Regency Style (1811-1830)

Regency style evolved under the regency of George, Prince of Wales, and during his reign as King George IV of England, which ended in 1830.

Kenwood House, Hampstead
Model of an interior in Regency style with (foreground) a rotunda, presumably based on a design by Sir John Soane, and (background) a library, adapted from designs made in 1767 by Robert Adam for Kenwood House, London.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/dc96a636-5114-45ec-a300-e247da12d760 by Rictor Norton & David Allen

Kenwood House library, Hampstead
Kenwood House library, Hampstead

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/629370c5-83cc-41bf-91de-62bcc09bf936 by Klovovi

The Origin of the Term Regency

The term Regency referred to several periods: some were longer periods than the one of the Regency going from 1811 to 1820. The period from 1795 to 1837  includes the second part of the reign of George III along with the reigns of his sons George IV and William IV. Regency era was featured with particular tendencies in architecture and culture in general.

Prince Regent, Future George IV / Prince régent, futur George IV
Prince Regent, Future George IV,1815 – Henry Bone (1755-1834)

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/4adf8eee-6bdc-4e62-9985-5057a95abbd2 by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives

The Most Influent Regency Style Artists

Among the relevant Regency architects was John Nash, who served as court architect for Prince Regent and later King George IV. He also made the project for Regent’s Park and Regent Street in London.

John Nash at All Souls
John Nash at All Souls

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/39eb84b4-747b-4acb-9ef9-2c7e17f68a87 by Michael Gwyther-Jones

Another important artist was Thomas Hope who had an important role in shaping the taste in the Regency time. His book “Household Furniture and Decoration” became the most important source for designers. It was the first to use the words interior decoration. Important influences of Regency taste were Thomas Sheraton and George Smith, who published designs for Regency furniture. Portraiture was the most leading painting method with Thomas Lawrence.

Cumberland Terrace
Cumberland Terrace (1826-7), by John Nash, Regent’s Park, London

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/bbad4d89-70bb-43b4-8627-ed4ff82c5f5b by stevecadman

Park Crescent
Park Crescent- designed by John Nash for the processional N-S route in London.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/89732f5c-0d08-4929-aa95-061b3f025efa by Colin Smith

JOHN NASH - 66 Great Russell Street Bloomsbury London WC1B 3BN
66 Great Russell Street Bloomsbury London WC1B 3BN- JOHN NASH (1752-1835)Architect Designed this terrace and lived here

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/fbc7d703-ad33-49cf-9cb9-279714a9c909 by Spudgun67

Regency Style Characteristics 

The style was inspired by the neoclassical architecture of the Georgian style with a touch of elegance and brightness to the structures. The strongest inspiration for Regency taste came from Greek and Roman antiquity, from which artist took details:

  • vertically striped wallpaper;
  • the resurgence of the Chinese theme;
  • a new interest in Egyptian motifs.
french-louis-xv-Regence-style-ormolu-griffin-coffee-table (1)
french-louis-xv-Regence style-ormolu-griffin-coffee-table

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/c60b6b84-83df-4195-8ae9-8177774f7b2d by AntiqueTaste

Regency Architecture

Recalling classical Greek architecture, many regent buildings were symmetrical with bricks, covered in stucco, or painted plaster to create a look similar to marble. The most important elements were:

  • main facade (where you will find the door), usually black and flanked by two columns that sometimes support a balcony.
  • balconies are often wrought iron.
  • arched windows.
Little Venice - Regency style houses
Little Venice – Regency style houses- These houses were actually built in the Victorian era, but designed to look like Regency

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/5e3814b2-3fbb-408d-95ee-17ef611e7b96 by Kathleen Tyler Conklin


Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/Regency-style