Mad Men Season 6 Episode 6 ‘For immediate release’ behind the scenes

Mad Men merger leads to design opportunities for green wedding bloggers

For immediate release
MELBOURNE 2013/MANHATTAN 1968: The unexpected merger of SCDP and CGC in the most recent episode of AMC’s hit TV show Mad Men, is expected to produce even more tantalizing sets and incredible period details for close dissection by leading ethical and sustainable homewares blogger Irena Bukhshtaber, partner in the emerging wedding registry business,
The recent episode was so full of unexpected drama after a very slow season, that it has taken nearly a week  for the Green Wedding Girls to be able to look beyond the storyline and examine the settings of each and every thrilling, tension and humour-packed scene.
There were several scenes where we gained greater insight into character’s lives as seen by their surroundings and scenes where the future was juxtaposed with the past.
Let’s talk about Mad sex baby

A overarching theme this season, and previous, are women as hookers.
Leaving Joan’s one-time only deal aside (despite wearing hooker-green she is pointing out that she’s NOT a hooker), modern hookers in Mad Men look like go-go dancers.

It’s worth noting how the camera invites us in by peeping through the plastic beading curtain – so popular now-a-days in little girls bedrooms to give them that sense of fairytale – once the beads were a man’s fairytale.

The hooker in Episode 3 was also introduced from far away, but her surrounds reflect what was ‘opulent’ at the time.

Two Mad Men walk into a bar…

Is Don wearing the same jacket? Either way he’s the one not in a warm pattern. This week’s bar reflected all the faux regency, fancy hotels and restaurants and reception centres we’ve seen this season – none of which rate a homewares, design mention.

Except this showcase cathedral for the Chevy. Wow, I don’t like cars or cathedrals but if anythings shows how polished wood and gleaming metal are a match made in consumer heaven – well this is definitely the shot!
Fresco salad servers by Stars Milano

It’s even a nice combo for salad servers 😉

We need to talk about Kevin Kenny
This was the first time we’ve seen the inside of Kenny’s office. And like Kenny, it’s all about blonde…wood.
It’s so non-specific monotone but of-the-era. There’s no coloured chair, coloured lamp or even much colour in the art other than the tan, black, ivory palette.
Kenny is largely seen as even-tempered and un-fussy – his office reflects this. He gets his work done and he gets outa there.
Also, I think Kenny’s real life is in his writing (just like mine NOT) and so he keeps his work space just that – a tidy, office space. His colour is at home. Others like Peggy, Pete and Ted get their fulfillment from work. They spend most of their time, energy and brainpower at work. As a result their desks are cluttered with personal ornaments, paperwork etc.

The only thing not tan in Ken’s office is – Pete – who wears greys and blues. Today he sits on a grey wall background with a blue/grey couch.
Each man is framed in their colour palette.
Small note – the orange phone and counting machine (what is that??) great colour.

Pete, Don and Roger often wear greys, blues – cool colours. Teddie wears warm colours – tans, oranges. Their offices reflect these colour palettes. Cool people, warm people – it’s simple but holds true. Last week, when Ted kissed Peggy it was because she thought he was strong not ‘nice’. Honey-toned ted, tan-toned Kenny. 

Notably, Don has those 2 red/orange chairs in his office denoting beneath his often beige (macintosh, sportcoat) exterior are some red-hot spots.
Pete may have felt blue when talking to Kenny, but things turn much darker when confronted with Trudi’s Papa at his almost funereal offices. Again, Pete thoughtfully wore a suit to match. It’s still beautiful though, the black and gold combo – but here its chic not chav.
Cushion by Eastbourne
A tale of 2 Rogers

Roger’s office has always stood out as clinical and white. He has a lightweight demeanor, superficial, 2-dimensional.
However at home he has an opulent warm style, not as showy as his mum’s but still – the woods, the gold’s, even the patterns in the duvet – are in stark contrast to his cool, grey exterior in the office.
Trudi is also warm in the living room – or at least colourful – and cool in the bedroom. She loves a matching large-bloom floral regardless of the location.

