The Best 9 Tips For Hollywood Regency Decorating

Tommy Smythe- HGTV star, Sarah’s House co-host and Toronto has made over his historic home with touches of Hollywood Regency styling.  The house was featured in House & Home Magazine.  Hollywood Regency has been known to combine the high end elements such as polished marble, glossed walls, classic paneled cabinets, crown molding and tufted furniture gussied up with  accents of brass silver and gold.  Geometrical patterns are very popular in this style, and commonly implemented with stone floors, patterned rugs, painted or stone walls, tile and art work.

Borrow a Few Ideas From Smythe:

1 -In the few pictures of his home, you can see the house is not cluttered, which is a key to any design.  You can see he only features the very best in his house, which means he donated the rest of his junk that doesn’t pertain to his style, and so should we.

2 –Incorporate a great geometrical pattern in your room.  Having a good rug with a strong pattern can go a long way.  Zebra rugs are very popular and add a graphic print to the room in a very glamorous way.

-3 Hang a handmade over-sized graphic oil painting with lots of color on the wall, and spend your money on great furniture.  Color isn’t necessary, but having a pop of color can go a long way with this style.  You don’t even have to spend lots of money doing this.

Shop around for a over-sized frame from your local thrift store, or second hand store.  If you have the money find a high quality frame and make the artwork yourself.  Once you have the room together, over time, you can exchange out the graphic print with another print online at a later date.

If the frame has a canvas print inside already you can paint over the existing picture.  If not, take a piece of thin wood purchased at your local hardware store, and cover it with canvas and staple it into the frame.  Home Depot allows you to buy sample paint sold for a couple dollars each, which you can paint your own geometrical pattern on to.  Pick out your favorite colors or leave the paintings to the end of the project and choose colors that will tie your design together.  All you need is tape, paint, and a good looking gilt wood frame.

4 – Spend your money on high end furniture.  Look at  Smythe’s home.  You can carefully tell he really put a lot of thought into his furnishings.  Ebay is the perfect place to buy Klismos chairs, and other high end Regency pieces.  They are so hard to find, but such a great investment.  Good looking furniture captures the attention, and KEEPS the attention over the years.

5 -Keep your eyes open for a dining room set of chairs in the Hollywood Regency style.  A set of chairs can be broken up in a living room, and lined against the wall or accenting a sofa.   A room that has common elements which group together nicely presents better than a bunch of miss-matched furniture.

6 – Brass always adds a high end look.  Consider a coffee table with polished brassAdding brass hardware to your furniture to dress it up will go a long way in your home.

7 – Gloss walls are a signature style of Hollywood Regency.  You can see Smythe painted one of his rooms in a high gloss black.  Black or any dark color for that matter can bring a very very dark appearance to a room.  One time, we painted our living room in a really dark navy.  The room had two windows, and it felt like a dungeon.  When working with dark paint colors, consider if you have enough light coming into the room naturally to pull it off, otherwise count on a high electricity bill from all the lighting you have to install.  One way to get around this is to purchase a set of over-sized matching mirrors that you can hang on the walls.  Adding a number of WHITE hand drawn prints on a light yellow or white background will produce a layered effect.  Painting your walls a dark color can be very RICH and captivating.  To pull it off you need to bring in the light by layering the walls in lighter frames, mirrors, or art work.

8 – Don’t skip on quality.  Look at Smythe’s dining room, and you will understand that less is MORE, and Quality is MORE!  His cabinetry is painted in white, and the walls are tiled in a white subway tile.  The window frames are painted white, giving attention to the amazing tiled floor.  Again here we see a geometrical pattern, and it is well done!

For additional Flooring inspiration see these posts:

Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti’s Empire Decorated Home

Empire Decorating: Geometric Painted Flooring

9 – My last tip is to not forget about natural wood finishes.  They ground the outrageous looks of the Hollywood Regency style.  Sometimes the flamboyant nature of the glamorous style of Hollywood Regency needs a foot in reality.  Natural wood chairs, with earthy leather really ground this style well.  You can see this element in action in one of Smythe’s rooms.  Amongst black walls, wild zebra patterns, gold and lots of pattern, the wood furniture provides a breath of fresh air and balance to the room.

