● By Jacqueline Gonzalez
By: Jaqueline Gonzales Photos by: Jason Page
Just off the calming streets of Ocean Drive sits the gorgeous home of Nicole Barrera, her husband, Dr. Gregg Silverman, and their two beloved dogs, Apple and Sherlock. The tucked-away side trail leading up to the home offers visitors a dramatic entrance filled with curb appeal through the stately presence of the limestone architecture and lush gardening, cared for by Dr. Silverman himself.
The 3,500-square-foot home sits on an acre serving as a blank canvas perfect for a family with a love of art, eager to design their dream home. The design was inspired by a midcentury modern home from California, as seen in a magazine. “The architecture is what I was after, but I wanted a Texas style,” says Dr. Silverman. “I chose limestone over brick and we decorated with a coastal approach – this is a Corpus Christi home.” Dr. Silverman and Barrera note that the most important part of architecture is that “every space in the house is used,” and it is safe to say they were successful in this approach.
The design included various hidden compartments that allow for everything to be used without standing out, to offer a stunning visual appeal with clean lines. A home theater, complete with a large screen television and plush leather, is the perfect area for a weekend movie night, and is hidden behind a metallic corkboard wall covered with silver palm tree wallpaper. Other compartments in the kitchen keep appliances hidden while allowing for more mobility throughout the home.
The unique décor of the home was guided by colors and textures. “I like looking through magazines to see what catches my eye,” says Barrera of her décor choices. “After finding an item I like, I get more ideas on what I can add.” She identifies a set of bright Kelly green suede chairs on gold hairpin legs as one of her starting points. Once she chose the chairs, she designed the marble dining table on matching gold legs, to create a sleek and modern dining area.
The blue shades of the handblown glass backsplash in the kitchen handsomely set off the light colors of the cabinetry. The blues change with the lighting to offer a variety of aqua, navy, and green hues, channeling the waves of the ocean. Sometimes, the marbled tones hint at shades of red with the right lighting. The blue and brown shades in the kitchen were meant to resemble the ocean, and the open floor plan provides the perfect backdrop.
The house is a work of art, created by the owners, and art is what this house was meant to display. Barrera, a realtor by trade, has a love of art and a talent for watercolor paintings, making her quite the art aficionado. The tall, stark white walls in the sunlit living room are adorned by various pieces of art, mostly by local artist Debra Mailes. Other unique, eye-catching pieces in the home include watercolor art done by Barrera, Four Freedoms posters by Norman Rockwell, a large scale gray sculpture of a man’s head made solely with Lego bricks, and sculptures of the AIDS and Herpes viruses – made by a TAMUCC student, they resemble coral, making them the perfect touch for a doctor with a love of art.
A floor-to-ceiling electric fireplace made of limestone is its own work of art as it showcases a pop of color in its pacific blue firepit glass stones, which are visible on both sides of the dining and living room. The fireplace is flanked by shelves bearing unique artistic sculptures, bowls, and books.
The door in the living room opens to reveal a concrete path leading to a backyard bearing the likeness of The Secret Garden. The garden houses an outdoor lounge area, underneath a greenery lined pergola, that’s one of Barrera’s favorite places in the home. Although the weather in the Coastal Bend tends to be on the warmer side, the close proximity to the ocean offers the advantage of slightly cooler temperatures year-round. The hummingbird- and butterfly-friendly plants surrounding the pergola add the perfect touch to this relaxing oasis.
The concrete path passes through candle trees and pink rosebushes to reveal a large backyard with more hidden treasures. The outdoor cooking area, complete with furniture and a television, is nestled in its own little cozy nook and makes the perfect spot for date night, or spending a Sunday watching football and grilling. A tall rock-climbing wall sits in place of a diving board over the large pool with bright blue water. The rock-climbing wall is not only a unique addition to the pool, but it also carries memories of Barrera’s children climbing the rocks and sliding down into the pool when they were younger.
The private and quiet neighborhood, the size of the lot, and the closeness of the ocean are just a few of the reasons Dr. Silverman and Barrera were drawn to the area. Although the home itself brings a sense of joy, the happy couple’s friendly, inviting, and easy-going nature brings a level of warmth and hospitality to all who enter.