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How To Create an Old Hollywood Glam Interior

by Carlene Duffy
Posted: November 16, 2016

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It’s not often that we see what we would call a true Hollywood glam interior. Especially not in Australia where we, as a culture, are considered far too relaxed and low-key to pull off the look in its truest form, writes Carlene Duffy, Interior Design expert and previous The Block contestant.

And to be frank, the “more is more” approach to a dedicated Old Hollywood glam interior look can be all a bit much for many.

In saying that, there is no denying that aspects of the look have been making a mark in contemporary interiors across the globe and I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased. 

1.    Polished metals

Beautiful old Hollywood glam interior with polished metals and blue velvet tufted sofa

Instagram: @cocoleafurniture / Image via

Whether it’s silver or brass, a Hollywood glam interior is all about embracing the glitzy. Polished metals go a long way to achieving this. (Copper is excluded here. It has industrial roots, which is basically the antithesis of what Hollywood glam is all about). 

We’ve undoubtedly been seeing a lot more metal-framed furniture and décor items in interiors of late where timber once reigned supreme.

2.    Tufted upholstery

Carlene Duffy styling bedding and tufted upholstery bedhead
Image by Nat McComas

I am eternally thankful to Hollywood glam for waving the flag for pintuck furniture.

Whether it’s your sofa, your bedhead, an armchair or banquet seat, tufted upholstery is the ultimate in elegance and in the most transparent way.

3.    Velvet

Emerald green velvet lounge

Instagram: @brabbu / Image via

I bet kids of the 70’s never thought they would be lusting over velvet again so soon. But old Hollywood glamour has always owned this material. 

Velvet in rich colours such as navy, emerald green and plum looks and feels so luxurious that it can be used in any scheme to add a sense of luxury and old world charm.

4.    Heavy, opulent curtains

Instagram: @eganinteriors / Image via

Curtains have definitely made a comeback in interiors. You would have noticed that linen-look sheer curtains have been extremely popular in recent years.

But what is just starting to make a mark in characterful contemporary settings is thick, heavy, puddling curtains, often in rich colours and bold patterns. 

Such curtains say “opulence is back, baby,” and I think I’m going to be jumping aboard this train.

5.    Black accents

Black taps in white bathroom with black cupboards

Instagram: @amberinteriors / Image via

Many people are scared of black but black accents are one of the easiest and most effective ways to add some depth to your interior. 

Some interiors can be so white and beige and blah that I feel like they might float away. Black accents, whether it be in your dining chairs, tapware or hardware pack a punch that many interior colour schemes so desperately need.

6.    Bold geometric patterns

Bold geometric carpets, furnishings and stools

Instagram: @vogueliving / Image via

Large scale geometrics, like so boldly used in Hollywood glam interiors epitomises the confidence of ‘old Hollywood glam’ that I love so much. 

If you tend to tire quickly of your design choices, it’s wise to inject bold patterns into your interior via your soft furnishings, such as throw cushions and rugs because laying a geometric tile, for instance, can be costly to change if your taste is a bit fickle.

7.    Curved profiles

Patterned tile bathrooms with round ornate mirror

Instagram: @amberinteriors / Image via

Old Hollywood glam promotes furniture, fixtures and decor with soft, curved profiles and often in elaborate patterns.

This applies to dining tables, chairs, wall mirrors, consoles, bedheads… And more than ever, adding a bit of the ornate into your home is crucial to creating a home with character and a bit of eccentricity where hard angular lines can simply fail to.

Passionate about imaginative interiors? Get the accredited skills to work within commercial Interior Design or to start your own exciting business with an Open Colleges Interior Design course


Carlene Duffy

Carlene is best known as one half of Michael and Carlene Duffy; the down to earth Gold Coast couple who shared their highs and lows with Australia on 9’s series The Block ‘Glasshouse’. The dynamic duo also featured in Renovation Rumble, and have together established their business ‘Cedar & Suede’.

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