The modern furniture décor that says, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”, will be found in the Hollywood Regency style. Think Art Deco, or platinum-blonde Jean Harlow in a slinky, white satin dress, against an all white oversized white tufted sofa overstuffed chaise – yep, you got it, and it’s making a rather dramatic comeback, since last being on the scene, so to speak, in the 1930’s.
Interior designers William Haines (an actor as well) and Dorothy Draper, enjoyed access to that era’s celebrity Hollywood and styled their homes befitting the glitz and glamour of the era. A modern version of the Hollywood Modern style is already seeing a resurgence in popularity: a William “Billy” Haines cabinet on eBay recently sold for $7,500!
The Hollywood Regency style “is all about the people”, according to Karen Figilis, publicist for William Haines Designs. “The furniture is supposed to really fade into the background.” Believing that furnishings and accessories will mark the Hollywood Modern Furniture style is to miss the point, but rather, “…Centering a room around the furniture and the way people will interact with each other is the idea”, offers Barclay tera, interior decorator and furniture designer. Details are key: fringe on lampshades, chandeliers with crystals – elements that denote glamour, create the style.
Several components define the Hollywood Regency style, with lacquer being one of the most closely associated finishes attributed to it – in bright, glossy furniture colors. Dramatic fabrics also denote this bold style, giving a home the sense of scale and glamour of that era: velvet draperies, silk lampshades and sculpted carpet. “The whole style is about enjoying people, enjoying time [together], it’s about glamour and getting a glimpse of those bygone days where TV was less important and it was about cocktail hour and company”.
In the designer Dorothy Draper’s version of The Hollywood Regency style, she incorporated her affinity for both the modern and the old-fashioned, shamelessly blending chintz with glitz, which created a warm, lived in and approachable feel. Photos of her New York apartment establish the idea in large scale, reflecting the use of floral chintz-covered chairs and the neo-baroque mantel amid many family heirlooms, including a portrait of her grandmother. Judging the correct proportion and the correct ratio of mixed eclectic to one major luxurious idea is the challenge. By no means is the Hollywood Regency style meant to intone an any anything goes attitude.
The style can create a welcoming feel, and this type of décor it exudes could perhaps summed up by designer Butera, “Homes were really destinations”.