If the weather outside is frightful, inside this Shawnee home it’s still delightful.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matthew Anderson
Hey, Santa! Just listen! We can explain! There is good reason the driveway was flooded with hundreds of boxes in preparation for the holiday season. You will soon see that this is the most beauty unveiled into one home.
Even though the homeowners of this gorgeous residence unpacked in excess of 300 boxes of holiday décor items, it was all for a good reason. This phenomenal interior holiday stage will definitely make you feel as if chestnuts are roasting over an open fire; that Jack Frost is nipping at your nose; and that it truly is the most magical time of the year. For all we know, the home just might have been under elf surveillance, as it certainly does hit every single mark of the holiday spirit. You see, the owners of this one-of-a-kind residence in Shawnee, Joe and Stephanie Layne, wanted their first official Christmas in the home last year to feel special, like a real Winter Wonderland. And while they certainly have enough design savvy themselves to give it a festive layer or two, it did require the professional help of designer and good friend, Stacey Puliatti, owner of Puliatti Living, to truly pull it off.
“Stacey came out the weekend after Thanksgiving last year and basically spent about four or five days helping us set this all up,” recalled Layne, who relied on Puliatti’s expert interior design services when he and Stephanie, were in the process of building this home – their dream home – two years ago.
“I have been an artist for 20+ years and am a designer second,” explained Puliatti, who clearly stands out as a visionary with her insightful and creative holiday touches throughout this home. “I love to decorate for Christmas. I will map an entire house out and turn it into a whimsical wonderland. It just gets my creative juices flowing!”
Even before one stepped foot into the home, it evoked the feeling that perhaps Santa was actually on the other side of the 12-foot tall front doors. Upon crossing the threshold, relaxing holiday music pulsed through the veins of the house, adding yet another layer of awe and wonder. The holiday mood in this home was not just seen, but it was felt and heard. It was a true embrace of the senses.
The rooms all wrapped up in the holiday spirit included the main living areas, the kitchen, the dining room, the upstairs landing and the downstairs recreational room and bar area. Puliatti also installed all of the floral arrangements on the exterior of the home. The exterior lighting, however, was outsourced to another company.
“This home has incredibly gorgeous front to back views and we wanted to bring the woodland feel that is seen outdoors into the home,” explained Puliatti. “When you entered the home from the front door, you felt as if you were about to enter something special, like a true Winter Wonderland. It was absolutely breathtaking and phenomenal. And the main tree had such a presence about it that you could easily get lost in it. It is definitely full but not overly done.”
Transitioning into the dining room, Puliattti wrapped a painting on the wall to look like a Christmas present. She also dressed up the adjoining table and buffet. One can almost smell a mouth-watering meal in the works.
“I handmade the chair sashes and the trees setting on the buffet, which are hand-crafted with real Swarovski crystals. Each one is unique and special, created so the light would reflect them without being gaudy or overly-stated,” expressed Puliatti, who also handmade all of the garland on the trees, the banister, and around the chandelier in the main living area.
Never losing steam with her creative influence, Puliatti added unique touches throughout the home. For example, the mantle in the great room houses an subtract painting (originally done by Puliatti for the owners), and when she added the small trees and deer around the painting, it brought forth a 3-D effect, giving the year-round painting a new and picturesque look, perfect for the holiday setting.
Creating this holiday paradise was clearly a lot of work for Puliatti and the Laynes, but there is no denying it was a true labor of love.
“I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places over the holidays, but I have never seen anything prettier,” smiled Puliatti.
The entire scene within the home could easily put Scrooge in the holiday spirit, as it is all so soothing, almost like a fairy tale.
“It had a Christmas movie appeal to it, with the romance, love and holiday spirit the home exuded through each decoration,” said Puliatti. “Joe and Stephanie are precious people to me. I adore them as friends. They have given me opportunities to do some cool things with their home, which has allowed me to push my own design limits. I truly believe this is the most beauty you can see in one house.”
Will the Layne family recreate this magical experience year after year? Yes, but perhaps not exactly to this celebrated degree.
“We took photos of each decorated room last year, so we could remember how to redo the setup in the coming years,” explained Layne. “Our two girls really loved it and my wife was especially excited about it. She is a big fan of tradition and because this was our first holiday in our dream home, it was important to me to create this wonderland for her. She has always dreamed of a white Winter Wonderland type of Christmas, as she didn’t have that growing up in Las Vegas. It just made sense to do this.”