Your Complete Guide To Hollywood Regency Style

October 13, 2015
Your Complete Guide To Hollywood Regency Style

What is Hollywood Regency Style?

Hollywood Regency, also known as Regency Moderne, is a Californian interior style made popular during the 1930’s. Its origins are slightly obscure, with debates revolving around which prominent interior designer during this period originally started it - William Haines, Elise de Wolfe or Dorothy Draper. In our opinion, it is a combination of these famous and influential designers, as well as a multitude of modern day designers, which have all been responsible for the current day version of the Hollywood Regency style.

At its core, Hollywood Regency combines an eclectic design aesthetic with luxury materials and Asian-influenced accents. The style is designed for the individual; it reflects the eclectic taste of the dweller with an overarching theme of luxury, combined with an element of sophisticated coordination.

Originally supported by West Coast film notables and LA’s golden era celebrities, Hollywood Regency was the 1930’s solution to drab, colonial-interior styling which was common at the time. It blended English, French regency and Greek revival (also known as Neo-Classicism), with plush modernism. It was designed to project one's home as a show-piece, embracing glitz and glamour in the process. Lustrous plaster moldings, solid thick draperies, bold antiques, modern fluid-shaped furniture, and elements of the abstract were all incorporated.

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It is a style that was inspired by, and reminiscent of, high drama, glamour and Hollywood film sets affluent during the 30's. For a few celebrities, the 1930’s were relatively free from the constraints of life during The Great Depression; These elite luminaries hired expensive stylists and gave them free reign to create elaborate and highly decorative interiors that shrugged of restraint without being excessive.

Current Day Hollywood Regency Style

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In its current form Hollywood Regency is a discerning nod to Hollywood’s Golden Age and the high society associated with it during the 1930’s. Contemporary designers have evolved the look to incorporate a current spin. The style incorporate modern glamour and attention to detail. It’s certainly an ostentatious style, yet one that is restrained and un-chaotic. Prominent Californian designers such as Kelly Wearstler and Shawn Henderson have become synonymous with their interpretations of Hollywood Regency style and their highly glamorous interior design styles. Today's style is extremely prominent in the celebrity interior world; Gwyneth Paltrow, Melanie Griffiths and Bruno Mars are among the many current day celebrities who enjoy the style.

How Do I Create Hollywood Regency Style?

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Most Hollywood Regency interiors are reflections on the room's inhabitants. Furniture is not used to make a statement, but rather as way to assist the room in enhancing the people within it. A perfect example of these are chairs; chairs in Hollywood Regency interiors are either high-backed to give the illusion of grand stature without being overly intense, or asymmetrical, encouraging visitors to drape themselves on furniture in alluring glamorous fashion. Culturally rich with sculpture and abstract art, this look creates the definition of beauty.

Room layouts are other designed for intimacy or for group settings. Living rooms are design to encourage conversation - chairs are arranged around low coffee tables and chaises, featuring plush chairs to relax in. Bedrooms or Boudoirs are sensual intimate places housing all the luxuries for sleeping and personal care. Everything in this style has equal consideration within the overall design. Contrary to what many people believe, Hollywood Regency is not about being flashy, it's about showing your peers that interior and the exteriors you have complement each other and are a reflection of your complete taste in art and style.

"It's hard to get the scale right, the furniture is supposed to really fade into the background, because Hollywood Regency design is all about the people." Karen Figilis | Publicist for William Haines Designs Firm

When creating this style at home, you should be considering balance as your main focus. To be successful with this style you need to blend a cohesion with a subtle sense of symmetry. It's all about layering patterns, luxurious materials, clashing old with new and taking a risk. You only have to look at Kelly Wreastler and Johnathan Adler's commercial work to understand the grand scale of this style.

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"I define Hollywood Regency as Neo-classical lines mixed with Hollywood glamour and a top note of mod moxie. Hollywood Regency was a style of architecture and decoration popular in the 60's in LA that was a revival of classical regency style through a modern lens. Hollywood Regency added a layer of pattern and decoration and opulence and glamour to the minimalism of mid-century modernism." Johnathan Adler | Notable Interior Stylist

Hollywood Regency is a show-stopping style not for the faint hearted; spaces are dramatic, stagy and fun! If achieved successfully this look is sure to be the topic of conversation and appreciation for many years to come.

Key Elements Used In Hollywood Regency:

  • Mirrored Accents

  • Lacquer

  • Chrome Accents

  • Chintz

  • Velvet, Silk and Satin fabrics

  • Vivid Colours

  • Georgian & Regency Style pieces

  • Tufted seating

  • Reflective Surfaces

  • Geometric Prints

  • Modern & Classic Furniture

  • High Gloss Finishes

How To Use Wallpaper In Hollywood Regency Styled Rooms

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Hollywood Regency wallpaper should be stylish combination of traditional wallpaper and bolder modern design. Wallpaper is perfect for introducing the style to your home in a show stopping way. Combined with paint, wallpaper can turn a mundane space into something dramatic; we suggest using it in small spaces such as hallways, closets and entrances. Brocade prints, metallic and bold fleur de lis, or graffiti styled text are perfect.

Perfect Hollywood Regency Styled Tables

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Tables are often simplistic with show-stopping aesthetics, combining signature Hollywood Regency elements of polished metal, reflective or mirrored surfaces and ornate art deco bases. Circular shapes feature heavily in side tables and dining tables in a nod to mid century modernism. Nesting tables, end tables and tall hall runners with glass or marble tops make for perfect table accents.

Hollywood Regency Chairs

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The Hollywood regency chair is a contrast between modern and traditional design and style. Chair feature heavily with luxurious leather, upholstery, crushed velvet and animal skin finishes with details including studs or buttons, polished metal and lacquered timbers. Look for art deco inspired form and high wing-back provincial style arm chairs. Hollywood Regency chairs will often contrast other room furnishings exuding a sense of subtle charisma with designers using polished metals with sensuous textural fabrics in rich colours and striking patterns.

Decorative Hollywood Regency Pieces

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As stated previously the Hollywood Regency style focuses on considered balance in a space as well as attention to detail. It is this considered balance which stylists and decorators use to ceramics, sculptural objects and other decorative pieces to balance a space. Perhaps the most pleasurable aspects of space, Hollywood Regency calls for individual tastes to be used when choosing decorative objects. The vast centuries and continents to draw inspiration means that the possibilities are endless within the Hollywood Regency style. Items thar feature heavily are ceramics, abstract sculptural items, candle holders, photography and gilded or marble objects.

Hollywood Regency Lighting

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Hollywood Regency lighting will reflect and enhance the language of luxury you are trying to portray with styling your space. Lighting in this style will embrace polished or reflective metals, delicate lines and elements of tradition. Whether buying embellished table lamps or grandiose chandeliers lighting choices should diverse and highlighting specific areas and key pieces of furniture in your space. Lookout for polished and marble bases and shades made from luxurious fabrics and weaves; try to also embrace abstract forms as these will create discussion points and highlight modern styled furniture.

Glamorous Hollywood Regency Flooring

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The best Hollywood Regency spaces will always include a combination of flooring elements. Larger spaces are separated by dividers or gorgeous screens of lacquered timber with gold touches. Fireplaces feature heavily and are either intricate and ornate or minimalist with clean lines. Flooring in Hollywood Regency styled rooms provide a foundation for the entire look; it's best to start with a dramatic rug or mat with geometric or Grecian patterns and build your space from there.

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