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William Billy Haines

Plenty of prolific designers started off on slightly different tracks than those on which they ended up, but rarely did they begin their careers in a totally different industry like William “Billy” Haines did. Before he gained a reputation as a furniture designer and decorator to Hollywood’s biggest and brightest, Haines (1900–73) was himself a star of the silver screen.

After leaving his native Virginia as a young man, Haines earned modeling and acting jobs in New York City and then won a Goldwyn Studios talent contest in the early 1920s. The next frontier was California, where he would go on to appear in more than 50 films. His acting career was halted abruptly in 1933, allegedly because he refused to leave his partner, British footballer Jimmy Shields, at the request of his representation at MGM Studios. Whether it was the fact that Haines was one half of Hollywood’s first openly gay marriage or that there were other factors at play, MGM cofounder Louis B. Mayer canceled his contract.

Luckily for Haines, he’d nurtured a side career that kept him on Hollywood’s radar: He was a prominent antiques dealer on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. Haines dedicated himself full-time to both dealing and designing furniture as soon as his tenure as a leading man came to an end.

Haines collaborated with the era’s biggest names in architecture and created a desert living room for the San Francisco World’s Fair that featured walls made of California Joshua wood and a painting by Georgia O’ Keeffe. He paid close attention to lighting design, employed hand-painted wallpaper and favored featuring Chinese ceramics alongside Chippendale chairs and ottomans for entertaining. His most famous clients included Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Betsy Bloomingdale and more. Crawford played a significant role in kick-starting his career when she commissioned Haines to decorate her entire home in Brentwood.

Haines was such an esteemed tastemaker that he’s among those credited with having cemented Hollywood Regency as a reputable design style. (Its origins are owed to influential interior decorator Dorothy Draper.) While he gravitated toward the look of chinoiserie and English furniture, his signature was low-level seating and giltwood accents. Haines’s style was so in vogue that Nancy Reagan became one of his biggest fans and eventually enlisted Ted Graber, Haines’s successor following his death in 1973, to decorate several private and public rooms in the White House.

At 1stDibs, browse a collection of armchairs, lighting fixtures and more designed by William Haines.

Average Sold Price
$4,084
Styles
Materials
Lovely Pair Billy Haines Style Large Scale Tufted Lounge Slipper Regency Chairs
By William Billy Haines
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Magnificent pair of Billy Haines style Biscuit tufted slipper chairs. These chairs are upholstered in a lovely high grade creamy white leather and look amazing. They measure 28"t x 3...
Category

1990s American Mid-Century Modern William Billy Haines

Materials

Leather, Wood

Pair of Purple and Brass Armchairs by William Billy Haines
By William Billy Haines
Located in Dallas, TX
Terrific pair of sculptural brass armchairs designed by one of the most sought after interior designers, especially amongst the Hollywood elite, William Billy Haines, circa 1955. The...
Category

1950s American Hollywood Regency Vintage William Billy Haines

Materials

Brass

William "Billy" Haines Brass and Orange Leather Chairs
By William Billy Haines
Located in Dallas, TX
Blending classical form with modernist purity, these sleek klismos chairs designed by William "Billy" Haines. Featuring an open-back design with an oval in the middle. Brass and orig...
Category

1950s American Hollywood Regency Vintage William Billy Haines

Materials

Brass

Wall Hung Buffet by William "Billy" Haines
By William Billy Haines
Located in Palm Desert, CA
Distinctive William Haines designed buffet that features three "clapboard" drawers don the center and rounded ends with doors on either side. Created for the Howard Myerman commissio...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage William Billy Haines

Materials

Wood

William "Billy" Haines Brass Bench with Button Tufted Black Leather Seat
By William Billy Haines
Located in Ferndale, MI
" I would rather have taste , than love or money " Famously quoted from William "Billy" Haines silent movie star who did briefly make the transition to talking pictures . When asked ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Hollywood Regency William Billy Haines

Materials

Brass

Round Occasional Table with a Brass Inset by Billy Haines
By William Billy Haines
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This striking round table by Billy Haines is a prime example of the quality of Haines' furniture. The table top is fabricated in stone and includes a round 4" diameter inset of polis...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage William Billy Haines

Materials

Cast Stone, Metal, Brass

Pair of William Billy Haines Carved Wooden Horse Head Lamps with Shades
By William Billy Haines
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of William Billy Haines carved horse head lamps, a stunning pair for the modern or traditional home and especially those who enjoy equestrian - a bold statement. Firmly attri...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern William Billy Haines

Materials

Wood, Oak, Silk

Lucite Table Lamp by Billy Haines
By William Billy Haines
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This Billy Haines table lamp features a prominent 17.5" H X 5" squared block of bevelled lucite. The base is wooden and painted black. The new custom shade is a black silk overlaid w...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage William Billy Haines

Materials

Brass

  • Lucite Table Lamp by Billy Haines
  • Lucite Table Lamp by Billy Haines
  • Lucite Table Lamp by Billy Haines
  • Lucite Table Lamp by Billy Haines
H 27.75 in. W 14.5 in. D 14.5 in.
Browse all Furniture from William Billy Haines
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William Billy Haines Sellers

Darren Ransdell Design
5.0
David Duncan Studio
5.0
Dos Hermanos Vintage
No Reviews Yet
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5.0
Gerald Bland Inc
No Reviews Yet
Gustavo Olivieri 20th Century
5.0

William Billy Haines furniture for sale on 1stDibs

William Billy Haines furniture is available on 1stDibs for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our William Billy Haines collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We stock 33 vintage versions of these items, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by William Billy Haines was created during the 20th century in Mid-Century Modern style in North America. Many customers also consider furniture by Donghia, Walter Lamb and Ficks Reed when they are looking for additional options. The prices for William Billy Haines furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $2,800 and tops out at $24,500, while pieces like these can sell for $9,800 on average.

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