Mad about kitchens
Finally, we get a good look at Trudi and Megan’s kitchens. The women would be similar in age but Trudi has taken the suburban housewife (Betty II) path and her faux country/provincial kitchen with it’s display plates, duck-egg blue and wood with exposed mock-Tudor hinges – not to mention the wallpaper – reflects her choice of dream kitchen
Unlike in the bedroom, where she knew Pete was coming and stood out in the Salmon ensemble – here she’s caught unawares in a plain taupe coat that almosts blends her into the wallpaper. doesn’t fit in here like he does in the office – any office – his suit colour cannot be found anywhere.
Her creamer however can be found even today.
Oiseaux De Paradis – Creamer by Gien France
Provence cup & saucer by Gien France
I’ve been waiting every week for a good look at the Draper’s tres modern kitchen. The colour palette, the use of bold pattern, the glass display cabinetry and the server all speak to this being more for entertaining adults than raising a family. I noticed the display glass in previous episodes.
Blue glass is back today too so your dishrack can now look just like the Draper’s
Lucia glassware by Mint Home

Mad Men Season 6 Episode 5 "The Flood"

We’re half way through series 6 so there’s not that many new sets to see but still, each week Mad Men finds new angles and new sets to showcase the characters differences and similarities.
In an earlier post today, I’ve looked at 3 sets that seem to mirror each other and what they say about characters in this season.
I compared the Ginsberg Diner to the Dawn Diner as well as the fancy awards room with last week’s dinner between the Drapers and the swingers.
But wait there’s more…
The Flood is all about how the Mad Men characters react to the murder of Dr Martin Luther King. I’ve learned from the study of phenomenology (thanks Marc) that you can’t really divorce yourself and your experiences from how you view life’s rollercoaster. Each character reflected on the event from their perspective and tried to – particularly around the African-American characters – sympathise.

All very nice but hey, I’m here to talk about stuff… so here we go…

Gorgeous shots of the SCDP offices bely the heavy discussion between Pete & Harry. So much going on here style-wise. Firstly the lovely mirroring of the retro colour palette of grey/blue, green, orange and yellow between the 2 offices is subtle and practical. Small differences in tone and shade add more depth to the sets.
Note the secretaries sit in the same layout – green chair, desk and matching lamps. If only today’s dull office cubicles had even a fraction of the colour found in these photos!
Even the blue/green art on Harry’s orange wall mirrors Pete’s orange art on a blue wall. The umbrella stand in both photos was featured in last week’s post.

The art on Bert’s secretaries office has all the colours of the palette but the yellow is really vibrant. The art is reflecting the conflict between Pete & Harry. Maybe it started out less angry but like the secretary, it’s seen many confrontations over time. In the top shot the framing shows her as the invisible line between the 2 men. Note she’s wearing a soft baby pink – so bland she doesn’t matter.
Her chair is orange but the same style as the other secretaries. Note the lovely glass ornaments on her desk. Most women had a couple of these – even Peggy. Peggy’s office has a cream chair, orange couch, blue wall and yellow/green print. Despite leaving SCDP, the aesthetic remains.

I… would… kill… for… that… stunning… desk.

Mad for details

Peggy’s place has never been seen in the light before. Normally she’s not home until way after the sun goes down so it’s an opportunity to see how it looks – the textiles in the couch, details in the furniture. Overall though its still full of old pieces and zero design thought.
However, the ep starts with Peggy considering buying an empty flat. It’s an opportunity for a ‘grown up’ aesthetic  What to do? We’ve all been there. White walls, no window dressing, meh view but come on – look at that parquetry floor!

Here’s some Mad style tips!

Add a couple of Egyptian prints


A few glass genie bottles in blue and green (oh and a TV – featured prominently in almost every scene this week).

Lovely paly blue cups, big white mugs and mustard kitchen chairs.
A simple, sleek coffee table with curved details and a glass inlay with a couple of simple glass ornaments grouped in 3.
Bronze table lamp, plain cups with motifs and a designer vintage radio.
Or, you can live in the place for 30 years and just keep filling it with everything you need and lots of stuff you don’t. Clutter is definitely the default look of NYC.

