Back in 2012, I wrote about Neal Caffrey’s apartment, off the popular TV series, White Collar. The show wrapped up in 2015, after a five-and-a-half year run, much to the dismay of fans worldwide. Neal struck a nerve with underdogs, smarts, rat pack lovers, interior design lovers, magic trick lovers and slick cop FBI show fans.
This post has remained my most popular. Many people still ask about the art sources, furniture and furnishings. I concur. It remains one of my favourite apartments in set design history, with its highly eclectic style. Trumping (at least, for me) Monica and Rachel’s apartment in Friends, Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in the series Sex and the City, as well as the movies, Ted Moseby’s apartment in How I Met Your Mother.
Nancy Meyerremains one of my favourite set designers but she does refined, elegant. For eclectic chic, which is more my style, set designer Sheila Bock is genius. She pulls pieces from every era and style, and brings them together in such an artless fashion.
One point I have to make. In watching the series (in quick motion) again just for this series of posts, I realised that most of what you see in Neal Caffrey’s apartment was there from the first day/pilot. The same day Neal gets released from jail for the FBI’s White Collar division consultancy gig. The rat pack style that is attributed to Neal, was Byron’s (June’s husband), not Neal’s.
The apartment or his clothing doesn’t necessarily reflect Neal’s personal style; rather, he moved into that space. Neal’s new-to-him apartment was June’s “spare guest bedroom”. Aren’t spare bedrooms (or in this case, the spare, unused loft) the perfect place to dump old but beloved suits, unwanted furniture and extra books? Hence, I surmise that the eclectic vibe we love about the place is a result of discarded and unused items relegated to the one unused space in the house and pulled together. The result is styles apart from June’s elegant home.
See pics of June’s place here.
You only see more things gather after Season 2, presumably Neal Caffrey’s additions, mainly art.
But of course, Neal carries off the rat pack style, the chic apartment and the funky hat of his superbly. This is quite smart of the writers of the show. Neal is a forger, and because of his background and past, he does not have a true identity. In Season 4, Episode 15, he tells his father, Sam: “You asked me why I don’t have original art? I’ve had three different names and a dozen different aliases because of you. And to be an artist, you have to know who you are.”
You never know Neal Caffrey’s personal style. You grow to know some things he likes, like good wine, good books and Degas paintings. (And beautiful women…)
Since the original post was so popular and many wrote in to ask for more information on specific items, I thought I’d research and write a series of more in depth posts. I am going to do this in series of areas/rooms. Seemed like a less haphazard way to do this.
It has taken me days and hours to prepare this series of posts and I do hope you will enjoy what I have prepared! x
La Città Morta plaque
Upon the ending of the popular White Collar, Matt Bomer tweeted that this piece is his favourite in the set:
This antique tin plaque advertising the Second Recital of La Città Morta (The Dead City) at the Theatre Constanzi hung just inside the front door.
Map-ish looking thing behind front door
Next, this has never been in close detail in the show. That framed item that is half hidden by the front door when opened…
It’s always looked like part of New York City to me. See? I enlarged that map:
Doesn’t it look like New York City? Unmistakable. Especially with the band of space at the top of the print. Like the shape of Australia or Peninsula Malaysia… Like this one I found in Wikipedia:
Neal’s painting caddy moves around in the series, to where it is needed:
It seems to have a home by the front door, but it moves when Neal is painting, often in tandem with the little desk-table on castors.
About the start of the third season of White Collar, a newcomer joined the antique map next to the front door.
I love the graphic black and white of the heron against the other much muter, neutral colours.
Hallway leading to Neal’s front door
There are not many scenes in the series of the hallway, apart from the yellow and white wallpaper lining the corridor.
But there’s a rather tantalising shot of the painting lining the left side of the corridor facing Neal’s front door.
After searching for an hour I finally found it:
A Smart Turnout, artist unknown, a piece of primitive Americana art, circa 1845. It depicts a man driving a sleigh drawn by a pair of horses in the wintertime. He is accompanied by a lady, but it’s hard to see her, since the woman’s face is concealed by her hat. I love the beautiful delicacy of the sleigh, which has an adornment of a swan’s neck.
The wallpaper is by Biltmore Wallpaper in pale yellow colourway
Hope you enjoyed that.
Next is the living room area!