Lynne Coker of Lynne Coker Interiors gives Callanwolde a spectacular interview about decorating, large and small, for the holiday season, and how she and her family celebrate during this joyful season.
1. What are some of your inspirations for your room design for this year’s Christmas at Callanwolde?
I am inspired by the majesty of Callanwolde! I find inspiration in my own holiday traditions which have for many years included a trip to Christmas at Callanwolde. The grandeur of the Music Room envelops you with hand-painted silk wall coverings and elegant detailed molding on the walls and ceiling. The soft gray-blue palette with pops of coral makes this traditional room ready for fresh modern elements. Although formal, there are touches of whimsy for all ages evoking images of musical reindeer by the tree.
2. How do you celebrate the holiday season in your own home?
We look forward to celebrating with treasured family traditions handed down from our families. I always make a Christmas turkey and dressing the same way my Grandmother Hazel did for years before me. Keeping family stories alive is the greatest gift for our loved ones; it brings such joy to include special memories, like Christmas mornings with Mom and Dad. We stay home for Christmas; how else would Santa find us?
3. What are some professional tips you can offer people who want to decorate their homes for the holidays?
One element of design that is often overlooked is lighting. It is also one of the easiest things to do for the holidays. I have dimmers in every room for chandeliers, lamps and Christmas trees! It is amazing the difference a dimmer will make with your tree lighting. The glow of the bulbs becomes something more natural without the glare and you can see the details of the beautiful ornaments you have included on your tree. Even with the move toward flameless candles, you can still enjoy the warmth of candle glow with floating candles. They are safer to use and they make tables sparkle! You can keep your tree magical throughout the season by wrapping a few empty boxes that can stay for display. You can even add upholstery fabric to the mix and it becomes another design accessory suited to your own décor.
4. You are working on designing a tree for Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland as well this Christmas. How is designing on a small scale different than on a larger one?
Design projects both large and small require that spark of inspiration! Holiday decorating in particular is as much about the subtle details as the showstoppers. Although your tree may be in the starring role, the supporting characters become memorable with your unique combinations of colors and textures. Simple touches become grand gestures during this time of year. Although the quantity of required decisions is different, no detail is left undone on both large and small scale design work.
5. What is your favorite part about decorating for the holiday season?
I love the joy of the holiday season! I design and decorate all year long, and during this special time of year, I enjoy decorating with my family. We go together to select our live trees and it is great fun to bring out the boxes and decorate our trees with handmade garlands and collected ornaments.
We have a tree in our living room that was inspired by a tree I admired at Callanwolde years ago! There was a glorious tree in the Billiard Room adorned with gold crosses and the brilliance of the tree was something I wanted to bring to my own home. I include this tree every year and have added gold lights that when dimmed, seem more like candlelight within the tree.
Lynne’s work has been featured in the pages of Southern Living, Culture and Leisure Magazine, Portico, Birmingham Home and Garden, The Birmingham News, Southern Accents and Architectural Digest. Her work has also been featured on broadcast and cable channels. She has been recognized for her work by the Stevie Awards and the American Business Awards in New York.