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in next issue Letter from the Editor, Ole Décor celebrates spring with our leading article titled “Artsy Outdoors.” We hope that each and every one of you takes advantage of our beautiful climate and gains a few ideas from our pages to make your outdoor living spaces a little more inviting and a lot more used. After all, you can nearly double the square footage of living space if you take advantage of all your outdoor areas. Our new editorial mainstay titled “Casa Remodel” focuses on an island condominium that was devastated during hurricane Dolly. The owners took advantage of the situation however, and decided not only to remodel, but to completely redesign and reshape every room of the home to accommodate a handicapped family member. What they received was more open space, larger bathrooms, and a much more comfortable home for everyone. There is a huge trend in the housing market, especially in bigger cities, to build homes equipped with full functioning offices. This trend is making its way to the upper valley, where we first noticed it. Seeing this trend evolving is very exciting, and it actually spawned this issue’s “Corner Office” editorial. Internet is making it possible for millions of people to work from home, and the economy has forced people to stop paying rent for offices away from home. It can be the perfect solution. You will see expansive formal home offices, and cozy den-like home offices, but whatever the style, they are built and designed to perform. Fabulous Spaces, Public Places takes you to a couple of law offices, which was at first as surprising to us as it may be to you, until you meet Mr. Begum and Mr. Villarreal. They are two men with an exquisite sense of style, their new building represents modern, cutting edge architecture with clean no-nonsense styling. The furniture pieces inside their offices are works of art by themselves, and the art on the walls? Have a look inside and you’ll be very impressed. We would hire this law firm just to have reason to visit their offices on a regular basis. Finally, read about an exciting new green product in “Eco-Friends” that all of you will love to have… rubber mulch!

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Luxury Living will focus attention on Spanish Revival architecture and design. Why? Because hands down, this is the most popular and all time favorite style of architecture in our Rio Grande Valley. We will explore the reasons why this style has developed such strong roots in our region, and we will explain the beneficial elements inherent in the architecture that are tailor made to help homeowners deal with a south Texas climate. Spectacular Swimming Pools is back. This yearly favorite will be sure to please, with incredible new designs and pool concepts, along with the latest water treatment systems, water features, dramatic nighttime pool scapes, and ways to enhance the areas surrounding the pool. The finest pool companies in the valley will be represented, if you are thinking about building a new pool, or remodeling your old pool, don’t make a call without our summer issue in your hand. Indoor Living brings attention to the wonderfully indulgent home theater. Equipped with theater sized screens, Dolby digital surround sound, stadium seating, full bars, kitchens and electronic smart systems that tie into your television and internet, not to mention controls for nearly every room, appliance, and light switch in your home, its easy to see why once inside, you may never want to leave. Get inspired to knock down a few walls and turn a couple of spare bedrooms into a glorious home theater. Ole Décor’s Distinctive Properties brings you Editor’s Choice. This section of the magazine is intended to bring you a select offering of wonderfully special homes for sale in the Rio Grande Valley. What does it take to make a property eligible? That special mix of luxury, style, and uniqueness that a home possesses through the combination of quality construction and detailed oriented design. Lucky Number 181 is summer season’s Sorteo Tec home. For those of you who are still wondering what the Sorteo Tec home is, here’s a brief description. For decades now, the largest architectural school in Mexico, called Sorteo Tec, builds a multi-million dollar home and sells raffle tickets for three months across the entire country of Mexico. It is then raffled off and all the proceeds from the raffle are returned to the college and used for scholarships and the building of the next Sorteo Tec home. And so the circle continues. If you ever find yourself in Mexico, it may be very worth your while to get your chance. Good Luck!

on the cover / contact Gracing the cover this Spring Issue we decided to bring back an Ole Decor favorite featured in the Winter Issue of 2008. This Spanish colonial home built on the banks of the Arroyo Colorado by Chris Carroll Construction of Harlingen is as true to its style inside as it is out. Log on to OleDecor.com and tour this and other magnificent homes from past issues.

Olé Decor Magazine www.oledecor.com Call: sales: 956-266-8663 fax: 956-761-2388 Email: eddiedecor@att.net Visit: www.oledecor.com read current & past issues link to advertisers view episodes

Olé Decor offices: 5800 Padre Blvd. Ste. 201 A&B South Padre Island, TX 1520 Dove Ave. Suite E McAllen, TX Mailing address: P.O. Box 40101 South Padre Island, TX 78597


