What is Hollywood Glam Style?
The over-the-top ostentatiousness of Hollywood Glam home design style could probably be best summed up with one person’s name: Liberace. The showman of the piano, Liberace was a dedicated follower of the glam style and his stage presence and home life all evoked the principles of what makes Glam style so distinct, even today, decades after Liberace’s passing.
From lavish estates to eye-popping interior decorations, Hollywood Glam is very much about “if got it, flaunt it.” The style takes the best and most opulent of textures, fabrics, and furniture and creates a world many of us saw on the first reality TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and reflected the unlimited whims of the celebrity homeowners.
Today, as a style, Hollywood Glam is very much a distinct and unique approach that doesn’t fit everyone’s perspective and preference, but it is clearly unique and fodder for a conversation piece.
Interior Style Features
- Much like other styles that involve combinations of many different items or styles that on their own come from other design approaches, the Hollywood Glam style needs a clear, blank background or canvas to “paint” on. No surprise, the background in most Glam settings tends to be a light, crisp color or a flat wall shade so that the items and collections really stand out as the focus of attention. It’s also quite possible to go dark, but dramatic colors are usually chosen then to create an offset between the darker background and the brighter focus items included in the setting. Bright light colors are then used as the framing of the room overall or key points of entrance and exit.
- Everything is fair game with interior Glam design, and it frequently tends to be built around a particular idea for a room’s purpose and function. For instance, Kim Kardashian’s house highlights an almost detail-less washbasin where the water looks like it would just flow off the edges. The rest of the room is minimal, with all attention to the basics. Other choices like that of Gene Simmons (famous bassist from the rock band KISS) might be an entire collection of his music history compiled together from different trips and experiences.
Exterior Style Features
- Nobody expects a homeowner to put a replica of the Hollywood sign on their roof, but many external designs are very much about showing what’s possible when there are no financial limitations for the homeowner. Hollywood Glam is very much about showing people what is possible in a dream mansion home without being restricted to traditional architecture designs, like Tudor houses or colonnaded Greek-style temple homes from the South. Instead, the exterior features are broad-based, ranging from castles to sleek all-window constructions, to amazing location placements like homes on the Malibu coast. Bottom line, exterior Hollywood Glam is custom-made, as big as possible, and as unique as possible so everyone knows whose home it is without any possible confusion.
- Even if you may not change the outside of a home due to neighborhood limitations or geographic restrictions, the inside of your home can be seen through windows and really stand out by available view. Hollywood Glam style can be showcased to the world through the windows of a home, perfect for a passing audience to see in and marvel at the interior design inside. So windows are a big plus, especially large landscape-style portals that provide a sizable view inside.
Glam Furniture Style
- A chandelier provides one of the most obvious classic forms of Hollywood Glam to home. Normally reserved for a dance hall or fine dining room, many have placed huge, detailed chandeliers in the front entranceway to be seen as one enters a home. Similar displays like candelabras also create a sense of over-the-top within specific room environments or even bedrooms, enhancing the drama of the collection contained. If one is going to go Glam, the chandelier and candelabras are almost a requisite component. If it was good for Liberace, it’s good for you.
- There are lots of couches and sofas available from different sources, but the Chesterfield Sofa stands out in its shape, size, lounge-effect, and use. Long enough to lay flat on or accommodate three to four people at a time, the Chesterfield is literally the Titan of sofas one could choose for a setting. The sofa can either be had in leather, faux or real, as well as fabric. Velvet frequently tends to be a popular choice.
- If one doesn’t have a full bar per se, the bar cart provides a nice alternative to a Glam setting. Easy to move, capable of handling both containers as well as glassware, the bar cart provides both an available addition to a room or areas’ convenience as well as mobility to move it around where needed as well. Bar carts can be simple or gaudy, it all depends on what one wants for their own particular interests. It also saves a lot of trips to the kitchen or the liquor cabinet, which can break the mood-setting quickly.
- Glam style isn’t just about the rooms visitors might enter. The private locations and bedrooms are just as fair game as well. And Glam style can really kick up the notch for a bedroom with unique, ostentatious bed systems, rugs, and related furniture. Whether it’s a round bed like that from an Austin Powers movie or a canopy and poster style from a medieval movie setting, the bedroom can provide a fun additional canvas for Hollywood luxury style very different from the rest of the home.
- When it comes to the finish on furniture, the glossier the better. Lacquered furniture and significant polish all produce furniture pieces that really stand out and yell luxury in a full room setting. Over-emphasized styles, arm pieces, and large leg supports are very common and frequently seen with these types of collections.
- Glam style can really be emphasized in formal dining room sets. The large table naturally creates the ability to really impress people with the style of table and chairs chosen for the setting. Add in the accessories and decorations, and the entire package really packs a visual wallop that gets people’s attention.
