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On The Set of Arrested Development With House Beautiful!

Can you imagine only have two weeks to design a project!  That’s what Jennifer Lukehart, set designer, had when she took on the job of designing the set for the much anticipated return of Arrested Development which is scheduled for this Sunday, May 26th.   The kicker here is she was expected to recreate a set from ten years ago.  Nothing had been saved, so she had to rebuild everything.  Imagine trying to find fabrics from the 80’s or 90’s now!  Even the color stories are different.  If you are an Arrested Development groupie from the past, you won’t be disappointed though, she did a pretty good job at recreating the set, so much so, that the returning actors felt sentimental when they saw the set!
I thought it would be fun to look at House Beautiful’s sneak peek at the set and interview with set designer, Jennifer Lukehart.  If you haven’t read the interview in House Beautiful, I invite you to click here to read it and view additional photos. House Beautiful dishes with Jennifer “about everything from the Art Deco look of a certain apartment and why you should use dark lampshades at home to how she replicated the Bluth penthouse in just two weeks. Reading Jennifer’s interview, I realized that she has many of the same questions and issues as I have as a designer with real life clients only the players change.  She interviews the director, producer or the production manager to get the info she needs to build her rooms.  The questions are somewhat similar to the ones I pose to my clients, such as, “what’s the budget, what’s your lifestyle,”, etc.  The approach to basically “wave your magic wand” design and mine differs in ability to use custom items.  She pretty much has to use what she can find through prop house rental and on the floor at retail level.  I think it would be fun to switch places for a day!  After all, who wouldn’t want to see their work on television!
Here are a few of the photos that I borrowed from the House Beautiful interview and what Jennifer had to say about them. [….]
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Here in the Austero Penthouse sitting room, Jennifer included some nautical
 themed brass items which remind us of some of the items in Lucille Austero’s
 apartment during from the first three seasons.  She even included a brass seal tossing
 a ball which gives nod to “loose seal” get it, “Lucille” the character in the show.

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What’s interesting about this gallery wall Jennifer created is that even though
 the items look like flea market or thrift store finds, set designers now have to
 use items with all rights cleared so no longer used found objects.
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The only piece in the room that belonged to the homeowners was the carved piece by the fireplace,
 the rest of this room came from the prop studio.
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Jennifer framed some of her own photographs for the bedroom but the rest were rented from prop houses.  The Malm bed was borrow from Ikea, the draperies are from Cost Plus World Market and bench at the foot of the bed was loaned by the production manager Dan Butts.  Jennifer said without places like Ikea, Target and the like, she didn’t know what she would do in the short time period she had to work.  I can’t imagine having to work so quickly to produce something so important!

One enlightening comments Jennifer made was how she likes to layer interiors because that’s what makes them interesting rather than a nip tuck perfectly arranged room.  “She said rooms that look lived in are more interesting that sterile rooms.”  I think that gives me the green light to keep living with those stacks of magazines I simply can’t bring myself to throw out!  LOL!

New to “Arrested Development” but interest? Here’s the lowdown…
Created my the talented team of Mitchell Hurwitz and Ron Howard this show is set in Newport Beach, California and is about the fictitious wealthy and extremely dysfunctional Bluth family.  The show raised network eyebrows with its unconventional filming methods yet received high critical acclaim with six Emmys, a Golden Globe.  Multiple publications concerned it one of the best TV shows of all times.   After only three seasons, Arrested Development was cancelled, however, during its run, it developed a cult like following which is why Netflix has signed on to bring season four.  Starting May 26th fifteen brand new episodes will be available on Netflix. Many of the original cast will be returning including Portia de Rossi, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera and Will Arnett.  If you didn’t watch Arrested Development, make sure to catch up by watching past shows on Hulu  and check out Huffington Post’s 27 actors you may have forgotten were on Arrested Development Here  It is was a star studded cast!  
For a sneak peek at whats to come watch the trailer here….
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