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The Ultimate Experience

{ Staycations{ TEXAS-STYLE






/ NHOME / summer 2012

Jewels of Distinction

Located at The Vineyard The Vineyard • 1207 North F.M. 1604 West • Suite 109 • San Antonio, TX 78258 Ph. 210.492.0022 visit us on the web: summer 2012 / NHOME /



/ NHOME / summer 2012



1009 west 6th street, austin 512.637.0600 340 east basse road, san antonio 210.455.0166 monday-saturday 10-6 sunday 1-5 summer 2012 / NHOME /


555 E. Basse Ste. 107 | San Antonio, TX 78209 | 210.822.2266 6

/ NHOME / summer 2012

summer 2012 / NHOME /


Custom Pool & Spa Construction | Landscaping & Lighting | Outdoor Kitchens & Fireplaces



/ NHOME / summer 2012

Luxury Taken To A New Level

From the $200’s to $2 Million












281 11






John Ryan








14. Cielos at Cibolo Canyons (210) 497-6500



13. Alon Estates (210) 408-2300

rd y





rd e



nes der Wil Oak

Stone O





10. Aviara (210) 647-5551

12. Stonewall Estates (210) 698-7010


ger Ro

5. Stately Oaks in the Heights at Stone Oak (210) 481-6565

9. Triana (210) 695-3139




4. The Gardens at Air Force Village* (210) 568-3200

8. San Miguel at Canyon Springs (210) 497-6080



3. Campanas at Cibolo Canyons (210) 497-6500

7. Salado Canyon in Rogers Ranch (210) 479-1400


11. Inverness (210) 408-2300


2. Majestic Oaks in the Heights at Stone Oak (210) 494-3306

6. Prospect Creek at Kinder Ranch (830) 980-8789

Canyon Golf

1. The Gardens on Point Bluff in Rogers Ranch (210) 497-0033

6 Borgfeld


13 4




To Build a Sitterle Home On Your Homesite, Call (210) 408-2300 Plans, prices, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice. Map is not drawn to scale. *The Gardens at Air Force Village is available to all retired officers and their spouses of all services age 62+. Sitterle Homes 2012

summer 2012 / NHOME /


Listings | Buyer Representation | New Construction | International | Inspired Real Estate Marketing

7 Via Aragon – 2012 Parade of Homes Award Winner


San Antonio is booming. Whether you are buying, selling or investing, contact me today for access to the finest in San Antonio real estate. Put the power of San Antonio’s top luxury Realtor® to work for you. - Jason Glast, Realtor® / Attorney

#1 Realtor® in Gross Sales since 2009 San Antonio Business Journal


/ NHOME / summer 2012





summer 2012 texas nhome magazine

24 features

24 Cover story / outdoor living The Latest Craze in Luxury Living

From furniture to fireplaces, you can enhance your lifestyle and enjoyment of your home by transferring your indoor creature comforts to the great outdoors.

32 Custom homes

Your Next Dream Home: Explore the Possibilities With the wealth of wonderful properties and developments available in and around San Antonio, you and your family can build your dream house and enjoy both the beauty of Hill Country living and the benefits of the city life.

50 technology

Home Entertainment of Cinematic Proportions

Thanks to new technologies and a growing interest in home theater systems, you can treat yourself and your guests to the ultimate cinematic experience, all within the comfort of your own home.

66 great escapes

On the Road With NHOME

Looking to get away this summer? Whether you’re in the market for something hours away or right next door, look no further than our list for some of the best resorts and activities the Lone Star State has to offer.

summer 2012 / NHOME /


46 38

nhome staff



Erin O’Brien

60 creative director

in this issue

Elisa Giordano

12 A Note From the Publisher 16 Contributors 18 Advisory Board

Industry Insights


82 How Much Home Can You Afford?

28 Plan Like a Pro

Custom Homes

72 Voices of the Professionals

Finance Arts & Culture

38 Rustic Luxury

84 Fine-Art Photography on a World-Class Level

Decorating Ideas


42 ‘Oh-So-Easy’ Custom Flooring Renovation

88 San Antonio Celebrates the Grand Opening of Éilan at La Cantera

46 From NHOME to Outdoors

Green 54 Step Up to Solar, Part 1

90 Upcoming Alamo City Events 92 NHOME Mixer at NEST Modern

account executive Erin Clarkson

editorial intern Chinyere A. Okoro

Luxe Landscaping & Outdoor Design 56 Becoming a True Garden Fanatic 60 Form, Function and Fun

on the cover:

Gehan Homes’ Luxury Division

photography: sRagnar Fotografi


Christine Nguyen


/ NHOME / summer 2012

on the cover

Gehan home is created with personalized options and features designed for functional modern living.

Gehan Home Cover by Dy Lynne Décor - Captivating designs with a fresh, modern approach. San Antonio-based Design Firm Dy Lynne Décor incorporates charming architectural elements and modern furnishings for a fresh take on the classic French Chateau style. The casual outdoor living and entertaining area transcends guests to a coastal atmosphere. Seaside-inspired dining awaits guests with a soothing color palette one would find along the coast. Table-top accents complete with coral, candles and treasures from the deep.

gehan homes Awards won in the 2012 Parade of Homes at The Dominion: Best Exterior Entertainment / Best Water Feature/Pool

Interior Home Designs by: Dy Lynne Dabney with Dy Lynne Décor / photography: sragnar fotografi summer 2012 / NHOME /


// a note from the publisher //


t’s mid-summer in Texas, and boy, is it hot! But yet, the outdoor lifestyle is a huge preference for many Texans. There is outdoor grilling, swimming, golfing and those great outdoor parties that are so much fun and filled with wonderful, unforgettable memories of laughter. More and more homebuyers are looking for new homes with great outdoor amenities that offer vacation-style relaxation, family fun and entertainment. Many homeowners are remodeling to create an ambiance for outdoor lifestyle activities while increasing the home value. Outdoor kitchens are getting more usage, and pool designs and landscapes have become more creative. Fabulous furniture pieces are now so elegantly designed that one could even use them indoors. Custom-made projectors are also adding to the fun of outdoor entertainment. Whether you prefer to enjoy a backyard retreat or an outdoor activity away from home, NHOME has researched a few of the many places in San Antonio and other areas not far away. These are great places that offer opportunities for a quick family or romantic getaway close to home. Enjoy reading through our guide to all things posh, playful and downright Texan. Since the suggested venues are within a short distance from home and the office, go ahead and pick one, two or three places to visit before the summer breeze fades away. If you are in the market to build, this is a good time to visit some of the upscale developments and ranches you often hear about. Look through our “Exploring Your Options” pages to find a few of the newer ones you may not have heard about. Contact a realtor or the development to show you around the properties you may be interested in. You will be pleased to learn what many of these properties have to offer. We hope you enjoy reading these great insightful articles. There are also informative articles on the FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival; going solar and the companies that can help you transition; and some up-to-date ideas on home theaters courtesy of Sterling Home Technologies. While enjoying your outdoor lifestyle, remember to stay hydrated and keep in mind that nothing quenches your thirst like water in this mid-summer heat. As always, we love hearing from you about what you would like to see in future issues of NHOME Texas. Sincerely,

Adaku Okoro, publisher


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Taking Life Outdoors!

Patio Furniture & more...

The Shops at La Cantera Located next to Nordstrom

summer 2012 / NHOME /


The Graves Group NH ME texas

T he art of luxury real estate

summer 2012 publisher

Adaku Okoro

The Bristow at Upper Balcones by Casadomaine Custom Homes


Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

account executive Erin Clarkson

contributing writers Leslie Komet Ausburn Christa Brothers Easton Crafts Tracy French Christopher Greer Rita Zenzen Heck Beverly Ingle Talashia Jansen Shawna Misiong Stephanie Monsato Michelle Ornelas-Torres Dale Ponder Casey Roy Sunny Smith

contributing photographers

Yvonne Aceves-Walls Richard Clark of CatchIt Photos Erin Clarkson Sarah Brooke Lyons Jason Roberts sRagnar Fotografi

editorial intern Chinyere A. Okoro


Fabulous Hill Country lifestyle opportunities starting from the $500,000s

Christine Nguyen

Contact Denise Graves 210-260-2176 for more information

Making Real estate an artform since 1991 Successful real estate marketing is an artform that requires skilled negotiation and the delicate art of matching the right buyer to the right property. We’ve been masters of the fine art of real estate marketing since 1991. We are part of the Phyllis Browning Company, offering The Very Best, since 1989. Call or visit our website and put our artistic touch to work for you! Use your smartphone to scan the QR code or go to: www.TheGravesGroup. com to view more fine properties in San Antonio, Boerne and the Hill Country.


The Graves Group

San Antonio, Boerne and the Hill Country I 210-408-4053 I

2012 San Antonio Business Journal Top 3 Real Estate Sales Team! / NHOME / summer 2012

16 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 Texas NHOME Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.

Convenience. Security. Luxury. Simplicity.

This photo taken from an actual home projection movie at the 2012 Spring Parade of Homes

The Difference is in the Details Builder: Kyle Lindsey Pool Builder/Designer: Pristine Pools

Home Automation Lighting Control Climate Control Shade Control

Monitor & Control your home from anywhere in the world, providing Peace of Mind.

Whole House Audio Home Theaters Outdoor Theaters Security

Cameras & DVRs Computer Networking Smart Remotes Custom iPhone Apps

830.537.3410 / summer 2012 / NHOME / 1 7

// contributors //

talashia jansen

Michelle Ornelas-Torres is a marketing representative and contributing writer for NHOME Texas magazine. She lives in San Antonio with her husband, Victor, and young son, Sammy. She is a graduate of St. Mary's University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In addition to NHOME, she contributes pieces for NSIDE Business/ Medical magazine and San Antonio Weddings magazine.

sunny smith

christopher greer

Sunny Smith is a writer and photographer who owns two photography companies in San Antonio. One of those companies is Picture It Sold!, a real estate photography company specializing in virtual tour photography. Together with Mike Keegin, Smith also owns Mike Keegin Photography, which caters to the architectural, builder and commercial markets.

My father, Terry Greer, is a local design engineer, and he truly is the one who inspires me to approach work differently. I am always an architect first; I approach projects artistically and somehow naturally see finished products the moment I step foot into a space. The real challenge is combining art and engineering of a project. Inventing new designs is one thing, but coupling that with the very best in quality and innovative construction is something else altogether.

Nelson Enochs

Talashia Jansen is the director of sales for Stadler of San Antonio, L.P. She moved to San Antonio from the Tampa, Fla., market, where she previously worked as a VP of purchasing for a national builder. Jansen graduated from the University of South Florida with a major in English literature.

Michelle Ornelas-Torres


kelly hamilton

easton crafts

tracy french

rita zenzen heck

Longtime San Antonio resident Kelly Hamilton is a full-time writer for NSIDE Publications and the editor of NFit magazine. A graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.A. in English, as well as graduate studies in adult education from the University of the Incarnate Word, she is also a licensed realtor, an avid reader, an animal lover and a 500-hour RYT yoga instructor. A true Texas girl at heart, she spends her downtime cooking at her home for friends and cheering on the Spurs and the Longhorns.

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.

Tracy French has been planning weddings both in Texas and across the country for more than 10 years. Her goal is to free brides and their families from the stressful elements of planning a wedding while still allowing them to enjoy the process. “My favorite thing about what I do is helping a couple realize their dream and watching it all come together on their big day,” she says. As the owner of The French Connection Events, French has grown her business to encompass a team of planners who have all been personally trained by French herself, and all events have the Tracy French seal of approval. The French Connection Events: creating amazing events for lifelong memories.

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.

/ NHOME / summer 2012


RIALTO VILLAGE | 7902 CALLE RIALTO | SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78257 | 210.408.7613 |



Nelson Enochs

// advisory board //

denise graves

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.

easton crafts

Gabriel Diego Delgado

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.

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.

Nelson Enochs

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.

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland


jason glast

kristal powell

adam sanchez

paulette jemel

Jason Glast is a realtor and attorney who specializes in marketing the most gorgeous homes in the San Antonio area. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, no real estate pro has sold more than Glast since 2009. Glast’s “PX3” system works to bring his clients a top price in the fewest number of days possible in a stress-free environment.

Kristal Powell is the co-founder of CKC Custom Homes who serves as the driving force behind the beauty and elegance that is evident in the company’s finished homes. She uses a hands-on approach, personally assisting clients in the selection of paint, tile, cabinets and all aspects of design. Much of CKC’s success can be attributed to Powell’s passion for perfecting the unique style of CKC Custom Homes.

