‘Sherlock’ has been a tearaway success for the BBC this season. Sassy, post-modern and fiendishly complex, it has everything a modern TV drama needs. The strength of the script and performances is underpinned by meticulous prop choices and placement. Have you noticed it? Think of the room that Holmes and John sit in and receive their visitors. What era is the furniture? What message is it sending the audience?
If you recall, the room is a mixture of old and new items, which precisely reflects the series itself. The new series draws extensively on the original old stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1880s. The room has quite a dark period feel, but a majority of the period of the props date from the 1950s onwards. The dark ‘period’ feel is largely provided by the wallpaper, although it is a modern Zoffany design. There is a nod towards classical Pugin in the fleur-de-lis in dark brown, with a green background.
The heavy armchairs that Holmes and Watson sit in are iconic 1959 Le Corbusier chairs, reproduced in pale green leather. We have similar chairs in our collection (see item 0085078). The lamp behind Holmes’ chair is from IKEA.
Accessories in Sherlock’s sitting room include a small bust of Goethe and a human skull. His mini-globe, pictures and cushions range from the period to the modern day. The mixture of styles and periods is one of the fascinating things about the Sherlock series, and on close inspection it is possible to see a expert use of sets and props. Study the detail here to see how the props department achieved the look.
Whilst Sherlock relies on Molly who works in a professional laboratory at the hospital, he also does his own experiments at home. Did you notice the Bunsen burner and test tubes he uses in the kitchenette? Holmes uses a microscope in his room too. You can hire a period version from us. We have a wide range of Laboratory Dressing items which can be hired for the Holmes look, or for a wider police forensics and crime scene context.
Exterior 221B Baker Street
‘Sherlock’ brings the books right up to date with the Baker Street sign, which is a reproduction of an actual street name sign. The door furniture for the front door is classical however, and it is simple to hire props like these for your set. We stock a number of period front doors which would be suitable for a 221B.
Mrs Hudson’s Kitchen
The morning after John Watson’s stag night he wakes with a splitting headache and is treated to a Full English Breakfast, cooked by Mrs Hudson. Although he simply cannot face it, we are afforded a peek inside Mrs Hudson’s world, as she bustles along in the background. The tiny details like the cruet set fix her world in time. They are 70s style, and this period has very strong and clearly defined design elements, which are easy to use. Check out our period kitchen dressing items for an idea about the sort of items you will need to create a Seventies kitchen.