“Revenge:” Behind the Scenes at Grayson Manor

by hookedonhouses on October 29, 2012

OMG, you guys. Have you been watching the new season of Revenge? I’ve been on the edge of my seat every Sunday night. Not only has the drama been just as juicy, but they introduced a few new sets at Grayson Manor. For one thing, Lydia’s room has been turned into a cozy living room. And did you notice the changes to the grand foyer?

Last week we took a closer look at Emily’s beach house and Nolan’s contemporary bachelor pad. Today it’s time to visit Grayson Manor and the pool house that Daniel lives in.



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The Grayson house takes up an entire soundstage, it’s so big. Here’s how some of the outside walls of the house look on set, which we saw during that behind-the-scenes video tour I showed you last week:

Let me just start by saying that I may mention a few things that have happened on the show, so avert your eyes if you haven’t watched yet and don’t want to know!

The Grand Foyer:

Madeleine Stowe, who plays Victoria Grayson, said the sets have “lots of little nooks and balconies that we can spy on each other from on the show.”

At the beginning of this season, that balcony played a role in a shocking plot point (*spoiler alert!*) when poor pregnant Amanda fell backwards off it, onto the floor below.

I actually gasped so loudly when that happened that my husband called down the hall to see if I was okay. Well, I was, but Amanda sure wasn’t.

I have to wonder if they changed the floor because they knew they’d be filming this scene and it would look more dramatic with the checkerboard marble. All the blood that poor Martha the Maid had to mop up stood out much more against it than it would have on the dark wood of last season:

You’ll notice the chandelier looked more traditional last season, too. Looks like they just altered the original one by adding the rings around it (and removed the shades) to make it look a little more modern (scroll back up to see how it looks now).

I’ve got to give a shout-out to the brilliant Production Designer Bruce Alan Miller and Set Decorator Christopher Marsteller, as well as all the other creative people involved. On IMDb.com they have a long list of people credited as part of their art department working on the sets.

The Great Room:

If you saw my first post about this show back when it premiered last year, then you know that they shot a lot of the pilot inside a real mansion in North Carolina. When the show got picked up, they recreated the look of the rooms (with some variations) on a soundstage in California.

For example, here’s how the Great Room looks in the real house (Wrightsville Beach Magazine):

It’s fun to see what they changed for the show, like the wood on the fireplace. They also ditched the second fireplace for a wall of windows and a back staircase:

“I’ve always been amazed by how you can make 20,000 square feet feel warm and inviting.” -Mason Treadwell.

The Kitchen:

This season they replaced the round table and island with a more formal dining table:

Not sure where the kitchen went. Maybe it’s more hidden now. It’s not like Victoria needs access to it anyway. That’s what her team of household assistants is for!

The Sioux City Journal ran an article on the sets recently and included this shot of the newly built dining room (photo by Bruce Miller):

Grayson Manor new dining room season 2

The Conservatory:

One of my favorite rooms in Grayson Manor is the Conservatory, where all kinds of drama-filled conversations and meals have taken place:

This season they took the dining table out of there, though, and replaced it with wicker and what looks like a small desk:

Grayson Manor conservatory season 2 set

Conrad Grayson’s Study:

The office is very dark and masculine. Henry Czerny who plays Conrad says it’s easy to get into character when he steps on this set.

The Guest Bedroom:

When Lydia was recovering from her fall last season, Victoria and Conrad graciously took her in and cared for her. Or, you know, kept her prisoner until they could ascertain how much she remembered from the night of her “accident.” You say tomato…

New Living Room Set:

This season, with Lydia (presumably) dead, the guest bedroom was freed up and turned into a cozy sitting/living room with a fireplace and built-in bookshelves.

There are double doors that open to both the entry hall on one side and the Great Room (where the piano and back staircase are) on the other.

All the fireplaces in the house come in handy considering how many papers (and general evidence) the family needs to burn on a regular basis…

Powder Room:

They added a powder room off the new living room for Season 2 also, which has the same marble flooring as in the foyer.

Charlotte’s Bedroom:

Charlotte’s room evolvedduring the first season. In early episodes the room was white with an antique wood headboard. Then it became a trendy Pottery Barn-teen paradise with an upholstered headboard. And later, the walls were painted blue.

I swear I have to rewind and watch every scene two or three times because I get so caught up in looking for changes in each of the sets that I forget to pay attention to what’s going on. And this is the kind of show where if you miss one significant glance, you miss a lot.