Adam Sanchez founded Diamante Custom Homes in 1992. Early work included remodeling and addition projects. The scope of projects increased significantly through the years, and Diamante Custom Homes is now firmly rooted in the luxury home market. This “different by design” builder now completes custom homes ranging from the low $300s to more than $4 million, and has been the recipient of numerous Parade of Homes and Summit awards.

Paulette Jemel, accredited luxury home specialist and stager, is currently an agent for KW Luxury International at the Dominion. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she has worked as a writer and producer for Telemundo and Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemel is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English.

/ NHOME / summer 2012

special advertising section


G i v e yo u r k i tch e n a b r e a k ton i ght a nd d i n e w i th u s

summer 2012 / NHOME /


// advisory board // 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.

barry denton 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.

tracey walthall Tracey Walthall is a real estate professional with Keller Williams Luxury International. She brings a broad perspective of the San Antonio real estate market to her clients. Having lived in several states, she has an expansive view and understands, from firsthand experience, the issues buyers and sellers face when moving. Prior to working in real estate, Walthall was a data analyst, a computer network administrator and a flight attendant for Continental Airlines. Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., with stops in Boston, Mass., Tucson, Ariz., and Columbus, Ohio, Walthall and her family settled in Boerne. Walthall is a member in Jack and Jill of America, and she volunteers with several organizations in the San Antonio area.

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, non-union 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.


/ NHOME / summer 2012

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 o p e n ! s u m m e r 2 0 1 2 / 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

Elian.indd 1


/ NHOME / summer 2012

4/13/2012 5:31:06 PM






Zocca cuisine D’italia C O N T E M P O R A R Y I TA L I A N C U I S I N E O N T H E R I V E R WA L K

U OPEN EVERY DAY Breakfast: 6:30am to 11am Lunch: 11am to 2pm Patio menu: 2pm to 5pm Dinner: 5pm to 10pm Bar: Noon to 1am

ON THE RIVER AT THE WESTIN HOTEL 420 W. Market Street San Antonio, TX 78205 210.444.6070

summer 2012 / NHOME /


// cover story //

Experience Outdoor Living You can expand the comforts of your indoor living space to the great outdoors thanks to the latest craze in luxury living. // by: dale ponder


/ NHOME / summer 2012

summer 2012 / NHOME /


Furniture: Greenhouse Mall / Pool: Adam Wilson Custom Pools Home: Adam Wilson Custom Homes

T 28

/ NHOME / summer 2012

he outdoor living craze is exploding, and homeowners want to expand the comforts and luxuries of their indoor living space to the outdoors. We have seen a real push in this area, so we have built our business plan around it. With the advancements in the design and technology of outdoor equipment, it is now possible to have the all of the creature comforts in that outdoor space. The designs we built over the last year have started to incorporate things like fireplaces, fire pits, high-end outdoor furniture and well-built, high-quality grills and kitchen equipment that rival anything inside the house. When designed properly, the outdoor living space allows the homeowner to use the space in both the middle of the summer and the dead of winter.  The furniture we carry has everything from

the traditional simple mesh style of seating all the way up to plush and very comfortable deep-seating chairs and sofas that carry great warranties. Many of the new furniture designs are very contemporary and modern, providing that chic look that you might find in a very uptown setting. Fireplaces and fire pits are also being incorporated. These range from wood burning to gas logs with all of the tricks, including remote control on/off operation, electronic spark ignition, variable flame, etc. The gas logs available now are much better than any of the old technology systems. Many lines have lifetime warranties and the look of actual logs. We have also seen a move toward the very contemporary look of glass. The fire glass comes in different sizes and colors to match the

photo courtesy of cordillera ranch

theme. These new burner systems, coupled with the glass, give an ultra-contemporary look to any setting. The grills and components we offer are all U.S.-made equipment and manufactured by icons in the industry such as Fire Magic, American Outdoor Grill, Broilmaster and Primo smokers and grills. These are all high-quality grills that allow the homeowner to sear, bake and grill anything from steaks to vegetables. When grillers use a grill that is not welldesigned, all of the normal issues plague the experience. The grills we carry have taken those failings into account and have been designed around them, providing homeowners with a much more pleasurable experience and making them want to try something else. With proper planning and onsite consultation, many of the traps homeowners fall into can be avoided. By following some simple design principles, your outdoor living area can be comfortable, user-friendly and luxurious. Another important aspect of planning

the outdoor space is usability throughout the seasons. If the budget allows, we recommend some sort of shade or full cover over the area. This will allow for use during hot summer days, as well as give protection from the rain. It will also add to the comfort of and long-term satisfaction with the project. If the area has some creature comforts, you will be apt to use it more often. We also recommend some sort of evaporative cooler system to help lower the temperature. Many times, it is just too hot to be out in the kitchen, but if you can move some air along with a little moisture, it will take just enough of the edge off to make it comfortable. For years, it has been common practice to incorporate a ceiling fan into the area. If you think about this, it is counterintuitive: Hot air rises, and a ceiling fan brings that super-heated air down. An evaporative cooler or ground mounted air system will move the surface air. When you add some moisture, it really makes a difference. If the outdoor kitchen is far from the

indoor kitchen, we recommend making the outdoor space as self-contained as possible. This might include the incorporation of refrigerators, sinks, icemakers and storage units for your outdoor equipment. Incorporating these elements into the project will cut down on the trips back to the kitchen and make the overall experience more pleasurable. Lighting is another consideration in the planning of your outdoor space. We recommend the use of a lighting scheme that can be turned up for full conversation with all of the family and friends or turned down for those romantic moments with a loved one. Strategic placement of lighting can help, as well. Plan the location of workstations and grilling stations. Include directional lighting to help with these tasks. â–

For more information, contact Dale Ponder of Cozy Outdoor Escapes at dale@ summer 2012 / NHOME /


home: kyle lindsey / al fresco patio furniture

// outdoors //

Plan Like a Pro

With the right plans and preparations, you can throw the ultimate outdoor party.

// by: tracy french

Summer is here, and it is time to make the most of your gorgeous backyard and have a party. With a little planning, your next outdoor party can be a hit and you may even decide to make it an annual event. Shade or sun: Before setting the time for your party, take time to locate the shady spots in your yard. You want your guests to feel comfortable, so choosing a time when your patio is shaded and not in direct sun is important. If you do not have shade, be sure to provide umbrellas or tenting, or consider a later time when the sun is not as strong. Adults only or children welcome: If it is an adults-only party, it is important that you let your guests


/ NHOME / summer 2012

summer 2012 / NHOME /


know so they can make appropriate arrangements. If children are invited, have activities for them, too. A room off the home with movies is nice for kids. Swimming is good if you have a pool. You may consider hiring a lifeguard so you don’t have to worry and parents can relax, too. Bugs: Be certain to treat your yard for mosquitoes and biting gnats. The last thing you want is for your guests to be miserable because they are getting attacked by pesky bugs. Place extra bug spray in the bathrooms so guests can apply if they are still uncomfortable.

sarah brooke lyons

Bathroom access: When planning your outdoor party, consider where guests will need to go for bathroom access. Be certain to offer plenty of hand towels. Theme and décor: Consider the outdoors an extension of your home. Offer plenty of seating for your guests. Make sure there is ample lighting by stringing lights or hiring a company to put up temporary lighting. If you are having your party to celebrate a holiday, choose décor that ties in with the holiday, but does not overpower. For example: For a Fourth of July party, instead of stars and stripes, decorate with white flowers with touches of blue for your linens and accents, and serve refreshing cherry limeade margaritas for your hint of red. For an upscale event, consider hiring a planner or decorator to help with the logistics. A planner will help design the overall theme and décor, as well as consider parking, seating, weather backup plans, catering arrangements and basically the overall flow of the party. A planner will be on hand to make sure the party goes as planned so you can relax, enjoy your guests and have a good time yourself. Don’t forget to consider the noise: Your neighbors may not appreciate a party going into the wee hours of the evening, but it may be more relaxed if you invite them, too! That said, be considerate of your neighbors by not having your party too late, and be certain to keep the music down. Happy neighbors are good neighbors. ■

Tracy French is an international wedding and event planner and the owner of The French Connection Events. For more information, visit www.thefrenchconnectionevents. com.


/ NHOME / summer 2012


Dy Lynne DĂŠcor, Inc. Proudly serving South Texas builders for more than 15 years! Visit us at

Member of GSABA, ASID, Associate Member, Texas Association of Builders & NKAB

2012 Parade of Homes awards won for work in Gehan Homes: Best Outdoor Entertainment Best Water Feature

summer 2012 / NHOME /


// custom homes //


ccording to Andy Warhol, “land really is the best art,” and in San Antonio and the surrounding Texas Hill Country, these words ring with a resounding bell of truth. A recent news brief released by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University supports that Texans love their land and building homes on it, too. “According to the latest census data, Texas gets credit for 20 percent of the increase in new homes built in the United States between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011.” So where are some of these neighborhoods in which people build their new custom dream homes? I’m glad you asked … Building a custom home in San Antonio and the Hill Country starts with the lot selection. Determining which lot is the correct choice for you and your family can be an overwhelming task. I recommend starting with a basic list of the five most important features for the location of your new home. There are many neighborhoods and communities to consider, but starting with your hard limit items (those items that are non-negotiable) will help narrow down your selections. Here are a few areas to consider:

Cordillera Ranch (www.cordilleraranch. com / 830-336-3570 / Kendall County) Located on Highway 46 between Boerne and Bulverde, the homeowners in this neighborhood have a tax advantage by living in Kendall County, which has a lower property tax rate than the surrounding Bexar and Comal counties. The school district is Boerne ISD, which is well-known as one of the top districts in Texas. Cordillera Ranch’s 8,700 acres allows for a wide range of lot selections, which covers every price point, lot size and lot description request imaginable. And with a private Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and various other amenities, residents can enjoy tubing on the Guadalupe, horseback riding, skeet shooting and so much more without ever having to leave their neighborhood. Look for Johnson Ranch, the new Bulverde community from the developers of Cordillera Ranch, opening in 2013. ( Palacios at Cibolo Canyons (www. / 888-363-6036 / Bexar County)


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Located off TPC Parkway, Cibolo Canyons is a master-planned community nestled just outside the city. Featuring homes from some of San Antonio’s finest custom builders, Palacios is located within walking distance of Northeast ISD’s Cibolo Green Elementary School and Johnson High School. As the home of San Antonio’s first green Parade of Homes in 2008, Palacios will also be the site of the spring 2013 parade. Owners will enjoy attending the many community activities at the amenity center, featuring a junior Olympic pool, a lazy river children’s splash playground, soccer fields and two playgrounds. Cibolo Canyons is also home to two renowned

Exploring Your Options Want to build your custom dream home? Start by looking into the broad variety of beautiful locations available to you in and around San Antonio and the scenic Texas Hill Country.

photo courtesy of cordillera ranch

// by: Talashia Jansen

PGA Tour – TPC golf courses and the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Estancia at Thunder Valley ( / 210-822-6880 / Kendall County) Located off of Highway 46 NW to the west of Boerne, Estancia offers three- to 20-acre, awe-inspiring home sites. Hilltops dot the landscape of this intimate equestrian neighborhood that focuses on privacy and serenity. Estancia residents reap tax benefits from the cattle you find quietly grazing throughout the neighborhood, and children attend Boerne ISD. Estancia’s summer 2012 / NHOME /


sabinas mountain struction of a new home. Sabinas Mountain is in Boerne ISD, and it benefits from the tax advantages of living in Kendall County. If you are in search of a home site with the ultimate view, look no further!

The Canyons at Scenic Loop (www. / 877-333-7925 / Bexar County) Located off of Scenic Loop Road, near Boerne Stage Road in far northwest Bexar County, this community boasts lot pricing below market value. Children attend Northside ISD. This is a tremendous new community in a fabulous location where you can custom build your dream home surrounded by beautiful live oaks and the best views San Antonio has to offer on lots from .5 to 1.5 acres.

The Reserve at Cresta Bella ( / 210-402-6363 / Bexar County) Located along the west side of I-10 at Camp Bullis Road, Cresta Bella is destined to become one of San Antonio’s premier residential communities. This prestigious development consists of 242 picturesque Hill Country acres adjacent to a 207-acre nature preserve in the fast-growing north central corridor of San Antonio. Children attend Northside ISD, and similar to the Dominion, this neighborhood is all about convenience and location.

Setterfeld Estates (www.setterfeldestates. com / 210-526-6887 / Comal County) On a quick, five-minute drive from I-10 on Ralph Fair, you will find one of the area’s newest neighborhoods. Located in Comal County, where children attend Comal ISD, Setterfeld Estates, a gated, private community, is one of the newest and most luxurious neighborhoods in Fair Oaks Ranch. With amazing amenities and the perfect location, this neighborhood is demanding a lot of attention. Also, in October, it is set to host this year’s Fall Parade of Homes, presented by the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA).

