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My Process For Decorating A Talk Show

I know I have been radio silent for the past week, but I needed a break from email and a computer screen. I did do 1 Periscope broadcast on Saturday and had a great time doing it. I am trying to incorporate these broadcasts more regularly.

In other words… make sure you download the app and follow me!

If you follow me on social media then you probably saw that I was working on a pet themed talk show. I am a Set Decorator and an Art Dept. Coordinator in the TV biz by trade. But I found blogging and DIY in 2012 and fell head over heels. I like to take projects here in there, but blogging is where my heart is.

I wanted to share with you my process of decorating on this talk show I just finished a week ago. There is always drama and stress during prep, shoot, & strike and it’s fun to look back and wonder how I got through the crazy sometimes.

My Process For Decorating A Talk Show

So many moving parts… I thought I would share some of it with you!

  • Making sure to get everything I need to make purchases for set dressing pieces, and accounts need to be set up at prop rental houses. (This has to be done for each show I start) Sometimes I work with accounting departments that can cut checks same day, but then there are others that are more corporate with production elements. A 1 day turn around or longer is required. I also had production people to meet and paperwork to fill out.
  • 1st meeting with the Production Designer to talk over the concept of the show and his vision of what the set decoration should be.My Process For Decorating A Talk ShowMy Process For Decorating A Talk Show
  • Making list of requested elements from producers for the show.
  • Make list of vendors to drive to.
  • Drive to vendors and take photos of elements that may work for the show. I use my iPhone 6 for this.
  • Get samples for wallpaper, carpet, & linoleum with pricing.
  • Put items on hold at prop houses and, firming up orders with the sales peeps.
  • 2nd meeting with Production Designer to show what I found and get approvals on key pieces. Now taking on managing budget to send to designer and Executives to let them know where we are in our budget.
  • Follow up with accounting department on account set up status. They wanted to do mostly purchases so I didn’t have to tag many items.
  • Purchase wallpaper. That was a nightmare…there wasn’t enough for the set. eekkkkkkk!! I wanted to die when they told me they had no more.
  • Put flooring on hold and get additional samples. Confirming that they had enough square yards in stock.
  • Purchase stainless steel kitchen counter cabinets for set and a kitchen island from ikea and coordinate with the scene shop to have them pick up pieces to build while they are building the set.
  • Confirm additional flooring once approved by designer.
  • Tracking ALL my miles during this process as well as all the vendors I visit with times and dates. (I always keep through records) I also use this awesome app MileIQ to track my miles. It generates an awesome report for the selected drives it tracks for me so that I get reimbursed.
  • Purchase key elements for the living room set up at Living Spaces and HD Buttercup and arrange for pick up with our trucking service.
  • Christmas…. answering emails.
  • Oh…so the Producers want a different sofa. They want it to be be curved.
  • Drive around to every sofa company in the LA to Torrance area taking photos of sofas to find the perfect one. I ended up finding the winner at Ashley Furniture.
  • New Years…answering emails.
  • Arrange for all items to be picked up with our trucking service. Sending over paperwork so that they know where and what they will be picking up.
  • Monday… day before load in. 3rd meeting with Production Designer to go over where we are and how much more we need to get for this set. Then shopping.
  • Shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping. I went to every HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall’s, Centinela Feed, Petco, Pet Smart, Home Depot, Lowes, Michaels, Ikea, and Thrift store in the Los Angeles County Area. Did I mention I did most of this in the rain? But I did manage to capture a glimpse of a beautiful rainbow that I spotted. My Process For Decorating A Talk Show
  • Filling my hatchback car to the max and dropping off at the stage location. I fit a huge cat tree in my car and I am super impressed by how much I can pack in it. I shopped for a lot of cat and dog related items. I bought canisters, leash hooks, photo frames, pet beds, cans for dog food, etc etc etc.
  • Paperwork…reconciling the purchases I had made and submitting to accounting.
  • Shopping….shopping…shopping. Make sure large set purchases and other rentals are getting picked up at the correct time. Triple checking with vendors to make sure all accounts are up an in good standing.
  • 2nd unload car at stage….more shopping. 3rd trip to unload car.
  • Tuesday… begin load in. Begin building set. Lay our purchases on tables to see how much dressing I have for the bookcases so that the designer can see where we are with his overall design concept. You never know how much set dressing you have to purchase for the amount of space the designer and I calculated. It came out to be about 40 ft of dressing. So…I go to do more shopping. My Process For Decorating A Talk Show My Process For Decorating A Talk Show
  • Wednesday… Set is built. We begin placing furniture and building additional ikea pieces. I begin dressing the book shelves. By bringing in a few pieces at a time I was able to achieve a natural and cohesive look for these awesome built in shelves. Our lighting team is working around us trying to light up the book shelves and the chandelier at the point. My Process For Decorating A Talk Show
  • Work on paperwork and updating budget to send out.
  • Thursday… Camera blocking and rehearsing. This is where shots get framed up on camera and we can see what may need to be shifted around to look better on close and wide shots. One more shopping trip for another rug. 12 hr day.My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-02 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-05  My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-01 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-11 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-10 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-06 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-08 My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-03
  • Friday… First day of shooting. 12 hr day. SO many animals! Very cool!My Process For Decorating A Talk Show-07
  • Saturday… Second day of shooting. 15 hr day.
  • Sunday…. Strike. 10 hr day. Everything comes down, gets wrapped and either returned to vendor or put into storage.
  • Monday…. Wrapping up paperwork with accounting and making sure a final budget is sent.

I am really happy I did decorate this show. It was really fun when it call came together but I am also happy that it was a short run. I may be doing it again in June but we shall see. I wanted to share with you a little more about what I do in my other job. If you ever have any questions, never hesitate to email me. Also, to follow me on future shows behind the scenes you should really be following my instagram.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below.


  • Patty says:

    Hi Meredith! You have a job many of us dream of. All that shopping and decorating! But I definitely see the hard work it is also. The set looks beautiful! I may take you up on one of your consults, I have to think about it. I work full time and would love to blog full time but the whole getting traffic and monetizing seems to be a slow process, yet I seem to spend any free time doing what I can for my blog, so much to learn!
    I’m glad your at the point where you love what you do.

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Patty! Thank you so much for checking out my post and for commenting too! Yes the tv business is a whirlwind and I have a love hate relationship with it. LOL. Thank you for your sweet comment. I understand how you feel about wanting to blog full time. I remember when I was sitting on my sofa thinking…how can I make this whole blogging thing happen? I had no clue what I was doing. But after studying the subject A LOTTTTTTTTTTTTT… I finally tweaked some of my methods and started to see a spike in traffic. I was getting about 45k page views per month back in Dec. 2014. As of 1/22/16 I am getting over 400k page views per month. I am sure we can implement similar tweaks and implements some new methods in your blog to help you increase your traffic, email list, and income. I would love to work with you. I have recently worked with Flavia over at Neathousesweethome.com. She was getting only a couple hundred views a day about a month or so ago. She is now (as of 1/22/16) getting 1800 views a day by changing some of her approaches to her blogging and marketing. She is actually going to reach her page view goal of 45k when she started with 11k per month. Please let me know if you have any questions about the consult. Hope to hear from you soon. 🙂 Best, Meredith