Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Billy Haines: Yellow and Turquoise

Images above, Todd Merrill Antiques

This cheerfully glamorous Billy Haines-designed brass table and chair set sold last year through Todd Merrill Antiques, but I like to think it found a happy home in a chic breakfast room. Maybe the new owners have a striking turquoise vase filled with fresh flowers on the table, to bring out that sharp turquoise-blue piping on the original canary-yellow upholstery.

Billy Haines was a silent film star who became a highly successful mid-20th-century decorator associated with Hollywood Regency style. To grasp Hollywood Regency, think Jane Austen's Emma with a posh, theatrical spin.

Originating in Southern California in the 1930s, Hollywood Regency was a bit of a reaction against stark Modernism. Elegant English Regency and Greek Revival forms of the early 19th-century were often reinterpreted in an exaggerated, camera-ready way. For example, the yellow chairs above resemble classic Greek klismos chairs with curved saber-like legs and broad concave backrests, but the Technicolor vinyl upholstery and white laminated tabletop is pure 20th-century.

For more on Haines see William Haines Designs or Class Act: William Haines Legendary Hollywood Decorator

(originally posted August 22, 2006)


** Terramia ** said...

Oh the yellow is divine... I am loving that colour more and more as Spring happens upon us!

Anna Spiro said...

Isn't it interesting Courtney that you noted that Hollywood Regency in the 1930's was a reaction against stark modernism - I feel that we are moving out of a modernist era at the moment in decorating and this trend seems to be repeating itself as there is a move again towards the Hollywood Regency look!! It's just so interesting that History truly does repeat itself!!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Ever since I saw that Kelly Wearstler was upholstering new furniture in vinyl, I see it in a whole new way!