Mad Men Season 6 Behind the scenes – Spot the difference

We’re half way through the season and looking so closely at this show, I’ve found that there are scenes and colour schemes that mirror each other. Whether this is by conscious or unconscious design, or by budget constraints (better use up that paint, fabric etc), or maybe they just ran out of ideas (doubt it) it delivers a unity throughout the many sets of the Mad Men world.

Hotel vs Soap set
Here is Don & Megan’s hotel room room in Hawaii. There’s blue walls with cream/gold detail and inlay. There’s a dark wood 4-post carved bed with a deep red, almost royal bedspread, cream/gold couch and wooden occasional furniture.

Here is Megan on set at her TV show within a TV show where she’s a maid for some rich white folks (I note this because in ‘real Mad Men’ the help tend to be African-American or Latino – Carla, Roger’s shoe shine guy, Megan’s maid etc.
A set needs to be brighter than life and smaller in size so characters can quickly cross the room and interact. However The rooms are strikingly similar. From the golden curtains, to the red patterned bedspread and dark wood 4-poster bed (shorter posts so it’s easy to ravage the hot maid from any angle), to the cream furniture and of course – the season colour – blue/grey walls. The walls are embellished with cream in lay as well.
 Diner vs Diner

 Last week, on ep 4, we saw dawn and her friend, Mod Bridezilla, catch up for girlie chit cats at their local. Very Seinfeld! This week Ginsberg took his lovely blind date to a diner so we’ve 2 of these fine establishments to consider.
The main difference seems to be the vibe. The lighting in Dawn’s diner is darker and smokey, Ginsberg’s lighting is almost hospital crisp.
The colour palette in both is tied by the wine-red seating but while Ginsberg’s diner is accented by clean cream walls and a white as white counter, Dawn’s diner has dark woods, mint green walls, dark wood panelling and a black/white motelled counter top.
Overall, Ginsberg’s diner – and perhaps this is purely because he is taking someone on a date so may have taken her to a slightly nicer joint – is bright, uniform, and balanced – even the prints on the wall are neat and tidy in their array. In Dawn’s diner the prints are hung with less precision, the size and shapes are not uniform.

Fancy restaurant vs fancy reception fabrics
Finally these two shots make me think, that yes, it’s all about budgets for Mad Men set designers who’ve cut the couch and the panel from the same truly ugly (by today’s standards) cloth.

Accident or design? Your thoughts please?

Mad Men Season 6 Episode 4 ‘To Have and to Hold’ Mad Style behind the scenes

I’d be crying too if my dress was this ugly.

Actually there was a lot of interesting textile this episode. The patterns, the colours, the contrasts reflected the conflicts happening in each of the story lines.

The pace was frenetic, we’ve a lot to cover so let’s a go-go back to the late 60’s.

Mad Men love to get down with brown

This is the ultimate tone-on-tone in late 60’s style. The black shiny door, the black shiny stools. The various textures found in the woods, the wallpaper (different in the entry from the kitchen), the lampshade. Not to mention the bold colour blocking of orange and blue in the kitchen.
Zou bisou bisou indeed!

This secretary spent a lot of the ep crying too, but who cares, check out her curtain print instead – great array from mushroom, through tan to ruby red. It would be great in a holland rather than curtains though and would work well to soften the hard lines of modern furniture.

Bert’s office is a great example of how the trends at the time flowed through to every generation. His office clearly looks expensive, with some great Asian-inspired pieces – reflecting Bert’s well-travelled self. Nice tea set.
The ‘power matching’ or rather mis-matching of horizontal stripes in the couch, vertical stripes in the wallpaper, a traditional print in the curtains is a frenzy that was popular and ubiquitous. 
Harry mimics this frenetic clashing in his business suit. His office however is a more mature design to Bert’s. The colours are tamer, the furniture traditional and the patterns more subtle. Harry is no Louis XVI. All European references and old-world reproductions. He clashes wildly to his environment in terms of style, though not colour.
His environment reflects who he wishes himself to be – important establishment – a partner – while reflecting the tastes of big name clients like Dow.
Notice how only the CEO’s light is shining. He is the head of this train and he is the light it all shine’s by. Note the black leather chairs, black leather a feature of furniture at the time and seen in many fashionable sets. This office has been recently refurbished – wood paneling, black leather etc.
The amber glass ashtray in the foreground stands out for its cultural time-stamp but also slightly off in this Napoleonic environment.
Mad women smoke – a lot

Stemware hasn’t changed much. It looked a little bulkier then but really, if you didn’t break it you can use it for decades. Dining seating fabric on the other had is so ugly, I had to blur it for sanity.

