A day doesn't go by that I don't get 2 or 3 google search hits on my hollywood regency or is it post. Weird. And god knows, I'm no expert, so sorry to all those people searching for something definitive or academic. It's just one person blathering on about an interior style I personally think is interesting and fun.
But given all the misguided popularity of my meaningless point of view on the subject, why stop now? Since I wrote that post a few months ago, I've learned a little bit more about hollywood regency. One kind reader pointed out that actually David Hick's owes some props to the glamorous interior designs of Dorothy Draper. I looked into her work both on the internet and in the big, coffee table book In the Pink: Dorothy Draper, America's Most Fabulous Decorator. I definitely see her influences on aspects of the contemporary work of the designers like Kelly Wearstler (who sings her praises by the way) among others, in terms of the graphic expression of architectural embellishments and features through the use of color contrast (especially the use of white against dark or vibrant colors). As I see it, the interiors of Draper were all about high glamour and drama, focusing on spectacle and show rather than comfort and intimacy.
One of the key places Draper's signature work diverges from the hollywood regency style I'm enamored with, is in her use of floral chintz prints for pattern. She used them big time and not in a way I personally love. It's the simple, geometric, latticework pattern juxtaposed against the grooviness of tufted leather couches, asian iconography, chrome finishes and detailing, maximal, over the top smoking chairs along with simple and streamlined furniture, that makes hollywood regency feel so contemporary despite it's long history. For me, no chintzy florals in that mix, thank you very much.
Another possible predecessor to contemporary hollywood regency design that I've recently discovered, thanks to the utne reader, is the interior designer William Haines. Originally Mr. Haines was a true leading man, starring in over 20 films with some of the 20's and 30's most famous actors and actresses. But "as Haines' film career faded, his self-taught skills as a decorator flourished and many of his costars became his first clients." What's great about his work is the confident mix of streamlined mid-century furniture silhouettes with strong, graphic, architectural detailing called out in black or white, mixed with dripping chandeliers and asian iconography. Shag rugs, groovy modern furniture he designed, white Louis XIV chairs upholstered in black leather or zebra skin prints were also some of his signature touches. To see more of Haines' wonderful work, I'd highly recommend the terrific book Class Act.
But I'm no expert, so take this for what it's worth.