Holly Hunt's New LA Flagship by Johnston Marklee Designs
The new flagship location, with architecture by Johnston Marklee, celebrates the brand’s heritage and vision for the future.
Marking an important step forward in their evolution, HOLLY HUNT – America’s premier luxury design brand – expands its Los Angeles presence with a new showroom on North Highland Avenue. Spanning half a block in the city’s up-and-coming Sycamore District, the new flagship location was designed in collaboration with L.A.-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee and conceived as a hub for the brand’s international and local clientele. The space contrasts sophisticated architecture with a mix of rich materials set against the backdrop of a raw industrial-style building, thus creating a unique sense of place that marries the brand’s elegant aesthetic with L.A.’s characteristic urban grit. The grand opening will take place this October.
In keeping with the tradition of adaptive reuse in Los Angeles, HOLLY HUNT’s SVP and Executive Creative Director Jo Annah Kornak collaborated with Johnston Marklee to transform the 1940s-era building into a space that would serve as a cornerstone of the client experience – a physical representation of the brand’s values and heritage – and also demonstrate HOLLY HUNT’s vision for the future. Bringing to life Kornak’s concept of creating a “house within a house” (a nod to the company’s roots in residential design), the Johnston Marklee team designed a pair of freestanding villas set inside the building’s original two-story concrete structure. Surrounded by a gallery space that is reminiscent of an exterior promenade, the villas showcase a series of curated residential interior compositions outfitted with pieces from the HOLLY HUNT portfolio.
“Our new L.A. location is more than just a showroom; it is an expression of our core values of design, quality and craftsmanship,” says Jo Annah Kornak. “We approached the interior architecture in the same way that we would design a new product, being very thoughtful with our use of scale, proportion and materials. I think we’ve created a remarkable space that is authentic to the HOLLY HUNT brand, but also to our new neighborhood. We were very intentional about incorporating elements that celebrate L.A.’s signature urban aesthetic, like the original exposed concrete walls, beams, and other details throughout the space.”
“The existing structure –– a prototypical 1940’s Los Angeles corner warehouse –– is left as a framework of raw concrete, as-found archaeology,” says Nicholas Hofstede, Managing Director of Johnston Marklee. “The two new ‘villas’ nested within combine contrasting urban histories of Southern California: those of the industrial landscape of factories and studio backlots and the elegance of Hollywood domesticity.”
Lead architect Sharon Johnston elaborates on the design, which reflects the fluidity of space characteristic of architecture in Southern California. “The raw concrete shell frames an interior street; a double height promenade space around the villas, together with the villa interiors, creates an atmosphere and experiential narrative for the display of elegant domestic furniture for house and garden. The visitors’ journey through the spaces reflects a spatial dialogue between exterior and interior, linked through richly finished in-between spaces.”
Left: Sharon Johnston and Jo Annah Kornak, photo by Ye Rin Mok. Right: Photo by The Ingalls
Located in a neighborhood that has seen recent growth and transformation with new art and design galleries, pioneering retail shops and mixed-use developments, HOLLY HUNT Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to engage the local creative community and reinforce its authority as the leading destination for luxury furniture, wallcovering, window shades, lighting, textiles, rugs and accessories in the region.
“Brick-and-mortar locations have been the nucleus of our brand for almost 40 years,” shares Marc Szafran, President of HOLLY HUNT. “HOLLY HUNT Los Angeles shows our commitment to creating the most luxurious showrooms while also advancing our digital platforms, ensuring our clients are provided the best experience, no matter how they choose to engage with us.”
Inside the showroom, the North Villa serves as a gallery space to display iconic pieces from the brand’s Vladimir Kagan and HOLLY HUNT Studio collections. The vaulted ceilings, signature lighting and illuminated wall niches create a distinct point of contrast with the architecture of the surrounding promenade, which features a sweeping open volume with tall ceilings and exposed concrete beams. On the opposite end of the floor plate, the South Villa presents another series of curated residential interior rooms featuring product from across the HOLLY HUNT Studio, Vladimir Kagan, CASTE, Christian Astuguevieille, Mark Albrecht Studio, Pouenat, McCollin Bryan, Draga & Aurel and Moss & Lam collections. A large circular atrium at the center of the South Villa reveals the upper mezzanine level, which is home to an extensive library of textiles, leather, trim and rugs, along with wallcovering brands HOLLY HUNT Walls, ASSEMBLAGE, Carlisle & Co. and a new addition to the HOLLY HUNT portfolio, CONRAD Shades.
The two villas share a common theme of custom oak floors in a light gray wash; honed gray, veined marble-clad openings; and accents of bronze, leather and more quality finishes that are foundational to the HOLLY HUNT aesthetic. Bronze also makes an appearance in various architectural features throughout the showroom, such as the entry vestibules, stairwell and lighting gallery. In contrast, the interior promenade features terrazzo flooring, concrete walls and hand-troweled plaster –– all in a matte finish to capture the city’s grit and emphasize the more refined materials and finishes that are synonymous with HOLLY HUNT’s specialty offerings. The balance of these sophisticated details set against the backdrop of elemental materials and raw surfaces further cements HOLLY HUNT’s place within the context of L.A.’s urban environment.
Along the showroom’s eastern façade, the interior promenade is flooded with natural light, framed by tailored draperies made with HOLLY HUNT textiles. The open space is defined with entry pavilions, custom millwork niches and compositions that showcase a range of offerings across HOLLY HUNT’s diverse brand and product portfolio. Designed specifically for the L.A. showroom, a monumental 24-foot Vladimir Kagan Omnibus Sofa anchors the space and demonstrates one of HOLLY HUNT’s core competencies in customization. Also being introduced are three bespoke lacquer finishes, featured on the Boulonnais Drink Tables and X Base Consoles by HOLLY HUNT Studio. Illuminating the entire experience are site-specific lighting installations including HOLLY HUNT Collection lighting; new introductions from Alison Berger Glassworks; pieces from Atelier Alain Ellouz, JMW Studio, Kevin Reilly, Stefan Gulassa, VeniceM, Humbert & Poyet for Pouenat and Draga & Aurel; and a custom Elizabeth Lyons chandelier.
Prior to the opening of this flagship location, HOLLY HUNT maintained two showrooms in the Pacific Design Center on the third and sixth floors. From July 2022, HOLLY HUNT will maintain just the sixth-floor space in the PDC (Suite B619), focused on textiles, wallcovering and leather.
With a renewed mission to support the region’s growing design community through unparalleled client services and first-class product offerings, HOLLY HUNT Los Angeles will celebrate its grand opening in October 2022. The new neighborhood will bring fresh creative opportunities and access to a broader, more diverse customer base as the brand continues to evolve.