The “Sex and the City” Movie: Real Estate Heaven

sex-and-the-city-official-wedding-photo

The second Sex and the City movie is being filmed in NYC right now, so I thought it would be fun to revisit the first one. The movie brought Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte back together four years after the HBO television series went off the air. Whether you loved the movie or found it lacking (reviews were mixed), I think we all agreed that the clothes and the sets made for some pretty fabulous eye candy.

When we meet up with them again, Carrie is planning her wedding to Mr. Big; Miranda finds out husband Steve is cheating; Samantha lives in LA with her boyfriend Smith; and Charlotte is happily married to Harry.

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The interior sets were mostly filmed in Queens at the Silvercup Studios, where the HBO series was. Before we get to Carrie Bradshaw’s  apartment, let’s take a look at where the other girls–and Mr. Big–live.

Miranda’s House in Brooklyn

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) lives here with her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) and son Brady. We don’t see much of her place, but I love this corner of their kitchen.

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Samantha’s Malibu Beach House:

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Samantha’s boyfriend, Jerry “Smith” Jerrod, coming in the front door:

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Samantha (Kim Cattrall) works on a special sushi dinner for Valentine’s Day. Things don’t go quite as she planned, however (I’ll spare you photos of that)…

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Remember the flower ring that Smith buys for Samantha? It was worth about $50,000.

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Charlotte’s Place:

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The night before the wedding, the girls gather at Charlotte’s house:

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Carrie emerges from the bedroom in her wedding gown:

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After the wedding doesn’t happen, Carrie returns to Charlotte’s house. She has given up her apartment and has nowhere else to go.

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Lily’s sweet pink room:

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Mr. Big’s Apartment:

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Producer Michael Patrick King says, “Big’s apartment had to be chic enough that you’d want to be there, but small enough that they couldn’t live there together.” He adds that they referred to it as “Big’s sublet apartment” because it was a temporary space. “His heart wasn’t there.”

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In the series’ finale, we learned that Mr. Big’s real name is John James Preston.

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"Sex and the City" movie sets

Big and Carrie’s New Penthouse Apartment (“Real Estate Heaven”)

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When they step into the lobby of the apartment building, Carrie is holding an Eiffel-Tower purse (according to the special features commentary on the DVD, this is a reference to Paris, where we last saw her and Big on the TV show).

new-apartment

When Carrie walks into the penthouse apartment, she says, “I think I died and went to real estate heaven!”

Producer Michael Patrick King says that Carrie knows the apartment isn’t her style, but she gets addicted to the idea of who they can be together as a couple living there.

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The master closet is so tiny that Big builds her a new one. “The closet is the ultimate expression of love Big has for Carrie,” Michael Patrick King says. “He understands her well enough to know how important it is to her. It’s his way of saying I love you.”

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A pair of electric-blue Manolos are the first things to go in it:

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It seems fitting that Big and Carrie reunite in this closet at the end of the film and this is where he asks her (again) to marry him:

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Carrie’s Apartment:

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Her official address: 245 E. 73rd Street. The exterior shots were actually filmed in the Village, however, on Perry Street.

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They had to rebuild all of the sets from scratch because they’d been destroyed when the TV series ended.

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The girls come to help Carrie pack up her apartment, bearing champagne.

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Carrie’s closet as it looked in the TV series (via HBO.com):

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The closet as it appeared in the movie, with her Vivienne Westwood wedding gown hanging in it:

carries-closet-wedding-gown

Carrie’s bathroom (via HBO.com):

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The kitchen that we rarely saw:

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Carrie leaves her long-time apartment:

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When she moves back into her apartment, Carrie gives it a makeover. King says, “She decides to try to make her life better by changing her environment.”

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A photo of her new bedroom that appeared in Traditional Home magazine:

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From the movie:

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The movie-makeover of Carrie’s apartment was hotly debated in the blogosphere when the movie came out. Some design bloggers felt like it no longer reflected her personality. It looked too slick and “decorated” for her character. What do you think? Did you like the “after”?

