Welcome to the home of Larry Oliver and Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, two graphic-designing badasses who dabble in home design, greenhouse building and concrete-picnic-table making. Basically, they have more talents than they have last names and chief among them is making the rest of us hobos jealous. But don’t sweat it, vagabonds, follow these five simple rules and you too can have a totally killer dark-gray-on-the-outside, black-and-white-on-the-inside, chic-as-hell house.
1) Have Impeccable Taste
What’s that? You owned a beanbag chair once? You’re out.
Don’t be a puss, put it up. Preferably black and white. Preferably Fornasetti. It’s-ah Italian.
3) Grow a Money Tree
Let’s be honest, this overhaul ain’t gonna be cheap, so fingers crossed you find some magic beans.
4) Be Better at Life in General
This house isn’t a house. It’s a lifestyle. So ditch the canned cheese dip, make like that movie and Step Up.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
5) Get Replicas of All Five Things
Kickstart your collection with exact replicas, artist renderings or toddler doodles of all five of the couple's favorite things. Credenza
This faceted wood credenza is a custom piece co-designed by furniture maker, male model and general overachiever, Chad Rohde. Initially, Oliver and Laubhan-Oliver wanted to use the credenza as a bar, but then they remembered the sisal rug. Turns out sisal, which looks like one of the most durable rugs on Earth, actually isn’t — it totally can’t handle spills. Go fig.
Jeff Stephens Prints
Jeff Stephens is a local fashion photographer and friend. He’s also insanely talented, which is a good tip if you want an amazing house — have talented friends. Or possibly see if the Laubhan-Olivers are willing to adult adopt you.
Maxine Helfman Photograph
Since Oliver and Laubhan-Oliver have so many custom pieces, they tend to sell the furniture with the house when they move, but guess what never gets sold? Their souls. Also, art. Art is for life, it really, really, really matters, and it shows up twice on their list. This particular print is a photograph of human hair. Not only does it nod to the couple's fashion beginnings, it also creates a cool texture and a conversation.
When Oliver and Laubhan-Oliver were drywall deep in their fireplace remodel, they discovered the original wallpaper underneath. They stopped the demo, salvaged a swatch and had it framed by Debra Stevens. She has a small framing shop in North Dallas and “a total gift for picking the right frame.” The frames are simple and almost always black or white, which Laubhan-Oliver prefers. Color is cool for workout clothes, but when it comes to their home, it makes her “irrash.”
During the same fireplace remodel, Oliver and Laubhan-Oliver realized one more thing: The fireplace had to be off center out of necessity. Instead of throwing a fit and cursing the ghosts who obviously live in their historic house, they found a creative solution — create an asymmetrical frame using cut wood.