Hollywood Style Guide

Tara Dickinson
7 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

Known by both names, Hollywood Regency and Hollywood Glam, this is a style of decor that draws from the timeless appeal of old Hollywood glitz and decadence. Just picture the millionaire sets of The Great Gatsby, with its metallics, sleek shine, and the structural elements of Art-Deco. Regency Moderne, yet another name this style is called, encompasses the golden age of film, beginning early in the 1900’s lasting until the 60’s. Bold, contrasting colors thrown against a palette of neutrals, sets this era apart. Although this retro style does overlap with Mid-Century Modern with its colors, solid prints, and clean lines in furnishings, it has a more ornamented flair for opulence.


The film industry and its subsequent movie stars are the parents that birthed the Hollywood Glam style. The wealth that this new economy produced allowed its benefactors to display their riches in grand style at their homes and estates. The roots of Hollywood Glam seem to start with some sole interior designers of that time period, most specifically Dorothy Draper.

Mrs. Draper, a wealthy New York socialite with a background in European travel, opened Architectural Clearing House, later changed to Dorothy Draper & Company, the first interior-design business in the mid 1920’s. It is believed she was the one to come up with the designation of Hollywood Regency. By the 30’s her name had grown in the industry as she took on the remodeling of several prominent hotels across the nation, from New York, to Chicago, to San Francisco.

Her work on the Sutton Place in New York clearly demonstrates what would become associated with the famous ‘Hollywood’ style. The building was painted black and white with smart colors on doors and accents.

Hollywood History

 The interior of one of Draper’s more famous resorts, The Greenbrier.

To accompany the lavish and rich interior styles of this new age, architects were also called upon to represent the extravagance on the outside of establishments and mansions. One of the most famous of this era was John Elign Woolf, who became known as the master of Hollywood Regency. Woolf designed residences of who’s who of actors and actresses:

  • Errol Flynn
  • Spencer Tracy
  • Cary Grant
  • Katharine Hepburn


Number one, this is a look that never goes out of style, truly a classic. Even with many retro elements, Hollywood Glam is always fresh. Secondly, there is much room for freedom of personal expression when employing this decorating strategy. Additional bonuses include the ease with which you can incorporate this style into your home at the same time keeping expenses to a minimum. By investing in classic furnishings, you are able to easily add in period-piece accents, but still keep to the overall feel, leaning towards minimalism. Remember, the foundations of furnishings are slightly rigid in structure while the fabrics display comfort, elegance, and sexy decadence.


Bring on the glitz! Over the top, but not gaudy. Rich. Elegant and opulent. Sensual fabrics in animal or floral prints. Not the ornate stuffiness of the Victorian rich era, but more gold and silver finishes, with clean lines and luxurious accents. A bit of asymmetry works, applying criss-cross and zig zag designs.

Hollywood Decorating Style

 Example of a Hollywood Glam era living room.


  • Highlight architectural elements, staying close to neutral tones on the walls.
  • Best to pick an overall concise color palette.
  • Luxury and decorative showpieces should take centerstage.
  • Take advantage of color and texture contrasts to admire featured elements.
  • Allow the drama and romance of the silver screen to come into play, mixing different textures and artistic calls to the historic.


A foundation to show off the sparkle of the Hollywood Regency accents and furniture needs to start with a soothing color palette of black, white, or grey. These backgrounds set off metallic finishes and jewel or floral toned fabrics that will accent the rooms. Ivories, creams, and softer whites can be used for bedrooms and quieter reflection nooks.

Hollywood Colors


Much like its overlapping design period style of Mid-Century Modern, Hollywood Regency furniture also uses functional form, with no fuss structure and straight-forward feel. Frames can employ high-shined, mirrored or lacquered finishes. In the Hollywood style though, the fabrics are full of comfort and designed to delight. From silk, to velvet, to fur, looking to bathe their passengers in luxury. Mixing in an ornate piece works too; a Victorian or Art Deco element adds that extra layer of lavishness.

Hollywood Furniture


Walking into a Hollywood Glam style room one should feel an instant sense of glamor. The textiles on large furniture pieces will help make this statement by using rich hues that pop. Or if the color splash is in your accents, subtle tones in fabrics that are rich in feel, such as leather, suede, faux fur, and velvet will create the same memorable aura. Carpets and rugs can be either plush or simply textured, depending on overall layout. Animal prints or Art-Deco patterns work well in this format.

Hollywood Textiles


Much of the joy in decorating in a Hollywood Glam style comes with the addition of accents. By setting a sophisticated foundation on the walls and furniture by using clean-lined elements, statement-making accessories can run the gamut. Sunburst mirrors, Asian pottery, animal figurines, and other authentic delights from around the globe add to the glam narrative as you beguile your guests with mysterious tales.

Hollywood Accessories


Think grand! Full floor-to-ceiling window panels truly define the Hollywood Regency signature. The drama can be less stated with sheer drapes, or it can take the more traditional route in the Greek Key pattern. Either way, go big, go full, adding that element of height and over-extravagance.

Hollywood Window


When it comes to decorating, scouring second-hand stores, flea markets, auctions, and boutiques are all excellent places to find many elements to fulfill your Hollywood Glam design needs. The goal is to complement the space you are working in using design styles that work most effectively. Whether that be large statement furniture pieces, Art-Deco featured collections, or chrome stylized lighting fixtures.

Looking at some other design styles that came after the Hollywood era will demonstrate the progress and change in tastes and in different design styles of the following decades.


Modern design is generally classified by its use of wood and other earthy materials. Greater emphasis is placed on functionality and clean lines. Additionally, Modern design uses streamlining in furnishings, design elements, and well as spatial layouts, resulting in open interior spaces. The beauty of Modern design is achieved by focusing on symmetry and a sense of balanced comfort. Modern technology, plus new materials, equaled more affordable furniture that resulted in lighter, sleeker styles of design.


The key characteristics of mid-century modern furnishings are clean lines, low profiles, and tapered legs. There was also a combining of natural and man-made materials with everything from wood to lucite being used to produce innovative pieces. The highly ornamented furniture of the past was stripped away, and the new focus of beauty came from the simple pleasing shapes of the pieces themselves.


There is no time period that defines contemporary design. It continues to evolve and reflect the popular styles of present day design; influenced by modernism, minimalism, Art Deco, and other global styles.


Another style that grew from the mid-century modern movement was the  Scandinavian design. It too uses a minimalist look that features soft contours, colorful accents, and a balance of engineered and organic materials. It’s simple, contemporary, and clean, using a majority of the white and grey color palette.


#hollywoodregency #vintage #vintagefurniture #interiordesign #antique #thrifted  #amberglass #thrifter #glam #vintageresale  #antiqueresale #vintagehomedecor #oldhollywood #vintage #classichollywood #hollywood #oldhollywoodglamour #actress #goldenageofhollywood #artdeco #vintagehollywood #classic #oldhollywoodstars #silverscreen #icon #retro #artdecostyle #classicmovies  #legend #sfashion #vintagestyle #blackandwhite #oldhollywoodglam #goldenage #glamour

« Back to Blog