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Interview With Sex and the City 2 Set Decorator Lydia Marks

Casa Exclusive! Interview With Sex and the City 2's Lydia Marks

I was recently lucky enough to chat with Sex and the City 2 set decorator Lydia Marks. I've been swooning over the interiors for weeks, and I'm so anxious to head to theater this weekend to see more of the set. If you haven't already, make sure you check out all of my photos and coverage of the Sex and the City 2 set design. As you can imagine, I was very curious about Lydia's inspiration, concept, and resources for the set décor. Keep reading to get the lowdown!

Judging by the trailer, Carrie and Big’s apartment décor is to die for! Can you share with us the inspirations behind the look? How did you arrive on a design concept?

We're inspired by making one unified space for these two separate characters to live in comfortably. And we're inspired by old movies and Alfred Hitchcock films in terms of the type of architecture they were going to live in. Because we built the set on a soundstage, we could make it any type of architecture we wanted. We spent a lot of time looking at those types of references because we wanted it to feel very, very real to New York City.

A lot of fancy apartments that you see in movies tend to get a little bit large because it's easier to shoot in, and it's an instant read to the general public that it's a nice apartment. But we felt really strongly that we could make an apartment on a scale that was realistic to the real New York and still have it be elegant and high-end and I think we did that.

Read on to see the rest of the interview!

How did you balance masculine and feminine influences? Did Carrie bring any of her décor with her from her old apartment?

No because she actually keeps that apartment in the movie. It's a really different feel. Carrie's old apartment is very "mature Carrie." Their new apartment was decorated very much for them as a couple and she spent a lot of time considering what would make Big comfortable in the space and made decisions based on a lot to do with what would work for him. So the colors are very subdued. There's a lot of browns and blues.

Carrie's accents and vibrancy come out in the carpets and in the smaller objects, the books, and the collections that she has. I did all the carpets from The Rug Company. I felt like the carpets were a great way to reflect Carrie.


We also see shots of Charlotte’s chic kitchen. What was the inspiration for her abode?

Well, Charlotte has always lived in an ivory tower. So her apartment has always been in whites and creams with woods as accents. We added white flowers and always a lot of fresh flowers and beautiful arrangements around her.

Her kitchen was an extension of that theme. We kept it very cream and white because, again, just like the bathroom, there's an importance that takes place in the kitchen where it needed to be very perfect because Charlotte wanted her kitchen to be everything she had always wanted. She found a place for herself in her kitchen and it's very organized and beautiful.

The scene that takes place there is very colorful so we needed it to pop, like we needed it in the bathroom. So we kept it all very neutral so it's whites and light grays and brushed silvers.


How do the changes to the interiors reflect the changes in the characters?

In the first half of the movie when the characters are in New York, we wanted to keep the colors muted because when they travel we wanted the colors to explode. So the colors in the second movie definitely are more muted than they are in the first film. So there's an opening scene of a wedding and it could be a black and white movie. The set was mostly white and crystals and a lot of shine and sparkle but not colorful. And that pretty much holds true with all the characters' homes.

Miranda's Brooklyn brownstone didn't change much from the first movie. Brady's older so there's a little bit less toys and kid stuff. But otherwise, her apartment is basically the same. At Charlotte's we see a new wing that we never saw before. But we kept it again in the white and neutral tones. And then as I described in Big and Carrie's apartment, she has subdued heavier blues and browns and light blues. So it was definitely a goal of ours to keep the whole thing very muted so when they arrive in this foreign country it was like opening your eyes for the first time.

Did you get to design any of the Moroccan sets? Can you tell me a bit about the concept and the sources for those items?

They're supposed to go to Abu Dhabi, but we shot it in Morocco. And some of what was supposed to be shot in Abu Dhabi we actually built in New York. So it looks like it was shot there but it was actually built on the soundstage here.

Well, I had to do a karaoke nightclub here so that was supposed to be Abu Dhabi. So I did a gigantic mosaic tile ramp, like a 50-foot mosaic that had an Arabic pattern on it. So that was made here. And a lot of fabrics with gold and glittering cutouts and Arabic patterns. So the nightclub was one thing that we shot here that looks like it's there. But since it's a nightclub it's maybe a different kind of resources than you're looking for, than home decorating anyway.

Be sure to check out the rest of my coverage of the film's set design! Interested in reading about the kids room set design? Read LilSugar's interview with Lydia Marks about Lily and Rose Goldenblatt's adorable bedroom.

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