Inside the Loud and Vibrant Set of the New HBO Comedy Hacks

The downstairs is considered her public-facing domain—where she entertains and a team of assistants and staffers tend to her needs. But Deborah, ever the workaholic, has an office adjacent to her sitting room. “The office is my favorite set piece because it has the perfect blend of dressing to illuminate her character,” set decorator Ellen Reese Dorros says. “She’s elegant, strong and playful.” It features a tiger-print chair—note the fierce-woman animal metaphor—that plays off a modern coral sofa, a modern vintage Artifort coffee table designed by Kho Liang Ie accented by a Stilnovo floor lamp, bespoke built-in bookshelves, and several gold French chairs to tie in the warmth of the wood tone on the walls. (The desk was sourced from Omega Cinema Props in L.A., with a custom-made smoked glass top from Motion Picture Glass.)

Behold Deborah’s salt-and-pepper shaker collection. ”Everything about Deborah is quality, so the lowbrow shaker is probably next to a $10,000 one,” Carlos says.

Courtesy of HBO

True to her obsessive nature, Deborah also proudly displays an extensive salt-and-pepper shaker collection in her kitchen. “She takes such pride in that collection and wants everybody to hold it in high regard,” Carlos says. “That’s why the cabinetry we built for it is quality.” In the second episode, she asks Ava to track down an obscure one; behind the scenes, Dorros plucked the pieces via “a bit of fun shopping” in local antique malls and eBay. “I needed to find the right balance of kitschy and high-end to match her spirit,” she says. Elsewhere in the kitchen, Carlos notes the center island piece is the “pinnacle of movement and conversation.”

“The bedroom is where she can be a recluse and pull away,” Carlos says.

Courtesy of HBO

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Her retreat? The upstairs bedroom. With no hard angles to be found, “you want to feel like you can just let your guard down,” Carlos says, adding that she scolds Ava early on for wandering up there. “It’s almost like a rose where the branches are down below and this is where you find all the beautiful petals.” Everything from the color palette to the furniture to the textile to the artwork has a softness—including the custom-made bedding from Luxury Fabrics and Home Fabrics downtown.

But for all its gorgeous touches, don’t bet on Carlos ever choosing to live in such a stately mansion. “It’s fun to design, but with that volume of space, there’s no intimacy and can feel alienating and uncomfortable,” he says. “You kind of just have to admire it.”

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