Set Pieces: Family-man house vs. bachelor man cave in ‘The Change-Up’


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In ‘The Change-Up,’ which opens Friday, Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman, above) and Mitch Plano (Ryan Reynolds) each wish they had the other’s life -- then wake up one morning to discover that their wish has come true and they’re now living in very different worlds.

‘The Change-Up’ was shot in Atlanta, where production designer Barry Robison (working with director David Dobkin, director of ‘Wedding Crashers’) scouted homes for inspiration in creating domestic Dave’s beginner McMansion.


‘It’s not quite Colonial or Arts and Crafts but a pastiche of traditional elements,’ Robison said of the house. ‘We noticed that a lot of houses in Atlanta had a similar style: dark floors, white cabinetry, iron railings, creamy walls, which we replicated with Benjamin Moore Linen White, and beautiful fabrics on windows and furniture. We wanted to tap into that.’

The living room of Dave and wife Jamie (played by Leslie Mann, pictured at right with Bateman and Reynolds) demonstrates that ‘they are on their way up the ladder,’ said Robison, who purchased custom furniture from Bungalow Classic in Atlanta.

He also channeled top female designers, including Barbara Barry and Victoria Hagan, turning the couple’s bedroom into a pattern-filled feminine space.

‘Dave has left all the design decisions to his wife,’ Robison said. ‘He has traded his masculinity for parenthood, and this fuels his desire to trade places with Mitch.’

Bachelor Mitch lives in a primary-colored loft-style space in a funky part of town. ‘It’s a place he found in college and he’s never moved,’ Robison said. ‘A modern-day man cave for the Peter Pan, arrested-development man-boy.’

Indeed, the space is filled with toys, and Robison even painted over a -- purists, brace yourselves -- classic Saarinen table. In the kitchen, below, shelves are filled with robots, colorful dishes and boxes from Atlanta’s Antico Pizza. The crowning touch for the retro-influenced space was a Smeg refrigerator in fire engine red. ‘I just didn’t want to put in the same old 1950s appliance,’ Robison said.


Keep reading to see Dave’s kitchen ...

The Lockwoods’ kitchen has cabinetry by Kitchen Craft and polished Vermont granite countertops. ‘We needed something to energize the unrelenting neutrals and bring color and youth to this environment,’ Robison said. The solutions: a vivid, patterned green backsplash made of tile from Waterworks, plus floral curtains. The production designer used Colefax & Fowler and Osborne & Little fabrics for window treatments throughout the house.

The couple’s master bathroom has a spa vibe thanks to marble subway tiles and lighting, mirrors and plumbing fixtures from Waterworks and Restoration Hardware.

For an easy way to follow future installments of ‘Set Pieces,’ bookmark L.A. at Home or join our Facebook page for home design.

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: Universal Pictures