‘Stranger Things’ and other spooky shows with gorgeous interiors


Even before Mia Farrow set foot in her chic, redecorated new apartment in Dakota in Rosemary’s baby, monstrous creatures – and people – have resided in some of the most lavishly designed homes on screen. If the Detective-inspired by Thrombey Mansion in the 2019 film Knives out (the sequel is expected later this year), the Hitchcock-influenced setting of The stewardess, or the many odes to Agatha Christie and Stephen King on streaming services right now, today’s popular thrillers and horror films borrow heavily from iconic visual constructs and conventions to tell their stories.

The macabre lends itself well to Gothic Revival architecture and old Victorian-style buildings, and as The stewardess Season 1 production designer Sara K. White points out, “Murder is the extreme outcome of a power struggle. Beyond the physical or the intellectual, power often takes the form of wealth, which, let’s be honest, helps facilitate stylish interior design.

When creating a mystery, a production designer’s attention to detail must act with the precision of the eye of the killer and the detective. Rooms should tease character stories, touch on plot points, and hint at the suspect’s motivation without revealing the culprit.

In recent months, a number of popular shows have struck the balance between scary and elegant pretty well. Below, AD look at the productions that do it best.

Only murders in the building

Mabel’s apartment in Only murders in the building season two.

Photo: Barbara Nitke/Hulu

This Hulu Show’s Amateur Sleuths Are Closer To Something Out Of Index than Agatha Christie, but their posh apartment building is right on the money side. From the maximalist interiors of Oliver (played by Martin Short) with heavy draperies, velvet furniture and dark green chinoiserie wallpaper Pierre Frey (Hankeou) to the luxury “preppy American” furniture of Charles (Steve Martin) (Milo Baughman , Ralph Lauren) and an ombré orange kitchen wallpaper (French leather Cuirs d’Élitis), the homes in this show pack quite a bit of character.


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