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CONCRETE FLOOR

STAINING

Our skilled concrete craftsmen can create any number of patterns, logos, shapes and more in your stained concrete surface, giving you a unique, customized look. Restaurants, retail stores, schools, salons and other commercial spaces look great with stained concrete floors. Interior concrete floor staining is a cost effective, durable solution to the most demanding floors.

concretefloorstaining.com • 956.844.4568

Solutions For Your Concrete Flooring Needs. Serving The Rio Grande Valley

SPRING 2013

olĂŠ decor 5


letter from the editor This Spring Ole Décor brings you pieces of culture and flair from outside the Rio Grande Valley. New York comes to South Padre Island, and Dallas comes to Harlingen. On September 11, 2012 the brand new South Padre Island Fire Station was dedicated with an actual segment of beam from ground zero, World Trade Center, in New York City. As the article unfolds you will realize the fire station was built with water in mind, a lot of water. The station is both architecturally and aesthetically marvelous, but what really impressed us was the list of specialized materials used in the construction. It is virtually hurricane and weather proof. From the choice of siding to the glass to the paint to the roof, every square inch was designed to withstand driving force winds and water. There is so much information packed into this article, whether considering a remodel or new construction, this article will be an invaluable reference source for years to come. The remodel feature article brings in a designer from Dallas with knowledge of French Colonial décor. The house in Harlingen had “good bones” to work with so when the owners approached Marilyn Rolnick in Dallas with the opportunity, she

jumped at the chance to take an “out of town” job. What she accomplished with this Harlingen home is a recreation of a regal country manor in France. Enjoy every corner, la maison est tres magnifique! Haraway Construction in Harlingen is the company responsible for the impeccable home featured within our pages of luxury living. Headed by Will Haraway, he has been steadfast in his mission of building the most luxurious of homes for the most discriminating of clients. Enjoy your tour through this impressive Harlingen home. Our “Decorating With” article features faux plants. What’s more desirable than beautiful foliage that you don’t have to work for? We tell you how to do it the right way for both indoors and outdoors. In the pages of “Outdoor Living” read about the possibilities outdoor Kitchens and Grills can create when added to your home.

Eddie Reyes

website www.oledecor.com

advertising sales (956) 266 8663

email eddie@oledecor.com

address 5800 Padre Blvd. Suite 203 South Padre Island, TX 78597 209 N. 17th Street. Suite B. McAllen, TX 78501

mailing address P.O. Box 40101 South Padre Island, TX 78597

Printed in Mexico

next issue Summer on South Padre Island? Yes! Of

Ole Décor reveal all the amenities and public

Coarse! Our Summer issue will be dedicated

areas of the condominium complex, we will

to the best of the best in Condo living. We

take you into decadently decorated units so

will start high in the sky with the Sapphire

you can get ideas and inspirations for your

towers, continue our tour with Bridgepoint,

own piece of condo heaven on South Padre

come down to the water and tour

Island, or if you’re interested, even buy one

Boardwalk, and finish at Isola Bella. These

featured in our pages.

condos are beautiful, immaculate, exciting, fun, breathtaking, elegant, impressive, but most of all they define luxury. Not only will

6 olé decor SPRING 2013

Ole Decor Distinctive Real Estate presents a remodeled home that’s currently on the market pg 16. Contact Annette Baker with Coldwell Banker Impact Properties for more information.


Let us orchestrate your dream. For the perfect products for your kitchen or bath, stop by a Ferguson showroom. It’s where you’ll find the largest range of quality brands, a symphony of ideas, and trained product experts to help orchestrate your dream. With showrooms from coast to coast, come see why Ferguson is recommended by professional contractors and designers everywhere.

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LIGHTING

©2013 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


CONTENTS SPRING ISSUE 2013

14 Real Estate Distinctive Properties.

42 42 Decorating With Faux plants, a perfect solution for an empty corner.

16 16 Luxury Homes Impeccably upgraded Harlingen home now on the market.

