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Homes for the Holidays

Creative couple Jamie and Larry Oliver dress their Oak Cliff home and Cedar Creek lake house for the season.
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Oliver family's city home and cabin
Right: Jamie and Larry’s goldendoodle, Bernice, oversees holiday decorating at the lake house, which they painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black.; Left: The couple also went dark on the exterior of their Oak Cliff Craftsman, coating it in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Ore. Cody Ulrich

Homes for the Holidays

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Whether it’s a friend who pops by for a happy hour glass of wine or a 14-person dinner party in the backyard, Jamie and Larry Oliver are always ready to entertain. So it’s no surprise that the couple throws multiple holiday affairs—both intimate and grand—in their Winnetka Heights home. “We love a space for our friends,” says Jamie. “Larry is an entertainer, more than anything. If he could have people over 24 hours a day, he would.”

Larry, creative director for Reach Restaurant Group, usually takes on the bartending, plating, and serving. Jamie, editorial and creative director for D Home and D Weddings, is the mastermind behind the beautiful spaces where they relax, sip, and dine.

The couple purchased the 1912 Craftsman seven years ago. They had just moved from a modern, open-concept townhouse in The Cedars, and they were drawn in by the Oak Cliff home’s traditional large foyer and Foursquare layout. They painted the exterior jet black, opened up the doorways for more wall space, and covered the interior walls almost exclusively in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. The constricting floor plan required some custom furniture, like the oversized mohair sofa in the den. They mixed the custom pieces with finds from Scott + Cooner, Jean de Merry, estate sales, and Round Top and set them all against a monochromatic backdrop. “Colors come and go so fast, and home trends are the same way,” says Larry. “This palette is a constant to hang our hat on.” Even finds from their travels stick to the monochrome script, including a piece of street art from Morocco that hangs above the den console.

When friends are over, they often gather in the recently renovated kitchen, where the cabinets are coated in Benjamin Moore’s Black Panther. Larry places artfully crafted cheese plates on the soapstone countertops the couple sourced from Allied Stone and pours wine as guests meander in and out of the side door that opens to the backyard. At Christmastime, the Olivers traditionally open up their abode for a roaring celebration, but this year, the holidays will have a different backdrop. As creatives are wont to do, Jamie and Larry started looking for their next project a couple of years ago. Jamie spotted an A-frame house at Cedar Creek Lake she thought would be perfect for them, but before she could contact their real estate agent, it had sold. A year later, Jamie was poking around online and discovered that the same house was on the market again. She called Larry, then called their agent, and they were under contract within the week. 

Oliver family's cabin living room
The furnishings in the lake house, which include pieces by Wisteria and Urban Outfitters, feature a mix of worn-in leathers, natural fibers, and indestructible fabrics.

Not only was the couple thrilled that they had another spot to host friends, but Jamie was also happily anticipating taking on another design project, this time with a more casual aesthetic. “We didn’t want to worry about anything,” she says. “We actually bought pieces that would look better with wear and tear and age.” They found treasures at Goodwill and blended them with furniture from Serena & Lily, Wisteria, and Urban Outfitters. “It’s scratching that creative itch to do something different,” Larry adds. “The house is very Wes Anderson—very campy, casual, and cool.”

This year, the couple plans to host a Friendsgiving dinner at the lake, where they’ll look at the stars and stoke the fire pit on their oversized deck. After opening presents on Christmas Day in Oak Cliff, the couple will again hit the road to Cedar Creek Lake, with an open door for friends and family. Larry will tackle a few projects with his father while Jamie will try out new recipes in the kitchen. Even furry friends, like their goldendoodle, Bernice, are welcome. “It’s a place to bring us all together,” Jamie says. 


Photography by Cody Ulrich | Portrait by Elizabeth Lavin | Styling by Jenny O’Connor | Florals by Haile Wossen

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