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Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas
Sex and the City 2 Set Design (Part 2 of 2)


In our last Sex and the City 2 Set Designs Part 1, we showed you where to buy our pick of Sex and the City inspired interior pieces to recreate the exotic, Moroccan interiors. This week we continue our SATC Interiors Inspired ‘Splurge or Save’ blog series, back in New York. We share our favourite interior pieces, focused on each characters personal, interior style created by Set Designer Lydia Marks of Marks & Frantz Interior Design & Decoration.

Carrie & Big’s Apartment: French Décor & Parisian Interior Trends

Back in New York the interior style is a million miles away from the middle-eastern, eclectic mix of patterns and colour we saw in Morocco. We get to see Carrie and Big’s chic apartment that is sleek, stylish and oh so grown up. No longer just a representation of Carrie’s style, their apartment represents their tastes as a couple. “We wanted to create a space that was elegant but also felt like their home”says Production Designer Jeremy Conway. “It would be grown-up and it would reflect their relationship now… particularly if Carrie had been working on it for two years” he continues. In the two years that have passed Carrie and Big have left their penthouse apartment and moved 12 flights down, “Carrie is trying to make a new apartment for the two of them, not just for her,” Jeremy Conway continues.

Everything we see in their apartment is new and has been chosen to reflect them both with a definite masculine and more grown-up feel. For Carrie’s apartment, layers and texture play an important role as well as the scale and character of 1930’s French Décor. “We tried to retain the scale and character of the period, we chose very high quality, solid, linear and often vintage furniture” notes Marks. “We rented a lot of pieces, including the chair at Carrie’s drop-down desk, sconce’s for the bathroom, and the dining room table” says Marks. “His collection has beautiful finishes, the scale of the pieces was perfect for our sets, and the choices are amazing” she continues. A lot of her set design choices were sourced from Alan Moss studios in Manhattan, like their 1940’s vintage, ebony dining table seen below, by Dominique available from Alan Moss,at 1stDibs. Price on request.

Carrie & Big’s Dining Room

The vintage Alan Moss dining table in Big & Carries Sex and the city 2 apartment. Set design inspired interior design ideas.

To recreate their stylish dining area you could try 1stdibs for a great range of authentic, vintage pieces, or visit an antique dealer to find an original French dining table. There are some great high street finds too,  invest in Laura Ashley’s solid, birch Garrat Chestnut Oval Dining Table for less than an original would cost you (£700.00.) We also found an amazing replica dark wood extending oval dining table by Furniture Choice UK, which is a bargain Ebay find seen below, £299.99.

Carrie & big replica Townhouse dark wood extending oval dining table available on Ebay. Set design inspired interior design ideas.

Lighting is a key feature throughout Carrie and Big’s apartment. We often see an ornate, ceiling lamp or pair of symmetrical, statement lamps in each room. Above the dining table, an oxidized-metal chandelier by Property can be seen, price unknown. We found a similar splurge-worthy pieces, like the Ulysses chandelier by Arteriors available at DFO, £799.67. Or save with the Bramham Pendant light by Lights on, Lights off, £48.00, or the Eila cutwork metal shade by John Lewis is a cheaper alternative, £45.99. Our favourite though is’s geometric Freddie ceiling shade seen below, £45.00.

Sex and the City set design inspired interior ideas.'s Freddie metal drum shade.

Another of our favourite pieces are Carrie’s feminine, custom-made chairs upholstered in “Belgravia” fabric by Lee Jofa. The design elements represent both Big and Carrie Production Designer Jeremy Conway states, describing how “combining masculine elements, such as linear, mid-century furnishings and dark woods, with whimsical rugs and cheerful fabrics “reflects Carrie’s décor choices paired with Big’s masculine furniture. The beautiful upholstery fabric in this colourway is now discontinued but the Belgravia fabric is still available in various colourways online elsewhere. Houzz shared a similar embroided scroll chain fabric, £29.56 per yard that could be a great alternative if you want to recreate a Carrie inspired dining area.

Carrie & Big’s Kitchen

SATC 2 Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Carrie and Big's apartment scene where they stand in front of their kitchen backsplash. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

From their dining room, the beautiful, gleaming kitchen backsplash can be seen behind Carrie and Big. Created with custom-made, three-dimensional tiles with a carbon glaze and a silvery sheen, it is a bold and modern statement that really draws the eye. Carrie isn’t much of a cook, so we know the kitchen has been designed with Big in mind, however we adore how their mix of Big’s Scandi-mid-century modern furniture, sleek, custom sideboards and bold tiles are teamed with feminine touches of Carrie. Like her choice of decorative rugs, floral arrangements and romantic touches seen throughout their apartment.

If you want to recreate the Scandinavian-chic look, the made to order, oval, dimensional tiles in Opal Blue are available at Heath Tile, price on request. Or if can’t afford to splurge like Carrie but love the modern look, keep the tiling simple with bright, blue Metro tiles. Or what about PVC kitchen wallpaper? Not only is it temporary, it is a cost effective option that is easy to apply too. Kitchen Walls are a Netherlands based company that sell a fantastic range of water and heat resistant designs, from £88.58 a roll. Each roll comes with a special glue to apply to the walls instead of paper,  so you can easily hang, remove and reuse again. Winner!

Dutch tiles like Carrie. SATC set design inspired interior design ideas

For a wall like Carrie & Big the Dutch, Delfts blue tile design is perfect to recreate their eye-catching, blue tile wall. Or to add a pop of colour be brave with our favourite, a bold mustard & white pattern by designer, Kirath Ghundoo instead. See their full collection of PVC wallpapers designs here.

If re-tiling your walls isn’t an option, invest in a beautiful rug instead. A lot of their rugs, like the Adalia Wool Rug feature a similar geometric, tiled design to line your kitchen floor with. A range of rugs are available at Joss & Main. Or tile your floor instead, mixing Scandi style with a Moroccan, mosaic twist. Harvey Maria do a great Neisha Crosland Parquet tile design in a bright turquoise shade, £47.89 per square metre.

Sex and the City 2 apartment.SATC 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Joss & Main's Adalia Wool Rug

Or splurge on Carrie’s kitchen favourite, the Starflower Blue rug by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby for The Rug Company, £835 per m2. The Rug Company, whose pieces have been used across both film’s interiors are luxurious and ooze style, which fits perfectly with Carrie’s style. “Their carpets are designed by fashion designers, what could be more appropriate that that?” states Marks, describing the way each room reflects Carrie’s character and tastes perfectly. “Carrie’s into rugs so you see her taste in those, and Big’s in the furniture, which is very retro mid-century, his growing up-era.” Production Designer Jeremy Conway continues, referencing the bold mix of influences and different era’s merged together to create a unique interior style.

Carrie & Big's apartment kitchen in the sex and the city 2 movie. Set design inspired interior ideas.

joss and main mid-century modern style table and chairs. Carrie & Big's kitchen inspired idea. SATC 2 Set design inspired interior design.

We love Carrie & Big’s rosewood table and chairs. If you can’t afford to invest in an authentic, vintage mid-century modern furniture set like their Ercol-style table and chairs, Joss & Main’s 5-Piece Crosby Dining Set, £210.95 is a very similar style dining set. Or to complement your mix of vintage accessories, try adding a 1960’s pendant lamp to hang above. The Lighting Company’s Rowan glass and gold pendant light is a  modern take on Carrie’s vintage drop pendant light, £183.90. Try Ebay for a cheaper, vintage, industrial-looking, milk glass, flared pendant light, or Etsy seller LampGoods also do a great selection like this vintage, milk-glass pendant shade, £58.99.

Or if you want to splurge, Joss & Main’s copper Baroni Pendant is a great, modern alternative which can be seen below, limited availability £97.95. Joss & Main have a large selection of other lighting available here, but be quick as their flash sales mean products sell out pretty fast.

Joss & Main's Baroni Pendant in Copper. Statement lighting inspired by Sex and the City 2 Set designs.

Carrie & Big’s Living Room

Carrie & Big's Sex and the City 2 apartment. Their beautiful living room. SATC 2 set design inspired interior design ideas.

In Carrie & Big’s grown-up living room a beautiful Montauk sofa in a Donghia relief, blue, silk velvet fabric sits between two 1940’s, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings armchairs. For the sofa, the Jane 3 seater soft blue velvet model from Modern is a similar find for £748.00. Whilst’s Jonah 2-seater sofa in cobalt-blue velvet is a cheaper alternative for £599.00.

Colour palette plays a key role for set designer Lydia Marks. When dressing the sets throughout Mark’s worked hard to compliment each character’s costumes. “A lot of the furniture upholstery and curtain fabrication needed to happen before the costumes were finished being selected. We chose the blue Donghia fabric for Carrie’s sofa partially because we thought it would look amazing with the dress she wears in the final scene of the film.” says Marks.

