Interior Designer. Proprietor of Regency Distribution and James Said
Hollywood Regency style is having a moment, and rightfully so. Even in the typically laid-back confines of the Australian home there’s always room for a punch of glamour – a space that just calls for a Hendricks and tonic, wedge of lime, served in a cut crystal glass. Don’t you think?
With a nod to Gatsby-esque opulence, a classically pared-back palette and just a touch of whimsy (in the finer details – chandeliers with crystals, ornate mirrors, a fringed lampshade) we’re not surprised to see more and more decorators referencing this genre of design for both residential and commercial clients (Max Media Lab – here’s looking at you!) [see Harpers Bazaar for images].
Interior designer Bethany James recently launched her second business dedicated to the Hollywood Regency aesthetic. The owner of trade-only importing operation Regency Distribution has expanded her business offering with the uniquely named James Said, a stunning showroom in Perth’s Nedlands with a dizzyingly beautiful collection of Regency-inspired furnishings, casegoods, lighting, floor coverings and accessories. James Said ships Australia-wide (apologies to our international readers) and provides dedicated interior design consultations for all customers. Here, we chat to Bethany about what inspired her interiors career and how James Said came to fruition.
What is it that you love about the Hollywood Regency aesthetic?
I love the elegance that a nod to the past gives. Old pieces recreated in a modern way. I love the glamour that delivers. I find my inspiration everywhere, I spend endless hours browsing the net for inspiration. I travel regularly overseas to trade shows to keep on top of what is happening in the industry on an international level. However I always stay true to myself, I look for pieces that inspire me and feel the right fit for my brand. I try not to get distracted with what other companies are doing.
What are your five top tips for creating a Hollywood Regency style living room?
- Hollywood Regency is a glamorous look – to be sure to keep it elegant. Start with a clean palate and then layer.
- When using geometric patterns, let one pattern dominate and then don’t compete with it.
- Limit colours to three.
- Use extra-large statement lights.
- Think – rug, lounge, coffee table. Now layer with cushions, lamps, feature pendant and glam up your coffee table with books and ornaments.
What do you love most about living in Perth?
I love living in Perth from a business perspective as I think I slip under the radar of most of my competitors. I’m also not influenced by them so my brand stays unique and has its own personality. On a personal level Perth is home, I grew up here. I have a house in the city and I also own a home just 40 min out of town. I spend my weekends there, it’s just a small drive and I am in the hills. I love the serenity of my block with rolling green hills. It’s a great balance.
Tell us about your home?
I have two sides to my personality and I have two homes that reflect it. My city house in Perth is all about my more glamorous side. Open my wardrobe here and you’ll find high heels galore, designer bags and clothes. We have chandeliers in most rooms! I love my garden, I have 80 white rose bushes! My country house in the hills has more of Hamptons feel. It’s homely. I’ve got my wellies at the door and you’ll find me here in front of an open fireplace indulging in a more down to earth side to me. I love winding down in my country house in hills. Chilling with my husband and seven year old son.
Tell us about JAMES SAID – what sets it apart from other interior retailers?
We are unique because we truly have our own aesthetic. We stay true to our style. All of my sales staff are tertiary qualified interior designers. I am passionate about making sure my customers choose the right pieces and my staff are available to assist customers free of charge with placing looks together. We are passionate about our service and it doesn’t stop once you order. Even when we deliver our products, we carry them into the customers home, unpack them and take away all the boxes. We want the luxury of James Said to start with your purchase and continue on going with the beautiful furniture in the customers home. We believe our brand is not just about the products, it’s about the experience you have with us.
Whose style do you most admire, and why?
I have the joy of working with so many incredible interior designers that I admire but Greg Natale’s interiors always inspire me. Every project he does has its own feel, they are never the same. He does Hollywood Regency so well. Clean lines, not too many colours and lots of layers.
What would your dream home look like?
Where do I start! I’m big into gardens. So a magnificent garden. Black timber floors, laid in a herringbone pattern. White super high ceilings, white walls with wall panelling. Huge feature lighting for glamour. Then I would layer white on white on white. Using different textures of white with window treatments, the upholstery and cushions. Calcutta marble, floor to ceiling in the bathrooms, in the kitchen and anywhere else I can manage! Huge walk in wardrobe……. Where do I stop? I love very clean interiors with major glamour statement pieces.