Hollywood Regency: An Introduction to the Collection

This month we explore the bright lights of Hollywood Regency furniture, lighting, collectables and art. Coinciding with the ‘golden age’ of American cinema, Hollywood Regency is a style associated with high luxury, glitz and glamour - an embodiment of 1920’s to 1960’s Californian style. With bold colours, patterns, tactile textiles and sleek furniture, it is clear to see why Hollywood Regency is experiencing a renaissance, but where did it all begin?

Project in Austin, Texas design by Kelly Wearstler, photographed by Stephan Juillard via www.kellywearstler.com

Pair of Italian Velvet Cocktail Chairs - £2,400

A pair of 1950s Italian cocktail chairs in red and navy blue velvet, with original brass feet and sprung seat. In good condition and newly upholstered.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

William Haines is often credited as a pioneer of the development of the original Hollywood Regency style. Initially trained as an actor, he was under pressure to quit the business, due to his sexuality. He turned to interior design and many of his contacts and friends from the film industry became his clients. It was this affiliation with the glamour of the rich and famous that made his designs commercially viable. Amongst his clients were Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Carole Lombard and even Ronald and Nancy Reagan. His style, at first borrowed elements from the late Victorian English country house, with a twist of Art-Deco, but soon evolved into the use of more modernist furniture which we associate with Hollywood Regency today. Haines liked to use cream coloured seating, with accents of colour in cushions and a mixture of textures. This Pair of Italian Velvet Cocktail Chairs are exactly the type of simple, modernist furniture that was a staple in Haines’ interiors.

Brody House Living Room, designed by William Haines, via www.williamhaines.com/history

Italian Three Seater Sofa - £3,950

A Mid Century 1950s three seater sofa in the style of Gio Ponti, made in Italy. Made from newly upholstered and pleated emerald green velvet and black pointed ebonized feet. In excellent condition.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

Another prominent Hollywood Regency designer was Dorothy Draper. Draper has been described as ‘anti-minimalist’ - and that is quite the understatement! By 1937 she was a household name, and her style known as ‘modern baroque’ was highly sought after amongst hotels and households alike. When confronted with an interior design project, Draper loved to add a touch of drama and luxury using bold, jewel-like colours, clashes of black and white, animal prints, bold printed upholstery or wallpaper, and sumptuous fabrics such as velvet and satin. It was typical, in her books, to take an antique chair and completely upholster it in modern print - that was Draper’s Hollywood Regency style. She famously once commented, ‘I always put in one controversial item, it makes people talk’, and the Italian Three Seater Sofa, pictured, is exactly the kind of piece she is talking about. Monocolour prints feature regularly throughout her extravagant interior designs, which were predominantly commercial projects, and she would have probably paired this glamorous sofa with brightly accented, clashing cushions.

Restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, designed by Dorothy Draper in 1953

Maison Charles Fougere Lamp, Chrystiane Charles - £2,850

A 1960s French Maison Charles "Fougere" lamp designed by Chrystiane Charles. Made with an original brass shade and metal base.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

This bombastic lamp, by Maison Charles, is a fantastic example of the opulence of Hollywood Regency. The style has been referred to as excessive, even overly decorative, yet it possesses a timeless sense of luxury. The Maison Charles “Fougere” Lamp was designed by Chrystiane Charles, one of the primary bronze sculptors and artists of her generation. Chrystiane worked for Maison Charles for almost twenty five years, in which time she served as designer, President and Artistic Director. Maison Charles were famous for their sculptural bronze lamps, in particular, their designs of palm trees, lotus, coral and pineapple. This fabulous fern leaf lamp is no exception to Maison Charles’ supreme sculptural finesse.

‘It is glamorous through and through.’
Sabina Vavra

Coral, Organ pipe, Lotus and Pineapple designs by Maison Charles, Paris, c. 1965, image via Charles, Paris at https://www.charles.fr/

Italian Brass and Enamel Table Lamp, Willy Rizzo - £1,000

A 1970s Italian brass and enamel table lamp with a raw silk black shade designed by Willy Rizzo. Condition and wear consistent with age and use.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, designers such as Willy Rizzo and Romeo Rega took the Hollywood Regency style into an increasingly sleek, metallic and lacquered direction. Rizzo, an Italian photographer of icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Gene Kelly and Jane Fonda, had connections with exclusive celebrities. From the 1960s, he branched into the world of interior design and began to design furniture, which lead to commissions for the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Salvador Dali. Rizzo’s furniture embodies mid-century glamour; favouring combinations of chrome and brass, glass with leather, lacquer and velvet upholstery. The Italian Brass and Enamel Table Lamp, featured, is a stylish example of how Hollywood Regency developed within an increasingly modernist world. The use of black glass in this particular example creates a dynamic contrast and together the pair are exemplary of Rizzo’s work and style.

A Bespoke Willy Rizzo table in the home of Tommy Hilfiger, Miami, photographed by Douglas Friedman, photo via www.architecturaldigest.com

Set of Three Maison Jensen Nesting Tables - £1,940

A set of three 1950s French nesting tables produced by Maison Jansen and made from solid brass and glass.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

"People really wanted to impress each other with their homes...homes were really destinations."
Barclay Butera

Pair of Brass Table Lamps, Emilio Lancia - £950

A pair of Italian Mid Century table lamps. Made from a well crafted brass structure on a fish fin shape glass base, with a red lamp shade.

Discover on thekairoscollective.com

European designers continued to emulate Hollywood Regency, and the Maison Jansen are perhaps the among the most recognisable brands for the high-luxe style. Often favouring shades of gold using brass and bronze, this Set of Three Maison Jansen Nesting Tables are exemplary of their glossy, yet luxurious, finishes. Moreover, Italian architect Emilio Lancia’s Pair of Brass Table Lamps epitomise Hollywood Regency glamour with their unusual fish fin shape base and bright red shades. This design turns a relatively functional object into a talking point and central feature of any room. The enduring popularity of this style throughout the twentieth century makes it no surprise that we are experiencing such a revival today.

Photo via Love Chic Trends

Hollywood Residence, designed by Elizabeth Gordon, Elizabeth Gordon Studio