Hollywood Regency Style Defined

Go glam with this always stylish design style

By Lisa Frederick

With its origins in set design during the time when the American movie industry was at its zenith, Hollywood Regency style is glamorous, sophisticated, and ever so slightly over-the-top. On film, it was as much practical as it was chic, meant to provide an evocative backdrop for the stars on the screen. Some of the biggest icons in interior design, such as Dorothy Draper and Billy Baldwin, drew heavily upon the Hollywood Regency aesthetic for their signature styles.

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The Basics

Sunny Contemporary Bedroom by Drake Design Associates
Drake Design Associates

This look takes the best elements of many others, from art deco to traditional to modern, and compiles them into a pleasing, visually arresting whole. It is sophisticated and worldly, hinting at fabulous parties, faraway travels, and witty discourse. Although there's nothing timid or restrained about Hollywood Regency style, it is neither gaudy nor garish.

These designer rooms display Hollywood Regency Style:



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Hudson Mirrored Cabinet

If Hollywood Regency decorating intrigues you, try these strategies to pull it off.

Bold color. The Hollywood Regency palette emits an air of drama—rich, bright colors mixed with swaths of crisp black and white. Think magenta, kelly green, lemon yellow, or tomato red, with dabs of an equally brilliant accent color to tie the look together.

Shine and reflectivity. Mirrors and mirrored accents are a key component of Hollywood Regency décor. Not only do they add a touch of glamour, but they also cast light around the room in an utterly fetching way. Hang them on the wall, use them to cover a ceiling, or sprinkle mirrored furnishings and accessories around the space.

Horse Lamp
Flamboyant patterns. Chinoiserie, animal prints, snakeskin, overscale florals, and exaggerated stripes all work well with this style. Just don't go overboard in mixing them or the effect will be chaotic. 

Shagreen. A type of leather that in its original form was made from the skin of sharks and rays, shagreen was one of the hallmark materials that gave Hollywood Regency style its flair. These days, most versions on the market are imitation, but the look is just as exotic. 

Theatrical touches. Hollywood Regency is all about drama. An oversize piece of sculpture, imposing draperies, a sensuously curving chaise longue, or a mass of towering tropical plants add the element of escapism so important to this style.

Luxurious fabrics. Velvet, silk, satin, taffeta, and damask feel suitably indulgent for this style. Be generous with them and add details such as tufting, piping, shirring, and pleats to showcase their beauty at its best.
  • If you like Hollywood Regency style, you may love Kelly Wearstler design, as well. 


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