The Addams Family's Living Room Was ... Pink!?

When it comes to interior design, a photograph of the Addams Family television set shows that TV's weirdest family was even weirder than you think.

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Quick! Name the color of the Addams Family's living room wallpaper!

Black? Brown? Corpse green? Wrong! The correct answer is ... pink?

Ever since famed New Yorker cartoonist drew the first one-panel cartoon back in 1938, the gleefully ghoulish Addams Family--Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Thing--have seemed to exist in a world with a palette as muted as an Arkham graveyard. Yet Morticia's interior design swatch was apparently more Romy Schneider than Edward Gorey. A recently rediscovered shot of the 1964 sitcom's Addams Family set reveals that the black-and-white world we think TV's most morbid family inhabited was actually far more colorful than any of us expected.

The picture was taken by photographer Richard Fish. A freelancer who took a number of on-location shots for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and the Los Angeles Times, this particular shot was taken for TV Guide and reveals that the Addams Family set featured a very surprising palette of salmon, sea glass, buttercup, and more.

When you actually think about it, of course the Addams Family set was colorful. Instead of going to all the expense of creating a set that would feel at home in a Tim Burton film, all they needed to do was reuse props from other TV shows and film in black-and-white with atmospheric lightning. And yet, it still seems so wrong to think of Gomez bounding down a bright, florally carpeted staircase, or for Morticia to drape herself mysteriously against some buttercup-yellow curtains, not just because we associate the Addams Family with monochrome, but because in many ways our brains really do believe that, somehow, color is a fairly recent invention, and that the past exists without color until we see that color for ourselves.

It may seem weird to see the Addams Family set as it really was, but why must the ghastly, the gruesome, the aberrant and the macabre be forced to embrace such consistently monotonous color schemes? Who are you to tell the Addams family that pink can't be creepy, when they know creepy better than anyone? Never forget the Addams family motto: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. "We feast on those who would subdue us." That goes doubly for those who would subdue their palette.

[Via Cult of the Weird]

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52 Comments

  • Curtis H. Folts

    I believe Morticia would say "what color more fitting for a living room than that of the inside of the heart?"

  • Pip Kennedy

    I think it funny that the author failed to realize that certain colors looked better when filmed in B&W.

  • Rob Sopko

    The color photo shown is a bit washed out. I had a color Addams Family Viewmaster reel as a kid. The living room wall fabric was actually red - like something you'd see in a funeral parlor.

  • hello_design

    Poorly researched, could have mentioned more about the science of Black & White motion pictures. That would have been an article to read.

  • Adams

    Ever since famed New Yorker cartoonist drew the first one-panel cartoon back in 1938, the gleefully ghoulish Addams Family--Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Thing--have seemed to exist in a world with a palette as muted as an Arkham graveyard. Yet Morticia's interior design swatch was apparently more Romy Schneider than Edward Gorey. A recently rediscovered shot of the 1964 sitcom's Addams Family set reveals that the black-and-white world we think TV's most morbid family inhabited was actually far more colorful than any of us expected.

  • Stu

    The opinion of this old photo major is that the photo is a faded Kodachrome. The red color is fugitive and turned pink.

  • John

    Ever since famed New Yorker cartoonist drew the first one-panel cartoon back in 1938, the gleefully ghoulish Addams Family--Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Thing--have seemed to exist in a world with a palette as muted as an Arkham graveyard. Yet Morticia's interior design swatch was apparently more Romy Schneider than Edward Gorey. A recently rediscovered shot of the 1964 sitcom's Addams Family set reveals that the black-and-white world we think TV's most morbid family inhabited was actually far more colorful than any of us expected.

  • Adams

    When you actually think about it, of course the Addams Family set was colorful. Instead of going to all the expense of creating a set that would feel at home in a Tim Burton film, all they needed to do was reuse props from other TV shows and film in black-and-white with atmospheric lightning. And yet, it still seems so wrong to think of Gomez bounding down a bright, florally carpeted staircase, or for Morticia to drape herself mysteriously against some buttercup-yellow curtains, not just because we associate the Addams Family with monochrome, but because in many ways our brains really do believe that, somehow, color is a fairly recent invention, and that the past exists without color until we see that color for ourselves.

  • John

    The picture was taken by photographer Richard Fish. A freelancer who took a number of on-location shots for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and the Los Angeles Times, this particular shot was taken for TV Guide and reveals that the Addams Family set featured a very surprising palette of salmon, sea glass, buttercup, and more.

  • Middy Matthews

    EXACTLY.... Red shows up in B/W better than anything else and is the easiest color to control. A little more homework and a little less guessing.

  • John

    When you actually think about it, of course the Addams Family set was colorful. Instead of going to all the expense of creating a set that would feel at home in a Tim Burton film, all they needed to do was reuse props from other TV shows and film in black-and-white with atmospheric lightning. And yet, it still seems so wrong to think of Gomez bounding down a bright, florally carpeted staircase, or for Morticia to drape herself mysteriously against some buttercup-yellow curtains, not just because we associate the Addams Family with monochrome, but because in many ways our brains really do believe that, somehow, color is a fairly recent invention, and that the past exists without color until we see that color for ourselves.

  • Adams

    A freelancer who took a number of on-location shots for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and the Los Angeles Times, this particular shot was taken for TV Guide and reveals that the Addams Family set featured a very surprising palette of salmon, sea glass, buttercup, and more.

  • NHP Music

    Bad article... The main reason for the colour selection was that you need light or bright colours in order to achieve a good black & white picture!

  • Adams

    It may seem weird to see the Addams Family set as it really was, but why must the ghastly, the gruesome, the aberrant and the macabre be forced to embrace such consistently monotonous color schemes? Who are you to tell the Addams family that pink can't be creepy, when they know creepy better than anyone? Never forget the Addams family motto: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. "We feast on those who would subdue us." That goes doubly for those who would subdue their palette.