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Fri Mar 8 2013 11:42:30

Is Mid-Century Modern Giving Way to Hollywood Regency?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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As you may know if you've been to a "Mad Men"-style party lately, the style known as "Mid-Century Modern," angular and futuristic, even in the 21st century, has been popular for a while. But a recent discussion on the Mid-Century Modern board on eBay had me wondering if the new thing is a style known as "Hollywood Regency." So on this Antiques Friday  (hashtag #ABAntiquesFri on Twitter) we take a look at this fun and glamourous style.

"My friends in the vintage furniture selling business tell me they are really selling a lot of Hollywood regency right now, and I have to admit my two Hollywood regency chairs really get a lot of comments in my home," wrote one user, eBay ID "dodieandfaye." "They are seriously making me think about redecorating my living room into a formal late 1960's/1970's HR style front room."

What is "Hollywood Regency"? According to HGTV's take on it, it evokes Hollywood's "Golden Age," with plenty of glitz and glamour; lacquered pieces, and luxe materials such as velvet in drapes and silk in lampshades. And the pieces are supposed to be secondary to the individual person's style. The key designers of this HR style are Dorothy Draper and William Haines. There is a Pinterest board showcasing Hollywood Regency looks.

Kari, aka modaddiction on eBay (fix@modaddiction), sells a lot of Midcentury Modern (MCM) items, and she says, "Hollywood Regency is way too fun...with high-profile designers like Kelly Wearstler mixing it up and keeping it alive!"

But for Kari, MCM is still very much alive: she says she's sold "a lot of wonderful pieces designed by Dorothy Thorpe."

I asked her if she thought shows like "Mad Men" had a big effect on the popularity of this style. "Mass Media has not only reflected, but has also projected trends in our society. Shows like "Mad Men" have certainly been one of  the factors that has moved Mid Century Design from the cognoscenti to the masses," she said.

And what type of person collects MCM? From her experience, Kari says "an MCM collector collects primarily for the design and its function, while the Hollywood Regency collector is more attuned to the decorative aspects of a piece."

What do you you prefer Hollywood Regency to Mid-Century Modern, and do you collect or sell these items? What is your take on where the decorating style trends are going? Post a comment here!

Comments (2) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is Mid-Century Modern Giving Way to Hollywood Regency?   Is Mid-Century Modern Giving Way to Hollywood Regency?

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 11 10:10:48 2013

Hollywood Regency and Mid Century Modern are very different concepts. Hollywood Regency is opulent and over the top with decoration, glitz and glamour. Mid Century Modern is minimalist, sleek, abstract and clean looking with few frills.

They will both be with us for a long time. But I think that Mid Century Modern has "legs" as far as popularity goes. Hollywood Regency will come and go. Anyway, that is how I feel.

I sell both. Mid Century Modern is my preference.

By the way, I see a lot of listings that say something is both Mid Century Modern and Hollywood Regency. Most of those are either Mid Century Modern or just simply modern in design. There is clearly some fuzziness in the understanding of the two styles.  

Is Mid-Century Modern Giving Way to Hollywood Regency?   Is Mid-Century Modern Giving Way to Hollywood Regency?

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 15 16:56:44 2013

I've mid modern, 1970's retro and older lines Empire, Edwardian, and more. What I do know is this television and Movies sell the image royal --

I sold the most 1970's items during the sitcom the 70's show and etc it all depends on what is trending in folks minds upon.

I also know their is always a 25 year & 50 year revival meaning what you as a child revered will pop up again towards you buying out of nostalgia for your kids or as a grand parent for your grand children to re-live and share another revisit to childhood!

It amazes me what re-trends or it's popularity cycle just plummets.Some  pieces of art, collectibles, fashions have their revivals - some are celeb inspired as a seller you have to watch some key concepts anniversaries of movies, movie stars either birth or death and more. Some celebs are iconic and stimulate a resurgence or make an item a long term classic in style or sophistication the buyer desires.  

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