Thirteen years ago, Angie Hranowsky, then a graphic designer, remade a lowly 1940s Sears kit house in Charleston, South Carolina, with turquoise dining room walls and a chocolate brown grasscloth ceiling in the den. The assortment of midcentury furnishings included a Saarinen chair covered in purple Ultrasuede. The renovation was low on budget, big on statement. In a town ruled by rigid preservation, the little house of color got noticed. Hranowsky left graphics for interior design: “This is what I was put on the planet to do,” she says.
Today, Hranowsky’s flamboyant mashup is in demand with clients from Charleston to San Francisco. She’s built a reputation as a designer who has been consistently ahead of the trends, buying midcentury pieces in flea markets before midcentury was a national preoccupation and dispensing heavy doses of purple and hot pink before Pantone caught up. “It’s not deliberate, just instinctual,” she says. “I see the colors and patterns in my head.”
Her rooms may not be beachy in an overt sense, but they are nonetheless seamlessly suited to the coast. “‘Coastal’ for me is not white and blues and shells,” she says. “When you live by the coast, it’s a free-flowing lifestyle. I like spaces to be relaxed and lived-in. I want to design spaces where people hang out.”
In one sentence, what’s your design philosophy?
Homes that feel original, well traveled, lived in and relaxed.
What are some of your favorite places to go antiques shopping?
Anywhere that I’m traveling to… New York City, Miami, Atlanta, Mexico City
What are your favorite fabrics/materials to use in a beach home?
Nubby woven textures, wood and rattan.
Which artists are you currently loving?
I am loving Helen Frankenthaler’s work, I always have, but I’ve really gotten into her work recently. I also love the work of contemporary artist Ethan Cook. His hand-woven canvases made on a wooden loom are incredible.
Describe your perfect day in Charleston.
A yummy breakfast at home and then a day at the beach with my kids and watching my daughter surf. Then an evening of dinner and drinks at a friend's house with all of our kids running around outdoors.
What’s your ideal frozen treat on a hot day?
Most inspirational coastal place you’ve ever traveled?
What’s always in your beach bag?
SPF 50 sunscreen & a hat
What’s your favorite beach activity?
Laying on the beach and reading a good book or a magazine & swimming with my kids.