Holly Hill’s homeowner spoke exclusively to the Coaster and TheBPlot about why she chose to open her doors to the community and what the 2011 Stately Homes by the Sea Show Home means to her…

A garden at Holly Hill

Elaine Chevalier:  I am grateful to VNA for being there for me and my family. In 2004 my tibia was crushed in a skiing accident and I was non-weight bearing for six weeks and living alone.  The VNA came in and helped me through the ordeal.  Afterwards my mother who lives in Sayreville, severely broke her arm and leg.  The VNA came into her home after her surgeries and rehabilitation to help us acclimate her to living at home again. 
The VNA is always there no matter what your life situation is to help us through the tough spots in life.  I wanted to be there for them.
I love all the rooms in Holly Hill and I always have. 
Each room has always had a special place in my heart and memory: The great room loft for that wide open feeling when you want to look out over  the high view of beautiful central Jersey with the Navesink  River and the ocean (where often on Saturdays one can spot a cruise ship beginning its weekly journey);  The library where I could snuggle up with a book or work on a bridge game with friends; The rec room where my three children spent many hours with their friends.
I could go on and on.  Now the house that I love is dressed in full regalia thanks to very talented designers and  lovely volunteers of the VNACJ, many of which have become like family to me.

Holly Hill

Of course the play house (Swede’s House) sitting at the back of the property, which my son began when he was eleven years old and completed just before he left for Cornell has a special place in my heart. It was also redesigned along with all the other magnificent outdoor spaces of the property.
I have lived at Holly Hill for twenty three years and my love affair with the house and the property has been brewing for all that time. 
I wanted to share that love with the community and thought that the VNACJ house tour would be the perfect way to do so. 
My time at Holly Hill is coming to a close – it is available for purchase.  I hope I can pass her on to some wonderful family who will appreciate and enjoy her as much as I have.
Stately Homes by the Sea 2011 at Holly Hill, 813 Navesink River Road, Locust, NJ.  Open Tuesday to Sunday until June 12.  Tickets $35 at StatelyHomesByTheSea.com.
For the Coaster and TheBPlot’s preview tour of Holly Hill, click here.
To learn about the home’s rich history (Built in 1934 by New Jersey state senator and superior court Judge Thomas Brown), click here.
Or to learn the secret to making your home a Show Home from one of the fancy-pants interior designers Scott Sanders, click here.