Storytelling

Best vintage moments: The Queen's Gambit

This appointment is dedicated to the most spectacular vintage interiors of TV series and movies, sources of inspiration for furnishing our homes with unique objects. Here is a selection of unforgettable interiors taken from the most acclaimed Netflix series of the end of 2020.

While Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), the protagonist of The Queen's Gambit, a miniseries set between the 50s and 60s, enthralled viewers with her extraordinary chess skills, those in the audience who were less sensitive to the game of chess remained nonetheless glued to the screen for the unforgettable interiors provided by this TV drama. For intOndo, which gathers fans of vintage, upcycling and reinterpretation of vintage pieces in a contemporary key, it was natural to select some great impact decoration moments within the story. A story that, we discovered with surprise by reading an interview given by the series set designer Uli Hanish to Architectural Digest US, despite being mainly set in Lexington, Kentucky, in the States, was actually filmed for a good part ... in Berlin! Why? Having been a city divided into east and west, Berlin presents such a variety of architectures and styles, that it provides the different scenarios in which the plot unfolds. So get inspired by our selection!
 
 
 
Netflix © 2020
 
1. Beth Harmon's house: a total look decoration
 
Pattern, pattern, and more pattern. This was the watchword for the set designers of The Queen's Gambit when recreating the interiors of a 50s Kentucky house, that of the protagonist's adoptive parents. Upholstery and wallpaper decorated with floral patterns dominate the scene. Most striking is the mix of similar patterns and the repetition of the same motif on several elements, a total look from the walls to the curtains, from the lampshades to the bedspread; an attitude in some ways kitsch, also accentuated by the ostentation of knick-knacks, but definitely a lot of fun. An almost obsessive stratification that can be unsettling, but that characterizes in an unprecedented way an environment that, from being anonymous, will no longer go unnoticed. To recreate it in a less striking way, one can limit it to a corner of a room, or to a single wall.
 
 
Netflix © 2020

2. The house restyling: colors and materials

After the death of her adoptive mother, Beth gives a breath of freshness to the house by renewing its color palette, which is now declined in shades of pastel blue and powder pink linked by dark teal, a color that is a constant presence in interior design magazines these days and which, as in the old house scheme, is repeated from the furnishings to the bedside lamps. The ruffled and fringed curtains disappear, giving space to simpler and more raw curtains, and in general, the upholstery of sofas and armchairs is simplified, focusing on wool and velvet. Wallpaper remains, but turns into a set of almost "Klimtian" motifs in shades of powder pink. What about the furniture? The quintessence of what was the modernity of that era enters the scene with teak sideboards, low and light tables, curved and slender shapes, tapered legs, enveloping armchairs in Gio Ponti style. As far as the objects, the chess trophies have now replaced the knick-knacks.
 
 
Netflix © 2020
 
3. Clean lined furniture
 
To create the scenes in which Beth competes in prestigious tournaments at renowned American and European hotels, the series proposes a more linear and sophisticated furniture style, in which the basic elements range from Bauhaus hints to luxurious Déco atmospheres. We'd like to focus on this interesting restaurant area, inside what should be a luxurious Las Vegas hotel, actually recreated in a 50s Berlin conference center, furnished with mélange carpets and elegant sets of coffee tables made of tubular steel. The whole set is topped by a spectacular futuristic chandelier, perhaps of Scandinavian manufacture.
 
Netflix © 2020
 
4. French allure

When Beth competes in a hotel in Paris, we are actually still in Berlin, precisely at the Haus Cumberland, a grand hotel on the Kurfürstendamm built in the early 20s, which until recently housed the legendary (and much loved by celebrities!) Café Grosz. In a distinctly 19th century hall illuminated by antique chandeliers, neoclassical elements alternate with rococo-style consoles and a series of chairs with a fluted back in the shape of a lyre, matched with graceful benches featuring Vienna straw backs.
 
 
Netflix © 2020
 
5. Elegance in a few moves

Even for the most important tournament, the one set in a hotel in Moscow in 1968 during the final episode, the location is actually the Bärensaal (the Bears' Chamber), inside the old Berlin city hall. The rationalist room, grand to say the least, is three floors high and (in a homage to chess) decorated in black and white marble from floor to ceiling, dialoguing with Beth's dress colors. The spectators follow the players from an elevated point of view, while the commentators of the match broadcast the radio report from a few loggias, decorated with white buttoned leather panels, which seem to evoke the conceptual works of Italian artist Enrico Castellani. Definitely the chicest moment of the whole series.