Bohemian Rhapsody

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A former party house gets a stylish makeover

A Dappled Afternoon by Jenn Shifflet sits above the Orbit console, available on 1st Dibs. Photography by John Merkl.

The history of a house isn’t based solely on the architecture and design but also on the memories that were made by its inhabitants. And this 1960s heritage ranch in Marin, once known as the neighborhood party house, had a few stories to share. Equipped with a beaten-up outdoor tiki bar, years of random renovations and a very unfriendly layout, the home needed a major overhaul of both the flow and the finishes. After living in the home since the early 2000s, Stefanie Felser was finally ready for change and hired Holly Hollenbeck of HSH Interiors to steer the helm.


Custom white oak cabinetry complements the dazzling brass details and plumbing fixtures from Waterworks. Photography by John Merkl.

Felser, a mom of three who loves to entertain, was a fountain of inspiration for the design direction. “She has a distinct style that’s glamorous yet understated, modern and classic,” says Hollenbeck of her longtime friend and now client who is the owner of Stefanie Felser Jewelry, where she designs delicate jewels.

Aside from updating each space with the same stylish finesse, Hollenbeck’s main goal was to completely open the main living space so that her client could host her annual parties with ease. “The old kitchen had a drastically different layout,” says Hollenbeck. “She wanted us to knock down an obtrusive wall but maintain the current layout. It was a mindbender for her, because they’ve lived there so long that the flow worked for them,” says the designer.

Bohemian glamour reigns in the living room, where the Eskayel tribal-print Galileo area rug sits below the Eccentrico marble coffee table by Agapecasa through DZINE. Photography by John Merkl.

However, after two months of reworking multiple digital renderings, an entirely different layout was achieved, including a double island configuration. The first island is built for Felser’s passion for cooking while the second island is intended for day-to-day homework hours as well as for her daughter’s baking zone.

A dining table with a walnut slab and a bronze wishbone vase sits below the Perle 1 Pendant by Larose Guyon. Photography by John Merkl.

The playfulness of the custom brass-wrapped hood, hardware and details combined with the Arabescato marble from Waterworks, which is grounded by the custom cerused white oak cabinetry designed by Hollenbeck and built by Leonardo’s Cabinetry, make the kitchen a true work of art. “The kitchen is a perfect melding of materials and is functional with an immense amount of storage,” says Hollenbeck. “I’m proud we figured out a layout that met our client’s criteria and is also a highly curated space.”

The client’s classic yet cool style is evident in the family room, where Hollenbeck used a mixture of ikats, snakeskin and neutral pillows from St. Frank and HSH Interiors. Photography by John Merkle.

The focus on organic glamour is reflected throughout the house with the selection of Eastern-inspired prints, vibrant jewel-tone fabrics and a thoughtful collection of art. An earth-tone antique textile piece that hangs in a hallway past the dining room embraces the surrounding outdoors, while the Perle 1 Pendant by Larose Guyon enhances the kitchen’s new-found allure. “Our client totally went for it,” notes Hollenbeck of the light. “I love that it reminds me of jewelry, so it was a personal nod to her passion.”

Art consultant Joan McLoughlin provided direction in the rest of the home, inspiring Felser to fall in love with pieces that are modern and conscious. “The photograph by Cristobal Valecillos in the living room resonated with her because the artist builds sets made only of recycled materials,” says Hollenbeck. “The story behind the piece spoke to my client’s lifestyle and connection to the earth.”