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In this modern, fast-paced world we live in, classic design continues to appeal to so many of us. Partly because of its timeless beauty, but also because classic design carries within a romantic note of aspirational living. It is a reminder of times long-past that many of us wish to rekindle in our homes. As a decorator and interior design blogger, I have the privilege of looking at (and writing about) many beautiful homes and, if anything, this exposure has taught me the importance of antiques and vintage pieces in making rooms sing. You don’t necessarily need expensive antiques (although having them doesn’t hurt ?? ), a few beautiful finds or cherished family heirlooms will do the trick. Craigslist has brought luck to many an antique hunter, but thrift shops and antique markets are all great places to uncover pieces that have a unique story, and that will make your home feel special and tailored. Added bonus? When entertaining, quirky, one-of-a-kind objects are great conversation starters!

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“Decorate once…for a lifetime!” – Holly Holden?

If traditional and timeless design IS your jam, and love the look of a collected home, you will, like me, appreciate the work of Connecticut-based interior designer Holly Holden. I met Holly thanks to Instagram and I am so glad I did! Through her Emmy-nominated TV show with PBS, You Are Cordially Invited, Holly has graciously invited us inside two of England’s most exclusive properties, giving us a glimpse into their lavish interiors and the lives of their owners. The first episode features an impressive tour of Highclere Castle, the filming location of the award-winning series Downton Abbey!

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Highclere Castle

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Downton Abbey Cast ?

The second episode of You Are Cordially Invited takes us within the walls of Blenheim Palace, an equally stunning property in Oxfordshire, England, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Blenheim Palace

Aside from her TV work, Holly is the author of an enchanting book,?The Pretty and Proper Living Room. When Holly’s assistant, Kristen Lewandowski, reached out to me I had no idea what a treat this was going to be. I devoured the book the minute I received it. It is not only beautifully written but it is also a treasure for anyone who loves classically pretty interiors. Overflowing with decorating wisdom accumulated over 20 years of creating beautiful and timeless interiors, the book began, funnily enough, as a collection of notes on decorating from Holly to her eldest daughter, Alexandra, who at the time was moving to Berlin and needed guidance decorating her first “big girl” home. Before long, the notes evolved into chapters, garnished with hundreds of images that illustrate Holly’s sensible decorating suggestions. It was time to hire an editor! Today, the book is published and enjoyed by classic design enthusiasts around the world, yours truly included.

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The type of interiors Holly creates is aspirational, no doubt, yet her design advice is practical and applicable to many different styles of decorating.?For example, suggestions such as “buy things in pairs”, “recover cherished family heirlooms” or “ choose the vintage / antique over the store-bought when possible“ are universal.?As I mentioned before, I spent a joyous couple of days in Holly’s world and had a hard time returning to reality.

More recently, Holly and her daughter-in-law and design expert, Karen, have started a new Youtube Channel – Classic Design.?Every Thursday there’s a new episode so make sure to follow for continuous inspiration. If you’d like to purchase your own copy of The Pretty and Proper Living Room, you can do so here.

Until next time!?

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