Megan’s chilling on the kind of couch I spent many a lazy university-days afternoon on myself.
Note the bronze ashtray!

Don’s apartment has an expensive mid-brown sofa in fabric.

Pete’s apartment has the cheap vinyl version.

I love how the client fits the apartment so well – he matches the glass and the plaid throw with his jacket!

Mad Men are Mad about blue too

Pete’s apartment glass dividers close up.

The foyer of SCDP. Fantastic abstract art and a simple design settee that’s off-set by the glorious royal blue colour. Note the yellow lamp on the left – very popular colour and bridges the blues, greens, tans and organges perfectly. 

Here’s the blue and yellow combination again. It can be used with white, wheathered woods for a beachy feel or in rectangular patterns for this vintage feel. 
Here’s a blue chair – a wing-back.

 More blue chairs

Blue glass accents in the light & ashtray.

Here’s more blue glass.
In the cool downtown nightclub we see the combo of the royal, iridescent blue, seaweed green and the textured mustard couch. I’m guessing the couch is from an earlier period installed deliberately to create an ironically nostalgic feel for clubbers.
Note the round end table with the sci-fi leg. 

Mad about sleeping in
What do Don and Joan have in common?

A love of gold relief sculpture above their beds as art. Note the yellow amps again. This time with a square, abstract design shade. Very nice.
Mad, mood lighting

Chairs in this scene are hard to see but the curved backs and dark wood would look great in a kitchen today. Very mid-century, as are the tables with the chrome edging. This place, like the nightclub, is meant to evoke an earlier era – though not as ironically, just nostalgically.

Nice lamp Joan!

You too Harry! Ken clearly likes the colour combo of the lamp too – he is wearing the same colours!
Mad Details
Green and gold wallpaper is not only a great Olympic marketing idea for Australia it sets a great backdrop for Harry’s green suit (colour of money right?) and is, in its own right, quite exquisite and delicate pattern.

Unlike Joan’s salmon walls, though these haven’t been updated for a while as the apartment looked the same last season – despite Joan’s financial success.
Mad Birds

Love a duck plant pot! Then, as now, bird motifs remain popular.

These two birds mirror the two on the wall.
Tea cup

Water decanter & cups, bottom left.

Mad Men S06 E3 The Collaborators

Thanks for all the great comments on my first blog last week. 

I thought, hey after this epic, I’ll have nothing to say or maybe a few short comments. After all, sets are not costumes, they’re expensive to build and the characters inhabit them regularly as its expensive to keep creating new sets.

But hey, I was wrong and instead found another 44, whittled to 29, stunning vintage-inspired details that will, no doubt, turn into another epic commentary on the style of the era and the meaning of the show.

This shot for instance is not only harking back to last week’s the Doorway, but is a great showpiece for the textured beige and peach wallpaper as well (more wallpaper below)!

To me The Collaborators was all about intimate interiors this week – the maid’s room, Trudi’s bathroom, the laundry, the brothel … and of course, the signature grey/blue that we saw all through last week’s episode.

Don vs Peg at work

Yes, the set crew certainly got tins of the stuff and agree it sets of all that lovely warm wood off beautifully.

But, scrolling through the screen grabs, especially the offices, I found that Peggy and Don’s office mirrored each other’s in colours and textile.

Note the blue wall and orange seating. It’s flipped in that Peg’s smaller seat is in neutral to Don’s client seats, but still there is a lot of similarity that can’t be put down just to era, but a deliberate indicator from the set designer.

