Sunday, June 3, 2012

Classic Hollywood Style

In interior design terms, Hollywood Style can symbolize everything from Dorothy Draper inspired Regency and Art Deco to the classic neutral, light and airy California Style looks made popular by designers Sally Sirkin Lewis and Michael Taylor. In actuality, California has such a wide array of distinctive architecture and interiors ranging from Spanish Mediterranean to California Ranch, and the new book Classic Hollywood Style (Rizzoli, 2012) showcases them all.

The book features the works of architect Paul R. Williams who designed homes for the who's who of Hollywood from the 20s through the 70s. Considered "one of the most celebrated architects of his generation," his clientele included Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Barbara Stanwyck and Lon Chaney (star of The Wolfman and The Mummy for those of you too young to know) along with numerous California players and power brokers.

Jay Paley (nephew of William Paley) residence in
Holmby Hills, 1936 above and below

Williams has the distinction of being the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects, translating the relaxed California lifestyle to homes through English Tudor, French Normandy, Art Deco, Spanish Mediterranean and American Colonial. Williams was also known for his renovations of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the creative force behind the designs for St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis and Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. 

Circular art gallery of Toluca Lake residence of
screenwriter Gladys Lehman, 1937

Neoclassical entry hall of Beverly Hills estate, 1955
Written by his granddaughter Karen Hudson with a foreword by LA designer Kelly Wearstler, the book offers never before seen photos and one of my favorite illustrated design books of the year. It's a beautiful body of work made even more incredible by how timeless the interiors are.

Paul Williams suite in Beverly Hills Hotel, 1949 above and below

Outdoor spaces of Los Feliz home, 1927
Arched stairs descend to garden of "La Canada"
estate in Flintridge area of Los Angeles, 1927
Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills
Photo Credits: Benny Chan

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