December 30th, 2019 by Karen Burg with Set Decorator Claire Kaufman SDSA

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The March house... The beloved story of the March sisters... Meg [Emma Watson], Jo [Saoirse Ronan], Amy [Florence Pugh] and Beth [Eliza Scanlen] both timeless and timely... Set Decorator Claire Kaufman SDSA notes, “The March house is the heart of the film. I wanted it to have a very eclectic, lived-in feeling, filled with many different textures, fabrics and wallpapers... Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

Writer-director Greta Gerwig has crafted a LITTLE WOMEN that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott...

“Writer-director Greta Gerwig has crafted a LITTLE WOMEN that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott...
In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters—four young women each determined to live life on her own terms—is both timeless and timely.   

With its fluid approach to time, the film immerses the audience in the memories, moments, accidents of fate and acts of will that form the March sisters—ink-stained, defiantly independent writer Jo [Saoirse Ronan]; nurturing, principled, would-be actor Meg [Emma Watson]; fragile, open-hearted musician Beth [Eliza Scanlen]; clever, aspirational painter Amy [Florence Pugh]—into their full, complicated adult selves, each so different but united in an unswerving sisterhood. It is a world where the dailiness of women’s lives—their discoveries, sacrifices and anger, their financial, artistic and domestic concerns—deeply matters.  
Director Greta Gerwig brings to the fore a visually ravishing film with a look inspired by the bold artists who were changing the way people saw the world in Alcott’s time.”                
—Columbia Pictures

“From the start, Greta always knew she wanted to bring audiences directly into the lived-in world of the March sisters in all its chaotic beauty," Producer Amy Pascal reveals. "It was vital to her that their private home life crackle with kinetic energy.”
“She envisioned a look for the film that draws from paintings from the era—from the European Impressionists to American master Winslow Homer—but then those paintings burst open into the raw, textured and unpredictable feelings of everyday life.” 
“Greta surrounded herself with great department heads...She wanted to work with people who were going to elevate and challenge her, and then she also elevated and challenged them.”  
Thus, the dream team of Director of Photography Yorick Le Saux, Production Designer Jess Gonchor, Set Decorator Claire Kaufman SDSA, Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran and their incredibly talented crews.
See the gallery above for the delightful immersive experience of LITTLE WOMEN...

In truth, we only touch upon some of the wonderfully encompassing sets...those that visually bring us into to the story and define the passage of time as it flits back and forth...but there are ever so many more, including: 
 intermediate life as a writer in the New York City of 1868, re-created in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a former textile center and home of Robert Frost...
...Aunt March’s home before & after her unexpected bequeathment...
...the threadbare home of the impoverished Hummel family...
...and the streets, shops & byways of 1860’s Concord
All of the filming was done in the environs of author Louise May Alcott’s experience...she was taught by Thoreau, had Emerson as a neighbor...and the teams strove for authenticity throughout, both historic and philosophical, while ensuring a modern audience could relate.

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The March house, the attic... Claire reveals, “I wanted Jo’s area of the attic to feel like a nest where she could be her most creative and sit with her thoughts...” Saoirse Ronan. Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

Claire gives us details in the photo gallery captions above, and notes...
“I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing film with such a strong female cast and, of course, the wonderful director Greta Gerwig. I can never thank Jess Gonchor enough for having me decorate this film and my team for all of the creative efforts and joy throughout.
It was a profoundly fulfilling and meaningful experience for all of us.”



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The March house, the attic... “The March attic played two important roles. It is a place the girls can hang out together and be playful and creative. It is also a private sanctuary for Jo to do her writing. I loved the rawness of the space but wanted it to feel inviting, like the rest of the house. I wanted to bring the outside in, which in turn, gave the room lots of interesting layers and textures...” Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, the attic... “I love that it was a large space but felt like each area served a purpose. And Jess Gonchor had the wonderful idea of painting a lot of the details, like the curtains, as opposed to doing them practically...” Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, parlor... One of Claire’s many “mood boards” for the film... Courtesy CK ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, parlor... Note the effectiveness of her boards! Here, the parlor is decorated for Christmas, and you can see the under-pad where the needlepoint rug will be placed... Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, parlor... “My Set Dec Buyers Katy Shirey, Melissa Cooperman, Alana Shea and I pretty much purchased and rented the entire movie from in and around New England. However, most of the upholstery had to be redone as the fabric was either too worn or not the right color palette...” Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, parlor... A behind-the-scenes moment... While Emma Watson checks her notes, Director/Writer Gerta Gerwig [standing, with headphones] goes over a scene with Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and, seated on floor, Eliza Scanlen... Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, dining room... Another of Claire’s “mood boards” for the film... Courtesy CK ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, dining room... “I loved the architecture that Jess created with the house. The back stairs connected directly to the girls’ bedrooms. I also loved how the wallpapers took on a whole new feel between day and night...” Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, dining room... “One of my favorite photos from the film. Again, always trying to be creative with what the girls would have had on hand to decorate the plays they put on...” Saoirse Ronan, standing. Emma Watson, Florence Pugh. Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, dining room detail... “The piece behind the girls is an old armoire we stripped apart and painted to look like a piece of a castle. And added the curtains to make it look like a window...” Photo by Wilson Webb ©2019 CTMG.

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The March house, kitchen... The board for another heart of the home... Courtesy CK ©2019 CTMG.