The design of this Lisa Mallory home in East Memphis was inspired by the variety and energy of exquisite works of art throughout. The homeowners enjoy traveling and have seen many definitions of art worldwide. In turn, they have curated an admirable collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures and fine art glass over the past 30 years. The home’s recurring theme of dramatic simplicity has proven to be an ideal background for displaying these collections and gathering with family and friends.

In addition to Lisa Mallory Interior Design, the team of visionary professionals included architect Charles Shipp, contractor Tommy Byrnes, gallery owner and art consultant David Lusk, landscape designer Harriet McGeorge and Lisa’s interior design assistant, Jenny Frank. The team met every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. for a year until the project’s completion in spring 2015.

Mallory Home, Memphis

Mallory Home, Memphis

The great room

Mallory Home, Memphis | Painting by Mary Simms

A large painting of flowers by Mary Simms is a focal point in the piano room.

Mallory Home, Memphis

A landscape painting by Freida Hamm adds vibrant color in the great room. The fine art glass piece on the mantel is by American glass artist William Morris.

Clean lines and purity of form are dominant in this home’s exterior and interior spaces. Modern influences paired with traditional undertones are summarized in what Lisa terms “transitional style.” Upon entering, the floor plan’s fluid movement is immediately apparent. From some vantage points, you can even view the entire downstairs at one time, and there are tall ceilings in every room.

In addition to the home’s open layout, lighting is a primary element for continuity. Well-planned lighting creates crisp atmosphere in central living spaces, accentuates architectural elements and is imperative to their display of artwork. Lisa updated all lighting to be unique and artistic in character, and reflective natural lighting from every direction is an integral part of the interior’s gallery-like charm. This dynamic use of light is not unlike the interplay of light and shade used as a technique in their fine art collections.

The home’s color palette started with the artwork as well, and paint finishes as much as the colors selected helped achieve desired results. High gloss, as seen in the dining room, is a current trend in today’s interiors and adds updated, lunimous depth.

Mallory Home, Memphis

Master bedroom

Mallory Home, Memphis

Textural interest created with custom bedding from Lisa Mallory Linens

Mallory Home, Memphis

Mallory Home, Memphis

The dining room chandelier, found on a buying trip to Atlanta with her clients, is a favorite of Lisa’s. A high-gloss paint finish adds to the home’s open, luminous mood.

Mallory Home, Memphis | Painting by Carroll Cloar

A painting by Carroll Cloar is part of the homeowners’ Southern artists collection.

Restraint characterized many of their design choices for a fresh, contemporary mood, and a variety of materials alongside distinctive custom furnishings add gestural energy to the serene background of every room. For example, in their great room, an iron and glass coffee table, antique wood end tables and leather ottomans share one sitting area, and in the casual dining area, Lisa mixed a traditional antique French dining table from France with contemporary furniture and an ultra-modern light fixture. Subtle pops of color and pattern, one of Lisa’s trademarks, also spark visual interest.

The homeowners’ respect for simplicity and function originates from well-established priorities. They love entertaining friends and family, especially their grandchildren, and they did not want a home filled with distracting clutter. With this activity in mind, the screened-in porch with an outdoor kitchen is their favorite retreat in the house. It is comfortable and indestructible with blue stone floors and durable, outdoor furniture. This picture-perfect, casual area is not lacking in sophisticated style, however, as a pair of distinctive wicker swivel stools and rattan President’s State chairs confirm. The two President’s State arm chairs are replicas of the furniture used on FDR’s yacht, the USS Potomac, during his presidency.

Mallory Home, Memphis

Casual dining area

Mallory Home, Memphis | Custom cabinetry in the kitchen and bath (areas by Bob Westmoreland

Custom cabinetry in the kitchen and bath areas by Bob Westmoreland | Painting by Maysey Craddock

Mallory Home, Memphis

A distinctive pair of wicker swivel stools (left) and rattan President’s State Chairs (right) add sophisticated, transitional style to the screened-in porch.

Mallory Home, Memphis | Roy Tamboli fountain sculpture

An elegant fountain in the courtyard

This creative team successfully emphasized monochromatic, low-maintenance ease mixed with textural variety and custom furnishings. The result is a transitional-style setting that is focused on the homeowners’ interests. Their love of art, garnered from extensive travels, is center stage, and most importantly, there are no distractions from the invaluable time they enjoy here with family and friends.


Interior design: Lisa Mallory

Interior design assistant: Jenny Frank

Custom furnishings: The Lisa Mallory Interior Design shop

Photography: Julie Wage Ross

Architect: Charles Shipp, (901) 680-0204

Contractor: Tommy Byrnes

Art consultation: David Lusk Gallery

Landscape design: Harriet McGeorge

Custom cabinetry: Bob Westmoreland