Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pasadena Prime Time: Brothers & Sisters

One of my favorite shows is  ABC's Brothers & Sisters, a drama about the trials and tribulations of the Walker family which can be seen on Sunday night prime time. While the all-star mega-cast and storyline are top notch, what I really covet is the house.

The exterior of the Walkers manse is actually a 1920's Mediterranean style house in Pasadena while the interiors are shot on the Disney Studio soundstage (and were built in just six weeks). The original design concept is the culmination of ideas from the producers, director and the creative team. The series production designer Denny Dugally explains, "We wanted the Walker family AND their home to be recognizable and inviting. We wanted it to be a home that you'd want to visit week after week, linger and have a glass of wine and talk."

Exterior of the Walker Family abode in Pasadena

The furnishings were chosen by the show's set decorator Bryan Venegas from a variety of low and high end sources in Los Angeles  that run the gamut from Barclay Butera and Baker Knapp & Tubbs to Target. The design duo wanted to make sure they did not create a showroom look with perfectly appointed rooms as they wanted to make sure it looked like a family lived there -- and with clutter.

Perhaps the most popular set is the Walker family kitchen where matriarch Nora Walker (played by Academy Award winning actress Sally Field) is holding court at the room's island. Dugally explains, "We also worked with some film and television promotional houses to secure product placement of some of the appliances including the Sub Zero refrigerator and the Wolf stove." All of the cabinetry is custom and the design scheme consists of cream colored tiles come (from Mortarless Tile in Glendale) and high gloss surfaces balanced with pale yellow grass cloth and dark ebony floors.

Walker Family kitchen

Walker living room above and below

Walker Foyer

Other sets of interest include the New York loft, Kitty's mid century house, kitchen at the Walker ranch house and some interesting bar designs. Looking forward to the next season of designs (and storylines) in September!

NYC Loft set

Kitchen at the Walker family ranch house

San Francisco Bar set

Set for hotel rooftop bar
If you are in the Washington, DC area, I will be moderating a panel with Denny Dugally of Brothers & Sisters and film production designer Kristi Zea whose credits include Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, The Departed and the upcoming Tower Heist with Ben Stiller. Both will share their behind the scenes tricks of the trade and I will show a few highlights from a century of Hollywood art direction. The event will be held on Thursday, April 14th, 10:00 am at the Washington Design Center's Capital Design Days. A book signing of Designs on Film will follow and it's open to the public. Hope to see you there! You can read more about the event here.

Photos: ABC

PS Many thanks for the Stylish blogger nod from The Fashion Historian. Check out her blog on fashion and film.