On The Set: Pushing Daisies

On The Set: Pushing Daisies

Grace Shu
Nov 17, 2008

Ever since we saw Wonderfalls a few years back (along with the first season of Heroes), we've been big fans of Pushing Daisies' creator Bryan Fuller's quirky, fictional worlds. If you've never seen this bizarre fairy tale show, we say it's worth a shot: the plotlines are creative (this past episode featuring dim sum gambling was truly genius in our book) and the sets are visually stunning in that oddball, Amèlie kind of way. We've assembled some of our favorite shots from Season 1 after the jump...

A quick recap about the show: Pushing Daisies is about a pie-maker, Ned (Lee Pace) who has the ability to bring the dead back to life conditionally. He pairs up with a private investigator, Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) as a means to solve murders (and collect reward money) while still maintaining his pie shop, The Pie Hole, and keeping his lovelorn waitress Olive Snook (Kristin Chenowith) at bay. During the course of the pilot episode, Ned is reunited with his childhood sweetheart Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel) in a very Dickensonian turn of events.

In an interview with TV Guide, production designer Michael Wylie describes the Pushing Daises set as a "storybook come to life. I wanted everything to look almost like an illustrated." One way to achieve that? He concentrated on "conflicting patterns, in different colors, particularly reds and oranges...virtually no blues."

Ned's Childhood Home in Coeur d'Coeurs

We're particularly fond of this color combination of cherry red, cream, and a soft pale green.

This show uses a lot of overheard shots which contributes to the visual impact of the patterns used throughout all of the sets. The simple green-and-cream checked kitchen floor is matched with a dainty rosebud wallpaper and bright red countertops.

Love the use of the nostalgic red-checked picnic tablecloth.

This is one of the first times we see the wallpaper matching the carpet which matches the bedding. The details in Ned's childhood bedroom is amazing: in addition to the cowboy themed walls and floors, the same pattern is also used for the lampshade and matches the boy's dress-up costumes hanging on the wall.

Ned's Apartment

Ned's apartment reflects his shy demeanor and cautious personality with a more muted, masculine palette of warm browns, beiges, reds, and rich greens. We love the whimsical and subtle paisley wallpaper used in the living room.

The living room with a peek of the kitchen.

Living room. The dark chocolate velvet sofa matched with an Oriental rug and a black and white checked throw blanket.

All the furniture pieces in Ned's apartment seem to have the same walnut finish with nods to Danish mid-century modern furniture.

Ned and Chuck's bedroom. The striped wallpaper along with separated yet matching twin beds just punctuates the whole restrictive nature of their physical relationship.

Chuck's Childhood Home

Chuck is described as being vivacious and spunky, despite being lovingly raised by two agoraphobic aunts. Her childhood home is painted in retina-searing bright colors (the very cool fence/gate was installed by her aunts after they moved in).

Living room. The aunts, Lily and Vivian, are eccentric and their living room is filled to the brim with all sorts of interesting relics from their glory days as world renown synchronized swimmers. Their home feels a bit like an antique shop with an overabundance of beautiful things and a touch of Asian-inspired pieces. Oh, and a lot of birds.

We included this shot because well, there's a lot going on. Two wallpaper patterns, a stairway banister painted in two different shades, and a collection of photographs hung in various frame styles. And yet, somehow it seems to work...? Goes to show that in some situations, traditional decorating rules can fly out the window.
Another exterior shot of Chuck's house.

Olive Snook's Apartment

Probably our favorite character on the show (although Emerson Cod does come very, very close), Olive Snook is the waitress at The Pie Hole. Olive is perky and hopeful, despite her advances being constantly thwarted by Ned. She's also a great singer, thanks to Kristin Chenowith. Anyway, her apartment is a bit of an exaggeration: Not only is it exploding with feminine floral and toile patterns, but Olive tends to match her place with her clothes. For example: her yellow silk robe is actually the same pattern as the wallpaper in her living room.

Another shot of the living room.

Olive's bedroom. This is pretty much mirrors Ned's childhood bedroom, except instead of cowboys, it's dainty toile.

When we watched this episode, this is the scene right after the above photo. It's a bit of a visual joke: Just when you think, "Wow, that's a lot of the same toile," Olive sits up and we see the headboard and the drapes.

[ Set Decoration by Halina Siwolop, Production Design by Michael Wylie, Art Direction by Kenneth J. Creber ]

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