Anaqua Springs Ranch (www. / 210-695-2433 / Bexar County) Located off of I-10 and Boerne Stage Road, Anaqua Springs Ranch is a pristine neighborhood just outside of the city. An easy drive transports you from the hustle and bustle of San Antonio to the winding streets of this quiet neighborhood, which is easily one of San Antonio’s most breathtaking communities. With lots ranging from one to five acres, this gated and guarded neighborhood is home to many local celebrities. Children attend Northside ISD, and all homes enjoy underground

The Dominion (Contact your local real estate agent for details / Bexar County) Location, location, location! Located off of I-10 near Camp Bullis Road, the Dominion is one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods, and it continues to be a prime destination for many new homeowners and those who are looking to build a new custom home. Located in Bexar County, children attend Northside ISD, and there is easy access to the private school TMI. The Dominion has some acreage and view lots available, and with an abundance of amenities (including a private golf course and club), there are a lot of reasons

Sabinas Mountain ( / 210-669-8265 / Kendall County) Located off of Sisterdale Road and Walnut Grove, north of Boerne, Sabinas Mountain is a boutique neighborhood located on Boerne’s highest mountaintop, which focuses on breathtaking views and sustainable homebuilding. With flat, buildable sites and 360-degree views, seven lucky lot owners can wake up in the morning and greet each day by “touching the sky,” all within minutes of downtown Boerne. This eco-friendly enclave will feature twin-gated access for its residents and encourage the use of rainwater harvesting and solar energy when planning the con-


utilities. Anaqua Springs’ location, mixed with splendid views and mature trees, makes it an ideal location for those looking for a little bit of the Hill Country without leaving the city.

amenities include an equestrian center, an athletic facility, skeet and three Par 3 golf holes for perfecting your golf game. Located within minutes of downtown Boerne, Estancia is the heart of Hill Country living.

/ NHOME / summer 2012

summer 2012 / NHOME /


to consider this neighborhood. However, its prime location and proximity to shopping at The Rim, La Cantera and the medical district lead the race of reasons for its popularity. Stone Creek Ranch ( / 210-508-4300 / Kendall County) Located just five minutes from Boerne on Amman Road, Stone Creek Ranch is part of Fair Oaks Ranch, and children attend Boerne ISD. It is just a short drive to many small Hill Country towns famous for their shopping, restaurants and unique charm. The guarded entry provides security and peace of mind for you and your family, and the large variety of recreational amenities equals a lot of fun times for the family. If the conventional route of buying a lot in a neighborhood is not your style and you would like the freedom that lots of acreage affords you, then perhaps a private ranch is more your style. There are many options when it comes to large acreage ranches, and many of them already have some type of housing located on the premises, but

with that much land, building one more house won’t be a problem. 205 Platten Creek Road, Boerne, Texas 78006 (listed by Kuper Sotheby’s) Minutes north of Boerne is this 391-plusacre Hill Country ranch estate, which offers panoramic views of nature as far as your eyes can see. Whether a main residence or a second home, this outstanding residence was built for the connoisseur of life. The stunning home sits 1,700-plus feet above sea level atop a mesa with panoramic views. There is also a detached guesthouse or hunter’s lodge on the property, and multiple decorative features enhance the grounds. It is a wildlife haven that includes whitetail deer, fallow, axis, blackbuck, aoudad and others. Only one hour from either San Antonio or Austin, this is a dream of the finest Hill Country living. 533 U.S. Highway 87, Comfort, Texas 78013 (listed by Keller Williams Luxury International) Enter private gates to a resort-like ranch with five dwellings, just north of Boerne. Touted as a fantasyland for the avid sports-

man or hunter, this Ag-exempt ranch offers an indoor sports plex, a 200-acre area that is high fenced for exotic wildlife, springfed lakes and waterfalls, huge metal barns, multiple garages, a putting green, skeet, archery, regulation tennis courts, a sports court, a diving pool and more. Who needs the Four Seasons when you have this in your own backyard? These are just a few of the building paradises that lie hidden in and amongst San Antonio and its neighboring Hill Country lands. Taking the time to choose the right location is a crucial step in the homebuilding process. Whether it’s finding a lot in a perfect community or relaxing on your own personal 100-acre ranch, there is a perfect location for you and your family. You just may have to do a little exploring to find it. ■

For more information or assistance in locating the perfect lot for your new custom home, please feel free to contact Talashia Jansen at 210-852-8503

Your Custom Kitchen Concierge W

hether starting from scratch on a new home or remodeling an older one, exquisite cabinetry and innovative appliances are classic components of beautiful, unique kitchen designs. At Parrish at Cardell on Main, our experienced staff can help you get started with personal tours of our showroom and design center. Here you will find: d Distinctive Cardell Cabinetry and stylish Electrolux Appliances d Knowledgeable kitchen designers to assist with selections d 3-D cabinet renderings that offer views of completed projects d Superior delivery and installation services


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Parrish at Cardell on Main 210.255.1125 2500 North Main San Antonio, TX 78212

Parrish & Company/Parrish Cabinet Distributors 830.980.9595 26995 Hwy 281 N. San Antonio, TX 78260



Your’e invited to visit the stunning Miele Design Center, exclusively at Homewerks in the San Antonio/Austin area to experience Miele’s stunning collection of innovative appliances to complement your home, your family and your lifestyle.


13437 US Highway 281 North San Antonio, TX 78216 &210.499.5760 8

summer 2012 / NHOME /


// custom homes //

Rustic Luxury Welcome to Cordillera Ranch, where you can enjoy all of the modern conveniences of luxury outdoor living from within the comfortable confines of your private residence and club. // by: Stephanie Monsato


/ NHOME / summer 2012

The benchmark for enjoying the great outdoors has long been set at Cordillera Ranch. Through its seven clubs and sprawling acreage, there’s virtually no outdoor activity that can’t be accommodated. There is tennis, swimming, kayaking, sporting clays, fishing, equestrian and a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Other benefits of this private gated community are private parks along the flowing waters of Swede Creek and the Guadalupe River and more than eight miles of trails through natural terrain allowing for strolls by foot, relaxing gallops on horseback or aggressive rides on a bike. The social center of the community is the sprawling 40,000-squarefoot clubhouse. Just as outdoor living areas have become an important part of private residences, the same has evolved in private clubs, as evidenced by Cordillera Ranch’s state-of-the-art design incorporating extravagant usable space around its exterior. “Enjoying the outdoors is important to our residents and members,” says David Hill, developer of Cordillera Ranch. “We’ve created an environment that allows us to expand beyond the walls of our clubhouse and in essence, create vastly greater areas to entertain and enjoy. These areas were carefully planned, meticulously constructed and artfully furnished to draw you to the inviting outdoors of our spectacular Texas Hill Country weather and inspiring panoramas of natural landscape.” >> Well-appointed, yet comfortable and relaxing, this compound >>

From the beginning of creation. Quality throughout the ages. Bringing nature to your home.

Quality one-stop-shop for your counters, floors, sinks, etc.

All of your remodel and new construction needs

San Antonio / 210.340.0339 Austin / 512.275.1340 summer 2012 / NHOME /


“We’ve created an environment that allows us to expand beyond the walls of our clubhouse and create vastly greater areas to entertain and enjoy.” provides “rustic luxury.” Walls of glass and windows abound to bring the beautiful outdoors inside. But even with all of its inner beauty, some of the most preferred and enjoyed areas of the club are the exterior gathering areas of multi-level patios and terraces overlooking panoramic 25-mile views of the Guadalupe River valley, a manicured golf course, practice areas and lakes. Rocking chairs surround fire pits; umbrellas shade tables; overstuffed cushions adorn furniture; balconies expose prevailing breezes; and rejuvenating swimming pools invite. It’s tough not to find your preferred level of comfort in Cordillera Ranch’s inviting outdoors. The same can be said of the residences at Cordillera Ranch. The preferred builders ensure that you take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors through their design and building experience. Robert Thornton, owner of Great Homes, says they’re seeing clients place a tremendous emphasis on outdoor cooking and dining, covered entertainment and family relaxation spaces. “The ratio of non-conditioned areas to conditioned areas under roof in custom home designs continues to grow as owners recognize the added benefits of privacy and


/ NHOME / summer 2012

additional ‘living areas‘ that are created by well-sited, well-planned outdoor living,” he says. “The addition of these spaces oftentimes has a tremendous and attractive aesthetic to the estate, can capture views and breezes that weren’t readily accessible and invariably has a dramatic impact when viewed from within the home. “Other recent outdoor living creations have included televisions, sound systems, porch misters, space heaters, fireplaces, fire pits, oscillating fans, elaborate barbecue grills and smokers and custom-fabricated cypress or stainless cabinetry.” Adrianne Pena-Carnes of Authentic Custom Homes is finding similar interests in her customers. She notes that designing outdoor living areas extends their unique design principles and attention to detail to blend the exterior and interior of the home. “The Texas Hill Country offers magnificent views of the land, so we incorporate those views as much as possible into our designs,” she says. “That genuine raw beauty, along with our semi-arid climate, creates an ideal setting for outdoor living areas to be enjoyed most of the year. Therefore, outdoor living is widely popular and versatile. “We most commonly design and build expansive porches to accommodate various

activities for our clients. They’re asking more and more to enjoy dining outside, and we regularly include an exterior fire element to create a relaxing environment during the cooler months of the year.” Stadler Custom Homes is finding that when it comes to outdoor living, it’s all about the destination. “Much more often these days, we see clients that want to have multiple features when it comes to enjoying their own space, and they want them in different locations,” Ray Stadler says. “Two of the hottest trends, outside of the traditional outdoor kitchen and pool requests, are fire pits and an ‘entertaining’ courtyard. “Oftentimes, the fire pit will be located away from the pool entirely, and depending on the lot size, it may even be on an entirely different part of the property. The entertaining courtyards have started to replace the smaller ‘greeting’ courtyards. Typically they are much larger than just a greeting courtyard and will feature additional amenities such as a fireplace or fire pit, a water feature and access into a main part of the home such as the dining room.” Nowhere else will you find better preservation and appreciation of nature and the outdoors, and the modern conveniences to enjoy both from the comfortable confines of your own private residence and club. Outdoor living no longer has to be a dream. It’s a reality at Cordillera Ranch. ■

For more information, visit

A Smarter Way to Design & Build A Smarter Way to Design & Build Your Custom Home Your Custom Home

Learn why Diamante Custom Home’s Design & Build process has ensured so many satisfied clients Learn why Diamante Custom Home’s Design & Build process has ensured so many satisfied clients Our truly unique process is completely different than any other custom homebuilder in the market:

• No stock plans—we tailor to your exact specifications and unique piece of land Our truly unique process is completely different than any other custom homebuilder in the market:

Direct communication with your builder every design and meeting • No stock plans—we tailor to your exactatspecifications unique piece of land

No wastedcommunication time or money with during design—revisions immediately • Direct your builder at everyare design meeting reflected in your final budget

Peace of mind—a track record of success, with are more than 20 years of experience in San Antonio and • No wasted time proven or money during design—revisions immediately reflected in your final budget the surrounding communities! • Peace of mind—a proven track record of success, with more than 20 years of experience in San Antonio and the surrounding communities!

Already have a lot or need to find one, contact: Already have a lot or need to find one, contact:

Have home financing questions, contact: Have home financing questions, contact: John Cortissoz—Mortgage Banker NMLS #231030

5139 N. Loop 1604 West, Suite 102 | San Antonio, TX 78249 (210) 341-6430 5139 N. Loop 1604 West, Suite 102 | San Antonio, TX 78249

Visit to view plans, (210) 341-6430 communities, and our award-winning style. Visit to view plans, communities, and our award-winning style.