Marks was also responsible for sourcing Carrie’s chairs from Bergdorf Goodman, £8567.89 for the pair. “I was at Bergdorf’s looking for a table runner for Charlotte’s long, formal dining table. I turned and there were these two exquisite blue armchairs. They became the centrepiece of Big and Carrie’s living room, and I ended up basing a lot of the other furniture on these chairs” says Marks. “The furniture had to work with the beautifully designed architecture to achieve success as a whole. Most contemporary furniture felt too massive for the space, that was a compelling reason for using so much vintage furniture on the set.” She continues, referring to the beautiful pieces picked to dress each of the fabulous sets.

Carrie and Bigs Living room from another angle. Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas.

From the angle above, we see that their living room is a mix of strong lines and furniture with hard edges to represent Big. Whilst “Carrie comes through in the layering of the furniture and the personal object, books, textiles and collections” Marks states. He references the beautiful back-lit cupboards used to display Carrie’s books and unique items, as well as their Ninfea coffee table seen above, price on request. We found a great alternative at Overstock, the Berkley modern coffee table has pull-out drawers to recreate your own book stand. It’s also great for displaying your collection of personal objects like Carrie’s, for only £112.99.

We also spied her fantastic vintage, Foo Dog statues she uses as bookends to prop up her huge selection of books. We found a great replica pair on Etsy, (£31.46) whilst Laura Ashley’s pair of ceramic dog ornament are a fantastic find for £50.00. Or splurge on an authentic pair like the Foo Dogs listed here on Ebay.

SATC 2 Set Design inspired furniture and soft-furnishings. The American Berkley Modern Coffee Table to recreate Carrie's living room

Laura Ashley ornamental Foo Dogs. SATC 2set design inspired interior design ideas.Carrie’s style has definitely evolved since moving in with Big. It seems more glamorous and expensive, but it can easily be recreated. To create a similar sense of glamour in your living room, splurge on the Brodie Wing Chair by the Original Chair Company, £1160.00. Or invest in a statement chair like the Laura Ashley Addison Upholstered Occasional Chair in Tinsley Duck Egg fabric. It will give a contemporary, elegant look to any room, from £735.00 dependant on fabric choice.

Budget-friendly also offer a mid-century modern looking Carrie copy for less. The Scott armchair in a calico beige is a similar ‘Carrie’ inspired chair that can be seen below, for £429.00.

SATC 2 Set design inspired interior design ideas. Carrie and Big's living room. Carrie sitting in a vintage armchair.

Scott armchair by SATC 2 inspired Interior design ideas.

And it’s not just about the furniture. Her beautiful choice of soft furnishings add a feminine touch to each room, reflecting Carrie’s girly nature and creativity. Her beautiful, statement Marni Candy Flower rug available to buy at The Rug Company, £735 per m2 reflects her girly style perfectly. We found similar rugs here, £154.99 and here for £49.95.

Whilst her Birdie Blossom Cushion by Paul Smith by The Rug Company, £395.00 is also a definite Carrie touch. Splurge on a similar design like Heal’s Birds floral cushion by Kristjana S Williams, £125.00. Whilst Lee Jofa’s Hydrangea Bird cushion can be seen below, £140.15 available from Houzz. Not on the High Street is also worth visiting for cheaper alternatives, The Forest & Co’s Birds of Paradise velveteen cushion at £49.00 is a similar design that we love. Or Laura Ashley’s Summer Palace duck egg cushion is a beautiful floral and bird pairing that can be seen below, £48.00.  

Carrie's Living Room closeup. Recreate the SATC 2 Set design inspired looks for less

Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design trends. Hydrangea Bird cushion by Avosetta Home available on Houzz.

Sex and the City 2 Set Design inspired interior design ideas. Laura Ashley Summer Palace duck egg cushion.

In the rest of their gorgeous living room the beautiful, custom-made, blue, Lola ottoman by Anne Kyyro Quinn can be seen, price on request. “We needed to have Carrie sit on an ottoman for an important scene, and I was not sure what padded and upholstered pillow would be up to the task. Anne Kyro Quinn’s original piece, made in our choice of colour and size, was the perfect solution. I chose blue because it worked well with the deeper browns in the room, it was a pop of brightness. In addition, it was close in colour to Carrie’s blue walls in her old apartment, which was like bringing a little piece of the old Carrie into this new environment” says Marks.

Carrie & Big in their apartment's living room. Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior ideas. The custom-made Lola pouffe by Anne Kyyro Quinn.But if custom-made is out the question Overstock’s Ella blue tufted round velvet ottoman is a great alternative. A beautiful, blue shade and budget-friendly, the stunning ottoman is only £147.51. Or our favourite is the ornate, Tracy Porter Annistion upholstered cocktail ottoman that is a definite Carrie piece that can be seen below, £328.93.

Recreate Carries living room with a Tracy Porter Annistion Cocktail Ottoman. Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior trends. In the rest of the living room, the walls are kept neutral and are covered in glamorous, textured wallpaper and cashmere. The sophisticated, neutral palette of earthy browns and blues contrast against the greens, walnut and teak of the statement furniture throughout to represent Carrie’s character. We found an incredible range of textured wallpapers to splurge on online, our favourite is the Maya Romanoff’s Crepe Suzette pleated fabric wallcovering. Both of the shades dark truffle or champagne could be used to recreate Big & Carrie’s living room walls, price on request. Or visit Altfield London for a larger range of textured wallcoverings.

To get their stylish look for less, we recommend the rich, chocolatey Tussah silk pleat wallpaper by Zoffany that is a very similar shade available from Fashion Wallpaper, £54.95 a roll. Or opt for painted walls instead, paint with a Parisian, French grey like Found Fossil, a deep, cool neutral shade by Dulux to unite your hallway and living room walls like Carrie & Big’s.

From the living room their beautiful earthy, dark colour scheme continues into the grand foyer. Whilst Carrie’s bright furniture, statement rugs and accessories ensure each room feels airy and bright, providing pops of colours to the neutral background throughout each room. Her abstract, gold painting on the living room wall adds warmth and a focal point on the walls, recreate the look with a bold, gold contemporary canvas by Jimarieart on Etsy, £31.72. Or visit an art dealer for a splurge-worthy, one-off if you want to add a statement, feature piece to a muted, dark colour wall.

Carrie & Big's living room and hallway apartment shot. Sex and the City set design inspired interior design ideas.

Carrie’s feminine touches continue to add playful texture and pattern to the interior. The beautiful, floral curtains that frame each window were made from two layers of Osborne and Little sheers to bring depth, pattern and a sense of sophisticated drama to the design. We love the swirling, velvet patterning of Osborne and Little’s Samba – shade MLF2154-01. Layer over contrasting blue linens to recreate Carrie’s style, price on request.

To create the look for less, layer up floral sheer curtains over faux-silk curtains for a dramatic look. Try Ebay’s selection of sheer panels or try JCPenney who stock a great range online. Layer a pair of ivory, Laura Ashley Rothbury sheer panels available at JCPenney, £61.22 over blue, silk curtain panels for added glamour.

In their secondary seating area at the back of the living room, their mid-century modern, cane-back club chairs provide another area for Carrie and Big to relax in. Look for similar style finds on Ebay, search for vintage pair of cane back club chairs, or buy a leather tub chair, £64.99. Or this antique Bergere chair is currently listed for auction on Ebay. Even though their apartment is ultra glamorous, the space is practical with zones for different activities in every room.

Zoned with luxury, designer rugs like the Stupa Silver rug by Suzanne Sharp, £1,135 per m2, each area is decorated differently with lots of layering and detail. The space also features another Carrie print, a large overhead lamp like’s similar black, large bow lamp for £99.00. As well as a dark wood, vintage, round table to compliment their choice in chairs, a fresh, floral arrangement  and a dark fireplace fill the space.

Carrie and Big's living room seating area complete with club chairs, Osbourne and little sheer curtains and a large rug. Sex and the city set design inspired interior design trends.

Carrie & Big’s Hallway & Library

SATC 2 grand foyer entrance and shot into the library and hallway in Carrie and Big's apartment. Set design inspired interior design trends.

Setting the tone for their whole apartment, the grand foyer is decorated in warm tones of neutral and paired with shades of blue.  The colour scheme continue into the library, bedroom and living room with texture and pattern also playing a key role. Carrie’s fabulous eclectic accessories take centre stage however, displayed on top of a traditional, dark wood console table. We love the dark wood, Denton console table with brushed copper top from Swoon editions, £249 if you’re after a unique looking console. Or copy Carrie’s classic look for less with World Stores Classic Chinese Black Console Table that can be seen below, £295.99.