50 48

27 Fine Art Gallery Guide showcasing the valley’s finest galleries and artists.

48 Indoor Outdoor Living Take your backyard to next level with outdoor kitchens and grills.

34 Fabulous Spaces, Public Places Tour the station where SPI firefighters keep vigil.

56 34 10 olé decor SPRING 2013

56 Luxury Homes Haraway Home Run!


The best value on the Gulf Coast is waiting for you

Luxury resort residences from onLy $475,000 - moVe in todAy sapphiresouthpadre.com

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956.433.5358

sales Office Open Mon. - Fri. 10am to 5pm

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Like us on Facebook

sat. 12pm to 5pm

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sunday by appointment

310a Padre blvd. south Padre Island

Presented by IbC bank and strategyst This is not intended to be an offering or solicitation for sale in any jurisdiction where the project is not registered in accordance with applicable law or where such offering or solicitation would otherwise be prohibited by law. Inquire about Sapphire to see if the property is qualified for sale in your jurisdiction. Prices are subject to change at the sole discretion of the seller without notice.


Attention Real Estate Agents, Olé Decor Magazine would like to include your high-end listing in the Distinctive Real Estate section of our upcoming spring issue. Real estate agents with listings in the $300,000 plus range are invited to participate. Each listing will be accompanied by stunning professional photography and enticing editorials that capture the class and elegance of your prestigious property. Print Another benefit of advertising in a magazine like ours, is that it enjoys a much longer shelf life than other media. You can go into many of our distribution points and find past issues that are a year old still displayed on coffee tables in waiting rooms and lobbies. That’s one of the reasons we try to make them as beautiful as we possibly can. People don’t throw them away as easily as they would a newspaper or lesser magazine, and that’s very valuable in a market where homes may take over six months to sell. Please keep in mind that every issue of Olé Decor magazine will circulate for an entire quarter for the duration of the three month season (spring, summer, fall, winter). We cover the entire Rio Grande Valley, focusing exclusively on the wealthiest segments of those areas. We do this by strategically placing the magazines in all country clubs, club houses, physician lounges in hospitals, aesthetic clinics, plastic surgery clinics, high-end boutiques and real estate agencies. Web Our magazine is published online, and is linked to our new website. This means that people from all over the world will be able to see your listing. For a fee, your listing can be printed with a QR code that can be scanned by prospective clients with their iPhones, iPads, and other electronic devices. The scan will direct them to your property’s online virtual tour. Your clients will appreciate the convenience and ease with which they can view your property. If you are serious about selling your Distinctive Real Estate, we are ready to help you accomplish your goal. Give us a call now! Happy returns,

Eddie Reyes Publisher

12 olé decor SPRING 2013

TAke A virTuAl TOur OF A luxurY hOme


The Shores

A Seaside Community South Padre Island’s finest


realestate

New

on the

Market

From the moment you drive up to this well-manicured lawn, you begin to notice details that define this luxurious home. Architectural elements such as travertine marble columns, expansive Anderson windows and doors, soaring ceilings, and hand painted faux finishes start to create a sense of elegance. Beyond the breath-taking living/dining area is a showcase kitchen. Brand name appliances like Bosch, Subzero, and Thermador make this anyone’s dream kitchen. The oversized hand painted vent hood hangs above a 13 foot island. The kitchen is open to a family room that centers around a river rock fireplace. The master suite is separate and includes a spa bath and exercise room. At the opposite end of the house is another living area and three bedrooms. An office with a multitude of built-

16 olĂŠ decor SPRING 2013


OFFERED AT: PRICE UPON REQUEST INQUERIES

Coldwell Banker Impact Properties 1212 North Stuart Place Rd. Harlingen, Texas 78552 ANNETTE BAKER Mobile: 956-357-0182 MLS NUMBER 47185 Scan the QR code with your smart phone to take the virtual tour

Writen By: Marilyn Rolnick ASID RID Design Associates Inc. When the Harlingen clients who bought this house called me, the first question asked was, “Do you work with out-of-town clients?” My answer was an unequivocal “Yes!” I’ve never had any out-of-town projects that are not among my favorites. “Why?” Shopping time is finite, therefore decisions are made more quickly.

in cabinetry, Murphy bed, and full bath provides room for guests or even a housekeeper. The patio boasts a pool and outdoor kitchen. 1101 Ferguson Drive is more than a beautiful home, it is an experience. For discriminating buyers, this opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime. To schedule a private viewing, CALL ANNETTE BAKER.

