'Lilly was born Elizabeth Langham in England to a well to do family in Tonbridge Kent. She grew up in a somewhat run down old Georgian mansion that belonged to her Grandmother who it was rumoured to have been the mistress of the Prince of Wales before the First World War.
Lilly loved her grandmother and the family always told her how much “Lilly Beth” looked like her. Lilly Beth became an actress with her grandmother’s encouragement much to the dismay of her parents and brothers, who did not approve of a life on the stage .At the age of twenty she ran away from home to star in the Australian production of “Hair” and created the stage name…Lilly Love.
While in Sydney Lilly met and fell in love with a handsome young artist Damien Miller. They planned to marry but he was conscripted and went to fight in Vietnam. So they became engaged and had a blissful 6 weeks before he was shipped out to fight.
Lilly left the stage so she could always be with Damien whenever he had leave. She got a job with an interior decorator named Ray Siede. She rented apartment in a big old Victorian mansion on Moore Street in Surry Hills owned by a star of “Le Girls”.
Damien survived his first 12 months and they had a wonderful holiday together in Hong Kong. But six weeks after he returned to Vietnam Damien was killed in the battle for Long Ton.
Lilly lost the love of her life but thank fully with the support of her landlord and a close band of friends she survived those first months of utter despair and loss. Lily decided to stay in Australia and with a generous inheritance from her Grandmother she found a house she could afford to buy in Surry Hills next door to her landlord. She threw herself into her work and doing up her rather run down new home. She loves cooking and the kitchen is the hub of her home.
She found she had a talent for decorating and a number of the stars of Le Girls had her create on a shoe string budget comfortable rooms and flats for them. Then she got a call from America to make a film in Hollywood.
So off she went really excited only to find it was to be an erotic movie. The producer saw Lilly in Hair and thought that as she had taken her clothes off in Hair she would not mind staring in an artistic film.
Lilly was taken aback but when she found out the money that was being offered she thought what the heck, she put on a black wig and called herself Lilly Loveless and went ahead and starred in the movie.
Lilly spent six months in Hollywood and met a lovely young English lady called Rachel Ashwell who was just starting to make a name for herself, as an interior decorator. Rachel had introduced America to the concept “Shabby Chic”. Lilly fell in love with the concept, it reminded her of the happy home she had shared with her much loved grandmother.
She left America with the idea to return to Sydney and open a shop. While in Hollywood she visited a shop called “The Pink Door” and liked the name so much she thought she would name her shop “The Pink door”. Lilly liked America, but found she missed her home and her life and friends in Sydney. She realized she did not want to act anymore so home to Sydney she came with idea of the shop firmly fixed in her head.
Shabby chic made her think of the home she grew up in and the comforting surrounds of her grandmother’s home in the beautiful Kent countryside. She knew she could make a success of championing the style in Australia.
Lilly opened her shop in 1982. It is a treasure trove of the style and her home next door reflexes her love of the comfortable style that is “Shabby Chic” She loves the soft pastel shades and has created a shop and a home that reflexes her instinctive ease with this type of interior decoration.
She has a couple of pieces that are family heirlooms and collects blue and white china and antique books.She has never married and lives a full and happy life with many friends in the art and entertainment industry.'
(Thank you Div, for sharing Lily's story with us!)