Up-and-coming interior designer Hollie Bowden says her style sits somewhere between maximalist Jacques Grange and minimalist Axel Vervoordt – a contrast, to say the least. ‘I like to mix things up,’ she says. ‘The juxtaposition of bare walls and big open spaces with theatrical statement pieces, complex textures and antiques is something I love. As is Vervoordt’s Japanese-inspired wabi-sabi aesthetic; I use a lot of pieces that have an organic, aged character.’ Her style is evident when you look at the serene villa she designed in Ibiza, and her subdued yet glamorous palette of stormy hues and marble at the headquarters of sake brand Heavensake.
Bowden established her Shoreditch studio in 2013 (now with a team of six) and has already amassed an impressive list of projects in locations from London to the Hollywood Hills. Most are residential, but there are retail spaces in the mix, including a showroom for luxury leather goods brand Tanner Krolle. For her, it is key that every project tells a story. ‘My job is to build a world and direct a vision that suits my clients,’ she explains. ‘I believe your home informs your mood, so it’s important that you get the tone right.’
As for where her diverse style comes from, it seems Bowden has her mum to thank. ‘When I was growing up, our house was always evolving,’ she recalls. ‘Mum would get bursts of inspiration and be compelled to revamp the place. I once woke up to find my bedroom had been transformed around me.’ After taking an art foundation course, Bowden trained at the KLC School of Design in Chelsea and then worked for Oxfordshire-based designer Harriet Holgate, who introduced her to a quirky, classically English decorating style.
Her biggest solo project to date is Es Cubells, a 1980s modernist villa in Ibiza. The property is filled with warm neutrals and bespoke furnishings, including a moulded plaster bath designed to enhance the property’s ocean views. Bowden regularly produces such pieces; the Tanner Krolle store has a set of horsehair-covered cabinets and iron shelving. Her next project is an abode on the picturesque Isle of Bute, though Bowden dreams of designing a boutique hotel. ‘I would bring my love of creating homes to it,’ she muses, ‘but it would also give me scope to be more adventurous.’ holliebowden.com
This article first appeared in August 2019 issue of Elle Decoration
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