A Star in the East


Victorian Homes - - Contents - By Han­nah Roberts

This Mary­land home glit­ters with vin­tage Vic­to­rian el­e­gance that reaches its peak dur­ing Christmas.

On the edge of Bal­ti­more County lies the quaint com­mu­nity of Parkville, Mary­land.

Here, Lisa Lutsche and her hus­band David live with their four chil­dren in a cozy, 1,200-square-foot du­plex that once housed World War II vet­er­ans. In the 15 years since the Lutsches moved in, their home has been grad­u­ally trans­form­ing into a Vic­to­rian hide­away that brightly wel­comes the Christmas sea­son.

Lisa first be­came en­am­ored with Vic­to­rian style through a visit to her best friend, Les­lie Storm, when she was re­sid­ing in his­toric An­napo­lis. “She had dec­o­rated her 1800s Vic­to­rian home with orig­i­nal Vic­to­rian pieces,” Lisa re­calls, and she was “mes­mer­ized” by all the beau­ti­ful de­tails. “Les­lie also in­tro­duced me to Vic­to­rian Homes mag­a­zine, and I found much of the in­spi­ra­tion for my own dé­cor from brows­ing through the pages,” she says.


As flat­tered as we are to have helped her in her process, it’s clear to any­one who vis­its Lisa’s home—par­tic­u­larly around the hol­i­days—that she has quite a knack for the era. Her goal has been to make guests “feel as though you have gone back in time to the mid to late 1800s,” and she has ac­com­plished this through a com­bi­na­tion of cre­ativ­ity and ded­i­cated search­ing.

“My pieces have come from var­i­ous sources and lo­ca­tions,” she says, “in­clud­ing yard sales, es­tate sales, sec­ond­hand stores, an­tiques shops and ebay.” The lovely red 1860s set­tee, a par­tic­u­lar fa­vorite, came from lo­cal shop Cuomo’s An­tiques. Her fa­vorite haunt, how­ever, is Ryan’s Relics in the nearby town of Not­ting­ham. “This store was opened and started by a nice, very young man along with his sweet wife years back,” she says. “His em­ploy­ees are mostly fam­ily, and they’re very per­son­able and a de­light with which to do busi­ness.” She also ap­pre­ci­ates the shop’s fair pric­ing, which has helped their sin­gle-in­come fam­ily to achieve their Vic­to­rian dream. And, of course, she loves imag­in­ing the sto­ries be­hind all the vin­tage trea­sures she brings home to her col­lec­tion. “I would say Ryan’s store has pri­mar­ily [ex­isted to] fur­nish my home!” she laughs.


When it comes to adorn­ing her home for the hol­i­days, Lisa is noth­ing if not fas­tid­i­ous—quite a feat for a woman also home­school­ing four chil­dren be­tween ages 9 and 16. “I love for my dec­o­ra­tions to be placed per­fectly, like you just walked into a fancy depart­ment store staged for Christmas,” she says. “I’m al­ways look­ing for that ‘wow’ fac­tor.”

Her hunt for eye-catch­ing ar­range­ments never leads her over the top if she can help it, how­ever. “I try to be care­ful not to take away from my ev­ery­day dé­cor,” she says. “I don’t like a clut­tered, junky look, or Christmas dec­o­ra­tions that clash with my ex­ist­ing dé­cor.” Thanks to her care­ful ef­forts, the Christmas em­bel­lish­ments com­ple­ment her scheme like bells on a sleigh.

Left. Lisa in­volves her fam­ily in the dec­o­rat­ing, but saves her­self a few treats. "The first floor par­lor Christmas tree is 'hands-off' and only dec­o­rated by my­self," she says. "I am very metic­u­lous and strate­gic about each or­na­ment and its place­ment."

Rome wasn't built in a day, and nei­ther was Lisa's Christmas spread. "It has taken me many years of weed­ing out or­na­ments and chang­ing up gar­lands and such to fi­nally get the Vic­to­rian look and feel I was try­ing to ob­tain," she says.

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