On the Set


i love lucy

Growing up, if the TV was on you’d find one of two things: 1) the Disney channel or 2) an old black and white tv show. Eight times out of ten, that black and white tv show would be I Love Lucy. When I was little, I told my mom I wanted to live in a brownstone in New York City, marry a band leader, travel across country with my best friends, and raise chickens. When I was a teenager, Ethel was my definition of a true best friend and when I went off to college, my I Love Lucy dvds made the dorm room instantly feel a little more like home. To this day, the sound of the opening credits seems to make everything better. As corny as all this may sound, I Love Lucy is one of those things that will always be a part of my life.

Over the past three years of being married, luckily some of my love for I Love Lucy has even rubbed off on Greg. He says he sympathizes for Ricky. I wonder what that’s saying about me…? As for Bentley, he’s not the type of dog that reacts to things on the TV – except for the “ding ding ding” on the Pep Boys Commercial. He barks every time. But he tends to settle in for a nap whenever he hears the I Love Lucy theme song. No exaggeration. I think it’s because when Bentley was a puppy and it was just him and me (before Greg and I got married), I’d turn on I Love Lucy when I went to bed. So I guess he just associates the sounds with going to sleep. However, I like to think he just enjoys the show. Ha!

Apparently we’re not the only ones who love Lucy because according to the Nielsen ratings, I Love Lucy has never ranked under Number 3 and has never gone off the air since 1951. With that being the case, I’m sure a lot of you, if not all of you, have been “guests” in the Ricardo’s apartment at some point or another.

So, you’re probably wondering what’s with all of this Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel talk. Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy and since this blog is all about the place we live and our lives in it, it seemed natural to dedicate a post to all things “Lucy living” in honor of their diamond anniversary. After all, we love Lucy.

i love lucy apartment

Over the course of the show, Ricky and Lucy lived in three spaces: 1) their first apartment, 2) their second apartment (in the same building but they switched to another apartment to make room for Little Ricky), and finally 3) their house in the country. There are only about four differences between the first and the second apartment but the easiest way to tell the difference between the two is their second apartment had a window over the piano in the living room. All in all, the Ricardo’s apartment (both of them) is the one fans know their way around the most and probably one of the most iconic TV residences of all time.

Lucy had her fair share of crazy experiences when it came to buying furniture. Like when Ricky told her she could spend $500 and she ended up spending $3,272.75 because she thought the stock numbers were the prices! Nevertheless, their apartment was always sporting the latest and greatest styles of the 50’s. Over the course of 6 seasons in their apartment, Lucy underwent at least five furniture changes. After the first “makeover”, all of the furniture had a distinct mid-century modern flair with ultra tailored lines – the “in” style for the 50’s. Just like fashion, furniture seems to go in full circle because I’m pretty sure I saw season three’s couch at Room & Board…

I love the apartment’s master bedroom. Actually, before we bought the bed for our guest room, we were on the lookout for two twin beds for a fun mid-century modern look. I also like the idea of having graphic floral wall paper on the focal wall.

Apparently, their furniture was so popular in the 50’s that a furniture company in Roanoke, Virginia came out with a “Live Like Lucy” bedroom suite. Can you imagine… two solid wood dressers and a bed for $198!

In the Ricardo’s second apartment, they had a small nursery right off the bedroom. Like the bedroom furniture, Little Ricky’s furniture was a big hit and ended up in furniture stores all across the country. Even the crib bedding! You can get a good look at the furniture and the bedding in this clip of Ricky telling Little Ricky his version of Little Red Riding Hood… “Caperucita Roja”:

The apartment was small (though I’m sure not as small as some actual New York City apartments), but it seemed to have everything needed to almost get by with her crazy stunts. Including an oven that magically held a giant loaf of bread:

I imagine with iconic black and white tv shows, everyone has their own idea of what color things are in “real life”. When it came to color on the set of I Love Lucy, the set designers were told to not use anything red that would compete with Lucy’s hair. Therefore, even on set, there wasn’t much color to be had. But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine.

