Since the early part of the 20th century, Hollywood has been famous for the glittering images incorporated into its movies. Also known as Tinseltown, the glamour days of Old Hollywood featured star performers and performances, lavish and stunning costumes, and movie sets often furnished in attractive, exotic and elegant styles. Although the glory days are gone, there are, of course, still glamorous celebrities who grace the LA movie sets and theater screens; however, the magnetism and style of great stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow and Audrey Hepburn reflects a different era altogether.
A touch of Old Hollywood
If you’re inspired by the interiors you’ve spotted on the silver screen, why not recreate that particular setting in your own home? Mixing vintage pieces with classic furniture styles and traditional mirrors or artifacts can mimic your favorite Tinseltown environment and create a touch of Hollywood glamour in the home. Here are a few ideas you could build into your very own version of a movie screen home.
For living areas, choose a sofa or chaise longue of substantial proportions rather than a three-piece suite. It’s better to opt for seating in a contrasting color that will complement these key pieces. Scatter cushions in shiny, silky fabrics, bright mirrors with sparkling beveled edgings and glass-topped Art Deco-style coffee tables will add to the impact.
Get the look
The Prince and the Showgirl was released in 1957 and starred Marilyn Monroe, and images of some of the rooms from the movie are particularly sumptuous. The sofa is upholstered in deep red velvet, with contrasting floor-length drapes; an elegant floor-to-ceiling corner bookcase is topped with a pagoda-style ornamental molding; the ornate fireplace holds a portrait in a Victorian frame with classical statuettes mounted on the walls on either side. All of this together in a big enough space is neither elaborate nor ostentatious – if you think this would be perfect in your home, just make sure the scale and size of your spaces can accommodate such grand design ideas.
Many designers opt for a monochrome theme when dreaming of Hollywood-style dining rooms, sometimes with just a hint of gold thrown in for effect. Teaming a plain black contemporary table with black and white Regency-style chairs and adding a simple gold table runner will complement beautifully a large mirror hung on the wall, with an edging in black and gold.
Of all the rooms that Hollywood transformed, the bedroom fit for a star was perhaps the most audacious. In Dinner at Eight (1933), Jean Harlow’s apartment bedroom had lush shag carpet, an enormous bed with plumed bedposts, fancy ruched drapes and side tables – all these individual pieces were cleverly tied together because they were all white.
In the end, Old Hollywood style was all about luxury, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay a fortune to replicate it. After all, these wonderful interiors were, as often as not, movie sets specially constructed to look like homes or hotels or other interiors. All you need is a little bit of imagination and a dash of panache.