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september//october 2013 NHOME /


Your Vision Becomes a Reality at Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage NATASJA FIKE

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#513609

Owning your own home, a place to start a family and create memories, is still the American dream. At Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage we make reaching that dream easier with competitive rates and personal service. Our experienced Mortgage Loan Originators will show you just how easy home buying can be at Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage.

CLAUDYA GUTIERREZ Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#208591

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/ NHOME september//october 2013

september//october 2013 NHOME /



/ NHOME september//october 2013

september // october 2013 texas nhome magazine

custom homes

Oscar E. Flores Design Studio

Always working ahead of the trends and creating modern, open-minded and out-of-the-box designs, Oscar E. Flores and his team also always focus on client satisfaction and experience.


features 30 custom homes

The Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera Ranch With the early development of their second phase underway, the Tuscan-inspired Di Lusso Villas continue to develop before our eyes much like a fine piece of art, serving as a masterpiece addition to the Cordillera Ranch community.

78 active adult living Retirement Living 2013

Today's retirees don't have to settle for the typical "old folks" home. With the recovery of real estate markets around the country, they now have a number of options to suit any needs and preferences from assisted living to independent living.

82 community inspiration

St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway More than just your own dreams can come true with the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, which allows you both to enter for a chance to win a beautiful home built by Mike Hollaway Custom Homes and to contribute to the lifesaving efforts of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

84 community inspiration

Eva Longoria's Celebrity Casino Night Hosted by Eva's Heroes in collaboration with The Residents at the Eilan, this festive evening featuring mod '60s fashion and a luxe silent auction roster is set to help further the efforts of Eva's Heroes to provide life-altering experiences for individuals with intellectual needs. september//october 2013 NHOME /


in this issue 10 A Note From the Publisher 14 Contributors 16 Advisory Board

Dine 22 Steak!

Real Estate 34 Experience the difference

nhome staff

Household Services 50 Controlling clutter 52 Functionality for life

Green 54 Preserve and conserve

Industry Insights 58 Voices of the professionals

Arts & Culture

editorial director

executive editor

Kelly Hamilton

Erin O’Brien

creative director

senior graphic designer

62 Standing out

City News 64 Restoration and recreation

Great Escapes 68 An adventure 71 San Antonio rose 72 Unmatched Southern hospitality

Active Adult Living

Elisa Giordano

80 For your benefit

Cristina Villa Hazar

Events 86 Fall fun for all

photography: Jason Roberts


/ NHOME september//october 2013



Miriam Guajardo Resendez

Chloe Gil

Take Ownership of Your Active Lifestyle…

Affordable, Unique & Sophisticated Retirement Living in San Antonio

Follow us on 1 Towers Park Ln

San Antonio, TX 78209 I n d e p e n d e n t

The convenience of city living and the quiet charm of a resort lifestyle flow together at The Towers on Park Lane. Conveniently located near Alamo Heights, Ft. Sam Houston and downtown San Antonio. The Towers is surrounded by fine dining, The Quarry shopping center, and is the prime location for an active lifestyle. The Towers caters to both civilian and military individuals age 50 and over.

R e t i re m e n t

L i v i n g

As a cooperative, The Towers provides the advantages of HOME OWNERSHIP in an upscale senior residential community that is sophisticated, yet affordable, with floor plans ranging from one to three bedrooms. SERVICES & AMENITIES ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤ ✤

Maintenance-free living Weekly Housekeeping Scheduled Transportation Parking, Valet, & Shuttle Services 24-hour Surveillance of Property and Grounds

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Penthouse Club Overlooking Downtown San Antonio 4.5 Acre Park with Walking Paths and Garden Beds Heated Indoor Swimming Pool & Whirlpool Wellness Center with Weekly Classes Restaurant-Style Dining Room & Casual Deli Daily Resident Activities & Clubs

Call us for questions and to schedule your private consultation. Let our staff help you make your move to The Towers a smooth transition.

210-822-8722 ✤

september//october 2013 NHOME /


Our blacksmith artisans carefully hand-forge every scroll from iron the old fashioned way.

Where Iron Becomes Art

Highest Quality at the Lowest Price-Guaranteed Hand Forged Wrought Iron Doors ✤ Custom Staircase Railing Balconies ✤ Wine Cellars ✤ Gates and Fences ✤ Ornamental Iron

Call Today for Your Free Estimate & Free Design



/ NHOME september//october 2013

8666 Huebner Rd. Ste 106 San Antonio, TX 78240

on the


This home is located in Regents Park overlooking Downtown Austin. Established in 2007, Oscar E. Flores Design Studio works ahead of the trends in a wide variety of projects from retail and restaurants to hotels and apartment complexes. Studio founder Oscar E. Flores demonstrates a mastery of Tuscan, Mediterranean and traditional styles, but he favors modern architectural style and welcomes new trends in client preferences accompanied by a willingness to try something transitional or altogether out of the box. For more information, visit Oscar E. Flores Design Studio online at

september//october 2013 NHOME /


// a note from the publisher //


s we say goodbye to another hot, yet relaxing Texas summer, most are gearing up and getting ready for the more “business-minded” fall. This is the beginning of new fiscal year for many businesses. It is also a time many consider new projects such as building a home or redesigning a home or a section of a home. At NHOME, we are considering new sections to add. In our September/October issue, our cover story features a very talented architect full of great innovative and exciting insights into the world of home design. Oscar E. Flores of Oscar E. Flores Design Studio combines his international training and experiences to “wow” his clients, who usually want a design that is creative and unique. Not only is design a passion for Flores, but he is also very passionate about customer satisfaction. With his love of and preference for modern architectural styles, Flores never ceases to amaze me with his designs that also include eyebrow-raising Mediterranean, Tuscan and traditional styles. Without the expertise of talented architects, our homes and city skylines would have no character – they would just look like boxed buildings. Boring! We hope you enjoy and appreciate the visual talents showcased in this cover article. Also in this issue, we have several articles that we hope will keep you asking for more from NHOME. One such article highlights the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Dream Home Giveaway that Mike Holloway of Mike Holloway Custom Homes and his team of several other sponsors are building as a donation to then raffle off in an effort to raise money for St. Jude. My heart melts knowing that there are so many people who are passionate about giving back. Please support this worthy cause by buying a raffle ticket and you just might win this awesome house just for doing a good deed. Read the article for details. Another exciting article is an introduction to our new Active Adult Living section. Today’s retirees are active adults who want active communities and lifestyles that reflect and complement their physical, emotional and social needs. NHOME would like to showcase and share the various options and information available. We hope you find this new section resourceful. NHOME has continued to grow and evolve to cater to the desires of many of our readers in all age brackets, and we are happy to know there is a broad range of individuals who read our articles and draw inspiration and get new ideas for their homes from them. Your support is always much appreciated, and we look forward to hearing back from more of you, so please feel free to email us. Enjoy and have a great Texas-style fall! Thank You Sincerely,

Adaku Okoro, publisher


/ NHOME september//october 2013

proud member of:

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september//october 2013 NHOME /


Local. Legendary. Lasting.

NH ME texas

september // october 2013

ceo/nside media productions Eliot Garza


Adaku Okoro

editorial director Kelly Hamilton

executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

senior graphic designer Cristina Villa Hazar

contributing writers

Far from ordinary, Close to perfection. Meet one-on-one with Sitterle architects to design your custom home. From the doorbell to the back door, we ensure your new home expresses your personal style with the amenities and comforts you deserve. Make your appointment for your next home by calling 210-714-1507 or visit

Angela Clack Gabriel Diego Delgado Deborah Field Rita Zenzen Heck Michelle Houriet Patricia Hart McMillan Don Noble Deborah Omowale Christian Reed-Ogba Evie Reichel Miriam Guajardo Resendez Steven Schauer Paula Christine Schuler Amy Thomas Kim Young

contributing photographer Jason Roberts


Chloe Gil Miriam Guajardo Resendez

editorial intern Katrina Torres For advertising information, please call 210.568.9688 or email For editorial comments and suggestions, please email to reach us: 18402 U.S. Highway 281 N, Ste. 201 San Antonio, Texas 78259 Phone: 210.568.9688 Fax: 210.568.6630


Copyright © by NSIDE Media Productions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited. / NHOME september//october 2013

Expect Exceptional Expect much more from your luxury real estate company.

If a move is in your future, or you would like a professional market evaluation of your home, call – or visit our website and discover why Phyllis Browning Company is the very best!

• Fully-independent, family-owned company with almost 25 years of residential real estate leadership experience • Success through proven, results-based strategy • More Phyllis Browning Company Realtors® in San Antonio’s Top 50* than any other real estate company

• Average sales production per agent higher than any other San Antonio real estate company*


Since 1989



Average sales per agent, other leading real estate companies

Average sales per agent, Phyllis Browning Company

* Information based on sales reported in the San Antonio Business Journal, March 2013.


Enjoy a lifestyle like no other at The Broadway, including features you won’t find anywhere else, such as residential concierge services, resort-style amenities, guest suites for visitors and the best views in San Antonio! Call exclusive listing broker Jennifer Shemwell at 210-824-7878 for a private viewing.

15th floor luxury condo • 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths • Approx. 1,882 sq. ft. • Spa-like bath with separate tub and walk-in shower • Floor-to-ceiling windows • Laundry / mud room • Private balconies • Multiple closets • Fabulous views

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6101 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78216 I 210-824-7878 september //october 2013 NHOME / 1 3

// contributors //

Angela Clack

Few people will confess a love of eating, but Angela Clack lists eating among her hobbies. She believes life is best experienced in the enjoyment of great food with family and friends. Her tastes range from casual street foods to exotic selections and fine dining. Clack enjoys traveling and uses it as an excuse to immerse herself in the local cuisine and culture. Raised on highly seasoned traditional Southern fare, she seeks out authentic food and dining experiences and documents her discoveries for other food lovers.

amy thomas

Amy Thomas is the sales and marketing director for The Towers on Park Lane. She has 15 years of experience in the real estate industry, and she spent 10 of those years in sales and management for DR Horton putting families into new homes. After starting her own family, Thomas decided to hang up her sales shoes for a while to be a “mommy.” While away from the office, she decided to get her real estate license; she practiced real estate for about five years. In 2012, a new and unique opportunity came her way in real estate. She was offered a position working in senior living at The Towers on Park Lane. She has found working with seniors while still using her real estate experience to be refreshing, rewarding and a true blessing.


Michelle Houriet

As executive director for Independence Hill Retirement Communities, Michelle Houriet oversees the management and operations of the Independence Hill, Independence Hill Assisted Living and Independence Village neighborhoods of homes. She is very dedicated to creating an upbeat, respectful and exciting lifestyle for residents, ensuring their decision to move in will be a decision they wish they had made sooner.

steven schauer

Steven Schauer began his tenure as the manager of external communications for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) in January 2007. As manager of external communications for SARA, Schauer oversees the Intergovernmental & Community Relations Department, which is responsible for intergovernmental, community and media relations, as well as education programs for SARA. Major responsibilities of this position include acting as the agency’s spokesman; developing and implementing the community and communications programs for all SARA activities, including the high-profile San Antonio River Improvements Project; coordinating the agency’s state and federal legislative agendas; and directing the development of educational outreach. 

/ NHOME september//october 2013

Paula Schuler

kim young

Licensed since 2006, Paula Schuler works with Red Door Realty of Keller Williams as a tech and transaction manager. In addition, she studies journalism and interns as opinion editor with The Ranger, an independent student newspaper serving San Antonio College. She also has a background in vocal work, including concert soloist, various chorals, public speaking and voiceover training.

Kim Young, a native Texan, is a broker/associate with BH&G RE Bradfield Properties who has been assisting luxury buyers and sellers in the San Antonio and Hill Country areas since 1999. She is a third-year recipient of the coveted Five Star Professional Award for customer service and a past recipient of the Platinum Top 50 award. She is a mother of four, including twin daughters who recently turned 21. In addition to her real estate career, she is an author and co-author of the Creating Machine series, and she writes for various publications and websites.

Miriam Guajardo Resendez

Patricia Hart McMillan

For as long as Miriam Guajardo Resendez remembers, writing has been her release. It gives her a chance to escape into the worlds she creates. Originally from Mexico, she is currently a student at the University of the Incarnate Word pursuing a bilingual communication arts degree. Her writing has appeared in the university’s newspaper, The Logos. Resendez is an avid reader who enjoys everything concerning the outdoor life. She likes to attend music festivals, and she loves being surrounded my family and friends. And as she says, “The gift of travel has opened a world of opportunities for me. I love exploring new cultures and discovering how people around the world live to help inspire my writing.”

