That Awkward 9 month Update – Life of a TV Set Stylist

That Awkward 9 month Update – Life of a TV Set Stylist

CBC The Goods Hosts, set stylistSoooooo it’s been about 9 months since my last post. Oops! And no, I’m not creating a little human. I thought I needed a short update post on what’s been happening before jumping into what’s new and exciting.

Here’s the deal – I unexpectedly ended up getting a job working in TV. I know, don’t you hate when that happens? There’s obviously a little more to it but essentially I received a phone call right at the end of the most amazing summer off regarding a role as set stylist on a tv show. The timing couldn’t be more perfect and I’m always up for trying something new so I fooled everyone in the interview enough to give me the job and that was that. I’ve spent the last 9 months working as a set stylist on The Goods (CBC) and now sadly it’s wrapped up and whadya know….I’m at the beginning of Summer again. 

It’s kinda hard to recap everything I did on the job but I thought I would share a few highlights with you. The show is a daytime talk show with 7 segments an episode. There’s 4 hosts (above from left to right: Jessi Cruickshank ,Steven Sabitos, Shahir Massoud, Andrea Bain) who each have their area of expertise – style, home decor, food, & wellness respectively. It was my job to help make sure that all the little details for the segments looked the best they could on tv. Truthfully the day to day segments weren’t really where I got to flex my creative styling muscles. It was more about the bigger, special themed and seasonal shows that really got me excited. 

Goods, holiday set design, christmasThe set itself didn’t change much day to day but we liked to change things up for some of the holidays. The big one was Christmas which was definitely a highlight for me. My bosses kinda gave me free reign to design a colourful and vintage inspired look (shocking!) then the whole team helped to bring it to life and pull it together. The show goes on hold for a whole week while all the elves make the magic happen. Here’s some photos of the finished set. I don’t have much of the process because, well frankly, everyone was too busy working to document it. 

Goods, holiday set design, christmas Goods, holiday set design, christmasThe set was almost all DIY – which made for a unique look, but took a lot of time & effort. Yay team! My favourite elements were the laser cut hanging ornaments which I designed. They were laser cut by Hot Pop Factory and painted and glitterized by the team. 

Goods, holiday set design, christmasGoods, holiday set design, christmasThe only element I insisted on tackling all by my self was the tree. I was being greedy. I’ve always wanted to decorate a tree so big you need a ladder and this was my chance. 

Goods, holiday set design, christmas Goods, holiday set design, christmas

We really took the theme and made everything custom – including the trees in the background and the XXXL presents, including the huge gift tag. Everything was custom designed and pulled from all the same design elements. 

Goods, holiday set design, christmas Goods, holiday set design, christmas Goods, holiday set design, christmasOk, enough about Christmas…I’m writing this wearing shorts after all.  

We also got to have some fun with Halloween. Highlights for me were definitely making the zombie porcelain dolls. Is it wrong that I really enjoyed making these? The creepier the better, amiright?

halloween, halloween set design, halloween propshalloween, halloween set design, halloween props halloween, halloween set design, halloween props halloween, halloween set design, halloween propshalloween, halloween set design, halloween props halloween, halloween set design, halloween props  I also really loved making the huge skeleton floral centrepiece for the chat table. Pretty creepy…..get it?!

halloween, halloween set design, halloween propsOne of the more routine parts of my job that I absolutely loved was taking care of all the florals on set. This mostly included the weekly centrepiece during the chat sessions as well as any special occasions or segments. 

Monday mornings were always a bit of a mad dash but here’s a few snaps of some of my favourite creations. I’ve said before that in another life I would be blissfully happy as a florist……if only it didn’t mean giving up weekends, summers and 4am wake up calls. No thanks. Flowers are pretty but not THAT pretty.

set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower design set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower design set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower design set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower design set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower design set stylist, flower centerpiece, flower designA personal fav – one honking big flower ombre arrangement. Yes!

ombre flowers, flower centerpieceSometimes real just didn’t make sense and I had to work magic with faux florals.  My favourite were these decor elements I made for our wedding show. Did someone order some fake wedding cakes and an arch draped in faux florals? I got you. 

wedding decor, fake wedding cakes, wedding cakes, set design, set stylist wedding decor, fake wedding cakes, wedding cakes, set design, set stylist wedding decor, fake wedding cakes, wedding cakes, set design, set stylistThese guys were real…

wedding decor, fake wedding cakes, wedding cakes, set design, set stylistThe other part of my daily job was to help style the food shots. We shared a recipe pretty much every show and every recipe needs a sexy hero shot. I would work with the chef/food stylist and photographer to make sure that those food shots made your mouth water. She would primp the food and I would style the props. Here’s a few memorable ones. Needless to say, I failed big time in the diet department while working this gig. 

(Click photo for recipe)

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(all food photography by David Grimes for CBC)

Well that brings us to the end of the season. I swear I did more than arrange flowers and eat the props but it’s pretty obvious that that was a highlight for me. And that was just what happened in front of the camera. There’s a whole other (fun, stressful, tiring, exciting, sometimes dull) world that happens behind the cameras….but that’s another story. 

First season of TV in the bag, what’s next? Time will tell! 

…but first there’s some fun to be had, trips to be taken and creative projects to be made this summer. 

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One response to “That Awkward 9 month Update – Life of a TV Set Stylist”

  1. Wow, Melissa! Great pics and engaging update! I honestly can’t wait for the next one… Excited to hear about the trips and creations!