John Cortissoz—Mortgage Banker 210-826-6999—Direct NMLS #231030 210-861-5727—Mobile 210-826-6999—Direct Prequalify online at: 210-861-5727—Mobile Prequalify online at: 9311 San Pedro Ave., Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78216 9311 San Pedro Ave., Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78216 Loans are subject to credit approval; other guidelines may apply. © SWBC. All rights reserved. 8540-4868. 04/12 Loans are subject to credit approval; other guidelines may apply. su m mAll er 2 0reserved. 1 2 / 8540-4868. N H O M04/12 E / © SWBC. rights


// decorating ideas //

‘Oh-So-Easy’ Custom Flooring Renovation

A combination of uniquely designed “green” wood flooring and unparalleled service spells high praise and future business for O’Krent’s Abbey Flooring Center. // by: Beverly Ingle


/ NHOME / summer 2012

It just fits our home.” Christy Prescott smiled broadly at the thought. “Our family and friends always congregate in the kitchen and spill over into the living room (Doesn’t that always seem to happen?), and we wanted to have a space that was warmer and seems larger. Our new flooring from O’Krent’s is exactly what I had envisioned.” Prescott, CEO of Corporate Travel Planners in San Antonio, has known Sam O’Krent, CEO of O’Krent’s Abbey Flooring Center, through their mutual involvement in and support of the local community. So when Prescott was considering renovating the flooring in her kitchen, living room, master bedroom and home office, O’Krent’s was top-of-mind. “I was a little early for a communityrelated meeting at the O’Krent’s location off Loop 1604 and thought I’d take the opportunity to look around a little,” Prescott said. “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but a great one.” Prescott chatted briefly with O’Krent’s design consultant Rosanne Valdez, who helped her navigate the hundreds of wood flooring options, narrowing the options down to a few that appealed to Prescott and would achieve the look she wanted in her home. “I knew I wanted wood flooring that was somewhat dark with wide boards, and that would have some texture to it so it wouldn’t show wear very readily,” Prescott explained. “I have four children, including two school-age sons who have a lot of friends in our neighborhood. Ours is the house that the kids hang out in, so for the floors to withstand some punishment was important.” Prescott left O’Krent’s with several flooring samples to take home so she could see how they would fit with her décor and lifestyle. One option, a handscraped solid hardwood from Anderson Hardwood Floors with a unique texture that doesn’t hide the slight irregularities of truly handmade work, was the winner. “The texture of the hand-scraped boards is perfect for our lifestyle,” Prescott said. “It doesn’t look too ‘perfect’ or too commercial. It looks real.” >>



Open or Close with the Touch of a Button.


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Opens to let the light in, or closed to keep summer sun and rain out. The roofing system can be positioned by remote control to any angle. Structures can be free standing or attached to your home and are ideal for courtyards, entry ways, outdoor kitchens, patio and spa areas.

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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 ~ summer 2012 / NHOME /


The texture of the boards is ideal for our lifestyle. It doesn’t look too ‘perfect’ or too commercial. It looks real.


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Anderson Hardwood Floors features “green” wood products – those that are responsibly manufactured – like the one Prescott selected, and because of its commitment to environmentally responsible flooring manufacturing, Anderson has received the coveted Cradle to Cradle™ Silver Certification from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), a third-party product and design firm. Once Prescott made her choice, the service she received from O’Krent’s impressed her. “Every member of the O’Krent’s team was wonderful to work with and made the process as easy as possible,” she said. O’Krent’s measured her rooms on a Friday and returned a quote for the project turnkey by the following Monday and via email. Prescott truly appreciated the convenience. “When their team was here measuring for the flooring, they asked questions that never would have crossed my mind, but made a big impact on how my rooms would look … questions like in what direction did I want the boards to be laid. They were very thorough.” Prescott continued to compliment the O’Krent’s staff. “My husband, Greg, was really impressed with the installation team in particular. They were very considerate and made every effort to keep the work area as clean as possible, which was no small task since they had to remove our original tile flooring, too.” Prescott and her entire family are pleased with the way the hand-scraped wood has made their home a little warmer and more inviting, and in the way it complements the rich, deep colors and tasteful traditional style of their furnishings. “I couldn’t be happier,” Prescott said. “It’s just a matter of time before we replace the flooring in our formal living and dining areas with this beautiful wood from O’Krent’s.” ■

For more information, please visit


TIRED OF STRUGGLING with your attic ladder?

FACT: Most of our top decorators confess to this "addiction” and collecting decorating magazines.



We have the solution!

We have career opportunities in central Texas! If you or someone you know: Have a love and talent for decorating Have great people skills and self discipline Have had success in a career

Auto-Lad is a fully automatic attic ladder system. It’s like an electronic stairway! At the press of a button or remote, it’s advanced circuit board extends Auto-Lad into a very stable and safe stairway, providing easy access to your attic storage area. Depressing the same button or remote, Auto-Lad retracts, the panel closes and re-latches automatically. That’s simple! While designed for a typical attic space, this structurally superior and sophisticated operating ladder can also be used to substitute stairs in a loft area to add privacy and additional room space below. Auto-Lad’s patented revolutionary design incorporates aerospace technology focused on quality, safety and reliability.

We offer training, marketing, and business support!

Bonnie Hudson (512)576-5200


127 Paddington Way • San Antonio, Texas 78209 summer 2012 / NHOME /


// decorating ideas //

photo courtesy of restoration hardware

// shade //

From NHOME to Outdoors Optimal design flows beyond the interiors. // by: Casey Roy & Shawna Misiong

Trending outdoors in South Texas Covered terraces, outdoor enclaves, gardens, poolsides, cabanas and outdoor kitchens are all family gathering and entertainment locales. These exterior spaces are our personal great escapes, right in our own backyards. Designing exterior environments with the semblance of furnishings, fabrics and textures often found in interior spaces allows continuation of style. Modern technologies have enhanced our ability to bring interior aspects to the outdoors, as seen in luxurious outdoor textiles and unique lighting solutions. Outdoor furniture designers continue to impress us with new materials, finishes and chic designs that are fit for any interior space, but also possess the durability to stand up to exterior elements.  


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Ambiance: Live, anywhere wireless LED lighting lets you move the party from the patio to the pool or even the yard, if needed. With three settings, these lamps can make any outdoor area a gathering spot.

// lounge //

Color: The Perennials durable outdoor textiles can add plenty of texture, color and pattern to any outdoor space. Keep it tonal for a classic outdoor atmosphere or vivid for a more playful exterior.

// color //

Shawna Misiong

Shawna Misiong

// dining //

David Sutherland Inc

outdoor rooms to be a continuation of stylish interiors. Unparalleled craftsmanship from sustainable sources creates unique furnishings like the Peninsula chairs and the Gauguin bar table. Chairs designed by Terry Hunziker, and table designed by John Hutton. Lounge: The simple sculptural lounge chaise is a departure from the norm that can be seen poolside or resting in a private enclave. Aziyade Chaise designed by Philippe Hurel.

Shade: Premium materials and artful engineering endow the Tuuci® Hexagon Umbrella with extraordinary durability and functionality. Marine-grade aluminum combines with an all-weather Sunbrella® canopy to withstand any season with ease. www.

// accents //

// ambience //

Dining: The Restoration Hardware Klismos dining set is a great value without compromising style. The weathered zinc finish on cast aluminum and sleek lines make this piece durable and classic. Entertaining: These exquisite pieces from Sutherland allow

Sari Makki-Phillips

// entertaining //

Shawna Misiong

David Sutherland Inc

Accents: Monkey stools are great little accents. These unique stools are carved of tropical hardwoods, and they can be used as outdoor side tables or for extra seating. www.asianartimports. com

Casey Roy is a licensed interior designer. After years of experience in the profession, she founded Casey Roy Design in fall 2011. Roy brings her energetic charisma and creative designs to life with her talented design team in the heart of San Antonio. Knowledgeable in both current decorative trends and architectural details, Casey Roy Design can meet the needs of both residential and commercial clients. Roy’s talented team includes Shawna Misiong (a licensed interior designer), Annie Hebdon (general manager) and Gay Roy (resource coordinator). For more information on Casey Roy Design, call 210-560-2174 or email

summer 2012 / NHOME /



Photographed for the 2012 Parade of Homes Home Builder: Mike Hollaway Custom Homes Furnishing by: Hill Country Interiors • Interior Design by: LLB Interiors








210.340.2033 • 210.789.2033 • 866.202.1650 / NHOME / summer 2012


“Experience Living - Outdoors.”

We are located off the Southbound Frontage Rd. Btwn Bitters & Nakoma

SUMMER is here! Time for grilling, lounging and overall enjoyment of your outdoor escape! All grills we carry are made in the USA and of the highest quality. The Smoker by Primo is available & ready for you to take home today! Come by our showroom & check out all we have to offer!

210-276-0734 summer 2012 / NHOME /


// technology //


/ NHOME / summer 2012

builder: kyle lindsey custom homes

The Best of the Best

You can enjoy the ultimate cinematic experience from the comfort of your own home thanks

to the top-of-the-line home theater systems available from Sterling Home Technologies. // by: Michelle Ornelas-Torres // photography: jason roberts

builder: kyle lindsey custom homes


ovies can provide an immersive experience as sight and sound blend together to take you to places far, far away. For years, you could get that escape only in a cinema with its huge screen and monstrous speakers. Now, thanks to ever-evolving technology and a desire for people to have that same entertainment at home, you can enjoy a full-fledged cinematic experience in your very own home theater. This is not the same as installing hightech display and sound systems in a living room space. Instead, it is a special customdesigned room that allows you to experience both picture and sound quality that exceeds any commercial cinema. Here in San Antonio, Sterling Home Technologies is making its mark as the premier designer of home theaters. Working with homeowners, the company assists in all aspects of the arrangement from lighting, audio, video and acoustics to sight lines, seating positions and unified control. Recently enlisted for a project in Cordillera Ranch, Sterling Home Technologies was asked to create a high-performance theater system that offered the best of the


/ NHOME / summer 2012

best in performance and acoustic capabilities. “The objective was to deliver the best possible image and acoustics the client had ever experienced with minimal compromise and within a defined budget,” says Todd Jarvis, owner of Sterling Home Technologies. The home, an 8,200-square-foot onestory dwelling, would feature a pool, game room, wine cellar and art gallery. But at the top of the homeowners’ list was the desire to incorporate a first-class home theater. “We knew this would be our final home – the place where we will retire, and there were certain things we always wanted in a home,” the homeowner explains. “I love to watch movies, so a high-performance movie theater was a must for me.” Working in collaboration with builder Robert Thornton of Robert S. Thornton, L.P., Great Homes, the architect and the Sterling team, and in partnership with PMI (based out of California), the homeowners designed a home theater that was “unlike any other I’ve seen so far,” says Steve Cooper of Sterling Home Technologies. With more than 60 pages worth of design, the theater incorporated specialized

lighting, 13 Klipsch speakers, an eightfoot Runco projector, an Integra Blu-ray player, nine custom Acoustic Innovations theater chairs brought in from Florida, a soundproof door and a significant amount of insulation to create a soundproof barrier from the master bedroom, which is located just adjacent to the theater. “During one of the first meetings with the client, he said, ‘I’m not looking for popcorn machines or Spider Man hanging from the ceiling; I want to be able to watch a movie loud enough to make my ears bleed while my wife sleeps in the bedroom on the other side of the wall,’” Jarvis says. In order to create this amount of sound-

builder: kyle lindsey custom homes

proofing, the theater room was designed so that it is essentially “a room within a room, surrounded by insulation,” Cooper says. This feature allows for optimum acoustic capabilities while ensuring that the sound remains confined within the walls of the theater room. “During the two days of calibration, there were times when we had it so loud you had to have ear plugs,” Jarvis says. “It was far louder than anyone would ever actually watch a movie, and you literally could not hear it in the adjacent master bedroom – and that’s exactly what the client wanted.” For the interior design of the theater, the homeowners opted to keep it simple and conservative. It was important to eliminate any hard surfaces that would deteriorate from the acoustics, so they kept furnishings to a minimum. In fact, the only furnishings are the theater chairs, much like an actual movie theater. “This is one of those projects where most of the hard work is all behind the scenes, and being in it, the casual observer would never know what it took to make it happen,” Jarvis says. Other features include a state-of-the-art Crestron wireless touch-screen remote and Apple iPad and iPhone wireless touch-screen applications that eliminate the need for multiple remotes. Instead, the technology is all integrated for access from a single device. Users can adjust lighting and sound, switch channels, play or pause movies and much more from their iPad or iPhone. Completed at the end of last year, the project “turned out perfectly,” Jarvis explains. But the real deciders of that were the homeowners, who said the following: “The home theater far exceeded our expectations. It is rare that something turns out better than what you expected, and this is one of those cases. There’s really no need for us to go to a movie theater anymore because now we can get the same experience, if not better, in our own home.” ■

For more information, contact Sterling Home Technologies Inc. at 830-537-3410 or summer 2012 / NHOME /


// green //

Step Up to Solar, Part I

Get the most out of a solar energy system by following a few easy, lower-cost tips for making your home airtight and solarready, one step at a time. // by: Rita Zenzen Heck


et the sun shine in and make yourself comfortable! Let it heat or cool your home, heat your hot water, power your appliances and lights, save money and lower pollution. Mr. Sun can be your best friend. Sound good? Well, solar energy is a natural, but an upfront pricey option that needs to be integrated into an already energyconscious, tight home. That’s why utility companies, solar designers, manufacturers, distributors and Kris Zebrowski of Build San Antonio Green recommend that you get a professional energy auditor to confirm your steps to solar first. Costing anywhere from $400 to thousands of dollars, depending upon the size and complexity of the property, the audit will pinpoint problem areas to be addressed to get the most out of a solar energy system. CPS Energy is continually increasing its renewable energy sources. Under a 30year purchase power agreement, the utility company is the sole purchaser of the electric generation from the Blue Wing Solar Farm, which is capable of powering approximately 1,800 homes in its service territory. It is currently in negotiations with OCI Solar Power to 400 megawatts of solar to its renewable energy portfolio. Longtime solar system designer Craig Overmiller of the Texas Solar Power Compa-