World Stores Nine Schools Classic Chinese Black 2 Drawer Console Table. Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Carrie and Big's foyer hallway.We love her fabulous hat box, sea glass vase and the elegant pair of vintage, striped lamps on display. Splurge on a pair of similar vintage, Murano lamps by Barbini available at 1stDibs, or trawl Ebay for vintage, mid-century regency table lamps, like styles similar to this vintage brass stiffel pair.

Our other favourite Carrie pieces are her quirky, chic pieces like the butterfly terrarium or the unique, hallway mirror seen below. Splurge on Trend First’s glass butterfly dome, £1,150. Or we found a range of Butterfly domes on Ebay. Various styles available from £14.11- £221.30. For a mirror similar to Carrie’s, World Stores offer a larger, gold, metal shaped mirror for £134.99.

Big and carries library hallway lighting. sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas by adelman studios

We found great alternatives however if Carrie’s is a little over budget. Try creating a show-stopping cluster of hand-blown glass, Acid Drops Pendants, £375-£450. Available from award winning, UK lighting designer Esther Patterson, the founder of Curiousa & Curiousa. Her beautiful, bespoke, hand-blown designs are free-blown without moulds allowing for any shape, size or colour to be achieved. Curiousa&Curiousa also offer a bespoke design service for custom-made orders or large scale projects, previously designing bespoke creations for the likes of Harvey Nichols, the Royal Albert Hall, Jamie Oliver and TK Maxx.

Bespoke, custom hand-blown lighting design by by Esther Patterson of Curiousa&Curiousa. Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideasOr splurge on a custom-made XL Bubble Chandelier by Jean Pelle, £2501.34. Apartment Therapy have a ‘How to create a DIY Bubble Chandelier’ tutorial on their blog to create the look for less, or try Light in the Box’s modern, glass bubble chandelier available at Amazon for a cheaper alternative, £108.12.

Carrie & Big’s Bedroom

Carrie and Big's bed, Sex and the City 2 Set design inspired interior design ideas.

In their bedroom, French décor styling provides a glamorous, grand feel to the spacious room that features a striking blend of texture and patterns. The bed is a statement feature designed with both Big and Carrie in mind, “we knew they had to have an important conversation integral to the story line in this bed, so Jeremy designed the bed to envelop them.” States Marks referencing the side returns and exaggerated-height, custom headboard covered in Velvet Gate Tuxedo fabric by Kravet, which re-enforces the feeling of enclosure.

The statement design of the Frances tufted bed frame by Joss and Main, £240.95 is a strikingly similar find (limited availability) or the Bergerac double bed, £749.00. With a tufted, exaggerated headboard and sides that could be covered in a similar fabric to recreate the look, try upholstering in the Black and White Moroccan Trellis Pattern Fabric, £8.25 per yard available from Zazzle.

Signature Frances Upholstered Bed Frame in Grey by Joss and Main. Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas

Complete the look by splurging on bedding from Anichini like Carrie in caramel’s, pinks and creams. Or save with a mix of neutrals, creams and taupe bedding from H&M, various prices. Or this cream, velvet textured throw from Fabulous Home Furnishings is only £24.99.

Behind the grand bed a statement, neutral Rococo striped wallpaper by Cole & Son covers the walls, £61.28. Our favourite statement picks for less are Laura Ashley’s Josette White/Dove Grey Damask Wallpaper, £34.00 a roll. Or try the Tetbury Sable patterned wallpaper, £44.00 a roll also from Laura Ashley. We also noticed a pair of beautiful bedside lamps sitting on top of a pair of matching dark wood bedside tables either side of the bed. Joss & Main’s cream lamps below, or the Imogen crystal table lamps are also a perfect pair of similar styled lamps, 182.95.

Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas.Imogen pair of Table Lamps by Joss & Main.

Close up of Carries bedroom, complete with designer rugs. Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas.

Other features in the room include a seating area designed specifically for Carrie in mind, seen above. “So much of the apartment was designed for Big, so we wanted to create an area in the bedroom that is just for Carrie to think, read and reflect” says Marks. Carrie’s girly, reading area features a black ribbon chair, furry cushion, glass table and a vintage reading lamp. We are also obsessed with the statement Peony rug by Helen Amy Murray available from The Rug Company seen below, £835 p/m2. It is a beautiful, feminine design that compliments the room perfectly.

Sex and the city set design inspired interior design ideas. Helen amy murray peony rug.You could splurge on vintage pieces at 1stDibs or save by recreating the look with high street finds. Our favourites finds for less are the Gillmore Space Walter Circular Glass Top Side Table from CFS, £116.10. A very similar cream, 3d rose effect rug for a fraction of the cost on Ebay, £114.19. Or copy Carrie with a statement black chair to sit and unwind in, like the Josef armchair in charcoal available at Swoon editions, £379.00.

Another Carrie touch in their bedroom is another beautiful, statement rug that lines the dark wood floor, the Harem rug by Tamsin De Roemer, £835 per m2 from the Rug Company. The large, floral design can be seen poking out from under their bed is a large, luxurious, floral print. We found a similar design for a lot less though, like the infinitie poppy rug available at the Rug Retailer. It comes in a range of colours & sizes, from £45.45- £140.97.

Carrie and Big's bedroom, Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas.

In the film, a heated argument regarding an old black and white TV takes place between Big & Carrie, which is beautifully hidden away in a Thomas O’Brien Hallings Secretary by Hickory Chair. The beautiful dresser can be seen above, with a rented, vintage Alan Moss chair, but unfortunately the dresser is no longer available. Used earlier in the film as a writing desk, the secretary doubles up as a handy TV stand later on, which is a chic, multi-purpose storage idea you could copy. We found a great selection of second-hand writing desks and bureau’s on Ebay and here that could be used double as TV stand/writing desks. Team with a vintage, parlour chair like Carrie’s vintage find.

Other features to mention are the beautiful window treatments consisting of a mix of textures layers, pleated silk blackout curtains and ornate passementerie detailing. They add a sense of dramatic glamour to the bedroom windows. We found similar ready-made curtain on Ebay, £18.00. Or splurge on a pair of Laura Ashley made to measure curtain in duck egg Dupion Silk, price on request.

To add your own eye-catching touches to your windows try Zoffany. Or Houles a small, French, family-run company specialise in exquisite trims and upholstery details, like Carrie’s exquisite tassel trim. Or save by visiting online retailer Warehouse Fabrics Inc, who have an amazing selection of fabrics, trims and drapery fabrics for a lot less.

Carrie’s Closet

Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Carrie's closet

The Piece de resistance once again in their apartment is Carrie & Big’s closet. Not as grand as the one Big had made for her in the last film, the his and hers closet is still a show stopper in its own right. A functional, more subdued design than features Big’s dark wood detailed, streamlined, masculine side on the left. Whilst Carrie’s right-hand side of the walk-in closet is white and illuminated, stocked with a designer wardrobe by Net-a-porter.”The wow factors are the woodwork and the hardware.” says Marks, “it’s more grown up and sophisticated” she continues.

We love the illuminated shoe shelving display towards the back of the closet, each back-lit shelf proudly displays Carrie’s designer shoe collection in all it’s glory. If you want to recreate the look for less, and give everyone you know major closet envy Lights Suppier stock fluorescent illuminated box shelf lighting from £45.00. Or splurge by using a bespoke lighting installation company to makeover your closet.

Carries closet close up, Sex and the City 2 set design inspired interior design ideas

We also love the chic bench the middle of the closet, perfect for getting ready. Save with the Better Living Jemma Cream Renu Leather Large Bench, £80.79, or the Jonah upholstered bench designed by James Harrison for, £249. The French Bedroom Company’s Fawn velvet bedroom bench is also a beautiful, similar style for £425.00. But our favourite is the Kidworth upholstered bench in Adele natural fabric below from Laura Ashley, from £900.00. It’s a beautifully feminine style bench with flared arms and matching cushions, that would be a feature in any room.

Close up of the bench in the closet. Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas

Laura Ashley Kidworth bench Sex and the city 2 set design interior design ideas

Carrie & Big’s Bathroom

We don’t get to see much of it in the film, but we adore the glimpse we get of their practical, stylish bathroom. The simple, elegant design features his and hers sinks, vintage Alan Moss sconce’s and plenty of storage. It’s perfect for all their bits and bobs. The sink storage unit is stylish and great for hiding things away in the drawers underneath the beautiful, grey, marbled topper.