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Decorating With

Artsy Outdoors As we have seen over the past few years indoors and outdoors continue to be treated as one as many of us want to take our indoor comforts and solitude outdoors… The increased nesting trend for many Americans has also increased the amount of money set aside to enhance our outdoor rooms and create areas where family and friends can comfortably congregate. People are driven to find peaceful sanctuaries as a prescription for our stressful lives. Outdoor patios and porches are becoming more sophisticated and refined and are becoming a living extension of the indoor spaces. In our area of the country, we have the ability to utilize our outdoor spaces practically year around. This is becoming more of a reality as people are building fireplaces and outdoor kitchens on their patios so that the family can migrate outside. The “rooms” mimic their indoor counterparts with one great exception…no walls…just lush landscaping and open skies… Flooring in these spaces varies drastically. From simple grass, to pebbles to decks to well designed and constructed slate, stone or stamped concrete pads. Using outdoor rugs helps you define a room setting in a larger space and helps create a more intimate space in smaller space. There are a multitude of styles and colors as well as vendors that sell outdoor rugs. Many can be hosed down without damaging them! Outdoor furniture has evolved a long way from the folding, vinyl strap versions we grew up with, to beautiful pieces made of teak, steel, rattan, and wicker. The teak pieces require some yearly maintenance to keep them looking their best. A gentle cleaner and a sealer with keep them looking new. If you prefer the natural graying of the wood, then just a yearly cleaning with a teak wood cleaner is all it needs. Steel does pretty well just with a hose and soapy water. Keeping water from standing on these pieces will help to prevent rusting. Every few years it may need repainted. The rattan and wicker pieces are actually wrapped wire with a plastic resin the looks like the rattan or wicker. Frequent rinsing off and patting dry will help these last for years. Many pieces look just like indoor furniture but are constructed and designed to take the outdoor elements. There are many more accessory pieces that help crate an outdoor suite of furniture, from side tables and coffee tables to bar stools, love seats, gliders and beautiful deep lounge chairs and dining tables. Outdoor fireplaces whether they are free standing or custom built are a welcome addition to the outdoor space. They provide a additional gathering space and help to extend the use of the outdoors beyond the end of summer. They can be gas, with an on and off switch, or wood burning. There is not anything more relaxing than sitting by a fire on a chilly evening! Be sure to check your local city ordinances about rules and regulations regarding open flames in your area. There is a variety of outdoor use artwork on the market today as well. These pieces range in size and subject matter and will not fade in the elements. They are also available in many price points. Placing art outside can really set the mood for your space. It helps to define a theme as well as give you another way of adding a pop of color on a vertical surface. Lighting is also a very important aspect to creating an inviting outdoor space. Whether it comes from landscape lighting, overhead lighting, ceiling fans or decorative side table lighting, be sure you are incorporating various types of lighting in your outdoor space just as you would in your indoor spaces. Just like in your indoor spaces developing a creative lighting plan can help you create a space with increased ambiance and functionality. Be sure to use fixtures that are made for the outdoors; you do not want to mix indoor electrical lightning into a space that will get water from a pool or from rain. Don’t forget candle light…it casts a warm glow and helps create a cozy ambiance Outdoor appliances, this is an area of your outdoor space that you will definitely want to leave to a professional that is knowledgeable in the specifics of the appliances. It is very important that you not use an indoor appliance in an outdoor space. They are not manufactured to withstand the elements and can become a hazard if they come in contact with water from a pool deck or rain. There is a huge variety of appliances that are made to be used outdoors, such as gas cook tops, refrigerators, sinks, wine coolers and televisions, just to name a few.

Clockwise From Top Left: Stoic Cantera lion head fountain by Arte En Cantera, Back Cover Hand carved white marble classic garden bench, designed in France 16th century, replica by GM Creation, p26 Rustling palm fronds relax you as you sit under a cooling palapa. Call Carl at Custom Creations, p15 Child like bronze statue is a perpetual companion exclusively at Bugambilias. Bubbling moss rock soothes the soul from Southern Stone, p45

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Swimming pools have come along way as well; from the standard shapes to the custom creations and wide variety of tiles and decking options. Your creativity and the experience of your pool contractor can give you any type of mood you choose for your swimming pool area. Some people would like a no nonsense pool, strictly clean lined and used for exercise with minimal maintenance. Others like the looks of lush landscape, colored pools light, jets and water features. Luckily both versions and anything in between are readily available and in a variety of price points. Landscaping can help warm up an outdoor space and adds so much to the feel of the space. From traditional gardens to tropical retreats and all of those amazing styles that fit the personality and use of the homeowner. The use of plants that are native to your region is increasing in popularity to go to a more eco-friendly way of designing your outdoor space. Bring in lots of greenery and pops of color with your seasonal plants. Utilizing pots for your seasonal plants makes it easy to change them out as the seasons turn. An unusual place to add a pot is to create a ledge or shelf on your fencing. If you do this while maintain the integrity of the style of your fence it will add depth and texture to a normally fairly flat surface. If you are a household that has pets or likes wildlife you could add plants that attract butterflies or birds, or plant some catnip to keep your favorite feline happy. Not to mention that wonderful birdhouses that are on the market! They even make water nozzles that automatically give your pet water if they lick the nozzle. There are also containers that are mounted into the ground to dispose of pet wastes. They are easy to use and help to protect your lawn and your shoes! Sculptures and free standing water fountains can create little “treasures” in your outdoor spaces. You can utilize them to draw attention to a particular place or feature in your landscaping and they can also help define a space for a special purpose. The variety and price point of these features are limitless. You can work with a designer and create a custom Kio pond or water garden or you can go online and find a simpler and vast selection to choose from. Fencing materials are available in a large range of materials such a cedar, iron or brick. Using the one that most enhances your patio style is easier than ever. All of these can be integrated with

Clockwise from top left: Bird watching is more enjoyable with this beautiful bird bath. Available at Guadalajara Imports, p34 Designer Consigner’s pots from around the world give your patio that special appeal, p8 Own a piece of the Sierra Madre compliments of Avila Stone, p23 Your guests can make a grand entry everytime, ConArte, p8 Sunset Living’s outdoor furniture are long lasting and long on style, p14

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your plants to help soften the hardness of the surfaces. This allows for privacy and protection but does not look like you are fencing the world out but rather fencing your room in… Protecting yourself and your outdoor spaces can be achieved by a variety of roof options. From creating a solid roof, similar to the style that is on your home or by the use of a pergola. It is a slightly open wooden style structure that allows the sun in but provides some shade due to the positioning of the slats of wood. With a pergola you can combine your landscaping onto this option and grow plants that vine and attach to the structure, they can be totally green or can have lush flowers on them creating pops of color up the structure and across the top. Market umbrellas are still one of the most useful ways to protect yourself and your guests from the sun and they come in many sizes, flap styles as well as fabrics. They can be coordinated with the rest of your exterior fabrics. They can be positioned on your patio to add not just function but also as an accessory; adding color and texture vertically and popping off of the greenery and the blue skies. Color can be your best accessory in your outdoor living spaces! Do not be afraid to carry the colors from your interiors right out onto your patio. There are thousands of beautiful outdoor fabrics and trims on the market today that there is no need to settle for the old floral patterns that we all grew up with unless of course they tie into the décor scheme that you are trying to achieve. Many of them are reversible and can be used on either side. Many fabrics are available in a variety of price points. All of them can be used indoors as well, especially in rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight! They are engineered to withstand the direct sun. A word of wisdom…when choosing your outdoor fabrics , keep in mind that darker colors, while made to go outside, will still not last as long as lighter colors when exposed to direct sunlight. Don’t forget your exterior walls; keep them clean and dust debris free. There is also not a rule that says you can not paint them to help create a “room” on the outside. Be sure to use a good exterior primer and paint. Keep in mind how the walls are seen and from what locations, just like you would do with your indoor walls. Have fun! Experiment! Remember to create a space that is “perfect” for you and your needs and then sit back and enjoy it! Contributing Writer: Tammy Trippel

