Arrested Development: Inside The Bluths’ new houses

A dysfunctional group of narcissistic rich Americans, their attempts to keep the company afloat by flaunting a single model display home – and building houses in Iraq for Saddam Hussein – kept audiences entertained for three series.

All photos: House Beautiful

Since the show was cancelled nine years ago, a lot has changed: the group’s glue Michael (played by Jason Bateman) has moved on, leaving the family sprawling across multiple homes in various states of financial disorder.

Which, of course, means lots of opportunity for set designer Jennifer Lukehart to explore the show’s characters through interior design. After all, what else is Arrested Development about, if not houses*?

(*And chicken dances, family and breakfast.)

From Spanish apartments to teenage bedrooms, Beautiful Houses offers a brief peek at the show’s new sets, with some comments from Lukehart.

Lucille Austero’s penthouse

“Almost everything here was a prop-house rental. I wanted it to feel as if it had been decorated in the 1980s, and updated since then with a couple of more recent items. We stuck with the sort of Hollywood Regency-Art Deco theme that had been established, but we expanded it and did her whole apartment.”


The Ealing Club

“The Ealing Club is a private members-only club, kind of like the Soho House. That fishtail palm in the corner is real. We even rent plants!”


Spanish apartment

“I was going for a very eclectic bohemian vibe on this location shoot. The look is a mix of antique, vintage, and modern. I wanted it to really stand apart from the look of the Orange County-based sets.”


And what of the show’s most inept married couple, Tobias and Lindsay Funke? They find themselves hit hard by the recent financial crisis, explains Lukehart…

  “Before the financial collapse, Lindsay and Tobias were somehow approved for a home loan for a very large house. They’re in their own big, unfurnished mansion because they’ve run out of money in true Bluth fashion and don’t have the funds to furnish it. So they’re just walking through, yelling back-and-forth as they go through these big, empty rooms.”