6 iconic rooms from TV homes get a 2019 decor makeover


They say style never goes out of fashion. But even the most stylish of interiors needs a lick of paint now and then. A décor makeover for a timelessly-stylish interior, such as those of our favourite TV shows, would need to identify the hottest trends in home design while honouring the artful arrangement of things as they already are.

How would Don Draper’s bedroom look today? Or Monica Geller’s bathroom? We worked with interior design consultant Pat McNulty to apply today’s principles to classic television’s ideal homes.

1. Joyce Byers’ living room (Stranger Things)

If you’d like to give a new dimension to your living room, there’s no better inspiration than the Byers’ household in Stranger Things. The living room of this modest property became the hub of events over the first season of the show, and got everybody talking about lighting and portals (particularly those that lead to the Upside Down). We’ve ‘updated’ the 1980s lounge to reflect today’s 1970s retro trend: a burnt-orange sofa with velvet upholstery adds an unashamed sense of glam luxury. Meanwhile, the health and eco benefits of indoor greenery are very much of today – and as long as you’re going to have other living entities in your home, it’s probably safest if they’re pot plants.

2. Walter White’s kitchen (Breaking Bad)

Everybody knows just how much Walter White liked to cook. And the kitchen in his home and castle represented the tension between his two favourite recipes: cold cereal and crystal meth. The décor, however, was distinctly less edgy, looking a little like they’d bought it as a ‘doer-upper’ in the ‘90s and never got around to doing it. So we’ve swapped out the Whites’ plaster job and clutter for exposed brick and stylish tiled splashbacks. We’ve also lit the room with contemporary, cool-headed low-energy bulbs to help calm steamy situations at the smart fridge.

3. Alicia Florrick’s home office (The Good Wife)

Alicia’s children are the most important part of her home life, so we’ve retained the sense of lightness and comfort that Alicia (through set designer Beth Kushnick) captured for her home office. However, we’ve stayed – ahem – ‘down with the youth’ by using a very 2019 shade of ‘Gen Z yellow,’ “somewhere between marigold and French mustard on the scale” according to Ideal Home. And while Scandi-chic never seems to go out of style, we’ve given it a contemporary sustainable twist with the use of reclaimed wood and upcycled furniture.

4. Don and Megan’s bedroom (Mad Men)

When Don Draper split from Betty and married Megan, he also swapped his old school, respectable “haunted mansion” for a smart and sophisticated 1960s city pad. But it if the Drapers’ NYC apartment was super-stylish, it was a bit gloomy by today’s standards. We’ve cleared out the earthy palette and replaced it with blush tones, whites with just a kiss of pink, and strong yet gentle botanical wallpaper to retain the optimism of spring all year around. (You’ll notice he’s still reading Meditations in an Emergency, though). Don even has an iMac so he can work from home – must have been seduced by their iconic advertising campaigns.

5. Rory’s childhood bedroom (Gilmore Girls)

Nothing dates so quickly as the recent past, and a glimpse back at Rory Gilmore’s bedroom reveals that the first decade of this century actually did have a distinctive look – let’s call it ‘amplified blandness’! We’ve toned down the pink, added neutral colours, and created definition with some bold, modern shapes. Plus, we’ve Marie Kondo’d the whole thing because clutter doesn’t cut it in 2019 – teenager or not! And a dash of metallic trim brings Rory’s room right up to date.

6. Monica Geller’s bathroom (Friends)

If Monica’s living room was one of the most instantly-recognizable sitcom sets of recent years, her bathroom only made an appearance on special occasions – and it was noticeable that the enormity of that ludicrous lounge was infringing on the girls’ pampering space! Modernising the bathroom with a circular statement mirror and free-standing tub immediately adds more room. Dialling down Friends’ signature purple to a cooler, lighter pink further reduces the claustrophobic feel, while tiny square tiles, marble-finish floor, and a 2019 take on Monica’s brass/gold taps make it feel more like a luxury spa than a hastily-converted utility room.

These six reimagined TV series rooms illustrate trends of 2019 interiors that are more than just fashion statements: lightness, bold yet gentle colour schemes, sustainable materials, and an economic use of space are principles that will last. But in the end, the elements you choose for your home will also come down to personal taste. Which room do you think benefited the most from its 2019 décor makeover?

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