How Griselda Channels the 1970s Cocaine Craze of Miami

Netflix’s latest drama miniseries Griselda tells the real-life story of Columbian druglord, Griselda Blanco. This retelling and dramatization follows her journey from Medellín, Columbia, to Miami, Florida, as she soon becomes the driving force behind a drug empire. Production designer Kim Leonard aimed for the authenticity of the swanky 70s and 80s, hoping each scene of the show felt like something more than your typical historical reconstruction. They wanted it to feel “as though someone just happened to drop a camera in the middle of the real Griselda’s life and captured everything that occurred as it occurred.” Ironically, all filming locations were in the Los Angeles area, meaning set design had an even bigger task in creating the same beachside appeal of a Miami location.

Tropical vintage wallpaper in the set of Griselda.

On Air Design provided serval vintage wallcoverings to achieve this. As the series kicks off, one of the first locations we, as an audience, see for an extended period is a motel. Griselda and her sons stay here after they escape Columbia. This location also serves as her “business headquarters,” where she begins trafficking and storing large amounts of cocaine. In order to truly feel as though we are seeing the inside of a gritty, rough motel in the 70s, On Air Design’s Luau design is a vintage frond leaf wallcovering that complements the intentional, grainy cinematography. Sepia-toned hues give this repeating botanical print a dated look while reminding us of the stylistic choices from the times.

Glamorous wallpaper in the set of Griselda.

While attempting to build this life, Griselda frequently meets with men already dominating the Miami drug scene. Naturally, these men are also very wealthy. One scene takes place in an over-the-top apartment featuring Society of Wonderland’s Uptown wallcovering in a custom colorway. This bronzey-gold design effectively plays into the period’s color palette while mixing patterns that may not necessarily go together. This maximalist approach reminds us of the “more is more” mentality that is likely going through the minds of these wealthy drug lords. On the topic of other residential filming sets, another one of our retro geometric wallcoverings is seen throughout one of the three mansions in the series. This, again, plays into the dated luxe of a chaotic drug estate.

Vintage botanical wallpaper in the set of Griselda.

Additionally, another vintage floral can be seen in the brothel setting of the production. This pink and brown wallcovering is, again, out of place in its surroundings, giving the appearance of a disheveled and chaotic bordello. Paired with elements such as toppled chairs, dim lighting, and unkept beds, this floral is the perfect “cherry on top.”

Source: Hemphill, Jim. “Every Frame of ‘Griselda’ Nails the Period Vibe.” IndieWire, IndieWire, 26 Jan. 2024,

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