Q&A with the Grand Dame of Design, Holly Hunt

Holly HuntLast year, one of design’s biggest names, Holly Hunt, sold her company to Knoll for $95 million. With a nearly nine-figure payday, the native Texan only wanted one thing: to keep steering the company that bore her name and became synonymous with understated sophistication. Haute Living caught up with Ms. Hunt as she prepares to outfit Miami Beach’s oceanfront boutique building, L’Atelier Residences, by ONE Sotheby’s, after Mayi de la Vega tapped the Chicago-based Hunt for the job.

How did you come to be involved with L’Atelier Residences?
I received a call from Mayi de la Vega, [founder and CEO] of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, approaching me and gauging my interest, and then 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, but that has never stopped me before.

How did you pick L’Atelier to be your first residential development?
Miami is a city coming into its own. The energy is high, and the culture is growing and so many from across the U.S., particularly from the East Coast,as well as from South America and Russia, are purchasing second homes in the area. It’s a great international mix in Miami. Miami Beach exudes fun and is right on the ocean where land is so rare, so that was very interesting.

What was your inspiration behind the design as a whole?
Inspiration for a project builds over time. There was not a single epiphany, the way I might have suddenly for a piece of furniture; it evolves and unfolds. Working with creative teams from architecture to landscaping bringing their ideas to the table, one must be open to others ideas and good at collaboration.

Please describe your favorite design feature of the development.
I love the lobby one place where we’ve had total control. There are tall ceilings, stone floors 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 set an inviting tone. [I think] entering the lobby will bring a sense of pride and security for owners.

Did working in Miami Beach make you want to buy here?
I am building a big house in Aspen right now. I love Miami, but I have found that I can’t have everything – at least not at the same time! But in the future—who knows!?