Rethinking a Casual, Farmhouse Flair - The Bend Magazine

Rethinking a Casual, Farmhouse Flair

A combination of casual, chic, and comfort make the Riojas home warm and inviting

By: Jacqueline Gonzalez   Photos by: Brandi Grahl

Four years ago, Nikki Riojas moved to the Coastal Bend from Louisiana, bringing a little je ne sais quoi along with her. She found and fell in love with a gorgeous home in the King’s Crossing subdivision.

The house was built in 2000, and although she liked the layout of the home, renovations were necessary to update the ambience. Dark colors draped the walls, giving a somber, closed-in feeling. By using shades of off-white and taupe, Nikki created a more welcoming and open area.

This home’s potential was not lost on Nikki. She used her creative talents to maximize the available space and create a more open floor plan that would comfortably suit her family.

An artist herself, Nikki loves to support local creators. One of her favorites, a piece by Leah Kassner, adorns her living area. Nikki’s feminine personality and artistic nature is reflected through each element in her home, from the soft tones of the furniture and walls to the pink, fur, and wood elements that add a simple stylish flair. She owns and manages Thirteen & Market, a home décor and lifestyle boutique, which carries curated collections of décor and gifts that pay homage to global artists.

The focal point of the home is the kitchen area, which embodies casual coastal vibes with a touch of farmhouse flair. Although Nikki made various changes in the kitchen, she could not bear to part with the chef’s kitchen that featured a brick oven. The previous owner built this kitchen to replicate her birthplace. Nikki felt erasing the nostalgia would be a disservice. Instead, she decided to spruce up the area with white Shaker cabinets, creating a timeless feel combined with elements of the farmhouse style. She decorated the area with a rectangular, cream-colored sign bearing the word “farmhouse” in black lettering. Strategically placed white enameled canisters, also labeled with black lettering, add to the atmosphere.

The repurposed kitchen island doubles as a guest seating area. Granite countertops and a farmhouse sink add a French country vibe. Suspended over the kitchen island, a bold, eye-catching pendant light strip with clear jar style shades complements the farmhouse look. Although the kitchen doesn’t have a lot of windows, a hooded strip under the cabinets provides appropriate lighting for the time of day or mood.

A home is not a home without a multi-functional space. The kitchen, den, and dining areas were once blocked off from each other. However, with a few rearrangements and renovations, Nikki turned the three rooms into one large kid-friendly gathering space.

The den, which doubles as a family room, is now spacious, comfortable, and filled with Nikki’s chic décor style. Inspirational signs from Milestones add the perfect finishing touch to the shiplap wall. Two metal frame shelves from Thirteen & Market provide an attractive place for displaying favorite decorative pieces. In the dining area, a simple wooden table graced by a floral garland in shades of pink, green, and ivory lends a feminine flair.

Nikki’s decorating expertise sets the senses aflame in her daughter’s room. Formerly an office space for the master bedroom, the space is now a cozy, easily accessible nursery. Soft neutrals with pops of pink accent a regal black sleigh crib. A trendy floral mobile, also from Thirteen & Market, features handmade paper flowers clustered into a crown. As an added special touch, Nikki created flowers from the pages of Little Women and artfully hung them from the mobile.

Originally, the home included three bedrooms and a sewing room with a small closet. Instead of keeping a closed off area that the family would seldom use, she transformed the sewing room into a fourth bedroom.

The combination of Nikki’s artistic talents, decorating prowess, and love of family makes the Riojas house a casual yet comfortable home.