Will & Grace’s Apartment Has As Much Staying Power As The Show Itself
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Show: Will & Grace—NBC Thursdays at 9 p.m.
Style: The beloved two-bedroom apartment of the Upper West Side is masculine, tailored and timeless.
Why we love it: The titular characters are reunited as roommates, and their shared accommodations got a visible upgrade over its 11-year hiatus.
After eight years of Emmy acclaim and 11 years off the air, Will and Grace is back for its tenth season. The NBC comedy again stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally, pairing each of them with storylines about what’s been happening while the series wasn’t taping. For example, the titular characters have each been doing quite well professionally, which means they’re got a bit of extra cash on hand for stellar interior design.
We talked to production designer Glenda Rovello—who also worked on the hit show in its first run—about crafting an instantly identifiable set, aligning with vendors to snag key pieces, and adding a popular, party-friendly piece to the latest season:
Apartment Therapy: What does the reboot’s space say about how the characters have changed over the past decade?
Glenda Rovello: From the beginning [of the revival,] our mandate from the executive producers is that show needs to be as instantly recognizable as it was ten years ago. You could look at it and know it was Will’s apartment and Grace’s office. Given that, everything is now elevated. They’re both a bit more successful now, but they’ve stayed in the same apartment and improved things along the way. For example, Will is still always getting a glass of wine, but now he’s getting his bottles from a proper wine fridge.
AT: What are some of your favorite “elevations” in Will’s apartment?
GR: Will’s apartment is our favorite place. We remodeled the kitchen because in the ten or eleven years that have passed [while off the air], we think he would have remodeled! We changed the cabinet design to these gorgeous Kelly Wearstler tiles. They usually require a six-week lead time, but we were able to get it in days! They’re very enabling for me — they never say no, so they’re one of my favorites. [laughs]
We also upgraded that partition wall between the kitchen and the living room. I wanted that same coral or cinnabar color, but before, it was just paint. We got a Maya Romanoff wall covering that’s totally made to order; it’s a phenomenal metal material that’s woven to get that texture.
Also, the sofa is now blue, the round coffee table is now a Rose Tarlow table. Our artwork is really fantastic from Sears-Peyton Gallery in New York. We’ve had such good support from vendors, it’s remarkable. They loved the show in the past, and we are so grateful to them for helping us get what we need. Even Hermes, the Pippa bench [by the front door], we got one and it’s onstage!
AT: Regarding these updates, any easter eggs viewers might miss?
GR: Everything is still in the same place or at least has the same spatial relationship. The apartment, from the front door to the kitchen wall, is 33′ 4″ in length. It’s just bigger than the original set because [our set decorator] Peter Gurski went into Holly Hunt and they sold him that sofa off of the showroom floor, and it’s slightly bigger than Will’s original sofa. Thankfully, we were able to grow the set according to the sofa, so everything has the same spatial relationship.
AT: What’s new this season?
GR: Not much, from what I can remember. We have a new bar cart in Will’s apartment! And there are definitely some new accessories here and there. He has good taste. It’s about quality pieces, not necessarily a lot of pieces. It’s never all about a single moment, but the whole.
AT: What are some of your favorite pieces on set?
GR: In Will’s apartment, that vintage leather sofa [upstage where they watch television] is one of my favorites. Just downstage, there’s also a lens table from Holly Hunt from the original set that I love. And I must say, Grace has those great vintage oak chairs in her office.
Want to get this look? Here are some similar pieces:
- Blue sofa: Derry Sofa, sale $639.99
- Coffee table: Pottery Barn Metropolitan Round Coffee Table, $299
- Arm chair: West Elm Carlo Mid-Century Chair, $599-$799