Old World Elegance - The Bend Magazine

Old World Elegance

Aransas Pass home exudes regal English vibes through neutral palettes and antiques

By: Jaqueline Gonzalez  Photos by: Jason Page

Chuck and his wife, Donakay, had been on the hunt for the perfect home for 10 years before 2006, when they found the ideal lot located in Pelican Cove Subdivision in Aransas Pass. The size of the lot and location in close proximity to a canal made it the right spot for them to build their home. 

They broke ground for construction in 2006, and a year and a half later, their home was ready to move in. They had quite the journey with the design of this home, though. The architect they were working with had the right idea, but the concept of the house was reversed on the blueprints. Chuck noticed that the idea he had in mind to maximize sunlight was not being executed well, and was going to create an overall darkness in the house. Instead, he and Donakay chose to start from scratch and redesign the home with unique qualities that encompassed features from past homes in which they lived. They’ve owned homes all over the United States prior to building this home, and each had elements that they missed – so what better way to bring them back than incorporating them into one unique design? 
Chuck and Donakay wanted a large home that displayed a castle look, portraying European style with an Old English flair, so they opted for stones over brick for the outside of their home. The main house is built towards the back of the lot, with a garage and guest house toward the front. Although the home is near the water, they didn’t want tropical island or coastal décor; they wanted a tall, ornate, regal aesthetic – which was achieved by 8-foot-high walls that maximize privacy.
They worked with an interior decorator from Ethan Allen to create the graceful feel of the living room’s neutral shades and country French décor. The various prints and materials offer a cozy feel, while the red couches give the area an energetic, bold pop of color. The extravagant large-scale antique lighting sets the tone by brushing the living area with timeless taste. 
The ornate stonework and granite accents in the kitchen provide a European look to the area, making this space the heart of the home. The oversized granite island sits atop a stone stand with ornate wooden corbels used to hold up the granite. Although structurally, they’re just holding up the island, Chuck didn’t just want something basic. He wanted a design that would stand out and vibe well with the rest of the décor, so they opted for corbels, which are the perfect castle-like accessory. The island opens to the formal dining and living room, so guests have the perfect open floor plan for communication no matter which room they’re in. While Chuck and Donakay were choosing the tiles, stonework, and back splashes that make this kitchen so eye-catching, they came across a book of murals that included the gorgeous peacock mosaic mural hanging above the stove. The area is also perfect for entertaining large crowds due to the vast selection of appliances including three ovens, a large gas range, and a warming drawer. 
The stairs in the living area lead to a small space on the second floor perfect for a small gathering or a kid’s area. Chuck and Donakay spruced it up by adding a few slot machines for their perfect at-home Las Vegas space. Other areas on the second floor provide perfect play spaces for their grandchildren, especially for Chuck and his granddaughter to host tea parties with dolls. 
The backyard is a South Texas paradise, and is split into two different areas: the pool and the ocean. The pool area features a deck around the 32 x 16 foot, 8-foot-deep pool, and a courtyard. The courtyard consists of a 20×30 area where they grow plants, and doubles as an ecosystem. Chuck and Donakay really enjoy gardening and the house has many plants, both indoor and outdoor. The ocean side of the outdoor paradise features a screened-in back porch with a sitting area perfect for enjoying the outdoors during any kind of weather. The stairs wrapping around this area lead to a boat lift, jet ski lifts, and fish cleaning station overlooking the canal. 
The entire aesthetic of the home is ornate yet welcoming, and it’s perfect for gatherings of family and friends, or just for spending some alone time relaxing in the pool.