What is Regency style? Here's everything you need to know about the trending (yet timeless) look

Regency interiors are trendier than ever, but the style comes with a rich history. This is how to recreate the storied look for the modern day

(Image credit: Jean-Louis Deniot)

The marvelous world of Bridgerton has gripped audiences around the globe for its dramatic storylines and eye-catching scenery. And with season three coming up quickly, we're reminded once more of one of the show's largest impacts on the interior design world: the rise of Regencycore. The bright colors, ornate details and over-the-top floral arrangements of Bridgerton's London have inspired a resurgence of an interior design style that extends far beyond the TV screen.

To better understand what Regency-style interior design entails in the real world, we spoke with Jean-Louis Deniot, a renowned architect and interior designer who's transformed historic, Regency-era buildings in London. Fashioning Regency-style looks in the modern day is no small task, and Jean-Louis' projects exemplify the trending style's roots. Here's what the designer shared about the interior design style you should know, plus how to make it fresh for 2024.

'I’ve been passionate about English Regency style for a very long time. It gave me great opportunities to work on listed regency buildings in London where in rooms which were lacking everything, I could completely design from scratch English Regency-style interiors, which eventually will be listed one day, and I’m very proud of that,' says Jean-Louis.

What is Regency style?

A modern room decorated in Regency-style furniture and a neutral color scheme with pops of color and gold

(Image credit: Jean-Louis Deniot)

This style of architecture and interior design dates back to none other than the early 19th-century Regency era, which technically only lasted for nine years (while George IV was Prince Regent of the United Kingdom) but has had a lasting influence. Bridgerton's release in 2020 brought attention back to the era's rich cultural scene, which was marked by advancements in literature, fashion, music, and the fine arts. And luckily, the era's ornate and elegant architecture and interior design has been adapted by admirers for present-day use and inspiration. But the look didn't start in the 19th century certain features of Regency-era interiors date back to Greek and Roman antiquity.

Jean-Louis' work seamlessly blends present-day comfort with historic charm, and his English Regency spaces include all the hallmarks of the classic look. Engraved gold frames encircling grand portraits, carefully crafted lounge furniture with patterned upholstery, and intricate crown molding and millwork all call back the era's signature style. Regency-inspired spaces put elegance and elevation first, and their impact on even the most modern interiors today is undeniable.

'It’s the sleekest of the classical styles, with a more geometric and linear aesthetic. It's very symmetrical, and a bit stiff and dry, which makes it look more elongated, more elegant, and more elevated. It's all inspired by the Roman style from antiquity and because of that, there is a sense that we’re already accustomed to it. The shapes feel familiar, as they relate to these ancient styles. It’s a style that has been shared by most of Europe,' says Jean-Louis.

How do you design a Regency-inspired space?

A modern room decorated in Regency-style furniture and a neutral color scheme with pops of color and gold

(Image credit: Jean-Louis Deniot)

Though it might seem from the outside that the Regency style is all about wealth and extravagance, putting these spaces together starts from a much simpler place. Jean-Louis says that a successful Regency space relies on creating symmetry, and balance in interior design. The placement of your furniture and decorative accessories can easily make or break the look, so it's important to pay careful attention to the interplay between horizontal and vertical space.

'Design as many vertical lines as possible so it feels elongated or elevated. And work on proportions to look and feel sleek, light, and well-defined,' says Jean-Louis.

Unless you're set on creating a historically accurate version of a Regency home, the creative liberties available to you are endless. Accentuating vertical lines and ensuring visual balance within your bedroom or living room will help to channel the era's look, even if you haven't collected a full home's worth of authentic antique furniture. However, a few standout antique pieces certainly won't hurt.

What's to love about Regency-style interiors?

A modern room decorated in Regency-style furniture and a neutral color scheme with pops of color and gold

(Image credit: Jean-Louis Deniot)

People everywhere have fallen back in love with Regency interiors as of late, thanks to pop culture, but Jean-Louis thinks the admiration stems from further back. Because select elements of Regency style date back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, they've become inextricably linked with interior design, marking both the most celebrated spaces and those we see daily.

'Because Regency style is based on antiquity, we’ve had almost 2,500 years to get used to it,' he says. 'In my mind, antiquity was possibly the most refined, most elaborate, most accomplished era. I guess people are accustomed to and comfortable with all those qualities related to that style,' he says.

How can you make Regency style fresh for 2024?

A modern room decorated in Regency-style furniture and a neutral color scheme with pops of color and gold

(Image credit: Jean-Louis Deniot)

Regency-era interiors may feel incompatible with the modern, sleek design styles of the present day Bridgerton looks quite a bit different from most of our homes, after all. But Regency style can easily be updated for the modern day. While more contemporary takes on antique furniture and a slightly moodier color palette are easy ways to make a Regency-style home look a bit more lived in, Jean-Louis suggests mixing the look with other interior design styles in particular, brutalist interior design.

'What I would love to do is to mix Regency with brutalism. So that would mean something elegantly designed, mixed with geometric, more monolithic, and graphic shapes, I would love to be able to do that. But because I’m such a purist, I have a hard time making that juxtaposition, but I’m getting there,' says Jean-Louis.

Jean-Louis proves that Regency-style interiors are more than meets the eye with balance, symmetry and architectural details at the forefront, these spaces are well-considered and packed with historical significance. With a quick modern update, the Regency look still holds up in 2024, Bridgerton fan or not.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.