Olivia Pope-ize Your Apartment: 4 Decorating Tips Straight From Scandal's Set Decorator
Listen up, Gladiators: if you've gasped at Olivia Pope's incredible apartment, you aren't alone.
The Scandal character, played by Kerry Washington, has the best apartment on television, hands down, and it's all thanks to Emmy nominated set decorator Amy Wells. Not only has Wells created the sophisticated haven for our favorite D.C. fixer, she's also responsible for Cher's drool-worthy closet in Clueless, Betty Draper's retro-perfection beauty parlor in Mad Men, and more daydream-inducing sets.
Just like Olivia would do, we went straight to the source and grilled Wells on how we can replicate the plush D.C. pad in our own apartment ("It's handled!"). Read on for her 4 rules to getting Olivia Pope's apartment.
1. Your Number One Priority: A Great Sofa
You'll need a great couch for all those post-stressful-day wine-and-popcorn sessions. "Choose a great classic sofa that fits the room in a tone and color that's going to work easily with other pieces," Wells suggests. Throw in a cozy sweater and you're pretty much one presidential affair away from being Olivia Pope.
2. Add Pops of "Spice"
Once you have a beautiful, neutral sofa as your centerpiece, the next step is accenting your room with pops of color and texture. Wells suggests using pillows and small pieces of furniture to accent the room. "The sofa is usually the biggest element, so if it lays back a bit it leaves room for spicier elements, like great eclectic pillows," explains Wells. "In the case of Olivia's apartment I used her neutral sofa as a springboard and was able to introduce a bright blue chair and some other colored objects without the room becoming heavy and maintaining the femininity."
3. Think Outside the Rectangle
"Don't be afraid to use shapes—don't just stick to rectangles!" Wells implores. "Sculptural pieces will make the room look interesting, creating texture and dimension. The top layer of décor is what makes a room personal." If you can't afford to invest in sculptural furniture or high-end art, Wells suggests using interesting pillows as your accent pieces. "You can buy great throw pillows at places like HomeGoods—in fact, that’s where I got a lot of the pillows for Olivia Pope’s apartment."
4. Kill the Clutter
What's the biggest mistake you can make while decorating your apartment? Clutter. "Many times, people add in more and more to their space without editing—but you have to ask yourself, is there a piece or two that feels a little much?" Wells says. "Be willing to edit. Let it go! I do it for every set I work on. Don’t hold on to stuff for the sake of holding on to it."