Style

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Hollywood Regency Style

published May 4, 2022
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Interior design trends are influenced by popular culture, and Hollywood Regency is a prime example. Born out of Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1930s, the style is a reflection of the glitz and glamor that took over cinema. Lavish spaces that were depicted on the silver screen prompted moviegoing crowds to emulate the look in their own homes. Simultaneously, iconic designers Dorothy Draper and William Haines played a major role in popularizing the Hollywood Regency style, dressing movie stars’ homes up in a larger-than-life fashion. “I characterize Hollywood Regency style as ‘more is more.’ More colors, more patterns, more textures,” explains designer and HGTV host Tamara Day. “All of the elements play off of each other to create a unique, but still comfortable space.”

The Hollywood Regency look continues to maintain a stronghold on the design world today, influencing trendsetting designers like Kelly Wearstler and everyday home decorators alike. There are also elements of the Hollywood Regency style that are timeless. “I’ve had a pair of Dorothy Draper España chests for over a decade which I’ve used everywhere from my bedroom as nightstands, the dining room pushed together as a sideboard, and currently repainted as dressers in my daughter’s room,” says Melissa Warner Rothblum, co-founder and principal designer at Massucco Warner.

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Here’s how to identify the Hollywood Regency look and try it out in your own home:

What is the Hollywood Regency style?

Hollywood Regency focuses on ideas of maximalism and grandeur. “It’s opulent, it’s showy, and it loves gold,” says Megan Dufresne, founder and principal of MC Design. “[The style] is luxurious while still maintaining a playfulness with color and texture.” Hollywood Regency color schemes are made up of vibrant hues, black and white palettes, or a mix of both.

But, it’s not just about going over the top — there’s also a particular attention to detail. “Unique furniture and accessories are Hollywood Regency,” notes Day. “Rich color and eclectic pieces are staples.” Sumptuous materials, like polished stone, velvet, fur, silk, and lucite are key elements of the Hollywood Regency era. Sparkle and shine, including metallic accents and glossy, lacquered surfaces, are also characteristic of the style.

Hollywood Regency vs. Art Deco style

Art Deco style gained popularity about a decade before Hollywood Regency during the roaring ‘20s. Featuring luxurious finishes and metallic materials, Art Deco is akin to Hollywood Regency in several aspects. However, the two still have distinct features. “The styles share similarities, in the fact that they’re both glamorous, but Art Deco style has a whole different take on patterns that focuses on geometrics,” elaborates Rothblum. 

According to Dufresne, these Art Deco patterns emphasize sleek and linear shapes and repeating stylized forms. Hence, the style remains refined, symmetrical, and balanced despite its glamor, contrasting against Hollywood Regency’s penchant for layering and ornamentalism. Art Deco also refrains from the playfulness of Hollywood Regency style, which embraces theatrical elements like checkered floors, porcelain animals, and pop art.

Hollywood Regency vs. Mid-Century Modern style

Mid-century modern style, on the other hand, emerged about a decade after Hollywood Regency. While the two styles might seem worlds apart at first glance, there are some similarities when it comes to furniture. For instance, Hollywood Regency style favors sleek, slim-profile furnishings to keep the focus on accessories and entertainment. The clean lines that later appeared in mid-century modern furniture mirror these silhouettes. 

In most other aspects, though, the two styles are at odds. Mid-century modern style is less ornate. Plus, it features natural wood finishes, whereas Hollywood Regency style leans toward glossy and shiny finishes.

How to get the Hollywood Regency look

If you’d like to bring some of Hollywood Regency’s design characteristics into your space, here are ideas that designers suggest to bring the style into your own home:

  • Add gold or shiny metallic accents through hardware, trim, or a bar cart
  • Bring in period statement pieces, like a starburst pendant or animal print upholstery
  • Incorporate rich jewel tones of emerald green and lapis blue
  • Opt for bold, bright patterns on throw pillows 
  • Up your sparkle (and lend a room an expansive feeling) with mirrored furnishings or a wall mirror
  • Mix in Chinoiserie elements like painted bamboo and floral wallpaper
  • Go glam with a crystal chandelier