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 must research, resource, and acquire all the objects required to dress the sets. Typical examples of this set dressing may include furniture, drapery, lighting fixtures, art and other decorative objects. However, the Set Decorator is also charged with large scale items, which could include machinery or robots, sidewalk window dressing, street items (such as street lamps and mailboxes), even rubble and debris!

The Creative Process

Over the course of preparation and shooting, Set Decorators:

  • Collaborate: Meet with the Production Designer, Director, Producers, Costume Designer, Construction Coordinator, Cinematographer and other filmmakers regarding the design, decoration, lighting, and look of the project.
  • Budget: Negotiate for Production approval and monitor on a daily basis the Set Dressing Purchases & Rentals Budget, and the Set Dressing Labor Budget.
  • Hire: Bring together the Set Dressing Crew and support contractors, set the tone for the work to be done, supervise the process, and be available to answer questions.
  • Organize: Break down the script, identify sets and practical locations, plan the objects to be acquired for each set, and schedule all deadlines for acquisition.
  • Research: Present period and style inspiration appropriate for each project. Prepare presentation boards with research, swatches, colors, and examples of objects.
  • 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 all set dressing needed: furniture, fabrics, decorative objects, industrial items, lighting fixtures
  • Design: We are responsible for the design and fabrication of objects unavailable in the marketplace. This may include organizing alterations and upholstery, creating window treatments, painting and aging of set dressing, working with illustrators, set designers, scenic artists, sculptors, prop makers, metal smiths and other specialty craftspeople to achieve a finished product.
  • Dress: Oversee the dressing of the sets with the Set Dressers to the satisfaction and agreement of the Production Designer.
  • Present: Open each new set with the Director, making any adjustments needed.

A Unique Professional Network

The Set Decorators Society of America, founded in 1993, is the only national nonprofit 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
Rosemary Brandenburg
Ellen Brill
Jon Bush
Hernan Camacho
Mimi Clarke (Business Member Front Row Media)
Natalie Contreras
Ellen Dorros
Christina Giovacchini (Assoc)
Gia Grosso (VP Atlanta)
Sean Haines (VP New York)
Chase Helzer (Assoc)
Carol Bayne Kelley (VP Atlanta)
Corri Levelle (Business Member Sandy Rose Floral Inc)
Adrianna Lopez
Cathy T Marshall (VP 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 Alterates
Melissa Aracaro (Associate)
KimberlyBuckley (Bsuiness Member Kimberly Frances Pillows)



Awards Luncheon Committee

Plans and prepares the annual awards luncheon including: choose the award recipients, working with the venue, working with various members to procure funding through donations and sponsorships and prizes from Business Members.

Business Members Committee

Provides a network for those who offer goods and services to Set Decorators, including creative marketing channels that benefit the SDSA and the Business Members.

Bylaws Committee

Updates the SDSA bylaws as needed.

Community Outreach Committee

Devoted to giving service, support and educating the community that surrounds the commercial, television and film industry. Raises funds for donations to charity and SDSA member fund via art auction and other events.

Don Quixote

A media watchdog acknowledging positive portrayals of Set Decorator's contributions to and work in the industry. Corrects errors and inaccuracies, bringing attention to misinformation and misrepresentation about Set Decoration in the media, raising awareness about our art and craft.

Educational Outreach

Organizes Day with the Set Decorator events. Outreach to SDSA Student Chapters and schools providing instruction in film and televsion.


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.

Future Directions

Explores and defines the future growth of the organization within the profile of the craft as well as area of the community and industry.


Reviews membership applications, contacts applicants and maintains memberships files and cards.
Reaches out to prospective and new members with packets and guidance.

Revenue Enhancement

Plans for the financial health of the SDSA.


Karen Burg, Editor

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



Interested in sponsoring our website?
Advertising units start as low as $25 per month.

Set Decorators have purchasing and decision making power.
Our website, www.setdecorators.org is the only website dedicated to the craft of set decoration within the film and television industry.

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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