Setting the Stage
“I think people are drawn to decor for a combination of reasons: beauty, usefulness, and emotion,” says Safe Haven set decorator Patrick Cassidy. “If I know who the character is I can get to what should be in a room.” Left: Alex’s office in the back of his store was given a homey and historical vibe with a teacher’s desk from the ’70s, a vintage push-button phone, and toys and art supplies for his kids. Items for the film were locally sourced in antiques stores in Raleigh, Wilmington, and Southport, NC.
Making a Home
“I cannot decorate a set without a narrative. Everything in an office, a shop, or a home winds up there for a reason,” says Cassidy (left), whose set for Alex’s house tells the story of the life he had built with his wife and the children they had raised there. “I wanted them to be a modern Southern couple—from this small town but also contemporary. There are heirloom pieces mixed in with some modern hipster items as well. And the kids are very present: We hung their artwork salon-style in the front room.”
For Ivan’s Fish Shack, Cassidy wanted to create a timeless American diner that reflected its nautical roots without being too kitschy. In the mix: a ship’s wheel on the hostess stand, vintage oars on the ceiling, and art from a local shrimper and part-time painter who had decorated his dock and fishery with works he made in the late 1950s. Left: Police Chief Mulligan (Ric Reitz) is among the regulars catching up over coffee or the catch of the day.
Keeping It Real
Whether it’s a home or a set, it always comes down to the same thing for Cassidy: authenticity. “You should have things in your own home that tell your own narrative—your past, your personality, and where you want to go,” he says. “And those things can be as frivolous as a beautiful lamp or as mundane as a really good toaster oven.” Left: Cassidy puts the finishing touches on a bedroom that reflects both the Southern small-town coastal setting and the sense that a real person lives there.