Inside the Queen’s Gambit–Inspired Hotel Room Complete With Chess Pieces on the Ceiling


The Queen’s Gambit has come to life. The 21c Museum Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky (the home base of the chess prodigy played by Anya Taylor-Joy in the Netflix hit), recently revealed a room with decor inspired by the show’s colorful, midcentury-modern, wallpaper-heavy sets. Available to book now, the Harmon room even features larger-than-life chess pieces suspended from the ceiling to mimic the visions Beth Harmon has as she lays in bed in the show.

The maximalist decor was a collaboration between local designer Isabel Ladd, Mid-Century Design League of Lexington founder Lucy Jones, and Alex K Mason of Ferrick Mason Inc., who created a custom geometric wallpaper pattern for the room featuring circles and knights in various shades of green. (This horse motif serves double duty here; anyone who has been to Lexington knows that horse culture is a huge part of the city’s identity.)

The Queen’s Gambit is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, who called Lexington, Kentucky, home and taught at the University of Kentucky.

In addition to midcentury antiques from a local store called Scout and borrowed from private collections, a stocked bar cart, a gold peacock that hangs over the bed, and, of course, a chess set, guests who stay in the room will also find rare books, plus an itinerary of places to visit in the city inspired by the show.

21c Museum is a boutique hotel with an attached art gallery and art exhibits located in the lobby and even the rooms. In addition to the Lexington location, there are outposts located throughout the South and Midwest in cities like Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Chicago.

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The seven-episode miniseries, which premiered on Netflix in October, attracted a record number of viewers for the streaming platform. In the show, Beth Harmon is an orphan growing up at the Methuen Home in Lexington, where she learns to play chess from a janitor. After she is adopted, she begins to enter (and win!) chess tournaments and eventually travels the world, all while dealing with substance abuse issues. From the hotels she stays in to the home of her adoptive mother, the decor in the show leans into the use of patterns, color, and maximalism, turning the story into a visual feast for the eyes.

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