Get your DVRs ready because it’s time to gear up for fall TV! Being reunited with characters we love (and those we love to hate) after a long, dry summer of reruns makes us welcome fall with outstretched, remote control-holding arms. If you’re like me, you find fall TV set interiors are as captivating as the characters themselves. So whether you’re glamorous like Lilly van der Woodsen or unabashedly geeky like Sheldon Cooper, you can find inspiration for your own home from your favorite fall TV shows. No need to hit pause…we did the work for you!
The decadent set of Gossip Girl is seemingly crafted using only the most glamorous (and expensive) of brands. Au contraire, my dear. Set decorator Christina Tonkin dished to us that she scored tons of accessories to outfit the Upper East Siders’ imaginary apartments at places like Bloomingdales, Crate & Barrel, and the bargain bin at The Conran Shop.
Tonkin works to create spaces that deeply reflect character’s personalities. In Lilly van der Woodsen‘s apartment, fashion-forward pop art and pretty landscape paintings fill the walls. “The VDW penthouse decor speaks to Lilly’s class and elegance. Everything is sleek, sexy and sophisticated yet the pops of color in the accessories and art reflect her racy past,” Tonkin explains. Now, thanks to sites like Etsy and 20×200, unique, personal art is available prices much lower than what the van der Woodsens likely pay.
Via her many luxe spaces Tonkin shares a decorating tip to creating glam interiors on a budget: Use objects that catch and reflect light, such as shiny metallic fabrics, mirrors, and glass and crystal accessories. Add a light-catching decorative pillow to your couch, such as this foil-printed snakeskin one from West Elm, oversized glass vases and orbs to your tables and shelves, and a retro pop art wall canvas and you’ll have no need for expensive Eames when channeling your inner Gossip Girl.
What is Tonkin’s one decorating no no? Collections. “If you do [have a collection], display it all in one area of the room,” she suggests. “Collections spread around a room create chaos for the eyes. Who wants to walk into a room full of porcelain frogs or shot glasses?”
When it comes to style, Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment is far beyond the typical bachelor pad. With a basic furniture foundation, their personalities shine through with geek-chic details. Super hero dolls perched around the apartment fight design crime by bringing a playful air to the room (a great idea for those struggling with a husband who refuses to give up his man toys!), and a giant double helix model adds a burst of color to an otherwise neutral palette. Their old-fashioned library card catalog is repurposed to hold personal items rather than the Dewey Decimal System. Search your local flea markets or eBay – these old-school pieces are perfect for organizing household odds and ends, spices, makeup, and jewelry.
Next door, Penny’s pad looks like an IKEA catalog exploded inside. I spy a SKRUVSTA swivel chair, Lunta 365 pendant light, and a Klippan loveseat — all updated with fabrics and paints in a retro color palette that suit her. This is a perfect example of how easily IKEA products can be customized. The style is flirty, carefree, and affordable, even for an aspiring actress like Penny!
Forever the workaholic, Brennan’s loft reflects her job. From the ethnic objects displayed on birch boxes as keepsakes from her worldly travels, to the giant 9’ concrete slab she uses for working at home, everything screams work! To keep from looking too stark, the hard linear space is softened with warm lighting, brick, and pumpkin-colored walls – a fantastic trick for industrial-type spaces.
If Brennan’s home is meticulously minimalist, Booth’s is organized chaos. A fan of simpler times, the proclaimed hoarder fills his masculine-retro apartment with vintage toys, sports memorabilia, and World War II collectibles that add layers of personality. Heavier basic pieces, such as the deep blue couch and vintage leather recliner in the living room, the clawfoot tub and wooden sink in the bathroom, and the simple bed and chest in the bedroom keep the clutter at bay, resulting in a beautiful oxymoronic space.
Now perhaps this season will tell us if “industrial chic” will, ahem, mix with “retro cool”…