The space, although small feels light and airy. Up-lit shelving is used to display Carrie’s ornate perfume bottles and cosmetics and lights up the whole room. Adding artificial light to an enclosed bathroom space adds a feminine touch to the room and makes it feel brighter.

Carrie and Bigs bathroom Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas

Charlotte’s Kitchen

Whilst Carrie and Big’s apartment is style-driven and glamorous, Charlotte’s Park Avenue home is more traditional. Her beautiful, dream kitchen takes centre stage, predominantly white and minimalist, with colourful accents offset with stainless steel appliances. Production Designer Jeremy Conway chose a neutral scheme to reflect Charlotte’s perfectionist nature, and as a neutral background to the mountain of girly cupcakes laid out across all the surface space.

We love the choices Set Decorator Lydia Marks made, choosing a bright, pom-pom tasselled pastel blind and bright, red knobs on her Wolf range. The white and grey diamond, ceramic tiles also add a subtle hint of pattern and colour to her simple, but typically ‘Charlotte’ interior scheme. Also creating  a clean, polished look without appearing overly clinical.

Charlotte York's Kitchen Sex and the City film. Interior design set design inspired ideas

We also get a glimpse of her modern kitchen appliances, immaculately stocked pantry and of course their cute matching Jessica Steele Cupcake Aprons, from £23.00. We could see Thornback & Peel’s Jelly & Cake apron, £25.00 as a bright addition in Charlotte’s kitchen. Alongside a matching window blind in the same delightful raspberry jelly & cake ivory linen print, £95.00 p/m. As well as the matching jelly & cake tea towel, £12.95 & oven glove, £27.00 to complete the look.

Charlotte's kitchen sex and the sity 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Thornback & Peel Raspberry jelly cake ivory linen fabric.


Charlotte’s Bathroom

The bathroom follows the same muted colour palette, with clean lines and minimal detailing. Again the neutral and mostly cream palette is typically Charlotte. The look is clean, with a perfectionist feel and a hint of femininity added by the dainty, floral wallpaper seen on the back wall. The beautiful Laura floral rose wallpaper is a ditzy rose print in a pastel pink shade seen below, only £4.00 a roll from B&Q. Or splurge on Laura Ashley’s Abbeville pink/natural wallpaper, a mini floral design on a neutral background, £33.00 a roll.

Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas Charlotte's bathroom tub

Sex and the City 2 Set Design inspired interior design ideas. Laura ditzy floral wallpaper by B&Q

 Samantha’s Office

In the film, we also get to see Samantha’s modern, which shouts minimalism. White, metal and Lucite dominate, the whole space exudes glamour just like her character. With Time Square as a backdrop, the space features minimal detailing consisting of a Vitra desk, white accessories and orange accents. “The oversize billboards, the advertisements, the energy of it is everything that she’s about.” says Production Designer Jeremy Conway.

Sex and the city 2 set design interior inspired ideas. Samantha's modern, glamorous new york office.

To recreate her office space, splurge like Samantha on the Joyn single bench table designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, £1,528.23. Or save with Ikea’s Klimpen trestle table, £110.00. Or the Linnmon table seen below, £23.00. Team with the Lillhojden chair, £55.00 and bright orange storage boxes, £11.99 at Viking to recreate her sophisticated, polished look for less.

Sex and the city 2 set design inspired interior design ideas. Samantha's office, Ikea Linnmon table.

Miranda’s Apartment

Although not much has changed since the last film in Miranda’s more traditional home, we love the period, pre-war architectural features of her down to earth home. The blue, carved mill work arch above her stove is an eye-catching feature in a particular scene. Recreate the look by visiting White River for a range of mouldings, corbels and kitchen applications to transform your kitchen. The rest of her home reflects Miranda’s character, colours chosen by Marks’ were earthy tones, moss greens and reds to reflect Miranda’s traditional, laid-back interior style.

Miranda, kitchen detail. Sex and the city 2 movie set design inspired interior design ideas.

And so, we come to the end of our Set Design Inspired Interior Trends Series. What these films do collectively is to provide a rich visual reference for ideas that can be applied to any interior design scheme. Wes Anderson’s use of colour and props has already generated design schemes that reference his films. He designed the bar for Fondazione Prada’s art space which opened in May this year.

Whilst the Great Gatsby’s set design has inspired a resurging interest in all things Art Deco. And Sex and the City 2 created a demand for the bespoke and all the elements that were available to buy directly from suppliers. There are a lot of other movies with amazing set design, all that is needed is the pause button to get a good screen shot of the inspiration for your next interior design scheme.

If you have enjoyed reading our set design splurge or save series and want to further your knowledge in interior design, we have a range of courses available from diploma to MA level. Visit our course page for an overview of our interior design courses. Alternatively you can contact us directly by phone on +44(0)1159 123 412 or via email:

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Coolture Hunter (2015) [online] Available from:[Accessed 06.03.2015]

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Sex and the City 2 set design photos (2015) [online] Available from: [Accessed 06.05.2015]

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Minh Le.A (2008) Movie is influencing fans’ own decorating styles. [Accessed 27.05.15]

Apartment Therapy (2008) 27.05.15]

Popsugar, Casa Interview: Sex and the City’s Jeremy Conway (2008) . [Accessed 14.06.15]

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Hooked on Houses (2015) [online] Available from: [Accessed 16.07.2015]

Marcus.B (2010) Sex and the City 2′ Set Designer Lydia Marks Reveals Her Secrets to Decorating Carrie’s Apartment. ) [online] Available from: [Accessed 20/06/15]

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SetDecor Online (2010) Sex and the City 2 [Online] Available from: [Accessed 06.03.2015]

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The Sex and The City Movie girls. Set design interior design inspiration
Set Design: Sex and the City 1

Set Design: Influencing Interior Design Trends Sex and the City 1 (Part 1 of 2)

We hope you enjoyed our last Set Design: Interior Design Trends Post ideas post which was influenced by Catherine Martin’s set designs from the glamorous, 1920’s styled cinematic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby.’ This week the tabloid magazines were rife with rumours of Sarah Jessica Parker teasing there may be a third film, we continue our Set Design Interior Design Trend Series with a look back at the first Sex and the City film for some interior ideas based on the style-driven set design bySet Design Lydia Marks.

Since hitting the big screen not only did every woman lust after the enviable clothes and designer accessories, women all over the world demanded to know what custom shade of paint was on the walls, where the bed linen, rugs and lighting could be purchased and of course, “where do I buy Carrie’s walk in closet?”

SATC Sex and the City Set Design Interior Design Ideas. The four best friends Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte

The desire to emulate their lives and homes is thanks to the stylish, lust-worthy interiors designed by Lydia Marks of Marks and Frantz for the Sex and the City films, who have created the huge demand for all things inspired by the films. Transitioning the TV show to the big screen was a large task for the set designers, “the biggest challenge in updating the characters’ homes was maintaining enough continuity from their old places to their new ones, while adding a level of detail that would create an impact on the large screen,” Frantz said.

From the fashion to the impeccably stylish interiors main characters Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) have fuelled the need for aspirational living and bespoke, interior design dream schemes. Inspired by every aspects of the lives of the main characters, Sex and the City portrays four very different personalities that women can relate to. Often referring to themselves as a typical ‘Carrie’ or ‘Charlotte,’ the show begs the question “which  personality are you most like?” We look back at the film’s stylish set designs that reflect each character’s style and personality perfectly, to bring you our set design inspired interior ideas.

Four years have passed when we catch up with the four friends in the first Sex and the City film. Carrie is now a successful book author and magazine journalist, back with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) who has just purchased a huge Fifth Avenue penthouse for the two of them. Carrie is tasked with packing up her apartment, whilst Charlotte is now a stay-at-home mum who lives with husband Harry and their adopted daughter Lily in a Park Avenue apartment. Corporate attorney Miranda and her husband Steve have moved into a Brooklyn brownstone with their son. Whilst the glamorous Samantha, has swapped New York for a gorgeous beach house with her actor boyfriend Smith Jerrod played by handsome Jason Lewis.

The ‘Carrie’

Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City Set Design Inspired Interior Design Ideas

Carrie Bradshaw is known for her fabulous fashion sense and enviable collection of clothes, many women have lusted after Carrie’s style since the show’s pilot. Her put together outfits, coveted designer pieces and her ability to mix colours and textures with chic, statement accessories is something that translates to her apartment’s effortlessly stylish yet eclectic, scattered look.

Even her writing desk and laptop are iconic. They are now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection that symbolise Carrie observations and her internal monologues on modern relationships. The Emmy award–winning show won millions of loyal fans and not only set fashion trends, the show has influenced a surge in Manolo Blahnik shoe sales, spurred several interior trends and even championed the Cosmopolitan cocktail as the drink of choice and provoked cultural debates about sex, relationships, and gender roles.

