Before and After House Tour Ktown Chateau

How to Design a Hollywood Regency Dining Room

I’ve always been inspired by the glamour of Hollywood Regency design, and seeing how my apartment was built in the 1930s, it was only natural to design my living room in this eclectic style. In the five years that I’ve lived here, the space has evolved and gone through a few iterations. Finally, it’s manifested into the jewel I knew it could be! 

Behold! Check out the dining room from a listing photo below. With the original moldings and large windows, it has so much potential! 

A photo of an empty dining room before I moved in.

What is Hollywood Regency?

Think glitz and glamour verging on maximalism. Also known as Regency Moderne, Hollywood Regency was birthed during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1930s. Film producers and set designers decorated lavishly, which then eventually carried over into the homes and interior decor of their stars like Joan Crawford. 

My “shelfie” with blue and black books including my Nancy Drew collection.

“With this style bent towards unapologetic maximalism, Hollywood Regency features richly layered textures, high contrast patterns, metallic finishes, and vibrant colors.”
– Caitlin Murray, Interior Designer, Black Lacquer Design

Hollywood Regency combines the sleek silhouettes of mid-century with the flair and opulence of Art Deco. Keeping in mind a restrained sense of luxury and glamour, this is how I ultimately designed my dining room using elements of the Hollywood Regency style.

Joan Crawford in the sitting room of her Brentwood home, designed by interior decorator William Haines. From Bettman/Getty Images.

Mirrors and Lucite

Hollywood Regency was defined by mirrored furniture, entire walls and even ceilings. Fortunately for me, the walls around the windows in the dining room were framed in almost floor-to-ceiling mirrors. 

And because large furniture was not part of the design sensibilities of Hollywood Regency, lucite furniture was also popular to make small spaces look larger. I leaned into both of these elements initially with a round mirrored dining table from HD Buttercup and four acrylic dining chairs. (I eventually nixed all of these pieces, d’oh! More on what I replaced them with shortly.)

An earlier iteration of the dining room.

Bold Colors and Pattern

In Hollywood Regency design, colors are strategically selected in the same color palette so as not to overpower everything else. For my dining room, I chose to use a blue palette. The walls are French Moire and the ceiling is Little Boy Blue, both in flat finishes from Sherwin Williams. 

The black and white color combination, especially with stripes and geometric patterns, are also common with Hollywood Regency design, so I covered the floor with a bold Greek key patterned rug.

Chinoiserie Inspiration

Chinoiserie is a heavy influence on Hollywood Regency design due to its ornate nature, and I can’t help but love a Chinoiserie patterned wallpaper or mural! Because my walls are textured, I opted to paint a Chinoiserie pattern directly on the wall instead using a large stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. (I’ve received the best compliments on my “background” during any Zoom meeting!)

The Chinoiserie inspo is obviously carried over in the bamboo dining chairs as well.

Ornate Details

Speaking of ornate…bring on the flair! As mentioned, Hollywood Regency is all about incorporating glam and glitzy accent and decor pieces. I swapped out the existing chrome light fixture in the dining room and hung a $40 crystal chandelier in its place, courtesy of a successful thrifting trip to the Long Beach Antique Market.

The French doors each have a lion door knocker on them from a vintage shop I discovered traveling in Portland, and the brass door knob and outlet covers are also vintage.

Metallic Accents

This is a no brainer from what was just discussed above. Of course, there needs to be gold and brass elements in any luxe Hollywood Regency inspired space. I eventually replaced the mirrored dining table with a gold and glass one from Hutch Vintage in Los Angeles. (The glass also stays true to the small furniture aesthetic of Regency Moderne spaces.) I found two brass planters with lion door knockers on Facebook Marketplace, and filled a built-in with gold accented glassware including a set of Imperial Shoji highball glasses I found on eBay.

I also repainted the framed art print I found for $20 at the Long Beach Antique Market using Rub ‘n Buff in antique gold, added a pair of brass pigeons acquired from an antique shop and replaced the cabinet pulls on the built-ins with gold peacocks from Anthropologie.

Lacquered Finishes

Lacquered walls and surfaces are also traditional Hollywood Regency design elements. Totally swoon worthy but completely cost prohibitive. (Not to mention, wall to wall lacquer isn’t for everybody.)

Instead, I bought a long buffet with ornate embellishments on Craigslist for about $200 and had it refinished in a glossy white. I then used a gold Sharpie pen to color in the flourished details on the front of the cabinet doors. 

Continuing with the Chinoiserie influence, I ended up accumulating a family of bamboo dining chairs secondhand from Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. (I initially had seven, but sold two of the armless ones.) These were all spray painted in black lacquer from Rust-oleum

Luxurious Fabrics and Rich Texture

Fabrics like velvet, silk and fur are common for Regency Moderne. Jewel tones are also ubiquitous with this design style, so I reupholstered the dining chair cushions with a distressed velvet fabric in a dark teal to continue with the blue theme. The lamp shades are in a similar fabric and color, also from Anthropologie.

Sunburst Mirror

Yes, that gold sunburst mirror is a staple in Hollywood Regency design, but I opted for something a bit more subtle with the Panama Mirror in navy (again, keeping with the blue theme). Also from Anthropologie, it’s made from fronds of coconut trees but still has that eye-catching sunburst effect.

Are you inspired to refresh your home with Hollywood Regency elements? Sound off in the comments with your favorite glam detail!

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6 Comments

  • Jamala Wallace

    Oh my goodness! You did a fabulous job on this makeover. I love Hollywood Regency and you hit the nail on the head. The white buffet is perfect and a fav- excellent score on that. Totally loved this

    • missnataliewong

      Thanks, Jamala!! Would love to see a Regency Revival! Glad to have you here.xx

  • Julie

    I love it! You definitely know your Hollywood Regency! So gorgeous. Love your blog, too!

    • missnataliewong

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Julie! xx

  • Alexis

    I can’t believe I didn’t know about your website until now. I adore this post. Thanks for sharing all the tips!!!

    • missnataliewong

      Great to see you here. Thanks for reading, Alexis!! xx

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