Yes, the beloved AMC series Mad Men (Mmm…Mad Men.) is lamentably nearing the end of its television-drama life cycle, but that doesn’t mean we must be dour. Possibly the most cliché adage of all still rings true: all good things must come to an end.
Especially the kaleidoscopic Sixties.
But cheer up, there’s still mid-century fun to be had. Muddle yourself a cool Old Fashioned, spark a Lucky Strike, and take a virtual romp through the series’ aesthetically pleasing and admirably historically accurate set design.
Locales created through collaborations between Mad Men’s creator Matthew Weiner, production designer Dan Bishop, and set decorator Claudette Didul are glossily streamlined and painstakingly furnished with precisely the right details. This season, scorched peach, creamy taupe, cornflower blue, and powdery mint green hues seep across walls and coat domestic fittings, like textural lampshades and a chunky refrigerator. Pops of cherry red tantalise from the tweedy upholstery of a minimalist sofa, a Turkish rug, and cumbersome glass ashtray, and lacquered wooden panelling pervades in florescent office spaces and swanky living quarters alike. Note the copious Abstract Expressionist canvasses and Oriental-inspired finishing touches which silently accentuate the storyline of the show’s seventh and final season.
In a recent interview with Interior Design, Weiner described his meticulous efforts to intermingle plot-line with East and West Coast mid-century ornamentation:
“I’m working in a completely fake environment where we control everything. How do we make this feel like it’s real? In every picture of an office from 1930 on, the wires are cut off every lamp, because they look terrible. I tell the set-design team, ‘Put the wires on!’ Right away, something happens. Why is there all that ugly stuff hanging off the desks? Because that’s how it would really be. 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.”
Stepping into Don Draper’s office just wouldn’t be the same without such concern for exactitude and fine taste; it is no wonder that the interiors of Mad Men have garnered awards and keep us drooling over Danish armchairs and a certain white-carpeted Manhattan penthouse.
(photography source: Interior Design)