There curtains are the same beige but while Don’s blinds are horizontal (flat line) and his work space is less cluttered, Peg’s is messy, busy and her vertical blinds suggest she’s going places – but is it up?

Note the stunning (blue) building we can see through Peg’s blinds. I’ve no idea where it is but it is a gorgeous additional layer to the scene.

Peggy also clashes with her environment – the magenta blouse, the blue cardigan and all those nick nacks, she is working hard and doesn’t have time to clear the decks.

For Don, it’s all on the inside and nothing showing on the outside.

BTW, peg and joan’s outfits mirror each other this week though they’re not sharing a scene. Are they both prostituting themselves at work in different ways?

Secrets of Mad Men – the blue boat
Unless you’re in advertising, marketing or graphic design you’ve probably never heard of the blue boat. Well let me enlighten you – a client comes in with a brief, for a poster say. You create the most perfect poster you can come up with and you’re mighty proud of it. It’s absolutely perfect.
Now you and all your mates know that no client just ‘signs off’ on work but you don’t want a single pixel altered so what you do is add a blue boat.
Now the client comes in, looks at the work, declares it perfect… except for the blue boat and wouldya mind just getting rid of it?
Well of course, your reply. Genius! We’ll do it immediately. They feel they’ve contributed and important, you feel clever and important. 
And here, in the client meeting room we see the blue boat – this is an intentional in-joke for industry. 
Style-wise worth noting the orange and yellow check cushion ads a pop of colour and that fab stone lamp. You can probably still pick these up pretty cheap at suburban op shops. Hell, your nanna probably still has one in the sewing room!

Time is MADening

Time ticking away was another key theme in this week’s show – with gorgeous clocks centre-stage in both Pete’s flirty scene’s with his neighbours and Joan’s equally charged scene with Bert.
Time is ticking away for these character’s – but which ones and what will become of them?

The Collaborators was all about interiors. The most intimate of interiors and usually not very nice ones. Maid’s bedrooms, brothels, laundries.

Certainly these interiors reflect Don’s dirty interior. We end the episode with him collapsing outside his chic NYC penthouse, unable to enter and face his wife. We’ve also seen him peeping through the keyhole of another door this episode, his pregnant (step) mother’s door as she pays her dues to his ‘uncle’ at the brothel he will now spend his formative years in.

Betty as a painted lady

Am I the only one who thinks Blonde Hooker is the spittn’ image of Betty? It can’t be a coincidence. Nothing much is on this show.

I bet that she’s going to be the one who takes young Dick’s virginity in later episodes.

While the fussy, florally pattern is certainly of the era, the house and how its appointed looks remarkably like the Francis house does today. Sure a bit less boudoirish, but still, eerily similar.

The interior of the brothel is shot up the staircase from above. I’m no cinematographer but I’m sure the ascending has some allegorical meaning and juxtaposes with last week’s Done & Dante’s descent into hell?

This is a classy joint. It’s depression time and the wallpaper is not pealing and everything is very clean and well presented.

You get a great view of the art deco light fitting from this angle too.

Florals feature heavily again in the Campbell’s home. On Trudy’s couch, in Trudy’s home, on Trudy.

All the patterns clash terribly, creating a sense of distopia in her life below the surface show of it all smelling like roses.

That aside, her couch could easily be in any cutting edge design houses today. It’s broad design and bold pattern on a plain background is very fashion forward.

Her kitchen on the other hand… well it’s a right old mess.

Again Trudy has a busy pattern on and all around her a clashing textiles.

Mad about wallpaper

Patterns continue, as was the era, in the wall textiles. And this episode we were treated to a lush array of stunning wallpaper – geometric to french provincial, blinds and fabrics.

The drapes match the carpet as they said except in this case it’s the curtains and the couch. Sadly, what’s a great fabric stretched taught on the sofa is fully hideous ruched and pelmeted.

However this matchy matchy textile schtick was big in the fashionable up’n’commers even into the 80s.

Note the gold lamp on Pete’s left. There’s a few around the house but it’s still a design that would bring additional layer to a modern, more simply decorated house. But the yellow telephone – LOVING IT!


