About Us


The mission of the Set Decorators Society of America is to promote the highest standards of excellence in the field worldwide, and to entertain, inspire, teach and preserve the legacy of set decoration in motion pictures and television.


What Is A Set Decorator?

Set Decorators are key members of the design team for film, television and commercials. Working closely with the Production Designer and the Director, the Set Decorator researches, resources, designs, builds, and acquires the objects required to dress the sets. Typical examples of set dressing include furniture, drapery, lighting fixtures, art and decorative objects. The Set Decorator is also charged with large-scale items, which could include machinery or robots, sidewalk and window dressing, street lamps or mailboxes, and even explosion aftermath rubble and debris. 

The Creative Process

Over the course of preparation and shooting, Set Decorators:

  • Collaborate: Consult with the Production Designer, Director, Producers, Costume Designer, Construction Coordinator, Cinematographer and other filmmakers regarding the design, decoration, lighting, and practical considerations for each set on the project.
  • Budget: Negotiate with the Producer for approval of estimated costs, and monitor the Set Dressing Purchases & Rentals Budget, and the Set Dressing Labor Budget.
  • Hire: Put together the Set Dressing Crew and supporting contractors, supervise the work, and troubleshoot all projects.
  • Organize: Break down the script, sets and practical locations, plan the list of objects to be acquired for each environment, and schedule acquisition and fabrication per the shooting calendar.
  • Research:  Prepare presentations with reference, fabric swatches, and colors, with inspiration from period and style appropriate for each setting.
  • Imagine: With the Production Designer and Art Director how characters and environments are to be portrayed and reflected within the layers of the set.
  • Shop: For set dressing purchases and rentals: furniture, fabrics, decorative objects, industrial items, lighting fixtures, and elements to be altered or incorporated into custom fabrications..
  • Design: Create dressing plans, draw or work with illustrators and draftspersons, to devise custom-made objects, and alterations of existing items. These may include drapery, floorcoverings and upholstery; furniture; decorative objects, or painting and aging of set dressing, 
  • Fabricate: Oversee scenic artists, sculptors, prop makers, propshop metalsmiths, drapers, furniture makers, carpenters, florists, and myriad specialty craftspeople to achieve the finished custom set decoration elements designed for each environment.
  • Dress: Oversee dressing of the sets by the Set Dressing crew, to fulfill our vision and serve the overall Design team -- the Production Designer, Director and Creative Producers on the project. 
  • Present: Open each new set with the Director, making any required adjustments.

A Unique Professional Network

The Set Decorators Society of America, a nonprofit founded in 1993, is the only international organization dedicated to the support of the past, present and future of our profession. Members include qualified Set Decorators of Motion Pictures and Television, including commercials and music videos, as well as Business Members who provide furnishings, materials, and professional services to our trade.

We offer fellowship and networking opportunities for set decorators, crew members and vendors within our craft, and a bridge to other design and technical professions in the entertainment industry. For emerging decorators, students and apprentices hoping to enter our field, we have Associate and Student Memberships as well as various educational opportunities.

Our many activities preserve the past, provide businesses with strategies for success, and pave the way for an ever more professional group of Set Decorators in the future.


President Laura Richarz
Vice President Ellen Brill
Secretary Ellen Dorros
Treasurer David Smith & Jon Bush
Chairman of the Board Natalie Contreras
VPs Atlanta Gia Grosso, Carol Bayne Kelley
VPs New York Sean Haines, Cathy T. Marshall
Rosemary Brandenburg
Ellen Brill
Jon Bush
Hernan Camacho
Mimi Clarke (Business Member Front Row Media)
Natalie Contreras
Ellen Dorros
Christina Giovacchini (Associate)
Gia Grosso (Atlanta)
Sean Haines (New York)
Chase Helzer (Associate)
Carol Bayne Kelley (Atlanta)
Corri Levelle (Business Member Sandy Rose Floral Inc)
Adrianna Lopez
Cathy T. Marshall (NY)
Adrianna Cruz Ocampo (Business Member U-Frame-It Gallery)
Nya Patrinos
Laura Richarz
Gene Serdena
David Smith
JoAnn Vara (Business Member Bridge Furniture and Props)
Board Alternates
Melissa Arcaro (Associate)
Kimberly Buckley (Business Member Kimberly Frances Pillows)


Awards Committee

Plans and prepares the annual Awards event, including: selects award recipients, works with the venue, raises funds through donations, sponsorships and gifts from Business Members.

Business Members Committee

A network for those offering goods and services to Set Decorators, including creative marketing channels.

Bylaws Committee

Updates the SDSA bylaws as needed.

Community Outreach Committee

Devoted to supporting underserved communities that connect with our Industry. Supports donations to charities and our Members Service Fund via an art auction and other fundraisers.

Don Quixote

Our media watchdog:  encourages positive portrayals of Set Decorator's'contributions to and work in the industry. Corrects errors, inaccuracies, and misinformation about Set Decoration in the media, raising awareness about our art and craft.

Educational Outreach

Organizes our signature Day with the Set Decorator events. Outreach to SDSA Student Chapters and schools providing instruction in film and television. Educates the community that surrounds the commercial, television and film industry about our art form.


Oversees SDSA Elections: Board of Directors and Officers in alternating years. Contacts nominated members, explains duties to potential board members or officers. Oversees ballot by mail for board members, election by board for officers.


Provides networking opportunities and organizes the general membership meetings as well as member cocktail parties and mixers. Subcommittees may be introduced for putting together special events outside of regular calendar of events.


Reviews membership applications, contacts applicants and maintains memberships files.
Outreach to prospective and new members, connection with existing members

Revenue Enhancement

Explores and guides future growth of the SDSA, and ensures the financial health of the organization.

Website/ SETDECOR/ Social Media/ The Buzz

SDSA's face to the world.
Maintains website, generates content and articles. Supports website via advertising sales, pmonitors data on viewer statistics.

Karen Burg, Editor

The Buzz: 
Mimi Clarke 

 Website Advertising

Interested in advertising on our website? Set Decorators have purchasing and decision-making power.
www.setdecorators.org is the only website dedicated to the craft of Set Decoration within the film and television industry.

Advertising units start as low as $25 per month.

Email us at website@setdecorators.org or click on the PDF of the General Sponsorship rate card.

(Members of the SDSA enjoy up to 50% discount-Membership Applications below):





Maria Margarita Lopez: Online Sales

Email us at: website@setdecorators.org
Attention: Beth Wooke SDSA website chair

Please contact us in any of the following manners:

7100 Tujunga Ave., Suite #A
North Hollywood, CA 91605

Gene Cane, Executive Director
Tel:  818.255.2425
Fax: 818.982.8597
email administration: sdsa@setdecorators.org

The SDSA is a 501-c6 Not for Profit Corporation

To support these ventures, we rely on membership dues, donations from Corporate Sponsors, magazine and website advertising revenues, activity fees, and grants from those concerned with small business development and educational support.
The SDSA is separate and apart from any labor union and the organization does not represent Set Decorators in negotiations regarding wages or working conditions, leaving this function to our local unions, including IATSE Local 44 in Los Angeles and Local 52 in New York.

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