Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TV/Movie Houses: Bill Compton's Mansion on "True Blood"

Are you a fan of "True Blood?" I have to confess that it's one of my guilty pleasures. The books are the sort of mindless easy reading I love to have on the nightstand, and the TV show carries on HBO's legacy of beautifully produced television.

This season, one of the main characters, Bill Compton, a vampire who has been on the earth since the time of the Civil War, has become the Vampire King of Louisiana. So that he has a home befitting his new status, Bill remodels the antebellum house that has been in his family for generations. The set decorators gave us a video tour over on HBO (check it out HERE) and explained Bill's new digs.

When the series started, Bill's house is timeworn, having been abandoned for many years. In the books, Sookie (the main character for those of you who aren't True Blood fans) helps Bill with construction arrangements (since he can't very well be out and about during the day). Here are a few shots of what Bill's house looked like originally:

Notice the peeling paint and the general feeling of neglect.

Someone had their work cut out for them!

But check out the afters...absolutely delicious:

The master bedroom is very masculine. Dark colors, geometric patterns, and drapery made from men's suiting material. The red rug provides a dash of color, and I can't help but wonder if it's an allusion to the show's title.

Another shot of Bill's bedroom. Throughout this set, the designers have done something that I absolutely love--mixed traditional pieces and architecture with more modern ones. Makes for a very sophisticated look.

Very traditional paneling pays homage to the house's antebellum roots. The light fixture here feels like an abstracted version of an antique chandlier.

Bill's office is to die for (no vampire pun intended.) The muted, masculine color palette, the built in bookshelves, the blingy light fixtures...swoon!

Now I know quite a few people are looking at this photo and thinking "what office?" But look past the handsome vampires and dig the art he has. The tone one tone wallpaper. The chrome bits. All mixed in with a traditional globe and chest. If "Frasier" had premiered in 2011, I can't help think the set would look a lot like this.

The foyer continues the theme. Very traditional architecture paired with fine items from a variety of eras. I just love it!

That living room from the first photo looks quite a bit different here! The neutral colors let the lines and texture of the furniture make the statement. The black mantel, detail on the drapes, and framework on the wingback chairs give the room some punch.

The set designers accomplished something that is somewhat difficult. It's quite hard to design a space as polished as this one and have it come off so distinctly masculine. Too often, cliched themes (hunt club, anyone?) creep into the design of men's spaces...but they have created an urbane and sophisticated house that I, for one, could move right into.

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  1. Thank you for doing this! I was just thinking about the transformation of this house when I was catching up on True Blood the other day. I'm a huge fan of ruined grandeur, so the loss of the old set kills me a little bit, but the updated interiors are fantastic.

  2. Ruined grandeur...I've never heard it put that way, but I've always had a little fascination with it too...did a post a few months ago about ruined and abandoned mansions. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have been all over the internet trying to find the drapes in Bill's office and living room...anyone have any ideas?

  4. I don't, but if you're at all handy I bet you could find a pair of solid panels and do a sew on or iron on detail with grograin ribbon and achieve the same look!

  5. Do you know who created the wall papers?

    1. It came from Astek Wallcovering, http://www.astekwallcovering.com/ but I don't see anything similar in the current collections on their website. It may have been a custom creation.