The 'Palm Royale' Set Director Reveals Her Secret Sources for the Show's Vintage Style

kristen wiig in palm royale
The Vintage Lover's Guide to Palm RoyaleApple
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By now you've likely heard about Palm Royale, the Apple TV+ comedy set in 1960s Palm Beach. Based on a novel by Juliet McDaniel, it features a seriously star-studded cast (including Kristen Wiig, Carol Burnett, Laura Dern, Allison Janney, and Ricky Martin, to name just a few), and follows the glam-bitious Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons (Wiig) as she tries to suppress her "inner Chattanooga" to gain and secure footing among Palm Beach's most influential movers, shakers, and sunbathers (all of whom are regularly name-dropped in Maxine's society Bible, The Shiny Sheet). The series kicks off as Maxine sets her sunglassed sights on the town's toniest private club, Palm Royale, and as soon as she catapults herself over the wall, we know we're in for, as Maxine would say, a real hoot.

As zany and delightful as the series is, it's the candy-colored 1960s-inspired production design that draws us in like Maxine to a Grasshopper cocktail—so much so that we tracked down Ellen Reede, the Palm Royale set decorator, to find out how she sourced all the fabulousness for the series —particularly all things vintage. (That furniture! That barware! Evelyn's taxidermy!) After all, we're always fascinated by set design and anyone who gets to source antiques for a living.

kristen wiig and josh lucas in palm royale
Yes, it’s someone’s job to track down those cute pink rotary phones. Apple TV

Both Ellen and Jon Carlos, the show's production designer, have said they combed through books featuring the photography of Slim Aarons as a starting point for inspiration. They also researched the upper echelon of 1960s Palm Beach society. "Each of our sets had to be done as if one of the interior design greats of the time period had created them. That meant using many expensive antiques," says Ellen. Still, Ellen acknowledges that the show had to work within a design budget, so in many cases they had to get resourceful, just like any typical homeowner. "When some pieces were too cost prohibitive to purchase, we found a shell of a chaise or an item of the like that needed work, for the fraction of the cost, and had the work done by our upholstery team," she says. "I also enjoyed buying some inexpensive tables and upholstering them, some complete with trim for the Dellacorte mansion Smoking Room."

As far as other antique sourcing goes, the team shopped 1st Dibs and Chairish, as well as eBay, estate sales and quite a few Los Angeles-based antiques stores, including Melissa Levinson Antiques, Castle Antiques, Liz's Antique Hardware and (now closed) Wertz Brothers.

If the show has inspired you to infuse your own world with more Palm Beach-inspired patina, here's some more intel on where to source everything from coupe glasses to caftans.

kristin wiig in palm royale
We’ll take one of everything, thanks.Apple

For High-Society Tableware

"We had so much fun watching Palm Royale, as it is stocked full of beautiful vintage tableware and drinkware," says Keith Winkler, the Marketing and Media Relations Manager at North Carolina-based tableware emporium Replacements. Case in point: According to Keith's keen eye, the Old Country Roses pattern by Royal Albert graces Maxine Simmons' table as she sits in the dining room of Norma Dellacorte’s Palm Beach Mansion. For the Palm Royale Bath & Racquet Club, Ellen says her team ordered traditional sets of ivory club dishware featuring a hunter green trim, then made transfers of the club logo which were hand-applied to each plate. (You can often find similar restaurantware on Replacements and eBay.) Even Linda Shaw (Laura Dern), a socialite whose foray into political activism means she has fewer reasons to get her gala on, pines for at least one aspect of her former life: "I do miss a tablescape," she says.

For Midcentury Glassware

kristen wiig in palm royale
Erica Parise

There's nary a scene in this show without a martini shaker, which has us contemplating a bar cart overhaul. While much of the show's glassware was sourced from Los Angeles prop houses, Ellen also sourced some from eBay. If you’re into midcentury-modern pieces, the vintage drinkware section of Lollygag includes everything from orchid-hued coupe glasses to rainbow honeycomb tumblers. Named after a 1950s book by Bernard DeVoto, The Hour Shop features more than 10,000 (!) vintage cocktail hour-related items. Even more impressive: Most items are attributable to known manufacturers. (You know that Dinah Donohue cares about a brand name.)

For Wicker, Bamboo, and Cane Furniture

scene from palm royale
Erica Parise
palm royale
Erica Parise - Apple

In addition to Ellen's sources cited above, shoppers who crave the Palm Beach look have a host of options to peruse online—many of which are based in West Palm Beach's famed Antique Row, which includes 40+ antiques shops. A longtime favorite resource of designers, Circa Who features a happy helping of Hollywood Regency pieces, plus more bamboo, rattan, and wicker than you can shake a stick at. Lovers of bamboo and rattan should also head over to Bobs Beach Chic Treasures for a wide assortment of headboards, tables, mirrors, and more. At Palm Beach Regency, owner Korinne Belock curates a 5,000-square-foot showroom of faux bamboo, Chinese Chippendale, ginger jars and more.

For Tropical Taxidermy

a scene from palm royale
Apple TV

While Ellen says most of the show's taxidermy was rented from L.A.'s many prop houses, including Bischoff's Animals, the design team enlisted New York's Gotham Taxidermy to commission a realistic looking pink flamingo. (As you can probably imagine, a legally and sustainably sourced flamingo is hard to come by.) Owned by fashion industry veteran Divya Anantharaman, the taxidermy shop specializes in birds and small mammals—Divya even wrote a book on the subject—but also creates replicas. The over-the-top feathered finery is a bit of an Easter egg, says Ellen. "The viewer later comes to find out that Evelyn was [spoiler alert!] a former showgirl."

For Vibrant Dresses and Colorful Caftans

kristen wiig in palm royale
Apple TV

If you're more enamored with the show's fashion, there are plenty of ways to get your vintage fix. Online retail marketplace The Real Real has an official partnership with the show, with an assortment of vintage pieces handpicked by Palm Royale costume designer Alix Friedberg. Vintage clothing store Arcade is a treasure trove of vibrant statement dresses of the $300-and-under variety, Ambie Hay of Palm Beach Thrifters curates fashionable finds (straw handbags, vibrant dresses), and the 100,000-members-strong Facebook group Re-Lilly is devoted to pre-loved Lilly Pulitzer apparel. (Note: Lilly items made before 2000 typically have a white label with a TM after the logo.) And over at Cabana Vintage, owner Alixe Laughlin curates vibrant heritage pieces inspired by her grandmother’s fantastical beach-ready wardrobe from the sixties and seventies. Hot Caftan Summer, anyone?

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