If the Ricardo’s apartment were recreated today, this is what I imagine it being like…

i love lucy mood board

1. Penthouse View Wall Art from ZGallerie 2. Eugene Sofa from Room & Board 3. Morse Table Lamp 4. Upright Piano from Yamaha 5. Desk Phone from Target 6. Cole Chair + Ottoman from Room & Board

If you aren’t already a Lucy fan, you must watch an episode or two! You can catch 77 episodes here on CBS.com!

Living room photos found here and here. Room and Board photo found here. Bedroom photo found here. Bedroom set ad found here.

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  • Reply
    October 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for this post! This is the one show I will never, ever get sick of. A total classic, and my absolute fave. And I have been stalking that Cole chair forever now!!!

  • Reply
    amy good house
    October 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Lucy is still such an icon! I watched those repeats over and over again while I was growing up. Love the furniture.

    I also love that she always wore the same few dresses. That polka-dot number is a classic!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I LOVE it!!! I used to watch I Love Lucy every morning before school. I hated leaving the house when it was still dark (6am) and I Love Lucy kept my mind off going into the cold and going to school (ick!) Maybe that’s why I have a strong affinity to mid-century furnishings. . .

  • Reply
    October 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I love this! I’ve always been a huge Lucy fan. Because I watched the show over and over as a child, her apartment always reminds me of home. Thanks for this post.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I could live in Lucy’s house! The design is splendid even after all these years. I’ll have to start watching it as I’ve only seen a few episodes in my life, but they were hilarious.

  • Reply
    Liz Andrews
    November 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Yep – this just made my day! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Dana F.
    June 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I’m actually on the hunt for the artwork behind them in bed… The woman and man in ballet outfits… anyone know where I can find them? I so love it!

    Awesome site!

    • Reply
      Rosemarie D'Amario
      November 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      I don’t know where you could find those particular paintings or copies of them, but I can tell you who the artist is, happens to be my father-in-law, Frank D’Amario. Sometimes I come across his prints on ebay, many of ballerinas and dancers. Just put in D’Amario (Art) when you do an ebay search. However, oftentimes he signed his works “Gina”, so you might also try doing a search using Gina as the artist’s name. Besides ballet dancers he also did many Spanish dancers and was also known for 50s pinup art. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Amy H
    June 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Dana F, I’m looking for the exact same thing!! I’d love to know if you find these! I watch this show every morning, and have every episode on dvd. Lucy & Desi are classics, the clothes and furniture are amazing, and their style & class will never get old!

    • Reply
      Rosemarie D'Amario
      November 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      I don’t know where you could find those particular paintings or copies of them, but I can tell you who the artist is, happens to be my father-in-law, Frank D’Amario. Sometimes I come across his prints on ebay, many of ballerinas and dancers. Just put in D’Amario (Art) when you do an ebay search. However, oftentimes he signed his works “Gina”, so you might also try doing a search using Gina as the artist’s name. Besides ballet dancers he also did many Spanish dancers and was also known for 50s pinup art. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    sheila barrett
    September 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I have always been an “I Love Lucy” fan since I was very small.

    My favorite episodes are the ones afte they moved to the country.

    I have always wondered about the living room furniture. In the corner by the piano is dark slender pole type item.

    Do you have any idea of what this could be?


  • Reply
    Jay Cross
    September 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Does anyone know the names of the paintings that are behind the twin beds in the Ricardo’s bedroom? Is there some place that sells the prints that anyone knows of?

    • Reply
      September 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Last year, I looked for those everywhere… and had no luck. I’m guessing they were just something the set designer had made or for all we know, picked up from a tag sale, haha.

    • Reply
      Rosemarie D'Amario
      November 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      I don’t know the names of the paintings, but I can tell you who the artist was, my father-in-law Frank D’Amario. I often see his prints for sale on ebay, but never these two in particular. He did many ballet paintings as well as Spanish dancers, signed his works D’Amario or Gina. Just put in D’Amario or Gina (Art) if you do an ebay search and similiar works might come up. He also did pinup art, very popular in the 50s. Hope this helps a little.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Looking for the name of the painting in the living room in season 1.. There are also little pictures of framed horses too.. Any help?? Thank you:)

  • Reply
    Ed Bowmaker
    February 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I would love to find the three piece living room suite, the sofa had one arm and was curved in the front as were the two matching chairs, one armless. I do have the same coffee table with the drop leaves. It was made by Castro Convertible and raises up so you can use it as a dining table. It’s the exact same table and I love it. I’ve received many comments on it and would never part with it as it is the only one I’ve ever seen (except for the Ricardo’s of course!). I’m pretty sure some furniture company made these living room suites because they did the bedroom and nursery pieces too. What a find that would be!

