Written By Lynn Hoverson, Photography By Tiffany Freischlag (to view more photos of this home click here)
This spectacular Rio Grande Valley residence featured here has all the elements of a harmonious home designed to welcome and accommodate happy groups of sociable people. It is an architectural and design success resulting from active collaboration—for the purpose of achieving a vision, shared and developed between the home owners and their architect, designers, builders and all their respective suppliers.
“After visiting with the owner and listening to what she wanted and needed in her kitchen, I formed the goal of accommodating a large family who likes to entertain. I knew that they would require a very spacious kitchen with a large island and plenty of storage. So, a butler’s pantry was added. The sink placement was balanced and designed to be used while viewing the beautiful backyard, resaca view. ” Diana Castillo – Sisters Interiors
The lovely and gracious lady of the home conducted a special tour of their freshly remodeled, refurbished, and restyled property. She shared interesting stories along the way about the process that has culminated in their wonderful home in which they are now living with elegant ease, comfort and a soft modern style. The remodeling project began in January of 2017 and as you can see here, the end results are fantastic! Much of the property’s original building structures and ele-ments were retained, restructured, and simulated or repeated in other areas of the property. Both sets of wide, wrought iron entrance gates are original, as well as the outdoor lamps on the grounds being a few of the examples.
Many great architectural details such as several interior brick walls, large pocket doors, and also the marble fireplace of the cozy bar room which is located adjacent to both the master bedroom and the Great Room, were refurbished and refinished—giving the effect of echoing the soothing, overall, neutral color scheme. Delightful, well-placed, eclectic accents in wall art, unique furniture and lighting choices, special floor treatments, tiled surfaces, and inviting, sumptuous fabrics brought the perfect amount of liveliness to each room.
When one of the owners first greeted the Olé Decor team at the wide, warm, wood-toned, double-door entrance—which is decorated with a lovely organic leaf design of wrought iron—the amazement began. From this front entrance we stepped directly into the expansive, naturally-lit Great Room. Even without any electric illumination from the chic chandelier, gorgeous lamps or the subtle overhead lighting, the Great Room felt fresh, light and airy.
The recently-revealed fine wood and wrought iron stairway leads immediately to the right from the front entrance. During the first phase of remaking the home the owners discovered this stairway’s balusters were actually fine, old-time-quality iron, instead of painted wood. Also, they were pleased to have found—under the old carpet of the stairs—a solid, full flight of wooden steps, with each tread and landing in excellent condition.
At the opposite end of this marvelous main room are two very large, framed, bi-fold gliding glass doors. They bracket the peaceful waterfront view of the back patio and the green lawns beyond. A sturdy, loungeable, outdoor balcony above those doors assists perfectly to deflect the outdoor light from above, and provide shade in the end of the room. There, a classic black piano reigns, beckoning any musically talented visitor and looking quite elegant in the meantime. Lining the edge of the water, native palm trees sway in the tropical winds. These have survived well, having been planted in perfect groupings on the original property and continue as natural landscaping anchors for each view from inside the home, including the indoor kitchen sink and the Master bedroom.
After viewing the well-planned, grandly-designed and decorated Master bedroom space, we flowed over to the kitchen/dining area. This includes the fully equipped kitchen that is grounded and complemented with a very large, quartz-topped island which contains ample, convenient storage drawers for its whole base. The area is an open space combined with the family dining area, created after a wall from the old home was removed. Around a corner is their Butler’s Pantry that this industrious and talented family use often for times of entertaining or projects.
One very notable kitchen advantage is the flexible water spigot posi-tioned in the center back wall of the stovetop area. My favorite item in this part of the house is the large, circular glass dining table with the built-in, tiered “Old Lazy Susan” in the center. One can just picture the happy family, feeling blessed, enjoying a delicious homemade meal together—all gathered around and sitting there, watching through the expanded, gigantic window and seeing welcomed guests arrive at their front door.
This family does enjoy entertaining guests and with all the different spaces there are to occupy, they also planned options by keeping the two sets of wide pocket doors easy to operate. The kitchen is thusly, easily separated from the main section of the house.
A few short steps in the opposite direction out of the kitchen, is an elegant, convenient bathroom for the kitchen area. A little further down this passageway leads to the “boys’ area” which has two sleek bedrooms and, in between them, another large bathroom that is thoughtfully, handicap equipped. Strategically placed in this area’s first room is a large, wood entertainment center with smooth-moving, barn door styled doors that glide on an upper rail. Holding a gigantic screen TV and storage for all the electronic extras, this cabinet is a great match for the group-sized, game-watching sofa. The room has two glass side doors which open onto the backyard patio. From this wide patio the bold, stunning, turquoise blue pool catches anyone’s attention, even the local ducks!
Flowing along and around an outside corner is the incredible outdoor kitchen. A very original carved bench made from a massive root of a parota tree is one of the special items here. Bought by the owners when they were once in Punta Mita, Mexico, it required ten men to move and set into its new place. Additionally, all the cooking equipment is organized there for an outdoor chef’s ideal setup, per-fect for preparing food for large groups. The open barbecue pit with a crank and spindle which is call the “ataul”, is large enough for rotisserie roasting of one-half a goat or lamb. The vibrant, yet cooling color of the large, sturdy, tall work table here echoes the color of the swimming pool’s water.
“So much comfort is in keeping with the overall wonderful sense one gets when in this home.”
Adjacent to the outdoor kitchen and overlooking the unique swim-ming pool, is a separate building used for dining. It is also large enough and festively-colored enough to be an exciting dance floor space. There were two original, very small bathrooms inside this structure. These are now reformed into two full bathrooms with showers and decorated as elegantly as the ones inside the main home, thus helping fulfill the plan for this structure to double as a guest house when needed. On the far wall is an additional bar with “unbelievably comfortable” bar stools. This room has some of the same design elements that flow over from the rest of the property, such as the original brick color, texture and pattern on the back wall. The two chairs nestled in the far corner to the left of the bar were saved from ruin by the lady of the house. Their unusual shape got her attention during a family estate cleaning event. At the suggestion of one of her designers, the interesting wooden shaped chairs were each brought back to life with a makeover and then reupholstered using great patterned cowhides. These chairs look so comfortable! If ever chairs could give hugs, these two could do it!
The tour of the upstairs was the last part and it was just as interesting as the rest of the house. From any angle in the upstairs bedroom you have a waterfront view, but it is perhaps most naturally enjoyed by the residents from their chairs on the balcony. Yes, the same balcony that provides the shade to the earlier-described Great Room. The whole upstairs contains a spacious bedroom and sitting area for two people, another elegant, large bathroom, accented in heavenly blue, and a dream-sized walk-in clothing closet, plus the balcony. One of the walls has been designated by the upstairs residents as their “collection wall”. A great old family photograph framed in a vintage golden wood frame hangs, approvingly, in the center of the group of their artistic prints and paintings.
After the enjoyable tour, I felt inspired and began to imagine what a portrait of this home would look like if painted in an abstract, fresh, impressionistic style. This property is definitely a home worthy of its own fine portrait!