringing together my love of home design - with my love of the magic of film and television.
So begins my on location creative journey...
Adam's house foyer view as you enter the home
Parenthood is one of my favorite shows on television. I think it reflects the way many American families live today. I like the multi-generational factor and how it puts a positive focus on the importance of family once again. At the same time, I believe that the various home settings on this show also reflect or capture the essence of well-lived rooms in the varied American-style homes seen across our country.
Steven Jordan is Parenthood's Production Designer. I recently talked with him to get a sense of his creative process and how he brings to life the settings for the various characters on this highly successful series. You'll find our conversation about the show's home sets below.
At the same time, I also wanted to share as many visuals and design notes as possible with you, so you'll also find below my "noted images" to take you on the visual journey of this program from a home view perspective.
Adam's living room set from "Parenthood"
A mood board for Zeek and Camille's House on "Parenthood"
Zeek and Camille's Dining Room Set with the porch beyond
Adam's Dining Room Area
Adam's House Master Bedroom
Adam's House - Family Room from "Parenthood"
Adam's House - Family Room new angle from kitchen
Adam's House - Dining Room Area
Adam's House - Family Room and Kitchen
Adam's House - Kitchen
Adam's House - Master Bedroom
Adam's House - Max's Room
Adam's House - Max's Room
Zeek and Camille's House - Foyer
Zeek and Camille's House - Dining Room seen from hall and kitchen
Zeek and Camille's House - Dining Room with view to hall and kitchen
Zeek and Camille's House - Kitchen
Zeek and Camille's House - Kitchen seen from hall
Zeek and Camille's House - Living Room with Dining Room beyond
Zeek and Camille's House - Living Room from hallway
Crosby's House Boat - Galley Kitchen/Living Room
Crosby's House Boat - Galley kitchen towards living room and bedroom
Julia and Joel's House - Family Room from Dining Room
Julia and Joel's House - Entrance Hall and Living Room seen from Dining Room
The season premiere of Parenthood airs tonight. Check out everything about the series and more: PARENTHOOD.
The next Designer Dad : On Location will be my behind-the-scenes home visit to the hit show The Good Wife.
In the meantime, stayed tuned in for my daily, family-focused home and design ideas for the everyday family.
- Stephen Saint-Onge