Heidi Holzer Design and Decorative Work Adds the Final Touch
With experience in custom jewelry and fashion, Holzer’s move to home design two decades ago was a natural progression that combined her artistic eye with her love of creating unique interiors.
A trip to Heidi Holzer’s studio makes you realize that your walls just aren’t finished until they are properly “finished.” With experience in custom jewelry and fashion, Holzer’s move to home design two decades ago was a natural progression that combined her artistic eye with her love of creating unique interiors. Whether your taste runs to Venetian plaster, faux stone, metallic glazes or leaf finishes, she and her staff of artisans can deliver it. Her proprietary techniques create sensual surfaces to customize any room of the home. “Finishes add depth,” says Holzer. “Hand-rendered finishes that are specific to each space take into account existing furniture, flooring materials, fixtures, artwork, fabrics and even light refraction.” Among her many options, I was most taken with her innovative uses of Venetian plaster.
Go on any home tour and you are bound to see two or three homes with walls or ceilings dressed in Venetian plaster. So, what’s new with this ancient technique? “We are seeing a trend toward darker colors,” says Holzer. “And people are getting excited about the new, more intricate techniques that we can apply.” Techniques such as adding mica powders that refract light and cause a shimmer effect. “This adds something without being too dominant,” notes Holzer. And her proprietary Linen Venetian plaster allows the texture of the prepped surface to show through, but the top surface remains flat. “It looks like there’s movement and depth, but it’s smooth to the hand,” she says.
A new take on the traditional finish is horizontally dragged Venetian, which creates a contemporary linear effect, while Striated Venetian creates very subtle horizontal stripes. Embedded designs, which are only limited by the imagination, are also growing in popularity, as are Holzer’s unique abalone insets. “At Tommy Hilfiger’s Manhattan apartment, we embedded a custom abalone medallion in a Venetian plaster ceiling,” explains Holzer. “It was designed to complement an abalone desk that was in the room.”
Finishes are available in all colorways and, unlike other wall coverings, create no seams. Holzer’s artisans use an acrylic-based plaster, which can even be used in yachts. Skilled knifework is the key to success: Creating a series of layers at different angles strengthens the plaster. So, it might just be time to dress those walls and cover those ceilings. “Finishes give a look and radiance that richly beautifies your living space,” says Holzer.
A version of this article appeared in the January 2014 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: The Finish Line.