By: Jacqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Jason Page
The historic Del Mar area near Ocean Drive is known for neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, perfectly manicured lawns offering ample curb appeal, and unique vintage architecture. After living in Colorado and Wisconsin, Amy Ehle and her husband, Todd, moved to Corpus Christi for work, and found that a neighborhood in Del Mar encompassed everything they looked for in a home.
With a love for old houses, they were drawn to a charming green cottage-style home that was built in 1930. But it wasn’t just the house: The family-friendly environment and its close proximity to both of their jobs made it the perfect place for them to raise their daughter and begin their life in the Coastal Bend.
Although the architectural design of the exterior boasts vintage, rustic charm, the true artistic appeal is showcased through the interior, where Amy and Todd get to display their love of artwork and unique furniture.
When choosing artwork thoughtfully, the right selections will infuse personality into each room, and Todd’s talents for choosing the perfect pieces helped provide an instant color palette for their décor. “Todd has a great eye for all the artwork,” said Amy, and it is proven by the paintings and handmade art throughout each room. Some of the more colorful pieces come from El Gato Gomez, one of Amy and Todd’s favorite artists. The bright and vibrant pieces combine retro vibes with a progressive stance—and make for great conversation starters with the playful displays of black cats.
The realistic-looking vintage car paintings offer a feeling of nostalgia for old-fashioned car shows and drive-in movies. Even more so, they are special to the Ehle home because Todd himself is the artist behind these eye-catching pieces.
Other works were procured through various visits to antique shops during their travels to Germany, France, Costa Rica, and Africa, and offer unique bursts of personality in the dining area, kitchen, and den—also known as the “comfy room,” it’s where they unwind after a long day at work. The toy trains, various paintings, comfortable couches, and television are perfect for a relaxing aesthetic.
Todd has an eye for artwork and a talent evidenced in his personal paintings, but Amy said, “The only painting I do is the walls.” Since the pandemic forced everyone to stay home, she made use of that time by transforming some of the home’s gray walls, such as the kitchen’s, into soft, vibrant, mint green backdrops perfect for displaying colorful artwork.
Accent chairs also breathe new life into any space while adding stylish seating. Todd loves chairs so much that he collects them in all shapes, sizes, and designs—including several from famous designers. The chairs’ varied colors and fabrics create a focal point to draw the eye into the room.
In addition to the visual appeal, these chairs also maximize functionality by providing optional seating arrangements for guests. With each chair purchased, the Ehles were able to mix, match, and blend with the other furniture—such as the living room’s bamboo-style couches with colorful, inviting accent pillows—to complement their chosen vintage style. Just like the artwork in their home, the chairs transform each space into a beautiful and uniquely designed room.
The blonde wood of the table, hutch, and accent cabinet in the dining area offers a neutral addition to the mint-colored walls and colorful artwork, making it a very relaxing and comfortable space to eat or just gather with friends and family.
The winding, wooden staircase adds the perfect finishing touch to the artful displays throughout the home. When they moved in, a pull-down stairwell gave access to a storage area. The Ehles understand that when living in a smaller home, it is best to maximize functionality, so they replaced it with the narrow, winding staircase that would allow them to access that space at any time and use it as a family gathering area.
From the patterned vases from Italy and Antique Row displayed on the mantel to German license plates from Amy’s father’s time in the service, the Ehles are happy to house their collection of personal trinkets, distinctive furnishings, and engaging artwork, and look forward to adding more pieces to their collection in the future.