Mark my words:
The house featured in Netflix’s runaway hit Bloodline will inevitably rank right up there with the beloved Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated houses as film/tv homes fans desperately want to have as their own.
I mean just look at it!
I just wrapped up watching the entire first season of Bloodline, and I can’t wait for the next season to be released.
I’m having binge-watching withdrawals. Not only was the storyline intriguing and the characters interesting, but that house! It undoubtedly deserves to be an obsession of interior designers, everywhere!
The Bloodline home, a resort developed as a family business, is located in the Florida Keys, and the show centers around their property, which looks magnificent.
Typical of the “Florida Keys style” (you know, Tommy Bahama-style (without the kitsch)), the house features wide porches, an indoor/outdoor relaxed vibe, and lots of natural coastal elements. The main house has me completely smitten, and I’m ready to build a home just like it.
As we are all awash with our white kitchens, white bathrooms, and white marble everywhere, the style of the Bloodline house is all about soft color, pattern, and natural wood. It feels loved, comfortable, soft, fresh, timeless, and light, all at the same time. And most of all, it feels personal — which I find to be very refreshing.
The home feels personal because it’s filled with memories. Everything from the paint colors and tile work down to the vase on the bathroom vanity exudes this family’s unique style and taste. The fabrics, the wallpaper in the stairwell, the minted colors of the kitchen cabinetry, the tile in the bathroom, the paneling… All of it speaks to the sense of place, reinforces the setting, and establishes how important the home is in the context of the show’s overall story. You, the viewer, understand the home is theirs and that it’s been there for decades, beautifully evolving throughout the family’s long, storied history.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Bloodline’s Series Production Designer Scott P. Murphy. And what a pleasure it was.
We chatted about everything from colors to appliances. And I took plenty of notes, all of which I’m excited to share with you today in hopes that you’ll be inspired to recreate a similar look your bloodline can enjoy. ;-)
NOTES & THOUGHTS FROM...
My Conversation w/ Scott P. Murphy
The show’s setting is this beautiful resort in Islamadora, one of the islands in the long strip that runs south of Florida.
Much of the filming was done on the property itself, the study and living room were heavily restyled to work for the filming. The kitchen of the main house, however, couldn’t be used because it was a bit small. To establish the idea of the family home, the home where these adult children had been raised, an appropriate version of the kitchen and dining area was created on a set.
The show’s center of activity is the kitchen.
Every time it was seen in an episode, I tried to memorize it's features. For me, the painted cabinetry was a personal highlight. Scott used two colors of a similar blue/mint shade, one for uppers and one for lowers. Butcher block countertops break up the painted finishes much as the small wood moulding that outlines the cabinet doors does. The tall cabinetry; transom panels above the door openings; the wood chopping block and small wood desk in the corner; the copper elements…they all go so far in creating the vision of a well-loved home settled in the Florida Keys.
I was convinced that the countertop on the island was soapstone, but...
It was actually made out of wood and then faux finished to resemble slate. Scott said they just couldn’t find the natural stone they wanted, locally, so the crew’s expert finishers mimicked the look he was going after.
Some of the most telling features, I think, are the appliances and sink.
I asked Scott about them and he said he wanted the kitchen to represent each of the decades the kitchen was likely to have lived through. The large vintage sink is from the 40’s, making it something that would have been built in the house from the beginning, before these characters even took ownership. The range was purchased in upstate NY and dates from the 50's. He wanted the range to be large to allude to the possibility that breakfasts for the guests might have been made there at one time. (During the show we learn there’s a commercial kitchen located elsewhere on the property.)
The dishwasher was from the 70’s-80's. He said it would have been easy to go for a new dishwasher but, again — considering the characters and the story — he felt they wouldn’t have purchased a new one if theirs wasn’t broken, so it added an air of authenticity.
Another item I was curious about was the tile backsplash at the stove.
Scott related that these were Cuban concrete tiles and that they had originally thought of using them on the island; but, instead, they wound up using them on the backsplash. They make such a dynamic and colorful backdrop for the stove, giving it prominence and, again, layering in the elements to make a richly designed interior.
I love the fabrics and materials used throughout the home.
I commented to him about the floral fabric on the sofa, the draperies, and the wallpaper in the stairwell. He said that the floral fabric mimicked the fabric on a sofa in the Hemingway house in Key West. The layered drapery — the sheers in particular — are a great way to soften the room and keep a barrier between the outside (which is often filled with cameras and lighting) and the set. The light reflects off the sheer panels and actually adds light in the spaces.
I love the wallpaper in the stairwell.
Scott said he had wanted to use more of it, but it was rather expensive. So, instead, he chose this particular spot to make a statement and add even more interest to the interior.
The colors truly speak to the location; so, of course, I asked Scott about those.
He said he’s typically a neutral person, so doing so much color was challenging. But because he wanted to relate the relaxed vibe that defines the Keys’ lifestyle, complete with the colors of the landscape and ocean, the choices were simply perfect.
And now, the paint colors are....
Lower kitchen cabinets: Benjamin Moore, HC119, Kittery Point Green
Upper kitchen cabinets: Farrow and Ball, 86, Stone Blue
Dining Room lower walls: Farrow and Ball, 84, Green Blue
Hallway lower walls: Benjamin Moore, HC-612, Hills of Ireland
Hallway upper walls: Benjamin Moore, HC-578, Florida Keys
White trim: Farrow and Ball, 2002, White Tie
Wallcovering in Stairway :-)))) - Cole and Son, 97/10031
(Now don't ever say I didn't ever get ya anything!:-)
The second floor was shot on-location in the main house.
It was styled and designed for the show, so they added some character to maintain the look they created on set.
I also asked about the tile in the bathroom.
At one point in the show, Sissy Spacek is brushing her teeth in front of its beautiful blue and white pattern. Scott related that the tile was just a basic white, and that they were able to create a pattern and bring in color with stickers and some finishing. (It looks amazing!) You’ll have to watch the series to see it; I don’t have a pic here. :-)
Scott and his team also designed...
The sets for the home where Bloodline’s main character John Rayburn lived (a smaller and, perhaps, a little more up to date version of the main house that retained that relaxed Florida Keys style), and the sheriff’s office war room, too.
I couldn’t help but go off-topic and ask Scott how he got into set design.
He graduated from architecture school and then went on to grad school. Scott worked for noted architects, Richard Meier and Frank O. Gehry in Los Angeles. He then set his path to set design and art direction, getting started in theme park design. In California, a lot of set designers also work in theme park design; and it was during that time that he got to know a lot of other people involved in the business.
After three years working with theme parks, he went into designing sets for a soap opera. Then came tv and movie productions. Currently he’s working on the set design for another Netflix series: Daredevil. Exciting!