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VIP at Home: at 1715 Riverview

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Story by Sadie Fowler | Photography by Erin Kosko

Dr. George and Lynn Lien moved to Murfreesboro several years ago when George was hired by a Nashville medical practice to oversee their Murfreesboro facility — just prior to the “boom.” As they raised their family, they watched the area grow miraculously, and looking back, they are thankful they made the decision to come to Murfreesboro all those years ago, in the early 1990s.

Now empty nesters, these days life for George and Lynn includes a healthy mix of work, community involvement, golf, and many dinners surrounded by friends and family with the outside porch — nestled on a prime lot on the Stones River Golf Course — serving as the centerpiece for much of their play and downtime.

Many in the Murfreesboro community know the Liens for their generous hospitality as they’ve hosted some fabulous parties of all shapes and sizes on more than one occasion.

“Our home is the outside,” Lynn said. “We love our porch during all seasons. We have wall shades for November through March and with a fire outside, it is the best. Then, in the spring we love the breeze and the ceiling fans. It is the most relaxing place at 1715 Riverview Drive.”

George is a neurosurgeon who remains very busy with his medical career. Lynn Lien (both pronounced the same) also has a medical background, having worked as a nurse practitioner before it was the cool thing to do, as she candidly likes to joke. While she hasn’t practiced in many years, make no mistake … Lynn is a busy bee who spends her time volunteering in the community, entertaining, and golfing.

“The organization I am most proud of being on the board of is Alive Hospice,” Lynn said. “I think it has added to our community and made a difference in many family’s lives.”

George and Lynn are members of New Vision Baptist Church, which is another outlet for their giving spirits in the local community.

Even though the kids (Pearson is 25 and lives in South Carolina, where she works for Ernst & Young and Harrison is 22 and has recently graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a degree in finance) are away from their permanent home in Murfreesboro, the Lien family wouldn’t be complete without Jane, known by many as Lynn’s 11-year-old whippet that doubles as her favorite companion.

As president of the club’s Ladies Golf Association, Lynn is a well-known face at Stones River and she keeps her game strong by hitting the course most mornings around 10:30 a.m.

“The golf course is key for living at our house,” she said. “I love it and so does George. We are extremely blessed and lucky to live where we do. We have excellent neighbors on both sides, across the street and everywhere we turn. We are surrounded by good people.”

Construction of the Lien home began in 2011 by Shane McFarland of McFarland Construction Company and it was completed in December of 2012. The French-style house with the gorgeous back deck area took nearly two years to build.

“We worked well with Shane and things clicked right along,” Lynn said. While the grand an spacious custom Lien home has its perfect spot on the course, equally appealing to the Lien family is the neighborhood in which it stands.

“The thing I totally enjoy is living on the golf course,” Lynn said. “When I look out my back door in the summer it is like living in a national park. The scenery is natural and the course is so well-kept … My neighborhood is great, too. It is an older one in Murfreesboro, but definitely a goodie. I love my street and my neighbors and I enjoy just riding down it looking at the homes.”

Over the years, Lynn has made several changes to the home, much to her husband’s dismay, she jokes. One of those changes involved the landscaping in the back, which needed time to mature before it could reach its full potential. Inside the home, Lynn has changed the breakfast room completely and swapped out new rugs and furniture a time or two.

“I love antiques,” she said. “I learned to buy them from the start, which I also did not do at times and ended up replacing new furniture with antiques. This practice does not make for good dinner conversation with your spouse!”

Speaking of dinner conversations, Lynn says she still cooks dinner most nights after George returns home from a long day at the office. Even though it’s often just the two of them now, she still has not learned how to cut down on the amount she cooks.

“In other words, I have plenty of leftovers if you have a hankering,” she laughed.

Lynn has learned a lot about home design, renovations and maintaining a home over the years. Her advice to first-time home buyers or builders: Start by choosing your draperies and paint colors and then go from there. Most of what she has learned has come from her own designer, Jerome Farris, of The Peddler.

“Jerome and I have been on a 28-year journey together,” she said. “Someone said not too long ago, ‘They cannot be shaken!’ What a compliment on a long-standing relationship. I thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

Another tip from Lynn based on her own experience is to go into building or buying a home with the understanding that change will always come your way.

Thoughts from the Super Host

As someone who has hosted parties from small and intimate dinner parties among friends to engagement parties of about 130 to gatherings of more than twice that, Lynn has done it all and seen it all when it comes to entertaining.

“We love to entertain,” she said. “We are asked to host things often, but we really enjoy it … We don’t take anything for granted and I’m grateful that we can.”

Lynn enjoys the process of entertaining and feels the more the merrier is the best approach. She has a laid-back demeanor as it relates to hosting parties and doesn’t lose any opportunity to have fun and socialize among friends.

Whether it’s a summer girls party or her “Royal Party” that started a 5 a.m. last year in honor of the royal wedding, Lynn is always anxious to get the party started.

“We had mimosas followed by bloody marys and we all lasted,” she laughed. “The party ended around 10 a.m.”

Lynn has learned a few things along the way, such as the importance of planning in advance to relieve the stress come the day of the party. Her favorite type of party is simply dinner among friends, but she’s always open to finding to reasons to celebrate in different and fun ways.

With proper planning and preparation, there’s little that can stress Lynn or keep her from enjoying her guests, but there is one thing that sets her off at any dinner party. What’s her number one pet peeve?

She’s not a huge fan of clearing the dishes away too early, but texting at the table is a big no no in the Lien home. Unless it’s her husband at the table and he’s on call, there’s no reason to take away from the joy of good conversation because of a device.

“Put your phone away!” she said. “When someone has their phone at the table and is texting during dinner it makes me feel like I’m not important to them … Yes, phones at the table is my biggest pet peeve and we don’t do that around here.”

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