Pouffe and it’s gone!

While SATC2 the movie does not feature very highly on my ‘top films’ list, it does contain some delightful and sought-after interiors from genius interior designer and set decorator Lydia Marks. Incidentally, she is also responsible for the interiors as featured in The Devil Wears Prada, nailing that cool, crisp, upper east side style with aplomb.

The story. Set after the drama of the ‘will he commit? won’t he? will he turn up to his own wedding or will he skulk around in his limo?’ Carrie and Big finally get hitched and land on an abode that they will share together. Not that this is without its problems, as we come to realise. Their home is my focus, with particular attention to a piece of furniture that I have coveted ever since it hit cinema screens in 2010.

Carrie and Big’s apartment

Carrie kept her own delightful little pad, complete with bold blue design and, come the second film, uses it as one swanky office when she needs to ‘get shit done’. This in itself opens up a whole can of worms about having homes to retreat to in times of tension. I mean, it’s greedy but this is New York, they’re successful, high earners, and it’s a film for crying out loud. Let’s live lavishly and unnecessarily.

So, Carrie and Big finally moved in together into their own little piece of ‘real estate heaven’ and it is dressed with style and panache.

Softly masculine in its structure of semi-clad walls, a dark palette fluid throughout, there are feminine highlights in the form of the dressing room and bedroom, which have warmer tones and softer textures.

Soft, coffee tones in the textured and layered bedroom

This home is seriously stylish and perfectly appointed. To my mind it does not fall under the category of traditionally ‘homey’, but that’s not their style and it would have been too much of a move away from their former apartments to migrate into some suburban, picket fence home. They are city slickers and that’s how we like them. This apartment exudes warmth and comfort in its own way, a hideaway and a completely private retreat for Carrie and John Preston.

Pale gold wallpaper, a feminine silouhette mirror and gold striped lamp bases oozes decadence and nods to the original age of the building

This apartment is in many ways the third significant character in their relationship, forging walls of intimacy around them but opening up doors to lifestyle conversations, some trivial, some not so much. Do they really need a TV in the bedroom? Meh. Should they spend time apart from each other in their marriage? Well… Ends of the spectrum are pushed by both Carrie and Big in this luxurious and timeless pile they call home.

The lounge, living, reading room complete with gold leaf artwork, deep architraves and that splash of blue

The apartment moves the characters through their story arc. For this reason it has to play to the dynamics of both characters in a way that at once suits them but also contrasts against them. There is a nod to old movies in the space, a reflection of Big’s ‘old timer’ character perhaps, which is blended with Carrie’s more sparkling and modern personality of someone who is very much ‘of the city’ they live in.

The his and hers closet. Ever noticed they each have a side and a shade. Dark walnut versus white washed wood?

Artwork and books do much of the dressing, side and floor lamps provide low level lighting to keep it atmospheric and sculptural in the selections, and we see that it is actually a pretty harmonious blend of their former lifestyles; Carrie the girl about town with her light and bright apartment, full of fun and fizz, Big and his more moody, material heavy, wooden clad space, art propped up wherever there is space and large expansive views of New York.

The dining room; smoked glass table top, high-back upholstered chairs and fitted shelving to highlight accessories

Carrie’s old apartment holds a sentimental place in our hearts, it has history, reinvention, career development and friendship plastered into its walls and I love the circular feel of the layout, slipping from hallway to kitchenette, bathroom to closet, bedroom to work desk, and back out again. We see it transform from soft grey/lavender to that beautiful Mediterranean blue that becomes almost a colour code for Carrie’s transition in life.

Carrie’s old but reinvented apartment

In the hybrid Carrie and Big world, deep skirting, heavy flock wallpapers and choices of furniture upholstery (the dining room chairs are an example) show a direction towards femininity (the Carrie) with a kind of traditional, rich, aristocratic styling (the Big) and this plays throughout the apartment.

Those azure blue tiles, the walnut cabinetry and Louis Poulsen style lighting giving off modern Mad Men vibes

There is a flow of dark tones and then bursts of crisp white and azure blue as you wander through from kitchen with those glorious tiles, where we assume they just store takeaway menus and percolate coffee. Through the dining room, where the beautiful high-backed dining chairs, offset against the pristine smoked glass-top dining table and burnished disc lighting pendant, shelving storing artworks, books and vases highlighted by a glorious beam of warm white light.

Into the lounge/sitting room we see a smatter of Scandinavia in the form of the modern coffee table, deep set like a coffee tray and stacked with books and hardy flora. The seating here is key; Big reclines on the wood framed, deep, dark velvet sofa, while Carrie sits, on the edge of her seat, ready for the next occasion to whisk her away, in the single, high back armchairs in marl grey fabric.

Carrie on her pouffe (pedestal)

A specific aspect of the lounge set that I adore is the cornflour blue pouffe. This, to me, is the star of the show. I love the way it signifies a kind of child-like need in Carrie for fun and frivolity. I love the bold colour that juts against everything else in that room – even the gold leaf art on the wall.

The pouffe was bespoke designed for the set with the fabric specified from Anne Kyyro Quinn. The company makes acoustically sound fabrics for walls and upholstering and I was, let’s say, a little giddy, when I spotted in in my work as an Editor, at a design show next to some of the brand’s other work.

This pouffe, not even a secondary character, but a flash of cornflour blue on the palette of Carrie and Big’s lives, is the ultimate symbol that while you can mature into life together, the life of Carrie and Big will never be dull.

Design Facts and Credits:

Name: Sex and the City 2
Year: 2010
Creator(s): Michael Patrick King (written by), Candace Bushnell (characters from the book by) and Darren Star (television series creator)

Production Design:
Jeremy Conway

Art Direction:
Miguel López-Castillo
Marco Trentini

Set Decoration:
Lydia Marks
Lee Sandales


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