The same is true for my trips to the jobsite: concentrated time and effort produce a cohesive and comprehensive plan more quickly. Not rushed, mind you, simply focused. Installation is also more focused. All ordered items are sent to a moving and receiving warehouse and stored until the project is complete. When we are ready to install, the company loads the truck and away we go. The install for this project took four 12-hour days and travel time. I, my associate and five installers installed furniture, art, rugs, and accessories--just like we planned!

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realestate

But back up a year--when purchased by my clients, the house had “good bones,” a lovely yard and swimming pool, but it was dated and needed a serious remodel. The original living and dining room was divided by a built-in bar. My first priority was to demo the bar and create one large space. To replace the bar, an antique cabinet was redesigned as a dry bar and set against the wall between the doors from a

18 olé decor SPRING 2013

garden room on the front of the home. With the removal of the bar divider, the dining room had more space. We furnished it with a large table with a carved limestone base topped with glass. It can comfortably seat ten people. The table’s chairs are hand carved in Italian Venetian style with a gold accented painted finish. The seats are upholstered in Bergamo silk. A detailed console with an iron base and a granite top sits against the


realestate

far wall and doubles as a buffet. A Belgian tapestry hangs above. In the living room, the space is defined and unified by a large Oushak oriental rug. The arrangement of furniture is styled to draw attention to the handsome limestone fireplace. A sofa, backed by a console, acts as a visible divider between the living and dining room. In front of this sofa, we placed a wrought iron coffee table with a glass top. There are two unmatched side tables and two unmatched chairs flanking this sofa. A second grouping, closer to the fireplace, has a wood frame sofa with a wood coffee table, and two stationary arm chairs opposite it. A large tufted ottoman between them completes the setting. In the entry, there is a hallway leading to the kitchen area. The powder room, that was transformed from an ugly duckling into a swan, is off this hallway. A small round vessel sink sits on a counter of honey onyx. Bronze faucets are wall mounted. A gorgeous medallion is inset in the tile floor. The walls and all trim have been hand stenciled in a muted damask pattern of green and gold. The hallway leads into a combination kitchen, breakfast and family room. A comfortable small sectional sits in front of the fireplace with a river rock surround. A wall mounted TV hangs above

the fireplace--the family’s favorite place to be. Behind the section sofa, there is a round breakfast table and four chairs. The kitchen was left intact but refinished with a soft gold glaze, and the vent cover over the island has been hand painted with a diamond patterned ivy trellis. All appliances are new. Beyond the kitchen, an angled wall leads to a vestibule that opens into the master suite. A beautiful antique French iron railing has been repurposed into a stunning headboard. Two comfortable lounge chairs sit in front of the footboard--ideal for reading or watching “Downtown Abbey!” The master bath was entirely gutted and redesigned. It has separate his and her entries at each end of the long wall opposite the bed. A very large glass shower divides the room between “his” and “her” counters, giving each more than generous space. Large closets on either side of the far wall complete the space. On the opposite side of the house a long hall stretches off the entry. Two rooms open to the left and one to the right: two boys’ bedrooms and a guest/study, each with its own bath. At the end of the hall is a large game/TV room. The first phase of the remodel was to finish

SPRING 2013

olé decor 19


realestate

A very large glass shower divides the room between “his” and “her” counters, giving each more than generous space. all construction and cosmetic improvements, the bedrooms, and kitchen. The second phase encompassed living, dining and entry furnishings. At a later date, a small room off the back hall was turned into a small and efficient office with a pull down bed for visitor overflow. The last project was the terrace that includes a fabulous built-in range with a custom tile surround. A sofa, lounge chairs, dining tables and chairs are all a stunning teak wood. The pool was resurfaced and retiled and the landscape was redesigned and freshly planted. Furnishings throughout are traditional with an emphasis on Country French. Fabrics were selected

