Mad Men Living Room — Set designer Amy Wells gives us a tour of her 1963 update


When Betty updated her living room on Mad Men, it was quite the event. Friend Ted Cleary — of mid-mod Charlotte garden design fame — spotted this video of set designer Amy Wells giving a tour of the room, including the pieces she likes the best. The new look is 1963. And it’s all quite delicious. Sorry for the commercial — it comes from the source file on the Mad Men site.

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Comments

  1. nancy says

    So interesting! Can’t wait for the show to start up again & look for all the details! They do such a great job w/ the sets on that show- really makes it intersting for us! Hard to follow the story line for examining the set.

  2. says

    Love the salmon colored couch. Hate that fainting couch. I know that’s the point, but good God, Betsy Draper. That’s my new unattainable dream job a la John Cusack in High Fidelity– early 1960’s interior decorator.

    • pam kueber says

      careful we do not use the h*** word here… I’ll leave it because in this case we are meant to know the fainting couch is over the top… That said, the more I write this site the more I understand: We people LOVE our ornamentation!

  3. Amy Hill says

    I like how the back of the built in bookcase is painted the same color as the couch, and I love the Chinese stuff. I collect vintage Chinese bone carved figurines and display them in my living room, but as far as the fainting couch goes…well, all the money in the world can’t buy you good taste!

  4. kate mckinnon says

    Too bad they had a new couch made instead of using a real one. LOVE the stereo cabinet. My atomic ranch came with a whole stack of audio equipment from the 70s, or I would totally have one too.

  5. Gavin Hastings says

    I love MadMen….but usually spent most of the hour grumbling about that house!

    Don bought a Cadillac with cash…they have the $…but just don’t seem to toss it around their home. The new livingroom is a BIG improvement (although I think from the series start the window treatments have always been waaaay off). Any awards for decor should be going to Trudy and Pete-even Joan has a more stylish look. But, I think the key here is that the house reflects the lives of the owners: the Draper’s are lost… dis-interested….and calling in folks from “outside” for help.

    Can the decorator come back and work on the bedroom? It needs to be Drexel Touraine White French Provincial.

    • Gavin Hastings says

      …OK…so I am replying to myself now….

      It was this episode which made me change my livingroom from 50’s “Republican Green” walls to “New Frontier Gray”.

      The Draper livingroom is textbook 1963: The one “off” element-and the stroke of genius- is the addition of the 2 pull-up chairs in the bold geometric print. They could have been 100’s of different chairs….but those are just “startling” enough to pull the whole thing together.

  6. says

    I’m confused on why Betty is decor-challenged when her personal style is always impeccable and spot on.

    And that monstrosity that ruined the fabulous decorator’s fabulous room, making her want to faint from the sight of it, deserves a lot more 4 letter words thrown at it than just the h one. lol Betty committed decor crime!

    • Gavin Hastings says

      Because Betty is taste-challenged…remember when she wore that “over the top” dress to her Coke photo shoot? Given a situation…she has been programmed as to how she should present herself-yet with no reference point…she’s kind’a lost.

      Betty will be burning her bra in Season Ten, when she marches in Washington for ERA.
      (after this new guy burns her)

  7. says

    This is fabulous ! Loved seeing the living room again and cannot wait for the new season. I’m a MadFan myself . : )

    Alot of times, I have to watch an episode twice because I am too busy looking at the decor the 1st time around and miss some of the dialogue.

    Thanks for posting.
    M 🙂

  8. says

    I think the recamier has more to do with Betty’s affair with Henry than just her design sense. An item intended for a boudoir intruding into public space “this is what you need”.

    My aunt Sonia, whose husband was an oil company exec also had the white Chinese Modern furniture in the early 60’s. So fancy!

    BTW, The Graduate will be on cable again this weekend. It also has great 60’s style to ogle. I always think of that movie when I see Pam’s photo on the top right holding that martini glass. Mrs Keuber, are you trying to seduce us…into mid century modesty?

    • Gavin Hastings says

      The Robinson’s den is like the Brazilian Rain Forest and Elaine’s bedroom goes on for miles….but I love most of the hotel rooms.

        • Gavin Hastings says

          And why is the Elaine’s portrait hanging in her OWN bedroom?

          Wanna feel old?…..head over to IMDB. Reviews from people under 25 don’t “get” this movie.

          • dinergirl2000 says

            I always thought that was weird too. Wouldn’t you hang a portrait of someone in the foyer or living room where people are actually going to see it? I’d be a little weirded out if each morning I awoke to a painting of myself gazing down at me.

  9. says

    I’m too lazy to hook up my speakers right now so I took a silent tour but I do agree most of their house (apart from the kitchen) doesn’t really get me excited. Though most average suburban houses (like today) probably had this nondescript décor? I can’t vouch for this being an 80’s child but my mom is commenting ALL the time when I show her photos “no one I knew had this neat of stuff” Regardless, I think it is a great way of differentiating the exciting city from the “dull” suburbs Betty is “stuck” with.
    Also note Betty’s parent’s house sounds like it is the same from when she was a child (remember the jardinière) and Don is a guy so he spends money on a car but could care less about the couch color.
    The ridiculously gaudy fainting couch does make me laugh every time I see it! Er, I mean feel for Betty and her horrible drama filled life, yes, that’s what I meant…

    • Gavin Hastings says

      I don’t want to turn this into the MM Hour- but: Betty’s favorite tune is Do-Re-ME-ME-MEE!
      By 1975 her hands will start acting up again with “phantom tremors” and she’ll be drawing Disability while stalking Glenn. (also not working)

      I think it is about where you grew up….but my father was a fireman, I had eleven brothers and sisters and our house was alot nicer than the Drapers. (of course, you couldn’t actually touch anything and we grew up in the basement……)

      • says

        LOL, what? the topic of the day is obviously MM! Glenn? Oh, I forgot about that – he was creepy! hehe
        My mom grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis which I never think of as being the center of super fab 50’s design. Early American was the choice of décor in her neighborhood. Hmm, there has to be a crazy mod neighborhood there someplace, I should stalk it out.

        I’m sure they keep the Draper’s house kind of dark and dull for the characters, most real houses surely were more cheerful than theirs is! Though I would take their house in an instant and Amy does do a fantastic job – the new living room is purdy. Maybe Betty will move to Henry’s next season. Have we seen his house? It’s either super chic or an old mansion just full of those fainting couches!

  10. dinergirl2000 says

    How about Joan’s apartment! I love those pink walls in her living room – it influenced me when I was picking a color for our bedroom – and that fab sofa with the little bar next to it. I melt every time they show it on MM.

  11. says

    Amy Wells has the best job ever! The squeegee(s) from that infamous gory Mad Men episode were purchased from the shop of an Etsy/blogger friend of mine. The episode didn’t air until after a few months after she had mentioned them being sold to a Mad Men set designer, so it was so exciting when that episode aired. I literally screamed to my husband “it’s the squeegee!”.

    • pam kueber says

      Confession (well, one with no guilt involved): I don’t watch it. I tried once. It was too “dark” for me. But then, CSI Las Vegas is my favorite show. For some reason I don’t think that is dark…..

      • Gavin Hastings says

        Nooooo!
        Pam. I began watching it from the start and after 4 episodes decided “this is just soap opera crap in costume”…but it really is so much more. You owe it to yourself to try it again when it comes around On Demand.
        I only watch three show faithfully: Top Gear, Doctor Who and MadMen. The latter 2 are so well thought out and entertaining. MadMen at times borders on art.

        • pam kueber says

          I don’t know, Gavin, I so don’t need to be addicted to another TV show. Maybe I’ll get them all on DVD for a winter marathon…

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