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Born and raised in Dallas, residential designer Mike Mahoney almost missed the opportunity to follow his artistic dreams. Mahoney graduated from Southern Methodist University with his degree in business and a minor in art followed alongside extensive study in design and architectural history. His late father wanted him to enter the family business, a prominent insurance firm. That stint was short lived, as Mahoney was more inclined to follow in the footsteps of his family’s long legacy of artists. In addition to his mother being an artist, his great-grandfather was a renowned portrait painter, with works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He could not resist the calling.
Mahoney took the plunge and built his first house in the mid-60s. The residence was a traditional golf course home. It was the beginning of his passion for creating imaginative and tasteful designs enhanced by an ability to embrace and share the visions of his clients. An ardent student of design and architectural history, Mahoney gained recognition in his field and spent the early days of his career building and remodeling classic homes in Dallas’ prestigious Park Cities community.
In the 80s, Mahoney became intrigued by the landscape of Kerrville, moving there to open a Design/Building firm. For 23 successful years, he created magnificent custom homes on hillsides, golf courses and sprawling ranches in the Hill Country. His love for fishing, however, ultimately lured him to Rockport, where his keen eye for coastal-style architecture led to designs of distinctive residences on the waterfronts and fairways. Mahoney’s southern roots made for an easy transition from rustic nuances to decks and verandas reaching out to waterfront views. Kerrville and Rockport exteriors are a study in contrast, but Mahoney’s penchant for space planning is the key ingredient in his interior design.
While each phase of his career has been meaningful, being able to live and work in Rockport has proven to be the zenith of his professional life. Armed with years of experience, he was prepared for the opportunities offered by the Coastal Bend. “New developments such as The Reserve at St. Charles Bay and the Islands of Rockport are positively impacting the new construction and custom home building business,” said Mahoney, “and individuals from all parts of the country are discovering the beauty of the Texas coast.”
Mahoney enjoys his working relationships with a cadre of fine builders in the Rockport area, and has designed homes in Key Allegro, Harbor Oaks, Rockport Country Club and other prominent neighborhoods. He recently designed a custom home at the Islands of Rockport, along with a variety of plans for the development’s new construction building program. Since a number of customers are out-of-town clients building a vacation home on the coast, Mahoney offers construction management for the projects. This service includes expediting, verifying and assisting the contractor and client with allowances. It further extends to helping clients select light fixtures, flooring, paint colors, plumbing fixtures and other amenities of the home.
Through the internet and design publications, he keeps abreast of building trends, products, construction codes specific to the coast, and all aspects of design and construction. Mahoney knows this is imperative, but places equal value on establishing a strong personal relationship with a client.
He begins the design process with extensive interviews to fully absorb their vision and lifestyle. Determining size, shape and function is fundamental, but capturing how individuals want to live in and savor their space is critical to the creative process. As a residential designer, Mahoney then draws the plans and when he completes them, they are sent off to be professionally engineered.
Success has been a constant companion throughout Mahoney’s career, and he credits it to the personal relationships he establishes with clients and being active in community affairs. Having a strong interest in maritime history, Mahoney served on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Maritime Museum. During his term, he contributed the architectural drawings for the Education Building and served on the building committee from inception through completion of the structure on the grounds of the museum. He is currently in the process of contributing plans for the proposed YMCA in Rockport. He was appointed to the City of Rockport’s Board of Adjustments and also was a member of the Water Equality Board. Dedication to his clients and giving back to the community is the foundation of Mahoney’s success, with personal referrals being the driving force.
Mahoney and his wife, Paula, enjoy waterfront living in Harbor Oaks and spend their free time fishing the waterways surrounding Rockport. They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren, whose visits add emphasis to the lifestyle for which the Coastal Bend is famous.
A consummate professional, Mike Mahoney has enormous enthusiasm for his design projects. It begins with a blank canvas, starts to take shape as he and the client revel in imagination, and evolves into a plan harmonious with one’s personal and individual lifestyle. “My happiest days are spent at the drawing board, sketching people’s dreams and seeing their vision come to life,” said Mahoney. His approach to designing coastal homes is akin to his love for the earth, sky and sea, with spaces designed to capture the all-encompassing beauty.