Carrie Bradshaw's iconic writing desk from Sex and the City Set Design Inspired Interior Design Trends

However, it was Carrie Bradshaw’s stylish apartment interiors in the Sex and the City films that made us fall head over heels in love. And despite Mr. Big buying a huge apartment for the two of them, it remains empty as for most of the film Carrie ends up back at her apartment. For the apartments, series and film production designer Jeremy Conway explains “there was a great deal of design and thought that went into each of the characters’ apartments. We employed a particular colour theory for each of them that helped in identifying character and personality. The idea is to be able to look at a room and say, ‘Now that’s very Carrie.'”

Carrie walking into the apartment Big bought for them in the Sex and the City film. Set design interior design ideas.

But it was a daunting challenge recreating Carrie’s ’64 Perry Street’ Manhattan apartment from scratch for Marks as most of the original sets were destroyed after the TV show ended, “Carrie’s apartment in the first half of the movie was probably the most difficult set to decorate,” Frantz recalls, “We wanted to keep the most iconic pieces of furniture the same – the coffee table, the blue chaise, her desk – while updating her set to reflect the passage of time.” When design the original set production designer Jeremy Conway couldn’t find the table he was envisioning for Carrie, so he built it himself. The low-to-the-ground coffee table instils a cosy feeling to her apartment, where friends can sit and chat or provides an area for her to sit and work on her writing.

Her iconic walk-in (or should we say walk-through) closet also makes a re-appearance in the film, and single handedly caused the spike in demand for walk-in closets and bespoke wardrobes after the film’s release. Featuring the Margherita runner by Marni the Rug company that anchors the room, adding a feminine, ‘Carrie’ touch (£735 per m2.) To create the look for less Joss and Main’s Fillie rug is a pretty, floral alternative (£21.49.)

Sex and the City movie Set Design Inspired Interior Design Ideas Carrie Bradshaw's closet

When talking about how they updated Carrie’s apartment to reflect the four year gap, production designer Jeremy Conway says “Carrie had really grown up, but she wasn’t living that life in her apartment yet. The challenge in the redecorating was designing an apartment that seemed like it could be a little more organized, lived in, and put together.”Her chair (from furniture designer boyfriend Aidan) and coffee table are well-known pieces in Carrie’s now iconic apartment.

If you want to recreate the look the Whit McLeod Morris chair is similar (price on request.) Or for Carrie’s solid, circular coffee table RSH Studio offer a made to order service (price on request.) Or the Wentworth dark wood dining table from Furniture Choice UK is a cheaper alternative (£349.00.)  Or for a vintage look incorporate a midcentury credenza (pick up a vintage one via Ebay) with sliding doors like Carrie to store your clutter and prop up framed artwork prints on top for the same look.

Carrie Bradshaw's Living Room Sex and the City Set Design

Carrie Bradshaw's Bedroom Sex and the City Set Design Interior Design ideas

For the second half of the film, the apartment gets a stylish makeover from the subdued, natural tones, and flea-market chic,”When we redecorated Carrie’s apartment for the second half of the movie the challenge became: How does a more grown-up Carrie create an environment that reflects her personality and her place? This set was the most fun in the film for me to work on. While the architecture in her apartment was the same, everything else was completely re-done. The paint colour, the moldings, the entire kitchen, all her furniture, her artwork, even her famous closet.” Marks said.

Carrie’s stylish apartment makeover was recreated by millions of women who wanted to emulate her style after seeing it successfully done. According to Marks, some of the most asked about items include: Carrie’s mirrored vanity drawers that was a vintage piece from Alan Moss in New York, seen below. Similar vintage ones can be purchased from 1stdibs. But the most requested item has been the shade of bright blue that transformed the apartment walls, which was a custom-mixed paint colour designed specifically for the film. But luckily, a similar shade can be bought ‘Benjamin Moore’s “Electric Blue” No. 2061-40.’

Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City Apartment makeover and her Alan York vanity mirror. Set Design Interior Design Inspiration.

Another favourite was the statement ‘LOVE TOO’ wool and silk needlepoint tapestry wall hanging seen in Carrie’s foyer, created by Fashion Designer Paul Smith and available at the Rug Company (£2,295.) Marks suggests “with accessories, often editing things out makes more of a statement than displaying a collection of things,” referencing the stylish, clean statement design pieces in Carrie’s new apartment  such as the sleek, Alan Moss mirrored vanity drawers, statement rugs and her pieces of art which all contrast with Carrie’s lived in, homely yet stylish apartment look pre-makeover.

Paul Smith LOVE for the Rug company seen in the foyer of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment in Sex and the City. Set design Interior design inspiration.

When giving advice on how to transform a room, Frantz suggests “Colour is an easy and inexpensive way to change the feel of a space. Look at the difference going from a pale blue to the intense electric blue made in Carrie’s apartment. Another way to change the colour and feel of a room, without doing anything permanent, is with fabric. All this can be done without investing a tremendous amount of money or time. Re-cover a chair, make a beautiful new bed with a mixture of patterns and colours, make new curtains, make new throw pillows.” Frantz states referencing the beautiful mix of colours, prints and textures she used to makeover Carrie’s apartment.

Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City Apartment makeover. Set Design Interior Design Inspiration

“Since Carrie is so involved in fashion, I thought it would be very believable that she would have new fabrics around her, so the curtains, upholstery and bed linens are all new for the film” she states, seen specifically after Carrie redecorates. She surrounds herself with lovely swatches of pattern, bright fabrics and new statement pieces like the sofa covered in fabric from The Silk Trading Company or our similar pick, ‘Hot House Flowers’ by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher.  Whilst the mirrored coffee table above is from ABC Carpet and Home and the black side tables were rented,”I rented a great pair of mid-century modern side tables from Area I.D. for the movie, when recreating the set for the second movie the tables had been sold, and the buyer refused to rent them to us again. Area I.D. organized a furniture maker to recreate them from photographs. They came out perfectly, black piano finish and all.” Marks says.

Copy Carrie with a damask-patterned rug available from The Rug Company, or create a picture wall made up of different size prints and frames  like her bedroom wall. Or why not try to incorporate your favourite quote or inspiring words into your scheme with a  decal, or  use fabric paint and a stencil. The writing on the storage shelves surrounding Carrie’s flatscreen TV above, is actually quoted from writer Gertrude Stein who is one of Carrie’s favourite writers.

Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City Bedroom makeover. Set Design Interior Design Inspiration

To recreate Carrie’s apartment get creative, mix prints and fabrics with statement furniture pieces. Carrie’s room includes ikat print cushions, a bold carpet from the Rug Company, linens by Anichini, her vintage lucite bench, a vintage Knoll chair that was whitewashed and reupholstered, custom side tables and a mix of bold pattern and colours. Contrast blue walls with white accent pieces like Carrie’s billowing curtains, the pair of white, ceramic table lamps, her high-gloss Parsons-style desk (similar Ikea Besta Burs desk £200.00) and vintage Tommi Parzinger chairs from Alan Moss (available at 1st dibs).

The pieces are all feminine, airy, and stylish. They are also versatile and can easily be re-purposed in another setting. Additionally, a fabric panel that runs up the wall in Carrie’s apartment hallway is a Marimekko piece, you could easily copy this look by incorporating a bright statement fabric draped on a wall to create a casual eating space like in the film.

 The ‘Charlotte’

Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Sex and the City film

Charlotte York-Goldenblatt is a perfectionist. Her immaculate style saw her apartment feature in House and Garden magazine in one Sex in the City episode. Her home is an example of her classic, refined elegance, every room is immaculate with a show home feel throughout. In the first Sex and the City film the friends gather at her house the night before Carrie’s wedding.

In the time that has passed between the TV show and the film, Charlotte’s room has been updated with new wallpaper, fresh Anichini bed linens, symmetrical dark, lacquered bed-side tables (similar found here), built in bookcases (similar Billy at Ikea), a new chest, mirror and a matching pair of Foo dog lamps (try Ebay for vintage ones or here for cheaper replica ones.)

Charlotte York's bedroom Sex and the City film set design

Carrie spends a lot of time at Charlotte’s house in the film, before she returns to her own apartment. We get to see her perfectly styled interiors which are more traditional than the other character’s homes but are still chic, sophisticated and feminine just like Charlotte. Her house is styled to perfection with items displayed in perfect symmetry, not an accessory out of place. Charlotte’s home reflects a soft, neutral palette with airy hints of colour. Mixing mid-century furniture with more modern pieces, she uses chocolate wooden furniture throughout which joins each room that is individually styled. Whilst fresh, spring coloured floral wallpapers are used throughout, along with neutral carpets, romantic touches and the creation of cosy, zoned areas for various activities.

