The Brady girls picked out this wallpaper themselves - and their choice caused trouble on set
Who doesn't love a busy wallpaper pattern? Well, cinematographers.
The Brady Bunch did plenty of renovating during the series run. Revisiting, it's easy to see why it became such a fun recurring subplot. These renovations provided opportunities for physical comedy galore (like Greg accidentally swiping a paintbrush across Alice's face when painting door trim) and moments that were absolutely pure (like Bobby and Cindy playing tic tac toe in paint on the wall). Once again, these sequences made it easy for audiences to see themselves in the family onscreen.
One of the biggest projects we watched them undertake was actually the subplot to the iconic episode "The Subject Was Noses." In it, Carol and Mike are redecorating their bedroom, trying to decide between two different wallpapers: one a pink and white floral, the other bands of mustard stripes.
Unswayed to select either, they decide to paint the room instead, using a light mint green that Carol likes so much, she threatens to repaint the whole house as the episode's final joke.
The next season in the episode "My Brother's Keeper," there's a call-back to this episode, as the subplot once again finds the Bradys redecorating, only this time, they're redoing the girls' room.
As Bobby and Peter struggle to reconcile after Bobby saves Peter's life, the girls are busy picking out wallpaper to change things up in their shared space.
In his book Brady, Brady, Brady, series creator Sherwood Schwartz said that for this scene, he actually let the actors playing the Brady sisters — Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, and Susan Olsen — choose which wallpaper they would have to live with for the rest of the series run. And apparently, however well-meaning, this was not his most well-thought-out decision on set.
You see, on the Brady Bunch set, Schwartz had learned from the very beginning that for the show to look authentic, it was best for the Brady kids to actually make the arts and crafts used on the show, from the art hanging in the kids' rooms to the posters used to help Jan win a popularity contest.
So, he said, "I asked the girls to pick out the wallpaper," and after going through the options, the girls landed on a design with a dizzying array of small yellow flowers, about the color of Carol's wedding dress in the show's first episode.
Once the pattern was picked, Schwartz consulted with his cinematographer and that's when he learned he'd made a mistake. "Maureen, Eve, and Susan had picked out a design that was hard to shoot," Schwartz said. "Bob Hager, the cinematographer, asked me to change it to something less extreme."
But have you ever tried to back down after making a kid a promise? Do you remember the first time you got to pick out the wallpaper in your bedroom, or the color of the paint on the walls?
The series creator returned to his young stars and told them what Hager had said. "They were hurt," Schwartz said in the book. "I had asked them for their opinion, and it didn't seem to matter."
Not able to disappoint the Brady sisters, Schwartz brought this message to Hager. "I went back to the cinematographer and asked if he could live with it. He grumbled, but he reluctantly agreed."
So in the end, the girls did get to pick out the wallpaper they liked best, and the episode ends with Carol joking to Mike that the whole experience just makes her want to do even more renovations, suggesting she approved of the sunny design her onscreen daughters chose, too.