Clockwise from top left: Long, cool corridors encourage strolling & lingering, MCJ Builder, p13 Make your garden a sanctuary with cantera Saints, available at Rancho Alegre, p15 Stronger than it looks, only iron wood can resist the So.Texas elements, Great Rooms, Inside Back Cover Interiors by Decorating Den can put you pool-side AND fire-side, p3 In-ground pool retaining wall elegantly disguised by polished stone steps. Tropical Patios, p23

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114 Bay Harbor Relax on your porch and enjoy fabulous views as the sun sets over a relaxing bay lined with palm trees. Enjoy the pleasant cool breeze and peaceful atmosphere from your large back porch and upper deck. This beautiful Mediterranean style home blends perfectly with the Island’s subtropical climate and is designed for spacious living and sweeping views. Its sunny Mediterranean architect and design is carried throughout the entire home. The yard and landscaping impart the mood of a subtropical paradise ambiance. Located in a safe gated community this home was custom designed for uncomplicated living and built with exceptional quality and craftsmanship. The large rooms make for sweeping open spaces and the large double garage and driveway offers for plenty of parking and storage. It’s ideal for full time residence or a vacation home that feels like a real home.

OFFERED AT $685,000 INQUIRIES Furcron Realtors, Inc 4800 Padre Boulevard. South Padre Island, TX 78597 (800) 892-6278 www.FurcronRealtors.com

Mickey Furcron (956) 761-6961 Mickey@FurcronRealtors.com

Virtual Tour - magazine.oledecor.com/vt/mls74506

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6404 Fountain Way Just beyond the gates. Exclusive, Prestigious, Elegant, Quiet, and Secure, all describe this beautiful home in The Villas of South Padre, a gated beachfront community! This Mediterranean style home with tile floors throughout is located on quiet cul-de-sac just steps from the beach. Once you walk into the foyer entry and large family room, the quality construction is very evident by the Plantation blinds throughout, crown molding, base boards, recessed lighting, and high ceilings and other finishing touches you would expect with an executive home. This home is very spacious, very open with ample light. In addition to the large entry and family room, the first floor includes a full bath, very large laundry room with ample cabinet space and an oversized 2 car garage with lots of storage. The second level features very large kitchen with all granite counter tops, ample custom cabinets, Center Island, and all stainless steel appliances. A large dining room, living room, and 3 bedrooms and baths and a large balcony finish off the second level. The top level is exclusively the master suite with very spacious bedroom, walk in closet and bath room that includes a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, all tile, with glass doors. The bedroom opens to a very large balcony that overlooks the beach where you can enjoy the sight and sounds of the surf rolling in and

out. The yard is well landscaped but easy to maintain. All bathrooms have custom tile work surrounding the tub, granite counter and vanity tops, and glass doors enclosing the tubs and showers. Additional amenities include club house, tennis court, pool and hot tub, and 24 hour security making the Villas of South Padre one of the Islands most exclusive Island addresses. This house is a must see and may just be your dream home.

OFFERED AT $995,000 INQUIRIES Furcron Realtors, Inc 4800 Padre Boulevard. South Padre Island, TX 78597 (800) 892-6278 www.FurcronRealtors.com

Mickey Furcron (956) 761-6961 Mickey@FurcronRealtors.com

Virtual Tour - magazine.oledecor.com/vt/mls75799

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Sorteo Tec

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una amalgama entre el interior y el exterior de la casa. Las recámaras son amplias y confortables, además de funcionales con amplios baños y un práctico vestidor en el caso de la recámara principal. En fin son muchos los elementos a comentar respecto a la residencia del 180° Tradicional Sorteo Tec y solo es necesario visitarla y recorrerla para quedar maravillados con su belleza y las bondades tecnológicas acostumbradas que la hacen sustentable, con el objetivo de ahorrar energía eléctrica, gas y agua, como: calentador de agua híbrido que utiliza energía solar y gas; sistema de tratamiento de aguas residuales para el riego por aspersión; concreto celular como aislante térmico y acústico, así como resistencia al fuego; fibra aislante térmica que optimiza el sistema de enfriamiento y calefacción.

Lucky Number 180 Todo proyecto arquitectónico tiene como origen de concepción conjuntar la belleza del diseño con la funcionalidad de cada una de las áreas, amalgamar esa armonía visual con el cumplimiento correcto de las funciones para las que fueron concebidas y en esta ocasión como era de esperarse el objetivo fue nuevamente superado y queda plasmado en cada detalle de las residencias del Tec. La Residencia del 180º tradicional Sorteo Tec, ubicada en San Pedro Garza García se muestra imponente gracias a su exterior de estilo clásico y con detalles de cantera, destacando el pórtico en diseño italiano que resalta su elegancia, por otra parte en su interior nos muestra su faceta contemporánea y fresca. La fusión entre corrientes puede continuar de manera transicional en los interiores manejando texturas lisas, alturas más espaciosas y ventanas de mayores dimensiones. Se puede destacar la distribución mediante líneas básicas que logran una sensación de orden y practicidad, lo que permite disfrutar de espacios muy abiertos y que a su vez se integran para lograr la convivencia familiar y social, es así como elementos clásicos y los detalles tecnológicos se complementan a la perfección, para brindar todas las comodidades de la vida moderna. Una Casa del Tec se distingue por marcar las últimas tendencias en arquitectura y decoración, trazando la línea a seguir en estos rubros. Algunos detalles a apreciar en esta residencia son los espacios abiertos e interrelacionados que motivan a la convivencia social, los techos que refuerzan el toque clásico y acogedor, así como grandes ventanales que invitan a apreciar el jardín y la alberca proponiendo

