TV reflects our lives but it also informs the way we see ourselves. Who, over the seven decades that it’s been a regular living room addition, has not used the filter of television to understand their own daily life – be it through the sarcastic over-analysis of Seinfeld, the moral complexity of Mad Men, or the madcap desperation of Breaking Bad?
But TV doesn’t just shape our psychology – it also shapes our aesthetics. The best TV set designers take the burgeoning trends of today or the most stylish tropes of yesterday and give them a new twist, so before we know it we find ourselves in IKEA looking for the sofa from Central Perk.
With this thought in mind, the people at Compare The Market have put together a series of swatches representing the color palettes of eight timeless TV shows to make it easier to get that set-designer feel for your front room!
Color Palettes From 8 TV Living Rooms
The New York sitcom and its characters have become ironic style icons in recent years, as internet wags have reclaimed the weirdly muted normcore aesthetic of the show to be the height of streetwear sophistication or ripe for retro video mash-ups.
And if you start with the faded blue of Jerry’s over-tight waist-high jeans you can’t go far wrong. Throw in some muted grays and wood colors and you’ll soon have that cool, relaxed effect that gets all your visitors in the mood to chat. And chat. And chat.
You too can have a West Village living room the size of a department store on the wage of two waitresses! Well, maybe not quite, but you can at least copy Monica and Rachel’s color scheme with this handy palette.
That lilac paintwork is the signature color and an instant brightener for any home (as long as you don’t mind inadvertently tipping off all your visitors that you’re a massive Friends addict). Shiny reds and golds complete the unapologetic splendor, while earthy wood furniture keeps it from veering into Muppet Show territory.
It’s no use looking to Don Draper’s shirts for color inspiration. That man wore a white shirt every day of his life outside the military. But the Manhattan apartment he shared with Megan gets many a contemporary interior designer excited.
Neutral earth tones with the occasional splash of color create that smoky look, while textured pillows and patterned curtains will add a subtle twist that says you’re ‘boho-curious’ even if you’re a serious professional!
If you can’t pinch fashion ideas from the British period drama you can at least take inspiration from its interiors. Pale, ornate silk wallpaper and hardwood floors add instant class, and how you accessorize really depends on how kitsch you want to get.
Big Bang Theory
Penny’s apartment borrows the atomic age look and brings it bang-up-to-date for the 21st century. Straight lines and bright-colored geometric lampshades are textbook ‘geek chic,’ while light wood floors and fittings keep the whole set-up Earth-bound.
How I Met Your Mother
The living room of the CBS mainstay welcomed tenants and audiences alike with its warm autumnal palette. The red couch, cluttered ornaments and orange-yellow light fittings do the hard work, and you can add a splash of turquoise to prevent your place from looking too much like a hunter’s cabin!
Like so many sitcom living rooms, Jess’s place is centered around a serious sofa – in her case, a brown leather L-shape that bounces off the metallic gray finish of the kitchen area. A bright blue door keeps things from getting too serious.
If you’re looking for design tips for your mobile home, you’re in the wrong article… But Walt’s warm golds and olive shades are a great way to go in the living room of your house if you want your place to scream ‘we are a solid and stable family with no dark secrets whatsoever.
Which TV living room palette would you adapt for your lounge?