Hollywood Regency Style – Here to Stay?

Jeff Andrews, winner of Best Residential Interior Design Award for California Home and Design Magazine, recently named Hollywood Regency as the interior trend he would like to see go away, or see ‘a lot less of’.  This has got me thinking, does this look have a shelf life or is it here to stay?

The Hollywood Regency style emerged through the work of interior designers, such as Dorothy Draper, Elsie de Wolfe, and William (Billy) Haines, who were hired to transform the homes of film stars in Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s through to 1960’s.

Furnishings combined clean lines with fancy detailing and reflective surfaces. Lacquer, chrome and mirrored finishes were prominent along with shiny architectural hardware, glitzy chandeliers, luxurious textiles, faux fur accents, chintz and plaster moldings. These details created an elegant and upbeat atmosphere conducive to cocktail hours and socializing as well as a luxurious space for these stars to retreat too. Bold blocks of color (in particular, pink, black, turquoise, yellow, black and white) also played a key role in this design style.

During the past few years we have seen the Hollywood Regency style emerge as one of the key influencers in interior design spurring on a style also referred to as Hollywood Glamour.  Hollywood for the glamour, Regency from the classical Regency pieces they incorporated into their designs. It’s been hard to find an interiors magazine in the past few years that is not in some way paying tribute to this style. It has risen in popularity mostly, I believe, due to the fact that it doesn’t matter what size your home and budget, there are elements that anyone can incorporate in their home to achieve this luxurious look.

The mirrored tables, Asiana, Chippendale bamboo chairs, animal hide rugs, and colorful high gloss lacquered Hollywood Regency-ish pieces have been turning up everywhere from high end design showrooms to the more accessible mass market stores, so it begs the question – have we seen enough of this style and are we ready to move onto something new?

Feeding my curiosity, I decided to ask a number of designers during a recent trip to Los Angeles, the birthplace of Hollywood Regency, and they all came up with a similar conclusion.

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Interior Designer to the stars says: “Hollywood Regency has become a modern day classic and will always be part of our design language.”

Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Producer of HGTV says: “Hollywood Regency, in many ways, is here to stay; however, to do it right, it’s all in the mix. Straight-up Hollywood Regency can be kinda textbook and way overdone. To do it right, the way Kelly Wearstler did when she designed the Viceroy Hotels, is to introduce it with something totally new and totally YOU.

There’s hints of Dorothy Draper influence in a good amount of my own work; I just mix it with unexpected styles such as the space age, farmhouse or even Warholian pop. Overall, I turn to Hollywood Regency for Dorothy Draper’s use of scale, contrast and plaster, but then I put my own spin on it. Everything in moderation, that’s my two cents!”.

Brian Patrick Flynn’s  interiors:

Kelly Wearstler interiors:

Jonathan Adler, Interior Designer says: “I have always been a maximalist and an eclecticist. My pad has always featured a mix of my own stuff with modern classics and Louis XVI chairs and a dollop of rococo, so I fully support design that has a dash of opulence and a soupçon of decoration.”

Jonathan Adler puts his own whimsical spin on Hollywood Regency below:

Taryn Bernard, Furniture Designer and Owner of Room Service Store says: “I can honestly say that the term Hollywood Regency itself may have a shelf life …. I know I’m over it, but that glamorous style is here to stay as long as it evolves.  In LA, the word Hollywood is here to stay …… the glitz and the glam of the old Hollywood era will never get tired. That’s what has lured young starlets/stars to that city for generations and will continue to do so ….. they will always be looking for furnishings for their homes that fit that genre. So that style will evolve with the trends but will always have one underlying feel, that of luxury, glamour and style. To keep it fresh I prefer interiors to have an eclectic mix of things so that they look curated over time. 

Room Service Store designs modern interpretations of Hollywood Regency style furnishings:

It seems that the consensus is that Hollywood Regency is still incredibly modern and relevant to today’s hectic world, where individuals are seeking sanctuary in their homes and where the concept of socializing in the home is as strong as it has ever been.

People may not be embracing this design style in as much of a cookie cutter way that they have been over the last couple of years (many of whom were trying to copy the ‘Kelly Wearstler look’). Instead they are pushing the envelope even further by taking references from the style but keeping it fresh and new by mixing it with other unexpected styles. A streamlined modern sofa can live quite comfortably next to a rustic table, surrounded by some Queen Anne velvet covered chairs, accented by a shag rug and a high gloss Rococo mirror up against a turquoise wall.

In my case, I have kept my Hollywood Regency style chairs and sideboard and mixed them with some mid-century inspired clay vases, a pop art inspired canvas and paper mache trophy heads.  They key is to mix this style up with other genre’s to keep it fresh and interesting.

What do you think?

If you would like to share your Hollywood Regency revamped style with our readers please email us with your photos.



Image credit:

First collage

Top Left: Decor Pad. Top Middle: Jonathan Adler Design. Right: Dorothy Draper Design

Bottom Left:  Google images. Middle: Google images. Right: Jonathan Adler Design.


Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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7 Responses to “Hollywood Regency Style – Here to Stay?”
  1. hyperballad627@gmail.com' Matt says:

    Would have been interesting to request further comment from Jeff Andrews as well.

  2. mr.rykim@gmail.com' Rick says:

    Great blog. I’m not a huge fan of all the glitz and glamour, but there’s definitely a time and place for it.!

    • Jill says:

      Thanks. I would love to see a Hollywood Regency interior scheme with some Restoration Hardware pieces in it. Now, that would be an interesting mix. A challenge for your designers at RH?

  3. henrykilpatrick87@gmail.com' Henry Kilpatrick says:

    Wow! What a neat blog. I love this style. In my opinion, Hollywood glam is the way to go in design. It is chic, eclectic and truly beautiful. I have a treasured piece of my on eBay. It is a very cool hollywood regency coffee table. Below is the link. Be sure to bid if any of y’all like it! Thank you.


  4. furniturebylauriea@gmail.com' LaurieA Loeb says:

    Good Morning,

    I am a kitchen designer in the Chicago land area who has a side passion for re-designing Hollywood Regency furniture. I hand paint select vintage furniture pieces and now I am thinking to sell them. I have some my personnal collection on my new website http://www.lauriea.net/store/c10/One_of_a_kind_Custom_Furiture.html. I would love to get yours and your readers thoughts on my pieces

    Thank you Laurie

  5. We love the Greenbrier and Dorothy Draper – Great post – we, too, are trying to get the beauty and genius of Ms. Draper know to the known, acknowledged, and loved. We are a florist/design firm carrying Carlton Varney and DD fabric and wallpaper, as well as Kindel Furniture. Check us out on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/gardenpartyflowershop to see all we do!

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