Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hollywood Regency - LA cool meets Palm Beach 1950s meets Joan Crawford

Hollywood Regency has definitely made a dramatic return to interior design because of the likes of Kelly Wearstler , Jonathan Adler (who's manifesto is the funniest thing I've read in a LONG time) who've established it as the decor du jour.

Designers from Hollywood's Golden Age, like William Haines and Dorothy Draper, encouraged Hollywood movie stars to decorate their home with overtones of glitz and glamour, a new design style emerged. The 1930s Hollywood Regency style was a favorite of celebrities ranging from actress Joan Crawford to the Rat Pack.  I can remember seeing Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest" and Joan Crawford's love of white and mirrors, she was definitely obsessive compulsive!

Because of the popularity of the style things like chinoiserie chairs, brass ornaments, and pieces like William (Billy) Haines pieces, this seems like a totally accessible (if not expensive) decorating style to adopt.  What annoys me is that everybody calls anything mid-century EAMES ERA.  Puh-lease.  Charles & Ray Eames were designers mainly of furniture, and logos (IBM) and various designs, but I don't think they'd slip into the Hollywood Regency category.  They were way more 'down home', and slightly more Frank Lloyd Wright.

Here's my very amateur take on it:  think LUX, LUCITE and lashings of LACQUER.  Colour, colour everywhere with silks and dramatic fabric designs, plush thick carpets and rugs. Or we can go further with some other themes:
  • Lacquered Furniture
  • Lucite Tables and Chairs
  • Mirrored Furniture and Mirrors
  • Fabulous and Bold Wallpaper
  • Chinoseirie
  • Dressing Table
  • Lilly Pulitzer Palm Beach style
Nothing says glamor more than a chandelier. Glamor table lamps have crystal stems and fancy shades in white or black. Or add lamp shades in the color of the accent you have chosen to carry the theme throughout the room.

Read more: How to Decorate Hollywood Regency Style
Some shops that sell the Hollywood Regency style online:
Chloe Sevigny's apartment decorated in Kelly Wearstler's "Imperial Trellis"
Dorothy Draper Chandelier and wallpaper

Beautiful use of green, black and white.  Kelly Wearster, Viceroy Hotel, Santa Monica

White with green highlights - Kelly Wearster, Viceroy Hotel, Santa Monica

Moroccan glass panels look great stacked with display. Kelly Wearster, Viceroy Hotel, Santa Monica

White & lucite - note the plates again (a personal fave)!

More plates complementing chinese regency style
Kelly Wearstler at Bergdorf Goodman

Mirrored tile ceiling
Billy Haines 'Seniah' Chair - love that fabric!

Gramercy Park Hotel - Ian Schrager (lux ++)

Schrager, Adler, Wearstler & Billy Baldwin - all hotel decor

Jonathan Adler - Chippendale in pink

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bric-a-brac and gatherings of tchotchkes

Shadow box of delight

Well unfortunately I have a taste for gathering small objets - probably very similar to folks in the Victorian era.  Tchotchkes (pronounced "CHACH-kee") are small toys, gewgaws (Old English - a decorative trinket or bauble), knickknacks, baubles, lagniappes (Creole word, pronounced 'Lanny-yap" which means something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure), trinkets or kitsch.

The word my family uses is bric-a-brac or referring to my collecting sensibilities - CLUTTER. I like the word bric-a-brac which is a french word referring to collections or curios.  Feathers, wax flowers under glass domes, eggshells and miniatures which adorned mantlepieces or displayed in curio cabinets.  Often they had glass doors to display the items protecting them from dust.
Sidney Gould's Bric-a-Brac shop - London 1979
Sidney Gould opened his bric-a-brac shop in the late 1950s. He sold up in 1988 and the site now houses a pizza shop.  This makes me sad when I think of all the bygone shops that have closed due to chains opening and developments.
Bric-a-brac cart on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina

The mantle display of very talented Simon Robinson of Alba Vintage, Lismore

My own display of bibbedy bobbedy trinkets in my office
Love the butterflies and frames in this setting

Silver & white china

Letters, frames and tiny mirrors - lovely

Beautiful baubles hanging from a chandelier

Medical curios framed

Angelic baubles, trinkets - adore the chandelier & bedhead

Printers tray containing printer stamps

Beautiful array of odds and ends
Cluster of aged mirrors
Wallpaper, bags, materials & inspiration board

This green hued cluster of pictures features lovely little collections

Birds, dolls, flowers & jugs set against a black wall and Victorian fireplace mantle
Printers tray complete with tschotchkes and trinkets gathered through a life
Lovely jubbly sparkly bottles in beautiful greens

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Exquisite shops - just window shopping

Mint green exterior - I'd sell pencils just to get this shop
 I'm always stopped in my tracks when I'm strolling down a street and I see a beautiful shop front of get a glimpse of the store window and its contents.  I'm forever looking at the store layout and design wondering what effect the owner wanted to make.  There is so many wonderful stores, but the small, bijoux shops are the ones I'm mostly attracted to.  Usually because they are intimate and the layouts are almost always original.
Aesop store - Australia, love the herringbone parquetry

My church.  Worked here in the late 80s.  Built from beams of an old ship in mock Tudor style

Hanging lamps and shabby cobalt colour

Photo I took in Soho.  Old Italian butcher's...lovely

Love the palm fronds in the glass jug

Paris Collectibles in beautiful old New Orleans - a den of treasures

Love the old mantle in Paris Collectibles

Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Store

Scout Design Group - a treasure trove of lovely old vintage pieces

Scout Design Group

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crystal, bottles & beautiful light

Some days when it all gets far to complicated to absorb any more information or images, it's nice to reflect on very simple little gatherings of objects.  Small clusters of bottles, flowers and bits & bobs.  Simple, reflective, peaceful.  If only life was always like this!


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