Holiday Style Redefined

If You Go…
L’Esprit de Noel Holiday Home Tour & Boutique takes place Nov. 21-23 (10 am-4 pm) in the Belcaro Park neighborhood. Advance tickets are $18 at King Soopers or through the Central City Opera box office (303-292-6700); tickets cost $20 at the door. Boutique admission and parking are free. For more information, visit centralcityopera.org.To play up the great room’s dramatic Front-Range panorama, designer Robert Eurich used a nature-inspired theme for the holiday decorations—notice the reindeer figurines, vibrant amaryllis and green garlands. The floor-to-ceiling draperies helped inspired the masculine color scheme of moss greens and chocolate browns.The place settings feature crystal plates from Nachtmann, placed atop copper chargers, with glass-snowflake ornaments as take-home favors for the guests.

Scott Lynes isn’t the kind of guy who gets excited about holiday decorations. Sure, the businessman has a great eye for style—his 13,000-square-foot Cherry Hills home is impeccably appointed. But trolling the local boutique for Santa Claus figurines isn’t on his to-do list. In fact, the only collectibles in this home are his mint-condition Spiderman comic book covers, which are meticulously framed in the media room downstairs.

So it was clearly an act of selfless philanthropy when Lynes offered his house last winter to be part of the Central City Opera Guild’s annual L’Esprit de Noel holiday home tour. The popular fundraising event, now in its 32nd year, features five area homes, each festively styled with holiday decorations. A duo of designers—a florist and a tableware merchandiser—descend on each home and deck the halls with an impressive array of garlands, trees, ornaments and ribbon. Patrons buy tickets to tour the homes during the event, with proceeds benefiting the Opera.

“It’s not that I’m a Scrooge or anything like that,” Lynes says, “but I just don’t like a lot of glittery goo-goo in my house during the holidays.” But since he’s an active arts patron, for the sake of the Opera, he made an exception.

Not, of course, without first setting some guidelines. When floral designer Robert Eurich of Ramah Flower Co. and table designer Terri Harmon of Compleat Gourmet and Gifts came to Lynes’ house to dream up the design, he gave them simple marching orders: “I told them I didn’t want any Santas or snowmen. I wanted something that felt contemporary, almost funky. It needed to look like it belonged in my home.” The resulting design turns traditional holiday décor on its ear—proving that there’s more to Christmas than kitschy red-and-green goodies. The holidays can be subdued, muted, even masculine. More to the point: Christmas can be contemporary.

Scott Lynes bought his Cherry Hills mountain-modern home two years ago, when it was just a set of plans and a hole in the ground. Working with interior designer Susan Schwab of Creative Environments, he built the residence from the ground up, hand-selecting every finish, paint color, fabric and doorknob to fit an overall design theme: organic contemporary. “We decided that the home should be modern, but not too stark,” Schwab says. “So we used different natural materials—burled-wood cabinetry, bamboo floors, Lucite tile and different shades of slate—to give it an inviting feel.” There’s even a crystal fireplace, which elegantly opens to the library and living room. Schwab also applied a warm palette of coppers, bronzes and plums, with mossy green as the connecting color throughout the home.

Eurich and Harmon, the holiday designers, drew upon the green for their holiday concept. “If we had used traditional Christmas red and green in this house, it would have looked garish,” says floral designer Eurich. Instead, he applied apple and mossy greens (found on the gift-wrapped presents under the tree) and chocolate browns (the reindeer figurine on the coffee table), adding splashes of gold and copper to achieve festive holiday glamour. Then, drawing upon the home’s organic overtones, he added plants and greenery. Detailed garlands—sprigs of pine, flourished with gold-dipped twigs and fruit—are draped over every mantle, and even on the dining room chandelier.

Look even closer, and you’ll notice the decorations’ intricacy: for each room, the holiday-design team established a mini-theme inspired by the home’s existing furniture. The dining room’s theme is glass—dictated by Lynes’ elegant blown-glass wall sculpture, the room’s conversation piece. Eurich punched up the centerpiece with hand-blown glass ornaments that echo the artwork. To complete the look, Harmon chose elegant crystal plates by Nachtmann, placed on copper chargers and mod placemats from Chilewich. In the living room, the theme is music—inspired by Lynes’ grand piano—with musical ornaments and figurines subtly incorporated into the centerpieces and garlands. And in the great room, the theme is nature—to complement Lynes’ panoramic view of the Front Range.

Both Eurich and Harmon admit that matching the home’s contemporary aesthetic with a festive feel was, at first, difficult. “The biggest challenge here was to make it look ‘holiday,’” Harmon says. But, as the finished result proves, it is possible to create a smart holiday design that reflects a home’s year-round style. Even Lynes was impressed with the outcome. “They did a good job,” he admits. “They really listened to me when I said I want to do things you might not find in other homes.” But here’s an even bigger seal of approval: this busy bachelor threw a huge holiday party last year—in honor of the decorations.

Categories: Architecture & Interiors, Christmas, Interior Designer, Interiors, Other, Person Career, Quotation, Stylemakers