Designer Christina Roughan Decks the Halls of this Historic Home

It's a magical Christmas when Mrs. Claus comes to town.
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A gold pinecone wreath from the Magnolia Company adorns the mirror in the dining room bar area, where Roughan created a wintry vignette. Photograph by Jane Beiles.

“We believe a home has a heart, and upon seeing this jewel box, our goal was to create something very special,” says designer Christina Roughan of Roughan Interiors about Wetmore Mansion—the home of Sam Green, Chris Lacovara and their twins, Kate and Alex. The homeowners requested that Roughan create spaces for their family that were welcoming with a mix of modern and traditional. “Our home in Bedford is old and a bit grand, but we have young children and wanted the house to be livable,” notes Lacovara. “Chris designs spaces that are elegant and comfortable at the same time, and she mixed modern and traditional elements in a way that suited both the house and our lifestyle.”

The historically significant home—originally designed for socialite Maude Wetmore by her architect cousin Charles Wetmore of Warren & Wetmore—was built for Maude as a layover between New York City and Newport. “Maude was our muse and inspiration” says Roughan. “We wanted to keep the historic significance of this stately home and create a modern updated interior.”

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In the entry, the Holland MacRae center hall table is draped in red fabric and topped with a seasonal arrangement. Greenery adorns an antiqued gold-leaf Brant hall lantern, which was found by Roughan at an antiques store. Photograph by Jane Beiles.

Once the interiors were done, it was time to decorate for the holidays, so Lacovara and Green again called on Roughan’s expertise. The holiday decorations took their cues from the designed colors in each room, which flow effortlessly from room to room while continuing the modern traditional direction. “The colors Chris chose for the house are really beautiful and subtle, so we wanted Christmas decorations to work with the palette in each room,” explain the couple. “The living room was the biggest challenge, since there are a lot of soft grays and blues. We were worried how the white Christmas tree that Chris proposed would work, and of course it’s stunning, with silver, crystal and ice-blue decorations, and lots and lots of snowflakes.”

Naming the rooms helped organize the design scheme. “The entry was called ‘Classic Holiday’ in red, gold and pine green; the formal living room, we called ‘Winter Wonderland’ in white pine, birch, blues and silver; and the dining room, ‘Evergreen & Gold Christmas’ dressed in green, gold and ivory,” explains Roughan. The dining room bar is festooned with white amaryllis and Christmas berries, along with pine and hemlock, plus a gold pinecone wreath mounted above the mirror with satin green ribbon. “It became a menagerie of sparkle that exudes the magic of the holidays,” says the designer. “We’ve only been able to host small family gatherings and a few friends due the pandemic,” says Lacovara. “But we’re hoping to get back to larger holiday celebrations this year—maybe a tree-lighting party….or ‘trees’ lighting, since we now have three.”

Every corner of the home, inside and out, has a touch of Christmas. “Last year, Chris added a tree and decorations in our family room,” says Lacovara. “We wanted something a bit whimsical, so the decor had an animal theme—miniature bears, reindeer and chipmunks—plus an army of tiny nutcrackers. The twins were enchanted.”

“They have five-year-olds who can’t get enough of Santa,” says Roughan. “In fact, I am known as Ms. Claus, who arrives before Thanksgiving with her elves to create Christmas for the children. What a compliment!”

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The silver wreaths are through the Magnolia Company. Photograph by Jane Beiles.

What was the family’s first impression when seeing their holiday home? “The first time we saw the house decorated for Christmas, we just wandered from room to room taking it all in,” says Lacovara. “And the twins were just amazed—they wanted to touch everything and know what it was and where it all came from.” Green adds: “I have a fond memory of walking through the house for the first time with the decorations up and our four-year-old Kate asking, ‘Papa, who did our decorations?’ Caught off guard, I replied, ‘Well Kate, Ms. Claus did it.’ From then on, Christina has become Ms. Claus in our house! We couldn’t imagine a more beautiful home at Christmastime.”

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Home for the Holidays.