Patricia Hart McMillan, former editor-in-chief of 20/20, a New York City-based magazine, is the author/co-author of 15 design books, including “Home Decorating for Dummies.” A New York School of Interior Design alumna, she served as director of office planning and interior design for a New York City corporation. Her office is in Judy Klein’s “The Office Book,” and her interior designs have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Parade, House Beautiful Home Decorating Guide, The Designer and newspapers. She has appeared on TV shows and is quoted on the HGTV website. Signature furniture collections were based on her two Sun Country Style books. In 2002, she was presented with a lifetime achievement award by With-It, an organization of home furnishings industry executives.

Christian Reed-Ogba

Christian Reed-Ogba launched her boutique PR firm, BethanyEast PR, alongside her husband, Uchennaya, in late 2012 after relocating from Detroit. Since then, she has garnered much recognition in the social media marketing and nonprofit public relations sectors of the city’s increasing small business sector. Reed-Ogba is devoted to increasing connectivity between entrepreneurs, local community influencers and their audiences. As a publicist, she has worked with a number of nonprofits, new technology and hospitality brands, and she takes time to write freelance for area blogs and editorials.

rita zenzen heck

In her hometown of Chicago, Rita Zenzen Heck was a newspaper and magazine editor and TV copywriter. She currently lives in San Antonio and volunteers with the Majestic Theatre, the San Antonio Sports Association, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the San Antonio Council for International Visitors and the San Antonio Downtown Residents Association. Heck has worked for Stars and Stripes, Overseas Weekly and Made In Europe magazine, as well as in advertising and PR, before opening her own Creative Overflow. She added The Green Connection in 1995, also producing green building showcases and her own green building and education magazine and events. Since 1995, she has hosted and produced The Green Connection television show on digital cable channel 20, which airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Ranked in Top 5 as Residential Mortgage Lender in San Antonio!

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Nelson Enochs

// advisory board //


denise graves

Peggy Zettner

easton crafts

A realtor and real estate business owner since 1991, Denise Graves started the Graves Group in 2003 with the vision to offer extraordinary service to her clients, both locally and globally. The Graves Group has been in the Top 25 Real Estate Teams (SABJ) since 2005 and continues to set the standard for real estate in San Antonio and the Hill Country. With her 20-plus years of real estate experience in the area and her business mantra of “high tech, high touch,” Graves makes her properties stand out and keeps clients coming back.

San Antonio native Peggy Zettner has been in the wholesale interior design industry for more than 21 years. As president of Interior Trade Cartel Inc. (ITC) for the past 17-plus years, she has seen many changes in the local interior design market. And business has never been better. Zettner has always felt there was a need to bring more design product to the trade in San Antonio. ITC currently represents more than 100 lines of product. ITC is an ASID industry partner, and it is very involved in the community. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt, Zettner stays pretty busy. She loves entertaining family and friends, and her newest passion has been getting involved personally in the community. Her two biggest passions are CASA and Wounded Warriors.

Easton Crafts is the CEO of Directions Equity LLC. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1995, and in that time, he has closed thousands of loan transactions of all types, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Texas Vet, USDA, Jumbo and Construction Loans. He co-founded Directions Equity in 2007, along with his business partner Marc Spitzer, and together they have helped the company increase production more than 20 percent per year since its inception. Easton holds a degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance and mortgage lending. He is a member of the Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and the San Antonio North Chamber.

trish najim

edna de saro

barry denton

As a realtor and certified luxury home marketing specialist, Trish Najim prides herself in providing her clients a service to best assist them with their real estate needs regardless of whether they are sellers or buyers. Najim is with Keller Williams Realty Luxury International in San Antonio, and she is also a certified staging consultant and an interior design consultant. With her design background, she is able to work with buyers to visualize themselves in the home of their dreams, and to help sellers make their homes appealing to buyers. 

Edna De Saro is the senior vice president of Lone Star National Bank. As marketing director of one of the fastest growing banks in Texas, De Saro is involved in the development and implementation of all strategic marketing objectives that include corporate branding, public relations and market positioning.

As the director of real estate sales at Cordillera Ranch, Barry Denton is dedicated to creating an environment where people work together to consistently exceed goals. Prior to joining Cordillera Ranch, he worked for Bluegreen Communities, starting as a sales consultant in 2000 and ultimately becoming the South Texas regional sales director in 2009. Denton also has a background in teaching and in the golf business, and he remains a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has been a licensed real estate agent since 1991 and a licensed broker since 2005.

/ NHOME september//october 2013

belinda vela-reyna Belinda Vela-Reyna is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Science degree in Educational Guidance and Counseling from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She retired from an 11-year career as a U.S. probation officer for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division to stay home with her two beautiful daughters, Alexandria and Mia. She also has two amazing stepchildren, Danielle and John, and a wonderful husband. She has always had a passion for design, and she recently enjoyed renovating her new home with the help of Trent Hultgren.

paulette jemal Paulette Jemal is a global property specialist and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she is also a writer/producer for Telemundo and a freelance writer for a number of Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemal is currently one of the luxury specialists at Keller Williams Luxury International at the Dominion. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, she lists and sells property worldwide.

special advertising section


G i v e y o u r k i t c h e n a b r e a k t o n i gh t a nd d i n e w i t h u s

september//october 2013 NHOME /


Frederick Costa continues to write his love sonnets in fine cuisine and wine and the latest creation is not only a new look for Frederick’s Restaurant — complete with a fresh menu featuring his latest French and Asian favorites offering a variety of tastes to try.

// advisory board //

dale ponder Dale Ponder is the owner and operator of Cozy Outdoor Escapes, an outdoor living retail center focusing on customer service and high-end equipment. His career started in the electrical trades, where he held various positions in a large, nonunion shop in San Antonio, where he was raised. He later entered the international market, project managing the construction of drug interdiction radar sites throughout South and Central America and owning and operating a telecommunication construction service company in Caracas, Venezuela. Ponder left the business in 2010 to pursue his passion for the outdoor living retail sector. He developed a business plan, and Cozy Outdoor Escapes opened to the public in March 2011.

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland

Try our new Happy Hour appetizers and drink specials at our New Bar at the Broadway location!

To make reservations call #210.885.3782 M O N D AY T H R O U G H F R I D AY: 11:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. lunch 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner S AT U R D AY: 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner


/ NHOME september//october 2013

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland has served in a variety of ministry settings, including the Hospital Chaplaincy and the Mission Field (in Haiti, South Africa, West Africa and East Africa), and is a former member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Copeland is a founding co-convener of the Women in Ministry Training Conference, serving aspiring and active women ministers in all seasons of their journey. She is married to the Bishop David Michael Copeland. She serves with her husband as executive pastor of the New Creation Christian Fellowship Church, a thriving nondenominational church in Windcrest, Texas, just outside San Antonio. Copeland also has a passion and appreciation for beautiful homes and exquisite décor.

Gabriel Diego Delgado Gabriel Diego Delgado is an art consultant at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art. He has spent almost a decade in nonprofit art management, serving as a curator of exhibitions at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the project manager of research and development at the Museo Alameda (a Smithsonian affiliate); the community outreach/ communications director for an art and education nonprofit; and a working professional artist. He is a freelance curator and arts reviewer for several publications. His artwork has been shown in Arco 2012 (Madrid, Spain), New York, New York and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) D.C., as well as numerous galleries and venues.

mike hollaway Mike Hollaway enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the San Antonio area’s most prestigious builders of fine custom homes since 1992. One of his many well-earned awards was the 2008 Builder of the Year. He is a past president of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association; he holds graduate master builder (GMB) and certified green professional (CGP) designations from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); and he is a voting director of the Texas Association of Builders and the NAHB. Hollaway currently builds throughout San Antonio, as far north as Austin and Horseshoe Bay and as far south as the Eagle Ford Shale. Some of his community involvement includes being a past member of Rey Feo court, and he is honored to have been chosen to build the 2013 St. Jude’s Dream Home.

t he


a t


a n a n

’ s.

A New Bar With An Old Tradition. An elegantly appointed Old World bar where cordial

Like the great old bars of the past, we dispense classic

bartenders practice their venerable art behind a

cocktails, exotic beverages and good cheer in a

46-foot bar of reverently polished cherrywood. The

civilized setting. Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres,

cheerful clinking of glasses punctuates the rich notes

then come upstairs to Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and

of the baby grand piano.

Seafood for the best steak you’ve ever had.

(210) 472 - 22 0 2

# 221 East Houston Street San Antonio, Texas

www . boh a n a ns . com

C e l e b r at e w i t h u s — t h e b a r i s s e po t ep me b en r /! / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 3 N H O M E /


Your Favorite Italian Trattoria Piatti (Alamo Quarry Market) 255 E. Basse Road, Suite 500 210-832-0300 Coming Soon! Piatti at Eilan 17101 La Cantera Parkway 20

/ NHOME september//october 2013


The Graves Group The art of luxury residential real estate

Hidden SpringS eStateS – Private, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home, loaded with luxury amenities and perfect for entertianing. Nestled among trees on more than 2 acres in a gated community adjacent to The Dominion. $950,000 Village green, Boerne – 5 bedroom, 4 bath Theresa Mauricio Custom Home. Great location and fabulous lifestyle. $623,500

s s

CaValo Creek eStateS – Spanish inspired 5 bedroom, 5 bath home designed by Gustavo Arredondo and close to TPC Golf Resort. A state-of-the-artl home, loaded with custom features and beautiful, professionally landscaped surroundings. $759,000

Denise Graves,


Hidden SpringS eStateS – 2 acre hillside lot in a gated community with incredible views. Ready for your dream home! $315,900

RealtoR®, CLHMS, CRS, ABR, GRI I I office: 210-698-4700 cell: 210-260-2176 september//october 2013 NHOME / 2 1

// dine // myron’s filet mignon

Steak! Looking for an authentic steakhouse experience? Treat yourself to one of the savory shining stars among classic steakhouses that the Alamo City has to offer. // by: Angela Clack


orton’s, Myron’s, Perry’s, Kirby’s, Bohanan’s and now Bob’s. As the names suggest, when it comes to steakhouses and chophouses, it’s a man’s world. Take a stroll through any of these eateries and you’ll notice that the decor is intentionally masculine: wood, velvet and darkness. For those of us seeking an authentic steakhouse experience, this classic masculine bent is on point. It’s expected. Other expectations include extensive wine lists, a la carte pricing and exceptional service, to include no noticeable change in the waiter’s facial expression when someone in your party orders steak well done. San Antonians can expect an authentic experience from the aforementioned restaurants and from one of America’s oldest and most well-known restaurants, Ruth’s Chris. I know what you’re thinking: ‘Ruth. That’s a woman’s name.’ An exploration of the restaurant’s history revealed the story of Ruth Fertel, a savvy New Orleans mother of two who purchased a steakhouse and had the wisdom to keep “Chris” in the name


/ NHOME september//october 2013

to preserve the restaurant’s loyal following after a tragic fire nearly drove her out of business. I can’t help but admire her for including her name as the owner and (if you’ve had the pleasure of dining there) for adding the “sizzle.” Of the houses I visited, Ruth’s Chris was the favorite for overall experience. Not bad for a 130-restaurant chain. I visited their tiny Sunset Station location before it was announced that they would close to relocate inside the Grand Hyatt. Although it was crowded, the wait staff delivered incredible service and that trademark 500-degree plate sizzling with a buttery, tender rib eye. I often read reviewer ratings that declare a steakhouse to be the best. I would argue that this thinking is flawed. Unlike barbecue joints, traditional steakhouses can’t really be ranked. At each, you can request your desired “cut.” My preference is the rib eye, boneless. You can specify anything from rare to (God forbid) well done. My experiences revealed, however, that some add more seasoning while others choose to allow more of the natural flavor of the meat

to come through. So ranking them (determining whose preparation is better) seems illogical. Natural seems to be the philosophy at Kirby’s. I ordered a mesquite smoked rib eye from their summer menu. How they managed to smoke it with grill marks and keep it rare is beyond me. It was, however, flavorful and tender. The service was impeccable from start to finish, although the restaurant’s decidedly romantic lighting worked against me, requiring me to don my bifocals and engage my flashlight app to read the menu. It is possible to get an expertly prepared steak without having to venture downtown. If Tony is representative of the rest of the staff at Myron’s, visitors to the chic restaurant can expect great service. That’s what I got, along with a pristinely seared rib eye. It’s no wonder Myron’s has been voted a San Antonio favorite. They’ve done ambiance just right. The lighting is beautiful. You can see, but it’s still dark – not dark dark, but good dark. They’re lauded for their wine list, which

ruth’s chris filet mignon

kirby’s filet mignon

morton’s t-bone is extensive. I kept it simple and chose a house cabernet: Valley of the Moon. This place has to be a hot spot for first dates, proposals and anniversaries. It was so romantic, and I was alone! For more than 20 years, America’s cattle ranchers and farmers have reminded us that beef is “what’s for dinner.” And you’ll find plenty of it at Perry’s. Extraordinarily marbled cuts are on full display in the case at the entrance to their La Cantera location. These thick cuts are displayed alongside their “surf” offerings: mutant-sized lobster tails. Even so, Perry’s is best known for their pork chop. Its just-right flavor is complemented by that too-tiny applesauce side. The Perry’s pork chop is a massive, sticky, sweet adventure.

