Shaping Spaces with Hollie Bowden
Meet Hollie Bowden, a design maven in the world of interior aesthetics. Her design philosophy is a unique blend of unconventional creativity, consistently challenging conventional norms to design spaces that stand out from the crowd. Inspired by her family's penchant for collecting, Hollie's design journey blossomed from the arrangement of objects within spaces.
At the heart of her work are core principles: avoiding overdesign and seeking harmonious balance. Hollie excels in selecting unique materials that seamlessly blend with their surroundings. Her skill in adroitly combining both contemporary and vintage furniture and objects bestows a well-traveled charm to her designs.
For Hollie, the essence of home lies in layers – layers of objects, fabrics, memories, and fragrances. A warm and inviting home, in her eyes, is a canvas that gradually evolves over time, with each layer contributing to its unique character.
In collaboration with Hollie Bowden, we had the pleasure of her styling our latest photoshoot featuring the newest shades of our Boho rug collection. Her artistic touch and boundless creativity brought a fresh perspective to our designs, elevating them to new heights.
Describe who you are, in one sentence.
H: I'm not so into essences, but I see myself as a creative first of all, working in design.
How would you describe your style?
H: It's always hard to describe what you do. I work very instinctively, which means the style emerges as I go. I'm not attracted to a particular style or look, it's definitely much more about remixing precedents and new influences that I'm always coming across. There's a thread between things in my work but I try not to be too slavish about having a recognizable look. What I always hope is that my projects surprise the people who follow the studio's work.
Can you share the story of how you first got started in the field of interior design and what initially drew you to it?
H: My parents and grandmother were collectors so I was definitely drawn to designing spaces with objects through their passion. I studied and got my start working on a huge project in Ibiza for a client who believed in my vision and wanted me to put my hand to designing the entire space. It was such an enormous first project but I was undaunted somehow. I have no idea how looking back on it, I just had an innate confidence when it came to working.
Textural interplay in Boho Sand Mix.
What are the key principles or design philosophies that guide your work as an interior designer?
H: My main bugbear is not using too many materials, I hate anything that looks overdesigned. Finding a balance between unusual materials, and materials that are appropriate for the area that you're designing in is also key. We work on projects all over the world, so that's very important. Mixing new and old furniture and objects to achieve a well travelled look is the other top objective.
What inspires you? Where do you find your inspiration?
H: I love looking at old books or magazines, and antique shops, but I also get so much inspiration from friends. Travelling is a constant part of my schedule and I love soaking in the different ways things are designed elsewhere, which I'm constantly taking pictures of.
What are you currently working on?
H: The studio is working on a few incredible properties in the Bahamas, a 13,000sq ft new build in Nassau as well as a development of cottages, and a historic home. We are about to complete a manor house in Winchester which will be finished next year. We've also got two restaurants underway, one in Lugano, and the other in Cap-Martin.
What does home mean to you? What are your top tips for creating a warm and inviting home?
H: I've recently moved into my new house so have been thinking about this a lot. The primary aspect of home for me is layers - of objects, fabrics, memories, smells. You really can't force it and have to let it build over time.
Do you have a favorite object/design piece?
H: This is the hardest question because it's a competitive field, but I think it has to be this large, hand forged sculptural fireguard that stands more than a meter high in front of the fire at my house. It's an extraordinary piece, not by a known designer, but that adds to its allure for me.
Can you share any current or upcoming design trends that you find particularly exciting or innovative?
H: This is a good one for a rug maker, but I actually think carpeted walls are going to be an upcoming design trend. It's great for acoustics, as well as fun, cosy and easy to do, while still being dramatic.
Hollie styles the Boho Brown with a Carlo Bugatti chair
Which is your favorite Nordic Knots rug, and where would you use it?
H: I love the Loops rug in green. I’ve just ordered it for a client’s very grand Victorian living room. A rug can either blend in or make a real statement, and this one will blend in while totally altering the direction of the room.
Photographed by Genevieve Lutkin in London.