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How to Channel Dexter’s Dark Style in Your Home

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Interior designer Jeff Andrews, who counts Dexter star Michael C. Hall among his list of A-list clients, recently designed a room at the Showtime House at New York City's Cassa Hotel. Here, Andrews uses the show's themes as design inspiration, and gives a peek at his space ahead of Dexter's fifth season premiere.

The Dexter room that I designed is representative of Dexter's secret life; a refuge for the "dark passenger." It's a psychological exploration of a person who is driven yet tortured by his secret life — that which defines him.

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When developing the concept, I knew that I wanted to design the space for Dexter, rather than a space inspired by Dexter. I was also fortunate enough to get feedback from my actual design client, Michael C. Hall, who gave me great insight into the character. The result is a masculine loft space that manages to be both dramatic and livable with just a touch of creepiness. After all, the client is a serial killer!


Color: I started with a dark color palette to reflect Dexter's "dark passenger." The walls are a khaki green/brown called "Brindle" from Pantone that match Dexter's clothing of choice when acting on his serial killer instincts. The dark walls create a sense of drama and moodiness and set the overall tone of the room.

Wallpaper: Another easy way to incorporate texture into a room is with wallpaper — in this case I chose to cover the ceiling in "Half Plaid" wallpaper from Maya Romanoff, a pattern that resembles skin.

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Area Rug: The custom cowhide area rug by Kyle Bunting is a mixture of colors, textures and shapes which grounds the furniture and creates a boundary between the living area and work/sleeping areas. The segmented pattern of the rug that I designed with Kyle continues the theme of Dexter's "broken, fragmented" persona.

TV Area: I hung the LG 42-inch LE400 LED LCD flat screen TV between the windows, using the drapes as a backdrop. A vintage industrial work cart from Strawser and Smith is for A/V storage, which is a more interesting choice than a conventional TV cabinet.

Bed: How you place the furniture in a room is also key. I chose to showcase the reclaimed wood bed I designed with L.A.-based artisans To Do Something by suspending it from the ceiling with repurposed boat anchor chain, adding drama and intrigue while directly referencing the feeling of floating and Dexter's love of the ocean — the place where he feels most at peace.

Desk/Office Area: I wanted to keep Dexter's office/work area as streamlined as possible to reflect his compulsion for organization. The desk, also created by To Do Something, was created using a mixture of both old and new materials.

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The final step when designing a room is the addition of art and accessories. For the Dexter room, every piece had to have meaning in how it directly related to the character. Books are an accessory that I thought was essential to the design aesthetic and character exploration, as Dexter's life revolves around research. Michael C. Hall actually suggested many of the topics for the books which are representative of Dexter's interests, like oceanography, abnormal psychology, and etiquette.

In the Dexter room as with all of my work, it's all about the details and the subtle nuances that tie everything together. The space is a livable, workable, reality-based space that just happens to be designed around a fictional TV character. Above all, my primary goal is that fans come away with the feeling that you are in someone's personal space — as if Dexter himself had just walked out of the room!

Dexter premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m./ET on Showtime.

By Jeff Andrews for For more home decor and design tips, click here.

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