Saturday, January 27, 2007

Nip/Tuck Set Designer: Ellen Brill

Check out some great pics of the Nip/Tuck Set Designs:

Nip/Tuck Set Links

Nip/Tuck Set Design Secrets (via purecontemporary)


I came across this great site for everything you wanted to know regarding the set designs done for Nip/Tuck.  The site posted some Q/A with Ellen Brill, Nip/Tuck's set designer.

Our readers can't get enough of the modern furnishings on the FX hit Nip/Tuck. Set designer Ellen Brill fills us in on Sean, Christian, and Kimber's bedroom secrets...

Where can I purchase the white bedroom in Kimbers apartment?
    Most of of the furniture in Kimber's apartment is vintage, purchased at a few different stores in LA. The custom-made bed was inspired by the beds used at the Maison 140 hotel in LA.

Where can I find the white platform bed in Christian's apartment on Nip/Tuck?
    The platform bed in Christian's is also custom designed and made.

We are looking for info on the bed (name, company etc) in Sean's bedroom?
     The bed in Sean's room is by Michael Berman Limited, located in LA as well.

Stay tuned for mod makeovers as the doctor's move from Miami to LA...

Modern Design, Clean Lines Foil "Nip/Tuck" Secrets 

The evidence was overwhelming. His DNA at the grisly murder scene, a vial of the drug that paralyzes victims found among his socks. It was only because there was another attack while he was in prison that Dr. Christian Troy was now free. Alone in his office suite to reflect on his life and near-death experiences, Christian strolled past the Barcelona chairs that adorn his lobby, continued through the break room where a white Eero Saarinen tulip table and chairs glisten, and stopped to sit behind his glass desk, facing a trio of Arne Jacobsen egg chairs in his office. To the patient waiting for him there he calmly asked his daily question, "What is it that you don't like about yourself?"

The beige McNamara home was as colorless as their marriage.
The characters of the popular FX series "Nip/Tuck" live to achieve model perfection: chiseled features and figures, stylish spouses or significant others, and, über-chic furnishings. Against this backdrop of composed yet constrained perfection, the blemishes of human weakness -- secrecy, lies and betrayal – are framed. This is the setting creator Ryan Murphy had in mind when he asked set decorator and interior designer Ellen Brill to create environments that are subdued but highly iconic. "I try not to overpower the script," explains Brill. "The goal of the set is to enhance what the actors are doing."

Christian Troy's high contrast modern.
Furnishings, artwork and the "stuff" we collect, encourage viewers to form impressions (correct or otherwise) about who we are and what we value. They provide insights to character that viewers might glean by paying attention to "Nip/Tuck's" set design -- if there were "stuff" to be seen. As the secrets the characters harbor are crucial to the plotline, Murphy doesn't want them "outted" prematurely by clues in the background. That's why on "Nip/Tuck", you will see minimal artwork on walls, and few knick-knacks save for a wedding picture. The restrictions left designer Brill with a challenge: How to fill the negative space that is the hallmark of modern design? "We don't," she says. "You see a lot of emptiness – and really that is okay, since these people have so much emptiness in their lives."

Ava's Hollywood regency abode.
Still, long expanses of nothingness would be just as telling as shelves of tchotchkes, so Brill makes liberal use of sconces – to both fill space and create ghostly light sculptures. The attention to detail mis-en-scene was apparent in the season opener, when in a dream sequence a family sat by a gravesite in Phillipe Starck's Louis Ghost Chairs, creating a levitating, if not existential effect. When only perfect will do, Brill and Set Designer Glenn Rivers were forced to design and build the new spa bar. Plywood panels covered with leather form the base for the lacquered top. "It turned out stunning," says Brill.

Make no mistake, despite the austerity, there are glimpses of personality within the décor. The flamboyant character Christian Troy's bedroom features a white platform bed complete with glass headboard that serves as a voyeuristic venue to the bathroom's shower. The newly separated Julia has a tone-on-tone beige motif in her apartment, mirroring her tentative nature. Is it mere coincidence that as this drab chrysalis sets herself free from her marriage that she embraces vibrant colors and lush textures in her new spa? Not so surprisingly, it is Ava, the trans-gendered life coach, who has a daring Hollywood-glam modern look in her home.

The reductive environment has had an interesting effect on Brill and some of her colleagues. "Our photography director disliked modern when we started the show. But now, after working in it everyday, he wants to re-do his entire house. I find working on this set has made me thoughtful of my own decor. I saw a candle on a table at home, and thought, I don't need this."


Check out more info at