After watching her home/office go up in flames — and then spending far too long in a hotel — Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is finally getting the retreat she deserves this season on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder. EW has the exclusive first look at her new digs, which production designer Mayling Cheng says "represents who she is. She is a character with a lot of emotions. That's how I designed the set for her."
Cheng researched neighborhoods in Philly and decided that Annalise would land in Rittenhouse Square, an upscale historic neighborhood with a "great urban space that welcomes all minorities and the LGBT community," explains Cheng. "The city is just overcrowded. I really wanted to give her a converted church, but then I thought, mmm ... that's maybe too much. So I ended up with space. It's a redemption, a renewal. It's righteousness."
"I decided to create her space with big windows and tall ceiling with beams," says Cheng. "This represents who she is. At the same time, I want to change her space to be different between day and night. Daytime is a place for transparency, this warm and light-filled open space that is a place for redemption. But at night, I thought it should transform into blue shadows, solitary and lonely, filled with memory and ghosts."
"I did it with tile because there's certain texture," Cheng says on the bathroom. "I'm trying to have a little fun with it. Since this space is remodeled, we wanted to bring a contemporary feel into her space, to extend her nuance." If only she could fill the hole in Annalise's heart at the same time. "We put two sinks in to remind her she's lived alone," Cheng adds.
"The wallpaper is really blue because Viola looks beautiful with blue," explains Cheng. "She looks good in dark purple, red, maroon, jewel color, blue and green. She's just awesome. I'm very fortunate to work with her."
How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.