Articles about how the stars live at home have always helped to sell magazines. Not only has the roster of popular actors and actresses changed through the years, but so too have the decorative styles with which they choose to live. In the 1930s, more than a few actresses resided in homes that bore striking resemblances to the glamorous movie sets of the era. But, by 1940, some of that Hollywood pastiche seemed to give way to more established styles like French Provincial or even Early American.
The homes featured here appeared in the November 1940 issue of House & Garden. It seems that designer William Haines had a lock on the Hollywood movie community as five out of the six homes shown were of his doing. The sixth home was designed by Tom Douglas. While some rooms bear the mark of drama that you might expect from the likes of Ann Sothern and George Cukor (who of course was a director rather than actor), others seemed to evoke a sense of East Coast propriety. That bedroom of the Richard Wallaces looks like a room in which one of Katherine Hepburn's characters might slumber.
The dressing table of Ann Sothern which, according to the magazine, was planned by Sothern herself. Helen Conway of William Haines decorated the room.
The Richard Wallaces' bedroom designed by William Haines. A rose chintz covered the walls, windows, and the headboard.
"Constance Bennett likes a formal setting", or so said House & Garden. William Haines, decorator.
"Chinese elegance" in the William Haines' designed living room of George Cukor.
One of the only houses in this article that was not designed by Haines. The home of Wayne Morris was the handiwork of decorator Tom Douglas.
Tropical flowers abound in actor Sam Jaffe's entrance hall. William Haines, decorator.
All photos from House & Garden, November 1940