Striking the Perfect Note


Designer Galina Holechek adds personality and punch to a newly renovated home, for a young songbird

In the living room, the brass conical floor lamp is from Noir. Photos by Angeline Woo for El Ojo.

“A theme in my work is what I call drama with restraint,” says designer Galina Holechek. “There is a fine line between a space that is perfectly curated and a space that feels a bit overdone, and I like to ride that line leaving just enough physical empty space that the client still has room to bring home that amazing vase they bought in Istanbul and have a place for it.”

A chandelier from Lulu & Georgia hangs in the dining room.Photos by Angeline Woo for El Ojo.

This approach to design is what caught the attention of her client who is a talented signer with writing credits for artists like The Chainsmokers and Dua Lipa. “I love that her home is a constant for so many of her family and friends,” she notes. “Once she moved in, I loved our follow up meetings because almost every time, a new face would answer the door and comment on how much they love the house.” The previously renovated 3,500-square-foot home was move-in ready but lacked personality. “We loved the wide open spaces and white walls, and I love that this client was not afraid to let me glam it up with dramatic wallpaper.”

A dark tropical wallpaper surrounds a table from Four Hands.Photos by Angeline Woo for El Ojo.

With a busy work life, the client craved an inviting home where she could catch up with friends and family. “The design was geared towards having a space that is beautiful but that no one is afraid to sit on the sofa like a real person, and everything from layout to finishes to material choices considered this,” notes the designer. “For example, I favored darker colors and fabrics that are washable or with highly forgiving patterns over light colored linens, for example since they wear and wash a bit better than other choices.”

A cloud bed from R.H. is flanked by pendants by Lulu & Georgia.Photos by Angeline Woo for El Ojo.

The most dramatic changes came in the form of vibrant wallpaper selections and eclectic lighting. Holechek focused on curating areas where the client could both work and relax. “One fun task was to create a downstairs guest bedroom that also functioned as a songwriting room,” she notes. “That room was painted in a dark eggplant color for mood and an insanely comfortable and stylish sofa bed doubled as a place to sit with a laptop and write while two others could sit at the partners desk.”

Photos by Angeline Woo for El Ojo.

After dealing with the doom and gloom of the pandemic and COVID delays, Holechek was able to deliver a space that reflected the client’s zest for life. During the big reveal, she notes the client was, “Tearful and very happy. Her favorite place in the house is the kitchen dining banquette which overlooks the sunny backyard.”