Tastemaker: Holly Sneeringer
Holly Sneeringer behind Elegant Country Style has become a daily inspiration source for me. Being from Savannah, Ga and now residing in Richmond, Va, I appreciate a sophisticated but approachable style. Holly shares her love for flowers, interiors, entertaining and how to create a beautiful home on her instagram and blog. Her passion for writing has organically opened up exciting doors for she and her sister Brooke with Elegant Country Style.
I am so happy to share their love for design and for you to fall in love with Elegant Country Style!
What does elegant country mean to you?
I’ve always thought of myself as more of a city girl, but one day I realized that what I’m drawn to the most is more of a sophisticated country style—no matter where you live. In my mind, elegant country style has elements of the traditional Southern style, English country style, and a little bit of shabby chic. Among other things! It’s a casual chic look that blends high and low elements.
What has happened within your company that you were not expecting?
Well, the fact that it is actually a company—or at least becoming one has surprised me! I am a writer and began the blog as a distraction from the novel that I’ve been working on. I’ve also been surprised at how much I’ve learned from my readers and followers about interior decorating and the art of home. There is so much creativity and a generous spirit that has really inspired me to keep building on what I started.
Designers you look up to and pull inspiration from?
I truly respect interior designers much more now that I’ve spent some time researching and investigating their world. Not to mention trying to actually do what they do! I’m inspired by the work of many, but my go tos are Eric Ross, Charlotte Moss, Cathy Kincaid, Ben Pentreath, Max Rollitt, Mark Hampton, and Nancy Lancaster. I’m also very inspired (maybe even more so) by the tastemakers who don’t actually call themselves designers like Furlow Gatewood, Bunny Mellon, and John Derian. I’m much more drawn to real rooms and homes that are lived in and loved with lots of character rather than just decorated, so I’m inspired by people who create art in their homes everyday with vignettes and tablescapes and so on. My mother and grandmother did this effortlessly, and even though they had very different styles (and were not designers) they both had a flair all their own.
Favorite flowers to incorporate in your designs?
Peonies, Queen Anne’s lace, lilacs, tulips, poppies, hyacinths. So many. But really whatever is in season at the moment. I’m drawn to natural designs that have movement and some kind of unexpected feature that draws your eye toward it—berries, fruit, wild vines like honeysuckle.
Any fun projects coming up?!
We are already beginning to think about the holidays believe it or not. We are decorating the drawing room at Harvey Ladew’s Manor House for the Holiday Open House at Ladew Topiary Gardens. It’s a historic old white farmhouse that Mr. Ladew renovated during the 1930s with assistance from Billy Baldwin and John Fowler. He entertained and hosted elaborate parties with impressive guest lists. Cole Porter actually played the piano in the room we will be decorating for the holidays. So we are honored and excited to be a part of this.
What kind of art speaks to you?
All of it! I love old world still lifes and portraits. I love landscapes –traditional and abstract. I’m particularly drawn to domestic scenes and botanicals. I believe what critic John Berger said about people noticing the artwork in a room before the furniture, and I love seeing how art transforms a space, whether it is subtle or bold.