Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson aren’t the only ones bringing the heat.



For design geeks, set designer C. Scott Baker has without a doubt one of the coolest jobs in the film industry. He’s insanely impressive resume includes movies like Avatar and Bridesmaids (which, as expected, was “a blast”), and soon you can see his work in the hotly-anticipated 50 Shades of Grey movie, out on Valentine’s Day. Baker is currently working on the third installment of the Divergent triology, Allegient, but he took some time to tell us what it was like to design for the movie version of E.L. James’ beloved naughty novel about the extreme love affair between high-powered CEO Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.

ELLE DECOR: Had you read the book when you were approached about the project?

C. Scott Baker:I actually read the script first. Often when a book is adapted into screenplay a lot of things have to be glossed over or skipped, and I didn’t want to taint my idea of what the idea of the vision of the movie should be. I read the book after.

ED: How did you get involved with the movie?

CSB: I initially spoke with [Production Designer] David Wasco in July of 2013, and we went back and forth on the phone for a bit. I was excited to work with him. He and his wife [Set Decorator Sandy Reynolds-Wasco] are phenomenally talented.

ED: How do you approach the design process?

CSB: I would say one of the most important things is to understand who these people are who are going to inhabit the spaces you’re designing. One of the things I do is write a design brief, get to know the characters, and do a little psychological study about who they are. Often the sets can become characters in their own right, so it’s important to understand the backstory of the spaces you create. Christian is very interesting and compelling character. Understanding who he is and what they story is saying about his person informs his environment.

ED: What kind of feel did you want for Christian’s apartment?

CSB: Definitely an incredibly modern — I wouldn’t say cold, but impersonal — controlled environment. The interesting part was creating enough clues to his personality in the design so it doesn’t feel completely static, like a model house. [Director] Sam [Taylor-Wood] is an artist, and she was particular about what kind of art Christian would have. Everything on screen is a very deliberate choice.

ED: What about the Red Room of Pain?

CSB: The color is a lot stronger there than in other rooms. The main thing is we wanted it to feel both sensual and masculine — the things he likes in his heart more than the projection he wants to portray. It was very important that we got it right, and it was the longest design work on the movie from beginning to completion. I think the time we spent paid off. I don’t think anyone is going to be disappointed.

ED: How did you make sure you got it right?

CSB: A couple of advisers in the BDSM scene were brought on to work with the director and production designers. We were very interested in making sure we weren’t doing things that the [BDSM] community would flag as wrong. We wanted it to feel authentic.

ED: Was Christian’s home a set or was it in an apartment building?

CSB: Those were all sets we built on a soundstage. His apartment and living room and kitchen were on one stage, the bedroom suite on another, and the hallway to redroom and Ana’s room on another.

ED: How do you make a room sexy?

CSB: As a designer, I feel that design is very sexy, but a lot of people may not have the same response when they see something well designed. Modern design is typically a very reduced style, I think when it’s done well it’s sexy. Most of the choices in his apartment were made to reflect his character more than make a particular design statement. In the red room we used leather tiles on the floor, which is a little unexpected. If I had his apartment to design for myself or a client, I would have made very different choices. But you’re designing for the camera instead for a client, so there’s some freedom and restrictions there. The most interesting spaces to me are ones that lead your eye.





Top 10 Reasons You Should Date or Marry a Real Estate Agent

mike-bell-authorBy Mike Bell


Having a real estate agent as your significant other definitely comes with perks. So if one asks you out on a date, or for your hand in marriage, you should definitely say yes!

Here are the top 10 reasons why:

  1. You can ditch your shrink and save the money. There’s no better therapist than a real estate agent.
  2. Tax deductible dinners. No need to feel guilty about ordering that bottle (or 3) of Screaming Eagle Cab. Write-offs are an agent’s best friend.
  3. Real estate agents are tough. They don’t give up easily. When the “honeymoon stage” fades, they’re not likely to scram.
  4. Since there’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in real estate, an agent’s hopes are tempered by realism. They take nothing for granted, and they’re practically immune to let downs.
  5. Real estate agents are great negotiators. If you want to vacation at the beach, and he or she prefers the mountains, guess what… yep, go pack your flannels. Which is better anyway — you’ve been to the beach too many times already.
  6. Real estate agents work with multiple vendors, so they’re great coordinators. Think: parties, weddings, reunions, etc. This will lighten your load down the road. You’ll thank me later.
  7. Real estate agents know beauty is more than skin deep. On that note, if one ever tells you that you have “good bones”, it doesn’t mean what you think it does.
  8. Real estate agents are easy to reach at a moment’s notice. They keep their phones on them at all times. Their livelihood depends on it.
  9. Never worry about awkward social situations. Real estate agents are dripping with charm and can relate to all walks of people.
  10. They’re skilled at breaking down complicated stuff into simple terms (ever read a sales contract?!). So when it comes time to talk about feelings and emotions, you’ll know exactly where they stand.

Have you ever dated or married a real estate agent? Or are you one yourself? If so, what would you add to this list?

Use Technology To Include Friends In Your Home Search

by Realty Times Staff  

Depending on your desired area of residence, budget and personal preferences, searching for a new place to call home can be tedious. Whether it be an apartment, condo, townhouse or single-residence you’re in the market for, including close family and friends in your search can alleviate some of the stress associated with the process. But, if you live in a different city, you can still include your friends via technology.

