Showroom Business

  • Photo by Angie West
    The Black Cat pendant, from her Studio Lighting Collection Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
    Paris chandelier Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
    D’Orsay cocktail table Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
    Ecriture textiles designed by Christian Astuguevieille, from Hunt’s Great Outdoors series Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
    Odense chair Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
    Absinthe side table Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
  • Photo by Angie West
<< Back to Home & Style, July 2015
  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

After 30-plus years at the top of the design universe, Holly Hunt and her namesake brand need no introduction. But she has plenty of news to share. 

Step inside a Holly Hunt showroom in search of an exceptional cocktail table or bookcase, and the sense of uniqueness is immediate. Each of the brand’s 11 locations—from the original in Chicago, to the two in New York, to the outposts in Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., London, and São Paulo, Brazil, to the most recent addition in Houston—is different, each is inviting, and each is exemplary. “I think we do more with our spaces than anybody else. Why should they be alike? That’s boring. We do whatever the space calls for,” says Holly Hunt, founder of the Chicago-based design and furniture company that bears her name. “The space tells you what it wants to be, and what it can be,” she says. “It reveals itself. I have to almost feel it as it goes up, feel it as it comes alive.”

Hunt’s showrooms are peerless; just ask her peers. She points out that when House & Garden was still published in the United States and the magazine asked American interior designers to vote on the best showroom, hers won the award three times.

A main aspect of her strength, her showrooms give a glimpse of what it takes to predominate in the realm of high-end furniture and interior design for more than 30 years. Hunt unquestionably has a knack for spotting talent, having championed the designs of Los Angeles’s Rose Tarlow and the French modernist Christian Liaigre, but talent-spotting alone would not have enabled her to scale the heights she has reached. Nor would simply offering and producing excellent high-end furniture have been sufficient to win the day. Stopping at that point is like painting a canvas and giving no thought to the frame, or how it might be displayed, or who will live with it day in and day out. 

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