Q & A With Design Doyenne Holly Hunt

Holly Hunt photographed by Ed Reeve
Holly Hunt photographed by Ed Reeve

How did you come to be involved with L’Atelier Residence?
The developers had visited multiple Holly Hunt showrooms and were familiar with our signature style and established reputation in the interior design world of home furnishings. I received a call from Mayi de la Vega, President of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, approaching me and gauging my interest in becoming the design brand associated with L’Atelier Residences. I then received an in-person visit by Meir and Orit Srebernik, the project developers, where we met in my Chicago headquarters to discuss the potential collaboration. I thought the project was interesting; it promised to be exciting to see something built and come to fruition. I haven’t done anything like this before, but that has never stopped me. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Why did you decide to make L’Atelier Residences your first residential development?
They asked me and I thought, what could be wrong with a boutique building being constructed in Miami, on the ocean, where land is rare? Especially as Miami is a city coming into its own and truly coming alive. Where the energy is high and the culture is growing and so many from across the US, particularly from the east coast, as well as from South America and Russia, are purchasing second homes in the area. It’s an international mix in Miami and it exudes fun.

The project also brought us an opportunity to explore a broader range of creative work yet still stay in our own vernacular.

What was your inspiration behind the design as a whole?
Inspiration for a project builds over time and comes from so many places and thoughts. There was not a single epiphany, the way I might have suddenly for a piece of furniture, but creative inputs in layers as a project evolves and unfolds. Working with creative teams, architecture, landscaping and the very involved developers all bringing their ideas to the table to work and so the project grows. One must be open to others ideas and good at collaboration.

Descriptive words?  Casual, comfortable, rich experience, warm, yet refined . .a place I  would like to live. . . a lobby I would like to enter.


Please describe your favorite design feature of the development?
I love the lobby and that is the only piece we really get to design in full and actually see built-out in full.  Lobby with the amenities areas for spa are designed by us and to be built…… Most of our work is consulting, over view and detail rendering of how one might furnish a penthouse or an apartment.  The visuals you see in the ads are that rendering.  The finishes in the apartments are by us.

What is your vision for the lobby? How do you expect the custom sofa to complement the surrounding space?
Inspiration is usually better described by others or in hindsight.  The lobby went through many exploratory exercises and plans.  Due to design reconfiguration we had to rework our initial design, reducing the size lobby, and it is even better! …Smaller but better.

There are now tall ceilings, stone floor, and soaring stone walls which give a monumental feel.  It’s strong for residential, but I think the design and materials bring an elegance and richness to the building and sets an inviting tone.  Entering the lobby brings a sense of pride and security for owners and hopefully a feeling of, ‘I like being here’ to all.  This is an experience we try to create in all of our showrooms . . . a feeling of positive experience of place.  A place in which one is proud to have friends come and to live.


Will the lobby sofa be unique to L’Atelier?
The furnishing for the Lobby will be minimal, sized uniquely for the space and custom-made.  Of course, furnishing will be referential to other Holly Hunt product or style but that is why the project came to us – our signature design.

It will be unique, and while there might be a second cousin to the design eventually, it will be the first of its kind with this aesthetic.

How is what you’ve created at L’Atelier different from other private residential properties you’ve worked on?
When we do a residential home it is finite beginning to end . . . It is time and budget sensitive from design to interior re-build, to product ordered and installed, and the responsibility belongs to us to meet client goals. Contrastingly, with L’Atelier, there is wide collaboration and overview to which we are consultants – We have the fun part of the critique! We can imagine through the renderings and design spaces, adding ideas without executing the actual work. We are specifying the details in interior spaces but all final decisions are approved by others.

I am sure most of the units will have other designers working with owners to furnish and finish.  We are here to provide the experience of creative insight, imagination and possibility.

Do you plan on purchasing a home in Miami?
Not today.  I am building a big house in Aspen for my family and that is enough to handle right now.  Maybe in the future, who knows?  I love Miami and I love Aspen but have found I can’t have everything – at least not at the same time!”