If you love bright colors, unexpected combinations and elegant touches, Holly Hollingsworth Phillips may be your spirit animal. She’s a second-generation interior designer (mom Nancy Hollingsworth specializes in English Country style), co-owner of The English Room with her super fab & followed instagram account, and writer of the popular blog Musings of Design Aficionado. Need inspiration for design, gifts, style and anything beautiful? Look no further.
She’s also a busy mom to her 3 children and her fur babies, and a lover of wine, travel and the Real Housewives franchise.
Here’s how Holly spends her days (interspersed with photos of how Holly spends her designing time):
7 a.m. … Wake up to my iPhone (and my husband, a morning person who can be quite loud and annoying .. and our three dogs who like to paw you in the face). I hit the snooze buttons as many times as I can get away with, and I always get up later than I should! I am an absolute night owl and could sleep all day. In summer all bets are off. I slept until 11 a.m. last Sunday.
Normally, I try to get up to exercise and get to my first meeting by 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. during the school year. During the school year I really am up by 7 a.m. at the latest. My family leaves by 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. in shifts. This is necessity, not choice. Luckily, my husband makes the coffee and breakfast and takes one carpool morning shift when he is not traveling. I sound lazy but I swear I do my part … just not in the morning.
7:01 a.m. … Check my phone. I check it as soon as my eyes open and go straight for Instagram. I normally wait until later to check email because it sucks you in and time melts away.
8 a.m. … After the kids are off, I walk my dogs for an hour. As for a workout, I am lacking in this right now. I need to do more weight-bearing exercise, which I plan on starting this fall. For now it is long walks (and hikes on the weekends) with my fur babies. I return home to drink coffee (I like to use sugar-free vanilla creamer. My husband makes great coffee — mine never is as good) and check emails and social media. I like to watch GMA and Kelly Ripa while getting dressed and emailing.
9 a.m. … Breakfast: avocado toast on ezekial bread with olive oil, and crushed red pepper if time allows. Add a fried egg if I am really hungry. Eggs Benedict is my favorite at Bricktops on the weekend.
9:15 a.m. … Get dressed. I am the fastest ever at getting ready. It is always an impulse thing for me. I just grab a staple dress of caftan and flat gladiator or wrap sandals and overload on accessories with tons of bangles and jewelry for summer. When it gets cooler I either add a fur vest and boots to said caftan or do a bohemian blouse, leather leggings and again load on the jewels. I live for the shoes, jewelry and purses. I can easily be dressed in five minutes. I rinse off each morning but rarely wash my hair. I am an every four-to-five-day wash girl. This is a major time saver and honestly my hair does not really need it. Which is great because I loathe drying my hair. I love wearing it down but often have it piled, braided or twisted on my head by the end of the day.
I am really loving Beautycounter products right now. I love what they stand for, and I adore their tinted moisturizer and oils. I use the face and body oil religiously. I started getting eyelash extensions again recently and this is also a game changer in the morning. You just need less makeup when you have these lush dark eyelashes. My natural blond short eyelashes need major help to get me looking awake.
10 a.m. … Head to the office to start the day. Between breakfast and lunch I am either meeting with clients on-site or at my office. I am often running to the fabric showrooms, tile places, etc, too.
12 p.m. … Lunch … sometimes. I skip lunch often. I shouldn’t but I do work through lunch. If I’m out I love the green smoothie from The Juice Bar. If I am really starving I order the green curry chicken from Deejai across the street. It is so addictive and amazing. Ru Ru’s tacos are also in the rotation because they are out my backdoor. I rarely go out to lunch because it eats up my work day.
1 p.m. … More meetings with clients or scheming projects.
4:30 p.m. … The rest of my office goes home but I’m still at it. I used to try to be home by 5 p.m. at the latest because my children were younger. They now also have after-school activities until 6 p.m. or later. After everyone else in my office leaves, I can get so much done. It is the one quiet hour in my day.
6 p.m. … Get home for the day. My nanny/driver that helps with all the zillion carpools leaves, and I’m often picking up from school on my way home if not going to Waxhaw for my barn carpool.
7 p.m. … Dinner time. I would love to say I cook a fabulous dinner but that is a big fat lie. I rarely really cook, but I prepare dinner probably four nights a week. Reid’s is my savior. I dash in on the way home to the Selwyn location and grab one the various marinated chicken breasts or kabobs, salad, corn or veggies and often those yummy cheddar garlic biscuits my kids love. We do takeout from Thai Taste or Zoe’s Kitchen usually one night. We go out on the weekends as a family on Friday and without the kids on Saturday. My teenagers often throw a wrench into this general plan.
During the school year I try to not go out more that one week night if possible. I find studying needs to be supervised or it does not happen so well. We go out with friends once a weekend if we can. I really also like to be home with my dogs on the sofa snuggled up.
8 p.m. … Family time (or T.V. time, or blogging time, or all three!). The kids “clean” (used loosely) the kitchen and help get organized for the next day. I love to watch T.V. while I work in our den. I often do my blog at night while watching some Bravo nonsense or a “Housewives of Wherever.” My husband hates my Bravo shows so he watches sports in the playroom. We join up for really good shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Homeland.”
11 p.m. … My goal is to be in bed by this time. I’m working toward this goal.
12:30 a.m. (or later) … I actually go to sleep, after checking Instagram and perusing a design magazine.
Weekends are for … Travel, wine and good food. I LOVE travel and it is my main source of inspiration. I am lucky to have a family that not only supports it but also enjoys the adventures. I have four fun trips coming up over the next little bit: to Palm Springs for an annual college girlfriends getaway, The Homestead with “Garden & Gun,” Savannah with blogger friends and Marrakech for a bucket list adventure with five other designer friends. I hope to get to our mountain cottage in Linville some too.
I try not to drink on weeknights during the school year unless I am going out. I would love to drink a yummy big buttery chardonnay or spicy margarita all the time but, life does not allow. Remember those 7 a.m. school mornings? I also love a good craft cocktail. I LOVE Foxcroft Wine Co. The wine selection is amazing. The food is so good and all my favorite things: cheese plate, salad with great nuts and dressing and — oh — the doughnuts. You must have the doughnuts.
I do not miss the out of school sports that used to consume our weekends. However, I travel to horse shows with my youngest. Those can make for early mornings. I cherish our time together though because she loves it so much and is fiercely dedicated.
I don’t know about you, but not only do we want to hang with Holly and travel with Holly, we want her to redo our house, like tomorrow.
A photo posted by Holly Hollingsworth Phillips (@theenglishroom) on