Art and Architecture Collection > The Empire and Regency Styles

ENGLAND – The Regency Style


Originally known as “English Empire,” this style was eventually named after the individual most responsible for its dissemination—England’s Prince Regent. The Regency Style owes a great deal to the Empire Style, but refinements were added to make it more suitable to English tastes. Both the Empire and Regency styles share an affinity for simple lines, bold contours, and sleek surfaces.

The beginnings of the Regency Style, marked by delicate and restrained Classical Greek forms, may be seen in the later work of Thomas Sheraton and in Thomas Hope’s Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807).  Stylistic innovations include more intimate interiors, the introduction of en suite furniture, carefully placed ornament, the abundant use of fabrics such as silk damask and flowered chintz, evocative colors drawn from antique sources, and new, technologically improved materials.

This period saw a continuous search for novelties in design. Chinoiserie and the “Hindu,” or Indian, styles became fashionable, along with nationalistically inspired Gothic or Tudor decorative elements. The Greek chair with sabre legs, elegant sideboards, revolving bookcases, and couches with claw feet were popular. The Regency Style is regularly revived in modern interior design and decoration for its period resonance.

Influential Pattern Books

Regency Style Architecture

The Royal Pavilion at Brighton

Regency Style Decoration