My adventure began with a tableside carving one Friday evening. It ended when I finished my leftovers on Sunday morning. I’ve not personally witnessed anyone who ordered the Perry’s pork chop leave without a bag in hand. It’s not possible to finish the chop in a single meal. You’re no doubt familiar with the expression, “saving the best for last.” My return to beef, and to downtown San Antonio, took me to Bohanan’s. It was there that I had my first taste of their extraordinary Akaushi beef. It’s pricey, but bottom line, that rib eye was worth every cent. Akaushi is to regular beef what a Picasso is to paint-bynumbers. There simply is no comparison. This Japanese

Unlike barbecue joints, traditional steakhouses can’t really be ranked.

bohanan’s rack of lamb

beef, raised in Texas, is exquisitely marbled with a buttery fat that melts away in juicy, beefy, flavorful bites. Beautifully appointed, the atmosphere at Bohanan’s is a testament to excellence down to the smallest detail. It is a light and jazzy romantic haven clearly targeting boomer diners. Their suited staff is attentive without being bothersome, offering a pre-order presentation of their delightful prime-aged beef cuts and their Akaushi selections. The menu and wine list are extensive and impressive with side offerings and appetizers you won’t find in a typical

chophouse. Bohanan’s is a shining star among steakhouses – a local favorite and a tourist attraction that was recently voted the No. 2 steakhouse in Texas. San Antonio’s carnivores have plenty of satisfying options to choose from among the city’s classic steakhouses. Whatever your preference, natural or highly seasoned, you can expect great service even if you do the unthinkable and order your steak well done. ■

september//october 2013 NHOME /


// custom homes //

Oscar E. Flores Design Studio: poised ahead of the trends

// by: Paula Christine Schuler // photography: jason roberts


/ NHOME september//october 2013

Out of the Box


an Antonio is currently one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Newcomers bring international and major metro preferences and styles with them. Educated in Monterrey, Oscar E. Flores arrived in San Antonio in 2001, and Oscar E. Flores Design Studio (OFDS) opened in 2007. While Flores demonstrates a mastery of Tuscan, Mediterranean and

traditional styles, he favors modern architectural style and welcomes new trends in client preferences accompanied by willingness to try something transitional or altogether out of the box. Flores and his team have been working ahead of the trends. Design is the skill set, but the focus is on client satisfaction and experience. “I want them to be happy with the whole process,� september//october 2013 NHOME /


says Flores, who believes minimizing the time clients spend interacting with the team is best for the client experience. He delivers on the certainty that clients hire him to bring the highest level of expertise, skill, knowledge and service, and to respect their time. Communication with clients during the process may include technical tools, email, texts and phone calls. Flores prefers face-to-face communication secondary to the nature of architecture and the kind of creativity and process needed for success. He finds face-to-face saves clients time. He believes this high level of communication creates the best environment for manifesting the vision of the client and creating both a magnificent product and a pleasing experience for the client. Flores initially interviews the client and gathers desires, needs and budget goals, and then he creates an initial layout. He says he prefers to work “old school” during the initial phases, handdrawing the designs on sketch paper including landscaping and outdoor features. Upon finishing the first full layout, he collaborates with clients face-to-face, ensuring communication is the highest quality possible for client success. Layout refinements continue until satisfaction is achieved. The second phase involves the building façade. Exterior features are drawn by hand. Every single detail is determined and finalized with the client. At this point, the studio team translates the hand-drawn sketches into computer drawings for the builders and clients. Further refinements are made as needed. If the client chooses a modern design, Flores presents a computer-generated full-color rendering. For clients desiring a more traditional design, he gives the final vision a beautiful full-color, hand-drawn watercolor rendering for a more traditional experience for the client. These drawings include exterior landscaping and water features as included with the client’s overall vision. With the exterior designs finalized, Flores enjoys working more on the interior. Clients may bring lists of features from builders for comparisons and selections. “I like to help my clients select that, too,” Flores says. “For example,

“My wife and I like houses to be built to our taste and needs, but especially for the house not to be found anywhere else. In other words, we like for the house to be exclusive. When we moved to San Antonio, we looked into different options and many said they designed custom homes, but the truth was they only modified a few small things in the house’s design. I then took on the task of looking for an architect who could design the project we wanted and again I realized it wasn’t easy for someone to design something truly custom. But when I met Oscar E. Flores, it was a real surprise. Ever since the first meeting, he understood exactly what we wanted and made us a hand drawing that confirmed that he was the adequate architect for our project. We are very happy with the final result and the formality of his work.” – J. H. Salinas Summerglen Builder: Prodigy Custom Homes

Cordillera / Oscar E. Flores / Builder: Stadler Custom Homes Interior Designer for Class, Covers & Colors: Catherine Culp Resnick

“Our builder recommended some designers for us to interview. He mentioned that one of the designers was a fresh new designer who might be more attuned to our ideas for a contemporary home. After the interview process, there was no doubt that Oscar E. Flores would be able to work with us to design a stunning contemporary home that would blend perfectly with the lot we owned. The design process could not have been more enjoyable, as Oscar understood our ideas and rendered them to plans beautifully. During the building process, Oscar worked seamlessly with our builder and us to ensure the home was true to our wishes. Oscar was always available to help us with design decisions throughout the project. We believe with Oscar’s design and with our builder’s hard work, the stunning contemporary home we had hoped for has come to fruition.” – Joyce and Alan Schwartz Inverness Builder: Lee Christal (Robert Weiss Enterprises Inc.)

if a client wants a glass wall, the client can send photos of what they like and we consult. Most of the time, clients hire an interior designer, but I like to participate in the interior work, as well.” Clients touch and feel samples of products. Every detail, texture, color, appliance and light receives consideration. Costs, feature comparisons, warranties and other client concerns are addressed. The process moves forward when the team reaches full client satisfaction within budget. According to Flores, “We can do really nice, beautiful things with a tight budget and some amazing work with a luxury budget.” Flores will be there from the first sketch to the end, when the client moves into the house. Throughout the construction process, Flores visits the site and ensures the results are satisfying. OFDS projects include residential, commercial, retail, apartment complexes, hotels and restaurants. Understandably, OFDS’s flexibility and notable width of experience lends to clients being able to design restaurant- and resort spa-quality features into their own homes, whether Tuscan, Hill Country, a mid-century modern upgrade or cutting-edge, sustainable, high-tech contemporary. Flores says he has no favorite kind of client. “I can do the smallest project and the biggest project.” He feels being open to all project types is part of the profession. “I think when you get to that point like when architectural firms say, ‘that’s too small for us,’ then I think their ego is growing.” Hailing from Mexico, educated in Monterrey and working in San Antonio for 13 years, Flores and his team prove themselves throughout Texas and internationally. OFDS is fully prepared to offer seamless, creative and enjoyable service for the multicultural, international client, as well as those who claim 100 percent Texan. OFDS is the perfect fit for anyone desiring consulting and design that is out of the box. Flores enjoys innovation and does not participate in the idea that any of his designs represent his best work yet. When asked about his favorite project, he says, “I can’t say I have a ‘best work’ yet. I can’t say that until I retire or die – until I stop creating. It places limits and says I’m not going to get better. Creativity has not peaked. Every time, every project, I have new ideas, new innovations and improvements.” ■

Oscar E. Flores Design Studio is located at 14402 Blanco Road, Ste. 300, in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, call 210-3554546 (mobile) or 210-679-4675 (office), email or visit www.

“Oscar Flores Design Studio, in our experience, was great. I had interviewed numerous architects and actually started plans with three other architects before I found Oscar. He was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to have a great natural sense for what I wanted in my home – not what he wanted. At our first meeting, he gave us a very detailed questioner to fill out about our wants, likes and dislikes. As soon as I got his first set of plans, I knew without a doubt that this was it. Every time we met, he would always reference that questioner to remember what was important to us. Oscar was upfront, honest and organized, and he always followed through. I was so impressed with his service, professionalism and willingness to help throughout the entire process. He visited our construction site several times per my request and on his own to make sure the job was going according to plans. It was a pleasure working with Oscar, and I would strongly recommend him.” – Gopinath and Sandy Chandrahasan Huntington Builder: Stadler Custom Homes Interior Designer: Kimberly Bruce

// custom homes //

Creating a Masterpiece The Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera Ranch:

developing before our eyes // special to nhome


ordillera Ranch, the 8,700-acre master-planned community located just northwest of San Antonio, revealed its Tuscan-inspired Di Lusso Villas in 2011 and has been painting an architectural masterpiece among the undulating Hill Country landscape ever since. Di Lusso is evolving much like a fine piece of art, with the next phase now being unveiled. But instead of one artist or designer, Di Lusso is the collaboration of several “designers” working together to create a masterpiece. For the best possible outcome, the developer, architect, interior designer, builder and villa owner collaborate, each providing input from their perspective. The developer and engineers first develop a concept and lay out the homesites, streetscape, open space and amenities. Soon thereafter, the architect, the builder and the interior designer merge ideas to complement the concept of the developer. Finally, the future owners provide the customization details that make the villa an extension of their lives – and so the masterpiece comes to life.

Studying the subject and underpainting the canvas As he stood on the hilltop overlooking the Cordillera Ranch Clubhouse and the Guadalupe River Valley beyond, developer David Hill envisioned something unique. Today, that vision is known as Di Lusso (Italian for “luxury”). The successful sellout of ridgeline and view lots in Di Lusso I has prompted the early development of Di Lusso II, with road and utility construction currently underway. “The terraced landforms of Di Lusso provide tremendous opportunity for creating our hillside, Tuscan-themed village,” Hill explains. “However, those same landforms present unique challenges. We wanted to create special designs to protect the views


/ NHOME september//october 2013

“The terraced landforms of Di Lusso provide

tremendous opportunity for creating our hillside, Tuscan-themed village.�

september//october 2013 NHOME /


of existing villas, optimize views of future villas and provide unique designs for our golf course and tennis frontage villas. We’re proud to have accomplished that with Roy Braswell of Braswell Architecture. Unobstructed views from virtually every lot, golf course and tennis frontage villa living, stunning streetscapes and the closest living possible to The Clubs are just a few of the features in our latest offering in this exclusive neighborhood.”

Identifying the big shapes “Di Lusso II will continue with all of the amenities and comforts found in Di Lusso I, but will also incorporate new designs to complement the unique nature of the topography,” Braswell says. “Old World design including gabled roofs, private courtyards and outdoor galleries; imported materials and construction methods; and a continuance of clean, timeless, authentic lines allow the blending of living in the Old World with the functionality of today’s.” Braswell has designed some of the San Antonio area’s most prestigious homes. “We’re excited to be involved with Cordillera Ranch and Di Lusso,” Braswell says. “Tuscany and the Texas Hill Country have a lot of visual similarities, and we’re happy to complement the existing villa floor plans with our creations. “These new designs required that ‘form follow function’ due to the unique terracing of the hillside. However, we never lost sight of the underlying need to maximize views and golf course frontage opportunities. It was also important to us that attractive structures be viewed from the golf course and surrounding areas. Our designs seamlessly incorporate the existing architectural elements, materials and streetscape that have made Di Lusso so popular.”

The value study Gabe Garcia leads the Pasadera Builders team, which is the exclusive builder of the Di Lusso Villas. “With Braswell Architecture, we were able to maintain the architectural integrity created in Di Lusso I, utilize the views to their maximum potential and design spectacular floor plans that everyone can enjoy as a home,” Garcia explains. “In addition, it was important to incorporate unique elements into those designs that added to the ambiance and privacy of the villas, but didn’t add to the bottom line. I ultimately have to look at costs. Braswell added tremendous value without increasing expense. “The main living areas of the villas enjoy not just the exterior views, but also an indoor/outdoor living experience. The design is not a typical floor plan. The interior spaces are uniquely designed to fit the lifestyle of each villa resident. In designing the first Di Lusso II villa for Todd Hughes, we took the plan and incorporated all the design requests that were special to Mr. Hughes, like his desire to live both inside and outside concurrently. We accomplished this through architecturally accurate windows and doors that brought the outside in from multiple areas of the home. “It was also important to Mr. Hughes that spaces for guests were made for them to feel at home versus just visiting. Also paramount is a functional kitchen that speaks of the resident and not of an attempt to feign architectural details. Braswell is


/ NHOME september//october 2013

a master at ‘authentic.’ He shies away from contrived. Mr. Hughes asked for a timeless interior style, so we created a plan from the design team (which includes Mr. Hughes) that meets that requirement.”