Además cuenta con sistema Duovent en ventanas que reduce el paso de la luz solar y mejora la acústica y seguridad; iluminación a base de LEDs, de mayor duración y un consumo menor de electricidad; domos tubulares de gran luminosidad y ventilación; aire acondicionado de alta eficiencia; sistema inteligente automático para el control del audio, video, iluminación y riego, que brinda un gran ahorro, el área de la cocina como siempre cuenta con la presencia de KitchenAid y sus productos de diseño elegante, que además de bellos están pensados en la optimización de espacio y el ahorro de energía, gracias a que poseen lo más avanzado en tecnología aplicado al hogar y en beneficio del medio ambiente. Si desea conocer más acerca de todas estas características visite la residencia de Sorteo Tec o en www.sorteotec.org que posee, así que no pierda la oportunidad de conocerla Este espectacular primer premio con valor de $41’600,000.00 incluye además $3´000,000.00, una preciosa camioneta Audi Q7 y el deportivo de lujo Audi T T Coupé ambos modelo 2010. El segundo premio correspondiente a la preciosa residencia ubicada en Zapopan, Jalisco; cuenta con valor de más de 19 millones de pesos e incluye 1 millón de pesos y un increíble Audi Q5 modelo 2010 a la puerta de la residencia. De igual manera resulta atractivo el tercer premio que en esta ocasión ofrece un impresionante departamento en el puerto turístico de mayor tradición en México, con un valor superior a los 5millones de pesos, 300mil pesos en efectivo y la camioneta Ford Escape modelo 2010; esta propiedad ubicada en Acapulco también puede ser tuya este próximo 20 de Marzo cuado se realice el 180° tradicional Sorteo Tec. También pueden ser tuyos los codiciadísimos premios de 50mil y 20 mil pesos mensuales por un periodo de 2 años correspondientes al 4 y 7 premio, el quinto premio, que es la ya tradicional carrera profesional en el Tecnológico de Monterrey, el Fiat 500 Classic como 6to premio, 206 autos y miles de premios más complementan el sueño de ser un ganador. Es así como Sorteo Tec, tras 62 años de apoyar a la educación, continua con su objetivo claro, que es el de apoyar a la educación en México, destinando los recursos obtenidos por los sorteos a becas para alumnos, infraestructura, impulso a la investigación y contribución a proyectos sociales. Esto ha sido posible gracias a la participación conjunta en cada sorteo de Colaboradores, Compradores y Comunidad en general y en este año 2010 que apenas comienza reiteramos nuestro compromiso con la educación, y queremos agradecer su participación e invitarlos a continuar con su apoyo.

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Indoor Living

THE CORNER OFFICE

When choosing a style or color for a home office it is important to determine what purpose the office serves and who is using it. Selecting the right combination of color, storage and accessories can greatly enhance the productivity and enjoyment of the space. Here are some home office decorating ideas that can easily work in professional office environments as well...

HOW TO DECORATE A CREATIVE HOME OFFICE An office geared for creative types such as a graphic artist, interior designer or fashion designer (or even a family with budding Picassos), demands an equally creative space to keep projects organized and minds inspired. Bright, inspirational colors in citrus shades (orange, lime, lemon) or personal favorites (like magenta or purple) can help keep creative minds in gear. On the other hand, when a designer has an abundance of materials and artwork on display, a spare, clean, white palette can help set off the colorful objects in the room. This helps artists focus on current projects and creates a constantly changing color scheme. Consider eclectic furniture

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choices such as a vintage desk with a new, ergonomically correct chair. Vintage pieces can look attractive even with some wear and tear while high-tech items can reduce muscle strain and create an interesting juxtaposition. Keep flooring and furniture easy to clean so work can be the focus and not the upkeep of the space. Ensure the layout provides lots of open storage solutions and table space for laying projects out and having materials close at hand. Try color-coded filing systems such as bins on shelves, colored files placed in a file hanger on the wall or painted bulletin boards to keep current project notes in sight and grouped together.

HOW TO DECORATE A STUDIOUS HOME OFFICE Lawyers, doctors and students may prefer a serious study area that helps focus the mind and shut out daily activities. Darker colors like olive, brick red and navy, paired with dark woods and bookcases sets the stage for studious thinkers and provides practical storage for books and files. Providing a comfortable reading chair, along with proper task lighting, will allow the user to change positions during long research sessions – not just sit in front of the computer.


This is a great space to showcase awards, certificates and diplomas as a reminder of goals and accomplishments. Add a personal touch. Plants, a fish bowl, family photos or artwork can bring a breath of fresh air into a space that can otherwise become too solemn or separate from the world.

HOW TO DECORATE A CALMING HOME OFFICE Therapists, masseurs, writers or anyone looking for an ‘oasis’ need a space that is tranquil and clutter free so minds and bodies can unwind. Consider pairing softer, soothing colors of muted blues, pinks or greens or sandy neutrals, with light woods and cream upholstery for a soft, beach-inspired palette. A complimentary patterned fabric on chairs or throw pillows can be used to break up the neutral setting and add interest. A subtle graphic pattern or a bright floral can personalize the space or coordinate it with other rooms in the house. Consider placing the computer near a window to enjoy the benefits of natural light. Include a small couch or, in a smaller room, a pair of side chairs.

This is a great place for clients and visitors to sit and talk. Add luxury items such as fresh cut flowers, candles or even an espresso machine to make this room a favorite getaway or a place to enjoy private conversations.

HOME OFFICE DO’S AND DONT’S DO try to arrange your space in an L-shape or triangle, with a swivelstyle desk chair in the middle of the configuration. With a spin of your seat or a slight roll backward or to the side, all essentials are within arm’s reach.

DON’T skimp on comfort, especially when it comes to your desk chair. Choose one with a cushioned seat and back, adjustable height so your feet are flat on the floor, a back that tilts and curves, and wheels on the bottom to get around easily.