To create a cosy seating area in your bedroom, we think this Joss and Main Hamilton Armchair (£168.95) is perfect in keeping with Charlotte’s style. Below a collection of dark expensive wooden furniture is used  to bring the room together, we especially like the tall boy set of drawers, find a similar bespoke chest of drawers at Luxecasa and her floral wallpaper (similar botanical wallpaper by total wallcovering £33 per roll or the Aubourn wallpaper by Osbourne and Little.)

charlotte york's apartment bedroom furniture. set design interior design inspiration

In the scene below, Charlotte can be seen reading a magazine whilst relaxing on a fabulous statement chaise longue like our similar pick, the Classical Chaise Longue from Sweetpea & Willow (£962.00.) or splurge on the Louis-Philippe Chaise Longue (£1913.00 also from Sweetpea & Willow.) Or  seen in the background why not add a beautiful statement mirror like the constellation mirror from Laura Ashley (£157.50.)

Charlotte York chaise longue set design interior design inspiration

Below, Carrie can be seen in Charlotte’s neutral and blue toned open plan living room complete with modern furniture, statement lamps and in the background a vintage Noguchi coffee table in satin black lacquer with pale green glass top.” Lighting is one of the most important things to consider. Great lamps are sculpture and can change the feel of an entire room.” Marks states.

Carrie in Charlotte York's living room in the sex and the city film. set design inspired Interior design ideas

We love the circular chrome based lamp base in Charlotte’s living room below, our favourite similar pick is this Chrome statement base below available from Homes Direct 365 (£174.99.)

Homes Direct 365 Chrome Lamp Base & Shade

Charlotte’s grown up, muted palette contrasts with the bedroom of her four-year-old adopted daughter Lily. In the film production designer Jeremy Conway put great thought into designing her bedroom, “Charlotte wants Lily to feel we’re all the same all over the world,” he states referencing her multi-cultural dolls and prop choice in her room.

Complete with a chandelier, mini polka dot wing chair and hot pink wallpaper with hand drawn Chinese lanterns on Lydia Marks explains “We wanted this collection to be an attempt for Charlotte to educate her daughter about all different ethnicities and being inclusive, we had a whole collection of dolls and on the Vitra shelves there was a huge mix of fabulous objects and stuffed animals from all different places, different ethnicity dolls, and little sculptural toys.”

Charlotte York's daughters bedroom in the Sex and the City. Lily's pink bedroom set.

 The ‘Samantha’

Samantha Jones on her Malibu beach house balcony from the Sex and the City movie. Set design interior design ideas.

Samantha Jones is glamorous and fun, swapping the city for Malibu she is seen living in a stylish, contemporary open-plan beach house with stylish glass balconies and ocean views. When the film was released the real-life property was up for sale for $17 million, complete with what looked like the stylish furniture used in the film. With its curved glass front and steel architecture, the interior is modern and glamorous which reflects the location and Samantha’s glamorous personality.

Samantha Jones in her Malibu beach house Sex and the City film set design interior design ideas

Above, Samantha can be seen giving kissing her boyfriend Smith Jerrod goodbye resting on a modern, white button Knoll lounge collection sofa seen with a matching tub chair on the second floor. The house is clean, with a light and airy feel, featuring a neutral colour scheme and natural light from the beautiful, glass fronted exterior. The décor in Samantha’s home is simple yet stylish, offset with elegant glass and chrome detail and white accent furniture that creates a clean, contemporary feel throughout.

Samantha's luxury Malibu beach front house in the Sex and the City movie. Set design inspired Interior Design ideas.

Throughout the house zones are created with the use of statement rugs in neutral shades, for similar styles we pick the Jute textured rug (£39-195 from M&S) or team this plush, velvet underground rug  (£100 from the Plantation Rug Company) with muted furnitures to get Samantha’s modern look (below.)

Samantha's Malibu Beach House living room from the Sex and the City film

Get Samanthas Malibu beach house style with the Velvet Underground rug by plantation rug company

In the film a risqué scene that involves Samantha and some Sushi, we get to see her contemporary kitchen. Complete with stainless steel appliances, and spacious central console, Caesar stone quartz counter tops & travertine floors the open-plan, modern space mixes light wood and chrome detail that transitions through the house.

Samantha and Smith in their Malibu open plan kitchen in the Sex and the City film. Set design inspired interior design ideas.

Samantha's Malibu beach house kitchen in the sex and the city movie. set design interior design inspiration.

The idyllic, nearly 6,000-square-foot, glass-front, tri-level property designed by Jay Vanos has arched windows and open floor plan that create the illusion of floating over the ocean. With five bedrooms, six bathrooms and five balconies looking over the ocean, the spacious house is the perfect setting for Samantha and her movie star boyfriend in the film. Below, is Samantha’s grand, bespoke, king size bed that is seen in the film.

Speaking about decorating both Sex and the City films Marks states, “there was an amazing level of trust and appreciation between the director, production designer, actors and myself. While there was a great deal of autonomy in the creative endeavour, there were a few instances where the actors would ask us to look at something in particular that they felt was appropriate for their interior.  They knew their characters so well that I was always interested in seeing what they had in mind.”

Samantha's Malibu beach house bedroom in the sex and the city film. set design Interior design ideas

In Samantha’s beach house bedroom, it was the actress behind Samantha’s character, Kim Cattrall who decided on using the D. Porthault turquoise Tigre bed linen on the set. “Kim Cattrall is a big fan of D. Porthault bed linens, when she first asked us to consider them for her bedroom, I was not sure if the brand made sense with her character. However, after looking through some of the patterns and printed sheets is what they are famous for  I changed my mind. Tigre turquoise was a perfect fit for Samantha and got tons of attention from all the SATC fans!” Marks states.

SATC Tigre bedding by d porthault for Samantha's Malibu beach house in the Sex and the City film. Set design inspiration

Although the D. Porthault bedding is no longer available online we found similar ones from (£39.00) and the Roxy bedding here by (£69.12) to help you re-create Samantha’s style (model boyfriend not included.)

The ‘Miranda’

Miranda Hobbs from the Sex and the City film. Set design inspiring interior design ideas

Miranda Hobbs is both practical and comfortable when it comes to décor. Since we last saw her she has been given a makeover and a wardrobe upgrade, but her scattered, jumbled home tells the truth about her character. She works full-time, has a child and a husband and in some respects is the character most women can relate to as she isn’t perfect. She’s a workaholic, a pessimist who still tries and succeeds at having it all.

Miranda Hobbs brownstone Brooklyn house. Exposed brick living room wall. Set design sex and the city

Her Brooklyn home is the most real house out of all the character’s homes. Miranda’s Brooklyn brownstone is a mix of modern, sophisticated accessories and statement furniture and rugs (similar Gabriel Rug £110.95 by Joss & Main) that contrast with her son Brady’s toys and stuffed animals dotted around their home. It has a lived in, homely feel unlike the other character’s homes. Like the out of place, paint hand-prints to the left of the fireplace that clearly tell a story or hold a memory for Miranda.

The exposed brownstone brickwork is also a key feature of the property, in the living room it provides the perfect backdrop to her gold edged mirror and the ornate fireplace surround (similar one here from If like us,  you aren’t lucky enough to have exposed brickwork in your home Next do a great wallpaper alternative to give you that industrial, brownstone feel (buy here for £15.00 a roll.)

Next Brick wallpaper design. Sex and the city set design inspired interior design ideas

Miranda’s personality and practical tastes are reflected in her reserved choice of colour, like the natural, beige sofas picked for comfort over style or the pair of sensible armchairs. We found a range of items below all from Joss & Main that would look perfectly at home in Miranda’s living room, like this cosy looking Valentina armchair (£381.95.)

During the film, Miranda and Steve have their ups and down and we see her live on her own for a while. But throughout, we see her choice of décor is tasteful and includes a mix of upper west side accessories such as her vases and planters mixed with a scattering of personal items and statement furniture pieces.

In the Brookyln house, on her wooden cabinet (similar Jolene cabinet £270.95 also from Joss&Main) she displays a decorative lantern (similar Caro lantern set  for £89.95) alongside her vases and above displays her framed print. Whilst Brady’s large stuffed animals are scattered throughout in contrast, suggesting that unlike the other homes Miranda’s is a functioning family home that reflects all of their personalities. When picking accessories for you home Marks suggests keeping it personal, “the space should reflect the person who lives there. It should be filled with things you love, both newly designed and family heirlooms. That will give it the warmth and style that make it special and your own.” 

