This featured house was only a construction project in its wood-framed phase the very first time the present owners saw it. The very cheerful couple have now transformed it into their beautiful and welcoming home.After several months and countless electronic communications with the home builder, the owners moved their furnishings and personal belongings into the finely-crafted and carefully finished home.
Written By Lynn Walker Hoverson, Photography By Mark Lehmann (to view more photos of this home click here)
On the day that the Olé Decor team visited this home for the photographing and interview, the weather was what some local Rio Grande Valley-ites refer to as another “Magic Valley Day”. The coastal environment was fresh and the silhouette of the house cut a bold and handsome shape against the bright blue sky that morning. The RGV’s weather is just one of the many things that the owners said they enjoy about their new location. Additionally, now they live close to family members who had moved to the McAllen area years ago. Coming from a famous California island, the couple’s move required a major coast to coast undertaking since they own a collection of cherished furniture and personal decor items. Many of those belongings—and more—are artistically arranged in their new, coastal Texas home. Having grown up in Kansas, they said that they both now prefer living close to a beach.
This is the homeowners’ sixth home they have lived in together since they were first married years ago. Four out of those six homes, they had built. With their professional backgrounds, past experience, and natural talents applied to the construction concerns, building plans, and interior design choices, this home-making project has been a creative process that has made the owners—and their pets—happy and very comfortable. In the few months just prior to moving in, the owners rented a house across the street from their home-in-the-making. Therefore, they were able to closely oversee the finalizing of their upgrades and choices as they were applied to the house, the very special pool, and the new landscaping.
One of the first great features any visitor to this beautiful home will see is the fantastic, double front doors. The very tall, industrial strength iron doors are elegantly camouflaged with an exterior color coating that tones down the heavy metal look, yet retains security for the haven within. This door design includes functional screen panels that can open—while the doors are locked—one on each door, to sometimes allow controlled, natural air flow into the home, without inviting the outdoor flying insects. As you enter the home, you can see all the way through and across the fresh white living room and into the backyard to the sparkling swimming pool. The open style living area has a vaulted ceiling that adds to the relaxation reaction that you get as you step into this well-planned space made from the combined kitchen, dining and living room areas. These are unified with the feature of all walls having been painted the same with a fresh, tinted, but not-too-stark white. Acoustics are softened by the wood plank ceilings.
The same flow is repeated in the flooring tile which is imitation white-washed wood produced as durable ceramic. The attractive, beachy texture of the tile is easy to care for and yet, pet-friendly, having just enough surface tension to prevent little paws from gliding around uncontrollably. The main living room wall sports a large barn-door style cabinet that holds momentos and a large TV that is optionally hidden behind the sliding doors. Flanking this attractive wood cabinet is their family collection of beloved pet portraits. From across the room, they appeared to be realistic photos, but they are, in fact, hand-drawn art by an artist they met who specializes in animal portraits.
These two are confident in knowing what they like. The lady of the house did all the interior decorating herself. With her instinctive and creative interior design ability, she chose very interesting details for their well equipped kitchen. My favorite is the backsplash walls of the kitchen area made from iridescent, rainbow-colored glass tiles of a wave-like shape. This same iridescence is repeated outside in the saltwater swimming pool. In a striped band of fine rectangular tiles all around the pool at the general water level, it is an amazing detail, especially on a moonlit night. The ample, underwater entry steps are also highlighted with these tiles on each of their outer edges to help lead the way into the delight of the pool.
These two love the water. Even the whole house water filtration system reflects the importance they place in it. If this home were to be listed for sale and described as a three bed-room, two and a half bathroom home that would be falling very short of its true beauty and character. The master bedroom has a full view of the backyard. It is spacious and airy, yet, grounded by a large wooden country cabinet and the matching headboard and frame which are some of their favorite longtime possessions from Kansas. The tropical climate-helper, a large quiet ceiling fan, reminds them they are not in Kansas anymore! The master bath has a very large walkabout shower stall, complete with two shower heads and a wide, built-in, solid, tiled bench.
After seeing that part of the house we returned to the entryway and stopped to admire some of their art on display. A wooden turtle carving on the entryway table is a new addition for them, purchased locally after they moved into their Valley home. Another table, the beautiful wood coffee table, turned out to be a very unique furniture art piece that held a story. The homeowner bought it online from a business that makes furniture from avocado tree wood. (The wood grain detail reminded me of olive tree wood pattern.) When the shipped table arrived, the new owners soon discovered that the craftsmen had also sent them recipes for food made with, of course, avocados!
These homeowners are admirers of the late artist, Thomas Kincaid, and have a framed snow scene print of one of his famous works hanging prominently in the living room area. Also gracing these walls is a work by their oldest son. It is a lovely depiction of one of their favorite locations, Hotel Coronado in California. Their mother is quite talented as well and is a certified Bob Ross painting instructor. The guest bedroom is a gallery of her mother’s artwork, with an underlying theme of purple. In keeping with the color scheme, the custom made quilt fills the room with good creative energy. The half bath off the dining room also echoes her love of this hue. In remembrance of the jaca-randa trees from their former home, the walls are painted the refreshing color of the jacaranda blooms, a lighter and brighter lavender.
When the weather is right, being comfortable is no doubt just as easy at the outdoor dining table with the nearby comfy couch and chairs. While sitting and looking at the pool and hot tub—which were both designed by the Mr. of the house—the homeowners can rest and reflect on all the decisions that led them to this very amaz-ing venue. After a great deal of cooperation and communication, they can now enjoy the “fruits of their labor” which includes the very excellent homebuilding work of Gallery Built Homes and the myriad selection of the best building materials from ABC Supplies. Gallery Built Homes has overseen the completion of Valley dream homes in the South Padre Island Country Club and also in one of their newer developments called Paradise Cove. Living in one of these fine homes is sure to make you feel like you have arrived in a coastal paradise, yet a “Home Of Your Dreams At A Price You Can Afford!”, as they say on their website,