DO group equipment and furnishings into different centers of operation. These might include your computer, phone/fax, mail handling area, and worktable. DON’T be stingy about storage space and lighting. Put in as many

cabinets, cubbies, and shelves as you can without crowding your workspace. Illuminate individual work areas with their own direct lights.

DO plan with portability in mind. Cordless phones and laptops allow you to move your work close to your children, if necessary. Other portable conveniences are furniture on casters, baskets that can quickly be repositioned when needed, and a rolling cart to easily transport files and correspondence so you can work in the kitchen, family room, or even outside for an hour or so. DON’T set up your office where it should be; put it where you want it to be.   DO personalize the room by hanging up children’s drawings and other favorite artwork, propping family photos on the desk, painting the

walls your favorite color, including a knickknack or two, and adding other special touches. These not only make for a cozier space, they can help reduce stress.

DON’T do everything at once if money and/or time are tight. Start with the bare-bones basics, adding on when you can afford more. As your profits increase, you may even consider hiring a professional designer to help you make improvements. Most charge between $75 and $150 an hour for a consultation, and it would not take long to toss around some design ideas. Do plan for future growth. Architects and designers recommend that you project 25 percent more space than you currently require, especially if you’re remodeling your home to accommodate an office or buying a new house with work-at-home potential.

Opposite Page Top Left: Executive crystal top desk is a piece to marvel at, giving it an air of sophistication. Opposite page, bottom left: MCJ Builders (p13) used luxurious mahogany hardwood on custom built cabinetry, crown moulding & floors. Bottom Right: Cactus Flower (p51) can custom fit any size space with built-ins that look elegant.

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Green Is The New Gold

The tires we put on our cars are made of rubber, a renewable resource, right? Not so; well over 90% of all tires are made from synthetics - and they have certainly proved to be an environmental headache. In the USA, about 300 million tires are scrapped or dumped per year. Tires tend to be dumped in huge piles. If these piles should be set alight, the smoke is an extraordinarily toxic cocktail and the runoff from melted residue can contaminate groundwater. Tires left sitting around in the open also collect rainwater and become perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. While there’s been a lot of talk about recycling tires, 25% still wind up in landfills and nearly half of reclaimed tires in the USA are utilized as “Tire Derived Fuel” (TDF), usually burned alongside other fuels such as coal. So unfortunately, taking them to recycling centers might not be that earth friendly after all. Check with the center that you go to regarding what happens to the tires they collect. While tires are a necessary evil in our modern lives, there’s other things we can do to reduce the number of tires that may wind up being used as a toxic fuel alternative or just dumped in landfills. You can also save some cash in the process.

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So what are we going to do about it? PermaLife Products LLC. is a fully integrated, tire recycler. We recycle millions of tires every year converting them into recycled rubber products you use everyday. PermaLife has brought together recycling experts with over 20 years of successful recycling operations throughout the world to bring you the highest quality recycled rubber products. We also offer a full line of recycled rubber products that add safety and beauty to your home or commercial landscape, your children’s playgrounds, at home or at school, and sports-playing surfaces throughout the world. We manufacture PermaLife Mulch, a long lasting, environmentally friendly wood mulch substitute, which we deliver to homes and businesses across America. These rubber products are made from 100% recycled tires using our proprietary Ambient Grinding and Cryogenic System technologies. So, you will not only have a great looking, cost effective, long lasting mulch, you will also be helping our environment by using a recycled product. How else can it help our resources? You’ll not only beautify your landscape, but you will also conserve water because PermaLife Mulch keeps root systems moist.  In addition, our mulch protects your plants by acting as an insulator in very hot or very cold weather. It is Non-Toxic and Non-Staining, and provides excellent drainage for use around plants.

Further more, our products will not attract termites or insects like other mulches. In fact, PermaLife Mulch deters mosquito nesting because rubber mulch remains dry on top. In addition, boring insects like termites cannot penetrate the rubber mulch. How do they make this stuff? Its is the only cryogenically manufactured loose fill playground flooring on the market. By producing PermaLife Mulch through  a freezing process at minus -300°F, we ensure that our product is free of all exposed steel.  Also, by shattering the rubber instead of grinding it, the resultant product has a crystal like structure similar to sand allowing for superior drainage and enough compaction to pass the ADA standards for wheel chairs. Protecting our most precious resource! In the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and numerous state and private agencies determined that shredded tire rubber chips have consistently outperformed all other surface materials in impact absorption and surface attenuation. PermaLife Mulch has been extensively tested and the results show a safety factor for a fall of 12’ feet with a 6”inch application and a safety factor for a fall of 8’ feet  with a 4” inch application.

Back yards Unlimited, Rick Cardenas is a proud and exclusive distributor of PermaLife Mulch. See opposite page.


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Fabulous Spaces Public Places

Law Offices of Villareal / Begum Brownsville, Texas - Suite A Corporate Image, Efficiency and Comfort. That was the focus in the design of this custom building. Visitors are greeted with beautiful granite floors, high ceilings and warm tones of wood paneling as they step into this office. The lobby seems larger than it is due to two large interior windows that were placed at each side of the lobby, offering guests unrestricted views into the office’s two conference rooms. The wooden paneling in the conference rooms mimics the paneling in the waiting area, giving the lobby its continuity and a heightened sense of space. The half moon corridor that wraps around the backside of the front desk lobby hides a kitchen equipped with a full size refrigerator, sink and dishwasher – necessary to service both conference rooms and lobby guests. There are four offices opposite side of the kitchen that gently wrap around the curved hallway. The two center offices have exterior windows and large interior windows looking into the hallway. Once again, the design opted for large interior windows in order to give the hallway a heightened sense of space and bring in natural sunlight. At opposite ends of the half moon, there are two larger offices which command privacy and therefore do not have interior windows. One of these offices has been divided into work stations. Employees sit in ergonomic chairs and work on black galaxy granite counter tops. Client files are secured in this office and documents are effortlessly inhaled into the building’s server by multiple scanners. Incoming paper has a short life expectancy in this building, as it is shredded within two weeks and then recycled. The office at the other end of the half moon is the main executive office. This office not only houses a beautifully handcrafted executive desk, but boasts a seating area of its own. The wall adjacent the seating area is actually not a wall, but four separate seven foot wooden pocket doors that open up into one of the conference rooms. The space in this office can be instantaneously doubled by effortlessly sliding all four doors seamlessly into the walls and seating a total of fifteen people in one grand room. This office/conference room is equipped with wall-mounted fifty inch LED TVs which access the main server and all client files. With a click of a remote the TVs also double as surveillance monitors which access a total of ten interior cameras and six exterior cameras. Conversations with employees are no longer restricted to merely telephonic communication, the executive in this office can see the employee he is talking to through presettings in the surveillance system. The person

