Aransas Pass is known as “Saltwater Heaven.” The Coastal Bend town is just a 30-minute drive from Corpus Christi. Its breezes off the bay, incredible fishing and proximity to the beaches and restaurants in Port Aransas make it a destination for tourists and locals alike. Which is exactly why Native South Builders chose the area for its newest development.
When Native South Builders approached me to help design a few of its new builds, I was instantly inspired by the modern farmhouse nature of the homes. Modern farmhouses are becoming a more desirable style in Texas, but this architecture isn’t as common in the Coastal Bend, and Native South Builders saw the opportunity to bring this style to the area. The design is intended to embrace tradition and evoke feelings of warmth and comfort — with a modern spin.
Departing from a rustic, country look, modern farmhouse adds more contemporary touches like clean lines, a neutral color palette and a mix of old and new. These were the main characteristics I wanted to incorporate when designing the homes; fortunately, we found a buyer who had the same intention in mind.
Homeowner Jackie Otwell became involved while we were still in the design and construction phase, which allowed us to collaborate on the final finishes and add architectural details. Otwell, who grew up in Ingleside, knew she wanted to buy in the area. Although she originally wanted to purchase an older house, she was pleasantly surprised when she discovered the Native South homes. “I was very satisfied with the finishes that came with the house. There’s a lot of thought put into these finishes, and only minimal changes needed to be done by me,” she said.
In the kitchen, we chose charcoal gray base cabinets and creamy white uppers. We also selected modern brass pulls to add edge to the traditional Shaker style cabinets and framed the vent hood with floating wood shelves. These shelves are the perfect opportunity for Otwell to display her favorite dishes, framed art and potted plants.
Once Otwell moved in, she continued the design process and made her own personal touches with thoughtful styling of her home. One of the first projects she completed was the addition of the plaster fireplace. “I needed somewhere to put the TV,” she said, “and I love having a mantel to decorate during the holidays.” The open space under the staircase was always intended as a breakfast nook, but Otwell infused character into this space by adding wainscoting, floral wallpaper and a new rattan sconce. Salvaged antique frames paired with art Otwell found on Etsy finished off the nook. “I wanted an old house because I wanted the character,” she said. “Since I ended up with a new build, I’ve just added it.”
Otwell has added even more charm in the bathrooms. She wanted to showcase the shower wall tile, so she opted for a black paned glass door instead of the typical shower curtain. She also gave interest to the vanity wall by installing paneling, with an earthy mushroom color that adds warmth to the space. Around the corner from the downstairs bathroom is the primary bedroom, where the black four-poster bed is topped with layers of cozy texture. A taupe throw covers the waffle duvet while assorted pillows add subtle color and pattern. The thrifted vintage nightstands received a makeover with a coat of seafoam green paint.
My design intention for this home was to create a comfortable, airy space in which any homeowner could add their own style. Otwell’s love for thrifting combined with her keen eye have led her to creating a very personal and charming home. “My home is a good representation of me. It’s very dynamic. Life is chaotic, so my home needs to be peaceful, pretty and suited to me.”