[WWW] had the distinct honor of interviewing Production Designer, James Pearse Connelly from the talent-filled musical competition, The Voice. His set design vision throughout the last 10 seasons not only has earned 5 nominations from the Primetime Emmy's and Art Director's Guild Awards, but has also inspired design enthusiast everywhere. The sleek red and black center stage, with dramatic spot lighting and silver-handed-microphone-clad peace symbols are the iconic aesthetic of the show. Yet it is backstage where the singers and families anxiously wait that adds another captivating element to [JPC's] design. The backstage set is revealed in exciting glimpses on the show, yet there is a true sense of creation with the combination of Mid-Century Modern and tribal Boheimian designs. Each sitting area has it's own personality and warm design elements to bring a feeling of home to the singers and viewers alike.
Keep reading to discover where an Emmy nominated Production Designer shops for his home and how to make your home exquisitely camera-ready. Also, after the interview be sure to view photos of James Pearse Connelly's backstage set designs and [WWW's] inspired +Shopping Guides for each space.
Thank you James Pearse Connelly for creating such beautiful work and we look forward to your future design visions for reality TV!!!
[ +INTERVIEW ]
What inspired you to create the Voice set? And, with each year how do you maintain the iconic style?
[JPC] The artist is about to audition in the biggest moment of their life, and I wanted to give them one of the most impressive worlds in which to do so. Stylings on trend and a real tour into the pop music industry and Hollywood were my inspirations. I mean HOW AWESOME right? Seriously, if you’re going to be a mega pop star, training under legendary music icons, do you think it would be anything less than out ripped from a chic magazine?
What is your absolute favorite designed area on the Voice, and why?
[JPC] Personally I love the two rehearsal band spaces before the explosive stage performances. In the battle rounds, there is a beautiful Los Angeles sunlight that pours into the space and highlights the walls finished in glossy wood paneling, corrugated metal, and white laminate. In the Live rounds, the drama builds with darker tones and incandescence. Edison bulbs on exposed beams, gold sheer drapes, and matte wood bring an inviting and whom like warmth before the artists steps out on stage. Both areas are decorated impeccably with furniture that would blow your mind, but the overall attitude of each space defines the progressive journey of the show and artist.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to design?
[JPC] Do it. Practice. Try to suspend your personal beliefs and taste and appreciate everyone involved with what exactly you’re designing, and how they’re interfacing with it. Trust me, it’ll add more seasoning to your completed work. Lastly, don’t design for just for design's sake, travel and learn about other things and bring it back to your designs.
What are your go to companies for home design, as a set designer?
[JPC] I love an irreverent conversation piece so anything outside the box from a local artisan or fine artist, flea market or even store you wouldn’t expect. Definitely check out a kitchen store if you’re doing a living room or closet. They will have random things that will complement your project. I happen to love West Elm right now and who doesn’t love Restoration Hardware? In LA, HD Buttercup and Blue Print NEVER fail and always have the perfect piece. But let me tell you, Astek Wallcovering in Van Nuys is THE BEST secret weapon to wallpapers. A must must must stop.
What advice would you give a fan of the Voice, in recreating their home to be more interesting and show stopping?
[JPC] For that acoustic music inspired space: Embrace wood paneling! Look back on decorative history and appreciate designers, Charles and Ray Eames. Use lamps and sing loudly with a bold chandelier, your eye (and camera) will go right to it.
What are trends or essential furniture items that you would recommend?
[JPC] A fiddle leaf fig tree will make any space look like it just had it’s Elle Decor photo shoot.
Inexpensive succulents pair perfectly with a small vignette of tabletop decor. Layer your rugs on top of each other for a cozy feeling. Don’t worry about matching pieces perfectly, focus on matching your color palette instead. Gray or Beige, mix both together and make it Gray-eige.
[ Within + Wandering + Walls ]
[ + JPC Inspired Shopping Guide]
[ +Shopping Guide II ]
[ +Shopping Guide III ]
[ +Shopping Guide IV]
[ +Shopping Guide BONUS***]
+ Connect with James Pearse Connelly
+ Thank you, James Pearse Connelly!