The color block-in “As an interior designer, it’s important for me to collaborate with Pasadera Builders and Braswell Architecture to first and foremost make sure the floor plan suits the clients’ needs,” says Nicole Roberts Winmill of NR Interiors. “Then I suggest the necessary changes to personalize the home

a pleasurable and enjoyable experience, providing exceptional results and value.”

Adjusting color and value Hughes fell in love with Di Lusso and lifestyle it offers. “I’ve followed the progress of Di Lusso since becoming a property owner/member a few years ago,” he says. “The ‘lock-and-leave’ concept, along with the close proximity to The Clubs, just made too much sense for my hectic schedule. Seeing the previously built villas also gives me a great level of comfort with the construction process and finished product

Di Lusso is evolving much like a fine piece of art. for the homeowner and ensure the architecture will be consistent with the overall desired aesthetics of the home. “I enjoy being involved with clients in the design of their home from the very start of architectural plans. This enables me to fully customize the home to meet all client needs, from space requirements to incorporating unique design elements that complement their lifestyle and design goals. Interior design doesn’t start with the furnishings. For the best results, it begins with involvement in the initial architectural design of the home. “Once we have refined the bones of the home, I then select all interior and exterior finishes from flooring materials to roofing and everything in between. I document all selections in highly detailed specifications and drawings so that Pasadera Builders can price the home accurately for the client even before construction begins. This service brings peace of mind to the homeowner, knowing exactly what the expected costs will be. It is our goal as a team of professionals to make the design and construction of a new custom home

since I’ll still be residing in Austin and unable to be onsite while my villa is being built.” Eager to start, Hughes contracted with Pasadera Builders for the construction of the first villa in Di Lusso II. “In visiting with David Hill, Gabe Garcia and Nicole Roberts Winmill, I was able to get very comfortable with timeframes, design, selections and the great value of Di Lusso,” Hughes declares. “Everyone involved has worked through the process seamlessly to present me with a unique product that fits my lifestyle and provides me the custom design I desired. Being intimately involved with the selection of materials and finishes allowed the entire design team to make timely adjustments, but also enabled me to work within a budget to create the greatest value possible. I’m anxiously awaiting the start of my villa, and I look forward to following the progress.” ■

Kim Young Has been working with luxury home buyers and sellers achieving their real estate goals in the San Antonio/ Hill Country market since 1999. Call her today!

KimYoung Broker/Associate Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties


To learn more about Cordillera Ranch, please visit september//october 2013 NHOME /


// real estate //

Experience The

difference With her passion for real estate and interior design, award-winning realtor Trish Najim focuses on fulfilling her clients’ dreams. // by: Miriam Guajardo Resendez // photography: jason roberts


orn and raised in Virginia, Trish Najim would spend her summer vacations with her grandmother at an architectural firm in Jacksonville, Fla., where her grandmother worked. This is where she learned she had a passion for the real estate business and interior design. Although she went off in other directions after college, she worked her way to the Alamo City. She has now lived in San Antonio more than 27 years and has spent many years as a community volunteer for organizations such as Respite Care of San Anto-


/ NHOME september//october 2013

nio, the Junior League of San Antonio, the American Red Cross, Friends of the Ronald McDonald House and the SW Research Foundation Forum, to name a few. She has more than nine years of experience working independently, offering all the attention and personalized service she can to her prestigious clientele. Years after her arrival in San Antonio, she soon became conscious that this was her gateway to something far greater. As she allowed herself to be driven by a higher purpose, she managed to move toward her passions and focus on her dreams.


ommunication is the key in most relationships, and it is not any different in a partnership with your realtor. “You can trust me to work for you with your best interest at heart and to represent you in an honest, ethical, business-like and professional manner,” Najim says. “I am a driven person and complete what I start.” Najim graduated with a degree in business management/marketing, but with a unique and innovative background in interior design. With that gift, she is able to help buyers visualize themselves in the home of their dreams. No matter the budget, she has an exclusive power to not miss those certain decorative elements that are essential in giving a final touch to any space by converting it to the perfect cozy area that will encourage harmony amongst family and friends. Regardless of whether she represents five or 25 clients at a time, Najim is always available to assist her clients. “I am always available to them, whether is it daily or on a weekly basis,” she says. “Indeed, we do live in an era where online advertising has grown immensely, but that cannot compare to one-on-one contact and visualization with potential clients. A balance needs to be present with a combination of both visual and referrals because they act as a tool in our daily lives for our business. It’s what keeps us growing.” As a realtor, Najim does not believe success comes from awards, but from the value put on the accomplishment of a job well done. She enjoys that warm feeling of seeing the look on her clients’ faces when all is done. “My main concern isn’t necessarily the recognition of my achievements, but to work towards fulfilling my clients’ dreams.” She serves as a member of various organizations, including the Greater San Antonio Builders Association, the National Association of Realtors, the Texas Association of Realtors, the San Antonio Board of Realtors and the Live Oak Garden Club (where citizens of the community commit to a healthy landscape and responsible stewardship of

Regardless of whether she represents five or 25 clients at a time,

Najim is always available to assist her clients.

the environment), and she serves on the board for NHOME magazine. She is a certified luxury home marketing specialist, a certified staging consultant and an interior design consultant. Her groundbreaking state of mind and dedication won her the prestigious “Rookie of the Year” award at Keller Williams Luxury International. When asked about her free time, Najim says, “there is nothing quite as peaceful and calming, yet as vibrantly alive, as spending some time at the lake.” Apart from her vibrant personality, she loves to socialize with colleagues and friends. Her worries are wafted away when she is close to water. The undisturbed sound of the water at Horseshoe Bay is something she enjoys while vacationing with the friends she likes to refer to as family. “Those water sounds remind me that our life extends above the walls that surround us at our home.” Although her family resides all over in reality (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Montgomery, Orlando and Pensacola), they remain close at heart and in constant contact. “I could have never imagined how powerful the bonds I share with my clients could be,” Najim says. “But those small and kind gestures are what make me call them my family and friends. In fact, I truly realized that I was on the right path the day I got to see the look on my clients’ face when they had acquired their dream residence.” In that moment, she became aware she was fulfilling a passion through her business. Najim’s perseverance and clear vision portray her “why” in life. Many may wonder why our “why” is important. But that is precisely what drives Najim’s passion forward. It is the soul and the purpose in her heart and business. Najim lives by the following quote by Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ■

For more information, contact Trish Najim at 210-213-2531 or visit september//october 2013 NHOME /


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// household services //

In a dining room or library, professional organizer Jeana Watts suggests a decorative box to keep napkin rings near the dining table.

Professional organizer

Jeana Watts shares some

quick and easy storage tips.

// by: Patricia Hart McMillan


Decorative boxes are great for holding collections of small items. In the dining room, put napkin rings in a beautiful box in the china cabinet. On a dresser top, stack boxes full of bracelets (sort by style, material, etc.). In the bathroom, a decorative box can hold small soaps, Q-tips, lipsticks or other small items. (Tip: Mirrored boxes add sparkle.)



/ NHOME september//october 2013

photo by david strahan

Controlling Clutter

usy people need and use lots of things, which too easily become clutter,” says professional organizer Jeana Watts. “Small items – keys, napkin rings, earrings, socks – are easily misplaced. We cannot find favorite clothing items in crowded closets. Piles of paperwork seem daunting. Clutter leaves us feeling out of control and stressed out.” To control clutter, nip it in the bud, she advises. “Start by being well organized. Make a place for everything; store everything in its place.” Here are some of Watts’ favorite quick, easy and inexpensive storage container ideas for corralling items that create clutter and confusion.

Trays: Magazines askew all over the living room coffee table? Stack them in a tray! Too many to stay on top of the table? Place a tray full beneath the table. In the dressing room, trays can hold jewelry. In the bathroom, a tray of perfume bottles is a glamorous accessory for the countertop. (Tip: Choose tray styles that work with your décor, and remember that silver trays look elegant, but need polishing.)


Baskets: Large flat baskets are ideal for collecting newspapers. Baskets with handles hold silverware and make it easy to transport from the kitchen to the patio or porch. Baskets are great desktop organizers. Use them as inboxes and to keep small items such as paperclips, rubber bands and rolls of tape handy. Large baskets keep extra toss pillows handy beside the sofa or bed. (Tip: When not in use, store empty baskets by grouping them to create a handsome display.)


Special hangers: Huggable hangers from Costco multiply hanging space in closets. (Tip: Move seldom-worn clothing to the back of the closet.)


Storage racks: Use-anywhere sturdy steel storage racks add a high-tech touch throughout the house. Rollers make it easy to move even fully loaded racks. (Watts prefers those from Sam’s Club.) Watts says it’s easy to dress up the racks by storing things in decorative containers on the shelves. (Tip: Clear plastic storage containers with lids make it easy to stack and view stored items.)


Handsome trays hold magazines in neat stacks on the living room coffee table.

Baskets are great desktop organizers.

Plastic garbage bins with lids are great for storing bulky out-of-season things – quilts and blankets, for example. (Tip: Flat tops make stacking these containers easy.) top photo by david strahan, bottom photo by jeanna watts


Ziplock baggies are not kitchen-only items. They come in a variety of sizes, and an assortment lets you sort and contain small, medium and large items. Placing jewelry in individual baggies keeps pieces safe from scratches and tangling. Sorting appliance manuals in individual gallon-sized baggies keeps pages from tearing and makes it easy to file the booklets and leaflets alphabetically for quick and easy retrieval. Travelers use baggies to protect intimate apparel and other items from airport boarding inspectors’ hands. (Tip: Frequent travelers keep such items packed for efficient departures.) ■


Interior design consultant Patricia Hart McMillan is the author/co-author of 15 books on interior design and architecture. Architect David Strahan’s photographs appear in “Old Places New Spaces,” co-authored with Katharine and Patricia McMillan.

Jeana Watts recommends high-tech-style sturdy steel shelving with rollers for storage of large items. september//october 2013 NHOME /


// household services //

Functionality for Life Sort It Out Professional Organizing Solutions helps families

organize chaos, clutter and kids, one room at a time. // by: Evie Reichel





/ NHOME september//october 2013

chool has started and kids either have left the nest for college or will spend most of their days in class followed by any number of extracurricular activities. That extra time without the children home is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the space the children use most (their play rooms and bedrooms) – to create more organized, better utilized rooms. Enter Esmi Gonzalez, the founder and owner of Sort It Out Professional Organizing Solutions who specializes in creating livable spaces that can be easily maintained. A professional organizer, Gonzalez often works with families to help organize children’s bedrooms, playrooms and other living spaces. According to her, it’s all about creating a space that is organized with the family’s lifestyle in mind. “I meet with my clients for about an hour initially to discuss goals and priorities, as well as frustrations with clutter and other ways to make the home lifestyle more practical,” Gonzalez explains. “Once I understand how a family functions, I can offer suggestions to make the spaces they have work sensibly for them.” Kim Chica, a mother of three young girls who works from home, confirms that Gonzalez has a knack for studying a family’s lifestyle and routines and using that information to reorganize a home so that it makes sense. “My breaking point came when I couldn’t find anything,” says Chica, describing the moment she decided she needed a professional organizer. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of clothes and toys I had to keep track of. I was constantly being interrupted by my children and couldn’t find

the time to do everything efficiently.” Chica called Gonzalez, who advised her to block off a few hours in her day and find a sitter for the kids while they worked together. “It’s stressful for the parents to have the kids around and vice versa,” Gonzalez says. “When you start going through toys, suddenly every one becomes the children’s favorite – even if they haven’t played with it in years. I have found the process runs more smoothly when the kids come in after we’ve done the major work, which is why it’s beneficial to start the process while they’re at school.” Gonzalez helped Chica with her home office, the children’s playroom and their bedrooms. She evaluated the family’s routines and offered solutions to make their lives run more smoothly. For example, Chica says morning was tough on the family. Everyone would go downstairs to eat breakfast and return upstairs to get dressed. Inevitably, Chica would end up running back upstairs and to various rooms to retrieve articles of clothing before hurriedly ushering the kids out the door to start their day. Gonzalez suggested designating a drawer downstairs for the children’s socks, shoes and hair accessories to alleviate the constant upstairs/downstairs routine. According to Chica, that one simple suggestion helped minimize stress in the family’s morning routine. Other successful commonsense suggestions included keeping the girls’ pajamas in a drawer in the bathroom so they could easily access them when they finished their baths, and labeling every drawer and cabinet in the children’s rooms and bathrooms. Because Chica’s girls are part of a Spanish immersion program, the labels


are in both English and Spanish. “Esmi’s practical advice made a huge difference in our lives,” Chica says. “It took an objective observer like her to see the solutions. I was so immersed in the

larly appreciated Gonzalez’s willingness to accept her input rather than simply creating hard and fast rules. “It was easy to talk to Esmi and bounce ideas off of her,” DiTrolio says. “I also loved the fact that when we

