Talking 2017 design trends with Carole Hollowell

Carole Hollowell has made a name for herself in the interior design world. For 2017, themes include an emergence of old and new with a juxtaposition of high drama and classic elegance.

Carole Hollowell has made a name for herself in the interior design world. Born in Edenton, she said growing up in a beautiful town full of history, architecture, and antiques was an early start to establishing her keen eye that today dictates both her business and style. Hollowell received her bachelor’s degree in design in 1992 and immediately started working for a major residential furniture manufacturer. She gained experience traveling around the U.S., Mexico, and Canada designing stores and showrooms. In 1999, she decided to turn her craft into entrepreneurship with Carole Hollowell Interiors, originally working in high-end residential and commercial across North Carolina. Her most recent major projects have been sorority houses. She just completed the Kappa Kappa Gamma house at NC State University and is currently designing a sorority house at the University of Kentucky. While Hollowell designs around her clients, of her personal style she says, “I like very clean, a mix of traditional and updated things. I like to mix antiques, acrylics, and modern art. Updated traditional with a mix of old and new.” When it comes to selecting pieces, she pays respects to her home state, noting that furniture essentially originated in Western North Carolina. “My goal is to do as many items made in America as possible, especially the ones made in North Carolina and the western part of the state.” Hollowell works with A. Hoke Ltd design center in Raleigh, Karen Saks in Raleigh, and Vanguard Furniture which she described as one of her favorite sources for upholstery. When it comes to furniture from High Point Market, Hollowell said, “I’m a market junkie, we’re so fortunate to be so close.” At this past market she noticed trends were extremely different and almost hard to pinpoint. There’s a prominent juxtaposition with romantic dark tones paired with clean, bright whites. Geometrics also contrast with a “high drama” aesthetic. For spring and 2017, she said shades of gray are still popular but reinvented with pops of color. Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year is Greenery, which adds an earthy, centered touch for both wall color and accent pieces. For other aspects, Hollowell noted the appearance of contemporary art, finishes in acrylic, and brushed gold. When it comes to wallpapers she said, “Beautiful chinoiserie and bold contemporary. Grasscloths are updated with a metallic background.” Kitchen cabinets are also getting a facelift from classic white to taupes, mushrooms, and grays. Cabinets in other areas of the home are making a bold statement with bright pops of turquoise, orange, red, and black. For lighting, contemporary fixtures have emerged in traditional rooms while beautiful woodwork on ceilings and walls is making a comeback.