/ NHOME / summer 2012

ny (which is headquartered in Austin with a new office in San Antonio) has a seven-point program on his website that includes some of our Steps to Solar: Compact florescent lighting: Change out all of your bulbs, and you’ll see an approximate 20 percent savings in your energy bill, Overmiller estimates. Recycle when they burn out. They contain a small amount of mercury. Insulation: Overmiller recommends a minimum R-19 in walls and R-38 in ceilings. “Anything more is nice, but overkill.” Radiant barrier: Reflecting the sun and keeping the attic cool is a big step to lowering energy bills. Available in many forms, including foil (paper) and foil-covered board (Kool Ply, invented in Texas), spray-on and paint, it is a major step in weatherizing your home and making it solar-ready. Solar shades and screens: Cover all east-, west- and south-facing windows and skylights to get the most UV protection and efficient cooling, which will pleasantly affect utility bills. Solar hot water heater: Zebrowsky estimates a 25 percent drop in utility bills and a

cleaner, more efficient hot water system. Solar attic fan: Run by the sun, its cooling effects work down throughout the house with an estimated 30 percent utility bill reduction. Solar outdoor lighting: Not only are they power-saving, solar lights require no wiring, no plug-ins and no burned-out bulb replacement. Now much reduced in cost, they are efficient, non-polluting and laborsaving. Solar lights are available almost everywhere. Solar indoor lighting: Solatube is probably the best-known tube skylight that brightens up dark corners with solar energy. Versions are available at home supply stores. Caulking: Tighten doors, windows and every nook and cranny with good caulking. There’s no telling how much energy you’ll save by keeping outside air out at very little expense. Tank-less water heater: Hot water on demand! No waiting for cold water to warm up. No paying to heat a large tank when you need only a little in select spots (kitchen, bath, etc.). Pros and cons: They’re costly upfront, so take some time for payback. Eco plug: Available at most home product retailers (Home Depot, Loewe’s, Ace) under various names, it cuts the wattage used by a refrigerator up to 20 percent without affecting its performance. Pros and cons: Overmiller is for them, Zebrowsky is skeptical and Jim Holland, owner/founder of Eco-Wise sustainable products store in Austin, calls them “garbage. [I] Used to carry them, but found they don’t work on all brands and can upset some motors.” Shade trees: San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and CPS Energy offer free shade trees at various events throughout the year with advice on how and where to plant them to save the most energy and water.

This is the first of a two-part series that will cover residential home solar energy. Part I covers easy, lower-cost steps to make your home airtight and solar-ready. Part II will cover actual solar energy usage, introducing some of the lesser-known products that allow you to incorporate solar a step at a time.

Best deal! CPS Energy customers can

receive a $5 credit on their energy bill by completing an online do-it-yourself energy evaluation. CPS Energy also offers professional in-home energy evaluations for a reduced cost. The evaluations help homeowners identify air leaks inside the house and air duct system and recommend energy-efficient upgrades, as well as provide them with information on qualifying rebates. Visit www. for more information.

photo courtesy of cps

Left to Right: Mayor Julian Castro, SAWS Chairman Berto Guerra, Activist William Sinkin and CPS Chair of Board Derrick Howard at the dedication of the william r. sinkin centinnial solar farm on june 18, 2012

Under a 30-year purchase power agreement, the utility company is the sole purchaser of the electric generation from the Blue Wing Solar Farm, which is capable of powering approximately 1,800 houses in its service territory. The utility is currently in negotiations with OCI Solar Power to add 400 megawatts of solar energy to its renewable energy portfolio.

cps rebates

Solar Energy Contacts Craig Overmiller

Jim Holland

Kris Zebrowski

Solar San Antonio

Texas Solar Power Company 520 Fredericksburg Road San Antonio, Texas 210-624-1668 (cell) / Build San Antonio Green 118 Broadway, Ste. 232 San Antonio, Texas 210-224-7278

Alison Scott

Green Collar Operations 210-782-9694

Eco-Wise 110 W. Elizabeth Austin, Texas 512-326-4474 118 Broadway, Ste. 621 San Antonio, Texas 210-354-0236

CPS Energy will pay for 50 percent of the cost of testing the duct system up to $250 per system. Rebates run between $750 and $2,500 per system for qualifying duct repair or replacement. CPS Energy is offering a rebate of 25 cents per square foot of attic insulation installed.

CPS Rebates

210-353-SAVE (4253)

summer 2012 / NHOME /


Becoming a True Garden Fanatic Sustain both the environment and the beauty of your yard with a smart start and an informed approach to gardening.

Mike Keegan

// luxe landscaping & outdoor design //

Mike Keegan

// by: Sunny Smith


/ NHOME / summer 2012


When starting a garden, it is wise to study your region’s climate quirks.

Mike Keegan

erhaps you have just moved to the San Antonio area. Or maybe you have recently retired and are warming up to the idea of beginning to learn how to garden here in our region. But where and how do you get started? The best advice I can give you is to start smart and approach it all slowly. In gardening, it is easy to get carried away, go full bore, wind up covered in mud and quickly burn out. To become a true garden fanatic, the best way to nurture along this nascent interest is to ensure that you have some small successes along the way while building up to ultimate lawn and garden domination. Everybody knows that we South Texans only have two seasons – winter and nine months of summer – and that our seasons are seemingly getting more extreme with each passing year. Drought, as you know, is a natural deterrent in creating a lush lawn and garden environment, as well as a very real problem for our area. Last year was our worst ever for heat and lack of rain: Everywhere you looked, you saw brown, crunchy grass with plants drooping and dying all around. So when starting a garden, it is wise to study your region’s climate quirks and to be well versed in the garden zones in your area. Here in San Antonio, we are Zone 9 (semi-tropical). The best way to make sure your planting will thrive and flourish is to initially choose to plant the flora that have been given the designation of “Texas hardy.” These are plants that grow here naturally and abundantly and are, by and large, drought-resistant plants like the country blue Plumbagos you see everywhere. Plumbagos are butterfly plants that grow two to three feet tall and will spread three to four feet. If you favor a brighter color, the brilliant yellow-colored and bell-shaped Esperanza can add height and a pop of color to a sun-soaked corner of the yard. The Esperanza can grow to four to five feet high and take on a mound shape. A local favorite in rock gardens is the delicate-looking, yet hardy Pink Texas Skullcaps that have delicate-looking fuchsia flowers. >>

summer 2012 / NHOME /


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/ NHOME / summer 2012





Do you love roses? A hardy bloomer is Knockout Roses, which are sold nearly everywhere in five-gallon buckets and grow to approximately three to four feet in height and have continuous pink, red and white blooms from spring to the first hard frost, requiring very little attentive care. These hardy and beautiful roses are self-cleaning (meaning no dead-heading required) and as an added bonus, have a subtle spicy fragrance. Be sure to shop at garden centers that guarantee their products. I recommend that if you plan on spending significant amounts of money on this new hobby, get a folder or a recipe box, keep receipts from the plants and trees you’re investing in and store them in your plant box. If the plants die, dig them up, take them back to the point of purchase and try again. Garden center employees will have lots of good suggestions for you on your planting. Be sure to ask them for their suggestions and have answers for the questions they are sure to ask you such as: Which direction does your house face? Where in the yard are you thinking of planting? Is it in shaded areas or sun-exposed? And how much sun does the area in which you intend to plant get on an average day? Sure, this can be tiresome, but once you document this information, you’re set for as long as you live in this particular home. Write it down and store it on your computer or in your plant box and take this information with you when you go to the garden centers. Another way to make sure your yard is drought tolerant is to use plants that thrive in dry climates and require little watering. An extremely popular version of this style of gardening uses native grasses, pea-rock walkways and large boulders to create visual interest. The native grasses add a pop of green, and their thin leaves move pleasingly in even the most gentle of breezes, psychologically fooling you to feel just a little bit cooler. Stringing a line of carpenter lights in a simple X pattern in your yard, placing flagstone rock all around and planting a variety of moss in thin lines between the rock so they can spread will allow for some

In times of drought periods, it pays to stay creative. color and life, and it doesn’t require much watering. As we grow more conscious of the many green methods available to us to sustain the beauty of our yards, more and more products are becoming available. A couple of years ago, it took some diligent Internet searching to track down rain-collecting vessels, but now they are easily found at all big box garden centers and boutique garden centers alike and cost only around $100 on average. An outdoor shower (priced from just $100 to $350) properly placed in your yard can be the answer for many a backyard. Do you have a pool and need to rinse off after a swim? An outdoor shower can be freeing and relaxing, and it can help keep outdoor areas watered while doing double duty. In times of drought periods, it pays to stay creative. I remember the popular slogan in the ‘70s that found its way onto bumper stickers and Tshirts alike: “Save water – shower with a friend.” How about we give those neighbors something to talk about? Now that you’re all clean, have gotten down to brass tacks and determined all of the details regarding your personal yard and can now converse knowledgeably with your garden professionals, you will be a drought-resistant gardener, and you will be the one whose yard has people driving slowly by and drinking it in admiringly. It’s time for you to pull out a comfy lawn chair, pour yourself a favorite libation and sit, sip and wave a “howdy” to all of your admirers, knowing you have done something to beautify your yard in a way that will help our environment. ■

For more information, contact Sunny Smith at


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summer 2012 / NHOME /


// luxe landscaping & outdoor design //

Form, Function and Fun Get creative and bring your outdoor space to life with the many striking and ultimately low-maintenance options available to you through modern landscaping and design. // by: Christopher Greer


odern landscaping is a type of landscape design that typically requires very little maintenance, making it a favorite for most families in today’s fast-paced society. This style is becoming more and more common for everyday outdoor living spaces. The innovative use of uncommon materials and eye-catching textures, along with distinct


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patterns and vivid colors, creates stunning visual displays nearly as eye-catching as the homes they complement. Modern landscaping is versatile, and the most important thing to remember is to create an outdoor space that will meet your needs and wants. If trying to design your own modern landscape, remember to stay flexible. Always try to study the key features that

The look and style of modern design can be accomplished in yards of all sizes.

already exist in your space and work with them. If you have a yard with a lot of slope, consider a tumbling water feature and lush vegetation full of color to complement. If you have a large concrete slab that is a bit drab, consider veneering it with stone and working it into the rest of your patio design. Modern can be achieved by integrating several features, including pools, outdoor spas, cooking and dining areas, water features, aesthetic and task lighting, patio covers, fencing and most importantly, plants. One common misconception is that you must have a lot of space in order to achieve the looks and styles of modern design. In fact, this design type can be accomplished in yards of all sizes. So don’t be discouraged if you own a townhome or condo with a small yard. Of course, if you are having trouble visualizing an overall layout and

scheme, consult with a landscape architect at John’s Landscaping. With large yards, there is obviously more room for versatility and options for different designs. Enchanting stone pathways that lead through flourishing greenery, connecting a series of courtyards with outdoor living areas tailored to meet your every need, are great for creating several small spaces that can be used for different functions and gatherings in a large yard. Some enjoy moderatesized bedding areas with minimal plants and large grassed yards for gatherings. The thing to remember is that modern design embraces both form and function with a complementary blend of different materials. Hardscape designs play a major part in modern landscape design. Not only do hardscape features reduce the need for maintenance, they can also be summer 2012 / NHOME /


Using creative materials in the design of your contemporary landscaping project is vital.

designed to create the crisp lines and angles of modern or contemporary landscaping. The right materials will complement your home, as well as your personal tastes, while blending with the overall theme of your property. Consider everything from natural gravels and simple concrete and pebbles in complementary colors and hues to elegantly colored stone, tiles and pavers. I always say that your hardscaping creates the footprint for the rest of the yard. Besides a swimming pool, hardscaping is generally the main focal point in any yard. Most of your


/ NHOME / summer 2012

time is spent lounging with family or friends on the patio when entertaining outside. So when designing a complete modern landscape, start with the patio area. Then work everything else in around it to complement that area. There is a lot to keep in mind when designing a patio and/or patio cover. Since they are usually adjacent to the house, it’s vital to integrate the design of both into your home’s interior and exterior design style. Whether it is with wooden or steel accent beams, similar light fixtures, flooring or paint colors or the same

cabinet styles from the home’s kitchen, implementing material from the home is important. It will ensure a cohesive bond between your indoor and outdoor spaces for a seamless flow between the two areas. Using creative materials during the design of your modern and contemporary landscaping project is vital. Have fun and think outside the box when it comes to material, application and method of construction. Get creative and use your imagination to allow for a finished product that others wouldn’t normally think of doing.

