About Holly O'Brian

Holy Obrian Headshot

Holly has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from UCSD in La Jolla, California, and received her degree in Interior Design from the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Madrid, Spain in 1998. Holly lived in Spain for nine years, and, following the completion of her design studies, had the opportunity to work in two well-known Spanish interior design firms specializing in hotel and restaurant design.

The remainder of Holly’s design experience is divided between Seattle, Washington (her home state) and Washington, DC. Holly worked for various years in award-winning architectural firms in Seattle focusing on the design of elementary schools, healthcare facilities and public spaces. For the last ten years in Washington, DC she has worked on numerous projects with a focus on both residential and small commercial spaces. She was the Interior Designer for the British Council Offices at the British Embassy and the Van Ness East Condominium Lobby Renovation, in addition to numerous residential projects. While consulting with the architectural firm of R. McGhee and Associates, Holly acted as the project manager for the renovation of the Georgetown Hugo Boss Store. She is a LEED Accredited Professional, passing the LEED (www.usgbc.org) exam in 2004 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and many of her projects have a focus on Sustainability. She passed the NCIDQ (www.ncidq.com) in 2008 and started Holly O’Brian Interior Design, LLC in 2009. She is professionally licensed by the Washington, DC Board of Architecture and Interior Design and is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers (www.asid.org).

Her background in Anthropology and Design coupled with her extensive international experience gives Holly a unique perspective on the effect of people’s surroundings on their lives and a deeper appreciation for the symbolism of the spaces in which we live and work.

Design Approach

Our design aesthetic can be characterized as contemporary and elegant, coupled with healthy doses of freshness and fun. A well-designed space has a timeless quality, but should also be nourishing, soulful and inspiring. For a space to work it needs to be both beautiful and functional.

We start with the basic elements of good design. We help our Clients to understand the importance of balance in colors, textures and materials, the creation of functional and comfortable layouts and the selection of high quality furniture and fabrics. Though our general aesthetic could be described as “modern” with “clean lines”, many of our projects are architecturally-rich, historic buildings and homes where contemporary elements are layered with more classic design. Many projects involve integrating treasured antiques with modern materials and pieces, and our design style embraces this juxtaposition of old and new.

Modern and classic pieces are layered to create a space that has a story, but also welcomes the innovation and change that will nourish and enrich clients’ lives. We love combining interesting layers of texture and color to create one-of-a-kind spaces that express the values, goals and priorities of our Clients.

Each project is different, and the scope and style are customized for each Client. At the same time, all projects follow a basic framework and schedule to ensure that deadlines and budgets are met.

In addition, we assist Clients in becoming comfortable with taking small “risks” in design. We will help you to stretch beyond your comfort zone ever so slightly (but with confidence), resulting in the most rewarding and beautiful projects.