The Art of Timeless Interiors with Holly Hollenbeck
In this edition of Love Happens’ Design Questionnaire, join us as we take a peek inside the creative mind of Holly Hollenbeck, founder of HSH Interiors. With a passion growing since childhood, before establishing her San Francisco-based interior design firm in 2002, Holly prepped her business savvy working in investment banking, consulting, and at an internet start-up. Since starting HSH Interiors, Holly has created countless stunning interiors driven by the mantra “life is not a dress rehearsal”; and her belief that “everyone deserves a home that is a means to living life to the fullest, a bespoke space that embodies their dreams, passions, and lifestyle.” Holly’s approach to design is all about a sense of place and people rather than eras or styles. Thus the common thread in her portfolio is a beautifully timeless sensibility to love!
Meet Holly Hollenbeck of HSH Interiors in the Lh Design Questionnaire
Inspired by everything, when it comes to her creative process, it’s books, fashion, dance, art, yoga, running, and her love for restoring pre-WWII homes that often take center stage in Holly’s life and timeless designs. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Luxe magazine, and many other notable publications. While HSH Interiors’ projects are predominantly in Northern California’s Bay Area and Wine Country, her portfolio also includes clients in Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley, Manhattan Beach, and Beverly Hills. Holly currently resides in San Francisco’s Alamo Square in a historic 1901 Edwardian with her husband, three children, and six pets.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Laughing together over a delicious dinner with my family. Oh, and visiting slab yards. For some reason, looking at miles of beautiful stone slabs is one of my happy places!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It’s a tie between raising three fantastic humans and starting and building my own business! Or really, raising three fantastic humans WHILE building my business and keeping my sanity.
What profession does your alter ego have?
Fashion designer. For sure. Maybe that is next!
The project you will never forget.
I think the one that will be hard to top is our new build project in conjunction with Carney, Logan, Burke Architects in Wilson, Wyoming, just outside Jackson Hole. The clients work in the music industry, are both published authors, and embody a free-spirited creativity. They allowed us a lot of creative freedom and went with some of our wilder ideas, such as a 16′ high x 16′ wide bas relief tattoo-pattern white concrete fireplace. Very few clients would just roll with an idea like that. But, they did, and it turned out to be an incredible one-of-a-kind work of art. The combination of a top-notch architecture firm, a great builder, open-minded clients, and our firm’s creativity made the magic happen!
Your favorite business tool or resource.
1stDibs. I love to surf it for inspiration as well as for specific sourcing work. Nowhere else on the internet do you find such a wealth of fabulous antiques and vintage pieces with the most cutting-edge new furnishing design.
The most timeless design.
I am continually inspired by architecture, from my favorite building, the Pantheon in Paris, to modernist architecture by the likes of Mies, Johnson, and Neutra. When it is done right, it becomes a classic.
The biggest design faux pas.
Chasing trends. I strive to create one-of-a-kind interiors that reflect my client’s values and lifestyle, and I do like to push the envelope a bit. My love for 60/70’s era vintage and a bit of glam are well known. I love statement pieces, but I try to avoid rooms that are overly trendy as they tire fast. Better to invest in quality pieces that feel like the client and leave the really trendy pieces for items that can be easily swapped out later.
Our publisher KOKET makes statement décor. If you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?
I am a fan of KOKET’s Vivre Chandelier, as I have an affection for brutalist pieces from the ’60s and 70s. The Vivre Chandelier echoes those influences. With the inclusion of agate and in a burnished gold finish, it is a more modern, elevated version of brutalism that I would be happy to see in one of my interiors.
Love happens when…
I stand in a completed project with happy clients, tears, and champagne toasts all around!