 It might be the maid’s room but the abstract curtains and elegant lamp stem – never would have guessed. The bedside table is also very modern and I’d snap one up in an instant with its regular shapes and clean lines and beautiful natural wood.

Again, you can do this today with many reproduction or even original wallpapers and textiles. All you need is one feature wall or one gorgeously covered chair in a bold or textured print and voila you are tout monde madam!

Note that even the glass paneling is textured.
Actually, despite missing toilet paper, Pete has a lot better taste than Trudy from today’s perspective. The beige couch with the giant buttons and big arms is simple and distinctive, the paneling is of the era but still a beautiful colour palette (could have easily been an orange or amber don’t forget).
The coat rack is something I have been searching for FOR EVER! (If you have one its mine!) Bar the ugly cane bar stools (really Pete surely you could pick up some black leather ones anywhere), this apartment is very nice in deed.
I can’t leave without mentioning these technicolour washing baskets! I mean salmon and terracotta – what a swinging 60’s blast! I do love the square shape as well. With these ubiquitous colourful silicone tubs (enough already!) It’s nice to see a solid shape whose sides don’t collapse for a change.

On the other hand, why does Sylvia match the BLUE walls? She’s like a disembodied head – is she the devil or the angel on Megan’s shoulder?? Hmm.

Megan is sporting what our government likes to call dull olive – the exact colour now used on all Australian cigarette packaging to make it as unappealing as possible.

Megan is sad so she wears the (clinically proven) ugliest colour on the spectrum.

One last note

We saw Ted’s office this week which takes wood to just a whole nother level – I mean, does it turn into a Swedish sauna at night? Super table lamp though.

Note the aeroplane adornments – a wooden propeller on the wall and a miniature on the desk.

Ted is in a similar brown so Peggy stands out like a cardinal I suppose. 

Note the black leather arm chairs – yum!

Finally, I love the framing of the prostitute. Deeper and deeper we go like entering a warm, red vagina. There she is, Don’s Mrs Robinson – or whatever the right term is for this sort of tutelage  Again, I say here first, she will pop Dick’s cherry.

It’s also a great set for the era. Lot’s of doily, decorations and multiple textures and relief patterns, largely floral but some geometric. Such a departure from 30 years on where it’s all abstract and flat.
Again however, this is an expensive and classy joint. Everything is neat, new and lush.

See you next week.

Mad Men S6 E1-2 The Doorway

Retro, vintage, recycle, upcycle, whatever you call it old is always new again and it’s a no-brainer to get some tangible and authentic design ideas from the show that has made a name for its writing, costumes and design.

The opening episode of Season 6 of Mad Men reintroduced us to the characters we’ve grown to love and love to hate – and a new face – well hello Bob – I can’t wait to see where this goes! 

Most lead characters were shown in their various habitats so this, my inaugural post, on Mad Men design & style, is a very rich meal indeed. I’ll point out some essential 1967 design pieces that you can use to mix it up at home.

Mad Men Season 6 is set in Winter 1967, after the ‘Summer of Love’ and everything is fracturing. Some people are moving forward at a stellar pace – makes sense if the moon landing is only a couple of years away – while many more a being left behind.

So style-wise what we get is a real variety in terms of set design that continues today. Where once in the 50’s there were hard and fast style, taste and most definitely class rules, in the late ’60s its really up to the individual and of course, the size of their budget.

Mad Men at play

Don and Megan are on an all-expense paid holiday in Hawaii while his colleagues freeze in one of the worst blizzards in NYC. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that the episode, so largely about death is also about love and ties. Despite the free love revolution, at this bar it’s the young soldier embarking on the traditional marriage and the older, establishment Don, who’s more into ‘free love’.

Note the bar stools – black leather and dark A-line wooden legs. These would be durable but also modern as they mirror the high-rise tower blocks that were mushrooming in New York and around the. Note the 2 skonces at the side of the bar, the use of plants to fill a dark corner and of course the glorious wooden bar itself.

Woods featured heavily in the period.

There are of course some Hawaiian touches that make me recall the Brady Bunch in Hawaii Tiki doll – right there, stage right.

