Characterised by its striking colours, glossy finishes, and lavish textures, the Hollywood Regency design style transforms spaces into scenes worthy of a classic film.
Its distinctive approach creates interiors that are sophisticated and whimsical, offering a unique blend of modern and traditional elements. This style is not just about decorating a space, it’s about creating an environment that captivates and enchants, just like the movie stars of the silver screen.
This is your guide to Hollywood Regency interior design and creating stunning spaces worthy of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
A History of Hollywood Regency Interior Design
Tracing its origins back to the 1920s, the Hollywood Regency decorating style emerged alongside the remarkable rise of the film industry in Hollywood.
It was popularised by a host of creative interior designers. Among the most influential were Charles William ‘Billy’ Haines and Dorothy Draper. Alongside them, other notable designers of the era, such as Cedric Gibbons, George Vernon Russell, Douglas Honnold, John Woolf, and Paul R. Williams, also played crucial roles in defining and advancing this distinctive style. For example, Gibbons’ work in set design for Hollywood films infused Art Deco aesthetics into the Hollywood Regency style, while Draper’s bold palettes and nods to traditionalism became a hallmark of the style’s opulent and glamorous approach.
These visionaries were famous for creating cinematic, showstopping interiors for the Hollywood elite, as well as for hotels including the Carlyle in Manhattan and the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia.
It’s believed Draper herself coined the phrase ‘Hollywood Regency’ in the 1920s, and at the time these Hollywood Regency designers were as well-known as the movie stars they worked alongside. Their work reflected the extravagance and glamour of the cinema and they influenced interior design trends across America and beyond. This era of design was marked by its bold embrace of both Art Deco and Victorian influences, creating a distinct aesthetic that has endured through decades.
The Principles of the Hollywood Regency Design Style
The principles of Hollywood Regency design are rooted in creating an opulent, dramatic, yet refined ambiance. It focuses on attention to detail, with an emphasis on symmetry and balance which contribute to a well-ordered yet vibrant aesthetic.
Key elements include the use of bold patterns, oversized accessories, and a mix of both straight and curved lines. Mirrored surfaces and metallic finishes play a significant role in adding to the grandeur, while plush fabrics like velvet and silk provide a sense of luxury, comfort and timeless elegance.
Regency style interiors encourage a playful yet elegant use of colour and decor, allowing spaces to feel both curated and inviting.
Hollywood Regency Interior Design: Colour Palette
The Hollywood Regency decorating style is often described using sweeping adjectives such as opulent, glamorous, luxurious and extravagant. Yet, while there’s no definitive list of criteria to achieve this look, it’s possible to identify key elements which have become hallmarks of this school of design. In particular, the colour palette associated with Hollywood Regency interior design is broad and diverse, reflecting the style’s roots in the glamour and opulence of the era.
Creams, beiges, greys, and whites serve as a foundation for the more striking colours and patterns and help balance the bold elements and ensure the space doesn’t become overwhelming.
Hollywood Regency design often features strong, vivid colours like royal blue, emerald green, and deep red which are used to create focal points and add a sense of drama and luxury.
Black & White
This classic combination is often used in the Hollywood Regency design style for its high contrast and timeless elegance. It can be utilised in patterns, such as stripes or geometric prints, to add a sophisticated and dramatic flair.
Gold, brass, silver, and chrome are often used to add glamour and brightness. These can appear in furniture accents, mirrors, lighting fixtures, and decorative items.
Pastels and Soft Hues
In contrast to bold colours, softer shades like blush pink, mint green, and light blue are also popular, creating an understated, yet still luxurious, feel.
Fabulous Furniture & Delectable Designs
Hollywood Regency furniture embodies a unique blend of modern elegance and classic glamour, capturing the essence of luxurious living. Upholstered pieces featuring rich, plush fabrics like velvet, silk, or satin are common.
Mirrored furniture plays a role in Hollywood Regency interior design, reflecting light and enhancing the overall sense of space and luxury. In addition, furniture with high-gloss lacquer finishes, whether cabinets, desks, or tables, adds a sleek and sophisticated touch. The incorporation of transparent materials like glass and Lucite is also notable, particularly in coffee tables and side tables, lending a modern, airy feel.
The style also embraces the geometric and streamlined aesthetic of the Art Deco movement, such as the bold use of gold, silver, chrome and brass, as well as design motifs including animal prints, chinoiserie, and graphic geometrics.
This mix of ornate detailing and sleek modernism is key, creating interiors that are both timelessly elegant and comfortably contemporary, embodying the lavishness and allure of Hollywood’s golden era.
From Garbo to Gable: The Allure of Hollywood Regency Design
The enduring appeal of the Hollywood Regency decorating style lies in its embodiment of sophistication and drama and the ability to make any space feel like a scene from a classic Hollywood film.