The Glam Pad simply adores author and tastemaker Holly Holden, and when she recently started posting pictures on Instagram of her beautiful Palm Beach apartment, we couldn’t wait to take a look inside. Today, Holly has graciously invited us for a tour of her tropical getaway, Petite Fox, which also just so happens to be for sale!
Q: When did you buy Petite Fox, and what condition was it in when you purchased it?
A: Last October 2020, we stepped out of our Covid respite in Vermont and accepted an invitation to attend an event in South Florida with friends. My husband suggested we continue on to Palm Beach, knowing that I would love to have a place there someday! I had just debuted my Pearls of Palm Beach book, so I was thrilled to go. We stayed at the Breakers. While at the pool, Stuart pulled up the image of 300 S. Ocean Blvd – it was love at first sight! I called a friend who introduced me to Guy Clark – a designer and a wonderful real estate agent, and now a dear friend. He made appointments for me to see five places the next day – the first one was 300 South Ocean Blvd. That was it- I was immediately smitten!! A month later, we closed. It was the day before Thanksgiving… Talk about being thankful!
The moment I walked into the apartment, I felt it’s joyful “personality,” what I like to refer to as “old- school chic.” From the 9′ columns to the well appointed wood mouldings, faux mantelpiece, substantial fanwork inlay over the door to the den on the mirrored wall, along with a view of the ocean from the bedroom and from the both balconies on either side of the apartment, and even the kitchen designed with black walls and appliances, I adored it because it felt inviting. I think it is the perfect medley of architecture, where pretty Palm Beach meets classical New England!
Q: What renovations, decorations did you do, and what was your inspiration?
A: It was in fine shape – it just needed some Holly-fying! I had the living room walls and ceiling painted in my bespoke pink. Then, I had mirrors installed behind the dining room lattice work, hinting at a touch of glamour. The den/office, which we also use as a swing bedroom, had to be a “happy bubblegum pink” to contrast with the Stark zebra carpet and Baker black- bamboo appointed desk.
The master bedroom color was inspired by the Bob Collins & Sons, W. Palm Beach, fabric that I chose for the pull curtains and bed dust ruffle. The pastel sky blue on the walls and ceiling serves as a calm respite and enhances the view of the ocean.
The dining room salmon color was taken from the Clarence House printed linen. The black Venetian antique mirror complemented the black kitchen. We placed an Asian folding screen to visually separate the two rooms.
The charming front hallway has an arched door entering the Living room, and is mirrored on the right side above the chair rail. I had an artist paint 6” wide stripes in mint green and white on the remaining walls above the chair tail.
Other than that, we had a new AC system and a new hot water heater, installed to replace the existing units.
My inspiration came from the existing woodwork. I always strive to make an inviting abode for family and friends to enjoy, with a hint of elegance and a touch of old-school chic!
We love to entertain so the antique bar cabinet in the kitchen was a perfect accoutrement! I adore Chinese Chinoiserie, especially when it is intertwined with English antiques, a touch of Hollywood glamour, a few serious Chinese porcelains, and a sparkly antique Venetian mirror. These design details are representative of Palm Beach, which has a natural flair for an international lifestyle. This is also where modern contemporary art meets celebrated traditional art.
Q: How did your decorating decisions differ from your style at Fox Hall?
A: While many of the design aspects are similar, white painted wood floors and an abundance of white decorative accessories, naturally set the scene for Palm Beach.
The lighting could be slightly less formal too. Stuart and I replaced 21 candle-lit chandeliers at Fox Hall, our 1803 home in Farmington, CT (that’s a LOT of candles to light each night!) when we renovated it twenty years ago. So, besides choosing the paint colors for Petite Fox in Palm Beach, we immediately set out to find attractive light fixtures.
Venetian Murano glass light fixtures and mirrors are at home in Palm Beach, so I ordered a pink and green (my favorite color combination!) Murano glass chandelier for the front hallway and had it shipped from Italy and installed.
We purchased a glorious beautiful 20th century Lalique Chinoiserie inspired electrical light sconces for the bathroom, and a chandelier to complement them. We also installed a chandelier for the closet and one for the dining room.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Petite Fox?
A: The 1975 designed building has a splendid sense of “resort” with tree lined balconies. Walking from inside the elevator to your floor when the door opens up outside with a sunny balcony which runs the length of the building and overlooks the pool, Palm Beach, a slice of the ocean, and pink sunsets, is fabulous. The sweetest neighbors live in this building, and it will be hard to leave both, but our friendships shall remain, as we are only moving three blocks away.
The 9′ high ceilings are decadent- an aspect rarely found in apartments in Palm Beach. The generous size of the living room is perfect for entertaining!
Q: Do you have any favorite collections or treasures on display?
A: Traditional genre paintings are at home in Palm Beach, especially alongside modern works. We have a collection of Paul Maze‘s paintings. Paul was a close friend of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and his artwork is displayed inside Blenheim Palace. I filmed an episode of my PBS television series here with Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, who also wrote the Foreword to my Palm Beach book. It was at Blenheim that I was first introduced to Paul Maze’s artwork.
We also collect Chinese porcelains, which add an attractive dimension to walls when displaced on wall brackets. My father lived in Teinsin, China as a child and I lived in Taiwan as a child, so I am naturally attracted to Chinese porcelain and Chinoiserie inspired designs.
Q: What are your favorite things to do in Palm Beach? Restaurants, shops, museums/gardens, etc.
A: We visit Paris each year for a month, so one aspect we enjoy about living in the center of Palm Beach is walking to museums and to the many top notch restaurants, a ditto to Paris! Cafe Boulud, Cafe Europe, La Goulue are only one or two blocks walk. I walk our dog down Worth Avenue each morning, which is only three blocks away. (I think she enjoys window shopping as much as I do!)
We can walk two blocks to the stunning gardens of The Society of The Four Arts, the grounds of the Flagler Museum, and The Breakers Hotel. It is a walking town, from the beach across the street to walking along The Lake Trail, or over the bridge to West Palm Beach, it’s truly a slice of heaven to be located so centrally on “the island!”
Thank you, Holly, for that delightful tour!! What a perfect Palm Beach getaway!
Holly has since purchased another apartment on the island, which she is in the process of Holly-fying… Which means Petite Fox can be yours! Click here to learn more about the listing.
To learn more about Holly Holden, please visit her website hollyholden.com and sign up for her weekly e-newsletter, Secrets to Lovely Living. You can follow her on Instagram @hollyholdendesign. To read more about Holly, as featured by The Glam Pad, please visit the links below… and I also highly recommend her books, Pearls of Palm Beach and The Pretty and Proper Living Room.