Close to the Heart


Holly Hollenbeck modernizes a classic Marin home with sentimental value

“The Biedermeier stools that flank the fireplace are reupholstered in a soft to the touch creamy colored alpaca, and the beautiful burl wood Biedermeier bar we finished with an Hermes orange leather upholstered interior for an unexpected surprise,” says Hollenbeck.
Photos by John Merkl.

“Every project HSH takes on is different from the last one, which I love, because it keeps the work interesting. This project presented the challenge of melding a classic home and a lovely antique piece of emotional value to the family with the client’s request to modernize and create an improved entertaining space,” says Holly Hollenbeck, founder of HSH Interiors on the update of a classic Marin shingle style home for a cool couple and their teenage kids.

The clients own antique Biedermeier dining table is surrounded by Baxter chairs from DZINE. Photos by John Merkl.

So classic, many of the home’s features dated back to the early 1900s. After going through several renovations and random updates, it was time to create a cohesive feel and modern flow in the 5,000 square foot home. “The clients had lived in their home for over a decade, with furnishings that had come from a prior residence in the mid-west,” says Hollenbeck.  “They had never liked how these specific furnishings worked in this house, and decided it was time for an upgrade.” 

The team designed a custom media unit that also houses their rare collection of wine.
Photos by John Merkl.
A piece by Windy Chien hangs above a custom designed by HSH Interiors and fabricated by Belmar Upholstery. Photos by John Merkl.

The wife—who has a deep passion for cooking and entertaining—lead the project with exceptional taste at hand. She wanted the furnishings to take on a more modern direction while meshing with their rare antique Biedermeier dining table. “Our design directive was to marry the vintage architecture of the home and the antique table with clean modern pieces from The Future Perfect, DZINE, Coup d’Etat, HEWN and more with  a few special antiques mixed in to balance it out. But of course, we gave those antique pieces a twist,” notes Hollenbeck.

A custom bed designed by the HSH team complements the custom dip-dyed drapes by Carolyn Ray through Holland & Sherry. Photos by John Merkl.
Gold wall covering from Calico purchased from The Future Perfect complement the vintage sconces from 1st dibs. Photos by John Merkl.

Updates continued with a new paint of coat on all the interiors, upgraded lighting, new fireplace surrounds and the remodel of the main powder bathroom. “When we first met to discuss the project, the clients commented that they never used their living room, even though it was open to both the dining room and the kitchen, as it did not feel cozy enough, or seat enough people, and it felt stuffy,” she says. “We decided to make it both cozier, more functional and a bit sexier by using an unexpected low-slung U shaped smoky blue mohair sofa from Baxter via DZINE.” 

Aside from the antiques, the HSH team also focused on incorporating passion point pieces including the wife’s self-made pottery and the couples rare collection of wine. “The clients also own a home in the Napa area, and are passionate about wine, but the home provided no space to store or display their collection,” says Hollenbeck. “This lead to the late-stage addition of the wine and entertainment wall made of bleached oak in the family room, which allows for both attractive wine storage in proximity to the main entertaining space, as well as practical storage for the television and its components.”

A wall mural by Caroline Lizzaraga adds a soft yet bold touch in the guest room.
Photos by John Merkl.
Art from DZINE hangs over a sofa by Verellen in the teen hangout room.
Photos by John Merkl.

Hollenbeck and her team struck the perfect balance between new and old while creating an overall cozy, California vibe. “We are proud of incorporating special pieces by makers and artisans,” she says. “The coffee table by Damian Jones, the lamps by Eric Roinestad, and the rope art by Windy Chien were all important to us to add to the project as a nod to the wife herself as an artist and someone who dedicates her self to the mastery of cooking and entertaining.” And the clients are equally as fond of their new home, as the designer has heard their praise from mutual friends on it’s exceptional beauty!