Hollywood regency style could be best described as a little bit glamour, a little bit glitz, and a whole lot of style. Made popular during Hollywood’s Golden Age, one might think this 1930s-inspired interior is a relic of the past, but it isn’t. Today’s version of Hollywood Regency is a bit more modern than it once was but just as beautiful. Furthermore, this style, once attainable only by the rich and famous, is within reach for even the most frugal decorator.
History of Hollywood Regency Style
Hollywood Regency style was a result of the Hollywood Golden Age (1920s-1950s) — a time when sets designed for the silver screen were rich with detail, color, texture, finishes, and composition so they looked great on camera. Essentially an updated take on the interiors of the 19th-century Regency Era, Hollywood Regency style is also sometimes referred to as Regency Moderne.
Eventually, the Hollywood elite longed to have that polished, glamorous look of those movie sets in their very own homes. Not only did these movie set-worthy interiors serve well for living the high life, but they were also the perfect location for entertaining guests and even posing for publicity shots. Soon, the trend was highly popularized among the film-going masses.
Influential Hollywood Regency designers of the time included Dorothy Draper, William Haines, Hobart "Hobe" Erwin, and Mitchell Leisen. Modern designers of today who have put their own spin on this elegant classic include Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd, and Nate Berkus, to name a few.
Hollywood Regency managed to remain a distinct style even though it coincided with the popularity of Art Deco. While it did eventually run its course with some, it has never really gone out of style as it has always appealed to maximalists (those who prefer an aesthetic of excess in design).
Today, Hollywood Regency remains influential among designers who adapt the style in ways to keep it current yet unique. Even those who don't wholeheartedly embrace Hollywood Regency style can add a bit of sophistication to any room with a well-chosen piece of mirrored furniture, or another hallmark of the design style.
Elements of Hollywood Regency Design Style
Some key elements that make Hollywood Regency design style so unique:
- Tactile materials
- High sheen
- Reflective surfaces
- Opulent furniture
- Use of black and white and/or bold colors
- Luxurious fabrics
- Theatrical accessories
The interior of a Hollywood Regency home will have sophistication like no other. A dramatic backdrop sets the stage for all the fanciful details you’ll find throughout the space. An abundance of luxe is standard: velvet drapes, thick carpets, silk lampshades, and whatever else fits the bill. Accessories can be intricate or extravagant, ranging from jewel-fringed accent pillows to crystal chandeliers. And even though this style is all about mixing and matching, the bold and beautiful eclectic decor will coordinate and have a purpose.
You may think that furniture should be big and over the top, but that wouldn’t be accurate at all. While furniture is a bit luxurious when it comes to fabric or finish, the key to Hollywood Regency style is sticking with furniture of a smaller scale. In other words, the furniture should almost fade into the background. Pieces that take over the space take away from the purpose of the space, which are the people who occupy it. Lacquer is a trademark of this style, as are mirrored pieces. If you can’t find pieces you love already made, some glossy paint and pre-cut mirrors can make it easy to create beautiful furniture by yourself.
This style is often recognized by the contrast of black and white. And while these two colors can be classic, they aren’t the only ones that can be used. In fact, there are other juicy colors that scream Hollywood Regency. If you’re feeling daring, go for colors like fuchsia, purple, tangerine, yellow or turquoise.
Textures and Patterns
As mentioned earlier, Hollywood Regency decorating calls for lots of luxe. Indulgent fabrics such as velvet, faux fur, silk, satin, taffeta, and damask should be used in excess when possible. Details such as shirring, piping, tufting, and pleats create extra texture and visual appeal. When it comes to patterns, the more flamboyant, the better it is. Popular patterns include geometrics, animal prints, large-scale florals, exaggerated stripes, and even snakeskin.
Incorporating the Look Into Your Home...
If Hollywood Regency is your style, take stock of what you have before you completely overhaul your current interior. Does anything fit the style already? Are there some quick changes you can make to elevate what you do have to glam status? Something like a vintage chandelier, patterned wallpaper, a bold rug, or an oversized mirror in a bold frame can be all it takes to kick your interior up to Hollywood Regency status.
When the time comes to incorporate Hollywood Regency elements into your home, we have just want you need! From fabrics to rugs to accessories, you’re sure to find just the right pieces to glam up your home.