20 olé decor SPRING 2013

for durability, as well as aesthetics, and the color palette is warm: primarily soft gold with generous green and terra cotta accents. An exception, is the master suite that has a main fabric of soft blue-grey paisley with terra cotta and green accents. The house is elegantly understated and has a wonderful welcoming personality. The best projects are a result of client, contractor, designer and architect all being on the same page--with give and take from each one--to get the best possible result. This project had all the requisites and best of all, the clients were delighted. It was a win/win for everyone!


realestate

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22 olé decor SPRING 2013


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gallery guide

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HOUSE OF FRAMES QUALITY CUSTOM & CONSERVATION FRAMING HARLINGEN

(956) 423 8282 House of Frames is your first and last stop when looking for hunting and fishing art and Texas maps and landscapes! We have the experience needed to handle any of today’s conservation framing projects from fishprints or needlework to canvas paintings or photography. We’ll work with any budget--big or small--always aiming for a finished product that will bring out the best in your art or collectables. Owner Peggy Allen and staff, Reed, Alice, Margaret and Julianna want to help you with all your framing needs. Just call or come by!

KINGFISHER GALLERY - SOUTH PADRE ISLAND www.kingfishergallery.com

(956) 639 2785 Kingfisher Gallery and Taxidermy is located on South Padre Island in a very tucked away corner of Sea Ranch Marina across the street from Schlitterbahn. To find the gallery, have an adventure in mind and whatever you do, don’t give up the search. Kingfisher Gallery offers high-end paintings, mesquite carvings, restored and repurposed nautical furniture, lighting and Sandy Margret’s custom Japanese Gyotaku Fish Rubbings and her expert taxidermy. Open Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm. If you are decorating an island home or condo, and are searching for one- of-a-kind art pieces, then visit Sandy at Kingfisher Gallery and take the tour. She’ll even give you advice on colors, sizes and themes and will deliver anywhere on the island. Kingfisher Gallery, at Sea Ranch Marina, 956-639-2785, sandy@kingfishergallery.com

SPRING 2013

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Hard-earned reputation speaks for itself, and 10 years of continuing growth can only be achieved by dedication, integrity, and customer satisfaction. A company like Casso Construction was built on solid principles, and these are the pillars of our steady success. As a family owned and operated company, we appreciate the value of a dependable, rock-solid name. That is why I personally attend to each home we build and work closely with our clients. If a custom home is in your future, let us give you an honest and sincere hand. Hector Rodriguez President, Casso Construction OPEN HOUSE 307 Grovewood Ave. • Mission, TX 78572 Office hours are from 1-6pm or call for an appointment

956-867-6050 • Nextel ID: 145*2*32772 • McAllen, TX www.cassoconstruction.com •

www.facebook.com/cassoconstruction


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WALL-TO-WALL MEDIA CENTERS LG QUARTZ & HI-MAC COUNTERTOPS CUSTOM CABINETRY WITH ARTISAN GLAZED FINISHES

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32 olé decor SPRING 2013


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* To the Trade Only. SPRING 2013

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fabulous spaces public places

haute headquarters South Padre Island fire station combines beauty and durability Written by: Daniel Pesek, AIA

I

n 2008, Hurricane Dolly ripped through South Texas, leaving behind a wake of destruction, flooding, and millions of dollars of damage. One casualty of the storm was South Padre Island’s original fire station, built in 1972. It was a devastating loss, but nevertheless, provided an opportunity for a new beginning. Now standing in its place at 106 West Retama Street is South Padre Island’s new Central Fire Station, a threestory, 20,000 square foot facility like no other. The distinctive form of the building developed as a blend of hurricane resistant construction and attractive contemporary design in a casual island context. Needless to say, one of the top priorities in the design of the new fire station was the ability to resist the effects of future hurricanes. The structural concrete slab rests on drilled piers up to four feet in diameter and seventy feet deep. The building’s superstructure is comprised of reinforced concrete columns, beams

