Because sometimes a pretty chess set on display just isn’t enough!
Over the thousands of years that the game has been in play, chess sets have come in a huge variety of styles and designs. Still, there’s something compelling about what’s now known as the traditional style, the Staunton pattern. You don’t even have to know the first thing about the rules of chess to recognize a beautiful chess set when you see one – they’re universally appealing.
If you’re an avid chess player and want to show off your hobby, or even if you don’t play the game, but just love the look of it, there are many ways you can incorporate the beauty of chess into your home decor. Check out this list for some of our best ideas and tips!
Decorative Chess Sets
Of course, when it comes to decorating with chess, the most obvious place to start is with a decorative chess set or two. A stunning chess set displayed on a desk or chess table can instantly elevate any living room or office into a high class, elegant spot.
This trick can work with any style of home decor or color scheme due to the wide variety of chess sets available on the market today. A traditional wooden chess set would be just the thing for a professional office, while a brightly colored modern set would work better in a more informal setting. You can also display fun themed chess sets like a superhero set or Lord of the Rings set in a child’s bedroom or playroom.
Once you’ve placed a few chess sets around your home, you might be satisfied with the look you’ve created – or you might be craving even more chess decor. In that case, move on to our next tip.
Giant Chess Sets
For those areas that need more “oomph” than a traditionally sized chess set can deliver, consider a giant chess set for decoration. These sets come in sizes ranging from slightly larger than average all the way up to 6 feet tall! The 6 foot size may be a bit much for inside the home, but it could certainly make an impact in a garden or other outdoor area!
You also don’t need to set up a full chess set for decoration purposes. Many giant chess retailers like Megachess will sell individual pieces, so you can just buy what you need. A single Rook on a kitchen countertop or bedside table could be quite striking. Or, try a King and a Queen on either side of your front door to make a grand entrance!
If you’ve exhausted the possibilities of chess pieces for decoration, you may be interested to know that there are many chess themed art pieces that you can use to decorate your home. These include chess based paintings, sculptures, and all manner of other object d’art that will look good on your wall, on a shelf, or in any nook or cranny in your home that needs a little something extra.
If you’re interested in a more functional piece of chess decor for your walls, look no further than a vertical chess set. These unique pieces are essentially a cross between chess art and a decorative chess set.
This is because they feature a fully functional chess set, but flattened and mounted vertically on the wall. Many vertical chess sets feature ledges or another unique mechanism for keeping the pieces in place as you play. When not in use, it looks just like a painting of a chess board, but it can also be used as a functional chess set that can be used in even the tightest of spaces!
Vertical chess sets come in a number of different materials, colors, and styles. Depending on where you look, you may be able to find wooden, plastic, or acrylic versions in black and white, red, and various shades of brown. With a little persistence, you should be able to find one that perfectly compliments your existing home decor.
These vertical chess sets are a great piece of functional chess decor to place in a kitchen, entryway, or any other high traffic area of your home. They take up virtually no space, yet allow a full chess game to be played. We love the idea of mounting one near the door and having each player make their move as soon as they come home or before they leave for the day!
Traditional chess tables are what spring to mind immediately when most people think of chess furniture. While those chess tables are beautiful, their antique styling may not fit in with every room. Luckily, there are a number of more modern pieces of chess furniture on the market today that can work for any space. You can’t go wrong adding a piece of high-quality chess furniture to any room in your home!
Chess Books and Movies
If you have a few empty shelves somewhere that you’d like to enhance with some chess pieces for decoration, you have a number of options available to you. You could place chess sculptures on the shelves or even use a pair of giant chess pieces as bookends, but you’re also going to want to add some good old-fashioned books to your shelves.
There are a multitude of educational chess books, DVDs, and movies that you may choose to display on your shelves, but don’t feel limited to exclusively educational material. There are also a number of popular novels that include chess, such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and even Alice in Wonderland! Get creative with the chess themed movies and books that you choose to display, and your decor will have a much more dynamic look to it when you’re all finished.
Or, should we say, chessboard tiling! No matter what you call it, alternating black and white tiles give any space a timeless elegance, as well as a subtle nod to the chessboard. Checkerboard tiling would be beautiful as a flooring material in any area of the home, but we particularly love it in the kitchen, bathrooms, or even to greet your guests as the first thing they see when they walk into your home’s entryway!
If you don’t mind cold feet first thing in the morning, checkerboard tile flooring could even be a stunning addition to a regal looking master bedroom. You can always add a rug under the bed area for warmth- the tile will still look amazing peeking through around the edges!
But checkerboard tiles don’t need to be limited only to floors. They can be used in just about any area of the home where tile is found. Try them as a backsplash in your kitchen or even in your shower surround if you’re feeling bold. If you really love the look, you could even apply it to your ceiling!
Black and White Paint
Laying tile may not be for everyone, but if you’re handy with a paintbrush, you can easily recreate the look of checkerboard tiling on floors, walls, or anywhere, really! A fresh coat of black and white paint is a surefire way to elevate any space. If you paint alternating squares like that of a chessboard, it’s a fun nod to your hobby that’s also an elegant design element. But you needn’t limit yourself to squares.
A black and white paint scheme, whether it features a checkerboard style or not, will give a subtle nod to the traditional coloring of a chess set while also providing a bit of high contrast style to your space. It’s a great look for bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, or even kitchens. Try a variation on the theme by pairing white upper cabinets with black lower cabinets. You will love the results!
As you can see, there are a ton of different ways to incorporate chess decor into your home, from the obvious decorative chess sets to the more subtle black and white color palette. Feel free to combine any or all of these ideas together until you get to your desired level of chess home decor!
What we’ve listed here are really just a few ideas you could use to add some chess decor into your home. There are countless more ideas that you could also try- really, the only thing that’s limiting you is your own imagination!