Hollister & Porter's Williamsburg Safari

House Tour

Name: Hollister Hovey & Porter Hovey
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: rented, 4½: years

A few misconceptions about the Hoveys. They are not big-game hunters from the 1930's. They are sisters from Kansas City with the given names Hollister and Porter. They are not taxidermists. Hollister works in PR and Porter for a management consulting firm. They are not hoarders. They are collectors of awesomeness.

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Their home feels like the attic in the Museum of Natural History. It's as if every object has a story: the antique pistol on the coffee table, the buffalo head above the Chesterfield sofa, even the paper-mâché leopard curled up by the faux fireplace. The enormous, bird-filled chandelier was found taped up in a box in the back of a thrift store. The display cabinet with the goose, discovered in the basement of a pharmacy. Even the loft itself — which the sisters share and boasts a skylight the size of most New York apartments — was another lucky find. From Scottish Military prints to the abundance of pith helmets, you might say the Hoveys really are on safari, hunting down housewares to display like trophies.

For more Hovery style keep up with the Hollister Hovey Blog. And be sure to check out Porter's photography as well as her Polaroid Project.

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Apartment Therapy Survey

Our style: Deco Jungle: Ernest Hemingway meets Kelly Wearstler.

Inspiration: We owe all of our taste to our mom. We’ve stolen most of her ideas about what makes a home great. She taught us to mix high and low, always save Hermès boxes, incorporate animal prints whenever you can, hang your art lower than you’d ever imagine so you don’t strain your neck to look at it while sitting and never let a lack of chimney keep you from buying a mantel (we have three).

Favorite Element: It's a toss up between the huge sky light and the fact that it's quite a large loft. The space alone lets us have the freedom to be creative and keep adding to the never-ending collection.

Biggest Challenge: The windows we do have are too high for us to open so getting fresh air means leaving the door open when we're at home. Once a neighbor we barely knew just walked in, said, "I love this song," sat down and then left when it was over.

What Friends Say: Everyone’s a bit shocked to see how much we’ve managed to collect. When people come over they’ll have a few drinks and suddenly start to fence with early 20th century rifle cleaners while wearing a variety of pith helmets. People love to come over to explore. It’s like you’re stepping into a totally interactive cabinet of curiosities.

Biggest Embarrassment: The death-trap, laminated faux wood bookshelves.

Proudest DIY: Hollister created the most amazing screen by decoupaging enlarged versions of Walton Ford prints onto stained wood. It’s pretty amazing.

Biggest Indulgence: Our 5' crystal chandelier and our chesterfield sofa. Both add a sense of elegance and grandeur.

Best Advice: You can never go wrong with filling your home with things you love — and somehow they’ll all end up going together in the most surprising way.

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Other Inspiration:
Our various travels around the world. We became obsessed with the light, breezy interiors (and the food) at the House Café in Istanbul and the incredible ceilings at Cukrkavalimonada in Prague — not to mention the architecture everywhere in both cities.

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Thanks, Hollister & Porter!

Images: Geoff Bentz, Porter Hovey

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.

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