Regency is the general name for several similar interior design styles that have arisen in different historical eras. All three main types of regency have something in common – they are united by sophistication and ostentatious luxury. However, there are certain differences between the French, English and Hollywood versions.
French Regency The regency characteristic of France in the first half of the 18th century was established after the death of King Louis XIV in 1715. On the throne, he was replaced by a 5-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV, and until 1726 real power was in the hands of the regent, Philip of Orleans (nephew of the late monarch).
The regency of the French model became a transitional stage between the Baroque and Rococo styles, and also marked a shift in design accents towards simplification of interior design.
The main features of this style include:
- reduction in comparison with the style of Louis XIV in the dimensions of the furniture and the sophistication of its decoration;
- rejection of strict symmetry of the shapes of columns and other structural elements;
- active use of bronze overlays in the manufacture of furniture;
- an abundance of oriental decor (Chinese porcelain, fans, umbrellas, pagodas);
- the predominance of lacquered surfaces in the interior.
The French regency was the result of significant changes taking place in the country during this period. The country’s economy was exhausted by many years of wars, the amount of money in the treasury by the end of the reign of Louis XIV decreased significantly. Therefore, ostentatious Versailles luxury gave way to a more restrained setting of halls and rooms.
The English regency was formed a century later, at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1811, the heir to the British throne, the future monarch George IV, became regent to his mentally ill father, George III. In those days, the predominant interior design option in Europe was the French Empire style, which borrowed a lot from the ancient Egyptian, antique and Gothic styles.
The characteristic features of the English regency can rightfully be considered:
- symmetry of the composition of space;
- the presence of columns in the Greco-Roman spirit in the room;
- an abundance of bizarre ornaments (grotesques, curls and weaves);
- the inclusion of massive mirrors in gilded frames, candelabra and chandeliers in the setting;
- graceful and laconic outlines of furniture made of expensive wood species.
- the predominance of bright colors in the design of the walls;
- extensive use of paintings and frescoes on antique themes.
The English Regency was a transitional stage in the design of that era. Already in the late 1830s, the young 18-year-old niece of George IV ascended the British throne. She was destined not only to rule the world’s largest empire for 63 years, but also to become the founder of the famous Victorian style in the history of the country, as well as architecture, design, fashion, furniture and art.
The style of the Hollywood Regency was formed in the United States in the mid-30s of the twentieth century in an artistic environment and has a very unusual origin. Initially, the luxurious interior, which combines elements of many other styles, was used as a spectacular backdrop for motion pictures. But this went on for just a couple of years. Many American actors and actresses wanted to transfer this environment to their own chic mansions.
Famous interior designers immediately responded to the emerging demand, and they did not hesitate to come to the aid of the Hollywood stars. The most famous among them were the artists Dorothy Draper and William Haines. They created unique projects, and the media replicated luxurious photographs of the interiors of the houses of the celebrities of the film industry.
The Hollywood Regency can be found influenced by many other design styles:
- Art Deco;
The new style learned a lot from both the French and English Regency, but nevertheless became an independent modern direction in design. Its characteristic features deserve special mention:
- classic lacquered furniture and sumptuous mirrors in luxurious frames;
- expensive textiles and expensive fabrics (velvet, silk and suede);
- an abundance of decor items and antiques;
- bright contrasting colors and wide stripes;
- skillful interweaving of antique and Chinese motives in the design of rooms.
The Hollywood Regency epitomizes the impeccable elegance of the interior. This style is perfect for creating a romantic atmosphere in the home and makes a compelling impression on the guests. It has a lot of glamor and sophisticated swagger, as well as the elusive appeal of ostentatious luxury.
Nowadays, there are not so many people who want to decorate the interior of a house in the spirit of the English, French or Hollywood Regency. This is an elite style that is perfect for the luxury apartments and country homes of the richest people of our time.