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The wall color is similar to Benjamin Moore’s Electric Blue (but was custom mixed for the set). In this shot you can see how she uses the wall unit for storage:

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The LOVE wall hanging (by Paul Smith) next to the front door was interesting, especially in light of the fact that she was just dumped at the altar. Seems like she’d be more likely to hang a picture of a heart with an “x” through it or something. Ha.

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Here’s a closeup:

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P.S. Now check out:

Sex and the City 2 movie poster

1. John and Carrie’s Apartment in Sex and the City 2

Sarah Jessica Parker Vogue Diaries Brownstone Tour (2)

2. SJP’s West Village Brownstone

Malibu Beach house-3

3. The Malibu Beach House Samantha lived in, which is on the market.

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Comments

  1. says

    I loved the movie. I’ve always thought Charlotte’s character was underrated on the show and I REALLY thought she was underrated in the movie. I think that may be because I relate more closely to her than any other character. My favorite line in the movie is when they are desk shopping and Charlotte says something about feeling bad about having such a perfect life. Carrie replies “Honey, you sh** your pants this year, that’s enough. ”

    Oh, were we talking about their apartments? Right.

    I didn’t like Carrie’s “after” apartment. It just seemed to sterile for her varied tastes. The white wall of cabinets? Hated it. Loved the vanity, though. :)
    .-= Songbirdtiff´s last blog ..Product Review- Swiffer Wet Jet =-.

  2. says

    Cynthia lives around the corner from me and we see her all the time — also her adorable daughter and the baby sitter on the way to school. So for us, it’s almost a blur between the movie and RL.
    .-= Jane F´s last blog ..Bathroom Rug Mosaic =-.

  3. says

    I recently watched the movie with my daughter and her friend. I had never seen the show but I did enjoy the over the top clothing and sets. Not having been a viewer I have no attachment to Carrie’s old apt. I liked the new one although I could never live there. (probably out of my price range anyway, tee hee)
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Look Closely =-.

  4. Nita Hiltner says

    I never watched the TV show. It was too racy for me. I don’t like to see any nudity on the screen. So, I didn’t get to see her apartment or the others, and I didn’t see the movie because I knew there would be the uncomfortable sex scenes in there too.

    However, I will say that Carrie working for a newspaper or a magazine, there is no way in heck that she could afford any of her clothes or the redo of her apt. It reflected her more when it was as it was in the show, I guess, but the new one is much too unaffordable for what she makes and it is too slick, too. By the way, why didn’t she marry?

  5. says

    Great post! I can’t wait for the next movie to come out, these girls are some of my favorite characters ever.
    ~Michelle
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Big Days =-.

  6. E. George says

    Esther from Sydney …. I loved Bigs’ apartment those black and white pictures in his bedroom WOW and I loved Carries’ old apartment more cozy I think. Now Mexico – I found quite beautiful – the garden style I could live with it quite easily…..

  7. says

    I just watched it again on HBO this afternoon so your post is timely. I too felt that Carrie’s remodel wasn’t as fun as the original look, but gorgeous nonetheless.
    .-= Morning T´s last blog ..A Sunday visit =-.

  8. says

    I wasn’t really a fan of the HBO series (ssshh, don’t tell anyone!), but I really liked the movie. In fact, I watched a good bit of it today. I loved Carrie’s new apartment… maybe it was too “slick” for some because it looked like it was designed purposefully and all at once… which is exactly what Carrie did. And you know, as many times as I’ve watched the movie, my breath still catches and I choke up a little when Carrie gets out of her limo and confronts Big for bailing on their wedding. So perfectly painful.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..And we lived happily ever after… =-.

  9. Nathan says

    I absolutely LOVED the movie! I watched it in the theater and then 3 times in a row when it came out on DVD. Like, literally watched it, and immediately started it again and then once more. I cannot wait for the second movie. But as for the homes of the characters, I really loved Carrie’s apartment – both before and after but agree that it’s not really “Carrie” after the makeover. Not a huge fan of the other characters’ homes. I loved the closet in Carrie’s penthouse but hated the design of the place.

