“Welcome to TV Land” from the VINTAGE issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine – Fall 2009
”Welcome to TV Land “
I was absolutely delighted to be informed that this issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly would be Vintage themed. So many images and thoughts went through my head, it was mind-boggling!
Not only was the love of my vintage Barbie dolls an image, but how about lots of other things that I grew up with? S&H Green Stamps, Stewardesses in blue uniforms, Avon Calling, wearing wigs on purpose – smoking was fashionable! Turn tables and Christmas catalogues – the list goes on!
What should I choose to submit as my one of my favorite vintage things?
Knowing full well that doll lovers enjoy many other past times, myself being one of them, it occurred to me that another reminder of growing up was the common practice of watching TV.
Do you remember what shows were popular when you were a kid?
I do! This is what inspired my article for the Vintage theme. Why don’t I combine classic TV shows with today’s modern dolls?!
If you are a Baby Boomer, or Classic TV watcher, chances are you will recognize the following sets.
Without peeking ahead, can you name any of these famous living rooms?
Through the magic of television, we were entertained, engaged, enjoyed and relaxed. Imagine if you will, these classic TV living rooms coming to life for our dolls. Don’t we, as collectors, daydream and relax while enjoying our dolls? Don’t we forget about the stress and worry in our lives, if only for a little while?
Allow me to take you on a trip to TV Land, where television, dolls, 1:6 scale, and the kid in you can relive some wonderful memories!
Welcome to – 635 East 68th St., Manhattan, New York
Do you recognize this place? It’s the home of the Ricardo’s – Lucy and Ricky, circa 1954. Although the show was originally filmed in black and white, through a little research and a lot of imagination, this charming flat was brought to life with colors I felt were consistent with the 1950’s.
Not everything can be recreated in miniature. Sometimes there is just not enough room, or necessity when working on a small scale. In the recreation of these Classic TV sets, I had to decide what factors were the most important in order to relay an image that you, as readers, would instantly be familiar with.
In the case of the Ricardo’s, their furnishings are simple. That’s to showcase the actors, of course. But another important element of the Ricardo’s living room is their front door. This is were all the comings and goings of Lucy’s silly and sometimes ridiculous antics took place.
Remember what I said about smoking being fashionable? Well Lucy and Ricky were not only heavy smokers and did so on their show, but a big sponsor for the “I Love Lucy” show was Phillip Morris – cigarette makers both then and now. A common place in the Ricardo home was the availability of cigarettes and ashtrays.
I also felt it was important to show the window, making the room feel larger and more realistic. Traditionally a piano was always under this window, but since I am no piano maker, I chose a simple buffet style cabinet instead, as a place to house the lamp. This piece is typical of what would be found in a 1950′s home.
Who’s the gal I chose to stand in for Lucy? Well, it’s every Barbie doll lover’s favorite red-head, -Fashion Editor! You can see by the way she is entirely comfortable in this setting, that modern-day dolls can live in retro style.
Take a seat Barbie. Relax with a Phillip Morris cigarette. – “Call for Phillip Morris!”
(Ok, Barbie doesn’t actually smoke! She’s just slipping into character.)
Next, it’s onto New Rochelle, New York to visit the set of one of the most endearing comedies of the 1960’s – “The Dick Van Dyke Show!”
The Petrie Family lived a very stylish, yet comfortable life in their sprawling ranch house. In fact, their living room was so big, it included a large window seat, huge curved sofa and seating area, dining area and a casual seating area by a wood stove!
You might see the impossibilities in recreating this rather large room in miniature. Again, I decided on what I felt were the most important aspects of the Petrie living room. Of course, the curved sofa was the most desirable to me, (loving Mid Century Modern furnishings as I do,) so this is the area I chose to focus on.
I also knew that I had to incorporate the step down into the living room and the ottoman, which Dick Van Dyke trips over in the opening sequence of the show.
Relying again on research and artistic liberty, (this show also filmed in black and white), I designed the living room in beige and gold with a little peach thrown in for a splash of color. To give the idea of a window, I used sheer curtains and a backlight to imply daylight.
The sofa had a large, colorful painting hanging on the wall above it. I used the same theme (horses) and chose a painting I thought reflected the colors of the room.
The chair that was usually beside the sofa had a more ornate feel to it, while the sofa was totally modern. I felt that replicating the chair was important because of the differences between the two. It too, is quite recognizable.
This gorgeous, Mastermind Veronique, perfectly imitates Laura Petrie, effortlessly showing her classic look and sheer comfort in her chosen surroundings.
Last stop on our trip to TV Land – 1164 Morning Glory Circle, Westport, CT. The address alone should be a give away for total “Bewitched” freaks, like me!
One look into the Stevensen’s living room and you will certainly be transported back in time! This living area had some of the most classic elements to it. Brick wall, fireplace, and French doors to name a few.
I have to admit that this room was the easiest to recreate because I’ve watched the dvd’s so many times, it’s like I was actually there! And, my dvd’s are in color, which made it easier to duplicate. But, there are still certain elements that belong in this room that needed to be built precisely in order to convey that it is where you think it is.
In the 1st season of Bewitched that lovely brick wall was indeed white brick, with a huge fireplace.
On the far side of the fireplace, the wall had several cubby holes in it to house books and knickknacks. Now, I spent a lot of time looking for the correct size bricks to build this wall, so I wasn’t about to cut another six holes in it! Instead, I chose small black framed photos to imply where the cut outs were. There is also a large painting over the fireplace. Much like the original, this man is also playing a lute.
This living room would not be complete without the existence of the French doors that open out to the patio! Skillfully crafting these doors and adding pictures of landscaped yards to the window cut outs is what gives them a truly life-like look.
“Bewitching Luchia” (aptly named) is a stunning likeness of Elizabeth Montgomery. How magically this modern-day gal fits into this décor!
I hope you have enjoyed my vintage trip to TV Land. This may inspire you to add more dimension to your doll collecting by giving your dolls a place to live.
For information on purchasing any of these One Of A Kind Classic TV Living Rooms, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This article is a reprint from the Fall 2009 “Vintage” issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine. To see more of my articles and spectacular coverage of your favorite dolls pick up your copy of FDQ today ! – http://www.fdqmedia.com/
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