photography by Andrea Zucker
The Christmas-colored sunroom at the Moore home is an eclectic mix of architectural fragments, antique wallpaper panels, and a chintz-covered couch — all boldly anchored by a zebra rug.
Warner Moore lives in our first featured home, which is located on Central Avenue near Chickasaw Gardens. A well-known interior designer and debonair man about town, Moore has decorated a number of elegant homes in Memphis, as well as in Aspen, San Francisco, New York City, and Palm Beach. Over the years he has been affiliated with Shea Design, founded by the talented Lynda Shea, and together they have gone on multiple trips to France looking for beautiful objets d’art to suit their clients’ needs. Moore also designs special events, including weddings, one of which was held in the chapel of Napoleon’s tomb in Paris.
If it is true that every home represents a storyline, then Moore’s place is living proof of this notion. Favoring classic eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Continental furniture, mostly French, he has passionately handpicked his furnishings throughout the years on his many trips to Europe. There is a sophisticated charm and elegant coziness about his home with its collections of tortoise-shell mandolins, Napoleon figures, small bronzes, antique books, and richly colorful old Paris porcelain (his favorite).
Textiles including Aubusson rugs, velvet upholstery, and tapestry pillows add warmth, as do the many candelabrum he features in every room. While clearly favoring antique silver and porcelain, Moore also is drawn to natural materials such as shells, Arkansas rock crystals, and feathers on his bar for the holidays. Stone statuary and classical architectural fragments exist in his home alongside artistic creations by Memphis artists including Caroline Russell, Kat Gore, Janice Albertine, Matthew Hasty, and David Mah.
In general, Moore thinks people “get too overly concerned about mixing colors.” To prove this point he has used varying shades of purple, coral, and pink as accent colors in his own interior décor. As an accomplished flower arranger, his favorite flowers — amaryllis, roses, lilies, heather, viburnum — play a large part in his holiday decorating.
Moore decorates his Christmas trees with ornaments collected from all over the world, including mercury glass sentimental favorites inherited from his grandparents, angels from a monastery in France, and even a frivolous little frog he bought (of all places!) on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. And of course, his crèche and its figures are faithfully placed every year on his piano.
Creative talents run deep in Moore’s family. One of his two daughters is a poet and the other, a former Hollywood set designer. He himself has a beautiful voice and sings in the choir at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral every Sunday, often soloing.
Whether at Christmastime or any time, Moore believes a home should look as though it has evolved over the years. His credo is that “anything you love, will work in your home” especially at the holiday season.
Our second home belongs to Dr. John Lochemes, a surgeon with Memphis Orthopaedic Group, and Bryson Cayson, a realtor and interior designer. This will be their first Christmas in a magnificent, 10,500-square-foot Germantown home. Cayson was charged with the overall interior design of this stately mansion, which features six bedrooms and nine baths, and he makes a point of “buying local” from businesses such as Millennium Home Furnishings and Interiors on Forest Hill-Irene Road and Natural Creations on Collierville’s Town Square. Tim Miller, a good friend and Natural Creations’ owner, was brought in specially to help decorate the home for the holidays, and he tells me that last year he decorated more than 60 homes for Christmas and expects to top that incredible number this year.
The home is furnished with large, contemporary upholstered pieces, some inherited antiques, and a few eclectic touches such as James Gill’s Pop-art “Marilyn” painting in the living room and the “leg” lamp and doctor’s bag in the study — humorous references to Lochemes’ work. The house glows from within due to the kitchen’s “kick lighting” that illuminates the hardwood floors and the magnificent chandeliers used throughout. That glow has now been turned up a few notches with Miller’s placement of six (count them!) Christmas trees downstairs adorned with colorful, oversized ornaments, glittery ribbon, and miniature twinkling white lights. For his part, Cayson admits he is an “organized hoarder” and has saved many old favorite decorations which are reused from year to year. In addition, this season Miller has festooned the trees and three mantels with an artful mix of natural elements — birch twigs, pine boughs, berries, and feathers — and delicate floral stems of tulips and snapdragons.
Adding to the enjoyment of our photo session was the piano music wafting through the house provided by Adam, one of Lochemes’ two sons. Adam is a St. George’s student and a multitalented musician who plays piano, drums, and guitar. A grand piano lies at the foot of the magnificent staircase, while a huge room upstairs is filled with all kinds of musical instruments.
This year one very special tree in the house — “Emily’s Tree” — is covered with unique Christmas ornaments handmade by Emily Lauren Ferguson (her initials are ELF!). This little elf is the daughter of Christopher Ferguson, one of Lochemes’ partners, and she is currently being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Emily is selling these very special ornaments to raise funds for St. Jude, and she was on hand to meet us along with her mother, Christa, when we arrived for our photo shoot.
For more information, please go to www.stjudetributes.org. Enter “ELFS.r.real” in the “Search for a Tribute” box and the Ferguson/Lochemes tribute will pop up.