Tour The Sets Of Netflix’s Award-Winning House of Cards
Unless you’ve set up camp under a rock, far away from a thing called Netflix, you’ve probably at least heard of the binge-worthy political drama House of Cards. For those not yet obsessed: the series follows the tumultuous rise of Frank and Claire Underwood — masterfully acted by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright — as they maneuver their way to the highest office in the country. It’s a dark, yet captivating universe where every public address and clandestine exchange draws the viewer further and further into the show’s film-noir spin on Washington.
From the handsomely appointed Oval Office to Claire’s coldly elegant bedroom, we take a look inside the haunting world of House of Cards. And if you’re still making your way through the latest season: no spoilers — we promise.
The Oval Office on House of Cards was designed and decorated to closely mimic the real-life office of the United States’ Commander in Chief, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, crest-emblazoned rug, traditional drapery and historical oil paintings. Fans of the show will remember this room as the scene of Frank’s iconic “double-knock.”
The briefing room was also modelled after the real thing (the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House), featuring the same curved windows, austere seating and simple wooden podium.
The hallway that leads to the presidential residence — again, based on the White House’s real Entrance and Cross Halls — is not just a transitional space on the show. Several important scenes take place in this cavernous, portrait-lined hallway.
The President’s private quarters have an appropriately grand look. All the living and transitional spaces are dotted with ornate chandeliers and handsome furniture, while dark wood floors run throughout.
The main living room is one of the most common backdrops on the show. Frank, Claire and their guests are often seen conversing — however tensely — on the room’s matching armchairs and sofas. During the day, light spills in through a magnificent arched window.
At night, the effect is quite dramatic.
The eat-in kitchen is one of the most beautiful spaces in the residence. While its color palette is subdued and typical of traditional kitchens, it feels decidedly more contemporary with it’s graphic black dining set and hanging metal pendant lights.
While the kitchen looks a little sombre at night (fitting, considering the exchanges that take place here), it transforms during the day thanks to generous windows. Polished hardware and fixtures shine in the sunlight, and the dining area becomes an inviting spot to enjoy breakfast — or plot revenge.
Claire’s bedroom might be the moodiest space on the House of Cards set, with its palette of icy blues and murky greys. The room’s sheers are regularly pulled shut, a subtle gesture by the set designers that makes the space feel appropriately shadowy and isolated.
Like the kitchen (and the Underwoods), the principal bathroom has a dualistic quality, looking bright and inviting by day, serious and sinister by night. Either way, the panelling, turned-leg vanities and freestanding tub make a stately impression.
As Frank Underwood’s right-hand man, Doug Stamper maintains a quiet, serious and no-frills façade. His apartment is no different. (For fans of the show, it’s not surprising that the space feels a little too bare and anonymous…)
Air Force One is another popular setting on House of Cards, and the site of many pivotal moments for the Underwoods. Viewers familiar with the interiors of the real presidential aircraft will appreciate the authenticity of the set’s tailored halls and boardroom.