Furnishings mogul Holly Hunt’s Chicago apartment is a lesson in contemporary style
Text by Jennifer Fernandez – Photography by Pieter Estersohn – Posted April 8, 2016
It only takes one look at Holly Hunt’s home on Chicago’s Gold Coast to know that the furnishings mogul is a modernist at heart. After a gut renovation in which she removed traditional crown molding and baseboards and reconfigured the floor plan to accommodate more space in the private areas, her 4,600-square-foot co-op is a contemporary design lover’s dream, complete with sculptural lighting, museum-quality furniture pieces, and a world-class art collection. Yet far from the look of a showroom, Hunt’s home establishes a high-brow sense of style while maintaining a warm and lived-in atmosphere. Love the look? Here, four things to consider to achieve the ideal modernist home.
Rethink expected furnishings In a classic breakfast nook off the kitchen, Hunt broke with tradition and opted for an avant-garde table wrapped in painted cotton cord by Christian Astuguevieille. The effect gives an otherwise ordinary furniture item the feel of an experimental art piece.
Adopt a curator’s mentality The modernist’s mantra: A home is only as good as the art in it. In a corridor, Hunt coated the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Intense White and displayed a Jean Dubuffet canvas, two David Smith works, and a mixed-media piece by Olga de Amaral.
Choose a neutral color palette If black and white feels too stark—which is a rare problem—consider incorporating subtle shades of gray, tan, or beige. Here, Hunt creates warmth in a formal dining room with leather-covered chairs and a matching table, as well as stained hardwood floors.
Shine on Lacquered surfaces and metallic accents add dimension and sleek texture to the modernist home. Case in point: Hunt’s library, where cozy fur throw pillows and rough-hewn Giacometti-esque Gene Summers bronze club chairs are offset by a slick Christian Liaigre cocktail table.