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