What is the Hollywood Glam Design Style?

Closet with tufted furnishings, a white dresser and gold shelving units. Photo courtesy of Jessica Alexander.

Add a touch of Tinseltown to your décor with the Hollywood Glam style. Photo courtesy of Jessica Alexander.

Just hear the words “Hollywood Glam” and your mind wanders back to another time. You may imagine a room of gilded mirrors and glittering chandeliers. Women in dazzling gowns perch on plush velvet couches while puffing cigarettes from silver holders. If this is your vision, you wouldn’t be totally wrong.

The Making of an Iconic Style

True to the name, the glam style dates back to the 1930s, a time considered by many to be the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. Also known as Hollywood Regency or Regency Moderne, Hollywood Glam is exactly what it sounds like: a decor that embraces the decadent and fabulous from top to bottom.

At least one of the style’s pioneers has a history with Hollywood. William “Billy” Haines turned to design only after his acting career was cut short. Since then, Billy Haines and co-founders Dorothy Draper, David Hicks and Billy Baldwin have become most associated with the style.

How to Go Hollywood Glam at Home

The popular interior look infuses glamour into the everyday. It’s a mix of styles without being messy - you may see touches of neoclassical, mid-century, art deco, boutique hotel and more.

Larisa Barton, an interior designer at Homepolish in New York City, cites “rich fabrics, metallic details, and bold architecture” as essential elements of this style. However, before you go buying that bearskin rug and slapping gold on absolutely everything - consider that glam done well has plenty of balance.

This carefully curated look radiates sophistication and confidence, not gaudiness. Clean lines, monochromatic color schemes and uncluttered spaces keep Hollywood Glam from going over the top.

Here’s how to go glam in a way that would make its founders proud:

Use Classic Colors

Keep the colors simple. Focus on two to three complementary hues and let accessories, textures and patterns do the rest. Purple and gray are popular choices for Hollywood Glam, as well as a classic black and white scheme. Use gold or metallic surfaces only for accents.


Monochrome bedroom with black walls, luxe textiles and a chandelier. Photo courtesy of Christine Dovey.

Photo courtesy of Christine Dovey

Be Bold and Timeless

Patterns in Hollywood Glam are bold, timeless, and gender-neutral overall. From fabrics to flooring, Greek key and trellis patterns, geometrics, and animal prints are all welcome in a Hollywood Glam home. Art deco and neoclassical motifs may also make an appearance. Black and white checkered flooring would be a perfect addition to this theme.

Living area with marble fireplace, printed rug and neoclassical decor. Photo courtesy of The Design Co.

Photo courtesy of The Design Co

Indulge in Textures

Hollywood Regency or Hollywood Glam interiors celebrate texture, making use a heavy mix of fabrics. Nicola Croughan, Interior Designer at Blinds Direct in West Yorkshire, suggests “sumptuous fabrics like velvet and silk.” You can also incorporate suede, lacquer, leather, and metallic highlights. If you’re a fan of wallpaper and carpeting, you’re in luck.

 White and muted pink living area with textured throws and a plush rug. Photo courtesy of @torunns_home on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @torunns_home on Instagram

Show off Your Exquisite Taste

Accessories are your chance to go bold and get wild with your glam interiors. Barton, for example, envisions an “oversized gilded chandelier centered within a floor to ceiling fireplace.” When styling your space, think chandeliers, wall mirrors, writing desks, footstools, table lamps, clocks and tassels.

Commemorating an era when far-flung travel was just emerging, glam spaces often incorporate worldly accents. The Palm Springs feel of a few palm fronds or bamboo stalks was especially popular. Whether it’s Greek-inspired drapery or an African mask, sophistication and swagger are the name of the game.

Dining room with silver furnishings and a bold chandelier. Photo courtesy of @homebyleno on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @homebyleno on Instagram

Spark the Conversation

In the era of fabulous parties, room arrangements centered on people and conversations. Hence, furnishings in Hollywood Glam interiors tend to have a lower profile. Decadent chaise lounges, ottomans and Louis IV chairs are all perfect accent pieces. Avoid the temptation to center everything around the TV or pushing all your pieces against the walls. But why stop with the living room? A side table or plush stool in the powder room is a welcome addition.

Rebecca Rosenberg is an international digital media consultant and freelance writer.

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