“Esmi’s practical advice made a huge difference in our lives.” everyday tasks that I couldn’t figure it out on my own.” Ana DiTrolio, a mother of three who works out of her house and home schools her children, agrees. “I learned a lot from Esmi throughout the organization process. The best advice she gave me was to let go of things that we don’t use or need and to evaluate what my kids actually use and play with.” Gonzalez organized DiTrolio’s office, the children’s game room and the family’s theater room. As she did with Chica, Gonzalez spent time observing DiTrolio’s lifestyle before determining a solution for the family’s organizational problems. DiTrolio particu-

finished, Esmi took those items that were being donated to the respective places for me. It was a service I really appreciated.” One rule Gonzalez says all families should live by is removing one item for every item brought into the home. With respect to kids, that means when a new toy enters the house, another one gets donated, recycled or thrown out. Gonzalez also recommends implementing a reward system for the kids in the household so that once the house is organized, it’s more likely to stay that way. “You’re never too young to learn responsibility,” she emphasizes. “There are all kinds of ways to implement a reward system, and you have


to find what works best for your family. I can help figure out what that is and how to implement it.” However, Gonzalez says it’s important that the children’s rewards do not involve bringing more clutter into the home. Rather, they should include special outings with the parents or payment for jobs that are completed on time. Both Chica and DiTrolio agree that maintaining the initial organization is a continual process. “Esmi gave us the tools to do it ourselves,” Chica says, adding that the reduction in stress for her family was well worth the time and money spent for Sort It Out’s services. ■

Sort It Out Professional Organizing Solutions is a San Antonio-based company whose primary goal is to help clients edit their lives, organize their surroundings and gain control of their world so they can enjoy the more important things in life. To learn more, visit, or contact Esmi Gonzalez at 210-818-8250 or september//october 2013 NHOME /


// green //

CAMPOS house FULL KITCHEN Arthur Campos kept the authenticity of the period with color, cabinets and hardware in the added kitchen, which contains all of today’s modern conveniences.

Preserve and Conserve Why many AIA-San Antonio architects are taking a new approach to rehab/remodel projects with the keys to sustainable living


everal AIA-San Antonio (American Institute of Architects) members are committed to preservation, restoration, recycling, reuse and conservation – the keys to sustainable living. Renovating and redesigning interiors of existing structures saves materials, reduces landfill loads, retains historical values and is economically viable, which is why many AIA-San Antonio architects devote at least a part of their practice to rehab/remodel projects. Remodeling rather than moving is becoming the norm for homeowners who are comfortable where


/ NHOME september//october 2013

they are. They like their neighborhood, the schools, their surroundings and their home, but they need to add, subtract or enhance it with a new approach. Homes in historic districts are governed by the city’s office of historical preservation and are watchdogged by the San Antonio Conservation Society, which makes it more difficult for architects and contractors. The conservation society investigates to verify that historically important structures and neighborhoods retain their historic standing, which means, in most cases, exteriors cannot be altered and all new design rehab/additions and materials

photo by John Grable Architects

// by: Rita Zenzen Heck

must be approved by the preservation office and the city building code office. Other remodeling and addition projects require city building code and homeowner association approval (if applicable) before they are started to protect the integrity of the property and the neighborhood. Mid-century built homes found in Terrill Hills, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park and many other areas have become prime targets for updating and resizing to meet current codes.

CAMPOS house LIVING ROOM Keeping the original cedar roof decking as the ceiling of the living room and polished concrete floors added character to the 1855 upgrade.

Historical gem

photo by John Grable Architects

Impassioned with historical restoration after spending five years in Galveston, Arthur Campos, AIA, relishes the challenge. His most recent restoration was included on the 2012 AIA Homes Tour, an 1855 gem in Castroville. The Huth/ Jungman House’s present owner wanted some updating and additions to the 878-square-foot home to suit her modern lifestyle. Campos stabilized the foundation and added a kitchen, a master suite at the rear and a guest loft-overgarage behind to blend with the original structure, almost doubling the square footage. New insulated doors and windows, a recyclable galvanized steel roof and upgraded HVAC including a mini-split ductless unit in the guest suite were among the energy features. Used interior doors came from an antique shop and the origi-

Remodeling rather than moving is becoming the norm for homeowners who are comfortable in their areas. nal wood shake roof, and cypress decking was left exposed on the living room ceiling with exterior wood from a 1970s addition recycled into paneling for the guest suite. Shutters were added to the exterior, plaster was matched and the landscape was left intact.

The result was so impressive that the City of Castroville appointed Campos its historical preservation officer. Campos is also chairman of the Building Standards Board, San Antonio. The home is listed on the 1969 Texas Historical Commission’s survey.

Ranch house favorite Single-story ranch-style homes were the mid-century rage (1940s and ‘50s), and many still exist in some of San Antonio’s most treasured neighborhoods (Terrill Hills, Olmos Park and Alamo Heights), where John Grable, AIA, is well-known for september//october 2013 NHOME /


If you’re considering an upgrade or addition to your existing property, the first thing to do is work up a wish list.

Contacts Arthur Campos, AIA / 210-683-9992 John Grable, FAIA / 210-820-3332 Paul Franklin, AIA / 210-589-8167 Charles Shubert, AIA / 210-227-2968 San Antonio Conservation Society 210-224-8183 Office of Historic Preservation San Antonio / 210-207-8316 City of San Antonio Development Service Department / 210-207-1111


/ NHOME september//october 2013

bringing them back to life. A military couple raised their family in a house near Fort Sam Houston while they were in service. After retirement, they decided to return and opted to update. Grable, known throughout the neighborhood as “the ultimate renovator,” took on the task of adding a more sophisticated kitchen/entertaining area opening up the backside, bookended by two bedroom wings. The addition entailed removing a kitchen wall and adding a glass-enclosed sun parlor. The new wood slanted roof brought character to the original structure, but it did not interfere with its original footprint.

Big time redo Paul Franklin, AIA, actually reinvented his clients’ original 1,600-square-foot ho-hum ranch-style Terrill Hills home into a 3,500-square-foot wow two-story Mediterranean beauty. Starting practically from scratch, the challenge was to totally redesign from the foundation and

one room at the back. The home was built in 1955, and the redo began in 2006 when Franklin designed additions to the front, the rear, the right side and a second floor. Stone veneer was salvaged from the original structure and reused. All interior finishes were new to suit the owners’ wishes, and the kitchen opened up to expanded living space and the great outdoors. According to Franklin, the redo met all building code requirements, including honoring the required setback lines, front and back, and provided the homeowners with a whole new way of life.

Work in progress Retired advertising genius Lionel Sosa (Sosa & Associates, America’s biggest Hispanic ad agency) and his wife, Kathy, left the agency business to pursue their personal talents in art and writing. Both have authored books and created memorable works of art, some of which now hang at the Sosa Gallery in an 1872

photo by John Grable Architects

EXTERIOR/BACK BEDROOM The back of this original Castroville 1855 home was extended to include a master suite and kitchen with no visible seams. A garage/guest suite was added to match at the back with original looking plaster.

FRANKLIN house EXTERIOR PRESTO! Paul Franklin reconstructed the first floor and turned this once-upon-a-time ranch-style home into a two-story Mediterranean beauty.

photos by John Grable Architects

FRANKLIN HOUSE BEFORE A typical one-story home on Terrill Hills recreated by architect Paul Franklin. restored historic home in Lavaca. They acquired the property in 1996 and opened the gallery with a guest suite in the lower level (basement) in 2006. A few years later, they decided it would be a good place to live and work and commissioned architect Charles Shubert, AIA, to design a companion building to meet those needs and building specifications. The new 1,547-square-foot structure will have an open livingdining-kitchen space and a master suite with a large studio on the second level. Shubert designed an energy-efficient building with insulated panel sheathing, operable double-hung double-paned windows, eight-inch foam attic insulation and high SEER air conditioning for the main floor. A ductless unit was selected for the upstairs studio for increased energy efficiency. Matching the period rather than the original stone on the 1,800-square-foot gallery, the Sosas opted for wood siding and a metal roof prominent in historic Lavaca homes. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. A native Texan, Shubert worked for several years in Zurich, Switzerland, and returned to Texas in the 1960s. He has become active in updating historic homes in the Lavaca and King William historic districts in recent years.

Restore/remodel advice If you’re considering an upgrade, addition or restoration to

your existing property, the first thing to do is work up a wish list. Then go over the list with a qualified architect (one with historical restoration experience if your project is historical). Then document your wishes on a carefully worded contract that clarifies everything from the beginning and will back up any future concerns or disputes. The architect can take over as general contractor, or you may want to do it yourself, which will save money, but be sure everything is spelled out in writing. Although costs may change as the project progresses, set guidelines and ask to be informed immediately of any projected changes. Have them put in writing, and review and update them often. Regularly inspect and check every detail of the project, including costs, to be sure there are no surprises later. Get a warranty upon completion and enjoy your new space. â– september//october 2013 NHOME /


// industry insights //

voices professionals of the

Leslie Anderson MSA Architecture & planning

➊ What advice can you give to a person looking for a residential architect? I believe it is important to find someone who will work with your particular aesthetic and design the home you want. It is also important to find someone who will guide you in designing a home that is also resalable. If you want a unique space, it is important to design that space in such a way that it is flexible for more common uses. 

➋ How do you find the right architect who can create your style/vision? Interview the firm and ask them specifically about their design philosophy. Some firms have a particular style and they do not deviate from it, while other firms work with a variety of styles. Look at the firm’s

common questions and offer tips for finding the right residential architect and custom builder for you.

➌ With so much emphasis on green building, do you design to create green homes? Yes, we do design “green” to varying degrees. We have done several homes with solar panels and water catchment systems, to name a few green ideas. House orientation is also a big item to think about, as well as home insulation packages and landscape design.  

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs? Always keep in mind resale. Also floor plan function: Does the floor plan flow, and is the furniture placement thought out? I have seen several houses that looked great on paper until you started looking at how to place the furniture.

Oscar E. Flores Design Studio

➊ What advice can you give to a person looking for a residential architect? I would advise them to take their time in looking for someone who fits in with their needs. They should interview at least three and be prepared with a list of questions to ask them. Also, always ask for references from previous projects and how the communication was with their clients throughout the process.  

➋ How do you find the right architect who can create your style/vision? You can find the right architect by interviewing him/her and looking at their design capacity, as well as evaluating their portfolio. Once the right architect is selected, / NHOME september//october 2013

industry’s finest answer

portfolio. Also, I find it very helpful when a client brings photos of things they like. This helps our firm get an idea of the client’s general style. The Internet site is a wonderful resource for design ideas.  

Oscar E. Flores


Some of the

the most important thing is to have good communication.

➌ With so much emphasis on green building, do you design to create green homes? We always try to create something functional and take into consideration building a green home that is sustainable and good for the environment. I think that as a designer, you always have to think about the environment when creating a good design. This will ensure it lasts both physically and economically.  

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs? Residential design is one of the best areas of design because it gives you the opportunity to create spaces that bring families together, and as a family, a home is the greatest investment you can have.

Roy Braswell, AIA Braswell Architecture Inc.

➊ What advice can you give to a person looking for a residential architect? Find an architect who has done the type of design work you like. Select her/him based on their ability to do the work you like. Understand that what an architect charges may include a much more complete design including hardscape, interiors and lighting, as well as supervision of the contractor. The inherent quality of the design will pay for itself someday.

➋ How do you find the right architect who can create your style/vision? Do lots of research on the Internet (the AIA website, Houzz, Zillow Diggs) and then call and talk to the architect. Ask lots of direct questions about design, services and costs.  

➌ With so much emphasis on green building, do you design to create green homes? Yes, always, every project is as green as it can be.

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs? Designing a house for the site is the first and most important thing you should think about. A lot of house plan designers frankly don’t consider the site, or are just not skilled enough to really design a house that looks like it fits naturally on the land.

➊ What advice can you give to a person looking for a residential architect? Ensure that the architect has a varied portfolio of residential styles. This will illustrate that he or she is willing to listen and has experience working with clients. It is also important that an architect has extensive onsite experience in dealing with construction administration. Too many architects do not spend enough time developing construction experience.

➋ How do you find the right architect who can create your style/vision? Review an architect’s

Lindsay Thorn

Thorn+Graves Architects PLLC

portfolio to see that they have the ability and flexibility to embrace varying styles. A good architect should listen to the client, be able to assess a client’s needs, interests and desires and take the time to visit their current place of residence to get a better understanding of how they live. What matters most is that clients trust their architects. A good relationship is vitally important throughout the design and construction process.

