Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Design: Lisa Luby Ryan

As promised, Color Outside the Lines has moved into Christmas mode, and our decor lead in is designer Lisa Luby Ryan, of Dallas. Many of you left comments on Ms. Ryan's interiors featured yesterday, and I am sure you'll find inspiration in the photos below.

Please note, all names have been provided by Veranda, and any mistakes are borrowed from Veranda as well. And all floral designs seen here and in yesterday's blog are a product of the genius mind of designer, Christopher Whanger of J&C Designs, in Dallas. Visit his site at

The Contents Page of Veranda, Nov-Dec 2008 features a taste of the delicious design of Ryan's Dallas decor. The faux zebra covered Oly chair is an example of the one seen in her shop photos yesterday. Notice the plaster reindeer with fresh garland reigns, a delightful pairing.

Veranda's Cover for the Ryan pages. The antique mercury glass ornaments used in Ryan's trees by Residential Interior and Special Event designer, Billy Milner, has particular relevance to me, as the tree I decorated for the masculine living room of our 1920's bungalow features a variety of mercury glass - both old, and new. But before we get to that, let's take a look at the entry of Ryan's home:

A simple but elegant draping of fresh garland and silver ornaments adorns the stair, while a wreath boasting a natural variety of greens and silver ornamentation is the perfect introduction to a home filled with beautiful Christmas decor.

Here, in the living room, the tree is a wash of silver and white. Shape, size, texture, and finish all vary but the layering is impeccable. The glass table shares the stage, with it's own fresh and beautiful display of mercury glass candle sticks and unused ornaments.

Ship and sailing Diorama's are used throughout Ryan's home. Her husband is an avid sailor. What I find must intriguing about this mantle design, is how the art still shines, even though Christmas has moved in. This is a wonderful lesson for all: you don't have to remove everything to make your home feel decorated for the holidays. A simple spray of fresh garland a well placed ornaments will give you just as much joy.

Milner used 19th-c. French grape drying jars to hold fresh flowers in the Family Room tree. Isn't this spectacular? French grape drying jars are no different than English or American drying jars - so don't go thinking that this is too pricey for you to replicate. It's no more than a glass jar!

Here, Milner's tree is a retreat from the normal. Copper tubing is used as garland, the fresh flowers in jars are spread throughout the tree, and the varied shades of the glass ornaments provide shine and sparkle from top to bottom. Starfish, green, copper, champagne, and silver ornaments all add life to the massive tree.

I hope that this has provided you with a little motivation, and a lot of ideas as you move into the season of tree-decoration. Don't be afraid to take a step away from the ordinary, and use more creative and interesting items in your trees, like copper tubing, grapevine wreath and twigs, feathers and flowers, etc. These should be a statement of you, your family, and your love for decorating. So ... in the spirit of this blog, COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES this year, and make sure to send your holiday decorating photos my way!