34 olé decor SPRING 2013

and floor planks, with concrete masonry infill forming the exterior shell. The entire system is engineered to resist over 150 mile per hour wind gusts. Sounds like a giant concrete bunker, right? Far from it; the concrete shell is clad in vibrant colors of brick, stucco, and composite siding that complement the island aesthetic. The entrance to the building is marked by tensile fabric shade structures reminiscent of the kites and sails one might find at the beach just a couple blocks to the east. The siding is a major visual feature of the building and is installed in a rainscreen application, that equalizes air pressure and obstructs driving rain during a storm. The material is actually the same composite board commonly used on outdoor decks, and was chosen for its superior durability and impact resistance. All of the ex


‘With the cooperation of Chief Basket and Darla Jones, we were able to construct this beautiful Fire Station for the South Padre Island community.’ Tre’ Peacock

A special thanks goes out to Peacock General Contractors pg 33 for a superbly built fire station.

SPRING 2013 olé decor 35


Polished concrete was performed by Concrete Color Systems pg 40 to create a beautiful easy to maintain look. Here floors here have a heavy exposed aggeragate finish. Polished concrete floors have the lowest 20 year life cycle cost of most commercial flooring.

"To me, the Fire Station and the 911 artifact defines us as a nation. As Americans, even through tragedy, we can and will band together to help one another."

Tre’ Peacock

36 olĂŠ decor SPRING 2013


terior glass on the building is impact-rated, which eliminates the hassle of boarding up windows or installing metal shutters. The impact resistant materials allow for larger expanses of glass that open up the exterior and create a welcoming feel for visitors. In addition to wind and impact resistance, flooding due to storm surges was a major concern that shaped the form of the building. Due to high property values in the area, going vertical with a three story building makes the most of this small site. It also allows for the critical elements of the building, such as the Emergency Operations Center, to be placed high above sea level and remain in operation during a flood event. The first floor is specifically designed to be able to flood without sustaining any significant damage. All of the first floor finishes are durable and moisture resistant, including concrete masonry walls and polished concrete floors. In addition to the electrical outlets being raised forty-eight inches above the floor level, the first floor is on a separate electrical system so that the upper floors can remain operational if it is compromised. The upper floors extend just slightly over the first floor footprint, maximizing square footage but also giving the building a casual feel evocative of an “un-tucked shirt.” All three floors are tied together by the bright blue stairs SPRING 2013

olé decor 37


and elevator tower. It rises four stories to keep the elevator equipment off the ground level, provide convenient roof access, and of course, offer spectacular views of the island. Reminiscent of the hose drying towers in fire stations of old, it addresses nearby Padre Blvd. and calls attention to this new public facility. Even in non-hurricane conditions, South Padre Island is a harsh environment for buildings. Many building materials do not last long in the humid and salty air. Therefore, every effort was made to specify materials that are most suited to resisting the elements. The masonry, stucco and composite siding make up the bulk of the building’s response, but the details are just as important, in this type of facility, because it must serve the public in

38 olĂŠ decor SPRING 2013


ing firefighters to monitor activities both inside and outside the station. Locker rooms and a large exercise room serve both the fire department and other city employees. The walls of the weight room are lined with windows and mirrors, flooding the space with natural light and providing views out to Padre Blvd as well as into the truck bays. The bulk of the first floor is taken up by the five 65 foot truck bays and associated support spaces, such as a workshop, breathing apparatus room, EMS decontamination/storage, and bunker gear storage. These utilitarian spaces, that would be less affected by flood damage, are appropriately placed on the ground level in close proximity to the truck bays. emergency situations for years to come. Fiber-reinforced plastic doors and frames are used in lieu of the standard hollow metal. Stainless steel fasteners are used to attach the rainscreen siding to the building. Window frames and other exterior metals are powder coated. Even the rooftop air conditioning units have special corrosion-resistant coils. Throughout the design of the building, the functional requirements of both the environment and the fire department were met in such a way as to enhance the aesthetics and visual appeal of the building, contributing to an enjoyable experience for both firefighters and visitors. In the spacious lobby, the fire department’s logo has been custom made out of acrylic, and there is bold wayfinding lettering attached to the wall. A public restroom and small treatment room are available for walk-in emergencies. The watch office is centrally located, allow-

