Hollywood Regency Part 1 – The Past

I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl. I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, learned to swing dance when I was a teen and often wear vintage attire if I can get away with it. So when I started designing my new room I was looking to create a space that would reference the Hollywood Regency style of interior design. As I was searching for furnishings that might help highlight the look, I realized that more and more flash sale sites were carrying gold and white furnishings. Clearly I was not the only one loving the vintage style.

William Haines

Hollywood Regency became popular in the 1930’s with the explosion of the movie industry. The style utilized Georgian and Edwardian furniture and modern Art Deco architectural lines; geometric shapes, chinoiserie, metallic and reflective surfaces, as well as luxe materials were highly favored. The style was frequently featured in the homes of the Hollywood stars as well as in film set and popularized by designers William Haines and Dorothy Draper.

Ginger Rogers in Top Hat
Ginger Rogers in Top Hat

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films often featured the style in their sets. In the above photo Ginger perches on a newer style of bed that features clean lines and cut decals (the star) while behind the bed the tufted satin headboard adds a feeling of an older, aristocratic time.

Old Hollywood Mirrors Old Hollywood Mirrors

Mirrors and highly reflective surfaces pepper the sets and homes of this time. Often they were elaborately framed such as the image on the above right. In the later 30’s and early 40’s cleaner lines for mirrors started to be favored as in the image above left and below but they were often then flanked by more ornate furnishings such as the chinoiserie wall paper in Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Room.

Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Table
Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Table

While we may think of Hollywood Regency as being a more feminine style today it was considered appropriate for both men and women’s rooms during the 1930’s. In this scene below, Fred Astaire’s apartment features the large mirrors and tufted furniture (you can just make out the dressing-room screen in the mirror. However the roman bust, Egyptian style phoenixes in the fireplace, and the darker colored table and lamp lend a more masculine air to the room. Fred Astair singing "Needle in A Haystack"Fred Astaire singing “Needle in A Haystack”

Above all Hollywood Regency was about high drama. Tall ceilings, large drapes or furnishings and rich materials were key to making this style a success. Next week I’ll go into more detail about how this style is once again sweeping the design scene. But for now I leave you with this exquisite set of a “Hotel Suit” to feast your eyes on. Hollywood Style

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