➌ With so much emphasis on green design, what do you do to design green homes? Much of today’s green building design is an adaptation of how the

green building approach has been utilized around the world for the past 50 years. Architectural school in the U.K. taught there is no conscious effort to “design green”; it is the way design has been inherently taught for centuries – the orientation of a building, assessment of a site’s constraints such as topography and providing sensible, logical answers to situations that take into consideration economic and environmental problems. Not enough emphasis is paid to the simple things from the beginning of a project’s design that can reduce overall job and life cycle maintenance costs for a residence.

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs? Considering that most people who elect to design and build a new home for themselves will be making the largest investment of their life, the recent trend of electing to “pick” a design that is simply an accumulation of boxes for a plan with a series of standard elevation features is, in my opinion, a slippery slope. More effort needs to be paid to real design, room relationships, scale, size and appropriateness of style for homes, with particular attention to the exterior aesthetics and the region for which they are located. For example, Tuscan homes in Tuscany, Hill Country homes in the Hill Country, etc.  september//october 2013 NHOME /


John M. McNair

McNair Custom Homes LP

➊ What advice can you give for a person looking for a residential custom builder? Do your homework. Make sure you are comfortable with the builder and can get along with him or her and the staff. This will be a long process, from design to build to warranty. Next to choosing a spouse, this will be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. A thorough vetting process is imperative. Check the Better Business Bureau. Ask for supplier and trade references and call them. Are bills paid on time, and are there any current issues? Ask for the builder’s interim construction lender and call the loan officer. Get the names of other people the builder has built for, as well as neighborhoods built in. Call the names given, but also go knock on a few doors and find out for yourself. Were they happy with the building process? How quick was the response to customer service problems? Remember, this is one of the most, if not the most, expensive projects you will ever be involved in. Go in with eyes wide open and be comfortable with the person who is ultimately going to be responsible for the quality and cost of where you and your family will be living.

➋ How do you find the right builder/ architect who can create your style/vision? Look at projects done in the past. Make sure they are listening to you, and if

they try to persuade you against what you have in mind, make sure there is solid reason to back it up. Are they sensitive to your budget? Again, the relationship between the client and the builder/architect is extremely important. They must listen to you. I think there are those who may try to impress you with their creativity, which can lead to an end product inconsistent with the budget you have in mind.

➌ With so much emphasis on green building, do you design/build to create green homes? There are many shades of green, and every builder has their own take on it. We design our homes to be energy efficient and practical, and with little wasted space. We use ENERGY STAR appliances, high-efficiency HVAC systems and open cell foam insulation in the rafters with blownin cellulose in the exterior walls. All of our homes are HERS rated and score well below the minimum standard, averaging in the low to mid 60s. In addition, our windows are custom vinyl-clad, ENERGY STAR-compliant, doublepane, insulated low-E glass for superior energy efficiency. Water heaters are quick recovery and zoned in the home. We use a considerable amount of hard surface flooring products, and our patios and balconies typically have 10 to 12 feet of covered area.   

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs/ builders? My opinion is you are better off choosing your builder first and then using the

➊ What advice can you give to a person looking for a residential custom builder? Check references and before calling, have a list of important questions you want to ask. Find references in the industry that were not given to you by the builder. Visit regular homes they have under construction (not models) and see how clean they are and what the quality looks like. If you do not know what to look for, hire a third-party inspector to visit one of their jobs and look it over. It is much easier to talk about what you will do than it is to actually do it. Make sure the builder has a good process for communication during construction. Do they meet with you on a regular basis? Find out how change orders are handled. Make sure the builder is used to inspecting the work thoroughly from the ground up – not just the finish. Find someone you can communicate well with. Building is not easy and there will be hiccups; you have to be able to navigate those hiccups with someone you can communicate with.

Ray Stadler

Stadler Custom Homes


/ NHOME september//october 2013

designer/architect the builder works with. You want the builder and plan designer to have a good working relationship and rapport. It is far better, and more likely cost effective, than having a plan designed and going to several builders to have it bid out. If you choose to have the plan designed and then bid it out, make sure you have a comprehensive set of specifications and allowances so that all bids will be consistent

➋ How do you find the right builder/ architect who can create your style/vision? Ask to see work they have done that is in line with your style or vision. If they have not done something along those lines, verify they can adapt by showing something

they have done that is out of their normal style. The builder must ask you a lot of questions about what you want. They should ask you for pictures of things you like so they can understand your style. If they do not try to understand your needs and what you want, you probably do not have the right builder.

➌ With so much emphasis on green building, do you design/build to create green homes? We design and build homes that have green features as a standard. We help our owners make value decisions based on what makes sense for them. If we have a buyer who wants to be green and cost is not in the equation, we provide them with all of the bells and whistles. Most clients, however, want to be green and to do it wisely, so we help them make those value decisions.

➍ What informative comment can you give on residential designs/ builders? The designer and the builder are probably the most important decisions you will make. Do the research up front. Do not make your decision on the builder or designer based on that person being nice. There are good and bad builders at every price point. You need to do the research up front to make sure you get a good one, and the same goes for designers.

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// arts & culture //

Standing Out Amita Bhatt’s solo drawing installation titled “Depends // by: Gabriel Diego Delgado


or three months (June 6 through Aug. 24, 2013), Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum was held captive by four women solo exhibitions, each radiating a unique spiritual sense of some sort of artistic shamanism and eerie existence. It was the kind of metaphysical vibe their staffers will need to expel by burning incense in the galleries after the deinstallation – cleansing the museum of a certain unmistakable and indisputable mojo brought in by nature, beasts, skeletal remains and material explorations. This quadrant of museum exhibitions titled “Texas Tough” featured Jill Bedgood, Amita Bhatt, Sharon Kopriva and Sherry Owens, each laying claim to coveted sections of the museum and installing work that seems to carefully activate each nook and crevice of their spatial divides of devout artistic devotion. However, Bhatt stood out for her simplistic attack of transcen-


/ NHOME september//october 2013

dent transgressions. Aware of her own confused presence in this unrelenting universe, Bhatt delivered a riveting installation of larger-than-live charcoal drawings that make us ponder our own perspective on right and wrong – a meditative ambiance of confusing religious interpretations. Museum-goers’ understandings of thangka paintings of Buddhist monasteries and the 64 categories of art in the Hindu culture were needed to play a vital role in the dissection, evaluation, decoding and revelations in Bhatt’s solo exhibition. With such rigorous scholarly attributes, one could only begin to dive into the artist’s mind and the foreboding elixir of guilt, confidence, reassurance, questioning, dichotomies and pervasive misgivings of this supernatural realm of mythical, yet concurrently contemporary world. The skirted back section of Blue Star’s Project Room was encompassed with “Depends Who You Ask,” a solo exhibition by this

photo courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary Museum

Who You Ask” creates an architectural environment epiphany at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

Houston-based, but India-born artist consisting of 13 large drawings on painter drop cloths measuring 9 by 12 feet that covered the exhibition space from floor to ceiling. This environment, draped in a dark and eminent depression, changed the scope of Blue Star’s interior. Creating a primordial cave painting of Lascaux environment, Bhatt unknowingly changed the architectural layout through a purely 2-D means by a juxtaposed visual illusion – the institution’s walls vanished in a mythological metamorphosis. Now enter the religious experience. “My work is anchored in the historic and global phenomenon of geographic and identity politics … the drama

dance of dastardly dimensions. We are powerless to a visual and spiritual train wreck we cannot look away from. “My personal experiences in riot-torn Mumbai in 1992 led me to investigate the role violence plays in the global struggle for power, agency, policy (making) and domination on individuals, communities and on geographic fronts,” Bhatt says. “I realized I had to examine violence, as well as desire with all its manifest variations and complications, and create a visual language that could bring together the philosophies and art practices of tantra and contemporary social theorists.” Mesmerized by weapons piercing flesh, religious victo-

“I had to create a visual language that could bring together the philosophies and art practices

photo courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary Museum

of tantra and contemporary social theorists.”

of life, desire, loss, hope, death, violence, conflict, dislocation and eventual transcendence,” Bhatt says. Audiences were greeted by a hodgepodge of demonic caricatures and quasi-religious narratives of ambiguous sutras and ritualistic renditions inspired by Hindu mythology, current political affairs and scholarly publications. With twisted bodies and raw carnage, gods and mortals shared an intrepid, transient space and unworldly breadth, each entangled with intersecting limbs – a woven dialogue of lessons learned and questions pondered with a personified codex of visual dichotomies. It’s hard to distinguish who is enslaving who and why, but nonetheless, we are held captive by our own misguided understanding of each and everyone’s role in this demonic

ries, deceit, punishments and personal struggles, Bhatt uses the written word, novels, epic narratives, civil dissertations and social commentaries to infuse us with this devil’s advocate approach, unveiling her true underlying premise behind the title, “Depends Who You Ask.” We do not know which perspective to trust, to dismiss or to embrace or which one caters to our inner deviant sensibility, distorted from reality like some funhouse mirror and allowing us to live viciously through ravage and famine. Spanning several years of work, Bhatt regurgitated everything from her upbringing to pop TV, diluting it with mythological references, some immediately identifiable and some more erudite than necessary. With each foot of drawing capacity, Bhatt packed in so many worldly references

that we are sometimes lost in the allusions that we can only stare confounded by our own individual recollections of self, unsure how to react or whether we should retreat or repent. With a natural inclination to read left to right, we are confronted with a disillusion of start and stop. Cartoonlike captives, gorging gods and fashionable phantoms leave us no breathing room for digestion. The need for understanding Bhatt’s world lies in her personal objectification of transnational travesties, geographical upbringing, American assimilation and personal vendettas on universal norms of good and evil. We need her spoon-fed narration and decoded descriptions to see the likes of Athena and her shield and spear; Dionysus in his drunken stupor; the threeheaded dog, Hades; Hecate;

and the antiquated Minotaur. Older drawings stand out from the panoramic perplexing pictorials – a head made from a gun and genitals a grenade. We are assaulted with linear linguistics, a foreign language to most who do not thrive in this hard-living world of social and political faux pas. With such a personalized codex of seemingly demonic demeanors, Bhatt delivered a fresh museum environment that necessitated the meditation benches provided by Blue Star for hour-long immersion and meditative contemplation on visual apologies and openended questions on a macro social and political schema. ■

To learn more, contact Gabriel Diego Delgado at

september//october 2013 NHOME /


// city news //

Restoration and Recreation Set to celebrate the grand opening of its last section in October, the Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project leads the effort to transform an eight-mile stretch of the San Antonio River. // by: steven schauer


/ NHOME september//october 2013


he Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project will increase the quality, quantity and diversity of plants and animals along eight miles of the San Antonio River just south of the world-renowned San Antonio Riverwalk. The ecosystem restoration process will be accomplished over many years through several steps including construction on the river to reconfigure the channel and create improved aquatic habitat by returning riffles, runs and pools. To improve riparian woodland habitat, hundreds of acres of native grasses and wildflowers and more than 23,000 native trees and shrubs will be reestablished. The culmination of these steps will result in the transformation of the channelized river into a more natural state. The Mission Reach will look much different from the historic San Antonio Riverwalk and the new Museum Reach area of the river north of downtown. The native landscape will look wild rather than manicured. Grasses and wildflowers will be allowed to grow to their natural heights rather than mowed. The result will be a serene, natural landscape where visitors can enjoy the inherent beauty of the river. As the Mission Reach project restores the natural ecosystem of

the river, it will also reconnect the river to the historic missions that relied on it hundreds of years ago. Mission portals will connect San Antonio’s four historic missions – Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada – to the San Antonio River. These connections will feature historic and artistic interpretations of the story of the missions and highlight their social and cultural importance to the area. This will reinforce the importance of the river to the missions and encourage visitors to circulate between the missions and the river. A major component of the Mission Reach project is increasing recreation opportunities along the river. More than 15 miles of trails will stretch along the river for pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy. Recreational amenities also include river overlooks and picnic areas that will be placed appropriately for interesting views and connections to the environment. Finally, improvements to aquatic and riparian habitat will bring an anticipated increase in the numbers of native wildlife species. That means fishermen, birdwatchers and other nature enthusiasts will have increased opportunity to enjoy wildlife in the area. The community is invited to celebrate the grand opening of the last section of the Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and

The native landscape will look wild rather than manicured.

