Recently a Cote de Texas reader and a client of Lisa Luby Ryan’s, wrote to tell me that Lisa had sold her house! She did? That fabulous house in Dallas? A quick look around the internet and yes! After just a few days on the market and only a few showings, the house sold. That it would sell so quickly is no surprise – it’s a beautiful house.
Besides selling the house, there was a “garage sale” at Vintage Living, Lisa’s shop, and now - the wait begins. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we get a glimpse of her new digs when some magazine like Veranda or Traditional House photographs it for all of us to drool over.
For now, we have the real estate photographs to peruse. I thought it would be both fun and instructive to look at the house through the years and see all changes that Lisa made to the interiors. After all, she is a wonderful interior designer and to study what changes she made, and why, is a chance to learn from a talented expert.
So, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this look back at a much loved home!
The first glimpse the world got of Lisa Luby Ryan was in Traditional Home 1999 – 15 years ago. Wow. Has it really been that long? She and her husband had built a house in Dallas in 1995 – her inspiration was Cotswold, that charming area of England where the stone cottages are chock full of English antiques and accessories. When her house was first published, Lisa was a complete Anglophile.
I remember reading that article like it was yesterday. Her house was “sort of” like mine – maybe an English Range Rover to my Dodge Dart. Both of our houses were almost the same age and size and we had similar layouts: two stories with a large family room and kitchen combination at the back of the house. I only made the comparisons because I vividly remember being in awe of all the design choices she made to customize her house and wondering why I hadn’t thought to make the same choices. Maybe the answer was simply because she was Lisa Luby Ryan and I was……just me.
The details she installed in her house were what made it so special. There were antique beams in the family room culled from a barn in Pennsylvania. The dining room windows held old glass panes salvaged from the teardown house that once sat on their lot. There were old slate tiles in the foyer and the hardwoods were hand scraped to look rustic. The family room’s fireplace was made of stone, sandblasted to look old. Instead of open shelves that flanked the mantel – she used doors with antique glass that were designed to look like pieces of furniture. This particular detail really made me see green because my lowly mantel was surrounded by boring, builders grade cabinets and open shelves!
Rereading that Traditional Home article today I have to smile at this quote – “I call my look a kind of pared down English – a little less fussy and not a lot of clutter.” I’m sure Lisa smiles too because compared to her pared down aesthetic of today – the 1999 décor was filled to the ceiling with collectables and antique smalls and then some! “Pared down” is not an adjective I would use to describe her 1999 décor.
Besides the differences in the cluttered English style back then to today’s look, the other major change is Lisa’s palette. In 1999, the house was dark, heavy in reds and golds and patterned fabrics. Today – Lisa favors white walls and clean, streamlined interiors.
Throughout the years, her house was photographed many times for different magazines and each shoot showed a step towards the look she favors today. After the original article was published, Lisa opened her extremely successful shop. Her portfolio is large and is a testament to how desired her aesthetic is. Recently she announced that after 13 years, her shop was moving from Snider Plaza to the Dallas Design District. I wish I lived in Dallas!
I think it would be instructive and interesting to look at the house then and now. The real estate pictures are beautiful and show rooms never seen before. Whoever bought the house is really lucky. They got a real beauty!!
We’ve never really gotten a good photograph of the façade before – most of the ones in magazines were small. But wow – it truly looks like a stone cottage in Cotswold. The stone is beautiful and looks so old! I love the chimney pots – what a nice touch!
The front door is planked in the old style with antique looking hardware.
BEFORE: 1999 – a glimpse of the back yard with its natural looking landscape.
TODAY: There is a pool now and the landscaping is much more tailored – clean lines of box and clipped ivy. Even the furniture is more sophisticated. The master bedroom is on the ground floor – it’s window is at the right, overlooking the pool. The French doors at the covered porch are the family room and kitchen.
A view of the garage/pool house. There is a kitchen and bathroom above. Notice its charming shutters.
TODAY: The covered porch.
In 2003 we saw this small glimpse of the tiled entry hall and stairs with the dining room behind.
In 2008, Veranda featured the house in its Christmas issue. Here, we see a totally different house – all the warm colors are gone leaving a clean, white palette. The entry floor is the antique slate.
And in the mirror you can see there are oil paintings up the stairs.
Today: the house has been stripped bare of the decorative excess from the days when Lisa was a fan of the English country manor look. Today, she mixes painted and Swedish antiques with fewer but larger accessories. Today there is a crystal chandelier. Also, the slate floor has been replaced with a herringbone patterned wood floor. Again, more streamlined and less Cotswold.
The view up the stairs and down the center hall to the family room. Even the entry was changed, the accent chair is now gone, opening up the hall to visitors. Instead of the oil paintings there is a series of framed prints, something that Lisa really loves to use in her designs. She always gets the proportion perfect too – she uses large frames and mats which together create a large statement.
The living room has seen the most changes. In 1999, she used a red kilim and furniture with chintz upholstery and a large pine cabinet jammed packed with English accessories.
A few years later in 2003, a more neutral rug was placed in the room, along with a new collection of mercury glass. This look is very much like what Ginger Barber and Carol Glasser were doing in Houston. Lisa still uses this same coffee table with the mirrored glass top.
In the corner – there was this vignette. Red and golds everywhere. I wish these old pictures were better quality! Sorry!