The second floor contains the firefighter living quarters. This area is out of danger of flooding, yet as close as possible to the truck bays for quick response times. The back staircase leads directly into the bays, while a traditional fireman’s pole provides even quicker access from the day room. Ten sleeping rooms line the perimeter of the second floor, each with a window for natural light and emergency egress. Toward the interior, are individual private bathrooms and a large open kitchen, dining area and day room. The dining area opens up to a shaded outdoor balcony overlooking Padre Blvd. to the east. Details and finishes throughout the upper floors are clean and contemporary, with accents of vibrant color to enhance the cheerful island character of this station. The third floor houses the fire department’s administration personnel, beginning with a reception desk off the eleva-

tor lobby, followed by offices for the fire chief, assistant chief, and fire marshal. One of the perks of being the chief is a corner office with views that would make anyone jealous. Centrally located on the third floor is the Emergency Operations Center, which becomes command central in the event of a disaster situation. Outfitted with a projection screen and several flat screen monitors, it seats thirty-five and doubles as a training room for the fire department. It opens out to another balcony facing south, perfect for watching fireworks on a breezy summer night. On September 11, 2012, the new fire station was dedicated in a bittersweet ceremony honoring the firefighters and many other fallen heroes involved in the World Trade Center attacks of 2001. An eight foot long, 1,750 lb. section of steel beam salvaged from the rubble was donated to the South Padre Island Fire Department and now stands on permanent display in the public plaza in front of the fire station. It is a constant reminder of the tireless service that our firefighting men and women across the country provide, day in and day out, risking their lives for our safety. Providing them with top-notch facilities such as this, which allow them to carry out their mission and serve us better, is the least we can do in return. Brown Reynolds Watford Architects is a recognized leader in the design of municipal and governmental facilities throughout the state of Texas, with a reputation for exceptional service to our clients. BRW worked closely with Chief Burney Baskett throughout the design and construction process to ensure the success of this outstanding project.

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ARTIFICIAL

Plants 42 olĂŠ decor SPRING 2013


LEFT: Remember one of your most important tools is to plan your landscaping as if you were planting real plants. Include variations in size and color to create visual interest and a serene “natural” look.

pring fever is in high pitch. Gardeners are working like busy bees creating explosions of colorful flowers and carpets of kelly green grass. But what if gardening is not your cup of tea or you just weren’t born with a green thumb? People who are gardeners are horrified to hear that there are a lot of people who don’t like gardening or anything to do with the yard. There are also a fair number of you that don’t have the time to spend tenderly caring for lush tropical flora, researching just the right mixture of soils and fertilizers, and leisurely spending your weekends in the garden department of the closest do-it-yourself warehouse store. Maybe you have a cat? We don’t have to say another word to you; cats can’t seem to resist soft potting soil. Are you destined to have barren and brown flowerbeds and skinny scrawny plants struggling to survive in your beautiful cantera planters? No, not so. We say you don’t have to look at dirt any longer, because we’ve discovered the beauty and practicality of fake plants. Embrace them, free up your time, and enjoy the atmosphere they bring to your indoor and outdoor landscape. Sometimes, artificial plants are simply preferable. For example, artificial plants will remain unaffected by splashes of chlorinated water from a pool. For homes homeowners who travel frequently, artificial plants are ideal. When it comes to planning your own landscape design, numerous artificial plants are a possibility.

We will start by dispelling a common myth about these fake beauties. First of all, let’s not call them fake plants, let’s call them what all the little old ladies from the East Coast call them: permanent arrangements! You’ll have to practice the pronunciation as well: “Puh-muh-nint Uhrange-mints.” These ladies have sworn by them for decades and, in fact, never liked it when relatives brought real live potted plants, poinsettias, mums, and such. They wouldn’t know how to keep them alive any more than their poodles would. Their standards were very high though. They never bought plastic, only the best flowers made from