See more of his Smythe’s home see  House & Home Magazine

Canadian House & Home of Tommy Smythe

Canadian House & Home of Tommy Smythe bedroom - Photographed by Michael Graydon.

Canadian House & Home of Tommy Smythe bedroom – Photographed by Michael Graydon.

Designer Windsor Smith Western Interiors Magazine 2008

Western Interiors Magazine had a fantastic interview with Designer Windsor Smith that was particularly fascinating. Did you know she once was an antique dealer? A great knowledge of antiques is a foundation to great interior design. After all, many of the antiques are still some of the best furniture these days.

Smith tells Western Interior that her own personal design and decorating is focused around elements of the past but recreated in a new way, as she describes her style as ” I like the idea of a new vernacular pitched against classic sensibilites. Everything should feel like it is of the present but also has some kind of thread to history” as she tells Western Interiors magazine.

She is not afraid of using colors most people wouldn’t dare touch. How does she pull it off? Her secret is to create a balance with white.

The sunburst mirror is a great contemporary piece that commands attention in any room. Sunburst mirrors are making a comeback, as these vintage sunburst mirrors struck popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. The ornate details combined with the circular shape make it particularly eye catching and glamorous. There are many price points and variations of these mirrors depending on the quality, age, and materials of the mirror. Pristine antiques fetch several thousand dollars, but many reproductions that were made in the 60’s are quite inexpensive. If you do happen to pick up a mass produced reproduction mirror, give it a good make over with gold leaf which will give you the look of quality. Make a striking statement in your entryway, hallway, or above the mantle with this mirror, and I guarantee it will be noticed by company!

Starburst Convex Mirror Seller Fireside Antiques

Starburst Convex Mirror Seller Fireside Antiques

Regency Bamboo Mirror - Designer Mary McDonald

Hollywood Regency Sunburst Mirrors

This room features the gold sunburst mirror between paneled walls and tan beige drapes for a very modern glamourous look.

Sunflower Mirror – Gold

Addae Round Mirror – Gold

Cooper Classics Bruno Sunburst Mirror in Antique Gold Finish 4543

Global Views Small Gold Leaf Sunburst Mirror with Security Hardware

Astraeus Mirror, Uttermost 13632 B

Ayana Mirror, Uttermost 13586 B

Addae Mirror, Uttermost 07568 B

Sunflower Photo Frames, Set/2, Uttermost 13612


12569 P

Eleadora Round Mirror – Gold/ Gray

Gold Sunburst Mirror – 24″

Global Views Mini Sunburst Mirror with Security Hardware

Global Views Sunburst Mirror

RAINDROPS GOLD Contemporary Mirrors 12619 P By Uttermost

Hesperia Mirror, Uttermost 13623 B

Hollywood Regency Sunburst Mirrors

James Merrell

James Merrell

Christina Aguilera's Hollywood Regency Beverly Hills Home

Instyle Magazine featured a story way back in their October 2009 issue on Christina Aguilera and husband (Music Producer) Jordan Bratman.

The magazine covered the couples massive Beverly Hills home which was purchased in 2007 for $11.5 million, according to public records and boasts over 11,000 square-feet of lush flashy furniture and home decor. The house was famously featured on MTV between 2002 through 2005 showcasing the Osbournes and their crazy family life.

The Gothic influences still are prevalent and seen mixed in with the high glamour even after all the design changes. Among all the photos featured, many point to her candy pink closets as being the most brilliant room in the house.

Her sensational shoe collection shows the sheer wealth of the family. She has not just one expansive closet, but two closets. Christina Aguilera shows us how sensational a Hollywood Regency styled home can be. Just imagine the possibilities with your own home.

Christina Aguilera’s Hollywood Regency Beverly Hills Home- Picture CNN Money

Kelly Wearstler Rhapsody



Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler is set to release her fourth book titled Rhapsody, coming this Fall from Rizzoli. The book features never-before-seen photographed interiors and follows her around behind the scenes at work.

