Small Screen Style

I have this habit of making my feelings known when watching a TV show—and not just yelling things at the screen like “Not everything is your mother’s fault, Kevin. Do better!” I also tend to make pronouncements about the residences where TV families live. Yes, I realize these are fictional rooms created for fictional people. But TV décor encourages me to re-think my own decorative strategy and inspires me in so many ways: the friendly vibe of sitcom homes; the moody backdrop of dramas; even the outrageous extravagance of Real Housewives’ mansions. (Don’t judge me.) Here are some of my favorites:

This Is Us
Beth and Randall’s home has a high-end feel suited to Randall’s (former) lucrative career. But it’s also comfortable, homey and practical—because Beth would not put up with any kind of fussy nonsense.

Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal

The kids in this household are possessed of a maturity beyond their years. (Well, I mean, they do live with Randall. ) Tess’s bedroom embodies her burgeoning wisdom (modern art, richly-toned wall color) without abandoning her youthful spirit completely (her “outer space” headboard is adorable).

Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal

Modern Family
Jay and Gloria’s large, contemporary home features all the accouterments of Jay’s self-made-man success; but it also represents his willingness to compromise (albeit crankily) with his wife. The bar and leather sofa scream “man cave.” The vibrant prints and sensuous textures? That’s all Gloria.

Photo: ABC/Richard Cartwright

Mitch and Cam’s new kitchen is as streamlined and buttoned up as Mitch is. The farm sink and those vintage eggbeaters on the wall are an homage to Cam’s Midwestern home. Lily’s personality comes through in the décor as well: the modern table and the industrial chairs are a bit edgy, just like she is.

Photo: ABC/Ron Tom

Though sometimes distracted by her passionate love affair with Albert, Victoria takes her queenly duties seriously. Her “home office” is acquitted stylishly with 19th-century workplace necessities: adjustable lighting (light one candle or light ‘em all!); dip pens (keep the ink nearby for spur-of-the-moment missives); assorted decorative sculptures (handy paperweights!). Throw in a portrait of an esteemed ancestor to watch over the place, and Her Majesty’s on the executive fast track.

Photo courtesy of ©ITVStudios 2017 for Masterpiece

The Crown
In its Netflix incarnation, the queen’s workplace is also sumptuous, as one would expect when corporate headquarters is a castle. The baroque desk and chair are befitting the pomp and circumstance of the job; but there’s a crispness about those lush draperies that reflects the businesslike attitude of Victoria’s great-granddaughter.

Photo: Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The stainless steel appliances and the metal bar stools give this kitchen an industrial, almost scientific vibe that feels fitting for Rainbow, who’s a doctor. Dre’s more freewheeling style comes across in the varied cabinetry colors and the pops of red.

Photo: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Game of Thrones
Hear me out. Look at Cersai’s bed. It offers just the kind of opulence, luxury and comfort a girl needs after a long day of scheming, backstabbing, and navigating fraught fraternal relations.

Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

On the other hand, look at this sun-splashed space—those beautifully carved chairs, that ornate table. Everything is gloriously luminous. It’s a room fit for a queen and a lovely spot for Tyrion and Daenerys (#perfectposture) to share a drink while discussing executions, battle strategies, or dragon-husbandry.

Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

The Big Bang Theory
Look past all the scientific tchotchkes to the bones of this apartment. That huge window is a definite win, and so is the frosted bathroom door with the trim detail. Really, all this place needs is a working elevator.

Photo: Michael Ansell/CBS © 2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Big Little Lies
Madeline’s dealing with an ex-husband and his young wife, a precocious first grader, and a teenager who’s extraordinarily teenager-y. She juggles all this with style in her fabulous kitchen, which is as friendly and inviting as she is. Look at all the stuff on the counters—she uses this kitchen. The neutrals—dark countertop against the white cabinetry—mean she can easily change up the accessories as her tastes and her family’s needs change.

Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Grace and Frankie
I’m going to quote Lisa Vanderpump from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Don’t judge.) “I never met a beach house I didn’t like.” Neither have I; but this one in particular is really gorgeous. And it’s not just the view (#realestategoals). The décor is gently beachy—with sandy neutrals and soft blues and greens. It’s a wonderful mix of Grace’s debutant-turned-dame personality (those gorgeous sea-green vases have a subtle, classily coastal vibe) and Frankie’s laid-back hippie style (hence the prominently displayed dreamcatcher).

Photo: Melissa Moseley/Netflix