Holly Freres, Storytelling via Design

Holly’s headshot by Kati Dimoff

Because the Principal of JHL Design, Holly Freres was nurtured by her mom to be a savvy-minded minded businesswoman. Heading up the household enterprise, she has come to know the calls for of the design area, staying contemporary on a worldwide scale, all this whereas being on the prime of her sport.

Did you’ve got an affect in your youth that formed your profession path?

Jane Freres, my mom, nurtured me to be a savvy-minded businesswoman but additionally the best way to have a decerning eye. Jane began the enterprise and educated me in my twenties. One among my first pitches was to a gaggle of buyers for a brand new industrial constructing, which included the complete inside package deal and branding. She let me run the present and from then on, I’ve been studying and rising my follow. Twenty years later, I’m nonetheless loving it.  

You took over as Principal of JHL Design in 2003 after leaving the world of company promoting. What are the variations/similarities between the 2 careers?

There are fairly a couple of similarities, really. Storytelling via design is related for each fields. Additionally, fast-paced artistic considering and understanding your viewers are important for survival. At JHL we have now labored with each massive manufacturers and partnerships, in addition to world CEOs. The design area is demanding, and it’s essential to keep contemporary and perceive what’s occurring globally if you wish to be on the prime of your sport. I realized nice communication and group in promoting, which was a terrific sounding board for working a enterprise. 

Modernist home designed by JHL with views of the Pacific Ocean. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

What and who conjures up you?

Rose Tarlow. I noticed her converse final 12 months at a design convention. She began her profession with an unsuccessful shopping for journey to the Paris Flea Market and turned it into one of the vital profitable manufacturers in our historical past. True grit and tenacity for particulars are what make visiting her showroom an genuine expertise. 

It’s fairly distinctive to have an architectural and inside design service; often, it’s one or the opposite. How do you handle to ‘marry’ the 2 ideas efficiently?

My husband, David, heads up the structure facet of our enterprise. He has been working towards structure for greater than 30 years. There’s quite a bit to learn about each interiors and structure and I depend on an amazingly proficient staff. We rent seasoned expertise and educate them the JHL approach of doing issues, which is rooted in innovation, wonderful consumer service, and unwavering dedication to nice design. Now we have administrators of each departments, they usually work carefully to ensure every division is producing the perfect work attainable and lean closely on one another to ensure the end result is tailor-made, particular, and distinctive for every challenge. Add in humorousness and it often all works out simply fantastic. 

What are/have been the most important challenges in your profession?

The pandemic introduced so many private challenges for individuals, each on the consumer facet and likewise staffing. It was a problem as we grew 60% throughout the pandemic however there was lots of transition for individuals. To say it merely, it was distracting to carry out on the similar stage of service. Nevertheless, a lot good got here from it – as with something – troublesome occasions convey a lot greatness. 

JHL Design reimagines a Portland penthouse into an enviable office space. Photograph by Haris Kenjar
JHL Design reimagines a Portland penthouse into an enviable workplace area. {Photograph} by Haris Kenjar

Vital classes alongside the best way?

Well being and wellness are so important to doing something effectively! I feel all of us realized that throughout the previous few years. I don’t take a day with no consideration on this life. 

The favourite a part of your job?

My favourite a part of my job is the individuals facet. I really like assembly new shoppers and understanding their wants and needs for his or her new initiatives. Whether or not it’s a brand new company workplace, a restaurant refresh, or a customized house, attending to know my viewers is by far an important a part of me. As effectively, mentoring my employees and serving to them make their passions, profession aspirations, and visions come to life is so rewarding. 

What’s the smartest thing about being on the helm of an architectural and inside design service?

One of the best a part of being on the caliper of what we do is that our market is world. Now we have distributors all around the world and have been printed globally. It’s thrilling to have the ability to supply from essentially the most proficient artisans. Now we have a beautiful clientele that appreciates individuality of their initiatives and that we like to do for them. 

In the living room of this Beach House by JHL Design, tongue and groove cedar on the ceiling and exterior envelope, allow for incredible views of the ocean. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour
In the lounge of this Seashore Home by JHL Design, tongue and groove cedar on the ceiling and exterior envelope, permit for unimaginable views of the ocean. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

And the worst?

The worst a part of being on the helm is that it typically will get lonely on the prime! Operating a enterprise isn’t for the faint of coronary heart.

Is your own home/are your properties as gorgeous as these of your shoppers? 

I’m considering of the outdated proverb of the shoemaker’s youngsters that don’t have any footwear …. hopefully that’s not the case together with your abode(s).

My husband and I designed our house about 8 years in the past. It’s actually a household house and I wouldn’t have dreamt of something extra excellent to boost 4 children, and a canine and host fantastic celebrations. I’ve realized on this occupation that there’s at all times one thing higher on the market (that’s what retains us busy!) however for now, I’m grateful every single day for our lovely house.  

Where dream bedrooms are made of. JHL’s Portland Beach House. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour
The place dream bedrooms are made from. JHL’s Portland Seashore Home. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

What are your favourite rooms in your personal house and why?

I really like my bed room. It has views of the tops of the bushes and a ten-foot sliding door out to a non-public terrace, which is the proper place to have a espresso on a summer season morning. In the course of the pandemic, we constructed a casita that has a gymnasium, visitor area, and a dry sauna. It’s like a spa in my very own yard. 

What key items in your house are you able to not dwell with out?