Here again is the use of dark wood in the bed and the furniture. The furniture is carved and elaborate. Note the yellow stripes in the settee and the use of gold in the border. The pelmet and curtains are also very elaborate. That dusty turquoise was still popular from the end of the 50s and early 60s.

There’s the clashing patterns of the bedspread, the curtains and other fabrics. This too signifies the rapid change in the era where you couldn’t wait to update a room all at once but quickly, in stages.

The neutral carpet is the one thing that brings coherency to the colour and texture in the room. You can’t see it clearly, but the lamp also has a traditional feel.

Mad Men at work

A lot of scenes were set in the characters’ various offices. Makes sense of course, being a show about work, but it also gives a chance to compare the various decor – and boy are they different.

Don’s office is classic mid-century. Warm brown woods, natural fibre, the grey carpet reflected in his suit. The 60’s appears in the orange ‘pop of colour’ chairs.

Look at the gorgeous Danish-inspired angles in the table lamp, the bar and the lamp table.

Here again we see the dusty blue seen in Hawaii, but much cooler and less frenzied. This room suggest calm and success without being showy. It looks simple, plenty of space and air. Very expensive. Note the hidden pelmets and the warm cream curtains mirroring the natural arm chairs.

Roger’s office is much cooler than Don’s in terms of colour palette. In fact it nothing in the office, including Roger has any colour. Note the curtains are a stell grey and the carpet – which had warm tones in Don’s office because of the orange chairs and lounge suite, looks steely grey here.

Individually, the pieces are gorgeous and would be showstoppers in any home – when used alone – but as a group, here, particularly in this clinical, space-age white colour palette, nothing stands out and it all looks very stagey.

Roger is of course is the oldest key character (not counting Bert) but he likes to feel and be youthful. He is a spoiled boy trapped in a man’s body. His office is colourless but is that because Roger also lacks colour and depth – is he ‘just for show’ like the uber-expensive at the time office peices.

Note the use of circles and round shapes. While Don’s office had some curves, for Roger its all curves curves, curves.

A lot of this furniture is available for a reasonable price at reproduction houses, Ikea and similar mainstream chains. Look out for the iconic chrome round floor lamp – variations can be found in most people’s houses (even mine and Elena’s ha ha).

The black & white pop art can be found in many shops. It’s abstract but ads texture to the room. Note the glass in the bar area making the booze appear to be floating – just like Roger is often floating on booze.

Okay, here’s where the real work happens. 

It’s the copywriters room and its busy and messy and full of paper as you’d expect.

There are still some great pieces and use of bold colour. The red and green walls make a great backdrop for the pin board, the cups in plain bold tones and of course the gorgeous chairs in that ubiquitous warm blue that’s popped up in shades all over the place so far.

The warm brown wooden filing cabinets are clearly old and they’re meant to be as they are there to do the heavy lifting here – still beautiful clean lines that break up all the white.

An entire wall is given to the enormous gold and black peacock abstract print. The colour combo is chic in the late 60’s, 80’s and is making a come back today.

Peggy’s boardroom is more conservative than SCDP. However the same black leather bar stools are seen here in chair form. As in the Hawaiian bar, they enhance the gorgeous dark wood surface that they sit below. The familiar sideboard is still good enough for clients in this office, not stuffed into the copy room.

The wood panelling is early mid-century and darkens the space. Again, lamps seem to barely get an update though they are often the easiest and cheapest things to change to update a room.

Note the art – again abstract and flat. Except for the naive Hawaiian painting in the bar, the other art has been abstract and blocky.

Can’t leave Peg’s workplace without mentioning the centrepiece – the amber glass ashtray. I used to collect these types of glass pieces and still love the way colour and light plays through them.

A decent one today may be over $100 but well worth the expense for the instant beauty and vintage the piece gives to any room. They feel fantastic to hold as well.

If your mum or granny has one, make sure that it somehow ends up with you! Definitely treasure, not trash.

Mad Men at home

The real contrast in the characters’ lives and financial situations can be seen in their homes. It’s Christmas, style-wise a tree clearly hasn’t changed much in 40 years.

