Halston Townhouse Design Ideas. Halston was famed for his minimalist yet classic designs, which were worn by celebrities such as Bianca Jagger and Elizabeth Taylor, and, as one might expect, his New York City townhouse echoed this ageless aesthetic in its own right, thanks to its architectural makeup and interior decor. Naturally, in Netflix’s new miniseries Halston, a reproduction of the designer’s home takes centre stage. We chatted with Mark Ricker, the show’s production designer, to find out how this famous home was brought back to life for its appearance on television.
Before we go into the details of how the replica townhouse came to be, let’s have a look at the history of the pad it was based on. The real-life Halston House, as it’s known, is a protected historical landmark on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and it was most recently sold in 2019 for $18 million to another great fashion designer: Tom Ford (who also owns the Billy Haines-designed Betsy Bloomingdale estate in Los Angeles).
Paul Rudolph, a modernist architect who designed just two other buildings in Manhattan, refurbished the property in 1966. The owners at the time, real estate lawyer Alexander Hirsch and his partner, Lewis Turner, commissioned him to remodel this home, which was originally a carriage house built in the 1800s. Halston bought the house a few years later, in 1974, and lived there until 1989. Countless star-studded parties were hosted here during this time, with visitors including Liza Minelli (who appears in Halston), Andy Warhol, and Bianca Jagger, among others.
Ricker and his crew worked on location at a private residence in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to recreate the townhouse for Halston. Ricker tells House Beautiful, “When I started the assignment, I believed we’d either shoot at the actual townhouse location or build it as a stage set.” Ricker “figured our odds were strong” because the Halston House “had been rented out to parties, or productions, in the past.” However, because the property is a private residence, it “was not a possibility for shooting.”
Halston’s Legendary House
Furthermore, because Halston’s budget didn’t allow for a fully built set and because there was no stage space available in Manhattan that could accommodate the height of this particular set, according to Ricker—the production team scouted nearby locations such as lofts, empty storefronts, and houses in the hopes of transforming one of them into something Halston himself would approve of. They finally found each other in a Brooklyn home on a corner lot.
So, how does the replica townhouse stack up against the real thing? Ricker reveals that the constructed set was larger than the genuine house, which is a common practice in the entertainment industry to provide extra space for the cast and crew during production. Flats were made to hide current design aspects such as a contemporary kitchen, which was present in the Brooklyn home they were filming in. Another interesting improvised element is what looks to be a shelf beneath a milk glass sliding window, but is actually part of the kitchen’s marble island. Talk about cutting-edge design!
Set decorator Cherish M. Hale and her helper, Carol Nast, “sourced or produced all the furniture and details in the house,” says Ricker of the identical home’s interior. All of the materials were purchased from Corona Upholstery in Queens, while the dining room table was purchased from 1stDibs. You may have also spotted graphic artist Eddie Lofredda’s recreations of Andy Warhol’s images of Halston and Jackie Kennedy. What about the living room’s stone coffee table? It’s a six-foot-wide square of Carrara marble atop an antique base.