Inside the Labor of Love Houses: The Dating Show's Designer Takes PEOPLE Behind the Scenes
Get a glimpse inside the neighboring homes where 15 men will compete for one former Bachelor contestant's heart — and the chance to start a family together
PEOPLE is taking a look behind the scenes of Fox’s new reality dating show, Labor of Love.
The series, which premiered May 21, follows former Bachelor contestant Kristy Katzmann looking for love — and a family. She's “a 41-year old, smart, successful and beautiful career woman who seems to have it all," the show's description details. But the one thing she wants most is a baby!
“Like so many women in America today, she is ready to have a child and start a family, but has yet to meet the potential father of her children."
In the show, Katzmann — joined by Sex and the City star Kristin Davis as host — is matched with 15 men ready to show off their paternal sides. And they have a chance to show off just how they deal with a full house on air, because they're all living together in a home right next door to the one occupied by their potential leading lady.
Labor of Love’s production designer, Meghann Kruzel, tells PEOPLE that the layout of the two neighboring houses was carefully curated to “cater to the journey [the contestants] were on.”
“We wanted the houses to feel different,” she explains. “For [Katzmann’s] house, we wanted her to feel as comfortable as possible. … She obviously had a big job at hand, so I wanted it to feel really serene. I think we did that through a lot of neutral tones, soft materials, luxurious drapes… it felt really calming. That’s the vibe that we were going for.”
When it came to designing the space for the potential dads-to-be, Kruzel had an even bigger task on her hands — particularly when it came to the sleeping and seating arrangements.
“A challenge I just was not expecting is how tall the cast is! A handful of them are 6’6” and taller,” she reveals.
The men’s bedrooms ultimately “ended up being some of the most beautiful spaces in the home,” to Kruzel’s surprise. “They still felt grown-up even with smaller beds and multiple people to the room.”
One of the most notable design choices for their sleeping arrangements? Bunk beds! (Albeit, extremely chic ones).
For the men’s home, Kruzel says that in order to achieve a “masculine and sophisticated” aesthetic “while still being light and airy,” they focused on “a lot of layered textures, leather, some simple patterns and clean woods.”
As all reality TV fans know, a good layout of the space is essential: the balance of private and communal areas, and how they function to encourage intimate moments or foster potential conflict among contestants in close quarters.
Striking that balance is something Kruzel kept in mind when curating the houses. “It’s definitely different when you’re designing for a dating show [than a private home]. You want to have spaces with a lot of seating where people can gather,” she explains, “and then we have a lot of little nooks and crannies with spaces that Kristy and the guys could sneak away and have some private conversations.”
“It’s definitely different than a regular house,” she says — much like living next door to 15 would-be fathers-of-your-children. And that's precisely what makes it such fun to watch.
Labor of Love airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.