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Casa Interview: The Good Wife's Stephen Hendrickson and Beth Kushnick

Casa Interview: The Good Wife's Stephen Hendrickson and Beth Kushnick

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm a huge fan of the new CBS series The Good Wife. In particular, I adore Alicia Florrick's (Julianna Margulies) apartment. With classic styling and great use of color, it's definitely a look I'm currently coveting. Luckily, I recently had the opportunity to chat with the two people responsible for the look of that very apartment. The Good Wife's production designer, Stephen Hendrickson, and set decorator, Beth Kushnick, answered my questions about the look of Alicia's home. 

CasaSugar: How did the production designer and set decorator define Alicia (as a starting-over mom, lawyer, etc.), and how did this play into their concept of her new apartment?

Hendrickson and Kushnick:  We defined Alicia as a working mom who wanted to make a comforting life for her kids as they had to downsize from a large house in the suburbs to a much smaller apartment which she purchased and had renovated. We kept some furniture from the old house like the kids' beds and the dining room furniture. In addition the show creators wanted to keep Alicia's king size bed as a visual — that it was too big for her new bedroom and show that one side of it was now empty. We also created a maid's room in the back of the apartment for all of her husband's belongings.

CasaSugar: How did Alicia’s style as a North Shore mom change when she moved into Chicago proper?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: Her new apartment had a sophisticated color palette . . .  Alicia's apartment also has more contemporary living room furnishings and an upgraded kitchen.

 

Read the rest of the interview, and check out photos of the set.

CasaSugar: Do either of you have any experience with the North Shore suburbs of Chicago? How did your concept of this region define Alicia’s style?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: We have both visited Chicago and did extensive research through a number of sources.

CasaSugar: What were important elements to include in Alicia’s new bedroom?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: A bed, a vanity, a comfortable reading chair, and her own closet.


CasaSugar
: How did you design the dining room? What ideas played into it?

Kushnick: We decided to use an unusual dark eggplant color which set off the light values of the adjoining rooms. We selected a round table for Alicia and her kids to have family time at and we decided to do a wall of botanicals in matching frames as multiples in three rows for a statement with visual impact.

CasaSugar: What personal touches did you include in the design?

Kushnick: As the set decorator I knew I was dealing with a set that required many layers of life even though the family just moved in. The set had to reflect what the kids (13 and 15) had collected and it needed a layer of mess for Alicia's mother-in-law to clean up after. I used books, pottery, and framed photos to add dimension and cleaned out my own home and daughters' drawers to come up with things. We also added a layer of Chicago life with newspapers, magazines, menus, and small items.

CasaSugar:  What were important pieces to include in Alicia’s teenage children's rooms?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: Computers, which are pivotal to much of the script as well as homework, books, age-appropriate posters, and clothing.

CasaSugar: What colors did you want to use for the rooms? What is the exact color of Alicia’s bedroom?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: The entire apartment has a primarily cool palette and Alicia's bedroom is Benjamin Moore Beach Glass, which is the color of my own bedroom.

CasaSugar: How did you choose the artwork?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: The artwork came from a variety of sources and some were made specifically for the set by our scenic artists. We decided on a portrait at the beach of mother and kids for over the living room mantel.

CasaSugar: If Alicia were shopping online, what stores would she migrate toward, given her style?

Hendrickson and Kushnick: John Koch, Find, Charles Rogers, Liebco Linens, Restoration Hardware, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, Artaissance Art That Fits, ABC Carpet and Home, Electrolux, City Knickerbocker.

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All photos courtesy of CBS

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