Kelly Wearstler

Glamour: Making it Modern

Michael Lassell, author of Glamour: Making it Modern, says good design isn’t all about money, but rather about self realization and imagination.

Lassell, director of Metropolitan Home features the best of Metropolitan Home magazine in a wonderful guide that offers a directory of the some of the best designers in the business and a list of resources for available products.

Glamour explores more than 200 photographs from the last five years of Metropolitan Home into tips that can make any space alluring enough to be in a magazine. Lassell says “….. the idea is not to look at a photograph and simply repeat it in your own home,” Lassell says. Instead, he educates readers to learn from the top interior designers from around the country and alter the ideas to what best suits your individual style. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. Like everyone, I am captivated with the cover featuring vintage Regency chairs so ornate that they look like jewelry themselves. Check out these dramatic tufted Regency chairs up close.

Glamour: Making it Modern

This famous mirror has been seen in all the magazines, and if you are like me, I often think that most of the most beautiful furniture and accessories are one-of-a kind, BUT NOT this mirror! Two’s Company produces this Sunflower Antiqued Gold Wall Mirror for $375.The mirror is made entirely out of metal and glass and features a beautiful patina. Perfect for any Hollywood Regency styled home. The lovely gold darkens at the tops of the mirror which makes this sunflower leaf eye catching. Buy a statement piece for your bedroom, or living room, or entry. This is one mirror you will not get tired of.

Sunflower Antiqued Gold Wall Mirror Made of Glass and Metal

Sunflower Mirror Hollywood Regency Style

Sunflower Antiqued Gold Wall Mirror Made of Glass and Metal

Room Service carries some of the most flashy graphic Hollywood Regency styled throw pillows guaranteed to bring some life and color into your home. Ideally a home based around a few basic colors such as white, cream, black or beige, can allow a homeowner to change out their accessories as their taste changes. Having a palette that is based around beige, gives you the opportunity not to be married to one style forever. Ralph Lauren is famous for his french, upscale regency looks, as well as his cottage looks, which all can be exchanged out as the seasons pass with a few accessories. Throw pillows can change the mood of a room in an instant. Pair these sharp stimulating pillows when spring rolls around to give your home a deep breath of fresh air for the summer. I guarantee, they will make you smile!

The Hollywood Regency pillow collection from Room Serviceis inspired by the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood in it’s heyday. Classic, sophisticated black and white graphics, accented with luxurious turquoise, sultry yellow, and fresh fuchsia.

This really hot yellow Hollywood Regency Morocan Pillow Print is dynamite for that beige sofa that needs a pop of color. Add in hues of yellow into gold leaf furniture, and paintings with a spash of pink and yellow perfect for that sharp Hollywood Regency styled home

This Hollywood Regency Warrior pillow from Room Service is inspired by the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood in it’s heyday. Classic, sophisticated black and white graphics, accented with luxurious turquoise, sultry yellow, and fresh fuchsia. Get this Warrior Pillow in Black and White………

Nautical inspired color palettes are everywhere, on the runways and in the pages of magazines. The Nautical pillow collection from Room Service, with it’s rich blues, sunny yellows, and pops of red, will add a dash of Yacht Club chic to any space.

David Hicks.

David Hicks

Horchows Cara Chair is an antique style barrel tub chair upholstered for comfort.

Set of Three Metal Nesting Tables -Unknown Dealer

These spectacular faux bamboo wing-back chairs sold from Guildmaster feature a carved finish from from solid wood to look like real bamboo. You would never know they weren’t real bamboo as the craftsmanship is so precise.

The backs of these chairs are absolutely exquisite that you would want to feature them floating in a room, or at an angle which shows off the impressive elongated rectangular frame.

These chairs are finished in raw wood giving you the opportunity to either leave them natural or lime them, or paint them to coordinate in your rooms scheme. They would even look ravishing gilded. Each chair comes with a muslin cushion. The measurements of this set are 47″H X24″‘D X 25″W Guildmaster sells their set for $1700.


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