Thursday, August 24, 2017

Amazing Renovation

Lisa Luby Ryan is a designer from Dallas, Texas. Her work is beautiful and almost immediately identifiable. Lisa has a "look" and a certain way with creating interiors that is artful, layered, elegant - but simple. The internet has been a buzz with Lisa over the years, mostly for the publication of her prior home. The house was published not once, but three times! The beauty was featured first in Traditional Home magazine in 1999. Then again in 2003, and most recently in 2008 for Veranda's November/December Christmas issue.

When Lisa and her husband put the home up on the market in 2015, it took the world of design blogs by storm. The real estate photos showed Lisa's home at it's best. Lisa had totally refined her look, what now has become the signature LLR design. It sold almost instantly.

Everyone wondered where they'd go now that they had sold the home they'd built. Would it be larger? Were they downsizing? Were they going to move from Dallas for good, into the beach house they owned in Delaware? What would happen to all of the furniture? And would it look as good in a new space?

Then, in July of 2015, she shared the next step on her instagram page:

Lisa and her husband bought a zero lot line brick patio home in North Dallas, and it showed all of the standard features of a 1980's Dallas home. However, being the Francophile that she is, Lisa had a totally different vision for the house.

Making the most of her resources and her opportunities to shop for the house in the South of France, Lisa gathered limestone steps, a stone fireplace surround, and reclaimed wood beams for the renovation and had it shipped back for the project.

Larger openings were cut for windows that would allow more light, and for soaring floor to ceiling iron framed windows and doors that help for a seamless inside to outside transition.

Lisa had stucco coated over the existing brown mottled brick, a worthwhile update that took the house from meh to wow. The old pebble poured concrete was broken up in favor of large stepping stones and synthetic grass.

Remember the old limestone steps she found in France? Here they are used with Austin limestone in the entry to the courtyard. New lanterns and a reworked gate wall help create more of a French exterior.

Here you can see a progress shot, after the stonework was completed and the stucco was drying. It really does look like a new house now, doesn't it?

All planted up now, with espalier pear trees from Tennessee and boxwood.

And a little more current, the pear trees have started to spread and another before and after to show what a world of difference color can make! If you had a similar situation with your own home, and didn't want to spend the money on a stucco cover, painting the brick would be a great option!

During the renovation process, Lisa chose to use large steel and glass framed doors. These doors lead you into the house, and out onto the enclosed courtyard, and create a full view from into the courtyard from the entry.

Beautiful. Potted topiaries with white pansies and an antique French candle lantern welcome you right in. A gas lit lantern gives the space a romantic feeling. Ready to take a look inside?

This was a full scale renovation for Lisa and her husband. And the house was essentially recreated from scratch.

Lisa showed some of the progress on her instagram, with before and during pictures along with peeks at some of the interior design choices she was making.

Gorgeous wide-planked lime washed oak floors were installed throughout, and a stone fireplace from France was installed in the great room. I love that chandelier! The mirror against the wall gives you a peek into the kitchen. Lisa then dropped a ton of pics right before the furniture install.

Lisa redesigned the ceiling of the great room, completely removing the old awkward pitch, and making a cathedral ceiling for the entire room - covered with planks she found in France. 

Her French stone fireplace and updated wood floors make this room! Windows and doors were moved here to give Lisa the open floorplan she wanted. 

The master bathroom, inspired by a bathroom in France. 

She chose to panel the half bath. I am in love with this bathroom. Check out this photo of the mirror and Waterworks faucet that Lisa posted: 


And in her butler's pantry, another fresh design. Then, as if we weren't all jealous enough of this renovation, she posts this picture of her kitchen:

Stunning, am I right? Very European with flat press to open cabinetry along the walls, and one sheet of marble behind the stove. A 4' x 8' island floats in the center of the room. Lisa has a wonderful website, and for months I hoped she'd have the house professionally photographed so that I could blog about it here.

A beautiful vignette from her bedroom she showed on instagram let me know that she was getting closer to completing the house. 

I sat, patiently waiting, knowing that the result of all of her hardwork was going to be even more stunning that her previous house, which I loved. And then, after a revamp of the site, there it was!

The finished professional pictures of the house were up - and they were beautiful.


Lisa reused much of the furniture she had in her old home, and they look just as wonderful here as they did there. Proof that you can never go wrong buying what you love, or a neutral palette! All in all, it's a gorgeous renovation - truly inspiring. For more of her work, check out her website here, and her instagram here.


  1. This is fascinating, to see the before/after of the house and also to see how well the furniture works in the new setting.
    The mirrors and chandeliers are gorgeous.
    I am doing some face-palms because our house is surrounded by a wall, and we planted fruit trees along the back side. Should have espaliered them! That is just so French. Argh. Also the topiary boxwoods, which I did have but which got wiped out by a pest that ran through the region. Those will be replaced as soon as we get the all clear. No sense feeding the pests.

  2. Artie, this is fabulous and very much like Bruce Gregga had done in Montecito, which he sold to John Saladino I believe-
    This look is HUGE is Atlanta as well. We don't have as many French influenced houses here in Naples as I would prefer, but are starting to see more as an option to the modern white boxes and the transitional designs dictated by FEMA regulations.

  3. I recall the 1999 publication, it was my introduction to LLR. I was feeling uncertain about the cream, white, grey French pallet. I adored her style; the plate arrangement in the dining room, the oval repeated in the chair backs, her lighting choices featuring strings of crystal beads. I thought her style was beautiful while feeling natural, rather than purposefully carried out. The renovation of the garden home is amazing, love the metal windows. Thank you for posting this, great story.

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