  10. says

    I loved Carrie’s old apartment, and I think the redo of it was totally off mark. I also don’t think her wardrobe in the first movie wasn true to her character from the show. By the looks of the first pics from the filming of SATC 2 it looks MUCH better! I have very high expectations!!!
    .-= Dagny @ Beautiful Living´s last blog ..DIY credenza update! / Sjenkoppdatering! =-.

  11. says

    Thank you. Oh how I love these girls, their homes, the show, the movie…
    Made me realize how much I miss them. Today I will break out my pink velvet case and watch those beloved DVD’s (again). The 2nd movie??? Well, we all know I’ll be there on opening day.
    .-= Suzann from The Olive Cottage´s last blog ..P is for… =-.

  12. says

    I LOVED this post Julia. That was one of my favorite movies and tv shows of all time. Can’t wait for the sequel.
    .-= christy´s last blog ..Packing =-.

  13. says

    This was such a great post! Usually it’s all about the clothes and accessories and trying to take it all in on the screen. To actually get to focus in and study these rooms is a lot of fun! I like Big’s apartment, the new place they’re moving into and Charlotte’s apartment. I hope she doesn’t carry the weird Eiffel Tower purse again tho, waayyyyyyy too kitschy!
    .-= the paris apartment´s last blog ..in on the town =-.

  14. says

    Great post Julia. Loved this movie…loved the houses more. Carrie’s after apartment was heaven. The blue walls, that LOVE painting. I was completely obsessing over it. Can’t wait for #2.
    .-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..The ABC’s of me =-.

  15. Kathy :) says

    Loved the series…..bought the movie (saw it with my girlfriends first though)….LOL I remember when i first started watching and could NOT believe what they put on HBO….funny how I became used to it LOL I can’t wait for the next movie….hmmm it’s too early for a Cosmo !!!

    I remember Fifi did a pic of a Cosmo and a High Heel when the first movie came out…she’s awesome !!!

    Great post Julia….

    Kathy :)

  16. says

    You’re right, total visual feast.

    I feel so strange about admitting this, but I didn’t see Sex on the City on TV and decided to wait to see the movie until I’d worked my way through all the ‘history’ via Netflix.

    I promise, I’m not an alien, nun, or social outcast, for some reason I just didn’t catch on to Carrie and co at the time!!
    .-= Struggler´s last blog ..Colored tights: yes or no? =-.

  17. says

    Thanks for going to all this trouble, Julia. I missed the series (my hubby loathed the series so I never watched it) but I’m looking forward to watching the DVD of the film with my daughter some day when she’s a bit older. By the way, my husband rented a copy of Under the Tuscan Sun for me as a surprise to cheer me up aftter being under the weather; I’d told him about my Hooked on Houses ‘habit’!

  18. Bee Hind says

    I loved Carrie’s old apartment, it had a wonderful mismatched cozy feeling to it. I hated the re-do, the blue on the walls, the white, plastic storage unit, the low backed sofa, and most of all- the “LOVE” print hanging by the door. I know they did it to give Carrie a fresh start after Big left her at the altar, but it just didn’t seem like her at all-too sterile.

    Also wish we could have seen more of Miranda’s house in the movie.

  19. says

    I liked Carries apartment change. Yes it was chic’er but you have to see that Carrie has been through a lot over time too…and is now more successful than ever! Plus…Through most of the seasons Carrie was in love with “mr big”…so she had to do something to change and your surroundings is a great start! People tend to overthink things sometimes. I was a huge fan of the movie:)
    .-= Jen @ After The Alter´s last blog ..Weekend Retreat =-.

  20. Tracey says

    Please, please, please. Does anybody know the make of the kitchen in Big’s apartment.
    I have been trying to find out ever since I saw the movie.

