Nikki Oates readily admits she loves “old things” and frequents Round Top for its massive antique shows.
So it’s not surprising that plenty of Round Top purchases over the years have made it into her home in the Riverside subdivision off Speegleville Road in Woodway, adding a vintage charm.
She also has the good fortune to have a home builder as a husband.
Nikki’s spouse, David, owns Oates Construction Services. He built their 3,500-square-foot home, which they moved into in January 2015 with their son, Owen, who is now 11.
“I felt like it was a good neighborhood our son could grow up in,” David said.
Nikki, who owns and operates JobLink Personnel Services, said a lot of the furniture and pieces came over the years (and from their previous house in Twin Rivers) from Honey’s Home+Style in Waco.
Nikki says she’s been able to count on Honey Rader’s selection for items that fit well into their home.
“We built our house around a lot of it,” Nikki said.
If they had to describe the interior design of their home, David and Nikki agreed that “eclectic rustic” might an apt reference with possibly some French Country thrown in.
Nikki said the layout for the house takes cues from Tulsa architect Jack Arnold, whose work she adores.
Upon entering the home, you’re greeted with an open-concept design with the large family room, a dining table and the kitchen right in view. In the entryway a thick, wooden two-piece “O” is mounted on the wall. David believes it’s an old casting mold for metals. Nikki found it at Round Top and bought it so the “O” would represent Oates.
David said it’s definitely a “lived-in” house, which also is home to their two dogs, Blew, a 12½-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, and their newest addition, Rush, a 5-month-old Yorkie.
The Oateses are big supporters of Fuzzy Friends Rescue and have posed with their dogs over the years for Fuzzy Friends’ calendar. Photographic portraits of the family and their dogs taken by Charla Holmes are displayed in several rooms.
Two large sofas — one black leather and the other white fabric — and two chairs stretch out in the room with a flat-screen TV above the fireplace easily in view.
A thick wooden dining table (another Honey’s Home+Style purchase) serves as a separation between the family room and the kitchen area.
“I love the open living area,” Nikki said. “We didn’t need all those (separate) eating spots, and we don’t have a formal dining area.”
The family room has an extra-large feel to it thanks to the 17-foot vaulted ceiling. Dark, large beams run across the ceiling up to the apex.
“These days you now have products that allow these houses to open up,” David said. “I think it makes the house have a lot more character.”
David said he was constructing houses with an open concept in Twin Rivers in 2008 before it became a popular trend.
One striking piece in the family room is a large mirror, complete with a few dark spots, and surrounded by a thick wood frame, giving the mirror a window-pane effect.
“It’s so heavy,” Nikki said, but it adds to the room.
It is another Round Top purchase. The dealer, who was from Dallas, said it came out of an old hotel in Chicago.
“At least that was the story he told us,” David said. “Sometimes they say whatever it takes to make the sale.”
Two large globe lights hang from other beams in the kitchen for an eye-catching accent. The lights are above a large island with a marble top.
“I knew I wanted marble in the kitchen,” she said.
Three swivel chairs are positioned beneath one side of the surface for visiting or eating at the island.
David added a wooden corbel on each end beneath the marble top to give the kitchen island additional character.
One other thing Nikki definitely wanted for her kitchen was to have a window over the sink so she could look outside while doing dishes.
Those windows have a great view of their backyard and the pool area, which they have spent hours enjoying along with their covered patio area.
Nikki says she was never one to sweat the small stuff in the house like some design-conscious homeowners do.
“I told David I didn’t care about the door knobs or the door hinges,” she said. “That didn’t matter to me. He could make those decisions.”
David said as a homebuilder he sometimes urges clients to “look at the big picture and not get hung up on one thing.”
A loft room above the kitchen overlooks the family room and has been the “high ground” for numerous Nerf gun battles, she said.
Large columns from Waco’s Falcon and Owl store were built with the staircase rail to leads up to the loft room. Many a movie night and sleepovers have been held in that loft room, she said, which also has photographic portraits of Nikki, David, Owen and their dogs.
The game room, just off the kitchen, is a favorite place for Owen. Lego constructs that he put together, including an old-style TV and vintage-looking Nintendo game system are among the colorful items. A game room sign is mounted between a pair of Lego characters high on the wall. A stoplight sits high on the opposite wall.
The sign and stoplight were both found at Round Top, Nikki said.
The master bedroom is comfy and roomy. A barn door slides open to the master bath that has marble greens and blues that makes Nikki think of their beach visits to Rockport.
In the bedroom, her collection of penny dolls are displayed in a rustic curio. The vintage-style dresser is yet another Round Top item. More of the family and dog photos grace the walls for a homey feel.
The sofa in their bedroom they’ve had for a long time, she said. It has a slip cover on it now, but Nikki laments that its manufacturer has since shut down.
Evident throughout the house is a variety of different vintage doors. Nikki admits some people don’t see the appeal.
“Not everyone likes old doors,” Nikki said.
David then chimed in.
“I had to talk people into framing those old doors (for the house),” he added.
David said the home-building industry is so different than just a couple of decades ago.
“Twenty years ago there were few outlets for designing interiors,” he said. “There was no internet. Once a month you had Southern Living magazine and that was about it.”
Today there is Pinterest, HGTV shows, certainly more home design magazines and websites, he said.
“The availability of trends is at your fingertips,” David said. “As a homebuilder it makes it hard to keep up. I feel like it makes you have to move quicker.”
Sometimes though, the old becomes — if not new again — popular one more.
“Trends do tend to circle back,” he said.
Home is where the Oates family can get comfortable and relax, whether it’s movie night in the loft room, soaking up sunshine by the pool, or stretching out on the sofa.
It’s a place they can enjoy with their dogs, surrounded by vintage charm. ￼