Victoria’s Bedroom:

Off the turret where she likes to stand and keep tabs on Emily’s beach house below is Victoria’s bedroom.

Her dressing room off the bedroom:

The Patio:

There are always lots of events happening on the patio, which is also part of the indoor set. As we learned in the behind-the-scenes video, they use wind machines to make it look like they’re outside.

It’s strange to see how Victoria’s turret actually sits on the ground on the soundstage:

Add a little “TV magic,” and the turret looks like this:

This screenshot of the manor at night, in the snow, looks very computer generated. My daughter Lily just asked me, “Are you writing a post about a haunted house?” It does have a haunted look about it here:

The Pool:

Looks to me like the pool scenes were shot on location because the house in the background doesn’t look the same as the one in the night shot above. They’re similar enough that if you weren’t paying close attention to the differences during the show, you’d probably never notice.

 The Pool House:

At the beginning of the first season, the interiors of the pool house were painted a pale blue:

I was excited when I tuned in one night and saw they had repainted them a dark navy, which is much more masculine and better suits Daniel, who lives there:

Ashley and Daniel are a couple now and living in the pool house together. We finally got to see a little of the bedroom for the first time this season (but I couldn’t get a photo of it–I’ll add one when I do).

Tyler was such a great (deranged) character, I was almost sad to see him get killed off last season. Of course, on a soapy drama like this, you never know when someone will turn up again, do you?

By the way, you can watch any episodes you missed so far this season on ABC.com (with limited commercial interruptions). And if you somehow missed last season, Netflix is streaming all the episodes right now.

If you’re as obsessed with the show (and the sets) as I am, here’s more:

Emily’s beach house:

 My Search for Victoria’s Chair and the Real Grayson Manor:

The Mansion Where the Pilot Episode was Filmed:

P.S. If you missed it last week, check out the behind-the-scenes video tour of the sets. Visit my TV/Movie Houses page to look for more of your faves.

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Rick S October 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

Julia,
I do love the house, and it is one of the few that looks warm and welcoming. I was trying to make sence of the first few photos of the main entry foyer. Looking down from the “balcony” the floor changes from wood to checked.
The round table/island change for a more formal dining table seems to mean they didn’t need the dining area in the conservatory. The chairs in the Conservatory also had interesting lacing on the backs, like a corset. It was nice to see that even characters as rich as they are reuse the demilune consoles on either side of the conservatory fireplace in the guestroom Lydia uses.
The early photos of the exterior are photoshoped and stretched out to be bigger and the “haunted” looking night scene isn’t as big as first picture, (not enough windows and dormers), but the fantacy house is still beautiful.
rick

Lisa October 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

Wow this post was a labor of love! Love it! So informative. So much detail! Beautiful. I love how you showed us from one season to the other, all the changes. Brilliant. Wow, I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in that house but thanks to your post I can imagine what it’s like to walk through it. Thank so much.
Fun.
Lisa
Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

hookedonhouses October 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

It’s true, I spent WAY too much time on these “Revenge” posts. Took me weeks to get all the photos and edit them and upload them, etc. That’s how obsessed I am with this show. Love it! :-)

Thanks, Lisa!

romy October 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

Great post Julia!, this show has some amazing people working on the set.
I’m loving that kitchen!

Erin October 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

Thanks for another big, juicy post on Revenge! I had a good laugh over your fireplace comment. I remember emailing you just after I finished watching the pilot because I just knew you’d be as geeky-excited over the houses as I was! PS- I’m now hooked on the new show Nashville. They haven’t showed many house shots yet, but there is some good potential!

martha October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Love this show too!!! Can’t decide if I like the houses, the fashions or the plot best….all wonderful. I noticed one night that in one of the shots of the kitchen they showed those cheesy bottles of colorful peppers on a shelf…you can barely see them in the first two of your kitchen shots. I don’t think anyone as rich as these people are would have those for “color” in their kitchen, and some of the wall art in Emily’s beach house looks like it came from Kirklands. Other than that I so enjoy drooling over the interiors of these homes. Your posts are wonderful!!!

Sandy October 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I just caught a little of this show last week but haven’t seen the first season at all. I laughed when you mentioned that the kitchen “disappeared”. This is amazing how the house(s) have changed from one season to the next. Great post as usual! Really enjoyed it.

Brandy October 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

“Yum” is what I always think when I look at all that gorgeous (though probably totally fake) woodwork in Grayson manor. It is gorgeous! Too have a foyer large enough to achieve that look…;-)

Are there any new shows you are drawn to because of the sets? The house in The New Normal is eerily familiar to me–maybe it was in a movie? The new Mockingbird Lane-remake of The Munsters has some cool sets. And the very Pacific Northwest Crastman-esque sets on Grimm always draw my eye. How about you?