The best part of a finished design is knowing that your neighbors down the street who frequent your house because your TV is bigger than theirs won’t have the exact same fire feature you do because you didn’t drop down to the local “do-it-yourself” store and buy something recommended by a kid from the gardening department. Instead, you opted to give thought to designing a fire feature that has the same stone your house was built with originally and fits ever-soperfectly in that little niche of the yard you can never get any grass to grow in. Most important are accessories! Modern outdoor accessories will give your space its life and vitality, bringing all of the different areas together for a fluid overall design. The right furnishings and accessories can make your modern landscape design unique to anyone else’s yard, as well. Synthetic materials are popular additions to contemporary designs: stainless steel outdoor kitchens and fountains, metal furniture or planters and decor that integrate plastic or canvas are ideal. Vivid yellows, reds and blues add brightness to your outdoor space, or you can consider intriguing colorchanging lights for modern flair. The always fun and challenging item to design is a water feature with fire implemented. Although these usually require a little engineering from a professional, they are always a cool feature that draws attention from any crowd. Plant life is also a vital part of any garden style, but it receives much less attention in a modern landscape design. Small yards and the desire for low-maintenance play a role in the vegetation featured in contemporary designs. Opt for

colorful, easy-to-care-for plants that add alluring textures to your outdoor space. Keep plants spaced evenly. Most think that if you have a large bedding area, you’re required to fill it completely with plants – not true. What more and more people are finding the most intriguing about modern landscaping is the ease of maintenance. Therefore, leave large spacing between grouped plants and enjoy the area with an “open” feel. Consider filling areas with colorful rock and dark mulch to give that flair of modernism, as well. Even though I’ve discussed how to focus on each area of modern landscaping, keep in mind that all aspects of design are equally important. If you are planning on getting really creative, research and design (commonly referred to as R&D) is vital. It’s good to spend most of your time in the planning and reviewing stages before doing any work. The last thing you want to do is live with the letdown of a failed project and spend all of your money on an idea that came to you in a dream after eating half a pizza and falling asleep while watching the new episode of “Dallas” that you had to record on your DVR because you wouldn’t dare miss an NSIDE Magazine mixer! Take your time, plan things out and let them marinate before building. For those larger projects that require an architect, engineer or contractor, reach out to a local professional for assistance. Try to keep in mind what you want for today, as well as tomorrow. That way, your yard will be versatile for years to come. Then once started, don’t be afraid keep an artistic approach and allow small changes and adaptations to really bring your modern and contemporary design to life. ■

For more information about Christopher Greer of John’s Landscaping, go to or call 210-320-2722.

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summer 2012 / NHOME /


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summer 2012 / NHOME /


// great escapes //


Texas on the Road NHOME’s

guide to all things posh, playful and downright Texan // Special to NHOME


/ NHOME / summer 2012

ummer and its unrelenting heat are upon us once again, which means it is time to pack a bag and get away for a little reprieve. The only problem is time, or the lack thereof. Demanding schedules don’t slow down just because it’s vacation time. Compromise with your boss or spouse and book a long weekend. It’s time for a Texasstyle “staycation.” To save San Antonians a bit of time and research, we at NHOME have compiled the “must experience” list of Texas getaways. There’s no place like home! Right outside our back door, yet a million miles away is the luxurious Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa. Newly completed, Éilan caters to the most discriminating of tastes. Getting away now doesn’t require getting away. Experience San Antonio’s newest luxury boutique resort tucked away in the hills of the posh La Cantera neighborhood. Éilan is situated on 120 acres of beautiful, Tuscan-inspired grounds resembling some of the finest destinations in Europe. The perfect getaway for those seeking something new and exciting, Éilan invites guests to lounge poolside in a private cabana, unwind in The Spa at Éilan or try their hand at one of the many culinary classes occurring throughout the summer in its signature restaurant, Sustenio. ( Just a few miles east on Interstate 10 is downtown San Antonio, where weary travelers will find the luxurious oasis Mokara Hotel & Spa. Situated along San Antonio’s famed River Walk, Mokara is home to the city’s only Forbes four-star spa. Redefining luxury with its exquisite treatments, stylish décor and experienced therapists, the Mokara Spa offers highly personalized service with the promise of “exceptional included.” The 17,000-square-foot retreat encompasses 18 treatment rooms, a new couples’ treatment room, private sanctuary lounges, a whirlpool, steam and sauna and Vichy showers, plus an outdoor

poolside café with rooftop views of the city. ( After a night to remember on the River Walk, maybe a more sedate venue is in order. Just a few hours east leads us to the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in the little waterfront town of Montgomery. At the age of 174, with its unique wineries and antique shops, Montgomery ranks as the third oldest town in the state, yet boasts one of its newest resorts. An hour north of Houston, La Torretta’s 445 suites and villas rest on a pine-studded 170-acre peninsula combining authentic Texas charm on the banks of Lake Conroe. Guests looking to find relaxation can unwind with La Torretta’s 17,000-square-foot spa or take it outdoors to the immaculate 18hole course. Designed as the ultimate family playground, La Torretta not only has something for everyone, but has lots of it. ( On the off chance that lakeside lounging isn’t the thing for you, allow us to recommend the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa and the TPC San Antonio PGA Golf Resort. Two of the world’s most talented and respected golf course architects were selected to put their indelible marks on the San Antonio golf landscape: the iconic Pete Dye and World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman. TPC San Antonio’s hacienda-style clubhouse serves as the focal point for gracious dining and hospitality, featuring an exclusive members-only area, including a members’ grill overlooking the AT&T Oaks Course and well-appointed, full-service men’s and women’s private locker rooms. Situated in the clubhouse overlooking the 18th green of the AT&T Oaks Course, 18 Oaks is a fine dining experience showcasing prime cuts and traditional steakhouse fare. Set on 600 picturesque acres next to the TPC, the JW Marriott brings a new level of luxury to the Texas Hill Country. This sophisticated,














1/ JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa 2/ Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa 3/ Horseshoe Bay Resort 4/ Joshua Creek Ranch 5/ La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 6/ Mokara Hotel & Spa 7/ National Shooting Complex 8/ Inn Above Onion Creek 9/ SeaWorld’s Aquatica 10/ TPC San Antonio PGA Golf Resort 11/ Texas Hill Country Wineries 12/ Great Wolf Lodge 13/ Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa

summer 2012 / NHOME /


yet relaxed destination offers the ultimate hillside retreat with world-class service and amenities. The JW Marriott is the largest JW Marriott resort in the world, and it is widely recognized as a top “staycation” destination for those who enjoy the sophisticated elegance of the Texas Hill Country. The JW has world-class golf with the TPC San Antonio; Lantana Spa, the largest spa in Texas; and the River Bluff Water Experience, a must-do for water lovers. Named a 2011 Top 75 Golf Resort by Golf Digest, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa features TPC San Antonio, part of the PGA TOUR Tournament Players Club (TPC) Network. ( and

fireplaces, front and rear porches with amazing views, stunning bathrooms and modern conveniences such as free wireless Internet and satellite TV. Not normally found at most B&Bs, an overnight stay includes not only a full hot breakfast, but also a delicious threecourse dinner. The 100-acre grounds are home to miles of hiking and biking trails, a refreshing pool with Hill Country views and a day spa offering relaxing massages, facials and other skin and body treatments. With more than 500 online reviews and a five-star average rating, the inn is one of the bestreviewed travel destinations in the state of Texas, receiving Gayot’s Top Boutique Hotel, Austin 2011 and 2012. (

An hour’s ride up 281 through Blanco and the Hill Country lead you to none other than the main boulevard of Horseshoe Bay Resort. As they say, “everything is bigger in Texas,” and no place showcases that philosophy better than the Jaffe-owned, AAA Four Diamond-award-winning Horseshoe Bay Resort. Located in the exquisite Hill Country, the 7,000-acre resort offers three championship Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf courses. In addition, a highly anticipated Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, Summit Rock, is currently under development. Horseshoe Bay Resort also offers a made-to-scale, 18-hole Par 72 Bermuda grass putting course, four swimming pools, a spa and fitness facility, a full-service marina, seven dining facilities and 16 adult tennis courts. Accommodations include 249 hotel rooms and suites within the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott Hotel, the adjacent Paseo Vacation Apartments and 50 luxury lakefront condominiums available for rent at The Waters at Horseshoe Bay Resort. The resort also features a jet center with a 6,000-foot lighted runway. (www.

Of course we couldn’t give you just one B&B option. Heaven awaits at the Creekhaven Inn luxury bed and breakfast, offering 14 private guest rooms. Located at the end of a lane on the Cypress Creek, adjacent to Blue Hole and walking distance from Wimberley Village Square, the inn is known for its lush grounds, ponds, 600 feet of private access to a crystal-clear spring-fed creek and peaceful serenity. Hammocks, fire pits, kayaks and floats, along with private decks, balconies and nooks to cuddle up in, are just a few of the memory-making features you will find at this lovely little gem in Wimberley. (

If such expanse is not what you are yearning for, get out your map and navigate the back roads to Wimberley’s Inn Above Onion Creek, where an award-winning bed and breakfast located on 100 acres in the Texas Hill Country awaits your arrival. As the name states, the inn sits atop a bluff over Onion Creek and offers stunning 20-mile views of the Hill Country. The inn is home to 12 romantic guest rooms, including two private cottages, each offering a unique layout and rustic decor. All rooms feature


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Hop back on 35 and head north to Dallas to reach the Great Wolf Lodge. The question is, “What is 84 degrees year-round?” The answer is the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. The indoor water park resort has a little something for everyone from gentle spray misters for giggling toddlers to white-knuckle extreme tube rides for the not so faint of heart. There are daily activities for kids of all ages and even a spacious arcade with the latest video games. Great Wolf Lodge is a one-stop hotel and water park. Situated at the hub of numerous attractions in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, there is really no reason to leave during your stay. ( Drive home from Dallas down 281 to explore the Texas Hill Country or speed down 35 and find yourself in Bastrop at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Situated along the banks of the Lower Colorado River just outside of Austin, Lost

Pines offers a luxurious wilderness escape on 405 acres of diverse Texas terrain. This resort destination features 491 guest rooms, and additional amenities include the 18-hole Audubon International-sanctioned Wolfdancer Golf Club, Spa Django and the Renegade Trailhead equestrian facility. Beyond golf, spa and riding, guests enjoy exploring the adjoining 1,100-acre McKinney Roughs Nature Park; kayaking and rafting on the Colorado River; hiking and birding along 18 miles of trails; floating down the Crooked River; roasting s’mores at one of the outdoor fire pits; and a dynamic lineup of recreational activities. Lost Pines showcases live music on a weekly basis and boasts a total of nine year-round and seasonal dining options with everything from a light snack or beverage to a fine dining experience. (www. We trust that one of these destinations has you packing. However, if you are more in search of a ranch-style experience, look no further than just outside beautiful Boerne to the Joshua Creek Ranch. The ranch opened for guests in 1990 on some of the finest hunt country in America. Over the last 20-plus years, it has been developed and nurtured, resulting in a sportsmen’s paradise. The ranch is a rare combination of diverse Texas Hill Country topography with crystal-clear spring-fed Joshua Creek cutting through the middle of the ranch to converge into the renowned cypress-lined Guadalupe River that forms the ranch’s north boundary. From fertile creek and river bottomland to lightly wooded grass pastures with intervening limestone bluffs and ledges, the ranch is managed to produce a prime wildlife habitat for hunting quail, pheasant, chukar and Hungarian partridge, as well as whitetail and axis deer and Rio Grande turkey. Sporting clays, fly fishing for trout, summertime water sports and a youth outdoor adventure program complete the year-round attractions at the ranch for outdoor enthusiasts of every age. Joshua Creek Ranch reflects the traditional rustic elegance of Texas ranches, combined with the comforts and conveniences of modern living. There’s a variety of lodging styles available from three ranch houses with fully appointed kitchens and single- and double-occupancy guest rooms to the original bunk rooms at Cypress Lodge. All lodging is beautifully furnished and situated to take in spectacular views.

