Local couple gives historic Dublin dream home a facelift
Originally published in DublinLife Magazine, June/July 2023 by Katie Giffin
Susan and Bob Dyas bought their home along the Scioto River in 2011 after the house sat on the market for almost a year. Originally built in 1956, the home needed a serious makeover and the new owners, who have a business remodeling homes, were up to the task.
“I think the reason this house sat as long as it did was because it was such a huge project,” Susan Dyas says, “but because of our business, … we were probably one of the few couples who walked in here and could see what it could be.”
Built by Joe Dixon, Dublin’s mayor from 1971-1976, and his wife, Lois, the home sits on the edge of a cliff face overlooking the Scioto River, offering breathtaking views of the riverscape.
Some of the original features show Dixon’s passion for the Dublin community. Details such as the green railing surrounding the back patio, green trim lining the house, and a green shamrock at the front of the house put Dixon’s Dublin love on full display.
And Dublin loved the Dixons back. Joe was named the Grand Leprechaun in 1991, and Lois was named Grand Leprechaun in 2008. Over the years the two stayed active in city council and, as the mayor, Joe cut the ribbon for the first Memorial Tournament held at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
The community mourned together after Joe’s passing in 1998 and Lois’ death in 2009. But their memory and love for Dublin still live on in the Dyases’ home.
First Floor Flip
As the Dyases began their remodeling, they started by opening up the main living area.
“Literally the day we closed on the house and signed the documents, we came in with a sledgehammer and took down the first wall,” Dyas says.
That first wall originally bisected the kitchen and living area, and they converted the original garage into a home office and guest bedroom. They then built a garage and kitchen extension on the opposite side of the home, taking the square footage from roughly 1,100 square feet up to 2,000.
The kitchen extension, added in 2019, features an additional stove, a 3-D backsplash tile, and extended cabinet space for appliances.
In the main kitchen space, they added a granite counter with peg board drawers and cabinet storage built into the counter to maximize the space.
“A lot of design challenges, which turned into benefits, were some of the smaller spaces we had to work with,” Dyas says.
The Dyases continued maximizing space in the master bath by adding a vanity in the walk-in closet to accommodate narrow counter space, a laundry chute below to eliminate the need for a laundry basket, and lowered windows overlooking the river to bring in more natural light.
They also remodeled the basement, turning it into a workout area and playroom for their four grandkids.
After updating the main living area, the Dyases turned their attention to the outdoor living space.
They converted the screened-in porch into a sunlit dining room that leads out onto a newly finished deck. Replacing some of the original railings with a glass rail, the two added an outdoor kitchen space, complete with a grill and minifridge.
A pergola covers the outdoor living area with remote-controlled overhead blinds so that the Dyases can bring in more or less natural light at the touch of a button.
As the Dyases look to future renovations, they hope to finish landscaping their backyard by adding a firepit and replacing the fence that looks over the cliff face.
As a home built by a former Dublin mayor, its walls contain a lot of love, passion, and history. And now, the Dyases are filling them with even more.
“It was a labor of love, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything now,” Dyas says. “It’s kind of like a little treehouse in the woods overlooking the river.”