What is Hollywood Regency style, why do designers love it and how can we recreate it?

What is Hollywood Regency style? Everything you need to know about this lavish style and tips for recreating at home

Hollywood Regency designed by Charlotte Lucas
(Image credit: Chris Edwards. Charlotte Lucas Design)

The high glamour and drama of Hollywood Regency style is everywhere at the moment, but what is it? Where did it originate from? And how can we recreate the look in our own homes? The style is all about opulence and eccentricity, but why is it proving popular now? 

'I think Hollywood Regency is having a moment because more people are welcoming maximalism and being more adventurous in using and mixing bold colors and patterns - it was bound to circle back to the Hollywood Regency style eventually,' says Laura Marino, founder of Studio L, London. 

The look has its roots deep in the past but has slowly drip-fed down the generations of interior designers, with modern American designers especially keen to pay homage to the golden era, with references to Hollywood in their designs. It's a good style to emulate if you don't want to go all out, but want to subtly introduce a bit of glitz and glamour into your own interiors. Read on for all you need to know about this interior design trend and how to add a little star quality to your own home.

What is the Hollywood Regency style and where did it come from?

A Kelly Wearstler design with a Hollywood Regency look

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

So what is Hollywood Regency style? Hollywood Regency is an interior design style that is distinctly American in its influence and has its roots deep in the Golden Age of cinema. It is inspired by the opulence and glamour of the 1930s and the big screen and today it's about establishing a nostalgic mood that harks back to generations gone by.

During the early to mid-century, a revolution was taking place on the big screen. The biggest designers in the business would build lavish interior sets that paid attention to detail. Color was being used at the cinema for the first time, and it was the first time set designers and directors could really use their imagination, with interior designers like Dorothy Draper coming on board to help design film sets. Budgets were big, and films like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, and later, Singing In The Rain, had huge and elaborate sets to great success. Hollywood Regency style is all about celebrating this story.

Today, the look is maximalist, nostalgic, retro, and glitzy, and while some interior designers go all out in their Hollywood maximalism, others pay a more subtle homage. Think Kelly Wearstler's take on Hollywood glam, shown above in a Harper Avenue residence with jet black stripes on a statement table, or Jonathan Adler's eclectic style and use of gold. 

'We're all moving on from the oversaturation of the 'greige' explosion and subsequent industrial interior design look and wanting more color, more vibrancy,' says Laura Marino of Studio L, London.

'The influence of Kelly Wearstler as a global interior phenomenon has a lot of bearing,' says Laura. 'When she began her career at Kor Hotel Group, she wholly embraced the Hollywood Regency style when she launched her first hotel with them in 1999 - her work on that project is still a source of inspiration to me.'

What is the color palette of Hollywood Regency style?

A Hollywood regency inspired bedroom inspired by a photograph of Joan Collins

(Image credit: Studio Rochowski. Design: Studio L)

In terms of the colors seen in Hollywood Regency schemes, it is all about a striking palette that creates contrast and makes an impact. Think monochrome studded with metallics, and vibrant blues or that jewel-like green so synonymous with Art Deco design and the 1920s and 30s.

Ultimately, the key color that really emphasizes a Hollywood Regency scheme is gold. A regular interior can be transformed into Hollywood Regency with the simple addition of gold in any room. Think a statement gold chandelier, a gilded mirror, and glimmers of the color on chairs or coffee table legs. Gold is the key takeaway for this look and makes a room all the more sumptuous.

Another look is a more muted color scheme of powdery pinks and creams, a combination specifically seen in Hollywood Regency-inspired bedrooms. 

We feel a sumptuous, earthy pink is a more modern take on Hollywood Regency,' says Steve Corcoran of the maximalist wallpaper and home accessory brand, House of Hackney. 'Colour drenching or going monochromatic in a room in a single tone where everything is part of a tonal palette becomes quite theatrical, almost like a romantic Hollywood movie set.'

For the above bedroom design, Laura heavily referenced Hollywood Regency glamour. 'I was drawn to Aarons’ photo of Joan Collins lounging in her monochromatic pastel pink bedroom and was determined to recreate a version of that photo for today. We used a stunning moiré fabric in a similar powder pink in one of the duplex bedrooms, evoking the sense of  luxury seen in the original photo.'

