Madame Figaro Magazine Winter 2014 Interview with Marianna Holoway.
Ever wonder how Designers and stylists get their foot in the door? Where they get their inspiration? Where they find the great decor and furniture that grace the rooms and homes of their portfolios?
Well you’re getting those answers straight from the source, up and coming designer/stylist Marianna Holoway.
I interviewed Marianna, asking some of the questions I’ve always wondered about, and she was gracious enough to answer them for us. She also gave me pictures and details from her latest styling assignment, which I think you’ll really like. See it below the interview.
Interview with Marianna
How did you get started in the interior design and stylist field? Would you say you got a lucky break or “made” your luck by lots of reaching out, networking, doing some free jobs, etc?
I always knew that I was supposed to do architecture and design. It has been my passion basically my whole life. Growing up, I would go over to my grandmother’s house and re-arrange her whole basement, build little homes with sheets and chairs, and decorate the inside of each “area”.I would say that I “made” my lucky break in the design field (I am still very new, but have been fortunate enough to have had little breaks along the way in a short time, I am looking forward to making more happen!). It is amazing how much you HAVE to put yourself and your work out there when you are first starting! You have to reach out almost anywhere (even if you don’t really feel like it!). You really have to push yourself! You also have to be willing to do some jobs for free, or for extremely low cost in the beginning, in order to build up your portfolio, and clientele. Another HUGE thing in getting that big break is being extremely creative and different; Offering a unique, signature style of your own.
What’s your favorite aspect of being a designer/stylist? What is your least favorite?
My favorite aspect of design is coming up with new ideas, and “looks”; creating a beautiful little world that takes your breath away, and being able to stand back and see the entire finished product.My least favorite aspect of design are those jobs where you aren’t able to use as much creativity as you would like, for various reasons, but they pay the bills, and help develop you and your business in the design field.
What inspires you the most? Certain natural scenery? A certain store? A book?
A book that has been inspiring me for about a year and half now since I purchased it is, “Flea Market Style” by Emily Chalmers. There is so much beauty and creativity in those pages; I can never get enough no matter how many times I read it! I am also inspired by old movies, and old photographs.
I know I’ve often flirted with the idea of training to become an interior designer or stylist, as I’m sure a lot of my readers have. What tips and advice do you have for someone trying to break into the industry?
My tips and advice (based on what I have learned) would be to educate and inform yourself with the industry. For me, getting my A.A.S. in Design was a huge thing! It gave me knowledge, credibility, confidence, and I was actually able to call myself a “designer”, rather than a “decorator”, and that felt great (especially after all that hard work!). Another big recommendation I would give to someone trying to break into the field would be to research!! One of the best ways to do that, is by following creative blogs , and just filling yourself up with as much knowledge on trends, looks, what other designers are doing, and try to be totally different from them. My last piece of advice would be to develop your own signature style. Certain projects will be very different from each other, but there should be certain elements that stand out as your “style”, or projects that have your “touch”—the “golden” touch is how you should start thinking of it.
When getting started on a new project or assignment, what’s the first thing you do to get started? Sketch? Research for inspiration?
I research like crazy! My process is as follows: I see the client, find out what they like (style, interests, etc), then usually I will have some ideas pop into my head and a direction that I want to take the project, and then I follow up with lots of research to fully develop it!
What’s your favorite purchase for your home that you just couldn’t live without?
I would have to say my new Roberto Cavalli Sofa . I totally love it. It is 7’ long, tufted, and Black color with a faint gold /leafy pattern to it. It is definitely vintage, and Anthropology looking!
Thanks Marianna Holoway for taking the time to answer those questions – some great tips!
Now for some of her work! Here’s a little background about her latest project: she had a very important client ask her to come up with a design for a new public place in the historic area of Athens,
I fell in love with it only by the dimensions and the location. Such a challenge to design a place that it was already successful and famous. Such a great experience! The owners with aesthetic point of view and knowledge about architecture and a very qualified construction team, ready to work hard and create what I had already envisioned in my 3d’s drawings. A custom made procedure. Everything inside had to be a new concept. New materials or materials with an unusual use were ready to bring up a uniqueness and amp up success.
Unusual combinations, marbles covered with velvet and RGB lights created a luxurious and glam bar, wooden drawers made the exterior surface of the building, gold leaves were the material which covered the walls above the tails, paintings replaced the openings instead of doors, illuminated bicycles replaced the outdoor lights. Luxurious chairs and sofas and an enormous three levels chandelier gave the result I was dreaming to create.
A passionate process for sure. Barbara Oyster wrote on my Blog July 4, 2013. One last important thing in architecture…Go beyond the limits…Imaginative limits, recreational and perceptive limits….Don’t be a normal jerk…Be the master. Not always easy but if you work hard it’s simply inevitable.