interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: hollister & porter hovey

by anne

While this is not the first time — and surely not the last — that the home of sisters Hollister and Porter Hovey has been online, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get a deeper look inside and see some of the fresh changes (like a new wall color) they’ve made to the place. While Hollister works as a publicist for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, she is highly regarded for her lifestyle blog. Porter also works in PR, promoting popular bands, and in her spare time she works as a photographer. A true romantic, Porter also posts vintage photos and quotes on her blog devoted to romance. The two are currently teaming up to decorate a Williamsburg waterfront penthouse apartment for the owners of Stranger Records, but today, we have a sneak peek into their own home, whose style they fabulously call “Hemmingway meets Kelly Wearstler meets colonial chic.” Thanks, Hollister and Porter (who shot all the images)! — Anne

Image above: Our mom always had a huge influence on our style. So when Hollister came home and told our mom that she would be making a papier-mache animal in her second-grade art class, Mom suggested that she make something grand that would look good in the house . . . like a leopard. This guy was the result, and he’s been sitting in front of mantles for over 20 years.

Image above: A few days into the New Year, we had a few friends over and were chatting over pizza and beers. Suddenly, our previous bookcase (that never seemed too sturdy) came crashing down. A few weeks later, we luckily found this gem rescued from the Taunton, MA, insane asylum from the great people at Moon River Chattel. It was an epic battle to fit it into the apartment. The owner of the shop and his team had to cut off the top, slice it down the middle and then rebuild it once it got inside. We’re forever grateful.

The rest of the Hovey sisters’ sneak peek continues after the jump . . .

Image above: We were exposed to the idea of having nice luggage and purses from an early age. Our mom carried our diapers in a giant LV tote and created little designer-bag-loving monsters as a result.

Image above: I proudly display one of my vintage cameras on a 1920s vanity.

Image above: The view of what happens when you enter our apartment.

Image above: Just like anyone, we love getting a good deal. But we really struck gold with the things in this photo. The cabinet came from the basement of the Bedford Cheese Shop. The owners of the building hadn’t touched things in the basement of the building since they had bought the space in the 1980s. Finally, one day they decided to have a sidewalk sale — we patiently waited and watched them bring up little pieces of history (the building was originally a pharmacy in the 1920s) until they just asked us if we would like to go to the basement and see what else we might like. We bought the display case, about 100 amber bottles, old herbal displays and great old cards. The swan was part of a duo that once fought over diamonds in a Fifth Ave. store window. We bought them from a stylist who was moving out west.

Image above: A view of Hollister’s room.

Image above: Whenever we travel, we always think it’s important to bring back something special from our journey. Around day 9 1/2 of a 10-day vacation to Istanbul, I really didn’t have anything to show for all of our walking and exploring. Of course, in the 11th hour we came across this wonderful, tiny shop, tucked into an alley. I picked the gold military belt and pin. I thought it would be great to display it on my dress form for a bit of a contrast. I was so excited that on the next adventure to Prague, I found this vintage mining helmet.

Image above: Hollister found this little tin boat for $15 while we were walking down Bedford Ave. Nothing beats street finds!! We found the old mailbox in an antiques store near Camden, Maine.

Image above: Two of our favorite things in the world: our Kitchen Aid mixer and old portraits of men.

Image above: Our friends come over to our place . . . and after a few beers, spontaneously put on pith helmets and start poking each other with vintage rifle cleaners. For some reason, it never gets old.

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  • thanks for sharing the hovey sisters home! i’ve been contemplating doing away with the layers of curiosities in my own home decor and this has re-inspired me to keep it all! great sneak peek!

  • I never had a girl crush until I stumbled upon the hovey sisters……These girls are multi-talented! When friends come into my home they say there’s always so much to see….{and I think that’s the kind way of saying “where did all the clutter come from?”} But I always believed that if you love something- you’ll always find a home for it and everything I own has a story {or two}. It is a pleasure to peek into their home- I am always inspired by them. {and I enjoy that there are people who like to hunt and gather as much as I do}!!