Joan Collins relaxes, by Slim Aarons
Star quality

<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1623317&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fentergallery.com%2Fproducts%2Fjoan-collins-relaxes-c-type-print-eg04689&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - entergallery.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Joan Collins relaxes, by Slim Aarons

If you want to nod to these pale pink tones, this beautiful photograph captures a moment as Joan Collins relaxes on a pouffy bed with her pink poodle. 

How does Hollywood Regency differ to the Art Deco style?

wall paneling with orange strip in a living room with zebra print carpet and retro accessories in a Hollywood Regency style

(Image credit: Michael Sinclair)

Hollywood Regency is closely connected with Art Deco, both hailing from the same era, but there are key differences between the two styles. Both are opulent, but Hollywood Regency can be defined as slightly more maximalist and eclectic. Hollywood can be defined as a little more soft too, whereas Art Deco is all about those sharp edges.

'Hollywood Regency style calls for extra glitz and glamour,' says Charlotte Lucas of Charlotte Lucas Design. 'One of our favorite ways to make a home shine is with high gloss paint, lacquering the ceiling and walls for that extra sheen.'

Hollywood Regency has some crossovers with the mid-century modern look too, but the latter style is more pared-back, uses darker wood, and is far less ornate. 

Petite Sunburst Starburst Mirror Wood Stucco
Hollywood glam

<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1623317&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.1stdibs.com%2Fen-gb%2Ffurniture%2Fmirrors%2Fsunburst-mirrors%2Fpetite-sunburst-starburst-mirror-wood-stucco-italy-circa-1960s%2Fid-f_30229532%2F&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Petite Sunburst Starburst <a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1623317&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.1stdibs.com%2Fen-gb%2Ffurniture%2Fmirrors%2Fsunburst-mirrors%2Fpetite-sunburst-starburst-mirror-wood-stucco-italy-circa-1960s%2Fid-f_30229532%2F&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mirror<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1623317&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.1stdibs.com%2Fen-gb%2Ffurniture%2Fmirrors%2Fsunburst-mirrors%2Fpetite-sunburst-starburst-mirror-wood-stucco-italy-circa-1960s%2Fid-f_30229532%2F&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - 1stdibs.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Wood Stucco

A one-off starburst mirror. Designed in the 1960s but with that bright gold look so synonymous with the Hollywood Regency style.

How to recreate the Hollywood Regency look at home

A Hollywood Regency inspired living room

(Image credit: Stephen Karlisch. Design: Maestri Studio)

So how to inject a little Hollywood glamour into your own home? Firstly, think about accessorizing the space instead of going for a total overhaul of your interiors. The Hollywood Regency decor needs to be balanced. If your entire room is dripping in opulence, your space can feel overly dramatic.

When it comes to lighting, Hollywood Regency style sees lighting as the opportune moment for a statement chandelier, so pick a gold pendant to take center stage of the room. 'Lighting is where I’m all in on glamour,' says Kyla Herbes of House of Hipsters. 'In fact, I refer to it as the jewelry of a room. Unique pendants and chandeliers can totally kick up the Hollywood Regency vibe.'

A golden bar caddy is another nice piece that might make the space pop and give the sophisticated feel of an LA home where a good party is a top priority. Be picky about what you place on your caddy, reserving space for only your finest bottles and gold-rimmed martini glasses. For the perfect drinks trolley, the Tivoli Bar Cabinet by Julian Chichester is the one to get your hands on.

To really hammer home the point, frame your favorite Slim Aarons print - the photographer who captured 1930s America perfectly - and hang it on the wall above a console table painted in shiny lacquer and topped with a retro 1930s-style bankers lamp. When it comes to soft furnishings, pick bold geometric patterns or maybe a shaggy sheepskin rug. 

Aged-Effect Brass Metal and Glass Serving Trolley
Golden touch

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Every Hollywood Regency-inspired interior needs a drinks trolley - it's a non-negotiable. This cute trolley is budget-friendly and has that glamorous gold coloring so synonymous with the look.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.