Hollie Bowden

Eras of Design with Hollie Bowden

Hollie Bowden is an interior designer who works in both residential and commercial projects. She founded her own multi-disciplined studio in 2013 and she did nothing but admirable interior designs since then. She provides various services from design consulting to renovations and she turned into a well-liked name of the design world only in her 30’s yet it’s not a coincidence when looking into her aesthetic approach. How she uses natural light to create spacious places and her ability to blend the old and modern with natural elements are only one of the few characteristics of her style which she prefers to describe it as a maximal minimalist.

Whats the story of becoming successful at a young age?

A mixture of courage, luck, opportunity, hard graft, determination ambition and talent!  I’m very single minded, I had a strong and clear vision and I worked towards that goal. I knew I wanted to work for myself as I didn’t want to compromise, I put myself out there and I took risks -  And I started young, in some ways I had ahead start because my family has always been interested in interiors, I grew up with it and have always been exploring and expressing my tastes it wasn’t something I came to later in life, I just grew more and more ambitious with this thing that I loved and I knew I could turn it into a career. I also think you determine your own success, so set goals, achieve them and then set your sights on the next thing, keep going!

How do you find the right objects to fill the space?

I put a lot of time and effort into it! It does depend on what the projects call for as we tend to approach things according to the direction of the scheme - but sourcing items, objects and furnishings is a huge part of my job - I am always searching. Idon’t have a specific formula, I’m intuitive, responsive and instinctive - I always have my projects in mind and I am always browsing and hunting for things, but sometimes I will buy something and sit on it for ages until I find the perfect home for it in the perfect project, sometimes you can place a piece and it actually doesn't work in real life and you and you can’t force something, they all have to work in harmony together,  sometimes the pieces themselves can set a precedence and you might re-work the design around them, it’s compositional, you’re curating a space and finding balance. I’m genuinely passionate about sourcing, I’m a magpie and I have a knack for finding treasure, it just takes time, I shop everywhere, I visit antiques markets throughout Europe, I meet with specialist dealers, I go to design exhibitions, trade fairs, I trawl the internet, instagram is an amazing tool for finding unique artists and makers. 

What are the things you focus on more while creating the atmosphere you want?

The first focus would be how the space will be used and what is the surrounding environment. I wouldn’t say I focus on one element more than anything else, as you have to take a holistic approach. I like everything to be speaking the same language in a project even if that language seems alien to the untrained eye! I pay attention to ambience, textures and flow, and how things relate to each other, a clever palette, unexpected textile combinations, special finishes, and the right furniture, objet and lighting.

You consider yourself as both maximalist and minimalist, how do you keep the balance between them?

It varies, I like a bit of both - essentially you are creating a composition, and you find the balance as you go. I don't have a formula for it, it depends on the space but I guess it’s in the detail, the finishes. A sophisticated palette is key, a scheme that befits the architecture, the environment and the purpose. I don’t have rules when it comes to eras of design either, you can blur the lines. I like a lot of detail and texture but I also choose to utilize negative space, using one key material throughout is where I can be sparse and minimal, or uniform window treatments; it varies project to project, but essentially it’s a balancing act, knowing when to pare it back.

What is the secret to producing works that are internationally acclaimed?

Hard work and bravery? Knowing when to compromise and knowing when to insist, trusting your gut, taking risks…authenticity. Staying curious and innovative - trying new things, being interested in makers and artists, seeing what is happening and how the world is evolving and the ways we’re living now and how we can improve on it.



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Eras of Design with Hollie Bowden
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