Holly Holden is on a mission: to teach others about the touches that make an interior elegant, comfortable, timeless, yet unpretentious. She instinctively knows how to crack the secret code of old-school interior design. Holly’s design talent was inherited from her parents; she never attended design school. Her British father gave his tailored sensibilities, and her mother gave her a flair for entertaining.
Holly’s great grandparents met at the Emperor’s Ball in Vienna, Austria. Eventually, they moved to Tientsin, China, where they designed their home, Neibelheim, replete with a “gentleman’s” horse racecourse. The Empress Dowager of The Forbidden City appointed her great grandfather to be a high official of Customs (a position equivalent to Vice Premier); he opened trade for China with European countries.
Holly’s formative years were spent in Richmond, Virginia. Here, she attended an Episcopal girls school and graduated from Mt. Vernon College and, then, the University of Richmond School of Business. It was here that the gentility of Southern culture made an impression on her, which is clearly apparent in her work.
Today, Holly lives in a historic Federal house, Fox Hall, c. 1803, in Farmington, Connecticut, with her husband, Stuart. They have three darling children and
three six precious grandchildren! They take pride that every item in their house has a story behind it. Holly excels at placing herself and her family in an elegant tapestry of lasting beauty. Their house is a vibrant venue for constant entertaining.
Holly serves on two prestigious museum boards, is a trustee of the New Britain Museum of American Art, is a member of two Federated Garden Clubs, has been a commissioner for fourteen years on The Farmington Historic District Commission and is a member of The Farmington Congregational Church, and a sustainer of The Junior League of Hartford. She has also has served as the head designer for three historic Farmington renovations: The Porter Memorial, The Barney Library and The Farmington Country Club.
Holly in the Living Room at Fox Hall,
with her dog, Miss Lilly.
Col. & Mrs. Roderick Dermott Eason
Holly’s Great-grandfather, Gustav Detring
Niebelheim - One Race Course Way, Teintsin, China
The c.1860 European Fountain at Fox Hall