Style Clash: Purely Classical Meets Glitzy Glam


What happens when one style meets another? Is it catastrophe waiting to happen or is there hope for harmony?

That’s why we created Style Clash. Some design styles are more flexible; others force us to stretch outside our comfort zone. Each week we will offer tips for mixing competing styles successfully.

What do we mean by “successful”, you ask? If nothing seems strange, jarring or just plain ugly, then I’m all for it regardless of time period, colorway or material. I call it a successful Style Clash.

For our fourth installment in the Series we will mix Neoclassical with Hollywood Regency and see where we land.


So far we’ve stayed fairly current in our surveying of styles (although all design has historical references), but Neoclassical (image above and below) requires us to dust off our history books and rewind a few centuries. The second half of the 18th, to be exact.

At that time, a Greek and Roman style revival was born in France and England as a result of an awakened interest in and respect for the arts of the ancient past. The archaeological discoveries at Herculaneum and Pompeii, as well as an increase in travel expeditions to Athens and Rome were important factors in broadening the public’s knowledge.


The Neoclassical style also originated as a direct reaction against the curvaceous and flowing nature of the early 18th century Rococo style. Furniture was bold with straight lines and linear geometric forms. Greco-Roman architectural elements such as columns, capitals, pilasters and friezes were common, as well as marble, stone and ironwork.


Hollywood Regency style (image above and below) was born more recently, in the glamorous and sexy golden age of LA-LA land, the 1930s. The mood was upbeat and revolved around entertaining, lavish parties and showing off.

The originators of this interior design style were Dorothy Draper and Billy Haines who decorated homes of the rich and famous with all the glitz, opulence and risqué rebellion they could muster. Nothing was too over-the-top for Draper and Haines.


Mix a few or all of the following elements and the Hollywood Regency style could be yours too: luxurious materials, over-sized furniture, sparkling chandeliers, bold graphics, Asian accessories, lots of mirrors and lacquered accents in bright colors.

Kelly Wearstler (image above) and Jonathan Adler (image below) are two contemporary designers known for their Hollywood Regency vibe. The style continues to evolve but nevertheless remains bold and full of vibrancy.


Combining these styles may seem impossible to imagine, but that’s why we are here. Style Clash turns this unlikely duo into a design marriage made in heaven.


The Greco-Roman elements in the ‘clash’ interiors (image at top, image above and below) stand proud but leave plenty of space for a twist or two of glamour and grandiosity. Notice the pops of color, the opulent fabrics and shiny, lacquered surfaces. It’s a party waiting to happen, but with a sophisticated and subtle crowd more attune to showing up than showing off.


If I had to define this ‘clash’, I’d call it something like classical with a subdued and thoughtful twist of glitz.


Meet me here next week as we continue to cruise the spectrum of interior design styles, two at a time. Ciao for now!

Images: the ViceroyLonny, greige, Apartment Therapy, Nate Berkus.

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