He and set decorator Sabine Schaaf transformed the town hall in the Berlin borough of Spandau into the lobby of the fictional Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati; a unique event venue called Palais am Funkturm (designed by Bruno Grimmek in the ’50s) into the Hotel Mariposa in Las Vegas; and the Friedrichstadt-Palast theater into an Art Deco–inspired Mexico City hotel. “The windows [at the theater] are big and have these colorful glass mosaic parts. We didn’t want you to look outside and see Berlin. So we copied the pattern and printed it on a foil and put it on the windows,” says Hanish.
“For each city, we thought about what the biggest cliché would be to let you know where you are.” he says, but fans will have noticed that wherever the protagonist seems to go, she’s enveloped in patterns, patterns, and more patterns. In her Las Vegas hotel room, it’s a greenish-blue, white, and brown diamond motif on the walls and a blue-and-brown fan pattern on the bedspread, curtains, and chair. In Mexico City, it’s Osborne & Little’s Trailing Orchid print in teal on one wall, Angalypta’s Deco Paradiso painted burgundy on the others, and a palm leaf headboard. In France, it is Morris & Co.’s Bullerswood print on the walls, a brocade ottoman, and a leafy bedspread and headboard.
But nowhere is the use of patterns—and especially wallpaper—more interesting than in the home of Beth’s adoptive mother, Alma Wheatley (played by Marielle Heller). Schaaf describes the decor there as “fireworks,” and says that after seeing images of American homes from the period with matching wallpaper and fabrics and busy patterns, she simply ran with the idea. “We jumped into these patterns and put layers and layers on top of each other, so even if they don’t match, in the end, when you use similar color families, there’s a point where it comes together. I love it.”
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