Start a Blog

Using a tool like Blogger or WordPress, you can write about every step of your house-hunting journey. This way your closest friends and relatives can share their thoughts, suggestions and honest feedback on the properties you’re considering. Here are a few post ideas:

Start with a comprehensive wish list of features you’re looking for in your next home. This will serve as a guide to others, outside of your realtor, who can provide information on properties that may best suit your needs.

The next series of posts can be similar to diary entries, detailing your experiences, likes and dislikes at each property. Publishing your thoughts on each property can be useful when it’s time to narrow down your options. Plus, your friends can better help you make the final decision this way.

To wrap things up, publish a post revealing your final decision so those involved in the process can see which property you decided to go with. After all, a big-reveal blog post is much more exciting than a generic text message. Also, use this as an opportunity to thank those who helped you make your decision.

Once you’re all settled in, post pictures to show off the new place you call home.

Designate a Hashtag

If Twitter is more your style than a blog, create your own customized hashtag to discuss your house hunting with your friends. Your designated hashtag will help filter out irrelevant tweets and create patterns so that you never miss a moment of the conversation. And, just like with a blog, you can post pictures, information and feelings about each property so that your friends are included in the experience and can help you make a smart decision.

Create Virtual Tours

Once you’ve narrowed down your selections, it’s fairly simple to create a virtual tour using pictures or videos. All you need to do is embed the hyperlinks into an email message and hit send, leaving it up to the recipients to browse the pictures at their own convenience. But, if you really want to give them an up close and personal view of the property, use your tablet to connect with them on Google Hangouts, Skype or Facetime. This way you can take them on a guided tour and talk to them while you’re at the property. Friends and family will be able to get a complete feel of the property and give you honest feedback since pictures sometimes miss important details.

Overall, your friends and family can help you make a wise decision. By using technology, you can track all the important details and keep everyone in the loop.

Greenwich, Connecticut


I am excited to announce that I have joined the Greenwich‬, ‪‎Connecticut‬ Multiple Listing Service (‪‎MLS‬). The Greenwich Multiple Listing Service is the premier source for real estate listings, local news, education‬ and town information throughout all areas of Greenwich.

Sitting along the Long Island Sound, the quiet community of Greenwich is an affluent town in ‪‎Fairfield‬ County, Connecticut. As of the 2012 census done by the Census Bureau, the town had a population of 62,256. Composed of seven small hamlets (including Bryam‬, Cos Cob‬, ‪‎Glenville‬, ‪‎Old Greenwich‬, ‪‎Pemberwick‬, ‪‎Riverside‬ and Greenwich), the ‪‎historic‬ homes and beautifully manicured gardens of Greenwich have made it a popular film‬ location for movies about small town America. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes by train from ‪‎Grand Central Terminal‬ in Manhattan‬. Over the years, many magazines have ranked Greenwich 1st on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. The town is named after Greenwich, a borough of London‬ in the United Kingdom.

If you are interested in buying‬, ‪‎selling‬ or ‪‎renting‬ in Greenwich, let me put my real estate experience to work for you. My business philosophy is to focus on your satisfaction. My business is about service and I am not happy until you are happy. If you are a preparing‬ to sell, I will assist you in the prep stage and help you position your home to maximize your investment in the shortest amount of time. If you are a buyer, I will share in-depth knowledge of the area, recent sales‬ comparisons, market data, and strong negotiating skills. If you are a renter, I will find you a home that will best suit your needs and budget.

Thank you, Chris Maroc
Cell 914.215.2025 Office 203.322.2300
E-mail: chris.maroc@cbmoves.com
Facebook: ChristopherMarocRealtorColdwellBankerBrokerage

Zoning Issues Complicate Plan For Oscar Hammerstein Museum in Doylestown

(A 1948 aerial photo of Oscar Hammerstein II's "Highland Farm."  Photo provided by Will Hammerstein)

(A 1948 aerial photo of Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Highland Farm.” Photo provided by Will Hammerstein)

By Brad Segall

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A development battle could be brewing in Doylestown (Bucks County), Pa., where the grandson of legendary lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II has visions of a museum and theater on the five-acre property where his grandfather once lived.

(Oscar Hammerstein II, in publicity photo from about 1940)

Hammerstein wrote many of his famed words at Highland Farm, which is now a bed-and-breakfast.  Will Hammerstein, the grandson, heads up a nonprofit group that wants to buy the farm and turn it into an education center that would offer house tours alongside a 400-seat theater and museum.

Saving the property, he believes, is something people understand and can get behind.

“We have an opportunity to present these pieces of Americana in a way that no one can, anywhere else in the world, and they will never be able to — because we have the power of the place,” Will Hammerstein says.

But not everyone is on board yet.  Three township supervisors have concerns about the theater, and the parking area that would go with it.

Hammerstein goes before the zoning board in two weeks, hoping to get the variances he needs to move forward with the project.

Chris Maroc-Please support this worthwhile endeavor. My grandfather, Rex Stout was a close friend and worked tirelessly with Oscar Hammerstein for numerous causes. Oscar Hammerstein was one of our greatest American librettists, theatrical producers, and theatre directors of musicals for almost forty years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards.