● By Jacqueline Gonzalez
An eclectic approach to home decor can be challenging, but Tom Brookshire nails the unique aesthetic in his home located in Bessar Park.
Guests are greeted with a walkway of concrete adobe bricks, flanked by a perfectly manicured lawn. The curved entryway gives an artistic vibe to the front yard, and the electric blue door spotlights the architecture, making it the perfect companion to the neutral shades of the home. The 30-foot palm trees bring coastal vibes to the sleek, modern front view of the home.
Brookshire’s living room takes a unique approach in his choice of art and furniture: he displays contemporary, eye-catching brown Barcelona chairs opposite a light blue lounge chair. A lime-green Natuzzi couch joins in the color block vibes of the living room furniture, echoing the splash of color from the entry.
The dark brown wood floors add a nice contrast to the entryway, but also provide a sleek, masculine backdrop for the bright shades of the decor pieces. Although he removed the original carpeting in the living room to modernize the area, the entryway and den floors remain the same. The ornate design in shades of blue and red is similar to the floors in the Corpus Christi Cathedral and offers a vintage Corpus Christi vibe.
Brookshire initially collaborated on the newly renovated kitchen’s design with the architect, Jennifer Lee of Ōckerlee Design. Then, designer and contractor Debbie Stanford of Deb’s Interiors came on board and made modifications and selections, bringing the entire project to a finish. The talents of both architect and designer brought Tom’s visions to fruition, creating a perfect kitchen space. The gray-on-white aesthetic of the kitchen, complete with quartz countertop, adds a muted backdrop for colorful dishes purchased from the annual Soup or Salad fundraiser held by the Art Center. Each bowl is designed by a different artist and gives a unique contrast to his solid white dishware. The beautiful view of the backyard’s saltwater swimming pool and lush tropical greenery adds the finishing touch.
The den and TV room is every book lover’s dream, and an excellent place to relax after a long day. A large bookshelf with ample space for a plethora of books and art pieces covers an entire wall, from top to bottom. Herman Miller chairs add a masculine touch, while the open floor plan of the area has a welcoming vibe as a recreational area for guests. An antique table, spray painted black and topped with black marble, mimics the masculine vibes of the Herman Miller chairs.
Art adds the ideal pop of personality to any home. Brookshire displays some of his favorites, including a small black dog made by local Greg Reuter – one of his first pieces – that is strategically placed on the windowsill in the living room, facing the mailbox as the dog “watches the mailman.” Art from local artists including Clint Stone, Barbara Reilly, Ricardo Rios, Jerry Herring, Debra Mailes, David Bates, and Mary Baxter adorn the home. Each piece has a symbolic meaning, including a painting of a food truck belonging to the father of Joe Peña, the artist, and head of the painting department at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Tom adds his own version of an art piece in his home office: a basket filled with rolled-up blueprints from the family ranch and a few maps.
Along with the artwork found in each room, family heirlooms are always a great addition, and allow the designer to make the home their own. A chair made by Brookshire’s great-grandfather in the 1860s, adorned with intricate needlepoint chair cushions made by his mother, provides a touch of nostalgia. A man shaped out of woven straw, kept from Brookshire’s childhood, sits next to the fireplace in the living room. Although time has warped the shape of the strawman, the vintage touch makes it a unique addition. A tall and gorgeous lamp featuring a purple glass design was a gift from his father to his mother, and Tom proudly displays it in his den. A steel hard hat worn by his grandfather in the 1940s adds a hard-working, yet nostalgic, feel to his home office.
Tom’s decorating talents do not stop with his decor prowess. In order to maximize space, he added 300 square feet to his house, allowing for a walk-in closet. He also rearranged the bedroom space, and the guest bathroom was turned into a washroom to remove the washing equipment from the garage to a more economical space.
Although the home is filled with artistic decor and unique renovations, there’s a commitment that inhabits each room, creating a cohesive blend in an otherwise easily misunderstood style.