Each is equipped with DSS, a DVD/CD player, complimentary Wi-Fi and a large outdoor patio with a stone fire pit. (www.joshuacreek. com) Of course, all of the aforementioned venues are sensational weekend getaways. But for those of us on a tighter schedule or just in need of a “daycation,” there’s nothing better than local wine to tempt the taste buds. Texas Hill Country Wineries is an association of 32 unique and individual member wineries. Each winery has its own personality and style of winemaking, yet all share a commitment to quality and a fervent passion for what they do. Newcomers and old friends alike are invited to a wine experience only Texas can offer. There are four self-guided trails each year: the Wine Lovers Trail in February, the Wine & Wildflower Trail in April, the Texas Wine Month Trail in October and the Holiday Wine Trail in December. The Hill Country wineries are great for day trips, considering they are in the center of the state. Stay in the big cities, Austin or San Antonio, and make a quick trip to local wineries for the day or even just the afternoon. ( Blow off some steam and practice your skeet shooting skills at the National Shooting Complex. As one of the premier shooting facilities in the world and spanning 671 acres of San Antonio countryside, the complex serves as the headquarters for the National Skeet Shooting Association and the National Sporting Clays Association. As host of elite tournaments for both sports, including the World Skeet Championships and the National Sporting Clays Championship, the venue serves a wide range of shooting and non-shooting events for thousands of serious competitors, casual shooters and outdoor enthusiasts each year. The National Shooting Complex is located in Alamo Ranch off FM 471 and is just a few miles from SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, La Cantera and numerous Hill Country resorts. ( Last, but definitely not least on the Texas road trip is SeaWorld’s Aquatica. A water force with which to be reckoned, Aquatica is a water park that only SeaWorld could create. It offers guests experiences ranging from the serene to the extreme in vivid colors and the charming, carefree personality prevalent in the South Seas. The park is laced with sandy beaches and terraced pools, thrilling water rides and slides and plenty of chances to get up close and personal with numerous species of animals from both land and sea. If you try only one ride during your visit to Aquatica, we’ve heard the one to experience is Stingray Falls, the park’s signature attraction that is the only ride of its kind in the entire world. The ride features five-seat rafts that soar through a number of twists and turns to an underwater grotto. It takes you right there to multiple species of tropical fish and stingrays in their aquatic habitat. ( Wherever you find yourself this summer, take our list along with you as a handy reference guide to the best of Texas. Whether a local venue or hours away, we’d love to know where the road takes you this summer. Happy travels.   ■

Note: Content and photography for this article provided by contributors from respective resort locations. summer 2012 / NHOME /


GET YOUR ALL ACCESS PASS Treat your family to an All Access vacation this summer at Houston’s favorite playground, La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa. Enjoy a 3.5 acre water park, miniature golf, s’mores, giant chess & checkers, daily breakfast for four, complimentary resort fee, and 25% Off SpaTerre & Golf services.* * | 877.286.9590 | 600 La Torretta Boulevard, Montgomery, TX *Daily breakfast for four, complimentary resort fee & 25% Off Spa & Golf services are granted to guests who book the All Access Package online or through 877.286.9590. Restrictions may apply.


/ NHOME / summer 2012


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// industry insights //

voices professionals of the

Some of the industry's most notable names and experts weigh in on the top trends and property options for optimal outdoor luxury living.

More South Texas homeowners than ever are looking to live the life of luxury both indoors

and out. And with the multitude of options and opportunities to get fun and creative, you can design and decorate your own personal outdoor oasis without compromising your comfort or your style.

kristal powell ckc custom homes

Water, fire, earth and air are all combined in the new backyard paradise. These four elements offer a timeless, primal appeal. While the fresh air and solid earth are provided for us, the addition of water and fire from the design and construction of an outdoor space bring together the four ancient elements of life in your outdoor oasis.

Rick Blasius Greenhouse Mall

Never before have the homes in San Antonio and the Hill Country had such great outdoor spaces. Texans love their outdoor lifestyle, and we have seen a real commitment to outdoor living. From oversized sectionals and large cantilevered umbrellas to moveable gas fire pits that create a cozy ambience, the choices for outdoor furnishings are incredible, and customers can really get creative. We encourage you to measure your outdoor space and take a tour of what is available today. It’s no longer just “lawn furniture.” Today is about making your outdoor space about you.

todd jarvis

dy lynne dabney

nick thompson

Do what all the cool kids are doing: Break the traditional barriers of “home theater” by taking the best of indoor entertainment and making an amazing outdoor experience. Whether building a new home or remodeling, homeowners can have their own outdoor movie theater to kick back and enjoy a great movie or sporting event under the stars. It’s kind of like the old drive-in movie theater without the weirdo in the car next to you, and it looks and sounds a whole lot better.

While dining al fresco, you no longer have to compromise style. Many clients today prefer chandelier lighting and bringing out their china in lieu of the paper plates. Good, sustainable furniture is a must – the elements can take a toll quickly in the South Texas heat. Give your guests candles in lanterns, buckets of chilled wine and a full-service meal while enjoying the poolside or backyard. Accessorize with a cut flower from the yard in a simple vase and don’t forget a large dispenser of lemonade.

Outdoor living is no longer a trend. It is a lifestyle. These spaces consisting of everything from simple patios to full kitchens, overhead structures and even outdoor media rooms have now become an extension of the architecture of the home. In many cases, taking the indoors out has become such a desired area that we start with the pool, landscape, kitchen and casita, and the home is designed around them. These spaces have become private oases for hosting family and friends, as well as a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life – just by stepping outdoors.

Sterling Home Technologies


/ NHOME / summer 2012

Dy lynne Décor, Inc.

pristine pools

Debra Janes Luxury Realtor Specializing in San Antonio, Texas Hill Country Ranches and the Texas Coastline

Representing buyers and sellers in all price ranges. DEBRA JANES & ASSOCIATES


10 Dominion Drive / summer 2012 / NHOME /


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

jason glast

Keller Williams Luxury International The climate in San Antonio allows for nearly year-round enjoyment of outdoor spaces. Even when it hits 100 degrees, a pool allows for the fun to continue. That's why when evaluating an asking price for a luxury home, it's usually critical that the home has a pool. The number of homes that sell every year in the San Antonio market above $1 million without a pool is very small.

vanessa turney

light by design Outdoor living gives homeowners a chance to flex their creative muscle and show the bright side of their style and personality. Make entertaining fun by using color, floor pillows, candles, lighting – and a great fan is must. Trade secret: Create conversation areas by separating furniture in groupings. Makes for a cozy, intimate setting no matter how small your space is.

dale ponder

Cozy Outdoor Escapes The great thing about today’s high-end furniture is versatility. You can transition your personal style to your outdoor space with multiple lines from wicker, wood, cast aluminum to even recycled material. Nowadays, outdoor furniture is so versatile and the trend is color, color, color! There are so many ways to introduce this trend to your furniture without buying new pieces. Use pillows, throws, rugs, even slip covers for some styles. You can mix it up with color, prints, even themes (i.e. animal, coastal, etc.). Some styles such as the sling allow for a simple change of the fabric to create a new look that updates your space easily. And don't forget that your outdoor space is personal, and touches of accessories can also add a splash of “wow” to any outdoor escape.


/ NHOME / summer 2012

barry denton

robert thornton

Robert S. Thornton Great Homes So what are the trends in outdoor living? At Robert S. Thornton Great Homes, we’re seeing clients place a tremendous emphasis on outdoor living, to include outdoor cooking and dining areas, covered entertainment and family relaxation spaces. The ratio of non-conditioned areas to conditioned areas under roof in custom home designs continues to grow as owners recognize the added benefits of privacy, solar shielding and additional “living areas” that are created by wellsited, well-planned outdoor living areas. The addition of these spaces oftentimes has a tremendous and attractive aesthetic impact on the estate, can capture views and breezes that weren’t readily accessible and invariably has a dramatic impact when viewed from within the home. Recent outdoor living creations have included televisions, sound systems, porch misters, space heaters, fireplaces, fire pits, oscillating fans, elaborate barbecue grills and smokers and custom-fabricated cypress or stainless cabinetry.

paulina zamudio Alfreso Patio

Your patio can be transformed into the oasis you need after a long day. But to get it there sometimes is not easy. The big empty space can be intimidating. At Alfresco, we can help you pick the right furniture for you. Low maintenance is key to really relax and enjoy your furniture. Look for pieces that can be easily cleaned and cushions with slipcovers that can be thrown in the washer. Just remember to keep them zipped to protect the fabric and help them last longer. Lounges to relax are a great choice, along with sofa and dining sets to entertain. The possibilities are endless. Don’t wait anymore – start enjoying your patio!

cordillera ranch The very definition of luxury is something expensive or hard to obtain that provides comfort, pleasure or enjoyment. Luxury home buyers want the best of the best in their home and for their families. They’re willing to spend time (commute) and money to obtain it. The community needs to provide the finest home sites and natural settings; convenient location; acclaimed schools; world-class amenities; proven and stable developer; and unsurpassed lifestyle. Because a community like Cordillera Ranch has all of these elements, it’s seeing San Antonians migrate away from historical luxury neighborhoods to outlying areas.

adam sanchez Diamante Custom Homes

More and more people are beginning to gravitate toward outdoor living with an eclectic style. Designing with curved patio surfaces, linear furniture and bright colors for accents are becoming today’s style – all of which make for a fun dynamic which delivers a unique twist in modern landscape architecture.

We receive many requests that outdoor kitchen materials and equipment be easy to use and very low-maintenance. The biggest complaint we hear is based on problems keeping outdoor equipment clean and in working order. What’s the point of having this elaborate outdoor area if you spend all your time maintaining it? We address those concerns by using high-quality, low-maintenance equipment and easyto-clean surfaces and building materials. The key is to ensure you use products specifically designed for outdoor use because many products used inside the home don’t necessarily translate into good choices for outdoor use.

Christopher Greer John’s Landscaping

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summer 2012 / NHOME /


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summer 2012 / NHOME /


// finance //

How Much Home Can You Afford?

A few things to consider and discuss with your mortgage lending professional before you start your search for the perfect home // by: easton crafts


oo often, I’ve been asked by family or friends the general question, “How much house can I afford if I make $_______ per month?” While there is a general rule of thumb as to a dollar amount, there are many exceptions. Those exceptions usually pertain to your debt load, loan term and loan program. Take, for example, the following: Debt load: Let’s use an example of two different homebuyers who earn $10,000 per month. Buyer A has $3,000 in monthly debt (i.e. usually qualified as monthly payments that show up on the credit report, any separate maintenance, alimony or child support). Buyer B only has $750 in monthly debt. Using the typical 45 percent debt-to-income ratio requirements Fannie Mae allows, Buyers A and B would only be able to qualify for up to $4,500 in total monthly debt, which would include a proposed house payment. That said, Buyer A would only be able to qualify for a payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance, HOA) of $1,500 per month after deducting $3,000 of debt from $4,500. Buyer B would be able to qualify for a monthly payment of $3,750 per month. The difference in the price of home between what Buyers A and B can afford is around $275,000, assuming they take the


/ N H O M E / SUMMER 2 0 1 2

same loan term and down payment. Loan term: The loan term can make a substantial difference in a mortgage payment. While you can usually get an interest rate about .5 percent lower on a 15-year loan versus a 30-year loan, the 15-year loan term will have a higher payment. Take, for example, a loan amount of $400,000 at 3.75 percent interest over 30 years, which would yield a principal and interest payment of $1,852 per month. Getting a lower rate of 3.25 percent on a 15-year loan at the same $400,000 loan amount would yield a P&I payment of $2,811 per month. The difference is simply that one loan gets paid off in half the time and therefore requires a larger amount to be applied toward the principal balance on a monthly basis. However, you will pay about $160,000 less in interest by taking a 15-year loan over a 30-year loan in this example. Loan program: The common loan programs are Jumbo, VA Jumbo, Conventional (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), VA, FHA and USDA. Not all of the loan programs are the same when it comes to qualifying ratios, down payment requirements, residual income requirements, loan limit requirements, income limit requirements, etc. These are the many reasons this example can serve as an exception

to the rule of thumb on how much home you qualify for (which, by the way, is three times your annual income). From program to program, you may be able to qualify for more or less. However, it is up to your mortgage professional to answer that question, which will help you complete the puzzle of how much you qualify for. Calculating your income can be another puzzle to solve if you file multiple schedules on your tax return, if you’re selfemployed, if you write off unreimbursed employee expenses and so on. The qualification calculators on many websites, including, can serve as relatively good templates. If you think you are pushing the boundaries of qualifying, then getting prequalified with your mortgage lending professional would be a prudent move to take to ensure you qualify for the price range that interests you. ■

For more information about mortgage loans, contact Easton Crafts at easton@ or 210-257-0642. You may also visit for payment calculators, qualification scenarios and online application.

