Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Decorating...Hollywood Regency style

One thing I can say I always enjoyed and still do is decorating. Whenever my mom would move the living room furniture around, I was always excited because it suddenly was like walking into another house. I loved the feel of a whole new room,especially after painting a room or getting a whole new bedroom comforter set. Sometimes my parents would want to go see model homes and I loved tagging along. I never knew why I liked them but I think because the homes were so beautiful, and looked so un-lived in (just like in magazines) that it was so unlike where I lived. I am not saying our home was a mess but it was most definitely warm and inviting and very lived in. My mom kept our house nice but I wouldn't describe it as immaculate, it was nice but lived in. As I grew up, I realized that I definitely possessed a love of decorating because every model home I walked in, I would pretend I was moving in and in my head I would arrange the furniture, and redecorate the spaces. I still do this. Well, as a child, I never really heard of interior decorators. It was something you only heard of rich people hiring, so as a child I never played "interior decorator".  At least not that I remember. But yet, it would become my future as I  ended up going to college to study design and even completed some home study courses as well. I have experience in lots of aspects of interior design,  but could never manage to find full time employment as an actual "designer". I am a "Jill of all trades", I guess you could say since I have done so many creative jobs...took care of children, worked as an asst. baker in a bakery, sold and designed custom furniture, sold wallpaper and window treatments and carpeting, and I even spent a short stint as a photographer.


Right now, my head is literally filled with so many ideas of what I want to do with my home, redecorating wise. I am very into retro looks and am leaning towards a lot of 1950's mid-century designs but I don't think I want to go 100% retro though. Another look that I seem to really be crazy about is the "Hollywood Regency" look.
I have heard that it is tricky to define but have heard it described in many interesting ways.


"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."


"I define Hollywood Regency as Neo-classical lines mixed with Hollywood glamour and a top note of mod moxie. Hollywood Regency was a style of architecture and decoration popular in the 60s in LA that was a revival of classical regency style through a modern lens. Hollywood Regency added a layer of pattern and decoration and opulence and glamour to the minimalism of mid-century modernism."


 "The look is clean – extra tchotckes have a purpose and stand out – they don’t collect dust as a bunch of tacky clutter. Influences are Asian, Moroccan, European Art Deco, Chippendale, Dorothy Draper, David Hicks, Billy Baldwin, Billy Haines, the Rat Pack, a bit of traditional and a dash of hippie chic."


To me, it is all these things but the bottom line is it is luxurious and full of glamour. Watch old movies and you will see the style I am talking about. I fell in love with it but never knew what it was. I always liked looking at my mom's old Hollywood magazines and see the stars lounging around their pool or posing on a fancy sofa in their living room. I secretly dreamed some day my own home would look like this. I have some pieces that will work in this scheme, but I really need to scour antique stores and consignment stores for more. I did some research of how to create this look and here is what I found out.



  • Lacquered Furniture
  • Lucite Tables and Chairs
  • Mirrored Furniture and Mirrors in General
    • Fabulous and Bold Wallpaper
    • Chinoseirie
    • Dressing Table
    • Asian Touches
    • Swank
    • A Dash of The Rat Pack or
    • a Dash of Vegas or
    • a Dash of Austin Powers Shagadelic Style
    • A Touch of Kate Spade Decorating Style or
    • A Touch of Lilly Pulitzer Style interpreted as a bit of prep, like Adler does frequently.
      • Palm Beach
      • Chrome
      • Matte and Shine
      • Chintz
      • Bold Shape and Color
      • “rock-n-roll baroque
      • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the look is fun, playful, yet classy and sophisticated.Hollywood Regency takes its name from the look the old Hollywood stars use to decorate their homes with. Homes were a status symbol and everyone wanted to show theirs off during glamourous cocktail parties. This was a different time when it was more about the people,  than sitting around watching tv and I like that.  Living in a home that looks like Marilyn Monroe or Joan Crawford or Rita Hayworth could live there is very exciting to me. I have a few pictures that illustrates this style very well. 











As I acquire my Hollywood Regency treasures, I will post  updates. I can't wait!!