Jami & John Wightman's Cottage Farmhouse in Nixa

Nixa residents Jami and John Wightman built a cottage farmhouse–inspired custom home with plenty of family touches and room to unwind.

By Adrienne Donica

Aug 2018

Farmhouse cottage living room decor
Photo by Brandon AlmsBeyond the entryway, the inviting living room welcomes guests and leads into the kitchen. When it came to designing the home, John and Jami had plenty of inspiration. “One thing I’ve learned over the years is it doesn’t have to be big to still have all the things I desire in a home—a comfortable place for family and friends to gather,” Jami says. Purchase Photo

Becoming homebuilders sort of just happened for 417-landers Jami and John Wightman. Before joining the construction business, John grew up watching his dad, Ron, who built and sold homes in his free time. When the couple outgrew their first home in St. Louis, they sold it themselves and started building a new house. At the time, Jami, a Lockwood native and senior account executive at 417, was working for a telecommunications company and realized she could exercise her entrepreneurial spirit in the real estate market. “John’s good at the construction and design part, and I’m good at the business side of it,” Jami says. In 2002, Jami earned her real estate license, and the next year, Wightman Construction LLC was born. 

They built several homes in St. Louis, but after the market crashed, they decided to move to 417-land with their two kids, Logan and Molly. “[The] Springfield area has always felt a little bit like home,” says Jami, who frequently visited Springfield while growing up. And both Jami and John graduated from Missouri State University. After moving, the couple put custom homebuilding on hold (John still does concrete work through the business) except for one project—their own home in Nixa. 

In January 2016, they broke ground and moved in that December. “We wanted the big open family eating [and] gathering areas, and I wanted an outdoor space,” Jami says. “I really feel like on a weekend I’m at a resort. I don’t know that resort is the right word, but it’s definitely a safe haven.”

That’s no accident. The Wightmans incorporated family heirlooms and designed cozy-yet-functional living spaces throughout the 4,200-square-foot, five-bedroom home. For the family, the home is more than a roof over their heads. It’s where they can be themselves, weather the bad times and celebrate their successes—together. 

Farmhouse cottage porch
Photo by Brandon AlmsAn outdoor area was a priority for the family. This porch is located where a large walnut tree once sat. John used wood from the tree to create the fireplace’s mantel and the high-top table. The fireplace is one of four in the home. Purchase Photo
Farmhouse cottage kitchen
Photo by Brandon Alms

"Family is everything to us,” Jami says. Many family heirlooms, including dishes and pictures, have found a home in the kitchen. When Jami struggled to find a kitchen table, her mom suggested the one Jami had grown up around, which her grandfather had refurbished. Jami loved the idea and refinished it again to fit her home’s decor. To add more seating, they designed a large bar that could fit four stools.

Purchase Photo
Farmhouse cottage music room
Photo by Brandon Alms

Music is one way the family unwinds, so creating a space for that was key. “If it’s been a stressful day or stressful week, you’ll often find me in there on Friday evening,” Jami says.

Purchase Photo
Powder bath with barn door
Photo by Brandon Alms

A barn door adds rustic charm to the powder bath near the front of the home.

Purchase Photo
Photo by Brandon Alms
Cottage farmhouse master bedroom
Photo by Brandon AlmsCreating a functional space was just as important as creating a beautiful one for the family. The master suite includes a seating area by the bedroom’s fireplace, a large bathroom and an oversize walk-in closet. The closet is connected to the laundry room for easy access. Purchase Photo
Farmhouse cottage walkin shower
Photo by Brandon AlmsHaving prior experience as homebuilders helped the Wightmans create their Nixa escape. “Every home we built in St. Louis had a walk-in shower in the master,” Jami says. The couple brought this same concept to their home in 417-land and used different tile patterns to add interest and subtle detail to the shower. Purchase Photo