Behind the cameras
13 Images

Inside the ‘Big Brother’ house

The 16 house guests of “Big Brother,” Season 21.

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

This season’s theme is “glamping.” There’s just one bathroom for 16 people. Shared double beds. The unrelenting glare of stage lighting and no screens, books, music or writing implements allowed.

 (CBS)

It takes about eight weeks to create all of the custom furnishings, decor and interiors, said Emmy-winning set designer Scott Storey. 

 (CBS)

No detail is too small, and the cameras are always considered. There are zero blind spots. Floor lamps are a no-no because they block ceiling-mounted cameras and those on tracks behind two-way mirrored windows that run the length of every wall. 

 (CBS)

Beds are built on platforms to prevent people from hiding beneath them, doors purposely don’t open wide enough to shield players from prying eyes, and there is even a camera in the bathroom stall. 

 (CBS)

Wooden storage chests placed at the foots of beds have been crafted with dividers. “I figured out that people go into those,” said Storey. “It was like, OK, mental note, let’s not let that happen again.”

Why? “Big Brother” must see all.

 (CBS)

The design of the house has evolved over the seasons from the typical suburban interior to elaborate, themed environments, including sets inspired by Silicon Valley workspaces, the 1964 World’s Fair, Art Deco Manhattan and this year: summer camp.

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

Storey used traditional camp activities such as horseback riding, archery, picnics, campfires, log cabins, boating, scouting and canoeing for inspiration. Merit badges are used as a wallpaper print.

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

Old-fashioned ice chests provide additional ”set dressing” elements. “Charming” would be an understatement. 

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

Viewers so far have had lots of opinions. No surprise there. Tweets have ranged from “I love the camp theme! This is going to be fun!” and “Yeah, this house is kind of awesome” to “disappointing set.”

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

This bedroom features an archery theme and contains a round custom bed with a comforter that looks like a gigantic target.

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

The stainless-steel exterior of what looks like a vintage Airstream trailer serves as the entrance to a bedroom decorated with a pink leather riding saddle, colorful satin award ribbons and walls of Polaroid snapshots. 

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)

“I get a lot of emails from people asking, ‘How did you do that?’ or ‘Where did that come from?’ ” Storey said. “It’s the only show [I work on] where viewers email me directly because they love the way it looks.”

 (Monty Brinton / CBS)
1/13