In the Veranda 2008 Christmas issue, Lisa showed us her totally redecorated house – all the reds and golds were gone, replaced with whites and creams. Two new contemporary styled sofas faced each other. The pine dresser is replaced with a painted piece, barely shown. New rug. The coffee table remains.
A larger view of the new patterned rug and curtains in cream. This photoshoot was such a change from the English inspired décor. I loved it – and so did everyone else. It reflected a large change that was happening in décor around the south at that time. After decades of red painted dining rooms, white and gray paint was going up all over and this aesthetic was exactly what so many wanted.
Today: The living room is even more pared down. The printed curtains are replaced with plain white linen. A more traditional sofa with a linen slip replaces the two contemporary ones and two French chairs sits across it. The white cupboard remains, as does the coffee table. New textured rug. A fun zebra covered chair provides a bit of whimsy.
Now, Lisa owns a furniture store and it’s possible that she cleaned out her house and then styled it with things from the shop – just for the sale. I have no idea if this is how it looked when she lived here or if this was just styled for the sale. But regardless, I love it. It’s clean and airy and streamlined with just a bit of frou-frou with the gathered slipcover.
The dining room with its vaulted ceiling is a favorite room. The leaded windows have old glass panes from the original house. There is a stone fireplace. The barley twist chairs sit around a wood table. The room is very English country manor house and is quite beautiful.
The Veranda Christmas issue showed a totally new dining room. The iron chandelier was exchanged in favor of a French one. The wood table was replaced with one with a limestone top and antique column legs. Linen slip covered chairs are new. The same patterned curtains in the living room are seen here.
And another view.
Here the room was styled with different chairs. You can see the collection of creamware on the walls that is so beautiful. I’m not sure which dining room décor was the one that was more permanent – this table or the stone one. When designers show their houses in different magazines, sometimes they bring in new furniture just for the pictorial, so it’s hard to know if this setting is how it always was. Either way, I love the dining room – architecturally it is beautiful.
And today – I love this! There is a mix of new and old with the white chairs and the old table. There’s a beautiful antique cabinet, along with the new white curtains. I love the crystal chandelier and sconces. Lisa has replaced all the light fixtures with crystals ones. On the walls, the ironstone plates remain, which is a favorite part of the décor.
I love the leaded windows! They are fabulous!!!!!!
A close up of the stone mantel. Just beautiful. Beautiful!!!
In 1999 the family room was very comfortable and welcoming. The stone fireplace with the flanking doors that hide the tv is a wonderful idea that Lisa had – and a detail that I really loved.
And here is how it looked a few years later. Very English cottage with a patchwork sofa. Remember those? I loved them!
Lisa is very religious and is active in many charities. The biblical saying stenciled on the wall is very important to her as it remains today. To learn about Lisa and her amazing path to God, go HERE.
The Veranda shoot showed a cleaner, calmer décor.
Here – French chairs with slips. On the club chair is a cute contemporary fabric.
And today – you can finally see the family room! I love these pictures after all these years – 15!!!! Waiting all this time to really see the house, it’s even prettier than in the magazines. Here are the antique doors that are now in a distressed gray finish. Before they were wood stained. Love the French chairs – with the wood frames. Antique leather chairs.
A view of the French doors to the swimming pool.
The view to the kitchen and the living room through the French doors. The house has an open flow for entertaining.
Just perfect for a family room – wouldn’t change a thing!
The breakfast room in 1999 – with the country French table and chairs.
In 2003 – the wall now is covered with a collection of antique plates. The iron chandelier is so pretty.
The kitchen has brown stained cabinets and black granite? countertops.
And later, in 2008, a wood table, French chairs, and a painting where all the plates once were. A crystal chandelier replaces the more country styled iron one.
Today, the table and chairs remain, while linen curtains were added. The biggest change is the renovated kitchen. The stained cabinets are now distressed gray with white marble counters.
The kitchen is now much more up to date and makes the house seem like new construction.
In 1999, the master bedroom had a beautiful Adele Kerr iron bed.
In 2003, the walls were painted a bit darker.
Across from the bed is a bamboo armoire and a pair of wing chairs.
For Veranda, a totally different look with linen bedding. A set of antique doors are so pretty!
A French wing chair sits next to the painted night stand.
Cute slipcovered chairs in the bedroom.
Today – there is a new rug, and new slips and linens, but the room is similar to the Veranda photoshoot.
The master bedroom was totally renovated. New limestone floors and new shower door. The bath tub was removed and an antique sofa sits in that space. New crystal chandelier.
I love all the crystal chandeliers throughout the house. They are just so classic and all the other types of chandeliers that were in the house now seem trendy and dated compared to the crystal ones.
In 1999 the guest room was wallpapered and done up in a very English style.
The guest room today.
And the bathroom is completely updated. Love the cabinetry. Beautiful marble shower.
Another guest room – looks like Farrow and Ball wallpaper, but not sure.
Love the way this guest room is decorated. Great bench!!!
Above the garage is another guest room with a kitchen.
And finally – it is such a beautiful house! Under 4,000 sq. ft. - it seems the perfect size for a family, not too big, and not small. Although the house has had many updates, it retains the charm of the Cotswold styling of its beginning. Today, pared down with less possessions – the house seems to shine even more. It makes you want to edit, and then edit some more! It would be so interesting to see how the new owners will decorate, maybe one day we will get a chance to see.
Much good wishes to Lisa and her family in their new home!
To view Lisa Luby Ryan’s web site and portfolio, go HERE.