Creating Ugly Betty's World

A well-documented favorite show of mine, "Ugly Betty," held so much design inspiration for me in the way of their sets--it was one of the shows that made me want to get into set design.  There are several primary settings in which the show took place, and my two favorite were the Mode Offices and Wilhelmina's home.  The Vogue-inspired offices of the fictitious Mode magazine offer very stark, clean, white spaces with pops of highly saturated colors.  It centers around a long hallway dubbed the "tube," and translates into the strong circle theme seen throughout the offices.

The Mode Tunnel

The Mode Tunnel

Above is the Mode hallway, that introduces guests of the Mode offices to the circle theme, seen in the offices' architecture, furniture, and even accessories (e.g., see the chandelier below).  Here are some more examples of the circular theme:

Mode Offices

Mode Offices

Mode Conference Room

Mode Conference Room

Betty's Desk/Daniel's Office

Betty's Desk/Daniel's Office


We then move to the office of Wilhelmina Slater, the creative director of Mode (as well as my favorite character from the show).  Her office bridges the worlds of Mode and her personal residence: the clean and contemporary look of Mode is continued but her trademark dark and luxurious look we see in her home's living and dining rooms are also incorporated.  The octagon takes over as the primary shape in her home, repeated vertically to give the room height and drama befitting the undisputed queen of fashion.  The dark color palette is richly enhanced with metallics, bold textures, and highly contrasted lighting.

Wilhelmina's Mode Office

Wilhelmina's Mode Office

Wilhelmina's Living Room

Wilhelmina's Living Room

Wilhelmina's Dining Room

Wilhelmina's Dining Room

The Slater dining room, in particular, combines so many of my favorite over-the-top design elements, I can't help but love it.  The gold ram table base, the elephant tusks, the crocodile-covered porter chairs, and the dramatic fireplace separating the two rooms. 

And there you have it, highlights from one of my favorite sets from one of my favorite TV shows!  What are some of your favorite TV sets?

All images taken from interiordesign.net and abc.com.