Why Real Estate Agents Think This TV-Inspired Design Trend Is Here to Stay

published Jun 28, 2022
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Credit: Netflix
The "Bridgerton" drawing room

Chip and Joanna Gaines can be credited for the modern farmhouse craze, while “Mad Men” brought ‘60s mod back into fashion. Now, in the next “life-imitates-art” home decor trend, the hit Netflix show “Bridgerton” is inspiring some to embrace 19th-century regency core, and real estate agents are here for it.

Southern California-based real estate agent Suzi Dailey of Realty ONE Luxe says she’s seeing a modern take on the regency style, especially in older, more ornate homes. Instead of dark colors on the walls or lots of gold detailing, today’s trend is to preserve the details and decorative ormolu on the walls, give the room a fresh coat of white paint, and then call in an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique art, she says. 

In the Midwest and the east coast especially, you can find lots of very formal homes in the more historic neighborhoods, Dailey explains. “Frankly, I am glad that their craftsmanship is being preserved by some owners, and if ‘Bridgerton’ helped inspire that, then that is a further compliment to the show’s authentic time piece of a series,” she says. 

Now in its second season, “Bridgerton” is set in London circa 1813 during the Regency period. Beyond the showstopping grounds and gardens, the opulent interior sets feature damask wallpaper, dramatic gold and bronze mirrors, and luxe, heavy drapes tied together with tassels. There are vases and busts and cornices galore. 

The key to nailing this trend at home is to use a palette of light colors, and maybe accent one or two walls with a fabulous wallpaper in nearby rooms, like the dining room, says Dailey. You could use a combination of soft contemporary furniture mixed with touches of gold and gilded accented fixtures, she says. (We ranked our favorite “Bridgerton” interiors here). 

The yellow ballroom in "Bridgerton"

Patricia Reed, an agent for Douglas Elliman in Houston with a background in antiquities, agrees that royal intrigue (including the popularity of “Bridgerton”) is bringing back the regency-style decor.

“Coming out of the pandemic, our lives feel more casual than ever and I believe people will be leaning towards more formal interiors,” she says. 

She’s seeing more homes infuse regency-era pieces in creative ways, and says it works best in traditional Italianate or English-style architecture. (Of course it helps if you’ve got a home that already has elaborate crown molding and high ceilings so that you can show off those floor-to-ceiling drapes!)

“Adding ornately framed large scale art, old world statement chandeliers and sconces or a beautifully reupholstered chaise lounge with modern fabrics brings hints of the period into modern living,” she says.