The Buckner Mansion - New Orleans, LA

The Buckner Mansion is a gorgeous 19th century Antebellum mansion of cotton magnate Henry S. Buckner. Among the luxurious details are its 48 fluted cypress columns and a rare honeysuckle-design cast-iron fence. In the summer of 2013, American Horror Story: Coven began production on the site, and carefully re-imagined the interiors to evoke a foreboding, and spooky feel on a local sound-stage. Photos via DOMAINE

To make the set feel as real as possible, set decorator Ellen Brill stayed true to New Orleans style decor, choosing pieces with a French influence and feminine shape, but still had spooky potential, "Everything has a spindly, kind of scary framework to it. Anytime it could look spidery we wanted it, because with lighting we knew we could get great reflections on the walls from pieces like that." 

By using light walls, flooring, and trim, this enabled production to get the contrast they needed to play against the dark woods in the staircase and antique furniture pieces throughout the rooms. Our favorite look.

With the grand architecture and extremely high ceilings, Brill wanted to keep the rest of the look minimal, finding a balance between lived-in and uninhabited. To make the set feel as real as possible, Brill stayed true to New Orleans style decor, choosing pieces with a French influence and feminine shape, but still had spooky potential, "Everything has a spindly, kind of scary framework to it. Anytime it could look spidery we wanted it, because with lighting we knew we could get great reflections on the walls from pieces like that."

Director Ryan Murphy wanted a "glacial, icy, cool palette," Brill says of the white-heavy set. "Every time I went shopping I was looking for something that was a cool white or if the furniture was too wood-tone we would paint it. Then it was figuring out where to leave the wood dark so it would pop against the white." With the nearly colorless palette, Brill wanted to create a notable backdrop that wouldn't steal attention from the actors, but also to encourage a mysterious, almost ominous vibe. 

New Orleans is famous for its voodoo and history of magical things, so I wanted it to feel like it was real and would fit in." From custom paintings modeled after former witches to furniture with haunting silhouettes, Brill created the ultimate backdrop for a show you're scared to take your eyes off of.

Taken from "Home Tour: American Horror Story's New Orleans Witches' Mansion" - by Esteban Gonzalez on DOMAINE

Posted on March 27, 2017 .