  21. says

    I LOVED this post, Julia. So much fun. I saw the movie in the theatre with some girlfriends after watching every single episode on DVD in like 3 weeks (my sister lent them to me). I loved the show and the movie, and can’t wait for the sequel. :)

    I think I liked Carrie’s apartment before better b/c it looked more lived in. BUT the sort of empty and decorated feel as the After goes with the storyline…

    Fun fun fun! :)
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..A Birthday Soirée =-.

  22. belledame says

    it’s hard to tire of posts on SATC interiors. they are just so interesting. over the course of the show you see a wide variety of new york city housing. seeing inside buildings and other people’s homes is a serious interest in new york. you just never know from the outside, or from looking at a person.

    whenever someone asks me what it’s like live here, i’ve always said, “it’s like the opening to ‘Sex and the City.’ you’re walking along in your pink tutu, light as air, in love with world and all of sudden a bus goes by and splatters crap all over you. and your bubble is burst and you look around and see the potholes and smelly steam vents and people hurrying away trying not to get involved.”

    although i don’t think the movie served the characters or the audience the way the series did, it certainly had it’s pleasures. the movie was more of an excuse to revel in luxuries of new york living than it was about the spiritual journeys of women. in the show the wardrobe was a quirky aspect, but it was almost the point of the movie. usually i have a hard time articulating what was so great about the show in it’s day – as opposed to on video. clearly, it is a highly individual experience: i moved to nyc the summer the show started and all these years it ran it was like… a telling of life in new york that was honest enough to relate to and funny enough to counteract the sour notes. it both took me away from the real city while helping me to renew my enthusiasm for it. sunday night satc was like a refresher that buffed you up and sent you back out into the thick of it ready to battle the city anew. it took the weight of day to day living off your shoulders for a little while and allowed you to remember what it was you came here to do. among the many endings, one in particular danced me off to a wonder late summer: the one where carrie battles the rescued roosters and samantha battles the trannie hookers. when the rooftop barbecue fades away and carrie says, “don’t worry. they have a lovely life,” those of us here in the city were able to take heart that just these sorts of aggravations of city life were trivial and could be overcome and we’d all be back to loving life soon enough.

    i sort of feel sorry for people were not young new yorkers when the show was going. it was almost an interactive experience.

    that said, i didn’t like carrie’s remodeled 1br mostly because it was so cold and unlike carrie. that apartment is all for show really. the stiff little settees, all the mirrored furniture. moving her desk to the bedroom. it just wasn’t carrie. the old apartment rang true for many reasons: first, it was set up to suit carrie’s lifestyle, not guests. she had not dining table though the kitchen is big enough for a small one. she had all of her vintage magazines shelved where most people would have put a couch. she had only a mismatche array of chairs. carrie’s furnishings spoke of someone who’s life was outside that space and of someone who didn’t prioritize spending money on home. her money (the oft-touted credit problems) went to her wardrobe. that’s carry. all of her creative expresssion was on her person. color, shape, texture, art. the upgrade served mostly to show that she had some money now. not just from the day job, the vogue freelancing, but also from the handful of books she’d published. (although who knows what happened with the home loan from charlotte.)

    i liked her old apartment because it was relatable. working professional, single income, no wealth. in that space was carrie: her needs, interests, faults, desires, and hopes.

    take a few pictures of your own home some time and look at them on your computer. (this is will highlight things you don’t notice in person.) see what they say about you.

  23. says

    I’m always amazed when I hear of someone that didn’t watch the series, men or women, so a few of the comments floored me, especially one of them (I’m sure you know who I’m talking about). My mom and I used to make a night out of it, kind of like the Oscars and were thrilled when the movie came out. Loved it just as much.

    As far as Carrie’s apt., I think it reflects her need to get rid of anything that reminded her of Big. Anyone that has been through a major break up understands that. With me it was always the removal of the bed LOL

    Anyway, loved this post and can’t wait for the new movie!

    rue
    .-= rue´s last blog ..A busy Saturday =-.