Now we have an unique Milo Baughman couch from the Nineteen Fifties. It’s our each day haunt area. We’ve had it recovered a few occasions – it’s so well-built. One of the simplest ways to follow sustainability is to put money into items you’ll be able to have for many years. Now we have some fantastic artifacts from our travels to so many locations like Indonesia, Europe, Africa, and India. A few of them are commonplace however maintain so many fantastic recollections and tales for our household. 

Speak us via a timeless inside design model. 

An area that’s well-curated by no means goes out of fashion. Items that match into the architectural model of the area, which are effectively proportioned and of nice high quality. Add a particular piece of artwork and that’s the cherry on prime. 

Accessories form a crucial part of a space, as is the case of this well-appointed Portland Beach House. Grounding the room, JHL designed a stunning custom white oak and brass table and placed iconic Eames chairs around it. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour
Equipment type an important a part of an area, as is the case of this well-appointed Portland Seashore Home. Grounding the room, JHL designed a surprising customized white oak and brass desk and positioned iconic Eames chairs round it. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

How necessary is it to decorate?

Equipment make an area really feel lived-in. We will absolutely decorate an area rather well, however what makes it actually particular is having household artifacts or heirlooms from journey. That’s what makes it actually distinctive. We not too long ago visited the transformed Fairmont Olympic in Seattle. Spanish-based, Lázaro Rosa-Violán did an incredible job making the area really feel eclectic with simply the correct curated equipment.  

Is there a proper and fallacious on the subject of adorning? Please clarify.

A convincing sure! This isn’t a pastime. It’s a enterprise. If you wish to achieve success, it takes ability, research, and a continuing ardour for studying. 

How does one preserve issues fashionable/timeless with out having to interrupt the financial institution?  

Conserving issues easy and never overdoing it. Put money into assertion items that you simply love. That can by no means exit of fashion. 

Do you consider in repurposing dated items or ought to one simply store for brand spanking new ones?

Because the couch we use as a household is greater than 70 years outdated, I might positively be the one which advocates for repurposing furnishings.

JHL created an open-concept interior for this space. The large-scale painting is by Paton Miller, entitled Leaving Madagascar. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour
JHL created an open-concept inside for this area. The massive-scale portray is by Paton Miller, entitled Leaving Madagascar. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

You may have performed some beautiful interiors. Do you’ve got any favorites?

Thanks! I do have a couple of favorites. The Arch Cape home is a customized house that we designed for some fantastic, long-time shoppers of JHL. It’s actually a spot crammed with serenity and has such a beautiful ocean view as quickly as you stroll via the entrance door. We’re additionally ending a house within the mountains this Spring that may be a fantastic instance of a retreat with put up and beam parts. I assume that proves I really like good design it doesn’t matter what model or period. 

Have there been initiatives that you’ve declined? If sure, why?

Sure, we are able to’t do all issues for all individuals. Our candy spot is for initiatives which are bigger in scale in order that we are able to mobilize the staff with architects, inside designers, and our procurement employees that may deal with each final element equivalent to hanging the paintings. Typically we have now to suggest different companies to make room for the initiatives we are able to actually shine on. 

Your husband works at JHL Design as Design Principal. Is it difficult to work collectively … when do you turn off or shut the proverbial workplace door whenever you go house? Or is it good to have a sounding board?

Like something nice, it’s not at all times straightforward! Nevertheless, we met working collectively 16 years in the past, so we knew what we have been each moving into. We really complement one another rather well at work and as companions at house. 

The exterior of the Oregon Beach House is covered in cedar from Sherwood Siding and Construction offering an overall earthy and warm feel of the home, even before entering. The cedar and brass front door is fashioned by Quartertwenty. The entryway welcomes homeowners to a beautiful wool-and-silk Lapchi rug. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour
The outside of the Oregon Seashore Home is roofed in cedar from Sherwood Siding and Building providing an total earthy and heat really feel of the house, even earlier than getting into. The cedar and brass entrance door is long-established by Quartertwenty. The entryway welcomes householders to an exquisite wool-and-silk Lapchi rug. {Photograph} by Lincoln Barbour

You journey for enterprise and hopefully pleasure too. Which have been your favourite locations to journey to which have left an enduring impression? 

Cape City is one in all my absolute favourite cities on this planet. It was my first worldwide journey with my husband. The development of nice design is prolific in Cape City. We are sometimes restricted by US Constructing Codes in our designs – they are often stifling. We have been exhilarated by the execution and a spotlight to element within the industrial and residential properties. Oftentimes, these properties we toured have been historic with fashionable additions … they have been superbly performed. The meals, structure, and historical past have been magical and opened up a lot for each of us. We will’t wait to return with our children sometime. This previous 12 months, my mom and I traveled to India, and I fell in love with Jaipur. It’s spectacularly crowded and brimming with coloration. This 12 months, we’re planning a visit to Oaxaca and Mexico Metropolis. Subsequent 12 months … I can’t wait to choose a brand new vacation spot.

What do you do for enjoyable?

Oh, there’s an extended record, however on the prime is climbing within the mountains, snowboarding down the slopes, or vacationing in part of the world I’ve by no means been to. Journey runs deep in my veins and getting outdoors feeds my soul. I really like sharing all of those with my youngsters and seeing how their view of the world opens up and the probabilities of their eyes are countless. 

Are any thrilling plans on the horizon?

Now we have our eye on central Oregon and are in search of property for a challenge there. It’s thriving with new builds and a terrific marketplace for us to be in. We’re doing a couple of initiatives there now and really feel that JHL may gain advantage from having an workplace there. Our employees is happy in regards to the potential to have a second workplace near a lot nature. Particularly our Design Principal and my husband, whose favourite past-time is fly fishing. 



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