The terms glamour and glamorous cannot be uttered without thinking of Hollywood. This is probably due to the fact that no single place around the globe exists where so many fascinating people reside. These days, another “Hollywood” that excites and oozes glamour is Hollywood Regency, an interior design style that has the market abuzz and agog. Developed by actor-turned-interior-designer Billy Haines in the 1930s, this style had for its early adherents Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Carole Lombard, Marion Davies, George Cukor, and the future Nancy Reagan who were smitten by Haines’ good taste and boldness in trying out the unthinkable, for instance, mixing period styles, a no-no then. Consider the following tips should you want to glam up your drab apartment in the Hollywood Regency style.
Step 1 Raid your grandma’s attic, especially if your grandma happens to live in the Hollywood area.
Keep your eyes peeled for anything that is interesting, such as a candelabra in the ornate rococo style or a ceramic lamp shade with an ornate base. Don’t look over smaller furnishings simply because of their size. Perhaps you will not find a 118 B.C. Wu-Ch’u coin with the square hole, but anything exotic like a Chinese medallion might find use as a cabinet door pull, for instance. Don’t pass up Grandma’s sheer fabrics. They’re as valuable as any period piece and could be of use.
Step 2. If an item appears as if you have traversed halfway around the world to purchase it, then it is perfect.
Keep in mind that your goal is to keep from overdoing while maintaining a high level of glamour. Always. Bali, for instance, has incredible wood carvings that ooze elegance anywhere. The same is true with rough African bench carved from solid wood, or an Egyptian wooden headrest that looks like it came from King Tut’s tomb.
Step 3 Avoid imposing furniture.
Hollywood Regency trains the spotlight on people, not the furniture, so keep the furniture small and low-key. In no way should they begin to compete with guests for attention. Distinctly feminine curved legs, yes; big size, no.
Step 4 Eclectic is in, so you may mix period styles. Feel free to have your dining set in ornate rococo side-by-side with wall tapestries or tree art side-by-side real or faux bamboo poles. Similarly, feel free to have velvet drapes side-by-side wicker chairs, art-deco alongside Neo-Classical, Tiffany stained glass table lamp beside tree wall art.
Step 5 Use lacquer liberally.
Lacquer that wicker chair. Give a lacquer finish to your Chippendale secretary. Lacquer that Queen Anne dining set.
Step 6 Do at least one decor in an outrageously grand manner.
Look at displaying jumbo wall art or a ceiling-to-floor mural that is accentuated with gold Chinese symbols against a background of mandarin red.