A Star in the East
THIS MARYLAND HOME GLITTERS WITH VICTORIAN ELEGANCE THAT REACHES ITS PEAK DURING CHRISTMAS.
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.
HUNG WITH CARE
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.