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occupying this office has full command of the building from the comfort of his chair. “At the end of the day, I think we managed to design a law office which defines those of us who work here. It portrays and image of success, efficiency and good decision making. The design is a glimpse into the minds of the people that work here and the people that walk into our office like what they see.”

- Suite B From the edgy, eclectic art that adorns its walls to the striking granite accents found throughout its interior, Begum Law Group offers its visitors modern ambiance with a touch of classic elegance. The interior designers of the firm’s reception area aimed to create a beautiful space for clients and staff alike. Among the design details that marry form and function throughout this full service law firm, is a sleek, granite reception desk that is offset dramatically by a curved, wood-paneled backdrop. Luxurious chairs stand in stark contrast to the brushed metal coffee table, creating a pleasant yet interesting waiting area. Inside the firm’s offices, attorneys and staff serve clients with the latest technology, including a fully- equipped conference room with a large screen monitor for use in presentations and trainings. The focal point of the conference room is a large granite-top table that coordinates well with the dark granite accent wall that lines its entrance. A second meeting room is also available for private client meetings. Just outside the office’s conference areas stands a unique rotunda-shaped art display wall, made of dark wood panel and lined with colorful vases and sculptures. The western most corner of the building consists of light-drenched offices with granite desktops and dark wood cabinets, which are beautiful yet functional. Features such as bright-colored walls and frosted glass windows create a unique look without sacrificing privacy. The overall design is modern edgy with classic elegance. It is an eclectic mix of modern and classic accents. There is no question that the Begum Law Group has the latest technology and superior functionality, all with an eye towards superior client service and outstanding ergonomic functionality for its attorneys and staff.

Building design, both handsome and no nonsense. A collaboration by Protasio and Hector Guerra of HCD, p39 Opposite page, right center: One And Only Rectangle confrence table; Bottom left: Executive Cradenza & Buco Executive Chair; Bottom right: Alma Desk & Persia Executive Office Chair. Cantoni, p1 Opposite page, bottom left: Face sculpture by Sergio Bustamante. Sandy Gold Granite Flooring throughout by Rio Stone, p54

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Fine Art

Artline America Inc. McAllen | 956.630.0076 Jackie’s gallery is called Artline America, and a typical gallery it is not! Step into an eclectic array of paintings, tapestries, and framed shadow boxes filled with various objects d’arte. Bring in your own treasure, and choose from over 1,000 custom framing possibilities. If you can’t make up your mind right away, think about your choices over a delicious home cooked lunch at the Masterpiece Café. Artwork surrounds you as quiet jazz music plays in the background. Jackie’s laughter will be heard as she spends time tableside talking with any one of her loyal customers, enjoying the afternoon at her restaurant and gallery. One visit to this special place and you’ll go out of your way to come back.

ART + DKOR McAllen | 956.631.3103 ART+DKOR es una galeria donde el arte y la decoracion van de la mano. Teniendo la distribuicion exclusiva de la linea ATMOS que es una linea italiana disenada por artistas mexicanos, y MACO que es una artista local que pinta de acuerdo a espacios al gusto del cliente, manejando obras abstractas y contemporaneas en su mayoria. art+ DKOR is a gallery where art and decor go hand in hand. Having exclusive distribution rights to ATMOS an italian line designed by mexican artists. As well as local artist MACO who will customize to any clients space and style whether it be abstract or contemporary.

Omar Landeros Edinburg | 956-739-3668 Omar Landeros is a professional photographer specializing in Interior & Architectural photography. When not out shooting the latest modern home with amenities that would make Jay-Z jealous, he’s out creating images that capture the spirit of photographs that sit in your family photo albums that you haven’t seen in over 40 yrs. Photographs that were not shot by professionals but by your uncle that captured what we like to call “happy accidents”. These are the photos that were shot by chance & have all the beauty of chromatic aberrations, out of focus details & spontaneity.

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Casa Remodel

BEFORE

Sunset 407 South Padre Island, Texas

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efore hurricane Dolly left its mark, Sunset #407 was a three bedroom condominium. The storm damaged about 70% of the walls in this corner unit and rather than restore the interior to the way it was before the storm, the owners decided to take this opportunity to completely reorganize the space. Their priorities included a social area large enough to gather their three sons and friends for relaxing beach weekends, room for a poker table and large screen TV, a bedroom and bath to accommodate a son with disabilities, an enlarged bar with ice maker and wine cooler, and an improved entry foyer. SOCIAL AREA When working in condos, there is no option to add on a room. So getting more space in the living dining - kitchen area was quite a challenge. The owner’s agreed to sacrifice one bedroom. The three bedroom condo became a two

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bedroom condo. The interior designer decided to move the kitchen / dining area to the space previously occupied by the master suite. The wall between master bedroom and living room was completely removed creating an open space approximately 24’ x 30’. Now there is a full size kitchen with island, a dining area seating six with buffet and storage cabinets, a large living area with 60” TV, an expanded bar, and a second table seating four for playing cards. Once the wall was removed between the living room and master bedroom, there was no wall space for the TV. This problem was solved by creating an angled wall in front of one section of the bay front windows. The exterior of the building was left untouched as is required by the homeowner’s association. Since #407 is a corner unit with

about 31 linear feet of bay windows, it was not detrimental to give up 3 linear feet for the TV location. The kitchen design specialist was able to create a practical and beautiful kitchen. Every square inch of available space was maximized for functionality. Since there was no room for a pantry, the wall on the north side of the dining area, works as an addition to the kitchen providing tall pantry cabinets and a beautiful buffet for serving. This kitchen has a wide open view of the bay and the cook(s) can prepare meals while still entertaining their guests. The owners have reported that everyone loves to gather around the island for conversation and socializing before dinner. In the space that was originally the kitchen, the designer found room for a game table with full view of the TV, poker and sports!

