One thing I didn’t think I’d be captivated by when we watched the Queen’s Gambit recently was the interior design of the film set!
I think I was a set designer in another life. Creating wonderful interior design schemes in a make-believe world where anything goes and rules are thrown out.
I have always been fascinated by interior design wherever I go or whatever I watch on TV.
Often, I will choose a restaurant or café, not because of its menu, but because of its cleverly thought-out interiors drawing you in.
I love to be surrounded by beautiful designs whilst I’m sipping on a glass of champagne and taking a lot of inspiration for my own home.
Some of my favourite interiors come from coffee shops with their industrial design and laid-back vibe.
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When we watched The Queen’s Gambit, instead of being fascinated with the plot line or trying to brush up on my chess skills (I used to compete regularly in Chess tournaments when I was younger, that was until I found out about alcohol and boys. Such a cliché!)
I was mesmerised by the sets and loved their use of colour, pattern and classic furniture designs.
I loved all the use of colour and pattern and became fascinated with 1960s interior design so I thought I’d try to recreate some of the sets with a modern-day twist.
The Queen’s Gambit Interior Sets
The Queen’s Gambit production designer, Uli Hanisch, and film set decorator, Sabine Schaaf, really capitalised on the style and culture of the 1960s and it often provided a stunning backdrop to Beth’s intense chess games.
Whilst Beth was expertly whizzing her Rook around the chequered board, I’d be looking at the backdrop of the Aztek Palace in Mexico or the Las Vegas Hotel foyer.
The 1960s was an age of Space and rebellion.
1960s interior design was all about modernism (which it was called at the time. We now tend to call it mid-century modernism), and using bright colours like orange, purple and teal in patterned wallpaper and different pieces of furniture.
Mid-century furniture with clean lines and curves appeared in every room and is still popular today!
Each room would be a psychedelic blend of mismatched patterns and primary colours, floral prints, pop art, Eames chairs, Mary Quant and Andy Warhol.
I have taken several sets from The Queen’s Gambit and created mood boards of how we could incorporate the designs today.
Alma Wheatley’s Living Room
The Wheatley’s home in The Queen’s Gambit was filled with mid-century modern pieces and was over the top and maximalist.
Her living room was adorned with floral wallpaper, green velvet sofas and chairs, a feature fireplace with a starburst mirror and ruffled curtains.
This style of interior design today is called Grandmillennial.
Introducing mid-century furniture to modern pieces is key to this look. Reclaimed furniture and second-hand vintage pieces sit alongside retro elements to give your room that “granny chic” look.
I also loved the use of green throughout the series, it is hands down my favourite colour.
Dark green is such an easy colour to use as it is very versatile and pairs up nicely with many colours, including pink, gold, mustard and rust oranges.
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Alma Wheatley’s Bedroom
Alma’s bedroom is a floral pattern overload, draped from top to bottom in flowers.
The wallpaper, bed linen and cushions all had a floral theme. Even the lampshades matched the wallpaper.
Her bedroom in the Queen’s Gambit could only be described as Kitsch, with its overuse of pastel colours and patterns.
Now, I am one for floral print, but even I found it a bit too much.
But, you could still recreate this room by keeping the floral wallpaper as a feature wall, using an oversized velvet headboard in similar colours and introducing plain bedding to stop it from looking like a rose vomited all over the room.
You could add floral chairs, cushions and rugs to still give it that Queen’s Gambit 1960s look.
Las Vegas Hotel
Beth and Alma soon find themselves in a Las Vegas Hotel where Beth is competing in the U.S. Chess Open and here, we are met with a riot of teal, turquoise and gold.
The Las Vegas Hotel foyer was typical for the 1960s with parquet flooring, lots of gold, mid-century furniture and pops of bright colours.
It is in Las Vegas that we really see the bold geometric prints and clashing colours of the 1960s come alive in geometric wallpaper patterns and prints.
The décor leans towards the Art Deco interiors period with curves, modern materials, the use of gold and shapes appearing in almost every design.
Most of the décor cleverly gives a nod to the chess board with its chequered designs and grid-like patterns.
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Beth and Alma travel to the Aztek Palace next so Beth can take part in an international chess tournament in Mexico City.
This is initially where my idea for a blog post began and was definitely one of my favourite sets.
We were being showcased a riot of wild jungle wallpaper, palm leaf headboards and pinks and greens working harmoniously together with its eclectically tropical interior designs.
There were a lot of rattan furniture, glass dividers, block-coloured rugs and indoor palm trees. The geometric rugs and paned glass were typical in 1960s interior design.
Paris Hotel Room
As you would expect to happen in Paris, the décor takes it down a notch or two and has an air of sophistication.
Gone are the large and loud geometric prints, as the decor takes on a calmer vibe.
Here we see an introduction to Art Nouveau with luxury button-backed furniture, linens, over-the-top drapes, abstract artwork and floral wallpaper.
As Beth appears to be growing up in front of our eyes, so does the décor with opulent and decorative art, curved furniture, floral and leaf patterns and a more sophisticated colour palette.
Inspired by The Queen’s Gambit?
And last, but not least, I couldn’t end this blog post without adding a chess board and inspired accessories!
Checkerboard print became hugely popular after the series with it appearing on fashion catwalks and in the home.
I already have my chessboard on order…
Black and white checked flooring is making a huge comeback at the moment, with it popularising hallways and bathrooms.
The monochrome nature of this checked flooring means it works with any colour scheme and can be placed in any room.
We thoroughly enjoyed watching The Queen’s Gambit and in particular, I loved seeing all the sets of the 1960s come to life.
There are so many designs that are used in modern decor, from checked flooring to mid-century furniture.
The 1960s played a huge part in how we decorate our homes today.
Which interior set was your favourite?
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