Kim October 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Do you know that house that the pool scenes were shot at is the same Hamptons house used in the show “Castle”? You can look at the website I sent you with 100’s of photos and you will see it’s the same pool and exterior of the house.

What a stunning home. My favorite room has to be the foyer. I love the 1st staircase and the new one. The woodwork is stunning in both.

hookedonhouses October 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm

No, I didn’t realize they were the same one, but now that you mention it, I can tell. You’re right. They both have that long trellis by the pool, etc. Very cool. I still need to do a post about that “Castle” episode. Thanks, Kim!

Kim October 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

You’re Welcome! I can’t wait for you to do a post about it. It’s going to be fun.

Empress Lockness October 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Personally I like Emiliy’s house better. I would love to see the set of the Stowaway as well.

hookedonhouses October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

The Stowaway sets are great, too. I just had to narrow things down because the posts were getting too long!

Shabby Chick October 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I’m not one for much TV, I’ve never watched or heard of this. The house is gorgeous, no doubt about that! A couple of things struck me. Does anyone on the show ever smile? And while I have always thought of Madeline Stowe as beautiful, she looks “Stepford-ish” here. The pictures gave me the creeps and everyone looks so unhappy….

hookedonhouses October 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

You’re right–there’s not a lot of smiling on this show. Ha. Most of them are fake ones that hide the characters’ true intentions.

Poor Victoria especially doesn’t have a lot to smile about on the show. In fact, the only time she seems to smile is when she’s threatening someone or saying something like, “You’re dead to me.” Madeleine Stowe is amazing in that role. She somehow makes me kind of feel sorry for her sometimes, even though she can be so horrible. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t nominated for an Emmy last year!

Lisa Smith October 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I am totally with you on this show, Julia! I really love it, too. I don’t know if you remember this, but I actually told you about this show when we were corresponding last year! I wrote you after I saw the pilot saying that you HAD to watch it!
This is yet another wonderful and incredibly informative post! And I don’t seem to ever get enough of “Revenge”! You are amazing!

Mercedes October 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

Great post Julia!!! Thanks for share, I love every picture, though I don’t watch the show, all sets are incredibly, and you made a outstanding job!!!
Thanks again

Judy MacDonald October 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I’ve never watched the show but seeing these gorgeous pictures sure makes me want to.

missy October 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

One of the best shows to come along in a LONG time!! I have to DVR each episode and go back and watch it two or three times. Thanks for all of your posts about the sets. Maybe now I can relax a little more while I’m watching the show, knowing that you have picked apart the sets for us!!! Yeah! So glad to hear that others are as obsessed with this show as I am.

Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel October 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

This post kept going and going and going. Well Mrs. Holmes. Nice job. I like your game of “I spy.” And, I kinda want to start watching the show.

melissa @ the inspired room October 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

OH my goodness, how out of touch am I? That show looks amazing, I must watch it! Wonder if it is too late to catch up somehow? That house? I’d be hooked on that one for sure!

Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos October 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I find that with Revenge, not only do I have to watch each episode twice (one might miss something in first viewing), I’ve become a tad “inspired” by the homes (especially Emily’s kitchen – love it!) This post definitely made me want to channel my inner decorator and find that chair :)

Sue November 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

The Grayson Manor looks a lot like Jerry Steinfield’s house! I love them both.

Lisa T. November 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Was absolutely not going to watch this show when they were promo-ing it last year. The title alone turned me off. But then you featured the houses, so I watched the pilot to see the houses. And that was it. I was hooked. Went back and watched all the first season and now am waiting every week for the next show. Shame on you Julia! ;-)

They do need to smile more. And they need to show Emily (Amanda) buying groceries or doing something that normal non revengy people have to do.

In one of the first shows this season, Daniel mentioned to his mom that Emily liked to stay up late and clean when she was stressed. I’ve only ever seen her clean up dead bodies. Needs some levity this season. But I like it and am watching it against my better judgement anyway.

Lisa T. November 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I’m from NC and love it when I hear stuff is being filmed here. Love Emily’s house. My fave!! Except that I also love the Grayson Manor.