In addition, this table serves as more dining space. Relocated from the entry foyer, the laundry occupies an adjacent closet. Double doors open 180 degrees make the side by side full size washer and dryer very accessible and easy to use. Altogether, the owners can now seat 14 for dinner or easily entertain 20 persons with everyone having a place to sit. ENTRY FOYER One limitation of the entries at Sunset is that as originally built they are very small .... basically a 3.5’ wide hallway. The laundry was originally in this area too. The designer was able to add over a foot to the width of the entry and replaced the washer and dryer area with a niche including beautiful cabinetry, mirror and accessories. Now opening the door and stepping into Sunset #407 is very welcoming and a treat for the eyes.


BEDROOM SUITES The owners of #407 have a family member with disabilities. One bedroom was designed to accommodate these specific needs. The room was arranged to have as much open space as possible. Two built-in twin beds provide sleeping, storage underneath and, with the corner arrangement, they also double as seating for watching TV. The TV is hung on the wall over a small chest. The adjoining bath was enlarged by taking in what was originally the closet for this bedroom and part of the old kitchen. The door from the bedroom to the bath was enlarged to 36” to allow easy wheelchair passage. The shower space went from 2.5’ x 5’ to 4’ x 6.5’. It has no enclosure other than a fixed panel of glass on one side of the entrance. The normal shower curb was replaced with a sloped entry. As a result, the shower is fully accessible and spacious enough for a wheelchair. The new master suite is smaller than the original but just as comfortable and functional. A double door entry to the suite gives the owners privacy and

creates a luxury feel. The designer pared down furnishings to just what was needed. The oversize four poster bed was replaced with a simpler styled platform bed with comfy upholstered headboard. The closet and bath in this suite are still generously sized for a condo. In the bath plumbing wall, room was found for a linen cabinet only 14”w x 14”d but big enough to store the towels for this bath. Because the windows in both bedrooms open to the public corridor, the designer chose to motorize the Silhouette window treatments in order to have the best privacy and convenience. A remote control operates the shades to their down but open vaned position. A soft light comes in the window, but BEFORE Completely overhauled both architecturally & by design. Condominium remodel by Cactus Flower, p51 All granite by Premier Granite, p59 Custom glass and mirrors by Bayside Glass, p47 All furniture from Designer’s Showroom, p12 Tiffany Style Hanging Light Fixture and all accent and recessed lighting, The Lighthouse Lighting Center, p11

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AFTER

BEFORE

privacy is maintained. At night, the vanes are closed for total privacy and light control the next morning. FINISH MATERIALS AND LIGHTING To perceptually expand space, most of the background elements are warm neutral shades. Excitement is added with a great collection of textures. The designer selected cabinetry with rope molding accent in a dark finish highlighted by a Java glaze. The tile floor is lighter and really compliments and contrasts with all the wood cabinets and furniture. In the kitchen, the back splash is 1” glass mosaic tile in copper blend. Some of the tiles are iridescent and when they catch the light from the bay, they glow in shades of rust and magenta. In the showers, the designer added interest with natural stone borders and more

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mosaic glass tile. Lighting is very important. Since the owners have a wonderful collection of original art, the designer opted for recessed spotlighting to highlight these pieces. General illumination comes from small halogen recessed lights and under cabinet lighting. To maximize space perception in both baths, the vanity mirrors go from vanity top to ceiling with a contemporary halogen light mounted through the mirror. FURNISHINGS With the exception of the bar stools which were repainted, all the furniture is new. Starting over meant that all pieces could be specifically selected to fit perfectly and serve the new requirements of #407. The owners selected leather for the main seating in the living room

and opted for a patented sleeper sofa that is actually comfortable for guests to sleep on.... honest! The cocktail table also functions as storage and with the cushions included, converts to seating if needed. The designer relocated most of the owner’s art and added a few new pieces such as the original diptych on the long wall by the poker table. These stunning pieces are original fish “prints” .... i.e. prints of actual fish which have been embellished and detailed by hand and are collaged onto custom colored handmade paper. FIRST VIEWING After completing this project for the owners, and turning it over to them on Christmas Eve we were anxious for their reaction when they first saw the completed space. The owners

didn’t visit while the project was in progress....they only saw the “before” and then the completed “after”. Their reaction was summed up in one word sent in a text message to the designer..... “WOW”. Any designer will tell you .... that text message was a lovely Christmas present.

Contributing Writer: Jeri Garrett

Insist on viewing floor plans before beginning any remodel project. Interior designer, Jeri Garrett, owner of Cactus Flower (p51) makes this a standard practice with all her clients.


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Luxury Living The High Life

Bella Dimora South Padre Island, Texas

All custom built and original architectural and design elements by Sisters Interiors, p55 Faux finishes and custom painting by Angel Hernandez. Travertine and granite flooring from Rio Stone, p54 Moulding supplied by South Texas Moulding, p54 Artwork; owner’s collection and Sisters Interiors Gallery.