    • Reply
      October 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I have been trying to identify the manufacturer of that coffee table (as well as the other furniture sets) from the show FOR YEARS, and have been pining over it for just as long!!!
      I still cannot find any other images of that same exact table. Do you know where/how to find other images of that table, and how to find the table??

      I am SO grateful to have randomly stumbled upon your information – THANK YOU!

      • Reply
        October 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        Glad you found us! Other than Google, I’m not really sure. Although, I hear they have a new exhibit at Universal in Orlando with pieces of the set. Maybe you can find out there? haha! It would be a great excuse for a vacation ; )

    • Reply
      Trish K
      March 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Hello Ed,
      Thank you so much for mentioning that convertible coffee table/dining table. Do you have any idea where I can get one? I have searched the Internet for 10 years looking. Do you have any idea of where to get one now?
      I even tried getting one made by a furniture maker but they said I would need pictures from below the coffee table showing how it converts at coffee table height and at dining room table height as well as any components that enable it to transform. Ed, is there any chance you could provide me with such pictures? I would be forever grateful!

      Hoping so much to hear from you or anyone else with this coffee table! Thank you again and again.

      • Reply
        September 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        I have this coffee table. It was bought in 1960 in Flint, Michigan. It is larger than the one on I Love Lucy but is absolutely the same. This conversation has been SO interesting, and I’m glad I stumbled on some great pix of the table from I Love Lucy.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Ed. I have the original lucy set coffee table. It was offered by Desilu auction when it closed down. My mother in law bought it. The finish was stripped and a dull stain was used to cut set lighting flare. The original had a leg break when Vivian Vance lifted it on two legs and wheeled it out of room for a show skit on its brass casters and it caught edge of doorway. It was retired then.

      • Reply
        May 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        That is so cool!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I totally relate! I too find so much comfort in this show, every morning I start the day at 5 am with a cup of coffee and the Halmark channel, watching the back to back episodes of I Love Lucy. I DVR them and at night I let them replay before I go to bed! I married a Hispanic man, and we always joke around saying we are the modern Ricky and Lucy! I loved reading this! Good to know there are others who watch and re watch the shows as much as I! My husband is beginning to think I’m nuts, pretty much anytime I have the TV on, I Love Lucy will be on 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Hi –

    It sounds like a lot of you are interested in re-creating the I Love Lucy set in your own homes. Is this why are you looking for exact replicas? I am television historian, and a lifelong Lucy fan myself, doing research about sitcom house re-creations. Are any of you are willing to share your stories or thoughts about your relationship to the I Love Lucy apartment?


  • Reply
    May 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

    We have the wingback chair that was used in Ricky and Lucy’s apartment. When we were married 1965, my mother-in-law purchased that chair from a gentleman who worked at the Desilu studios or whatever the studio name was at that time (really can’t remember that detail). The fellow lived on Roscoe Blvd. in Canoga Park, California. Evidently, the furniture was changed and he purchased it from the lot. He was a rather large man and wanted a chair large enough to accomodate him comfortably. He decided to sell the chair to my mother in law to give us as a wedding present. We have had that chair for close to 50 years. We had it reupholstered twice. We tried contacting their museum, however no one ever responded. Suprisingly, someone told us that a son or grandson of Lucy & Desi moved to Oregon and moved on a hill behind us. We have never had a chance to verify that, but would love to get in touch with them if that is true. Perhaps it would be of sentimental value to them.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Such a neat story!

  • Reply
    Trish K
    March 8, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Ed Bowmaker, you mentioned you have the same coffee table from the set. The one from the apartment has dropped believes and converts to a dining table height. I have been looking for this very table for over a decade. Could you or anyone else tell me where I could find a table like this or this exact one? I have searched everywhere and found some tables that convert but they are very modern looking and not attractive. I won’t one that is made of Allwood. Could anybody help me? Thank you so much
    Coffee tablelessCalifornia 🙂

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