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Why Frasier’s Apartment Is One of the All-Time Greatest Sitcom Sets

It’s Frasier Week at IndieWire. Grab some tossed salad and scrambled eggs, settle into your coziest easy chair, and join us. We’re listening.

As part of ongoing Frasier Week festivities, we reached out to several acclaimed production designers to break down the iconic Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) apartment. We asked them what made “Frasier” such a great example of sitcom production design, and they dug deep into how the flow, colors, style, and composition all contribute to the comedy and the characters on the show. Great production design often goes unnoticed, especially on shows with a contemporary setting, but sends tons of signals to the viewer about the characters: their taste, their pretensions, their personality.

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“Through the right use of lighting (or lack of), the decoration, the age, the cleanliness, a general feeling can be conveyed and then the amount of detail and texture only add to the believability or success of a set,” Shayne Fox, the production designer behind a house with some entirely different vibes on “What We Do In The Shadows, told IndieWire.

Sara K White, the production designer behind “Swarm,” reflected, “I think a lot about how each item would have been brought into the space, working with my set decorator to create intention with every item. Was it found or purchased? Is it a hand-me-down or was it a splurge? A memento from the history of their life? Part of an aspirational future? It’s those considerations that make a space feel authentic, and it’s why [the] ‘Frasier’ design was so effective for me. As stunning as those spaces were, as outside my frame of reference as they could be, they felt like honest representations of the characters.”

And Glenda Rovello, who not only crafted the set for “How I Met Your Father” but also the newest version of “Frasier,” told IndieWire, “For the Frasier Crane character the set should tell us how his tastes have evolved and reflect this moment in his life. He is an educated man who has extensively traveled, very successful — gravitas!”

Here are the characteristics that make Roy Christopher’s “Frasier” apartment as exquisite an example of production design as Frasier Crane’s taste in wine.

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