Faux Flooring & Wallpaper for White House Plumbers

Faux Flooring for White House PlumbersA satirical take on the Watergate scandal makes White House Plumbers a unique portrayal of an otherwise high-profile political event during Richard Nixon’s presidential term. Director and executive producer David Mandel aimed to capture “both how dangerous [the masterminds E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy] were, but at the same time, what a clown show it was.” [1] He describes this as a “balancing act” achieved through character development and production elements. On Air Design’s special capabilities successfully set the visual tone for this political drama-comedy.

Being set in the 1970s, the production design team aimed to create a sense of historical realism. Production designer Anastasia White noted she tried to avoid using stylistic elements typically used to depict this time in the modern day, which would create a “caricature” of the time. [1] Recreating a number of official Washington DC buildings, On Air created several flooring designs to bring the look of grandeur while keeping a retro feeling in the office spaces. White scouted the actual spaces in DC but had to create them in their upstate New York filming locations due to a lack of available alternatives. Most notable is our recreated black and white marble tile seen in the series’ Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) hallway, which characters frequently do “walk-and-talks” through. This social commentary shows the contrast of seemingly incapable criminals committing fraud in such a sophisticated building. In addition to expertly rendering the marble flooring, our team added intentional marks to mimic the look of wear and age on the tiles. Our printed tiles continue to appear throughout the production, from the set’s offices to bathrooms, emphasizing the time's signature geometric and terrazzo trends. Several vintage wallpapers in the production also printed by us, give the settings a deeper, more authentic look, featuring pastel andmuted designs popular at the time. 

Faux Flooring for White House Plumbers

1. "‘White House Plumbers’ Finds the Comedy Inside a ‘70s Paranoid Thriller." Indiewire.com.

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