  24. says

    Hi Julia,
    It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen the movie so this brought back a lot of memories. You really give us great movie posts to drool over…love all the details that you share! I didn’t think the “new/redone” apartment fit Carrie, but I guess that was the point…she wanted a whole new life/start.
    Great post!
    Susan
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Welcome to the 37th Metamorphosis Monday and a Fall Give-a-Way! =-.

  25. says

    Great post – I really loved that apartment that Carrie and Big looked at. I also liked Carrie’s apartment makeover – I thought it was a good transition from the paycheck to paycheck Carrie, to the more confident and successful Carrie. A Carrie who did not put every spare dime into her shoes!
    .-= Things That Inspire´s last blog ..Inspiring Architect: Steve Giannetti =-.

  26. says

    LOVED the movie, the series, and I’m glad to hear that they’re filming the sequil. Though, I have to admit that I prefer Carries apartment before the change, the series was fantastic in that the rooms and apartments were as interesting as the story line. Not so many like that now. Will & Grace was another great set show. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Artie´s last blog ..Winner Winner, Candles at Dinner! =-.

  27. says

    I loved the HBO series and enjoyed the movie. However, sometimes it was hard to get into the story line, because the characters were too old to be behaving the way they did.

    I will see the next movie though.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..I ? Faces Week 38: Blue =-.

  28. Nathan says

    That’s a rather huge kitchen (Carrie’s apt) for a NYC brownstone converted into apartments.

  29. Bianca says

    Soooooo many nay-sayers on Carrie’s new blue apartment!!! I couldn’t DISAGREE with them more! Off with the old, I say. Really, how many of us could stand to live in a studio apartment with the same art on the walls, same furniture and so little change in colour for all those years and after all those men!

    Ten years older, Carrie is now a novelist, and yes, can afford the new look…she needs, needs, needs a dramatic change in her life. She is not the same woman and her apartment reflects it. Thank God for colour!

  30. Lucy says

    None of the emotional moments of the film or anything that happened stuck in my mind as much as two moments – when we see that amazing shot of the bedroom in Charlotte’s house with the bookshelves behind the bed, and when Carrie’s new blue walls are revealed. I think that shows I really am hooked on houses, because I am a fan of the personal stories too but they couldn’t compete!

    I love Charlotte’s place and her design best. Even when she had her apartment in the first series I did.

  31. says

    I own the entire series on DVD and was conflicted about the movie…I felt that it got too glossy and lost a lot of its grit – even when Carrie was in the depths of despair she re-did her house in such a cold, un-lived-in way…I think that commenter Belledamme is right about what Carrie’s old apartment represented. I just don’t see Carrie in her new decorations! Not to mention, I hate that color – cold and electric all at the same time…it would make me anxious just being in that room. Everything looked stiff and uncomfortable…exactly the kind of modern-ish home that would appear in a magazine…not so much what someone would actually LIVE in. I think that even a wealthier, more settled, more mature Carrie would still have carried over some of her creative vintage charm to her surroundings. Just my opinion! Thanks for all the research put into this post tho – I love Charlotte’s place the mostest: always have and always will!
    .-= Kate (Little Beach Bum)´s last blog ..Beach Bum Tacos: Part 3 =-.

  32. Beck says

    I watched the movie but never watched the series….What parts of NYC were the girls living. Miranda was in Brooklyn but where was Carrie and Charlotte’s places? And Samantha’s place pre-Malibu?

  33. Lethe says

    Okay, so, what? Carrie moved out of her old apartment and into a boutique hotel? May I just say, “Ick.” That kitchy, boutique hotel look is fine, even great, for a short stay, but who wants to live in a House Beautiful fashion shoot day after day? For one thing, where’re the books??? For another, yes, it was all pulled together at one time instead of accumulated lovingly, but even so, is there a place, even a tiny nook, anywhere in that place for one personal item the owner might acquire? Is there room for growth? I’m not reading into the movie, I’m just looking at the space on its own, and again, my only comment is , “Ick.” With perhaps a little shudder as I turn away.