  • Mmh I can’t help but feel this is all just too ‘achieved’, nothing seems natural about the style or decor of this house. It’s like they had a list of items they must have .. rather than it being a natural selection of items., its just too over the top. I certainly appreciate their spirit and talent but it looks too meseum for me.. just my opinion.
    You girls would love Les Trois Garcon restaurant in London England. Similar vibe more in a more delicate way.

  • I love all the luggage. It makes the home feel more traveled. If I had such fabulous suitcases, they’d probably live in the mouth of my fireplace too.

  • This reminds me more of s set, than a home. Very beautiful, but looks staged. Love the story of the leopard.

  • i really do enjoy the clutter of this home; however, if i were to visit i would feel as though the owner was sort of bragging and shoving their experiences in my face. it makes me feel somewhat inferior.

  • yay, love their style! just last week reread an article in the Elle about them. The walls were black then :) I hope they do still have their faux bamboo cupboard. That thing rocked.

  • Just wonderful! The world is full of such amazing treasures that have such grace and integrity that no one should ever have to buy much of anything new – maybe with the exception of all too cool new technology – it is such a thrill to come across some old treasure that resonates in some way and you know you must own it, if just for a short spell. I know just how they feel. Onward!

  • Hmm…I think the phrase “colonial chic” is fairly offensive. Why is it bandied about so much these days? Do people not understand the history of colonialism? Ugh.

  • The swan is amazing. I would have loved to see the full window display at the jeweller’s.

  • The history of colonial subjugation is not misunderstood by the Hovey’s or the writer of this post. They just celebrate the litte good the came out of it, like the intermingling of cultures. Chill on out Pandora.

  • I agree Pandora. Colonialism was awful for anyone who wasn’t White. Some of the fashion and decor from the period are cool but please, lets remenber what actually happened then and not gloss over things.

  • This looks great, and everything’s very cohesive. But I wonder if it proves a little inflexible at times, like a movie set where everything has to be circa 1900 or whatever. I wonder if these two ever come across something they like but have to pass over just because it wouldn’t conform. I think it looks great, anyway.

  • very cool! the taunton hospital was (and the parts that remain) are sooo hauntingly beautiful, i’m so jealous these ladies own a piece of it!


  • Rachel’s comment really echoed what I was thinking. People often say that about my home as well – “there’s so much to look at”. I often wonder if that’s code for, “What the heck is this stuff?”. I keep trying to “edit”…but, hey! I LOVE this stuff…it’s mine, and to me it all tells a story. The Hovey sisters do it so well – I would love to spend hours exploring their home and hearing their stories.

  • Andrew – I’m objecting to facile overuse of the phrase, not the style itself, as my post indicated. But when it comes down to it I fail to see how the display of military uniforms is an example of celebrating the “intermingling of cultures” !

  • Whilst Colonialism was and continues to be a lamentable idea, it is clear that the Hovey lasses are celebrating the style that Colonialism begat. We would not have the safari jacket if English vicars did not feel obliged to adapt to a warmer climate. Nor would we have pajamas or jodhpurs. And hopefully we can all agree that these offshoots possess a certain chic that is unlamentably Colonial.

  • I really appreciate this space, for once someone owns stuff. I’m so tired of looking at spaces that don’t look like they are actually lived in.

  • Not really my style, but I can appreciate the look they have created for their home. Also, I’m in love with that leopard in front of the fireplace…too cute!

  • Really interesting. Alot of the Design Sponge sneek peeks start to look the same. People copying the same styles.

  • I love this house! So much character and history along with many memories I am sure! Love the blue on those walls! Would love to know where they got it.

  • Thank you, thank you Pandora, for calling out the blithely ignorant worship of a violent part of history. It drives me nuts, too. _Pace_ “Ancient Industries,” but “colonial chic” is the style of a white, colonial, occupying elite. Plain and simple. It’s no better than pining for the “genteel” plantation days of Tara. The confederate flag is a beautiful piece of graphic art, but would you display it in your home? No? Why not? Rebel chic!

  • I sincerely doubt that the Hovey love of colonialism means they have slaves chained in their basement. Criticism of it reeks of Stupid Guilty White Girl Syndrome.