Shoppers drive hundreds of miles into the heartland, drawn to Nell Hill's, the home furnishing store in Atchison, Kansas, known for its layered, lived-in, neo-Victorian style. Proprietor Mary Carol Garrity has become a bit of a cult figure for her warm, relaxed presentation over preparation philosophy and her affection for both the antique and valuable and the worn and found. Her comfortable but elegant style has now expanded into books, including Nell Hill's Style at Home and Nell Hill's Christmas at Home. The newest addition, Nell Hill's Entertaining in Style, features luscious photography that further illustrates Garrity's great eye for decorating with accessories like old china, textiles and cast-iron urns, and her expertise in pulling it all together using natural elements from pumpkins, gourds and pine cones to tree boughs and tons of faux foliage. Garrity's home, as well as the homes of friends, is the scene for parties including Easter brunch, a summer sip and see (baby shower), a fall garden mini-fete and a Christmas Eve supper. Close-ups, detailed descriptions and tips reveal why the settings look so enticing, and menus and some recipes are also included. Garrity takes a confident, stylish approach that turns a bunch of fabric, furniture and objects into an expressive home and a magnet for friends and family. My goal is to so captivate guests, Garrity writes, they won't notice if the mashed potatoes or turkey have gotten a little cold.

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