Country Living magazine recently asked several interior designers to redecorate living rooms from classic television shows – and I got I Love Lucy! I was so excited to tackle Ricky and Lucy’s New York apartment!
The instructions were that we needed to reimagine the space in a more modern way, and in a way that would appeal to the Country Living reader. It was fun to look at the old photographs of the I Love Lucy set and to research a little about why the apartment was designed that way. I learned that the apartment was described as “modest,” because Ricky was just getting his start as a bandleader on the show. A fun fact was that the original living room didn’t have a window – that was added when Lucy and Ricky moved to a bigger apartment on the show because she was pregnant with Little Ricky.
I also found out some other interesting facts, like that the sets were designed in colors that worked best for contrast because the show was originally filmed in black and white. So the strange pink walls, navy sofa, and red drapes may not look like they coordinate that well in the color photo I worked from, but they definitely translated well on those old B&W TVs!
The other great part of this project is that we were treating it as if Ricky and Lucy ordered one of my Inbox Interiors designs. Inbox Interiors is my e-design service that allows a client to send me photos, room measurements, and inspiration ideas and then my team designs a room for them, and gives them all of the sources they need to recreate that design in their home! It’s for people who want that “Tobi Fairley look,” but for a smaller budget than what’s called for in my full-service design.
So in the Country Living feature, I provided all of the resources and specifications so that Ricky and Lucy (in this example) could make over their living room with a fresh and modern look!
I gave them a graphic black-and-white design for the walls, which is a nod to the black-and-white show, and that contrast also gives the room a new sophistication. I also love the midcentury modern style of the original set, so you’ll see that in the sofa design, too. Another homage to the original I Love Lucy show is the polka dot pattern on the pillows, which was inspired by Lucy’s iconic dresses. No home today is complete without a desk for laptops and other technology, so we replaced the original piano with a desk. And of course if it’s my design there has to be color, so we brought in pops of coral to give this New York apartment a fresh update.
So what do you think of my redesign for the I Love Lucy living room? Note the before photo at the beginning of this post with Lucy, Ethel, and Ricky in the space. The transformation is pretty good on a small budget I think. And I had a blast creating it, and I hope you’ll go to Country Living’s site to see the other fun rooms from other interior designers. And if you’d like to find out how to get your own Inbox Interiors, just click here!