By: Jacqueline Gonzalez Photos By: Jason Page
In January, Shaynaeh and Thurston Thomas received an opportunity to expand their business, Thomas Grae Interiors, and made the move to the Coastal Bend from South Carolina. They were unfamiliar with the area, but fell in love with a townhouse in a centralized location that would provide access to many of the wonderful local businesses Corpus Christi has to offer.
As small business owners themselves, Shaynaeh and Thurston were eager to check out the local scene to purchase items for their new home. Unfortunately, with the restrictions set in place due to the pandemic, their ventures were derailed as quickly as they began. Even though they had to source some of their items online, she and Thurston had many great ideas they were ready to implement.
Thanks to their combined talents and expertise, they quickly brought their townhouse to life, using a black and white theme that provided an essential background to incorporate pops of color and cultural design and showcase their personalities. They knew they wanted to incorporate their African culture as well as items from Charleston into their decor, and Shaynaeh got the idea for a linear design on their living room wall that was reminiscent of their African culture. “I wanted contemporary, yet unique,” says Shaynaeh, and this design was the perfect starting point for their intended ambience.
When choosing the wall art, Shaynaeh was looking for something that popped against the black wall, and found two abstract pieces of art featuring a combination of teal, orange, brown, burgundy, and black, which provided the necessary bursts of color. Overlapping both colorful prints is a smaller, simple design with black lines intertwined to resemble the silhouette of a woman. Layering is one of Shaynaeh’s favorite techniques, and the entire layout of the artwork over the linear wall blends in nicely with the black and white print, and the teal throw pillows on the gray sectional couch situated directly beneath the artwork. Shaynaeh put her own spin on a metal and glass coffee table design by combining a solid black metal table reminiscent of African drums used for dancing with a simpler, wired metal, glass top table overlapping it. These two designs form a unique style with the intended wow factor.
The round wooden table paired with bright orange chairs sitting atop a cowhide rug in the dining room adds another pop of color and style in the dining area while combining different cultural patterns. The Sputnik chandelier is the perfect finishing touch, as it is hung at an angle, creating an optical illusion of cascading bubbles.
The stylish kitchen bears a modern, simple design. The black cabinets with silver handles give the area a sleek appearance, and although keeping a smaller kitchen space free of clutter can be a challenge, Shaynaeh opted for minimal accessories in wood and metal accents to keep her essentials organized while still adhering to the modern and eclectic design of her home. Wicker baskets that she brought with her from Charleston and a woven bowl overlapping artwork that bears neutral shades of black, taupe, and white were placed atop the cabinets to add cultural flair to the kitchen area.
The window above the sink has a great stream of natural lighting, and instead of choosing a curtain to cover it, they chose to accessorize it by adding a valance made from a black and brown animal print fabric purchased at Heirloom Elegance to add character to the space. The light shining through this window highlights all the cultural accents, greenery, and pops of color in their home, but it also provides a gracious view of the outdoor patio.
Finding the right seating, lighting, and décor for a small patio can be challenging, but fun. Shaynaeh and Thurston created the perfect functional space to enjoy some family time on a radiant, sunny day. The fenced-in area features a dark wicker sectional with off-white cushions to provide comfy seating, while a matching umbrella gives the right amount of shade while still allowing for ample sunlight. The throw pillows in tribal patterns are the perfect accessory to mirror the African culture in the home, while the bright green and flamingo print pays homage to South Texas coastal flair. As an added measure, a string of Edison bulbs hangs around the umbrella to provide elegant, relaxing lighting during the evening and nighttime.
For most of us, decorating a smaller space would be quite the undertaking, but this power couple’s incredible design talents allowed them to produce a beautiful space that is comfortable yet stylish.