Interior designer Carole Hollowell’s home on Anderson Drive draws inspiration from her hometown of Edenton
by Ayn-Monique Klahre | photography by Catherine Nguyen
“I do love color, just not inside my house,” laughs interior designer Carole Hollowell. But that’s not entirely true: in Hollowell’s home, black is not a true black — it’s a very deep green, or a warm charcoal that glows bronze in candlelight. There’s no plain white or gray, either, but tones from bone and ivory to mushroom and taupe. It’s all set off with glints of silver, brass, and bronze, the occasional potted plant or flower arrangement bringing in a hint of green.
At work, Hollowell fills her clients’ spaces with pattern and color — she’s particularly known for her designs at sorority houses, where her younger clientele prefer a more energetic design. But when she comes home, it’s about a toned-down palette and antique furnishings that are both elegant and comfortable. Classic and simple, luxurious but understated. “I like it fresh, but with a few old things thrown in,” says Hollowell.
Hollowell moved into this home on Anderson Drive in 2012, after relocating from Chapel Hill. The previous owners had created a historic feel inside the 1970s home through thoughtfully sourced architectural materials reclaimed from older homes, including interior doors, fireplace mantels, exterior columns, and the wide-plank pine floors throughout, which came from an old church and a farm in Virginia. Hollowell liked how its scale and character lent it a lowcountry style. “It’s a smaller home, but it lives really large,” she says, “and it reminded me of the home I grew up in.”
When Hollowell and her family moved in — she lives with her husband, their two now college-age daughters, a cat, and a dog — they gutted the kitchen and bathrooms, but kept much of its character. The Hollowells also opened up some of the smaller rooms on the first floor to create a great room that incorporated the kitchen and living area, and added to the back and side of the house to accommodate a sunroom and owner’s suite. “It was a chopped-up little house, and we opened it up a lot,” says Hollowell.
Hollowell is originally from Edenton, and those historic inlet town roots shine through in the interior of her home, which blends gracious antique furnishings and seaside-inspired accents. She’s fond of French and British colonial styles, particularly as seen in the older homes in New Orleans and Charleston. “These are two of my favorite places to go in the South because of the history, beautiful architecture, gardens, and sense of hospitality,” she says.
Between the subtle colors, coastal accents, and historical elements, the home has an elegant sense of patina — all the comforts of modern living, anchored by the tried and true.
This story originally appeared in our September 2021 issue.