It was the heyday of stars like Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, and Gloria Swanson. And it was also the Jazz Age celebrated and venerated in the likes of novels like The Great Gatsby. The Sunset Strip was still a mere fantasy, but something was becoming clear — 1920s Hollywood and the film industry were no mere fad.
Hollywood and its ever-more glamorous films were increasingly becoming a fixture of American life and becoming a tastemaker and trendsetter as well.
In the 21st century, we’ve grown very comfortable with the notion of working from home. But in 1920s Hollywood, the stars of the day were no longer content to spend their workdays on a glamorous set and then go home to drab dwellings. No, indeed, no. In the 1920s, a glamorous age of interior design decor emerged as homes began to have the look and appeal of a fantastical movie set.
It was an age of bold colors and opulent interiors, simultaneously glittering with glamour and yet uncluttered, approachable, and even comfortable. The idea was glitz for sure, but also to be a place for gathering, celebrating, and just generally living the good life.
Let’s do more of that.
Today we’re going to show you how to take your interior design style 1920s Hollywood glamorous in three steps: make it basic, make it bold, and make it brassy. Lights, camera, action!
Your Hollywood Design Heyday Inspired Decor Starts With The Basics
This era of interior design leaned heavily on art deco sensibilities. That means that the look we’re after resists clutter and sets the stage for the bold decor to come by keeping the foundations basic. Basic but not boring.
It’s not just the films of the 20s that were black and white. That’s also where great Hollywood heyday design starts — it’s all about neutral tones like black, white, grey, beige, and more. It’s like setting the scene in a movie as the leading lady is about to make her entrance. You don’t want the room competing with her radiance, you want it to showcase it.
So bring those neutrals in with wall colors, rugs, and as the dominant theme for your furniture upholstery. Later — when we add accents — they’ll really pop against these foundations.
That’s why the furniture of this era threaded an interesting needle. Think your coziest sofa blended with something taut and modern. Low profile visually, but tailor-made for lounging and entertaining. Luxury lives in spaces with less visual noise.
Outfit your sectional in a simple, mineral-toned performance tweed bringing calming greys and subdued silvers. Or make it light but still luscious with an off-white microsuede — eco-friendly with all the durability of Crypton (1920s Tinsletown never had that going for it). Or if the neutrals you seek in your primary pieces are more earthy, try a tan-toned cotton fabric like Champagne.
Your space may be starting to feel a bit, well, basic. Well done. Keep that up. Remember, we’re offering up a blank, but welcoming, canvas for the glam still to come.
Add The A-List Allure Of Bold Accents To Your Hollywood Design Style
While the 1920s were a time that Hollywood was exploding into the cultural mecca it would soon come to be, it wasn’t that long ago that Southern California was nothing more than farmland. Almost overnight, aspiring actors found themselves flush with celebrity and riches. And ready to show it off.
So, against the backdrop of neutral tones, the design trend took a bold turn. Accent pieces in bold colors and textures were the A-list stars of interior design. The bolder, the better.
Pinks, purples, greens, and blues. All saturated and vivid. Patterns stayed predominantly geometric or abstract rather than some of the more ornateness of earlier eras (though such patterns would re-emerge). But spaces were built for socializing — and showing off — so these bold pops of style prowess leaned into seductive textures like soft silks and velvets.
Add a little rouge to the room with a chaise lounge beckoning in luxurious velvet. Add some magic with a loveseat taking the stage in a fade-resistant textured chenille mermaid green. Let your tufted sofa slip into something more comfortable like an elegant raspberry purple faux silk — faux sure to be a conversation starter while also being the go-to spot for the conversation itself
Try bumping up your armchairs with a diamond-patterned Jacquard fabric in midnight blue. And upholster your dining chairs in a traditional geometric pattern storm grey that gives you 1920s comfort and style for hosting legendary dinner parties.
Getting the idea? You set the stage for a light and pleasing space with those neutrals — make it basic. Now add a few accents to turn up the alluring — make it bold. Not so much that it feels noisy. Just enough that it calls out to be lived in. Try sticking with just a few different accent colors. They’ll cue up our final touches.
Time To Give Your Tinseltown Glam Style Vibe A Classy Brassy Finish
You’ve turned your space into a nearly irresistible attraction. Now let’s make your room Oscar-worthy with a 1920s glamorous Hollywood design style finish. When the Hollywood glitterati of the day wanted to take the glitz and glam of their day jobs home with them, they didn’t mess around. Time to make it brassy.
Brassy and bold dominated the day. Brassy fixtures and furniture. Glass and mirrors. Silvers and golds. Tables, chandeliers, and artwork became the decadent jewelry of home decor. Again, with an eye toward inviting and not imposing.
Bring some of that into your space with starburst chandeliers. Or give your dining room an expansive edge with deco-beveled mirrors. Minimalist glass side and/or coffee tables with brass frames allow the glamorous maximalism of your art and accents to shine and delight you and your guests.
And you’re not limited by actual glass and metals. Hang drapes dressed in elegant gowns of silver-grey faux silk — bringing a whispy breath of shimmer and shine while giving the room a more open feel. Or add throw pillows to your furniture in a warm and welcoming pearl gold fabric. It’s like adding sparkling gold earrings to finish off your room’s outfit.
The point is that adding some brassy glamour is pretty darn literal and easy to achieve with just a few well-chosen decor additions.
Your Home Interior Design Style’s Next Act: Hollywood Heyday Magic
As we roll the credits on our 1920s glamorous Hollywood design primer. We hope you’re feeling amorous of Tinseltown’s triumphant style heyday. What’s even better is you don’t need a huge box office success to get there.
Just by building on a basic upholstery and design foundation, adding bold accents that allure and inspire, and bringing a bit of sassy with some brassy decor choices and upholstery finishes, you can live your 21st century roaring 20s dreams.
Think of us as your agent, making your dreams come true one upholstery decision made easy at a time. Annndddd cut. That’s a wrap, everybody. Great job. Let’s all head back to (insert your name here) house to celebrate.