  34. Lethe says

    Oh, by the by, I should probably tell you I love your website, discovered it while trolling the internet for Mr. Big’s apartment in the movie, which I wanted to get a closer look at. (I just saw the DVD this weekend, which is why I’m late at the table).

    And just one more eensy comment about SATC…am I the only one who thinks that every outfit Carrie has ever worn, perhaps with the exception of that gorgeous frothy dress she wore for Aleksandr in Paris (and just how did she pack that, by the way?) was just godawful? She has always looked like a clown to me, and that carried through into the 1st movie. Can’t wait to see what she gets herself into in Dubai – the possibilities are just…yikes.

    Always enjoyed Miranda’s earrings, though…

  35. Ambyr says

    I don’t mind Carrie’s after apt but I just don’t see her putting up a big flatscreen tv. I’m not sure she had even a small tv in her old apt, if she did, you didn’t see it much, now she has this HUGE eyesore in middle of her room. Just doesn’t go with her character in my opinion. I can see this in Samantha’s apt but not Carrie’s…she’s too busy reading Vogue or typing on her computer to bother watching tv (maybe she’s watching the Real Housewives of NYC!).

  36. Livvy m says

    I love sex and the city, and the second film as well. However i much prefer the apartment BEFORE she re-decorated. It was so much more lived in a cosy, it looked like it was HER space. Afterwards i don’t feel there is as much character as before which is a real shame. I want her closet :( xxx

  37. Karin says

    How about the second movie? Could you please make a post about it? I just love Carrie and Johns apartment!

    Love from Sweden :)

  38. beth says

    I really love sex and the city and your job in this blog Giulia!
    It’s so weird I didn’t know they had to rebuild all of the sets because they’d been destroyed them…but I love girls ‘s apartments and I like so muche seeing alla this stuff thank you

  39. Charisma says

    Does anyone know where I can find that amazing wall unit surrounding the tv that Carrie uses for storage? Thanks!

  40. Laura says

    I loved Carrie’s original look in the apartment, but I understand the re-do….freshen up the colors, and she had been influenced by her new assistant Louise and her sparkling personality and fresh outlook…..also, she was newly single, heart broken and trying to recollect herself after being humiliated at the wedding and due to the magazine article being 40 and unmarried. I think its believable that she would re-do her place, looking for something fresh.

    Anyhoo, loved all of Carrie’s places! Real estate heaven is right! That living room is spectacular! But good they found something else for she and Big to try happily ever after (didnt they? Am I remembering that wrong?) :-p

  41. Christina says

    I love Carries apartment the first way it was decorated before.. the 2nd is Charlottes Park Ave apt…those were my favorites. Her first one is so me it’s ridiculous.. 2 bathroom doors, same here. I don’t like when she redecorated it. I know it needed some work, but I would have gone in a totally different color scheme and different furnishings. This doesn’t really match her personality and I definitely don’t like the blue walls. I would go for a light violet.. Add some comfortable chairs, a couch, in varied colors that aren’t once again too precious that you don’t feel uncomfortable in your own home. I hated the Malibu house Samantha had.. it was cold, very uncomfortable looking.. too close to the other houses and for those prices you should have acerage… not in love with Miranda’s home..colors way too dark..

  42. Brenda Aide says

    I love Carrie’s renovated apartment, is very pretty, but I prefer the old one a thousand times; it was more her!

  43. Katherine says

    In spite of the silliness, I have loved this series, and the first film, especially. Still enjoyed the second one but felt that Samantha’s “scene” with the Arabs was painful and hard to watch – it ruined the movie for me as I thought it way over the top.

    But your blog (Hooked on Houses my whole life) is a joy. Thank you for producing it, and all the SATC stuff which, for fans especially, is so enjoyable.