Materials Used in Glam Style
- Glam is about overwhelming the senses with an intentional plan. It’s not just limited to what people see. Visitors should be impacted by what they see, feel, hear, and sense in the entire room sets. Just sitting down and taking the entire display should be hitting every human stimuli receptor if done right. This is where materials like glass, velvet, crystal, metal married with fabric, and high-quality polished wood all come into play. And even though Glam style might seem very all over the place, it really requires high quality, high workmanship in the products and materials that are incorporated in the setting. So cheap knock-offs will create problems very quickly and be very noticeable.
- There is no shortage of color within the Glam-style universe. In fact, the stronger the colors and bolder, the more likely it will be utilized. Again, one has to find the balance with keeping the background a neutral color, which then allows the central areas of focus to stand out much better. Having a high detail background with standout pieces in front will just result in a lot of visual conflicts and look like jumbled clutter.
Glam Style Decor
- The big emphasis with Hollywood Glam involves making the whole setting designed look as luxurious as possible. That means many of the fabric choices, for example, are fancy in and of themselves. Embroidery patterns, high-quality fabrics, liberal use of velvet and crystal, lots of gold accessories and fringe, and even sculpted carpets come into play. The collection focuses on the best of any era and combines it together to show the capability of the owner in terms of material possession.
- Another big priority of the Glam décor is to be seen. Glam is about bringing out the show, something that celebrities already aspire to naturally in the case of the careers and background. So for a home to be designed in a similar fashion, the style has been based on the assumption that there will be an audience to see it. One of the self-limiting factors that can foul Glam décor attempts involved personal regulation of what might seem like too much. If anything is reaching that point, that’s exactly what Hollywood Glam is about as a style. So, embrace that sense, don’t run away from it. Liberace could have had any piano he wanted, but he chose the fancy one with all the diamonds and fifteen candelabras as accessories. It’s about showmanship as much as function.
- Glam embraces a whole lot of sparkle as well. The shinier and glitzier the better. Muted colors and patterns don’t really have a place in the Hollywood Glam world. Instead, things should be oversized, lots of crystal borders and diamond sparkles for accents, and really rich coloring should be evident. Nothing should be faded, distressed, or banged up. In fact, if antiques or dated materials will be used, the beauty of Hollywood Glam is that it only incorporates a new version of that old antique. That of course makes research and hunting those items a bit of a challenge, but then the Hollywood Glam homeowner isn’t dissuaded at all by the cost. It’s the ultimate translation of luxury.
- Hollywood Glam doesn’t need to be caught up in the here and now either. A very popular approach is the focus on a Glam period such as the hedonistic 1970s styles or the mod views of the 1960s. Both have plenty of materials, furniture, and prints available to make those settings work, and being 40 or 50 years in the past now, the style would really stand out as unique in a modern home, a bit like a time capsule even. Again, however, the items have to show high quality, richness, and authentic newness. Second-hand bang-ups don’t qualify unless they are fully restored by expert work.
Styles that Mix Well with It
Because of the extensive reach that Hollywood Glam covers, literally dating back to at least the beginning of the 20th century and the first silent films, the style covers a great number of designs within the same period. As mentioned above, mod styles and the disco 1970s can definitely be included.
Art deco styles from the 1920s and earlier modernism like Bauhaus thinking can be mixed and matched as well. Hollywood Glam is about showing everyone what’s possible when one is not limited by a budget or financial earning power. That fundamental difference opens up the doors into high-stakes collections that may cost thousands of dollars to put together or more but really make for a ground-breaking interior design.
A Brief Historic Overview
Historically, the Hollywood Glam home style was otherwise known as Hollywood Regency. Unlike many contemporary movies placing the over-the-top look in the midst of the 1970s and drug-fueled silliness, the style originally became known during the 1930s, better known as Hollywood’s Golden Age. Many of the fundamental roots in colors, choices, sculpture, and style were evolutions of a previous trend just 10 years earlier, art deco.
Everything about art deco was very much high quality, style, ostentatiousness, and possibilities without financial limitations. No surprise, Hollywood Regency borrowed many of these ideas and took them further, which was especially influential at a time when America was suffering from and pulling itself out of the subsequent 1929 Crash and Depression.
The approach was as much about marketing as it was luxury. Directors felt that if they could show off their stars in real life living like kings and queens, it would drive more common folk to the movies to see their heroes and heroines in action, to live through the movie characters and actors vicariously. In the meantime, the influence and effect notably boosted cinema income for the directors and all involved.
That 1930s perspective morphed and evolved over the years, reaching its zenith in the 1980s with the likes of Joan Crawford, literally becoming an American aristocracy in appearance.
Why It Looks Great as a Style
In a phrase, Hollywood Glam provides in a design what we all wish we could do if we were king or queen for a day. A style is very much an anything-goes approach if one has the money to make the ideas happen. The style also appeals a bit to the treasure hunters who want the best of things no longer readily available without great challenge to obtain.
Hollywood Glam also focuses on the show itself off. This is not a home design style for the introverted. The audience is as much part of the setting as the furniture choices and the accessories. So, putting it all together, Hollywood Glam remains popular because it is fundamentally a design style that shows the most imaginative possibilities while at the same time being interactive.