 Miranda Hobbs' lived in home in the sex and the city film. Set design interior design ideas

In the new flat we see Miranda’s modern, yet practical style translate to her new apartment. We see Miranda sat in her living room eating Chinese food in one scene, her simple furniture choices and colour palette are mostly neutral, focused around comfort over style like before.

Miranda Hobbs sitting in her new apartment in the sex and the city movie. Set design interior design inspiration.

She sits on a brown sofa with pinched, button detail (Room&Board‘s André Sofa is a similar model £1242.94) with a few patterned scatter cushions in cranberries, pinks and orange to break up the neutrals. For a similar look we like the Daija cushion £50.95 from Joss&Main, or John Lewis do a crimson red scatter cushion for £17.50. Or invest in a thick throw for cuddling up on the sofa with like this chunky Aran knit throw by the Wool Company £59.00 (seen below.)

Copy Miranda's style with this Chunky knit Aran throw by the Wool company. Sex and the city set design interior inspiration.

Why not try incorporating Miranda’s modern, yet cosy style into your interior, “it’s easy to duplicate Miranda’s décor, if you keep your colour scheme cool and your accents simple and elegant” says Conway, “think conservative, with an eye to proportion rather than surface embellishment. No splashy colours or hip clutter. Keep it lean, mean and clean” he advises.

We hope we have inspired you to channel your inner Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha or Miranda to inject a bit of Sex and the City style into your home. Whether it’s Carrie’s eclectic style, Charlotte’s traditional look, Samantha’s stylish, modern interiors or Miranda’s lived-in look, we hope our ideas and top interior picks from our Set Design: Influencing Interior Design Trends Sex and the City blog post inspired you all.

Join us next time for part 2 when we continue with the set design from the Sex and the City 2 film.We draw design inspiration from Carrie & Big’s new apartment, the girl’s trip to Abu Dhabi and the French décor styling from Lydia Marks of Marks & Frantz.

Sex and the City TV show and film franchise images courtesy of
Quotes and References:
Gupta.A (2008) Accessed 28.05.15. Accessed 28.05.15.
Minh Le.A (2008) Movie is influencing fans’ own decorating styles. Accessed 27.05.15.
Apartment Therapy (2008) . Accessed 26.05.15.
Popsugar. Casa Interview: Sex and the City’s Jeremy Conway (2008) . Accessed 28.05.15.
Popsugar. . Accessed 28.05.15.
Popsugar. . Accessed 28.05.15.
Popsugar. Accessed 28.05.15.
Popsugar. 26.05.15.
Popsugar. 26.05.15.
Popsugar. 26.05.15.
Popsugar. 26.05.15.
Popsugar. Accessed 26.05.15.
Miranda’s Home, Popsugar. . Accessed 25.05.15.
Mad Men era: Interior design inspiration

Mad Men: Looking back on an era

It has been an emotional journey for fans of AMC’s long-running, Emmy award winning, hit TV show Mad Men. But after 7 seasons the show aired its final episode in America on Monday, and aired last night in the UK. We take a look back at the award winning set design that has meticulously captured the interior design style of the 1960’s period, and has created the ‘Mad Men’ effect that has fast become a key design trend.

The show, a drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960’s that focuses around one of the firm’s most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper. It was a success from the moment it’s $3 million pilot episode aired, and is much loved for its whisky fuelled, hedonistic story lines that focus on the sordid lives of the stylish ad men. But the show is perhaps equally loved  because of the wonderfully accurate interior set designs created by talented set decorator Claudette Didul-Mann, that act as a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York.

Don Draper's office seasons 4-6 of Mad Men, recreated for Matthew Weiner's Mad Men at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York Photographer: Thanassi Karageorgiou/Museum of the Moving Image via Bloomberg

Didul-Mann had a tough job, attempting to accurately replicate all of the stylish period design that is portrayed in each Mad Men episode. Often referring to herself as a “stickler for detail” Didul-Mann relied on the expertise of the Archive Team of renowned furniture manufacturer Herman Miller to help bring design context to the set since she joined the show from season four. Known for her meticulous approach to set design, Didul-Mann’s designs manage to bring the mid-century workplace to life on screen by her consistent use of authentic, accurate sourced vintage pieces to dress the sets.

Don Draper’s now-iconic office (above) at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is an example of the timeless, multifunctional workspace design that was popular at the time. Don’s office is now such a famous example of the 1960’s modern office design the set has been recreated and appears as the star in show of the Mad Men exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image. Didul-Mann used Herman Miller as reference throughout the show to ensure that not only the retro aesthetic of the period was captured, but it also helped the show’s ability to successfully chronicle the key historic moments in American history. And more importantly, Mad Men’s ability to visually reference the key historical design trends of the era that represent the cultural evolution which is at the heart of Mad Men.

Herman Miller were responsible for the new era of office design when the white collar creative industry began to flourish after World War II. In 1956, the company issued an advertisement for the “living room in your office,” saying, “An office isn’t just an office. It’s a conference room, a living room, and a library too. The furniture, therefore, must be as flexible as the functions it performs.”

In season 6, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) stretches out on his mid-century modern sofa between a pair of blue glazed ceramic lamps—the most expensive props bought outright. Photographer: Jamie Trueblood/AMC via Bloomberg

To get the authentic look of the period, many of the items on set were often borrowed from the Herman Miller archives or rented from Omega Cinema Props , such as Don’s peek-a-boo coffee table, the original abstract paintings on his office walls, or the mid-century moder, Knoll inspired sofa (above.) But with so many sets to dress, Didul-Mann often buys furniture for the sets, “if there is something that is reasonably priced or if something is more permanent- in at least four episodes, it is better for me to buy it. We do get things from prop houses though, particularly for more temporary sets.” The most expensive prop were the pearlized, blue, ceramic lamps bought for $1000 for the pair by Didul-Mann herself, which were worth the price she states as “lighting is so essential to setting a mood, you shouldn’t skimp.”

The production team favoured vintage lampshades despite their fragility. “The slubbed silk on them is just beautiful, and the light through them is really unique,” she says. And with short time scales, and with so many different sets to create Didul-Mann confesses to shopping online for props and furnishings, “we’ve been really lucky for the most part… I shop online and use 1stdibs quite a bit, for research and to buy things. For the fourth season I bought some desk lamps from dealer Amsterdam Modern, JF Chen has some great stuff too.”

Her attention to detail, and need for authentic set design saw Didul-Mann meticulously study vintage issues of magazines such as Interior Design and House Beautiful and old Herman Miller ads to ensure every minute attention to every element was accurate on the show. “My father worked in advertising for over 40 years and there was Herman Miller and Knoll furniture everywhere you went.” Didul-Mann says, referencing her authentic source material and personal collection used as key visual reference to create the authentic interiors on set like using this authentic Herman Miller Eames Conference table in the Mad Men office boardroom scenes.

Mad Men Set Design influencing Interior Design Trends. Eames Conference Table, staff sit around the table in Eames Time-Life chairs.

She also used Knoll’s minimalist furniture to dress the sets, because of the clean lines and contemporary feel which can be seen throughout the Sterling Cooper’s offices and in Don and Megan’s  stylish Manhattan apartment in Season 5. She references two design books from the mid 60’s book by Betty Pepis, inspiration for the glamorous sunken in living room, built in sofas and for its other mid-60’s detail seen in the Draper’s  vibrant apartment.

Production designer Dan Bishop, ” turned me onto a New York Times design book from 1965.. and in a local thrift store I actually found out the LA Times home section used to have a magazine, and I bought all that I could from 1964 to’67. There are some great ads.” she states when referencing her design inspirations.  The design also demonstrates the shift in time and the social changes in America at the time the season portrays, seen through a mix of bright, jewel tones and a muted, earthy palettes being used throughout their apartment.

Didul-Mann says she and production designer Dan Bishop are especially proud of the Manhattan apartment they created as the split-level, open-plan living room was initially envisioned by show creator Matthew Weiner, but it was up to the production team to make the space cool, liveable and able to accommodate shoot requirements. “We have to be able to move walls, and set up camera platforms, so we couldn’t have actual furniture in certain places. The sofa, bench and wall unit are all built for the space and can be easily removed,” she says. Knoll’s Lounge series of geometric, classic chairs and sofas were used to dress the set, while the real thing will set you back £4,000 or more, you can find a similar ones on the high street or visit local antique furniture collectors or auctions to try find one for less.

