The name William Haines may not be a household name to you. This is understandable as he was enjoying the peak of his career during the post-second world war era, along with a long line of other actors. He specialized mainly in silent movies, starring in such films as Spring Fever and Show People. He was praised for his work in the silent genre and was quickly on the cast list of a lot of Hollywood producers. Though he was praised for his work as an actor, there was a lot that you may not know about William Haines. One of his other main passions in life, aside from acting, was actually interior design. Here is how a silent movie star turned to interior decoration.
Though he would not have openly admitted it at the time, due to the culture, William Haines was a gay man. During the years that he worked within the film industry, he made a lot of friends within the underground Hollywood gay scene. If you are someone who knows a bit about this scene, you will be aware that there was a lot of elegance in the parties that were held and an entire culture of fashion and beautifully designed homes was being promoted. It was like the glamour of classic old Hollywood, but better.
William became obsessed with the beauty of some of the homes of the socialites that he would visit and decided that he was going to invest some of the money that he made from his acting, into creating a beautiful home for himself.
He started off by buying a brand new home. Previously he had lived in a modest bachelor pad, that he had bought when he had received his first movie payment. The apartment itself was still quite impressive, Haines knew that he wanted a fresh project where he could really make a home reflect his tastes.
He went to work quite quickly on his home, postponing a lot of work arrangements that he had previously agreed to. The first thing that Haines wanted to focus on was making sure that his home had beautiful flooring. He had been to many parties and always focused on how the sound of elegant heels would echo on hardwood, so he had to have it. No expense was spared and he bought some beautiful hardwood flooring. But ever the perfectionist, he wasn’t happy just to leave the flooring as it was. He researched how to make your hardwood floors shiny and then applied all of the methods that he had learned.
He splashed a lot of cash on his project. Importing some of the finest materials from all around the world. Slowly his love for interior decoration was making a dent in his bank account, so he had to take a small break from his passion project and get back to work.
When he returned back to work on his project, he decided that he wanted to bring in some of his friends to help. After all, these were the people who had attended thousands of glamorous parties and knew what would impress some potential guests. Haines also had a good idea of the vision that he had in mind, which was plenty of marble and drapery.
His project took around a year to complete and when he was finished he held a huge housewarming party, inviting all of the stars he had worked with. After coming to his house, many of them were left impressed and asked if he could design their homes, which sparked a new career for William.