‘Sherlock’- Edgey Victorian?

Well, I really have my doubts that this installment will interest my readers, but I just can’t help myself.  I just want to feature the sets of Elementary and Sherlock because there is something very intriguing about them (and I do love the shows). I would never want to have a home that looks like these sets, but I love the way the settings say so much about the characters in the story. Maybe taking a closer look will inspire us to be bolder in showing who we are in our own homes.


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Elements of the Design:

First, I have to appoligize for the size of some of the photos. It was very difficult to find photos, and these ones are full size. Moving on, the sets of the BBC series ‘Sherlock’ pay homage to the Victorian era with the patterns and colours and abundant paraphenalia. It isn’t immediately apparent that this is a very large room because it is so busy, and we only see one part of the room at a time. There are three different wallcoverings in this one room! There is a rose and green pattern wallpaper (that I really like), the green paint (or wallpaper), and on the back wall that we can’t see, another wallpaper that is black and white. One wall is very busy being crammed with books, a fireplace and numerous curiousities. Another wall contains two lovely, large windows.

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 In the above photo we see that the green paint (or is it wallpaper too?) relates to the green colour in the wallpaper of the fireplace wall.

The room is divided into three distinct groupings; the seating area in front of the fireplace, the destk/office area, and the sofa grouping on the other side of the desk. These groupings are simple and spacious,  in contrast to the cluttered surroundings.

What really creates a tension though, is the contrast of the edgy, modern skull artwork, and the graffiti happy face painted in yellow on the same wall just near the floor lamp (hard to see with the light on). Those elements, along with some mid-century modern furniture pieces, inject a very avant guarde vibe in the, otherwise victorian, room. It’s amazing how those few items match the character of Sherlock, someone who is scientific, deals with the fringes of society and sometimes the macabre, and has no care for social veneers.


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In some ways the space is like a labratory, cluttered with useful paraphinalia and learning tools. But it also looks comfortable, with cusions, throws, a fireplace and lots of reading material. Note: though the image below is very small, you can see the skull of a large animal hanging on the wall as an art statement. Again, this is a little macabre and very edgy, in opposition to the Victorian background.


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Take Away Lesson:

I think you may have to be a fan of the Sherlock series to appreciate this quick look at the set from a design standpoint. However, the main point of this design is told through the art work, and we have certainly seen examples of this in the popularity of skull themes in clothing and jewellry and other items. We have also seen animal trophy themes in decorating for a couple of years. Graffiti has been used on walls for teen bedrooms and in modern art, just not quite as rudimentary as here. Sometimes we can be inspired by something that we don’t neccessarily want to imitate. In next weeks’ blog I hope to look at how they portrayed Sherlock’s home in Elementary.

By | 2017-06-22T18:13:40+00:00 February 28th, 2014|Set Design & Interior Design|0 Comments