‘Only Murders in the Building’ Sets the Scene for a Stylish Whodunit

A Paul Smith striped fabric that appears on the living room sofa sets the tone for the entire color palette. Pieces from Ralph Lauren and Milo Baughman were added along with chairs from the Michael Taylor for Baker collection. “Michael Taylor was one of Steve’s favorite designers,” Beech says. “Steve has fantastic taste, so I was happy to work his ideas in.” Album covers designed by Josef Albers displayed in the kitchen reflect Charles’s love of music, while an Ed Ruscha work on paper is one of his most expensive items and shows a sense of refinement. “We made up a whole backstory when he was working in L.A. during the ’80s, met the artist at a Hollywood party, and bought his painting for a couple of thousand dollars that appreciated in value.”

With theatricality in mind, the designers added a raised stage to Oliver’s (Martin Short) apartment that is perfect for late-night sessions around the piano. An opulent Louis IV corona-covered dog bed is seen in the background.

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

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Oliver’s (Martin Short) apartment displays a career of triumph and failure as a theater director. “He was not good with money, so it looks a little overdone and opulent for his resources, which is what got him in trouble both professionally and personally,” Beech says. Theatrical details include a raised stage, as the designer imagined late nights at the piano where someone would inevitably perform impromptu. The dining room reflects the interesting backstory the team made up for Oliver: His father was an opera impresario at La Scala opera house, and so Oliver enlisted scenic painters from the Metropolitan Opera to create a mural over his 10,000-pound marble fireplace. “The whole dining room became a theater where Oliver would try and sell his ideas; it was him on the stage doing his act literally. The designs were really a deep dive into his character,” Beech says.

The designers used theatricality as a litmus test for Oliver’s decor. “We imagined wine-soaked dinners at La Scala, followed by late-night sessions around the piano that invariably involved impromptu performances on Oliver’s stage,” Beech notes.

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Perhaps one of the more playful sets is unfortunately not seen on camera. “Rich did a Louis XIV dog bed, and there is a dog closet that you don’t see. Inside there are costumes, leashes, and collars for the dog, and it pays homage to Steve with an arrow through the head (headgear) from his ’70s act. There is also a hat from their film The Three Amigos!” Beech says.