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Recreation Project on Oct. 5, 2013. The celebration will include an official ribboncutting ceremony with Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and other elected officials, as well as all the private and public entities involved in the Mission Reach segment of the San Antonio River Improvements Project. On Oct. 5, the community will be invited to walk, bike or play along the Mission Reach as part of the celebration. Participants can enjoy music at one of the main stages between Padre Park and Mission San Juan or stop by one of the multiple education sites, including the fishing clinic on the boardwalk at Davis Lake, or the San Antonio River Foundation’s Confluence Critter station at the Padre Park pavilion. Paddling enthusiasts will also be able to participate in the first Mission Reach Flotilla. Paddlers will be able to bring their kayaks or canoes to float several miles along the Mission Reach. Local food trucks and local entertainment will round out the afternoon, and the celebration will conclude at Mission County Park. Once complete, the Mission Reach project will have transformed an eightmile stretch of the San Antonio River into a quality riparian woodland ecosystem. The Mission Reach project is primarily funded by Bexar County, with additional funding from the City of San Antonio, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the San Antonio River Foundation. SARA oversees construction on the project and will oversee operations, maintenance and concessions when the project is complete. Wildlife viewing along the Mission Reach is undoubtedly a growing recreational activity as wildlife habitat becomes more suitable and various native, and some non-native, species return to the river. This provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about these important species while recreating along the Mission Reach. Ultimately, local residents and visitors alike will be able to become good stewards of the watershed by learning how to “share the trail” not only with other humans, but also with other species of wildlife. ■

For more information about the Mission Reach and the grand opening celebration, log on to


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210.340.2033 • 210.789.2033 • 866.202.1650 • • H O M E C O N S T R U C T I O N B Y : J O S E P H L A V E Z Z A R I C U S T O M H OsMe E AbNeD MtO p tSe m r/R / oEc oD b eErL I2N0 G 13 NHOME /


// great escapes //

An Adventure

You are always welcome at Eva’s Escape at the Gardenia Inn, one of the highest-rated bed-and-breakfast experiences in the Alamo City area.


ne of the top-rated lodging options in San Antonio according to guest reviews on and TripAdvisor, Eva’s Escape at the Gardenia Inn combines simple elegance, guest comforts and good Southern food to create the ultimate bed and breakfast experience in San Antonio. Located in the historic King William District and named after the family matriarch, Eva Mae Green Williams, the family brought their memory of Miss Eva to life. At check-in, guests are greeted with the smell of fresh baked goods like chocolate chip cookies, espresso brownies or olive oil and rosemary pound cake paired with wine


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or infused lemonades. Visiting Miss Eva’s home, you would always find a freshly baked treat under her cake plate. Spending the night at Miss Eva’s was an adventure. Guests would always find treats in their room. Sink your teeth into organic tea infused truffles on your pillow. You receive a host of amenities like signature bath salts to soak your cares away in one of the claw-foot tubs. Step out of the tub or shower and wrap up in Turkish cotton bathrobes or bamboo towels. Sleep tight in one of four lovely appointed bedrooms or the penthouse suite – all of them have private baths. The first-floor bedroom, Lily, features a

photos by phillip ferrell ii

// by: Deborah Omowale

king-size carved wooden canopy bed. Originally the kitchen of the house, this room is just steps inside the front door. The second floor features three rooms: Magnolia, Lavender and Bluebonnet. Magnolia, at the front of the house, has a four-post queensize bed, a marble shower and a wicker bistro set on the shared veranda. Lavender is reminiscent of the Old West because the claw-foot tub is at the foot of the king-size bed. Just outside Lavender’s walkout window, enjoy two comfortable wicker chairs, an ottoman and side tables. Bluebonnet’s four-post bed, antique dresser and armoire provide an elegantly comfortable respite. Bluebonnet is steps from the back deck, and it features the largest bathroom with a claw-foot tub and a walk-in shower.

Eva’s Escape at the Gardenia Inn 307 Beauregard San Antonio, Texas 78204 P: 210-223-5875 F: 210-223-5876

photos by phillip ferrell ii

The two-room penthouse suite, Desert Blossom, can accommodate up to five guests. The sitting room has a full bed in an alcove and an empire day bed. In a private bedroom, the custom-wrought iron king bed will take your breath away. Desert Blossom is ideal for families, couples who want a little more room and single travelers who want to stretch out. Eva’s Escape is a lot like your grandmother’s house, but with modern-day conveniences. Enjoy high-quality linen-draped antique beds that require steps while watching complimentary Netflix by way of Apple TV on the HD flatscreen TV. Additional complimentary features include Wi-Fi, sodas, water, popcorn, a coffee bar and iced tea. And in the morning, you have options: Wake up to the smell of our private september//october 2013 NHOME /


Deborah Omowale is the co-owner of Eva’s Escape at the Gardenia Inn and Eva Mae Green Williams’ daughter. For more information, call 210-223-5875 or see Note: While NHOME officially adheres to AP style, certain allowances were made in the editing of this article.


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photo by phillip ferrell ii

Eva’s Escape is a lot like your grandmother’s house, but with modern-day conveniences.

blend coffee or to your Sony alarm clock and docking station. Miss Eva was an amazing cook, and our goal is to emulate her kitchen. Start your day with an incomparable breakfast: sweet potato waffles, red velvet pancakes, breakfast bread pudding with a praline topping, shrimp and grits and roasted vegetable frittatas, to name a few. Just like Miss Eva, we use the freshest ingredients. The brown eggs are delivered from a small local henhouse, a number of herbs come from the garden and Eva’s Escape buys organic. Share this experience with your friends. Book the whole house for your family or friends. Girlfriend getaways, male bonding retreats and family reunions discover that this historic neighborhood near the Riverwalk is a perfect location. Eva’s Escape is available for weddings, receptions, dinners and parties. Dates fill fast. Reserve your room or book your event today. At Miss Eva’s, you are always welcome! ■

// great escapes //

San Antonio Rose One size doesn’t fit all at A Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast, an inn of quiet sophistication in the King William Historic District. // by: Deborah Field


Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast in San Antonio, Texas, is very different because we don’t believe one size fits all. Each guest has different needs and preferences, and we do our best to be flexible and accommodate individual requests and requirements. For instance, our rates are based on your breakfast choice. Many guests don’t want breakfast or have early appointments, so we offer three different rates. You may have a full breakfast delivered to your room, a continental breakfast stocked in your room each day or just the basics (coffee, tea and juice). You’ll also appreciate your own private entrance and porch, as well as other room amenities like refrigerators, electric kettles and French press coffee. Our King William Historic District has some of the best restaurants in town, as well as a local food truck venue.

The Riverwalk is two blocks behind us, and the heart of downtown is a 10-minute walk. Just a block away is a Bike Share stand. The convention center is a 10-minute walk, and the trolley stop is a block away. You can see photos, a virtual tour and other information on our website. We also post updated information about A Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast and San Antonio on our Facebook page. Relax and delight in quiet sophistication, inn charm and hotel privacy. We love to travel, and our goal is to provide our guests with the same quality and comforts we enjoy when we leave home. ■

A Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast is located at 229 Madison in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, contact Deborah Field at 210-229-9903 or visit september//october 2013 NHOME /


// great escapes //

Unmatched Southern Hospitality

Noble Inns adds

elegance, luxury and charm to San Antonio with three stunning bed and breakfasts. // by: Don Noble



oble Inns consists of three stunning San Antonio bed and breakfasts in the downtown King William Historic District near or on the Riverwalk. Stroll past the historic restored mansions on your way to the many restaurants, shops and galleries. Guests can also enjoy a short walk to the Alamo and the convention center from our properties. At Noble Inns, guests enjoy elegance, luxury and unmatched Southern Texas hospitality. Each location has a unique charm, and guests can escape and indulge in our private and serene rooms. Each room has been individually crafted with handpicked antique furnishings, original artwork and luxurious fabrics and wallpapers.

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â?š The Oge House Built in 1857 for Newton Mitchell and expanded by rancher Louis OgĂŠ, this exquisite antebellum neoclassical property sits on 1.5 acres overlooking the famed Riverwalk, surrounded by lush plantings, rose gardens and lawns. In confirmation of its historical importance, it was one of a handful of structures in San Antonio chosen by the U.S. Department of the Interior to be recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey for its archives in the Library of Congress. Step into another era and allow yourself to be transported to a slower-paced time. Expansive verandas, gazebo and seating throughout the gardens and lawns offer time

Each room has been individually crafted with handpicked antique furnishings, original artwork and luxurious fabrics and wallpapers.

september//october 2013 NHOME /


the jackson house offers guests the sense of another era with the comforts and conveniences of today.

for reflection and relaxation. Nothing compares to an afternoon spent with a book in the hammock. Business and convention travelers will appreciate the highspeed Internet, in-room desk, mini refrigerator and flexible breakfast options. There are 10 rooms and suites on three floors, each elegantly appointed with American and European antiques. The Oge House is San Antonio’s only AAA 4-diamond B&B.

❚ The Jackson House A beautiful Victorian built in 1894 by Moses Jackson and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Jackson House offers guests the sense of another era with the comforts and conveniences of today. In the parlor, visitors may enjoy reading from our library, planning the day’s activities or visiting in front of the fireplace.


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To begin each day, we serve a delicious, full breakfast in the dining room at separate tables. Later in the afternoon, you will find homemade cookies, fruit and lemonade or tea waiting to refresh you. Guests can enjoy sitting on the front porch overlooking the front garden with its splashing fountain and gently turning ceiling fan providing a cooling breeze on warm days. Behind the house is another garden with a shaded limestone patio, offering tables and chairs for guests to relax. Or you may choose to unwind in the heated spa pool housed for year-round enjoyment in the conservatory, enclosed with large, antique stained-glass windows from England and filled with lush tropical plants. For business and convention travelers, all rooms at our San Antonio bed and breakfast feature high-speed Internet, an in-room desk and flexible breakfast options. Six beautifully appointed

rooms (including one suite) offer a retreat from your day.

❚ Aaron Pancoast Carriage House Situated behind the owners’ home, built in 1896 by my great grandfather, Aaron Pancoast Jr., and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the carriage house offers a more secluded getaway. Nestled under the majestic pecan tree planted in 1900 in honor of Elsie Pancoast’s birth, three large suite arrangements provide the perfect site for private honeymoons, quiet vacations and small reunions. The suites may be rented separately or in combination for larger groups traveling together. Each suite includes access to a full kitchen and dining area, providing guests the opportunity to prepare meals or to simply have their favorite snacks and beverages on hand. Adult groups are offered a full breakfast served across the street at the Oge House. Groups with children are provided a delicious expanded continental breakfast in their suite’s kitchen with several selections – sweet and/ or savory pastries/breads, fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea, milk and juice. Guests can relax on the shaded, private brick patio with seating and a fountain. A gate opens into a separate private garden with a swimming/lap pool and heated spa. Enjoy a cup of coffee or read a book while basking in the sun by the pool. ■

Noble Inns is proud to be the only San Antonio member of Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America (www., America’s premier association of highquality B&Bs, inns and unique lodging. To learn more, please visit

september//october 2013 NHOME /


“Stay Closer to the Water”

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Offering one, two, and three bedroom luxury condos. Each condo offers a private balcony to enjoy a the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico or to watch the ships sail through the Corpus Christi International Ship Channel. Conveniently located close to restaurants, shopping and Port Aransas night life. Daily, weekly or monthly rates available. 1000 Lantana Drive ~Port Aransas, TX 78373 ~


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september//october 2013 NHOME /


// active adult living //


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Retirement Living

From assisted living to independent living, today’s retirement communities are not your typical “old folks” homes.


// by: Amy Thomas

inding a good fit in a retirement community is a concern for aging seniors and their families. The number of people seeking these lifestyles is rising as our population ages. For the past several years, many families have been unable to afford the move to a retirement community. The traditional source for paying high community fees has been from the sale of a primary residence. The recession and the collapse of the real estate market have reduced the ability of many seniors to sell their homes. Now that real estate markets around the country are recovering, home sales have picked up and the recovery is slowly making its way to retirement communities. Retirement communities come in a variety of lifestyles. Some communities cater to those with existing challenges and specialize in assisted living, nursing care and housing people with Alzheimer’s and dementia needs. Other communities cater to a lifestyle of independent living offering convenience, security and freedom. Independent living communities have evolved into lively and active places for seniors to pursue carefree lives. They are no longer the typical “old folks” homes. Many of today’s independent living communities have embraced a model that encourages an active lifestyle by offering

a full range of wellness and life enrichment programs. These programs and activities are unique to each community, but they often include individually designed daily exercise and physical activities for the mind, body and spirit. There typically is regularly scheduled transportation to local museums, parks, theaters, grocers and medical facilities for residents to take advantage of. Independent living communities have recently been marked as an attractive living choice. Many healthy and well-educated seniors are choosing to make the move to an independent living community earlier. They want to continue their active lifestyles, but they don’t want the burdens, maintenance and expenses of homeownership. For many, this is a wise and economical choice; however, the thought of moving from the place they have called home for 30plus years can be overwhelming. Rest assured, these are not new or uncommon thoughts and emotions. The great news is there are wonderful resources that specialize in senior relocation and transitions. Most communities can offer references for professionals in these fields and may have firsthand experiences with them. ■

Amy Thomas is the sales and marketing director for The Towers on Park Lane and a licensed realtor. For more information, contact her at

Retirement communities come in a variety of lifestyles. september//october 2013 NHOME /


// active adult living // The Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit is one of the most misunderstood benefits administered by the VA today.