Tia November 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Could you do an article on the movie The Covenant and the show 7th Heaven? I love your take on the shows and you posts give amazing pictures. You definitely have gotten a new fan! :)

Sarah @ My First Little PLace November 4, 2012 at 5:20 am

Ahh great post, I did one for last season and it is tricky to get really clear shots of the all the interiors. But you got some great ones.
I love Daniel’s pool house and totally agree with you, the darker blue made it look so much better.
I too am loving this series but I just can’t seem to get past the fact that Amanda and baby survived that fall at the Grayson Manor!!! But it is the world of Revenge so I guess it is possible. I like the different angle with the mum story too as opposed to “amanda”/Emily memories of her father.
Can’t wait to see what comes next :)
xx

hookedonhouses November 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

I know! Sure seemed like the bounced back pretty quickly. They don’t even have her complaining that she’s sore or has a headache from hitting her head on the marble! I was relieved they didn’t kill her off, though. I think she’s a great character who has gotten a lot more sympathetic this season. Can’t help but kind of root for her.

Linda November 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hi, I’m interested in the balcony that Victoria is standing on and the one that Amanda’s falls backward from. What is the purpose of these balconies? I’ve seen the round one in a regular house and just don’t understand the purpose other than trying to be decorative, maybe?

HouseFan December 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

I love this post and the great attention you pay to the details.
I love these rooms and I see a lot of symmetry and matching. Balance, symmetry and resonance are things that bring peace to my eye and soul and I hate it when “designers” say that it’s bad when things match and that they avoid symmetry to “keep an edge”.

On so many design shows I see the designers using rugs and other items that look like they were selected at random and don’t fit at all. I don’t know how they get away with any of it. Thanks for showing us beauty.

Coryk December 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Hi Julia.

As an Australian I was very lucky this year as we tied in a visit to The Hamptons with our New York holiday. As a huge fan of Revenge I heard from my NY friends that the Grayson Manor is based on a real house in East Hampton. The actual house is on Further Lane East Hampton. I’ve emailed you a picture if you would like to use it.

Furthermore, I’m a huge fan of your website. I love the style of the houses you show. I can see your own tv show one day!

valerie January 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I am looking for the vase in victorias house on revenge, the one with the seachells in it. I live in the chicago area.

Robin February 17, 2013 at 2:48 am

I really appreciate the time you put into your website to help inspire all of us!

I have a favor to ask though – could you tell me where to get the large muted purple and brown damask/target pillows shown on the last picture of Charlotte’s bedroom? It is the pillows on the ends of the couch when she’s looking in the mirror. Another close up would be here: http://songofstyle.blogspot.com/2012/12/morning-chill-in-my-bedroom.html

I am in love with these pillows! Please help :) Thank you as always!

hookedonhouses February 17, 2013 at 8:08 am

Sorry, but I’m looking at the same photos you guys are. I don’t have any source info about things like paint colors and pillows. Wish I did!

Robin March 20, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I found the pillows! They were at Z Gallerie and are currently on sale so they are not out on the floor (which is weird…) but they are called Fahri pillow in Aubergine. Here’s the link for the brown version, Clove: http://www.zgallerie.com/p-11733-fahri-pillow-26-clove.aspx

hookedonhouses March 21, 2013 at 6:41 am

Hooray! Thanks, Robin!

Robin March 22, 2013 at 3:18 am

You’re welcome! It’s hard to track down this stuff :P

wayne February 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I would love for them to release some sort of a blueprint of this house! Of course you could just create one yourself form looking at the pictures and watching the show to know the layout of the rooms etc. But i think they should release a blueprint/floor plan to give us some more in depth idead of the house such as the layout of the second floor (i.e. the bedrooms) and if i was rich and had the money i would definitely have a house built for myself based upon this one, preferably near the beach somewhere but anywhere would be fine, i could imagine living here, the sit in conrads chair in his office or sit on victoria’s “Throne” in the main living room/family room it would just be excellent, it would be the ideal family home.

hookedonhouses February 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Me, too! I’d love to see the floorplans.

Lesley April 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm

hi there … What can you tell us about the artwork in the house, and the piece behind Daniel’s desk at Grayson Global. Any idea who the artists are or have close up photos? thanks!

Kevin May 7, 2013 at 5:55 am

Great page! What I’m interesting for is, what we really know about the house that showed in all wide exterior shots! Does this house really exits or is it only a CGI fake? Who know more about this? Thanks!

hookedonhouses May 7, 2013 at 6:03 am
Kevin May 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Thank you very much for the link! I thought it that it’s not real!

Lisa June 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

The new chandelier you wrote about looks just like one from restoration hardware. Gorgeous and very expensive, but beautiful!

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