Brown, brown, brown and well, brown. 

That’s the hot style of the late 60’s. A sunken living well hello darlings! Look at the various textiles – the couch, the pelmet.

The gorgeous wooden lines of the Danish-inspired lounge chair (front, left) and the bar stools. Again, the use of black leather.

The wood panelling here, as with Peggy’s office, speaks to the expense. The apartment was $75,000 after all and wood, then as now, is beautiful and expensive.

The lamp is orange. The cushions have blue & green covers that again recalls the blue greens in the other rooms.

As with the ashtray, the couples drink from amber glassware darlings! Do our mum’s still have those? I loved them. They felt so good and looked a bit mysterious, darkening everything inside.

The Francis home also has the must-have tree, but with 3 kids it’s a lot more prominent. The room is overstuffed with furniture and embellishments that are missing in the more sparse, space-age environments popular during the period.

None of the furniture patterns match, the colours are all over the place too. It’s clearly not cheap but it’s not classy. Dated more than old.

The lamp here, unlike previous rooms is more embellished including the shade.

Wood panelling is embellished, the curtain, pelmet and carpet has a flowery rather than abstract pattern as is the art. Random small nick-nacks add to the clutter.

One patch of blue however makes me think the Mad Men design crew just bought a big tin of it and put a wall in every scene. Either way, it’s a nice foil for all the wood and goldy-beige tones.

Nothing to see here folks, let’s move along.

Speaking of clutter…

Peggy also has the blue wall and curtains, but more grey like Roger. She’s got the tree too of course being a good Catholic girl. The white walls speak to her youth and modernity too.

The lamps are modern but the embellished dark wood furniture is older and probably bought 2nd hand (no issues there, most of my furniture is 2nd hand too!). She’s a busy girl with no time for being houseproud.

Can’t see the floors but they look like lino.

Finally the matriarch – the queen of chintzy goldy-beigy!

No Christmas tree! too gauche I expect, just a little poinsettia decal on the fireplace.

How and why does this room work despite so much detail in every piece from the window dressing to the furniture, the lampshades and the fireplace?

It’s the use of a light tone-on-tone. The pale, rich colours not only contrast beautifully with all that black costuming.

This is what Betty was trying to achieve in her home – there’s columns, there’s embellishment, there’s carving, there’s pelmets and carpet and wood. But there’s a symmetry too that’s missing in the Francis house and the gorgeous pale rugs demarcate the various areas and add to the colour palette.

Note that Roger, the golden boy – loves a room full of silver, where as mama loves her gold!

They both love clear glass although mum, being in her 90’s was one for the cut crystal variety.

Lots of small pieces here too but the use of similar textures and colours and also plenty of space makes the area feel expensive rather than cluttered.

Note the love of curves in the room – perhaps something Roger inherited from Mama.Mad 

Men don’t cook

Finally, the Mad Men crew get to use up all their blue/green paint!

On Betty’s faux-rustic kitchen!

Still there are some lovely touches of retro products from the kettle & toaster to the wall plate. The corrugated splashback is also interesting and could work in a modern, less-cluttered kitchen.

I also like the plants on the high shelf, it’s not something seen much today but leaves you both light and space to move around.

Note the traditional spice rack on the wall near the fridge.

Overall this kitchen is clearly dated and the green makes it look almost mouldy but it also looks homey and a nice place to do your homework on that marvellous big kitchen table.

By contrast, the Draper kitchen is moving towards the open plan we like today. The table is replaced by the bar that’s situated in the living room.

We can’t see much here but we do get a closer look at the bar stools and note, while the cabinetry is wood, the bench top is a light colour.

Used sparsely, as a feature piece or island, this could work in a modern kitchen too.

Mad Men are crazy mo-fos

Paneling? Check. Dark, ornate wood furniture? Check. 
Expensive rug in flowery design, traditional lamp? Check, check. 

Freud himself couldn’t have styled it better. The chair that Roger is sitting in however is the modern black leather & dark wood that we’ve seen throughout. 

Looks comfy.