Our clients send us all types of inspiration to help bring their visions to life. In the case of Steven Spielberg's very personal The Fabelmans, the director and his team sent us family photos to recreate the wallpaper and fabrics from his childhood. Using these photos for reference, our team remade a number of wallpaper, borders, and drapery from Spielberg's New Jersey and Phoenix homes.
Production designer Rick Carter was given access to Spielberg’s archive that contained photos to create near replicas of his childhood homes, so much so that Spielberg describes the production as a “time machine” for himself to look back on.
This coming-of-age storyline follows Sammy Fabelman’s life starting in New Jersey, then moving to Phoenix, and relocating to California. Each location had a home attached to it, with Carter and Spielberg coining them as “the backbone of a three-act structure that chronicles Sammy’s coming of age.”
The New Jersey home is set in the 1950s but primarily has a 1940s style. Colorful elements reflect a “wonderland” where a child could grow and create, evident from the clutter of children’s work around the house. On Air Design printed punchy vintages and vibrant florals that appeared throughout the bedrooms, dining room, and even on a pair of drapes. As the story progresses to Phoenix, when the family relocates across the country, the interior of this house reflects the literal desert setting with muted browns and monochromatic tans. On Air Design printed more minimal vintage florals for rooms in this home that tied in with the color scheme. Such elements are also meant to reflect Sammy’s inner turmoil as an aspiring filmmaker, as well as his family’s, as they navigate a new place. Carter recalls the importance of The Fabelmans set design to emphasize the “intimacy of moments that are authentic.”