WALTER STUDIOS INTERIOR DESIGN
An Introspective Understanding of Holler & Saunders
Written by C. Michael Diaz
“A different vocabulary [needs] to be implemented in order to play the Holler and Saunders game.
What a game it IS!
The first rules are the basic; the classic ones. Symmetry is of primary importance. Establishing symmetry in a particular space, starting on the floor, from the floor upward, up the walls, up the ceiling, as far as they can, vertically and horizontally. This is all stressed with the use of pairs and even multiples of furniture and objects. Sometimes up to 16, REALLY!
Once this symmetry is erected, it has to be emphasized to it’s highest level by the use of LARGE, GRAND, and EXAGGERATED SCALE. Holler and Saunders are the masters of this, precisely. LARGE SCALE is the most essential, as a rule. SCALE clarifies the intended effect. SCALE creates the basis for the DRAMATIC, AMPLE, GENEROUS, even EPIC situations that are necessary for layering in the components.
I remember Sam would tell me that it takes seven layers to build up the ideal situation. Sometimes I recall more were used, sometimes less. Once even one single layer……giant spheres crammed into a courtyard! This layering is what lends that theatrical atmosphere to their endeavor.
Next, considerations must be made as to what components need to be assigned to fulfill this layering process. With such strict symmetry and SCALE requirements, and theatrical effects, nothing common can ﬁt the bill. Also, multiplicity of objects is essential to create a rhythmic pattern that further coordinates the order that has been set in place and emphasized by the first rules.
For the novice, at this point, the Holler and Saunders game proves terribly difficult; but when one is writing out ones’ own rules, and has mastered them consecutively, there comes an ease in the tweaking and manipulating of the next rules. That is the genius and the assurance of the victory, and what gives IT that authentic Holler and Saunders effect.
Each piece of furniture, object, painting, mirror, sculpture, chandelier, chair, any given element, as I stated before, that is to be used in any particular situation of theirs, has to be chosen never by a conventional scrutiny or by typical judgment. The rules for these elements and components have been stressed by SCALE and multiplicity. Once that SCALE and musical pattern have been accelerated, an entirely different sensibility for proportion must be adopted. The change in proportion leads to adaptations and reinventions of profile and variation, a mutation, of positive and negative space.
Holler & Saunders, Ltd. was founded in 1979 by Edward Holler and Samuel Saunders, purveyors of Spanish Colonial furniture and decorative arts from Mexico and South America.
What started as a hobby by the late Edward Holler collecting prime examples of Mexican Colonial and folk art, he and his partner Samuel Saunders evolved the business into a full blown “look” that encompasses a sumptuous and exuberant expression of maximalism, grandeur, scale, symmetry and bravado always exposing the finest qualities of their original intention of seeking out the best of Latin American Colonial furniture and decorative arts.
Those interests led them to emphasize Colonial Revival styles as well as pieces of their own design which are produced by master artisans in Mexico and South America. Samuel Saunders carries on the business with more than 40 years of experience in the art of space design and interiors.