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Diane O’Connell
Diane O’Connell

HOLLYWOOD SET DECORATOR

Diane O'Connell is an emmy-nominated Set Designer. She has worked in television for over a decade, creating sets for such shows as Medium, Ally McBeal, Sisters, and the Nanny. Diane shared with us her story, including how she approaches designing a set. We also have exclusive images of recent episode of Medium, and Diane explained why she elected to incorporate Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances into the kitchen design.

"I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) with a degree in Interior Design. After graduation I went to work for an Art Director and assisted on commercials. The Art Director I was working with was hired on a show at NBC and I was hired as an Assistant Art Director. At NBC I did every show from the Rose Parade to game shows, Wheel of Fortune, to soap operas, Days of our Lives and Santa Barbara."

"NBC is where, with good teachers (generous fellow Art Directors), I learned my craft. I could decorate but I had to learn how the camera sees things; deal with the special lighting, with reflections; decorate according to the character driven story; and to work within budgets. NBC gave me that experience."

"I feel that on these productions I did my best work, Sisters, Ally McBeal, and The Brotherhood of Poland New Hampshire. These shows offered the widest range of sets for me. Most sets were either built on stage or on a movie backlot. So I had to create from scratch."

"In one day I would create a beauty shop and an exterminators office (complete with bugs). The Brotherhood of Poland New Hampshire allowed me to create that warm lived-in combination of old and new, East Coast look."

"I did everything from a community theatre, to a diner, to a gift shop. I loved those sets. I was crushed when the show was cancelled."

"When designing a kitchen set, I have to take in to consideration the year the scene takes place, the financial background of the character, and the age of the character. The Production Designer (Kathleen Widomski) designed a very modern kitchen. I choose the Sub-Zero/Wolf because I wanted the kitchen to have the most up-to-date, high-end look."

"My dream kitchen would be contemporary, a large center island with a Meile dishwasher. I would have both a Wolf Range and separate ovens, a Sub-Zero Wine cooler and the Pro 48 Refrigerator."


The following images are from the show Medium, from the episode Do You Hear What I Hear, which aired on February 18, 2008, on NBC. The set features a Sub-Zero PRO 48 Refrigerator/Freezer with Glass Door, a Sub-Zero 424 Wine Refrigerator, a Wolf 48" Dual Fuel Range and Wolf Ventilation.



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