Saturday, March 12, 2011

TV and Movie Houses--Dr. Frasier Crane's Apartment

"Frasier", the  spin-off of the classic sitcom "Cheers", won 37 Emmys during its eleven-season run, and it's ratings proved that it held popular as well as critical appeal. Much of the action takes place inside one of the stars of the show--Dr. Frasier Crane's apartment. The set was designed by Roy Christopher, a legendary set decorator.

In the pilot episode, Frasier shows the apartment to his father, Martin.

Frasier: So what do you think of what I've done with the place? You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.

Martin: Nothing matches.

Frasier: Well, it's a style of decorating - it's called eclectic. The theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn't matter if they match - they will go together.

Martin: It's your money.

And a lot of money it was. The set cost a half-million dollars to build in 1993! But what a fabulous set! In addition to the treasures Frasier mentions in the pilot, the apartment featured a Steinway medium grand piano, a Chihuly vase,  and several covetable abstracts. Nearly twenty years later, it still looks great. A bit dated around the edges, but overall, a chic and timeless space.

I came across this beautifully rendered floor plan of apartment 1901 at Elliot Bay Towers (the building is as fictional as the view outside Frasier's windows--such a view exists only from the cliffs overlooking Seattle.) The artist who created this plan has a great portfolio of work that can be seen HERE.

It's a wonderfully laid out apartment, isn't it? The public areas seem great for entertaining.


The apartment is filled with built-in shelves and display areas that highlight Dr. Crane's collections of African and pre-Columbian art without making it feel like a shop or a museum.

I always loved the fireplace, but I think it's one of the features that dates the apartment.

The Wassily chair isn't long for that spot once Frasier's father moves in. (Ever sat in one? They are surprisingly comfortable.)


Goodbye Wassily, Hello Barca Lounger. Martin could have at least let Frasier reupholster it, but the difference in their personalities is underscored by the difference in their furnishings.

Of all the fictional homes that are part of our pop culture, the muted colors scheme--injected with pops of vibrance through art, the formal edge to a contemporary space, and the great flow make Frasier's apartment one of the ones I'd most like to call home.


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32 comments:

  1. Me too! Very soothing isn't it?

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  2. Wonderful recap of this iconic TV apartment. It was nice to see the floor plan in such detail.I still watch the reruns and enjoy the show. Thank you for this post.

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  3. You're quite welcome! One of my favorite shows, and sets, of all time.

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  5. I know this is an old thread, but actually, Martin's Barca lounger was reupholstered in the "Bla-z-Boy" episode. Frasier is having his carpeting replaced because Niles and Martin had spilled lubricating oil all over the previous carpeting while trying to oil the old chair, which sets on the back patio with Martin's new telescope. The chair accidentally catches fire from the sun beaming through the telescope lens.

    And so... in the episode, Fraiser explains (to Niles?) that he had to hunt down the designer of the Barca lounge material, (whom, "at first", he says "wouldn't admit to designing the material")and Frasier had to pay the designer a fortune to recreate the material so that he could have the chair reupholstered. Why he didn't have it upholstered in a material to fit the apartment, I can only assume for comedic purposes.

    And... I agree, this is a great apartment~ I visited this site looking for replications from the set for a design project I am working on and came across this apartment layout. I always wondered about it, now I have a better idea of the layout. Thanks!

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    1. Actually he had the chair replaced with a brand new exact replica.. The episode in question was on TV a few nights ago.. But again yes why didn't he have it done in a different fabric this time..

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    2. He was trying to make amends to Martin, so he had the chair made as an exact duplicate. It was his way of saying "I love you so much I'm even going to reproduce this chair that you love but you know I hate."

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  6. Does anyone know anything about the abstracts ueed in Frasier's apartment?

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  7. Carin...I totally forgot about that episode! Can not imagine Frasier having to spend his own money to have that fabric recreated! LOL! Brady...this link might help you, gives information on some of the pieces.
    http://www.h-i-l-l.net/im-listening.net/FAQ/FAQ_07.htm#702

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  8. http://pinterest.com/nikneuk/tv-floorplans/

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  9. http://www.facebook.com/pages/TV-Floorplans-More/338092586285019

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  10. Are there any pictures available that show more detail of the kitchen and the shelving for his collections?

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  11. I know this is an old post, but I'm curious about the utility room beside Daphne's room and about Martin's private bathroom. Did either of these ever appear in the show? Do we know they exist?

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    1. I have a vague memory of a scene in the laundry room once, but I'm watching the series from the beginning right now, so I will be on the lookout!

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    2. I've always remembered Daphne coming in the front door with laundry and figured the building has common laundry facilities.

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    3. Frasier used that room for his "hat collection" and after years of carting laundry up and down to the basement Daphne found out from another neighbor who had an in unit washer and dryer that the hat room had hook ups for laundry!

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  12. Thanks for doing this research! Just watched an episode for the first time in many years and appreciated how amazing the apartment is for the first time. I was hoping somebody had done the research into the set design. Sort of disappointed it isn't a real apartment though!

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  13. No other TV series had such quality of writing, it will be as revered as Shakespeare.

    I would like to echo the earlier comment by Brady, information please on an abstract piece to the left of the Otterson and behind the piano. Lots of sites talk about the Otterson but I can find no mention of this other one.

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  14. Eddie is cute, but what the place really needs is a cat, preferably a Himalayan or Persian. just saying

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  15. Yeah, no cats. Especially for someone who likes a clean apartment without shedding and a bad attitude. And remember, Eddie wasn't exactly a welcome addition. He came with Martin, and Frasier just had to deal.

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  16. Are there any details about the art work on the wall? Especially the large piece behind the piano

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  17. Just stumbled upon this floorplan after catching up on some Frasier episodes on Netflix. This floorplan is fun to see; except for the fact that there is a utility room with a washer/dryer. Daphine always left the apartment to use the building community's wash facility. Other than that imperfection it's quite good.

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    1. ...and just as an fyi, I didn't read all of the comments so if this was already mentioned, I apologize for the redundancy

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    2. I hadn't even noticed that until recently when I re-watched the whole series on Netflix. Hard to believe such an expensive apartment wouldn't have washer/dryer inside!

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  18. In episode s9 e18 they talk about why they have no washer and dryer in the apartment. The closet that houses the hook ups is used as "A hat museum" and Daphne puts it. It's hinted that they may be adding a washer and dryer towards the end of the show. Very good episode!

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  19. It really makes no sense that there would be no private washer-dryer. Even regular apartments in Seattle (or at least the Seattle 'burbs) have their own sets so you can stay cozy and dry, vs. having to go outside or to a dank basement.

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  20. The layout is close but Martins room had a window and so did Frasiers. They were both by the beds. Martins window was to the left side of the bed and Frasiers was behind his bed. This layout would be impossible for that. But its very very close!

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    2. I can't find a good image of Frasier's room at the moment, but if you compare Martin's room from the floor plan here with this image: http://s121.photobucket.com/user/jsager1/media/FRASIER_S8_D3-0.jpg.html you'll see that it's a spot on match.

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  21. Any idea who made the chair and footstool by the balcony?

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    1. Just stumbled upon it purely serendipitously! It's an Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman and I want one badly.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eames_Lounge_Chair

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