Interior designer Laura Sullivan doesn’t rely on Christmas décor trends. For 16 years, the owner of My Favorite Design Inc., has performed her holiday design magic, creating personal reflections for high-end clients.
“When we decorate, we like to speak to the owner and get an idea of what they want,” Sullivan said of her firm’s approach. “We tailor it to the needs of the clients.”
Sullivan points out that she forms a close bond with her clients while working on their interior design projects, so providing Christmas décor is a natural extension of her services.
“We’re very familiar with the properties,” Sullivan said. “We’ve worked with these clients and got to know their families. They become friends.”
The relationships she cultivates result in 100 percent of clients granting her carte blanche to determine each year’s holiday theme. Most clients see the décor solution for the first time during a surprise reveal upon completion.
Sullivan started designing interiors 16 years ago. She added Christmas décor to her services after a commercial client, The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank, asked her to decorate its executive offices.
“I was asked to come back and decorate every floor of the building,” Sullivan said. “From then on, our holiday decorating services have grown into corporate gifts, custom trees for other commercial spaces — including Bishop Gorman High School — and holiday party planning.”
Her decorating services range from $1,200 to $5,000, depending on the extent of the decor. She develops individual holiday designs from her inventory of over 10 Christmas themes and various-sized trees. She prides herself on never using the same theme twice for a client.
Sullivan and her team, including her daughter and marketing director, Jordan Sullivan, start decorating properties the first week of November. On average, they typically complete two decoration projects a day.
After completing the homes of Las Vegas clients, the team travels to California, Tennessee and Idaho to install holiday décor for out-of-state clientele. Her team returns in early January to take down the decorations.
Sullivan granted our readers a private, guided tour of three distinctly different themes in Ascaya, Anthem Country Club and Sun City Anthem.
Modern Silver Wonderland in Ascaya
Sullivan transformed a 6,000-square-foot contemporary interior into a “Silver Wonderland” using an elegant white, gold and silver palette.
Taking advantage of the soaring ceilings, Sullivan installed a 15-foot Christmas tree in the main living area. She adorned the tree with miniature gold instruments, oversized ornaments, golden mesh ribbon, glittery doves and angels. A trio of gold angels with trumpets stands next to the tree.
“The theme is modern, clean and classic, which goes along with the owner’s style for this property,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan’s décor is simple yet elegant, complementing the home’s contemporary interior design and palette of gray with pops of red. She placed holiday-focused pieces strategically throughout the room, adding a subtle ambiance.
“This client entertains quite a bit, so we didn’t want to constrict them in their gatherings,” she added. “We kept the décor to a minimum.”
Next to the fireplace, a 4-foot vintage-styled Santa dressed in an ivory fur-trimmed hooded sweater stands holding a package and a Christmas tree. Flanked by a trio of tall gold cone trees, the Santa vignette warms the space using neutral tones and integrating different textures. Lighted birch branches set against the wall add to the visual effect.
Glittery silver-wrapped packages with ribbon and garlands of greenery, ribbon and ornaments add a festive touch to the tabletops and stone fireplace hearth.
The tabletop décor in the formal dining room plays off the Vahallan hand-painted wallpaper and custom Italian table with crystal legs lined with silk-backed chairs.
Sullivan purchased most of the items for the Silver Wonderland display this year and will add the items to her expanding Christmas inventory after the season. The home in Ascaya is the second property Sullivan renovated for the homeowners. She met the couple 10 years ago when they renovated a home in MacDonald Highlands. They purchased the Ascaya property in 2021, and Sullivan designed the interior and returned each season to decorate it for Christmas.
“These people are great,” Sullivan said. “They’re very nice and accommodating.”
Traditional Christmas in Anthem
In Anthem Country Club, Sullivan shifted from modern to traditional design. The holiday theme incorporates classic red and green with a touch of plaid.
“The owners have a beautiful cabin in Washington state,” Sullivan said. “So, we wanted to make their home feel like their cabin.”
She met the homeowners, Kristi and Jeff Savacool, when they relocated from Chicago in 2017 and renovated their 4,000-square-foot home. She started doing the couple’s Christmas décor three years ago.
“We love having a comfortable home where people want to sit down and cuddle up,” Kristi Savacool said. “(Sullivan) has an innate ability to match the interior design with your personality and how you like to live. Everything I’ve seen her do is fabulous. I recommend her to lots of people.”
A 12-foot tree takes center stage in the main living area. Lit with white lights, it features shiny red mesh ribbon, poinsettias, oversized red ornaments, red berry picks and pairs of faux-fur trimmed plaid ice skates. A plaid tree skirt and top hat tree topper complete the overall theme.
“My husband loves the ice skates,” Savacool said. “They are adorable.”
Sullivan decorated the fireplace using a central green wreath with plaid ornaments and burlap ribbon placed on the wall above the mantel. Accentuating the wreath, Sullivan decorated the black wood mantel using a mix of silver cone-shaped trees and red berry trees, tall silver hurricane taper holders and a central green garland with red berries, pine cones and burlap ribbon. Discrete wood tree stocking holders display two knit stockings hung by the firelight. Cozy red and white check pillows and reindeer-themed throws liven up the gray couch and finish the comfortable, inviting atmosphere.
Personal Christmas in Sun City Anthem
International travelers Kathi and Mickey Sarkin recently downsized to a 1,986-square-foot home and wanted their Christmas décor to be a personal reflection of their extensive journeys.
Sullivan chose three silver mini trees to line the main room’s fireplace hearth, displaying the couple’s 50 ornaments collected over 50 years of marriage.
“It’s all the places we’ve been,” Kathi Sarkin said. “We’ve spent a lot of holidays together in many places.
“We wanted our home to be special for guests and special for us,” she added. “I knew Laura could make that happen. She’s utterly brilliant.”
On the other side of the room, Sullivan incorporated burnt orange and gold tones into the central flocked, 7½-foot Christmas tree, complementing the warm tones of the couple’s interior and extensive art collection.
Glittery gold cursive Merry Christmas and Joy ornaments play off the various-sized warm-toned ornaments. In the tree’s center, two beagle ornaments represent their dogs: Sadie and Cash. Picks of gold berries and leaves fill the tree’s top, while an exotic cheetah-trimmed skirt finishes the theme. Sullivan added small touches such as tabletop Santas and gold packages to complete the arrangement.
Lining a shelf in the couple’s bedroom is another collection of 50 Hallmark ornaments, which had decorated the fireplace mantel at their previous home.
Sullivan first met the Sarkins more than 10 years ago. The Sun City Anthem home is the second property she helped renovate for the couple.