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// arts & culture //

Fine-Art Photography on a World-Class Level

Photography takes center stage in the Alamo City this September with the FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival, a truly community-oriented celebration of culture. // by: Christa Brothers


gain, through all of September, San Antonio will be abuzz with photography. From institutions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Southwest School of Art and the Instituto Cultural de México to local galleries and even your neighborhood coffee shop, photography will take center stage in our city. Now in its 18th year, the annual FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival is scheduled from Sept. 1 through 30. The festival, founded in 1995 by Michael Mehl with the intention of creating a corridor for an artistic exchange between Mexico and our Alamo City, has grown into an internationally acclaimed event. “Since San Antonio has such strong ties to Mexico, I thought more of it being a vehicle between the U.S. and Mexico; I did not anticipate the enormous response from Asia and Europe,” Mehl says. “The exhibits feature now the work of photographic artists from the USA, Asia, Europe and Mexico.” For the last five years, the photography festival has added its signature exhibits at the four galleries of the Instituto Cultural de México. These exhibits are curated, and as Mehl explains, “serve as an example of the


/ NHOME / summer 2012

range of photographic images that we like to see. But foremost, FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA allows everyone to participate. It is inclusive rather than rejecting entries through socalled gatekeepers. [It is] a truly communitybased festival – an organic thing that has evolved and transformed itself into the internationally celebrated event it is today. “It was always seen as providing a platform or an opportunity for ideas to grow and develop and was never meant to be a strict, organized, academic and controlled event. FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA SAFOTO is an open-source festival in the true sense of the term. We provide an accessible, integral system that allows artists to develop their own content in a manner that fits their best interests and the reach of their resources. In this sense, we are uniquely a 21st-century festival.” This open-source opportunity has allowed not only for its eclectic exhibitions, but also for its enormous expansion and participation throughout San Antonio and now even the Hill Country. Under the umbrella of FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival, contributing events and exhibitions are listed and recognized on the FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA website, which

Location: The San Antonio Museum of Art artist: Daniel Lee TOP: Laura McPhee Exhibit 2 right: Michael Mehl By Chang Chaotang

serves as an event guide, as well as their documentation. From small venues like the aforementioned coffee shops, artist studios and even various appropriated spaces to the local gallery community, just about everyone is on board. Besides the small venues, galleries and the signature exhibits at the Instituto Cultural de MÊxico, in partnership with the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs (as part of the Sister City Cultural Exchange Initiatives, which sets the framework for cultural exchanges between San Antonio and sister cities in other countries), almost all of the city’s cultural institutions are participating in the annual event. The list is truly impressive: to name a few, the San Antonio Museum of Art with an exhibit curated by David Rubin, cura summer 2012 / NHOME /


Location: The San Antonio Museum of Art artist: Daniel Lee

tor of contemporary art at the Brown Foundation; the Southwest School of Art with a curated exhibition by Kathy Armstrong; the exhibits presented by the UTSA Department of Art & Art History at the UTSA Art Gallery, 1604 campus, and its Satellite Space; and the student exhibitions at SAY Sí and Northwest Vista College. “The community involvement makes this festival so special and different from other events,” Mehl says. “We set the tone, the framework, and strive to continuously raise the bar on the quality of the exhibits, but in the end, the community as a whole creates the experience.” The community may sustain the festival now, but it took the initiative and the courage of one individual to bring the event to life and make a tremendous difference in the cultural offerings and experiences in our city. “I am a photographer myself,” Mehl answers when asked what sparked the idea of a photography festival. “It was very frustrating to go through all the work and expense of putting a photography show together to only have it seen by maybe 100 people and then be left with no documentation and recollection of it ever happen-


/ NHOME / summer 2012

ing. I wanted to create a context, a legacy and memory of some sort that was available to a wide audience. It must have struck a chord because the event took off very quickly.” What started out as a remedy for disappointment and in support of other photographers to create opportunities now offers a tremendous opportunity for all of us. FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival allows us to experience local, national and international fine-art photography on a world-class level. We all can take part in the excitement and explore the countless venues participating in the citywide event. We can even pick up a piece or two of art not only in support of our art community, but also to enrich and brighten our lives by bringing this creative spirit into our homes. ■

For more information and a listing of all scheduled events, please go to

summer 2012 / NHOME /


// events //

San Antonio Celebrates the

Grand Opening of Éilan at La Cantera // by: Leslie Komet Ausburn // photography: Richard Clark of CatchIt Photos & erin clarkson


ore than 1,800 guests gathered on June 7 for the grand opening celebration of Éilan, an innovative mixed-use community located at 17101 La Cantera Parkway that offers an upscale space to work, play and call home. The 120-acre Tuscan-inspired development encompasses luxury residences, Class A offices, retail shops and the world-class Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa, home to Sustenio, featuring Southwestern cuisine by Chef Stephan Pyles and the master creativity of Executive Chef David Gilbert. The property includes private event spaces, a resort-style pool

featuring a swim-up bar, a solar-powered trolley, an Olympic-size indoor lap pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and iDance City, a revolutionary dance studio helmed by renowned Latin dancer Corky Ballas of “Dancing with the Stars.” During the event, developer Wereldhave N.V. made donations to the Warrior Family Support Center and Transition Possible, an adaptive athlete program for wounded warriors. ■

For more information, visit




1/ Steve Thomas and wife Lindsey, Hunter and Todd Mills with CB Richard Ellis 2/ David Castro and Mary Ebersole 3/ Former San Antonio Spur Bruce Bowen with Carmen Taveras-Cruz, President of Wereldhave US (developer of Éilan) 4/ Hans Pars and Carmen Cruz cutting ribbon 5/ Renowned latin dancer Corky Ballas and instructor Natalie Alanna of iDanceCity at Éilan 6/ Chefs David Gilbert and Stephan Pyles of Sustenio 7/ Angela McClendon Johnson, Leslie Bohl Jones, Mike Jones and Tracy Shelton 8/ Barry Denton, Adaku Okoro, Kathy Denton, Jane & Tuffy Burton and Chinyere Okoro


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summer 2012 / NHOME /


// events //

Upcoming Alamo City Events Your source for events in and around San Antonio through the end of 2012

Aug. 4: FORD Canoe Challenge More than 90 canoe teams, including local celebrities, city officials, corporate teams, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, compete in the FORD Canoe Challenge at the River Walk. www. events/ford-canoe-challenge

Aug. 18-25: Culinaria: Restaurant Week 2012 Get great deals on amazing meals at San Antonio’s top restaurants. http://culinariasa. org/wine-festival/main/events. php

Aug. 25: Fourth Annual Hill Country Doll Show & Sale This event at the Live Oak Civic Center in Live Oak features 75 vendors with both antique and modern collectible dolls, bears, miniatures and restoration. One of the best in Texas! Show opens at 9 a.m.


/ NHOME / summer 2012

September all month: FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA This annual international photography festival is a unique, eclectic, month-long celebration of the photographic arts. Dozens of exhibits showing traditional photographs, digital images, photography-based works, photographic installations, funky camera and alternative processes are presented in galleries, museums, art centers and other exhibition spaces throughout San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and in the festival’s Web galleries. Free.

Sept. 1-2: People en Español Festival People en Español will bring its festival event, celebrating Latino culture and entertainment, to San Antonio on Sept. 1 and 2. A weekend celebration of the hottest in Latino culture featuring concerts, celebrity appearances, family activi-

ties, workshops and more, the People en Español Festival is an annual event that will relocate from New York City to San Antonio for the first time. Festival San Antonio will now become a destination weekend for all things celebrating Latino heritage and culture.

Sept. 9-10 and 16: Diez y Seis Events Marking Mexico’s independence from Spain, San Antonio celebrates Sept. 16 with special events all over town, including a street parade with floats and marching bands, a gala, Market Square celebrations, festivals, dance presentations and other special activities.

Sept. 12-13: Taste of the River Walk Ticketholders enjoy sampling culinary offerings from 20 participating River Walk establishments from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Afterward, all partygoers are encouraged to go to the post-party.

Sept. 22-23: Jazz’SAlive Some of the nation’s top jazz entertainers, along with regional and local talent, take over Travis Park and dazzle the crowd with their smooth sounds. Free. html

Oct. 5-6 and 11-13: Oktoberfest San Antonio Head over to Beethoven Halle und Garten to celebrate the ultimate German festival! Music, food and dancing, plus German specialties like bratwurst, reubens and beer will be available to help put you in the spirit! Suggested donation is $5 at the gate. www.

Oct. 20: Chocolate & Wine Festival of Texas Join us at the Kendall County Fairgrounds in Boerne for a day of total indulgence at Texas’ only Chocolate & Wine Festival. The festival features

delectable chocolate from Texas chocolatiers and beyond, highlighting Texas wines. Festivities begin at 10 a.m.

Oct. 26-28: AT&T Championship The PGA Champions Tour returns to San Antonio for its 25th year. Numerous environmental elements distinct to the Texas Hill Country were incorporated into the course design. Stands of oak and cedar trees and panoramic views of the adjacent Cibolo Canyons create a breathtakingly beautiful and enjoyable challenge for scratch golfers and novices alike. TPC San Antonio - ATT Canyons is the perfect setting for this tournament and charity event. Admission. s530/course.html

Nov. 2: El Dia de los Muertos Translated literally as “the Day of the Dead,” this Mexican cultural tradition is a celebration in which the family welcomes back departed loved ones, sharing the joys of life with them as their memories live on. Creative and respectful altars are set up around town at galleries, cultural centers, cemeteries and restaurants to commemorate loved ones who have passed on. Poetry readings and calavera processions (where participants dress as skeletons) are typical, as well. Citywide. Some events have an admission charge.

Nov. 2-11: Wurstfest A unique celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun! During this 10-day salute to sausage, you’ll find a variety of entertainment options, including a polka contest, games, rides, food and drinks on the Wurstfest Grounds in Landa Park, as well as special events throughout New Braunfels and Comal County. Admission.

Nov. 23: Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony

river parade kicks off the holidays as decorated floats wind through the river in one of the country’s only nighttime river parades. New this year, nearly 1.8 million lights will illuminate the River Walk trees and bridges throughout the holiday season. Admission for all riverlevel access.

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16: Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 luminarias. Warmly glowing candles in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. This centuries-old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

Dec. 8: Tamales! At Pearl – A Holiday Family Festival The restored Pearl Brewery, the city’s newest culinary star, celebrates all things tamale. Sample dozens of tamales from traditional to dessert, plus storytellers, dancing, live music and finally, fireworks.

Dec. 8: Art.i.copia Locals on the lookout for creative and unusual gifts flock to the Southwest School of Art’s annual shopping celebration. The setting – a centuries-old convent on the banks of the San Antonio River – will inspire a little holiday serenity.

Dec. 31: Celebrate San Antonio Ring in the New Year San Antonio style! Enjoy spectacular fireworks, live music on multiple stages, food booths, family activities and more. On S. Alamo between Durango and Market streets, La Villita and HemisFair Park. Free.

The day after Thanksgiving, our summer 2012 / NHOME /


// events //

NHOME Mixer at NEST Modern // photography: yvonne aceves-walls













/ NHOME / summer 2012

1/ Michele English, Lisa Powell, Martha Mayorga, Anne Herrera and Yadira Acevedo 2/ Stephanie Wiese, adaku okoro and Ashley Marsh 3/ Keith Parker, Patrick Roswell, adaku okoro and Sue Patillo 4/ Keith Parker, Dawn Parker, adaku okoro and Nichelle Hosley 5/ Tracy and Sho Nakpodia 6/ Lane Rogers and Patricia Zars 7/ Ashley gray, Charles pilkilton, adaku okoro, Liz whittaker, Uche Chukwure, Jennifer pilkilton, Erin clarkson and Kelly hamilton 8/ jennifer pilkilton, ashley gray and charles pilkilton 9/ Piatti staff: Gabriel Garza and Marcus Cantu 10/ Barry Denton, Kathy Denton, adaku okoro, Dan Ward, Douglas Galloway, Carly Durham, Patrick Roswell and Erin Clarkson 11/ Kelly Hamilton, adaku okoro, Tracy Nakpodia and Liz Whittaker

2012 FALL PARADE OF HOMES AT SETTERFELD ESTATES An exclusive gated, private community, Setterfeld Estates is one of the newest and most luxurious neighborhoods in Fair Oaks Ranch. It’s a unique environment of pastoral greenbelts and preserves.

Parade of Homes October 20-28

summer 2012 / NHOME /




With lots of fun badges to earn, Scouts learn the best part of success is the journey. Start yours at

Boy Scouts of America • Alamo Area Council • 2226 N.W. Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78213 Phone: 210-341-8611 ext 100 | Email:

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summer 2012 / NHOME /


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NHOME Texas Magazine Summer 2012  
NHOME Texas Magazine Summer 2012