Thomas Duncan Hall, Inc.

Special Christmas Event



Designers compete in Duncan Hall decorations

Duncan Hall is getting a little holiday cheer.

On the eve of the annual "Dickens of a Christmas" event, five local design teams will give a seasonal makeover to five rooms in the downtown hall. The overall design theme will be "Revisiting Christmas Days Past," but each designer will personalize their space.

On Dec. 1, Duncan Hall will be open during the all-day "Dickens" event so the public can view the designers' work.

"You can't beat the holidays (for decorating) because of the colors and the things you can do," said Jan Wright, owner of 1st Class Clutter and Sweet Lily Designs, who will work with Jayne McCliment to decorate the Victorian Tea Room.

Through December, locals will be invited to vote for their favorite room design at Duncan Hall and the winning designers will be awarded the use of the entire hall to host a fundraising event for the not-for-profit organization of their choice.


  • In the foyer and landing, Bertie Buchanan and Barbara Lauer of Buchanan Designs will be decorating for the American Heart Association.

    Lauer said their design will be simple and incorporate many natural elements, such as wreaths, fruit and flowers. "It will be similar to what you may have seen there when Duncan Hall was originally opened," she said.


  • In the Thomas Duncan Room, Stephen Clawson of Roth's Flowers will be decorating for the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Indiana.

    Because the room is very traditional, with dark oak walls, Clawson plans to use a lot of Christmas garlands and candles in his design.


  • In the Gertrude Shambaugh Room, Anne Brooks and MaDonna Compton of Butternut Hill will be decorating for the Lafayette Crisis Center.

    Brooks said they will create "A Very Jolly Tea" in the room, incorporating many elements of Victorian England.

    "This is an opportunity to do something for the community and we don't always get an opportunity to do that," Brooks said. "(This room) has a classic, comfort feel of yesterday. ... It will shine during the holiday season.


  • In the Victorian Tea Room, Jan Wright and Jayne McCliment of 1st Class Clutter and Sweet Lily Designs will be decorating for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

    Wright plans to create a decorative table spread with a French country feel. She wants to incorporate a lot of berries, feathers and flowers into the design.

    "When we get done, we're hoping for a cozy dining area look where anyone would enjoy sitting down for Christmas dinner," Wright said.


  • On the stage in the Grand Ballroom, Vanessa PeGan of the Mainstreet Mercantile will be decorating for the Salvation Army.


  • Finally, even though she won't be part of the competition, Judy Benedict will be decorating the exterior of the building in a fresh, holiday style.

    Benedict, a Duncan Hall board member and special project chairwoman, plans to use large pine cones, wreaths and fruit to adorn the hall's doors and planters.