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THe North shore weekend

10/25 – 10/26/14

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‘Pretty and Proper’ author poised to engage Winnetka showgoers ■ by katie rose mceneely

Holly Holden, a designer and the author of “The Pretty and Proper Living Room,” is speaking at this year’s Antiques + Modernism Show in Winnetka on Nov. 8. Reading: I just bought the book “The Hotel on Place Vendome” by Tilar J. Mazzeo. I normally do enjoy reading about architectural history and interior design, especially the kind I admire. Nancy Lancaster — a designer that I admire and respect — was a Virginian, and she ended up marrying into British aristocracy and designing four different houses (she had four different husbands). She went on to own [the British decorating firm] Colefax & Fowler. What she did, and what I try to do, is make rooms look evolved and not designed, so they’re very inviting and comfortable — formal, but unpretentious. I create rooms with no velvet ropes. Listening: I usually listen to Bach or Chopin or Debussy. Watching: “Downton Abbey”! It’s definitely my genre of design. I’m in the process of working to create a PBS program about my book, so PBS is up in the top, as far as I’m concerned. Following: I like to follow the art world, and I’m a big advocate of auctions. I purchase the majority of accessories and furniture and art for my clients at auction. I follow them through a publication called

“Arts and Antiques,” referred to also as “the Bee.” Activity: The Women’s Board of the Winnetka Community House Antiques + Modernism Show found me, I believe, through a lovely blog called Frances Schultz. She reviewed my book, and Kristin Shea, who is working on the committee for the show, contacted me, and we decided it would be a very good match. I was delighted when they invited me to speak. “Inherited Style” is the name of my talk — a lecture and tea at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8. I’m looking forward to meeting all these board members! They seem so delightful and engaged at the Community House, so I’m really looking forward to meeting new people. I’m also working on the next book in a series — “Pretty and Proper Palm Beach.” I think it’s due probably the end of next year — it’s very exciting! It’s a little different than New England. Eating: We travel non-stop, so I’m always trying new foods. We’re going to Paris in November, and we love French food. On a daily basis: yogurt. Since it’s starting to become fall, I’ve been making soup. What is your favorite mistake? My biggest mistake was not writing this book “The Pretty and Proper Living Room” earlier. I really enjoyed doing it. I wrote it for my daughter, who was moving to Germany. She was married in Berlin and as she was

Holly Holden photography

by dean greenblatt

packing up, she said, “Mummy, you’ve always done my interior design — could you just write some notes?” I started writing some notes and collecting pictures and eventually I had to get an editor. I gave it to her three years later! She had such good questions. As a professional you take some terminology for granted. I had so much fun because she would ask the questions that I wanted to answer, and it made for a very

easy, approachable design book. I call the style “Inherited Design” because most of the things are a secret code passed down to mothers and daughters through generations. It kept me very tempered and focused. For more information on Holden’s interior design, visit For more information on the Antiques + Modernism Show, visit or call 847-446-0537. ■

The North Shore Weekend EAST, Issue 107  
The North Shore Weekend EAST, Issue 107  

The North Shore Weekend (East Zone) is published weekly and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfiel...