Megan Draper's warm bohemian Los Angeles bungalow is my new favorite set. It's sunny and eclectic, stationed on a mountain with an orgasmic panoramic view of the Hollywood Hills. Dreamy, groovy, out-of-sight; gimmethatfireplace. In a Fashion and Style behind-the-scenes video on AMC, set designer Claudette Didul reveals that this apartment,
"wasn't supposed to be too hip, it was supposed to be as if she picked up things, I wouldn't say thrift store, but maybe kind of like antique store, or maybe some items were left behind by the previous renter."
Nailed it! This is one of the most "real" interiors we'll see on the show. It feels like the cozy apartment of a spirited friend, a great place for coffee with friends, or a swinging party. And since all the little details are the exact things I like to sell in my shop, I definitely see lots in the background I've sold previously.
I love that the bedroom is a reprieve from the business of the living space. There’s color and a mix of patterns yet it feels like a cozy place to roost, almost hotel-room style. Can I move in now? That wood paneling is much like wrapping myself up in a warm blanket, it oozes cozy. I loved Megan's revulsion at the expensive new television Don delivered; Megan can write a $1K donation check like it's nothing ($7K with inflation) but in his apartment she's playing the starving artist part to fit in with her fellow struggling actor friends.
The cozy roost Megan left behind stands is a stark contrast to this luxe and modern Park Avenue New York penthouse. It's cosmopolitan; Cali is casual. It's modern; Cali is bohemian. It's mostly shot in the dark; Cali is an explosion of sunshine and light.
This space is as drool-worthy as the California bugalow, but quite impersonal, reminding me of how my apartment is now. I intentionally pared it down to the bare minimum and I'm now ready to slowly fill it with the cozy, life-giving details that Megan's California pad has.
This apartment is perfection, expertly laid out. Don relinquished creative control to Megan and her interior designer on this one and a housekeeper helps maintain it. It's new and modern and symbolizing Don's fresh start with hip young
Weiner says he's in awe of his visions made real with these sets. He's not alone! Get out my head, set designers! There are two things I did as a kid that clearly indicate an early writer designer: re-arrange my dollhouse furniture to find a pleasing composition and write on my mom's vintage typewriter while envisioning the amazing office I'd have someday in The Future. This is what that office was like.
This is every dream office. It's also every creative office. There's a local advertising firm near me, Dalton Agency, with a similar colorful, open, modern layout. Isn't it fun how this exact look for trendy ad agencies hasn't changed in 45 years.
Of course there's special love in my heart for fellow Japanophile Bert Cooper's office. You must remove your shoes before you enter. I tried the same rule for my apartment but I'm not as fastidious as Bert!
The typography nerd in me spasms at the gorgeous packaging strewn about; utilitarian to the eyes of the characters in 1969, and now collector's items.
The lines are clean, the feel modular, and I enjoy the stimulating palate of primaries and secondaries as well as the homey nooks for clients to sit and creatives to brainstorm.
I mean, just admire any corner. Damn. I want it all! I enjoy seeing the magazines out that year while watching the show; my 1969 January Playboy sat on Don's lap in episode 701.
The SC&P offices have an amazing mix of colors and textures to behold, too. I really appreciate the desk messes and cluttered artist's cork boards. Peggy has a kokeshi doll on her desk, seeing it always makes me happy.
And just like the home interiors each office tells us about the characters. Ted's office (above) with its wood, brown, and mustard mirror his earthy warmth.
The result of all the hard work is a show that's completely immersive. I'm looking at the framework of these artificial environments, but when I turn on an episode of Mad Men I'm in the era with these characters, as disbelief suspends entirely. I have a passion for capturing, curating, and sharing homes and workspaces and these sets inspire me to keep intrusively invading spaces, bulky SLR in hand!
Let's talk Mad Men: How do you like the last season thus far? (Be careful, spoilers in the comments.) What are your favorite rooms, costumes and characters?