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By Diane S. Morales, Caller-Times
Cuba is thousands of miles from Corpus Christi, but close to the heart of the Perez family who lives in King Estates.
“I wanted to do something for my husband,” Veronica Perez said. “I wanted to put as much Cuban influence into our home as I could because he left his country when he was a kid and can’t go back. Everyone wants to go back home sometime.”
The closest the Perez family got to Cuba was living in West Palm Beach, Fla., about six years ago where Perez fondly remembers palm trees, brightly colored houses and their former dream home.
“We lived there a year and moved because my husband is a doctor,” Perez said. “I almost cried because I didn’t want to give up my house. We barely broke it in.”
After moving to Corpus Christi from Alice, Perez said they couldn’t find a home similar to the one in Florida, so they decided to re-create it. Architect Frank Romel designed the 3,741-square-foot home from photographs taken of the old house and Myers Homebuilders, Inc. constructed it.
“We got our house back,” Veronica said.
The inspiration for the stucco home’s vibrant façade came from apricots, which decorator Martha Cockburn of Gemini Interiors toned down to a shade of peach.
“I could see the apricot color working on the island, but not here,” Cockburn said.
“We’re the peach-colored house, now everybody can find us,” Veronica said.
Cockburn worked with Veronica on selecting wall colors, granite tile, fabrics, ceramic flooring, the fireplace design and other details in the four-bedroom, three-bath home.
Tapestry fabrics and tropical nuances dominate the home’s décor, while gold-colored walls maintain a warm glow.
“Our other home had white walls and in the evenings the sun would shade them gold, and I wanted that again,” Veronica said.
Comfort meets formality in the home’s dining room and sitting area near the foyer. A chandelier dangles from a coffered ceiling in the dining room, adding a touch of elegance. The dining room overlooks the formal sitting room where splashes of red hues punch up the tan and ivory tones of the furniture.
A custom-made area rug depicting a Cuban crest accents the glass and marble coffee table.
“My husband’s 80-year-old mother cried ‘my country, my country,” when she saw the crest and the flag outside,” Veronica said.
Designed for comfort
Past the sitting room is the living and kitchen, the Perez family’s hub for relaxation and together time.
“This is our dirtiest, most lived-in area,” Veronica said laughing.
Granite tiles speckled in tan, ivory and black shimmer against the matte bull-nose trim around the kitchen bar. The same granite is used in the bathrooms.
“By using the granite squares instead of a slab saved a considerable amount of money,” Cockburn said.
The extra savings went to other decorative details such as custom-made wallpaper and tile work in the bathrooms and a black wrought iron balcony rail that overlooks the living area.
Love for fabrics
In the master suite, Veronica’s love for tapestry fabrics is evident in the bedding and draperies. White wash crackled furniture complements the classic appeal of tapestry materials in the room.
Block glass windows in the master bath filter light into the space, capturing flecks of bronze in the custom wallpaper stamp pattern.
Veronica found her husband’s grandfather’s business seal in the yellow pages of a reproduced Cuban phone book from 1958 to create a unique wallpaper pattern. She also used the seal to personalize bathrobes for her husband and family members.
“They loved them because it brought back something that had been taken away,” she said.
After living in a rural setting for about 1 1/2 years, Veronica said the family has learned to respect nature, enjoying every moment they can with it outside in their swimming pool or just relaxing on the patio.
“We need to dig in roots and I’d love to plant here,” she said. “Plus, my husband loves his patients. We hope to stay.”
Contact Diane S. Morales at 886-3758 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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