I love Architectural Digest’s Open Door video series, taking us inside celebrity homes—usually, every now and then they just go to a landmark residence regardless of ownership—and showing us what kind of taste our favorite celebrities have. 


I have a whole playlist of Open Doors, with standout favorites being Dita Von Teese’s Tudor-style maximalist home, Vanessa Hudgens’ dreamy neo-Georgian with AMAZING pool, and Liv Tyler’s absolutely perfect New York brownstone (one of my all-time fave Open Doors). The lowkey truth about the Open Door series, though, is that it is an unofficial real estate video; a LOT of these houses end up transacting, often off-market, shortly after the videos premiere. Just know that whenever you see a celebrity Open Door, the house is usually, if unofficially, for sale.

Not in Barbie’s case, though. In an absolutely BRILLIANT marketing move—whoever came up with this should get a bonus—Margot Robbie took Architectural Digest on a tour of the Dreamhouse featured in Barbie. It’s an incredible way to show off the behind-the-scenes artistry of the film, and the sheer detail and imagination that went into the sets, and thus the movie itself. This makes me even more excited for this film, as if that was possible.


For instance, there are no elements in Barbieland. We already clocked the waterless shower in the trailer, but Robbie points out that the pool is also waterless, it’s just blue plastic in the ground. Of course, it makes perfect sense that there is no water, or fire, because kids wouldn’t have that to play with. The Dreamhouse play set doesn’t have running water, so there is no water in the movie. And the fridge has some real props in it, but it also has a scale decal, in fact, a lot of Barbie’s world is decals. Again, makes total sense. Barbie doesn’t actually eat, she doesn’t need real food. She just goes through the motions of daily activities, like a kid imagining Barbie getting ready for her day.

Similarly, the proportions are all a little off. Robbie shows off Barbie’s toothbrush and hairbrush, both of which are comically large—better suited for the hands of a child playing with them, rather than Barbie’s little doll hands. It’s just so clever! Barbieland isn’t really designed for Barbie, it’s designed for the kids playing with the Dreamhouse. There’s so much imagination in that, and in details like Barbie’s closet looking like a classic Barbie box but interacting like Cher’s “virtual” closet in Clueless. And Skipper’s treehouse is a landmark in Barbieland! That made me laugh. Barbieland has a historic registry!


As for Barbie’s house, it’s a mid-century marvel of pink. Since Barbie debuted in 1959, they took their cues from mid-century styles. We’ve seen this set in the trailers, but it just looks incredible up close. The video also emphasizes the use of old-school practical techniques like utilizing matte paintings for the backgrounds, instead of just doing it all digitally with blue screens. There is definitely some blue screen involved, especially in the far distance of wide shots, but STILL. They used matte paintings! A lot of them! And they specifically mention how the backgrounds are designed to interact with different lighting schemes, which contributes to the overall colorful, poppy look of the film. This is a Wes Anderson-level of care and craft in practical set building we don’t often see in major studio blockbusters anymore.