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For The Home

All that Glitters

Author: John Roark
Issue: December, 2017, Page 52
Photos by Garrett Cook and Scott Sandler

A red carpet, copious poinsettias and a bounty of beribboned greenery welcome guests.
With a Dazzling Holiday Fete, Interior Designer Lynne Beyer and Her Architect Husband Ryc Loope Celebrate Family Past and Present

At the Scottsdale home of interior designer Lynne Beyer and her husband, architect Ryc Loope, Christmas is anything but by the book. When two creative forces reside under one roof, magical things are to be expected. A fallen tree branch is transformed into an exquisite centerpiece; a blueprinted gingerbread house includes such architectural embellishments as dormer windows and a pivot door; sparkling snowflakes float above the dining room table. Even the family’s dogs get dressed up for dinner. And in every room treasured heirlooms—carefully unwrapped for their annual holiday appearance—speak of time-honored tradition and unbreakable bonds that span generations.

As the song says, there’s no place like home for the holidays.

Holiday fashions courtesy of Saks  Fifth Avenue.  Fashion styling by Amy Videan.
“Each Christmas is different, but every year I want it to be over-the-top spectacular,” says Lynne, who credits her mother (also an interior designer) with her love of decorating the house to the nines for the festive season. “Being creative people, one of the things Ryc and I love is bringing out ornaments and decorations that have deep personal history and meaning, and putting them together in a different way every year.”

Eleven years ago when they joined their families, Lynne and Ryc each gained a son. As a new clan, their respective histories blended and new traditions were born. When the boys
were younger, a more structured holiday itinerary included attending church services followed by dinner at home and exchanging gifts. 

With both young men now in school out of state, the season is more freeform. “Whether they’re in school or traveling, we need to be flexible with the kids’ schedules and commitments. I guess you could say that our new normal is just winging it,” says Lynne. “As a family, we try to gather on the 25th. Christmas Eve is now about Ryc and me. It’s become our evening to attend mass together, exchange cards and gifts, and share a romantic dinner at home, just the two of us.”

Sumptuous faux fur throws invite cozy gathering around the hearth, which is embellished with poinsettias, pine boughs, and pine cones. Stockings for each family member —including dogs Lei-La and Lucy— will hold Christmas morning surprises.
While the nest may be empty, for this couple Christmas has lost none of its importance. Whether they’re visiting different Valley churches to take in the sights or hosting parties with friends, the couple savors the season for celebration.

“Ryc just loves this time of year,” says Lynne. “It’s funny; he’s a busy business guy. You’d never guess that he’s such a teddy bear when it comes to Christmas. He has just as much fun as I do.”

From their earliest memories, both Lynne and Ryc have had holidays filled with pageantry and tradition. As one of 13 children and the grandson of Russian immigrants, Ryc celebrated Christmas at the family home in Washington D.C. His father, a carpenter by trade, would augment the Christmas tree with trimmings that were cast aside at the lot. “He’d drill holes in the trunk and add branches wherever they were needed. Every year, people would wonder how we always managed to find a perfect tree.” In January, the family observed the Russian Orthodox epiphany, when kin from near and far would convene at his grandparents’ home in Pennsylvania. “The whole extended clan would gather,” he recalls. “Literally, the table started in the kitchen, went through the dining room, made a turn into the living room, and the kids were out on the porch. It took the whole day just to get introduced to all of your relatives.”

A wintery ceramic village twinkles on the piano. The Christmas tree is adorned with ornaments representing multiple generations of both Lynne and Ryc’s families. Atop the hutch, a battalion of nutcrackers—an annual gift from Lynne to her son Garrett—stands at attention. “I gave him one the first time I took him to see ‘The Nutcracker’ when he was a little boy, and every year since,” she says.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Lynne’s holidays always included church pageants, velvet dresses and patent leather shoes, and a home glittering with holiday finery. “I remember as a little girl lying on the floor looking up at the tree,” she says. “Everything was brilliant and sparkly, and it was snowing outside. It was like a quintessential Christmas moment.” It was during these formative years that the importance of tradition was discovered and ingrained.

