Mad Men At Home: A Breakdown Of The Basics

Mad Men At Home: A Breakdown Of The Basics

Beth Zeigler
Oct 28, 2008

101308mad-01.jpgMad Men... you had us at hello. We watched the entire first season in just two days a few weeks back. And it was glorious. The design and colors and mood and Draper--don't get us started. We've come up with some must haves for a Mad Men inspired space after the jump.

We took pretty good notes while being glued to our television for 48 plus hours. We came up with design notes and items for inspiration that will give your space the "Mad Men vibe." You'll want to start with your local thrift stores, eBay, Craigslist and yard sales for these inspirational items.

The lighting on Mad Men is what really creates the sultry vibe--that and the massive amounts of cigarette smoke in every scene. We suggest using side table lamps, accent lamps, task lighting and wall sconces. If you have overhead lighting, it's best to cap it off and focus on where you can make surrounding lighting set the mood. Also be sure to check out Abby's post earlier today on numerous lighting options from Z Gallerie.

Every hour, on the hour, advertising execs are pouring gin, scotch or anything containing alcohol out of retro decanters into covet-worthy rocks glasses. We find a lot of relatively inexpensive vintage glasses at our local thrift store. You also might want to pick up a vintage telephone or an old IBM typewriter for a more accurate effect. We also noted the color palette used on the set of Mad Men. Tons of wood paneling, muted colors (blues, yellows, browns) that can be achieved by painting or faux wood wallpaper.

While most of the show's color palette is muted, you do see pops of color in the ladies clothing. If you want to add pops of bright color to your own Mad Men inspired space, we suggest a bright accent piece or two.

We also noticed the use of patterns and prints in the set design of this AMC show. Plaids, floral or theme prints, and houndstooth can be used in your curtains, wallpaper, pillows or throws. You might also want to try layering a sheer curtain underneath your heavier, patterned or solid print curtain.

Besides the lighting, furniture plays a huge role in making this set design a classic. Clean lines in the couches and chairs are a must (no skirts on these big items). We also noticed the heavy use of accent tables in each room with the proper vintage ash tray or rocks glass topping them off.

No white boards allowed. If you must have a place to take notes or keep memos, try using chalkboard paint or find a vintage chalkboard at your local thrift store.

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