Holly Hollingsworth Phillips: Florence Broadhurst's Fearless Frontier

 Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of  The English Room  is this year’s Florence Broadhurst Brand Ambassador.

Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room is this year’s Florence Broadhurst Brand Ambassador.

 

When you boldly and colorfully go where no one has gone before, you not only get there faster, but you get to stay longer than anyone else. Fearlessness has its perks and the Florence Broadhurst brand has borne this out. If there ever was a glass ceiling, Florence went right through it, never looked back, and is still ahead of her time.

Who better to spotlight her kaleidoscopic courage, than interior designer, Holly Hollingsworth Phillips? A maven of sophisticated maximalism herself, Holly lauds Florence as the nervy and prolific purveyor of "more is more," and no rules, except one:  your own unique and unabashed approach to design must rule. Holly is owner of The English Room in Charlotte, NC and was recently named by Signature Design Archives the first U.S. brand ambassador for Florence Broadhurst, focusing on the Florence Broadhurst Fearless Design campaign for 2018.

Florence, the iconic designer, global sophisticate, and multipreneur sang her way through the Far East to the tunes of the roaring Twenties, established a finishing school in Shanghai, and catered to London’s wealthy set as Florence the French couturier. All before returning to Australia as the English lady, aristocrat, and landscape painter primed for her next, and defining enterprise: luxury, hand-print wallpaper. Florence proclaimed she would color Australia. And that she did, with over five hundred motifs from geometrics and florals to tapestries and eccentric chinoiserie. 

I love the whimsy of her designs. When they’re not serious, they’re sophisticated still in some way.
 Kabuki, a motif that recalls Florence's travels throughout Asia. Photo credit:  Signature Design Archive

Kabuki, a motif that recalls Florence's travels throughout Asia. Photo credit: Signature Design Archive

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If the iconic red wig is any indicator, Florence Broadhurst didn’t overly concern herself with the opinions of others; no doubt a sign of her unwitting enthusiasm, iron vision and free-spirited philosophy at play in all things, particularly of course, design.

Holly brings that same “paint the town red” prowess with bold design that encourages “buy what you love, do what you love.” Timely, as neutral palettes quiet, and summer’s mood-lifting, saturated brights emerge, especially chartreuse and jewel tones. 

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 Design: Holly Hollingsworth Phillips -  The English Room   Photo Credit:  Erin Comerford Photography

Design: Holly Hollingsworth Phillips - The English Room

Photo Credit: Erin Comerford Photography

 

Timeless Testament

"Her designs can go from contemporary to traditional. The Cranes wallpaper or the Egrets are some of my favorites and they can look really traditional, but then you can see them in projects where they look very modern. So it's really interesting how broad her brand is, and how much you see it can go from contemporary to traditional very easily."

New to the brand from licensee Selamat Designs, is the Cockatoo Chair. White lacquer finish, faux bamboo and carved wood frame give nod to her beloved Cockatoos wallpaper. On cue as we see a new prevalence in rattan, caning and wicker.

Top to bottom, L to R: Cockatoo chair, Cockatoos wallpaper, Sydney Dining Side Chair shown in Tortoise fabric, Sydney Mod Pyramids Credenza in white, Shanghai Paradise Carved Lamp, Shanghai Six-Drawer Dresser. Credit: Signature Design Archives and Selamat Designs.

As brand ambassador, Holly will be promoting new wall coverings, as well as incorporating them into her own designs. With 500+ patterns and counting (new "finds" continue to surface in remodels throughout Australia), look for a wealth of insightful design commentary from Holly in the months to come, via her social media channels and blog. Listen to the complete interview here.

Just a sampling of Florence Broadhurst's wallpaper designs. L to R: Fingers in Sea, Steps in Coral, Egrets in Frost, Japanese Floral in Avocado, Large Floral Trellis in Bondi, Cranes in Arizona.