Style Inside

Highland Holidays

When the owner and her family purchased this Ladue home three years ago, they got to work putting their personal stamp on the interior, infusing it with bold colors and cozy touches inspired by Scottish charm. The space is gorgeous all year, but it really shines during the winter months, when it provides the perfect backdrop for memorable holiday magic.

T&S | How would you describe your decorating style?
It’s more masculine than a lot of homes you see now and not necessarily what’s on trend. We’ve both traveled extensively, and a lot of our decorating was inspired by that—much of the furniture consists of antiques we found traveling. I spent a fair amount of time in Scotland with my family, and my husband is a big hunter. We combined those loves and designed the house for our family and our lifestyle.

T&S | It looks like you go all out for the holidays.
I’ve loved Christmas since I was a little girl. When I was young, my mom collected ornaments and gave them to me as gifts. It’s very sentimental—I’ve gotten an ornament representing every major life event. My husband and I now do the same for our little girls. For us, the holidays are special because we get to spend time with family, and seeing everyone enjoy the time together makes it that much more meaningful.

T&S | Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, we go to Pea Ridge Forest to get our Christmas tree, and if you ask my kids and husband, it’s our favorite day of the year. Another tradition is having our nieces and nephews over to decorate cookies. The togetherness is magical, and the house is set up perfectly for it.

T&S | Do you do much entertaining during the holidays?
We prefer to entertain in small groups. We usually have a small dinner party with our closest friends, rent a carriage and ride through the neighborhood. We also host Christmas dinner with my whole family at our house. There are a lot of kids, so we open up the dining room doors into the breakfast area so everyone can be together. We love that the house has a mixture of relaxed and formal rooms, but it all flows and blends together easily. When you have small kids, you have to be able to live in the house and not just look at it.

T&S | What renovations have you done?
We drastically changed the house from what it looked like originally, and I did most of the work myself. We wanted something warm and comfortable. We installed new floors, replaced the columns in the family room with beams, added French doors in the living room that open to the patio, and partially redid the kitchen and bar area. But most of the changes came through decorating.

T&S | You’re not afraid of bold colors. Tell me about the green ceiling.
I can’t say enough about how paint can transform a room. The green is a lacquer from Fine Paints of Europe. The idea came from a wedding I attended in California, in a home that had a red leather ceiling. We have used green a lot throughout the house—my husband and I love the color, and we’re always looking for ways to make rooms pop. The green wallpaper in the dining room is a heavy, tapestry-like fabric done by Scalamandré. I saw something similar in a castle in Scotland that I stayed in with my parents when I was in my early 20s. It stuck in my head.

T&S | What about the red room?
That’s my husband’s office. The paint came from Cook Brothers. I wanted something that would pop and provide a nice transition from the adjacent room. My husband was pretty nervous when I said I wanted to go with red, but now it’s his favorite room in the house.

T&S | What room do you spend the most time in?
The family room. We have a fire in there every night during the cooler months. I chose the grasscloth wallpaper in that room because my husband loves it. It was important that he be happy and comfortable in the house—I didn’t want him to feel like he was living in a house designed with just my preferences in mind. The rug in the family room is custom-made by Hakimian Brothers Oriental Rugs.