As you step out of the elevator on the 18th floor of Isola Bella you immediately have the feeling of entering a Mediterranean chateau overlooking the sea. The hallway, architecturally transformed by wood and paint, has become a Renaissance-era aged stone art gallery, highlighted by antique crystal chandeliers and custom wooded archways. Walking down the hallway becomes a stroll down a romantic stone lined corridor in Southern Italy, Spain or France. Paintings from the owner’s private collection have been brought from all corners of the world, and hang in glorious splendor in their surroundings. The man hours of work that went into

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the transformation is mind boggling. Weeks in the life of a humble artist named Angel Hernandez were spent first painting, layer upon delicate layer of paint to create the aged stone effect on the walls. Then more hours were spent on the 2 process method of staining the wooden archways to produce the antique patina of aged wood. Structurally, wood horizontal beams were crafted to create the doorway thresholds and hold the decorative corbels and roped columns that are placed inside. The roped columns are actually not “roped” because if you look closely, there is a banding between each rope pattern, which creates the “Bernini” style of Italian columns.

The flooring is special as well. The polished granite is not black, instead it is blended with subtle shades of green and gold, giving it the Uba Tuba color. The greens and golds tie into the patina of the walls. Oriental patterned runners were chosen to reemphasize the style of old world elegance and sophistication. Antique crystal chandeliers illuminate the space with soft light, adding ambiance, romance and magic to the atmosphere. You are overwhelmed with the feeling that you have entered a very unique and special place. Inside the penthouse, the importance of stone continues. Very dark rosewood flooring was replaced with chiseled edge travertine in a Versailles pattern. The entire space


was lifted and became much more enjoyable. The walls were painted a soft butter color to harmonize with the flooring and all the natural wood in the home. There is a pair of old chairs that the owners loved, now new again, after undergoing reupholstery. Rich greens were chosen as the base color for the fabric, but then a playful mix of pattern between stripes and floral was added. The new creation was filled with colors and style. The scene was finished with a delicate Italian urn complete with an Orchid spray, to tie the floral chairs together. Another element of particular interest can be found in the dining room. Above the dining table hangs quite an unusual chandelier. The owners just loved this chandelier and did not want to part with it. However, the original design of the light fixture was very modern with glass globes covering the light bulbs and silver metal covering the stem. In order to make the chandelier work in the newly styled room, a custom shade prototype was made, and then each of the individual shades

was crafted. The shades help the chandelier tie in with the furnishings. Then in order to tone down the silver metal stem, the chandelier was laden with crystals. Look closely and you will see the large amounts of crystal hanging. Now the chandelier not only complements the room, but itself becomes a beautiful focal piece and topic of a great conversation. There are many ideas you can get when you study the creative forces involved in molding this luxury penthouse. Warming up wall color and lightening the floor are two easy ones to start with. Arranging paintings and artwork tastefully around a mirror creates peace in a room, and lets admirers concentrate on the art. Oriental rugs are wonderful tools to tie in color from many sources, and offer richness to a space. Crown moulding, painted or stained, framing the corners of walls and ceilings is another detail worth investing in. And then there are actual architectural elements, permanent structures, that when built with skill and vision can take you to a distant land in another era.

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Luxury Living The High Life

Sweet Sixteen Brownsville, Texas

Whether contemporary or traditional, southwest or modern, Trerosa homes builds the highest quality homes for their clients. “Building homes ALLways” Construction and administration by Trerosa, p59

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ucked away in the middle of Brownsville are a group of 16 condominiums, that if they aren’t already snapped up by the time this issue goes to print, they will be immediately after. The photos speak for themselves. The condos are modern, elegant, spacious, stylish and chic. Built with the feel of an urban loft, Las Ventanas Condominiums are 5 minutes away from shopping, golf, restaurants, the Mexican border, and a hop skip and a jump away from South Padre Island, Harlingen, or McAllen. It’s not just their style or location that sets them apart, it’s the way they were designed for reallife living. The open floor plan more than just connects the

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living room with the dining and kitchen, the space becomes ONE design element. The dark maple cabinetry in the kitchen echoes the dark chocolate accents in the living room group and the dining room table. The entire space melds into a delightful play of rich browns and delicate creams. The color palate is sparse, which welcomes an interesting play of textures, shapes, and patterns. Some of these brilliant décor items are the living room rug, sofa accent pillows and the modern painting above the threshold into the dining room. Even the large picture mirror above the sofa reflects the design elements and creates a modern abstract images with light and dark shapes balanced inside the frame.

And then there are the countless textures, shapes and patterns found in the natural elements placed in the home. The most impressive example of this is the choice of the massive slab of granite that covers the huge kitchen island. When you have such an enormous piece of polished stone, the natural patterns become a breathtaking design element. Coupled with the granite backsplash, and anchored by the sleek dark cabinetry, leather chairs, and stainless appliances, the kitchen’s granite really becomes the superstar of the show. Look carefully inside the island, there are ingenious cubby holes built in, that for the creative and young minded home owner,


become shelves for art, instead of mundane storage spaces for common kitchen items. The size of the island allows space to sit eight people comfortable, which because of its elegance could actually replace the need for a formal dining area. The theme of darks and lights reverberates in the master bathroom as well. Here you can see the cabinetry again, but paired with a much different style of granite, actually Cold Spring granite, one of the finest available. The veining is a one of a kind painting in stone. The base color is warmer, making the bathroom more intimately inviting, although the space is still huge. A private space for the toilet makes the bathroom available at any time. The corner Jacuzzi is flooded with natural light and at the same time is teasingly rests in privacy from the outside.

room below. The glass and metal railing define the edge of the hallway with grace. Imagine how narrow this hallway would look if it ran between two white floor to ceiling walls? With the glass railing also defining the space of the hall, it looks enormous, filled with natural light and a sweeping view. There is also another room for the upstairs bedrooms to share, but you will not see a single wall constructing this room. It is more aptly called a common area, wide open, it’s a great place for a homework desk or play station space. These modern luxury condominiums are the future personified. When people begin to understand more how their living environment affects their moods, energy, and overall well being, more and more are going to understand that spaces such as this one not only look great, but they lift your spirit and let your mind relax.

Second and third upstairs bedrooms open to the great

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Ole Decor Magazine Spring 2010 Issue  

Ole Decor Magazine Spring 2010 Issue.

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