Holly Hollenbeck: HSH Interiors
Meet Holly Hollenbeck, designer extraordinaire of HSH Interiors, collector of contemporary photography, antique taxidermy and unusual found objects and, most recently, purveyor of a fabulous new store in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood. We've teamed up with Holly to revitalize vintage finds and love her fresh, sophisticated vision for transforming these pieces. Read on to learn more about her views on buying vintage and she effortlessly blends furnishings of all eras.
You are known for your stylish mix of vintage and contemporary pieces. Any advice for striking the right balance between old and new?
For me the right balance of old and new is very project dependent. The architecture, the client’s preferences and practical needs help set the style. We find that even in projects where clients want mostly new pieces, adding in a few select vintage finds adds soul. I don’t think I’ve ever done a room that was all new, or all vintage, its all about the mix!
As an avid buyer of vintage furniture (and now a purveyor in your stylish new shop!), what do you suggest looking for when buying vintage?
I look for recognizable names, and my own personal preference is for the 60’s and 70’s, so I often buy Charles Hollis Jones, Milo Baughman, Vladimir Kagan, Paul Evans, De Sede, Sciolari, Willy Daro and others. These pieces were well made to begin with, will hold their value over time and this era is currently having a resurgence in popularity in the design world.
Do you have a rule of thumb for revitalizing versus buying new furniture?
If the piece is really well-made, still has good bones, and is by a recognizable designer and/or has a particular style that we just cannot find in a new piece, it’s well worth revitalizing.
What about revitalizing clients’ existing furniture? How do you decide which pieces make the cut and when to let a piece go?
We use the same criteria as the above. If the piece is by a well-known designer, and/or has the right look and lines for the room, it’s worth revitalizing it.
What made you decide to buy and revitalize these cantilevered chairs?
I ran across these chairs on Etsy, where I occasionally score fantastic pieces at great prices. I loved the cantilevered look so similar to chairs in the era of Milo Baughman, but as these were by an unknown designer, the price was right!
We love the combination of brass with the charcoal grey shearling. Tell us a bit about your design decisions for these chairs.
The frames were originally in chrome. I’m not really a chrome fan, and wanted them to have a warmer feel. We decided on the matte antique brass finish, and felt the grey shearling was the perfect compliment. Warm and cool, chic and cozy.
You’re a seasoned interior designer with many design resources. Why did you decide to work with Revitaliste? How did you find the experience?
We have been in business since 2002 and have worked with many local artisans. Revitaliste made the process of transforming these chairs easy (they even helped source the shearling for us); it was one-stop shopping and the price was competitive with other local sources. And the chairs came out beautifully!
Why did you decide to open your fabulous new shop? What types of treasures can be found there?
When we decided to move our office location from Mill Valley to San Francisco in 2016, we started the hunt for a new studio space. That search eventually led us to 7 Clement Street in the Inner Richmond. We love the location as we have 14’ ceilings and tons of natural light. Our space is ground floor retail and we have big window exposure at the street level, so we quickly decided to give retail a try at the front of the studio.
Most of the brands we carry we were already using in projects or we found while sourcing for client projects. Our space is not huge, so we are more accessories-focused: lighting, vases, candles and candlesticks, throw pillows, blankets, soap, books, and art with some select vintage furnishings and lighting. Some of our manufacturers, like Skultuna brass, are readily available but have such a great look and price point we thought they would do well. With other lines, such as mirror artist Robert Sukrachand and ceramist Vincent Cutugno, we are the only stores in California to carry their work. And we always have a fun smattering of vintage finds; my current obsession is vintage barware. We hope to be a resource to the design trade as well as fill a niche in the Inner Richmond neighborhood for great home goods and accessories.
Interested in upholstering your vintage chairs?
Photography by Poppy Lynch