For Your Benefit

Did you know about the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit that can help you pay for independent or assisted living? // by: Michelle Houriet


f you are an American wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of one, you could be entitled to the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, which is paid in addition to your monthly pension. This benefit is available to individuals who may require assistance with various activities of daily living to include meal preparation or medication monitoring; who live in a full-service retirement community or in assisted living communities, personal care homes or skilled nursing facilities; and who have a need for personal in-home care. We have seen firsthand what a help this benefit can be for some of our own residents at Independence Hill. Here is what Kathy Kusiak, the daughter of an Independence Hill resident, had to say: “This was a tremendous help financially for my mother.


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It has allowed her to have the extra money from this benefit over and above her pen-

under their care that she will be moving to their independent living retirement community. Her Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit will follower her and continue to provide her financial help.” This is one of the most misunderstood benefits administered by the VA today. There are veterans and spouses who are told they do not qualify when, in fact, they can. Luckily, we have referred many people to Jim Hanna, a veterans claims agent who has tirelessly helped veterans submit their application and serves as their advocate throughout the process. If you would like to learn more about this program, Independence Hill is hosting an informational session on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. Please RSVP to 210-2098956 by Sept. 24. At Independence Hill, we are all about keeping our residents informed and as “independent” as possible for as long as possible. If you miss this informational session, please call and ask

Celebrate “Holidays Around the World” at Independence Hill Retirement Community Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 / 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tasting booths from around the world Entertainment / Shopping sion and Social Security income.” We have heard from numerous residents that it has allowed them to continue to live independently while giving them the extra help they now need. “It has been a blessing to get my mother into Independence Hill Assisted Living three years ago when she decided to no longer live alone,” Kusiak said. “She has improved so much

for one of our lifestyle specialists who will help you get the information you need or schedule you for our next session. ■

Michelle Houriet is the executive director for Independence Hill Retirement Communities. For more information, visit

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// community inspiration //

A Home of Dreams

In addition to helping further the efforts of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one lucky participant in this year’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will win a beautiful home built by award-winning Mike Hollaway Custom Homes. // by: Kim Young


ou may be wondering what creative architecture, luxury housing and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have in common. If so, let me tell you about the San Antonio St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. For the last 24 years, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway has been a major fundraising program nationwide for funding the research that finds cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. At St. Jude, no family ever pays for anything. In 1962, when the hospital was opened by founder and late entertainer Danny Thomas, “the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer,


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was only 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent, thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude,” according to hospital statics. Through the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, more than 300 homes have been constructed and given away through the selling of $100 tickets with the grand prize being a newly constructed single-family home in a local community. This program is currently raising funds in 30 markets and growing. Hospital facts report that 81 cents of every dollar donated through the St. Jude fundraisers supports research and treatment. It would be hard to find a more worthy recipient of your donation.

At St. Jude, no family ever pays for anything.

The San Antonio St. Jude dream home is built by award-winning Mike Hollaway Custom Homes, which serves as the main sponsor and is donating time and materials, and it is designed by nationally recognized architect and visionary Phil Kean of WayCool Home Designs. The home features award-winning residential designs with a value-minded sensibility to connoisseurs of fine architecture. Located at 22403 White Doe Pass off IH-10 in the Hills at Boerne Stage II in Deer Canyon, this home is approximately 3,539 square feet with four bedrooms, four baths, high ceiling, open floor plan, large downstairs lanai/porch and courtyard with a fountain. The house is scheduled to be open to the public on weekends beginning Oct. 5. Home tours will be given by local volunteer groups and staged by a local furniture sponsor. Individuals who visit the dream home will have the chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree, courtesy of Texas Gallery Furniture. The winner of this and many other prizes will be announced live on KENS 5 on Nov. 7 during the 10 p.m. evening news. It is estimated that one out of every 500

ticket buyers has the potential to win a prize worth $1,000 or more. There will be 16 prizes given away in addition to the St. Jude dream home. The small price of one $100 ticket will go a long way in the life of a St. Jude child and family. And who knows? You could be the winner of this

beautiful Mike Hollaway custom home. â–

For more information or to purchase a ticket, please visit or call 800-667-3578. september//october 2013 NHOME /


// community inspiration //

Letting the House Win

Eva Longoria’s Celebrity Casino Night and The Residents at the Eilan have teamed up to mix ‘60s mod fashion with a luxe silent auction roster – all to help create life-altering experiences for individuals with intellectual needs. // by: Christian Reed-Ogba


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ver the years, Eva Longoria’s Celebrity Casino Night, hosted by Eva’s Heroes, has featured fantastic dream destination packages during both its live and silent auctions. Attendees have bid on everything from trips to Acapulco to lavish girls’ day out packages with Neiman Marcus, and this year, the event has an item on its roster that will no doubt cause a ruckus. Eva Longoria, an award-winning philanthropist, actress and San Antonio native, has hosted the evening of casino games, live entertainment and private celebrity chef previews for the charity. Since cofounding the initiative five years ago, she has embarked on enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual special needs. After-school and monthly activities for the charity are usually recreation-based and frequented by participants ages 16 and up who often enjoy dances, game nights, sports, edutainment and museum trips meant to empower participants to try new and different things. This year, Longoria will unveil the opportunity to bid on an exclusive “experience” sponsored by The Residents at the Eilan, a luxury apartment community in the Hill Country. Graciously donating the one-year lease of a suite, The Residents at the Eilan will offer a first-of-its-kind item to the live auction portion of the star-studded evening. The winning bid will drop a lucky attendee into the heart of this urban oasis. Features of The Residents at the Eilan include an Olympic-sized indoor pool, underground parking, a fitness center and a four-star restaurant, and with more than 150 unique floor plans, this community is redefining the term, “urban luxe living.” The annual Eva’s Heroes Celebrity Casino Night will be hosted at the Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa on Oct. 12, 2013, and it is slated to raise millions to support the organization’s efforts to create fair and equal life experiences for participants with developmental challenges. Guests are asked to attend in ‘60s/Rat Pack-esque attire and will enjoy live demonstrations from celebrity chefs, a poker tournament, cocktails and fun both under and among the stars. ■

Tickets are still available to attend the festive evening. Visit for more information.



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september//october 2013 NHOME /


// events //

Fall Fun for All

From art shows and farmers’ markets to fundraisers and tournaments, the Lone Star State has a wide variety of events to suit any taste in early autumn.

Sept. 29, 2013

“50PlusPrime” Premiere “50PlusPrime” is a weekly TV news magazine benefiting the 78-million member baby boomer demographic born between 1946 and 1964. “50PlusPrime” tells the stories of baby boomers who are making a difference in their communities; identifies resources and services boomers are tapping for themselves and as caregivers for aging parents; and touches on the lifestyle stories specific to the nation’s largest single demographic. “50PlusPrime,” hosted by award-winning reporter and former KSAT 12 weekday anchor Tony Fama, premieres on WOAI TV 4 in San Antonio on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at 6:30 a.m. In its first season, “50PlusPrime” will run for 26 weeks.


Oct. 4 to 6, 2013 Saturdays

Farmers’ Market At The Pearl Every Saturday, rain or shine, Pearl Brewery hosts a producers-only farmers’ market. All Pearl farmers’ market vendors are located within a 150-mile radius of


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San Antonio, providing fresh, local and seasonal products that they themselves planted, raised and harvested. Come meet your local food producers! The market is located in front of the historic brewhouse from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

27th Annual San Antonio Fall Home and Garden Show This is a family event that offers quality exhibitors, celebrity appearances and DIY seminars all under one roof! Located in the Alamodome, this weekend event will take place on Friday from 2 p.m. to 8

p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults ages 17-plus and $6.50 for adults 65 and older. Kids 16 and under get in free. Active military with ID get in free, and retired military with ID get in for $6.50. Buy your tickets at www.

Oct. 4 to 12, 2013

Oktoberfest San Antonio Beethoven Halle Oktoberfest is a traditional German celebration that will be filled with German food, music, drinks, dancing and entertainment. Oktoberfest is held over two weekends in October. For more information, visit  

Oct. 4 - 6

Oct. 5, 2013

Grand Opening of Phase 3 of the Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project The Mission Reach Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project is transforming an eight-mile stretch of the San Antonio River into a quality riparian woodland ecosystem. This unique project restores riverine features and riparian woodlands, reintroduces native plants, enhances aquatic habitat and reconnects cultural and historical features. This event will include an opening ceremony followed by a full day of free family activities.

Oct. 5 & 6, 2013

River Art Group Annual Show The River Art Group will hold its annual membership competition and art show

at La Villita on the weekend of Oct. 5 and 6. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from this show will go to the Wounded Warriors Project. The River Art Group Gallery is located next to the Little Church in the city’s historic La Villita area in downtown San Antonio. Member artists will set up tents and display and sell their work on the streets near the gallery during the competition weekend. For more information, call 210-226-8752.

held on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Encino Park Community Center at 1923 Encino Rio in San Antonio. The event will be held rain or shine. Free admission. For more information, email

Oct. 5 & 6, 2013

Encino Park Women’s Club Annual Craft Fair The Annual Encino Park Women’s Club Craft Fair is one of the premier events of the club that is enjoyed by so many on the first weekend of October. It will be

Oct. 12 Oct. 12, 2013

Chalk It Up

Sundays at 6:30 pm

Chalk It Up is a free family-friendly event that promotes the importance of art education in our community. The 10th annual Chalk It Up will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Houston Street. Argo Group sponsors the event, and there will be more than 45 area schools and organizations that will turn our downtown sidewalks into artworks. For information, call 210212-4900 or visit continued on page 86

Oct 14

Oct. 14, 2013

11th Annual Arthur O’Krent Golf Classic The event is to raise money for the American Heart Association and United Way. This annual event has raised more than $700,000 through its annual golf tournament, and it will take place at the Westin La Cantera Resort course. For more information, call 210-227-7387 or email

Oct. 18 to 20, 2013

The Shops at La Cantera Art Festival This weekend event features fine art and contemporary crafts from around the nation. The art festival features a wide variety of media, including clay, metal, glass, jewelry, leather, painting,

photography, sculpture, fiber, wood and more. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public. Exhibitions will be located on Main Street between Barnes & Noble and The Yard House. The festivities are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. This is the ideal opportunity for the art lover hoping to find that perfect one-of-a-kind piece, or to get a jump-start on holiday shopping. In combination with the art festival, the Culinaria Garden Party on Sunday will benefit Culinaria Educational Center and Gardens, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination and its capital campaign to fund Culinaria Educational Center and Gardens. Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. This party is from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Culinaria at 210822-9555 or visit

Oct. 20, 2013

VOSA Volkswagen Oktoberfest The 21st Oktoberfest for the Volkswagen Owners Club of San Antonio will be held at the Main Plaza in Boerne. There will be a show and swap meet that will run from 8 a.m. to 3

p.m. There will be food vendors, music, games and a raffle. For more information, visit

Oct. 22 to 27, 2013

“Peter and the Starcatcher” The five-time Tony Award-winning musical play written by Tony Award nominee Rick Elice and directed by Tony Award winner Roger Rees and Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers will play at the Majestic Theatre for eight performances from Oct. 22 to 27. Tickets are now on sale starting at $26. Buy your ticket now by calling Ticketmaster at 800-982-ARTS (2787) or visiting 

Oct. 26 & 27, 2013

The Urban Market Houston Antique Show This event, which will take place at the Bayou City Event Center, has become a popular event for dealers and bargain hunters who enjoy spending the weekend searching for antiques and treasures. There will also be a VIP early buying event that includes food, beverages and wine. For more information, visit www.

Oct 26 & 27


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“Custom home building is an art. I strive to create exclusive designs and features, integrating quality materials and craftsmanship to build a home that reflects your personality and lifestyle needs.” - Mike Hollaway President

Unparalleled Knowledge and Expertise

Established in 1992, Mike Hollaway Custom Homes has received expansive recognition with some of the most prestigious awards in custom home building for exceptional craftsmanship and design innovation. With more than 30 years of industry knowledge and expertise, Mike Hollaway holds the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) designations of Graduate Master Builder (GMB) and Certified Green Professional (CGP). Awards of distinction include: 1998 Distinguished Single-Family Builder of the Year, 2008 Builder of the Year and numerous Texas Star Awards, Summit Awards and The Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA) Parade of Homes Awards, including People’s Choice, and Realtor’s Choice Awards.


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Mike Hollaway, President 2511 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 200 San Antonio, Texas 78258 210.490.0069

NHOME Texas Magazine Sept/Oct 2013  
NHOME Texas Magazine Sept/Oct 2013