“Every year, my mother and father and grandparents would gift my sister and I with an ornament,” she recalls. “I have always done that with my son Garrett and have included
Nicholas in the custom since he became a part of my family. These memories are collected from the beginning of my life. Unwrapping them every year is like being reunited with old friends. Each one has a history and a story to tell.”

Today, the couple’s tree bears the hallmarks of many generations—from antiquities of cardboard and straw and a set of hand-painted glass baubles (the first electric lights Ryc’s grandmother ever owned)—to ornaments made by the boys and fragile modern-day confections. The tree is a living reminder of family and friends, past and present.

“With good wine and champagne, you’ve got to have good toasts,” Ryc believes. “We share from the heart what we are grateful for.”
“Some of these ornaments are rough-hewn, made from whatever materials our ancestors had available,” Lynne muses. “It’s so special to have that mixed into the beauty of the things that we are so blessed to have today. We have some very good reminders of where we came from.”

As the couple puts the finishing touches on this year’s celebration, the anticipation of a beautiful evening is evident. Michael Bublé croons carols in the background, logs crackle in the fireplace and the bracing scent of pine lingers in the air. Work and school deadlines are set aside; jeans and T-shirts have been retired in favor of dressier apparel. Mild
Arizona temperatures enable the celebration to effortlessly transition between indoors and out; there is much laughter, undeniable merriment and genuine affection.

Glasses are raised, toasts are made, the season is savored and celebrated. “The past, the present and the future—they’re all wrapped up in family,” says Ryc. “There’s something magical about Christmas. Whatever it takes to make it happen, we make sure that we’re all here. Even if it’s just for a day, we reconnect, break bread and give thanks for the warmth, security, familiarity and comforts of home.”

One of many antique ornaments on the tree, this charming teapot was given to Lynne when she was 3 years old by her mother.

Ryc reads aloud from “The Russian St. Nicholas,” an heirloom edition that his own father would share with his assembled family every year.
Traditional Christmas dinner  includes roast pork, rosemary potatoes and scalloped corn pudding. At each setting, a personalized place card awaits. “Seeing your monogram takes the meal to a special level, and the cards are a nice keepsake of the evening,” says Ryc.

On a whim, the dining room wall was painted a rapturous red for the holidays. “I wanted that ‘wow’ moment as
soon as you come through the front door—that kind of glitzy glamour that stops you in your tracks,” Lynne
says. The table’s centerpiece is a branch left behind by a neighbor’s landscape maintenance crew. “It was the perfect size and shape,” recalls Lynne, who embellished it with silver paint and pine cones collected on neighborhood walks with Ryc and the dogs. “I love incorporating found elements into the holiday decor,” she says.

The master bedroom is warm and inviting thanks to sumptuous bedding, a luxe faux fur throw and candles flickering in the fireplace.
This handwritten note by Ryc’s mother was
found packed in the box of heirloom Christmas tree lights.

“We’re both designers, so every year we tend to go a little bit overboard when we build the gingerbread house,” Lynne says. Along with peppermint and gumdrop trim, this sweet collaboration features a pivot door and dormer windows.
The master bedroom’s hearth is resplendent with pine boughs, candles and snow globes. Cards collected throughout the years are displayed on ribbons, calling to mind many happy holidays together.
Photos - Clock-wise from top left: “When setting your holiday table, don’t hesitate to mix old and new,” Lynne advises. Here, antique dinner plates are paired with contemporary accents. The designer outlined a snowflake onto the tabletop mirror with a white dry erase marker, adding a touch of wintery wonder.

For Lynne and Ryc, the holidays are a celebration of family, tradition, togetherness and home.

Mild Arizona temperatures enable the celebration to move outdoors for dessert.

Christmas canines Lucy (left with Nicholas) and Lei-La (right) get into the spirit of the season.

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