Originating in California, the Hollywood Regency style of the mid 20th century was inspired by the opulent homes of the Golden Era cinema stars. An irreverent use of colour (pink, turquoise, yellow, emerald green and black and white to name a few) is the style’s most obvious trademark. Hot pink satin is contrasted with emerald green velvet (as in this project by Olive Interiors); black and white is used in glossy chequerboard flooring, striped pool awnings and in monochromatic art prints; and turquoise drapery contrasts with lemon yellow upholstery.
These bold hues are combined with (usually black) high gloss or lacquered finishes and high-shine metals (typically gold). Furniture was often inspired by the opulent Rococo style and includes hooded chairs, chandeliers and oversized gilded mirrors. Chinoiserie was also an important influence with bamboo motifs being used for room dividers, furniture frames and as accents for accessories. The style’s pagoda-like silhouettes also made their way into the designs of mirrors and pendant lights. Skirted furniture (particularly slipper chairs) in modern damasks and other button-tufted boudoir style furniture are decidedly Hollywood Regency.
Image Credit: Kelly Wearstler
Mirrored furniture or cabinetry – another element of dressing room design which diffused throughout all rooms – was a staple and adds to the style’s inherent, bold glamour. Sun or starburst motifs were ubiquitous and were used for mirrors, ceiling flushes and pendants (in the case of sputnik lighting). For patterns, various animal prints adorned everything from floors to upholstery and tropical prints recalled the sunny climes of the style’s Californian origins. Fur rugs and fur upholstered stools often decorated Hollywood Regency spaces. In modern renderings, lucite furniture and lighting has come to be used regularly.
One of the finest examples of this style is Dorothy Draper’s Greenbrier Hotel interiors which have come be known as an icon of the Hollywood Regency style. Other designers include Billy Haines and Paul Williams.
Image Credit: Jeff Andrews/Photography: Grey Crawford