Designers at Home: How We Deck Our Halls

Like everyone else, the ladies of the Lane are busy putting out all the trimmings in our own homes to share in the spirit of the holiday season. This decorating ritual, celebrated in one way or the other worldwide, can be both fun and frustrating! The endless movies and shows we have watched, with actors playing out all the comical situations we can find ourselves in during the holiday chaos — Clark Griswold tangled up in strands of Christmas lights comes to mind — entertain us year after year. Always hilarious on the silver screen but not quite as funny when you find yourself knotted up in lights and buried under tinsel! Bottom line is we will all likely experience some Bah Humbug along the way but if we all remember that some of those pitfalls will make some of the best cocktail conversation in the New Year that should help maintain our sense of humor!

If anyone is still in need of Christmas decorating inspiration we thought we might share a few pics and ideas that we each personally do in our own homes to keep ourselves merry and bright.

As the belle of the ball, the Christmas tree should stand tall, stunningly bedazzled from top to bottom. Tree trimming, like almost anything in life, is a glimpse into some part of your personality. So shine on, Oh, Christmas Tree! There are endless ways, options, and styles that can help you embellish her. One rule that we all subscribe to at Ivy Lane is that your tree should come from nature and not out of a box. The faux trees can be pretty, convenient, less messy, and lower maintenance, but our personal preference is STILL to keep it natural and real, even in the face of these conveniences. Stay strong!

The Festive Family Tree


A Festive Family Tree is best decorated with all the ornaments collected along the way. Usually the family tree is colorful in its adornments, dressed with colorful lights or glass beads, ornaments telling the story of your life, and special pieces given to you by family and friends.

 Hanna when she was a first grader; and Caulley, also when he was in first grade, working on his sales pitch for more toys. Total salesman.

Some of my personal favorites are of course my children’s contributions through the years…


…and then some sentimental time capsule pieces like these given to me by my maid of honor on my newlywed Christmas.

There are also souvenirs gathered on fun vacations.

img_4248Strangely a family favorite. Whole family Scooby fans. 

All of these are the kinds of priceless pieces that simply can’t be replicated, and best of all they take you on a trip down memory lane. I consider this kind of tree to be a little like a personal highlight reel, with you and yours as the stars of the show!

The Show-Stopper Tree


A Show-Stopper Tree is also a beautiful and bright way to enjoy the glow of the season! These trees are finely curated to dazzle you, like something out of a Winter Wonderland! There is a sophistication and elegance that makes you want to pour some eggnog and sit by a crackling fire in admiration of a job very well done!! The ornamentation on a glamorous tree like this gives you a festive feeling that draws your attention but also fits and works with the overall decor of the room.

No matter which kind of tree you choose — or maybe you are even inspired enough to put up two different trees to show the many sides of you — decorating should add some holiday cheer to you and yours.

We wish all our family, friends, clients, and the entire Stylebook community a joyous and happy, healthy holiday season!!! We hope to see you in the New Year and hear all about how good Santa was to each and every one of you!

  • The latest from Alex

Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox combine their formal training in design and fashion with their renowned sense of style in Ivy Lane, a full-service interior design firm that curates casually elegant family dwellings that are elevated by a unique spark. Whether an entire house renovation or a one-room makeover, Alex and Courtney’s extensive experience and collaborative dynamic inform a successful design philosophy: thoroughly understand the client’s lifestyle, bring a thoughtful spatial perspective, and enliven the space with the freshest aesthetic interest.

309C Cameron Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314


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