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Dramatic Effect: What is Hollywood Regency?

October 25, 2023
Hollywood Regency

If the more glitz-and-glam-the-better is your mantra,  Hollywood Regency interior design style might be up your alley.  You may already know a little about what it is and might have seen it executed on Pinterest, but you might not know how it came to be and how it can be incorporated into your home’s look. 


An interior design style that took off almost 100 years ago on the West Coast to bring star power to the movie screen, Hollywood Regency is spreading quickly on social media and into homes on both coasts and everywhere in between.In this blog post, we’ll give you the ins and outs of this flashy,  old Hollywood-inspired design style.  

Hollywood Glam

Hollywood's Golden Age


Hollywood Regency came out in the 1930s during Hollywood's Golden Age when producers and directors wanted to bring extra star power to their screens.  Decorating with serious opulence in mind, this glitz-fueled trend spilled over into  home decor for movie star royalty of the era. 


As more and more designers filled the homes of film luminaries with overtones of glitz and glam, a new design style emerged. 1930s Hollywood Regency style was a favorite of celebrities like Joan Crawford and the future First Lady, Nancy Reagan.    


But Hollywood Regency design is not a relic of the past and not just for the rich and famous. Because there’s no denying that this over-the-top style is back, the modern version of Hollywood Regency is surging in popularity almost a century later.

Hollywood Regency Interior Design

Connection to Mid-Century Modern and Art Deco


If you've ever gotten mid-century or art deco modern vibes from Hollywood Regency, you’re not alone. While the furniture has a lot in common with mid-century, the details, such as color and fabrication, are inspired by art deco design. 


While art deco has a similar flair for the opulent, it’s not the cheeky eclecticism that Hollywood Regency boasts, nor is it as modern.  Mid-century modern is more masculine and less ornamental than Hollywood Regency. It also tends to feature natural wood finishes that you just don't  see in  Hollywood Regency. 

Glamor and Glitz Interior Design

No Such Thing As Too Much Glam


Bringing on the glam is the number one design tenant of Hollywood Regency style, featuring sumptuously rich texture, lux details, and lavish accents. Because the goal is to make the space feel as opulent as possible, if you ever think you're overdoing it, you’re probably doing it right.


Hollywood Regency is all about translating glamor in a tongue-and-cheek way that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Leaning towards unapologetic maximalism, Hollywood Regency features vibrant colors, high contrast patterns, richly layered textures, and metallic finishes.

Small Scale Furniture

Staged Luxury


Because Hollywood Regency design is meant to be an eclectic mix of styles with one overarching luxurious theme, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they can just throw any flea market find into the mix. While the style lends itself to mixing and matching, it's important to coordinate elements. Not the simplest DIY design technique, Hollywood Regency is one style better left to interior design professionals.

Hollywood Regency Bedroom

Invest in Classics


For those who truly want to imitate the master designers like Dorothy Draper or William Haines, investing in a few classic pieces can be a huge addition to a room.  If the price tag for a vintage Hollywood-design table is out of your ballpark, however, look to the supporting cast furniture.


Smaller pieces like lamps or side tables create balance, allow you to introduce bold colors, and add layers to the space.If you don’t think you’re ready to go all-in with Hollywood Regency style, that’s okay too.   Mixing in vintage, almost-tacky pieces, and having them live in harmony with your modern cozy contemporary furnishings is a great way to add a little glam to your space without going overboard. 


Hollywood Regency

Use of Color & Pattern


Though you won't find a lack of color or pattern in Hollywood Regency style, both are used strategically. Decor is usually kept in the same color palette, with only one or two patterns to keep the room from looking  too busy. Black and white with one fearless pops of color is an easy  go-to color combination.  



Drama

In The Details


Because the furniture doesn't command the space, Hollywood Regency leans heavily on accents and accessories to bring on the glam. Luxurious fabric and textiles like velvet, silk, and fur are incorporated. You'll also find textured carpets, metallic hardware, crystal, fringe, and flashy accessories.  


Because Hollywood Regency original pieces are not in most people’s budget, the style is still within reach by adapting a few Hollywood Regency elements to your home decor.Hollywood Regency style is about glamor, but so much is found in the details like luxurious fabrics,   lampshades with fringe, and  chandeliers with crystals


Jazzing up thrift pieces is also a great way to incorporate Hollywood Regency style into your home decor.  If your grandmother’s  over-the-top brass chandelier is sitting in your attic, for example, 2023 it up by replacing  the flame-tip bulbs with modern bulbs to create a juxtaposition of mixing  super clean with super fussy .


Dramatic Design

Dramatic Effect


In the original Hollywood Regency era,  people sought to impress their guests.  Homes were destinations, similar to a grand ballroom,  with showy fabrics and decorating schemes giving a home a sense of scale and glamor.  Velvety drapes, silk lampshades,  and thick, sculpted carpets mark the Hollywood Regency design style.  


Smaller Scale Furniture


In the era of overstuffed sectional sofas and imposing double-chaise lounges, the idea of small-scale furniture is foreign to most people these days, but that’s exactly what Hollywood Regency design calls for.  Instead of getting top bill, furniture plays a supporting role.


With Hollywood Regency style, the emphasis is not on the room's elements on their own , but it's more about how the pieces will offer the guests to the home a place to relax and enjoy themselves.


Despite its name, Hollywood Regency is less about the dramatic effect the furniture has on the eyes and more about the feeling the space invokes. Similar to today’s great rooms, Hollywood Regency at its core is  about entertaining, open space, and a focus on the way guests will interact in the space.

Regal Style

In Good Company


While Hollywood Regency design is a throwback to an era-gone-by, it can still be incredibly relevant to today's lifestyle where people view their homes as their sanctuary, a place to hang out with friends and family, or just relax.  Hollywood Regency style is about the cocktail hour, enjoying people,  and spending time with friends and family. It's about getting a glimpse into the past when screens  and phones did not exist and interacting with company was all the entertainment you needed. 


I hope this guide will inspire you to bring a little Hollywood drama into your home.  If you’d like a little expert support, contact VTD for a free style consultation.



Related post: Room for Improvement: Interior Design with Affordability in Mind