Nothing gets us fired up quite like having our colorful Christmas trees featured on television. That’s why we’re all excited to be part of the popular daytime talk show, Live with Kelly and Michael, once again.
Every holiday season, the show’s audience is treated to a beautifully decorated set packed with Christmas elegance and cheer. This year, the show’s Yuletide theme consisted of a monochromatic palette accented by crystal, silver, and bright punches of red.
Check out the image above and see how Treetopia’s pink Christmas trees, festive wreaths, and flocked artificial trees helped bring Live’s fabulous set design to life. As an added treat, here are a few photos of the same set converted into an ice rink for Live’s Christmas Eve show which features a special performance by characters from Disney’s Frozen.
The man behind this vision is Michael Fagin, an Emmy-nominated set designer who has created visually arresting stage designs for many major theatre productions, including M. Butterfly, The Glass Menagerie, and the critically acclaimed Broadway play, Ann. His work on The Light in the Piazza earned him a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Set Design in 2010.
Learn what it takes to set the scene for one of the country’s favorite TV shows in this exclusive interview with Michael.
TT: How would you describe the style or look of your current set for Live with Kelly and Michael?
MF: The set is a contemporary Manhattan loft-like space. Natural warm textures, clean lines, with quite a bit of integrated LED light and video technology.
TT: Do you collaborate with anyone when conceptualizing set designs? If so, what sort of input do you find most useful?
MF: I work very closely with the executive producer and director. We discuss not only what the set will look like, but also how it will function for the show.
TT: You mentioned that you were going for a crystal, silver, and white color theme for your Christmas episode(s). What made you choose this particular look?
MF: We started discussing old colorized classic holiday movies and wanted to try a similar monochromatic treatment with a bit of red popping through.
TT: How do you choose your theme each year? Where do you draw inspiration from?
MF: It varies from year to year. Generally, we have a brainstorming session and an idea will come out of the discussion.
TT: What do you love best about being a set designer for the show?
MF: I love the variety of challenges. Creating what is sometimes a home for the hosts that can transform to a performance space, game show set, fashion show or obstacle course.
TT: The set for the show is pretty big. What is your strategy for decorating large spaces?
MF: We have in the neighborhood of 130 monitors built into the set and thousands of feet of multi-colored LED lights from which we can transform the look of the set very quickly. That, along with a bit of strategic set dressing can make a significant visual change.
TT: Do you have any tricks for setting a tone or achieving a certain style for a specific occasion, like Christmas or New Year’s?
MF: Each project is approached differently. Usually we develop a theme. For instance, this year’s holiday show will be utilizing a technical process where the camera will only bring out reddish tones and the rest of the colors will fall into a gray scale.
TT: What are your go-to or must-have Christmas décor pieces for the show? What about your home?
MF: Obviously a tree, or in the case of Live, several trees.
TT: Do you have some set designing tips or ideas that translate well into decorating at home?
MF: I generally like to limit the color palette to three or four colors and then pop with some bold accent colors.
TT: What is your personal home decorating style?
MF: I guess you would say an eclectic transitional style. My house was built in the late 1920’s but I prefer clean lines in the décor.
TT: What do you think is the best way to quickly transform a room for any season or holiday?
MF: A little greenery and some lights go a long way.
TT: How do you decorate your own home for Christmas?
MF: Aside from the tree, my wife usually handles it. Honestly, I am usually done with holiday decorating by the time I get home from work.
Tune in every weekday morning and watch Treetopia Christmas trees rub elbows with the country’s hottest stars and celebrities on Live with Kelly and Michael.