Phillips’ Designs Inspired By Parisian Elegance, Glamour

Betty Lou Phillips wrote a 237-page coffee-table book called French Impressions that is about her beautiful house on St Johns Drive. (Photo: Dan Piassick)

Betty Lou Phillips has cozied up on Oprah’s couch. She’s penned 28 books. And her interior designs illustrate House Beautiful and Veranda. It’s a career that Phillips said she “fell into,” but she hasn’t had any trouble making it her own.

“I love working with fabrics, colors, textures, and people,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to meet with people, incorporate their ideas, and strive to add value to every project.”

But her most impressive project isn’t any of the houses she’s designed from California to Florida; it’s the one she calls home.

Phillips moved into her Highland Park mansion three years ago, and the house is an ode to the city she holds dear: Paris.
Although she was never an official resident of “The City of Light,” Phillips has been enamored with France’s chic residents and their effortless entertaining for as long as she can remember.

“I just became fascinated with the French way of doing things,” she said.

Her numerous visits to the country allowed her to collect ideas and bring design details back to her own quarters.
“Inspiration is everywhere,” Phillips said. “It’s being aware of your surroundings.”

Phillips is perfectly aware that her neighborhood’s humble Turtle Creek doesn’t hold a candle to the Seine, but that didn’t stop her from making her own Parisian paradise. Her grand fortress encapsulates French flair in all aspects, from the copper pots that hang in her kitchen to antique oak flooring imported from the city itself.

Settees boast pillows stamped with Marie Antoinette’s portrait. Crystal chandeliers suspend from stone ceilings. Gilded mirrors reflect French glamour.

But that’s just on the inside. One step through the salon, and you’ll be in a backyard that looks more like a Claude Monet painting than a Texas lawn. Manicured gardens wrap around a pristine pool, and the pool house is one that would have satisfied Louis XVI himself.

And next week, the lush property will be on display.

Phillips’ chic eye for design attracted the Park Cities Learning Difference Association’s attention, and her veranda will be the site of the organization’s 36th annual pool and garden party. It was a partnership that developed organically, and Phillips is happy her home could play a key role in the cause.

“Special-needs children are dear to my heart,” Phillips said.

What is usually a tour of multiple homes and gardens has been scaled down to a single soiree, but Angela Malone, co-chair of the party, thinks Phillips’ grand house is more than enough for attendants to take in.

“The house is fantastic,” Malone said. “It’s everything we look for, and this time it’s under one roof. Guests are in for a treat.”

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