Tips and Guides

10 TV Shows You Need to Watch for Design Inspiration

Prep your couch and learn a few tips straight from the telly

Photography: (Main Photo)

Who says that series marathons and Netflix-and-chill weekends can’t be productive? Saturate your senses with the lush production design, beautiful sets, and hyper reality offered by some of television’s greatest hits. Watch carefully and you may just pick up the pegs you need to create an inspired, Hollywood-ready home. Make sure you include these shows on your list:

Pan Am

  • Perfect for those who love the retro look

Time travel back to the days before budget flights and enter the world of luxury travel. Pan Am takes you into the secret lives of sophisticated flight attendants, cold war espionage, and uninhibited elegance.

Whether you launch into the glitz of 1960s Monte Carlo casinos or love the look of Jackie Kennedy, you’ll find the aesthetic of this one-season only show refreshingly relevant even for today.

Mad Men

  • Inspires you to add grit and personality to your space

Highly acclaimed for the accuracy, clean lines, and cleverness of its production design, this throwback to mid-century advertising will have you wanting to plow through your grandma’s attic for vintage steals.

Don Draper’s world is a dark and drama-filled one, but it’s also a world that’s swathed in the chic and streamlined world of ergonomic furniture, warm wood, and swanky suits.

Gossip Girl

  • Inspires you to seamlessly combine posh and luxurious touches in your space

Before Instagram and Snapchat were de rigeur, Gossip Girl’s world of Blackberry text messages and internet whodunits was all the rage. Set in New York’s Upper East Side, the show gives you an insider’s peek at the ridiculous plotlines and gorgeous square footage of Manhattan’s young elite.

Whether you prefer the loft vibes of Dan and Jenny, or are a true blue Blair Waldorf fan, this show will have you saying XOXO to everything posh and pretty.

Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City

  • If you love the minimalist style, this show is the best peg

Get ready for the season’s hottest binge-fest with this Japanese take on reality TV. Three men and three women are thrust into a beautifully designed Tokyo home with no script, no plans, and a whole lot of drama. See the real life stories unfold amidst a sleek and modern home all MUJI lovers will die for.


  • Achieve a London-inspired haven that's filled with textures and dark colors

Marvel not just over Sherlock Holmes’ mind palace and aptitude for solving mysteries, but also at his swanky London digs.

If you’re aspiring to create the ultimate bachelor’s pad or the most sumptuous man cave possible, a look into this modern day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous fictional detective will do you some good. Good design is elementary after all, my dear Watson.

Downton Abbey

  • Fall in love with elegant details, lovely chandeliers, and old-world grandeur

Rewind a full century back and indulge in the opulence of the early 20th century and the upstairs-downstairs dynamics that keep this lush, British abbey alive and kicking.

Romantics at heart will love the fine detailing present in everything from the carpets to crystals. Those who are looking to create an escape from the concrete and garishness of the 21st century will find heaps of inspiration from across the pond.


  • Neutrals, clean lines, and top-of-the-line furniture can help you achieve a modern aesthetic

Set in the swanky, suit-filled firm of Pearson Specter Litt, this law drama provides heaps of visual texture when it comes to both the workplace and the home.

Follow the suave Harvey Specter’s posh taste in art or crush on Rachel Zane’s elegant apartment’s neutral color palette in between following these smart mouthed lawyers crack through one settlement after the next.


  • Create a cozy and inviting home amidst the hustle and bustle of the city

Heralded by millennials from Brooklyn to the Bronx as the voice of their generation, Lena Dunham’s recently ended HBO series shows the grit and grime of finding yourself in your early 20s.

With characters that are a mix of bohemian eccentricity, hipster chic, pop culture clichés or New York realness, you can’t get any more “now” in terms of décor than Girls.

Sex and the City

  • Glamorous details and sophisticated accessories can help you transform a space

Celebrated wonder of the late 90s and early 2000s, Sex and the City takes four strong feminine leads and lets you into their glitzy New York City-centric lives. A good decade since this show hit HBO, and even after the zeitgeist eventual turn away from the glamour and maximalism it espoused, SATC is still undoubtedly a classic.

Whether you’re looking for fashion or design inspiration, let this show’s six seasons reveal your inner Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda.


  • Set the mood in your home with textured must-haves and dark hues

Perhaps you have a flair for the dramatic or dream of being a hostess with the mostest. Take murder off the menu and get wowed by the incredible food styling and theatrical tableaus of this thrilling Emmy-nominated show.

Hannibal Lecter may be a chilling subject to sit with on couch potato nights, but you’ll find yourself developing a taste for the grandiose after a good watch.

PHOTOS (in order): Mike Kelley | Amazon | Netflix | Gossip Diaries | | Downton Abbey Wikia | Cinema Blend | Oh No They Didn't! Live Journal | Hooked on Houses | Now Kindly Undo These Straps

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