Mad Men Set Design Season 5 Don Draper's 1960's house

The period sets, bold costumes, and rich colours on the show are visually captivating, and although it takes place in 1960’s New York, it still lends plenty of interior inspiration for today’s homes or office spaces as people began to realise that modern did not have to be cold and monochromatic, it could be warm and liveable like those interiors seen in Mad Men. From the furnishings, colour and pattern choice to the décor seen in the show you can easily add a touch of 1960’s glamour to your interior suggests Didul-Mann. “Colours change the times” she says, referencing how she began to dress the sets in burnt orange, avocados, golds, browns, and earth tones as the years approach the 1970’s.

Throughout the show Didul-Mann made sure her furniture choices evolved and changed to chart the shift in story lines and timeline of the show since she started in season 4 when it was 1964, so She integrated Herman Miller’s mid-century, modern, bright, aesthetic design pieces into the later seasons to visually capture the shift in design, colour and aesthetic tastes of the late 1960’s and captures the shift in the gender politics  as the show moves from the 60’s into the early 70’s (below: An example of the colour shift, Mad Men’s bright, modern reception area in season 7.)

set design Mad Men Reception Area season 7 interior design trends

For the new West Coast office of Sterling Cooper & Partners, Didul-Mann used Danish and American modern furniture with more traditional lighting and curtains. Contemporary artwork on the walls were found on Etsy, and referenced the graphic design of the era. In the late ’60s, clean minimalism gave way to a little more flash, with lucite, chrome, and glass materials taking centre stage in homes and offices.

The most influential designer behind this new era was Milo Baughman, who’s fantastic streamlined,  classic, statement pieces add a sense of glamour, without taking away from the rest of a room’s clean and contemporary look. He maximized drama by using striking combinations of glass, sumptuous burled wood, chrome and contemporary textiles or glossy white lacquer. He once famously said, “I’m much more interested in the atmosphere of a space than in design as such.”

For the new West Coast office of SterlingMad Men Set Design: Interior Design trends Cooper & Partners, Claudette Didul used Danish and American modern furniture with more traditional lighting and curtains.

For Ted Claoudagh’s East Coast office the wallpaper and a hanging fabric panel inspired by Op Art, and according to Didul-Mann the furniture includes what may be an early Milo Baughman sofa and blue Milo Baughman chairs with casters whilst the coffee table is a Brazilian design by Percival Lafer.

“Looking at old House Beautiful magazines, 1967 had a lot of Lucite, blown up plaster pillows and chrome, so I introduced a Milo Baughman furniture and added a chair into Roger’s new office later on in season 7.” Didul-Mann says referencing Mad Men’s seventh and final season set styling that pushes the show into a new chapter of Mid-Century design.


Notably in Mad Men chairs are used as a sign of power and chart the change in time period throughout the show, The iconic Herman Miller ‘Eames Time-Life chair‘ used on set has also signifies change, from using black and off-white models to caramel models in the later seasons signal the change in trends and the time-period  shift in the show. Below, Account man Pete Campbell is seen in an iconic Eames Time-Life chair used throughout the show.

Mad Men Set Design Interior Design Trends. Account man Pete Campbell sitting in an Eames Time-Life chair.

When coming up with the various office designs on set, Didul-Mann referenced her visits to her father’s mid-town Manhattan Advertising office and architectural books from the late 1950’s as reference points, “a lot of them had Eames and Knoll furniture, it was mass produced and very commercial for the time” she states. Although Didul-Mann’s time on the show only covers from 1964 leading up to the early 1970’s , the changes in design are palpable and are accurate to the time periods portrayed.

Like Don Draper’s now iconic office design that signifies the changes in design trend during the Mad Men period, his Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair below showcases the popular commercial office aesthetic of the 1960’s and early 70’s.

Interior Design Set Design. Don Draper's Mad Men office set. Eames Aluminium Group Management Chair.

Many high street retailers such as and Room & Board have also incorporated mid-century, modern, 1960’s inspired design pieces into their interior collections. You could try hunting down a vintage, original piece of furniture on Ebay or a specialist online retailer like Funky Junky. Or find a  great replica, and more affordable version on the high street to recreate your own 1960’s inspired design scheme.

For a subtle nod to the sixties, Didul-Mann suggests incorporating pattern into your design scheme by buying a roll of the colourful, geometrically patterned wallpaper by Alexander Girard or a similar print to when he was at Herman Miller. “If you can’t put it up in your office, you could frame it and hang it like a picture,” she suggests, or re-upholster a vintage chair in a bright, 60’s fabric.

Interior Design Set Design. Mad Men. Don Draper's iconic Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair in black leather by Herman Miller.

Didul-Mann also suggests to inject a pop of colour, or just a 1960’s subtle accent you could pick up a lamp base Ikea and top it with a custom shade made out of vintage 1960’s fabric, burlap or silk, from which is a good source for vintage fabrics, “the light is so amazing through the fabric,” she explains, referencing a technique used on set to replicate bespoke 1960’s style lighting affordably.

However it is not just the furniture that has made the award winning set design such a success, Didul-Mann’s obsessive attention to period detail was amplified working alongside creator Matthew Weiner who was equally as concerned with the period authenticity. “Matthew loves clutter, it is one of his pet peeves to not have enough stuff in there. We put so much stuff in the office, books, paper, cups and pencils…and so on- it just disappears into the set!” Didul-Mann says discussing her working with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.

Set Design Mad Men props and desk details via

Together, they were meticulous in ensuring each piece on set, or costume choice played a key storytelling role in the show, “All the clutter you see reflects the characters… it’s just as important for me to show a character’s open desk drawer with a half roll of Life Savers, with the paper rolled back, as it is to find the perfect dining table.” Weiner states.

When it came to painstakingly recreating the Mad Men era each piece on screen plays a key storytelling role in the show, even staplers and tape dispensers with sexy vintage curves in turquoise and olive green; fountain pens, picture frames, pencil sharpeners, and tin pencil holders were each individually sourced to make sure they fit in with the 1960’s aesthetic and the characters in the show. “When the set is dressed you can breathe a bit… but sometimes there’s that oh my god we found this piece” Didul-Mann says, “the hunt excites me.” she continues.
(seen below a desk complete with authentic, vintage sourced stationary props.)

Don Draper's desk Mad Men Set Design

Above is an example of Don Draper’s desk complete with an orange dinette chairs from Amsterdam Modern in L.A, a vintage ash trash to mash out his Lucky Strikes, picture frames and clock which were all sourced from antique shops and independent antique sellers. Larger items such as the chair, Don’s vintage IBM Selectric typewriter, or the RCA stereo could also be used as stand alone inspiration in your Mad Men themed interior, displayed as a statement piece or display prop items on your desk or in a shelving unit to really draw the eye.

Famed for their liquid lunches, one essential piece on the Mad Men set was the drinks bar cart, complete with top-shelf liquor. Silver rimmed rocks glassware by Dorothy Thorpe were also used to dress Don’s glass topped, Italian-made bar cart, that was specifically picked  for its higher than usual design so that the 6’2″ Jon Hamm didn’t have to bend down to use it. AMC donated Don’s cart to the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in a ceremony on March 27 along with more than 50 other props from the set.

Set Design: Don Draper's Italian-made bar cart on the set of Mad Men Source: AMC via BloombergTo buy your own drinks cart Didul-Mann suggests Vintage Etsy to find an authentic, vintage model, “Just put ‘mid-century’ or ‘Mad Men’ into the search box,” she says. But before you  invest in expensive, authentic pieces from the era, “take your time… it’s ok to slowly build something, to live in the design before investing thousands that you may regret in a few years” Didul-Mann suggests.

So as the iconic Mad Men draws to a close, we wondered if we could expect a spin off, or prequel to happen? “I love that this is it. If people are left wanting more, then you did your job right.” Matt Weiner says reflecting back on the masterpiece he successfully launched back in 2006, but sadly confirms there will be no Mad Men spin-off. We hope you have enjoyed our look back on the ‘Mad Men’ inspired interior design trend that has created a love of all things 1960’s.

the cast of Mad Men

We bid a sad goodbye to one of of the most popular shows in TV history, and hope it has inspired you to add a 1960’s sense of glamour to your interior in honour of the ‘Mad Men’ era.


Courtesy of Herman Miller. Accessed 19.05.15.

Don Draper’s office from seasons 4-6 of Mad Men recreated for “Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men” at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. Photographer: Thanassi Karageorgiou/Museum of the Moving Image via Bloomberg. Accessed 20/05/15.

Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) stretches out on his mid-century modern sofa between a pair of blue glazed ceramic lamps—the most expensive props bought outright. Photographer: Jamie Trueblood/AMC via

Bloomberg. Accessed 19.05.15.
Set Design Desk Props via . Accessed 20.05.15.

Don Draper’s desk Mad Men Set Design Source: AMC via Bloomberg. Accessed 21.05.15.

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