The New Red Green

Gold, white and shocking blue are the new colors of the season for one St. Louis family.

By Barbara E. Stefàno
Photography by Anne Matheis


When Kevin and Keely Travers put the finishing touches to the construction of their house at Bellerive Country Club in July 2016, the traditional red and green of Christmas couldn’t have been farther from their minds. It wasn’t until months later that the fresh color palette put the brakes on the family’s first spate of holiday decorating in the new home.

“When [contractors] built it, we went with a navy-white theme that’s so trendy right now,” explains Keely Travers. “So, all our previous decorations were from our old house and just didn’t match the décor of the new home. Our whole family are Christmas fans, so we love traditions.”

Travers asked the advice of designer Patti Porter of Rusted Chandelier. The trendy Kirkwood boutique is well stocked with décor and furnishings for all seasons—and Porter had lots of ideas.

“I said, ‘Let me bring in some stuff.’ I had some hand-blown ornaments, and velvet and silk ribbons,” Porter says. “They were just so interested in many of the ideas we had to make their space really look spectacular, so it was like a clean slate.”

The Travers’s first big shock? A 15-foot tree…adorned in blue. Yes, blue. A towering tree that popped with silver, gold and blue ornaments; a large, red plaid bow; blue velvet trim with red accents; and bright coral wands that protruded from its branches. “I was so pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think I would love a blue tree,” Travers says.

Elsewhere in the home, Porter and assistant Jane Dalton made use of cozy mantels to add unique character to each room. More splashes of coral brightened these spaces without disrupting—or detracting from—the aesthetic the family enjoyed during the rest of the year. “We don’t remove anything on mantels or tabletops; we enhance the everyday décor,” she says. “To me that makes it look more like a showroom. That makes it much more personable. You can kind of see how people live in the home and try to bring some grace and beauty to really make it a very happy, family-oriented place where they can spend their holidays.”

And what’s Christmas without garland and lights? Porter’s smart placement of garland on the stairwells and on the second-story railing overlooking the great room helped tie together the spaces. “You could just see the kids coming out on Christmas morning and looking over that overlook, and seeing the gifts under the tree.” In addition to lighting the tree, Porter judiciously lighted existing planters and the family foyer for a look that’s festive yet elegant, unexpected yet quite expressive of the holiday spirit.

“It’s nice to be able to decorate trees and mantels to go with the room décor, and not just traditional red and green,” Porter says, adding that homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with decorations that step outside the norm.

“Decorate to the décor that you have. If your colors are brown and rust and gold, we have wonderful holiday ribbon in those colors that you can bring the holiday there. If you put a red and green tree in that environment it would look out of place. To make your home look cohesive, decorate with the colors you use all year-round.”    

Holiday design: Rusted Chandelier, 314-821-7881
Builder: R.E.A. Homes, 314-400-2119
Architect: Mitchell Wall Architecture and Design, 314-576-5888
Interior Designer: Tamsin Design Group, 314-282-0035
Cabinetry: Beck/Allen, 314-677-6713
Tile/Granite: E&B Granite, 314-645-3104
Woodwokring: Cheltenham Construction Services, 636-390-2111
Windows/doors: Kirkwood Home Gallery, 314-781-5151
Flooring: RS Flooring
Window Treatments: Cardinal Blinds & Shutters, 636-220-2269