delicate silk. There were some problems with the silk. It was very fragile, it faded quickly, and it collected dust. Silk flowers were imported from Italy and France and were very expensive. Cleaning them often resulted in frayed or torn material, and the silk blooms had to be replaced every few months. Today, we see a completely changed and improved industry. Today, high grade artificial flowers look and feel more real than ever before. They are made from blends of complex chemical composites like polyurethane, latex, Poly-chloride vinyl (PVC) and more advanced polymers. The parts are shaped using molds sculpted from real plants and flowers. These materials give an elasticity that is similar to a real plant. They are given real-touch coatings to mimic the feel of a live plant. Layers of color are applied to achieve a high level of realism. Perfumes can be infused into flowers, UV protectants and fire retardants are added to the fabric to guard against fading, and even dust repellents are woven in. These new technological changes can give us the confidence to choose permanent arrangements over real plants. Today’s falsies are high-end fake plants. Even when you’re standing inches away from them, you have no idea that they’re not real. But, unlike real plants, you don’t have to do anything to maintain their beauty. We’ve given you many reasons to try them, but here are a few more: no watering, no weeding, no dying plants, no plant diseases or pests, and no maintenance. If you’re interested in sprucing up your home or yard with faux plants, follow these tips. First, shop for the very best you can buy. If it looks bad in the store, it’s going to look worse in natural daylight. It is rumored that the French still make the world’s best fake plants and if you can afford them, buy them. Trousselier is a world-renowned French faux floral design house. They have a website, but unfortunately they don’t have an online shop. If heading to France isn’t in your future, check out local craft stores and be very picky about what makes it into your cart. Your investment will be worth it, in terms of durability and realism, and

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your plants will last for up to 10 years. Only display plants and flowers that are appropriate for the season. If a fern wouldn’t be growing outdoors in January, don’t have a fake fern outdoors in January. Store it in a garbage bag in your garage, and put it back out in the spring. You’ll find yourself looking forward to the change of seasons because you’ll be able to change your plants with ease. Neighbors are going to be green with envy as your blooming spring azaleas switch to summer bougainvillea overnight. Make doubly sure that you only buy fake versions of plants that grow in our region. This means for the Rio Grande Valley, you should be hunting for bougainvillea, oleander, lavender, zinnia, lantana, larkspur, sunflowers, firebush, cosmos, and hibiscus to name a few. There are multitudes of plants that grow in our area, and a quick search on Google will give you a wide range of plants to choose from. Your plantings will look less artificial and more coherent. Use the same sense of proportion you would use in placing living plants. On a small terrace, for example, consider tall plants such as ficus or palms, which allow maximum display while saving valuable floor space. Add other potted plants in corners. The most successful designs feature a few

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medium-to-large plants rather than lots of small ones. If you have room for a hanging basket, consider greenery. A tall porch roof naturally lends itself to hanging baskets of ferns or trailing vines. You will want your landscape to look as natural as possible so don’t forget to pay attention to the details. Realistic imperfections are desirable. Not every leaf on a plant is the exact same shade of green, and sometimes a leaf or two may hint of brown. Nature isn’t perfect, and neither should your fake plants be. Don’t forget the trees. Artificial trees can be used in designs to create focal points, as well as to block noise or direct foot traffic. For example, a row of artificial trees can help hide a neighbor’s unsightly yard or disguise a less than aesthetic fence. Artificial plants may also be used in conjunction with live plants to “fill” in empty spaces or replace dead or diseased growth. “Plant” your artificial plants in gravel with fake moss or fake grass as ground cover. Weeds won’t be as likely to grow in rocks and the weight of the gravel will help anchor the plants when the wind picks up. Although artificial plants do not require the maintenance and care of live plants, some basic care is required to extend their life. Simply hose


This lovely backyard contains faux plants blooming at the appropriate time of the year for these species. Anchoring into gravel and covering with a convincing layer of peat moss will keep your beds looking realistic.

Faux florals invite visitors into a welcoming space, with never a fallen dead petal on the table. down outdoor plants. A surefire way to clean up your indoor plants is simply to put them in a bag with some rock salt and shake. The salt will clean any dust and your plants will look refreshed. Our homes, offices, and outdoor living spaces all benefit from the addition of eye pleasing arrangements of color and greenery, so don’t hesitate to start planting with artificial plants. Happy spring gardening!

Permanent outdoor arrangements don’t suffer from splashes of chlorine, are UV resistant and possibly best of all, bug free!

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“Make Your Dreams Come True”

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outdoorliving

Outdoor Kitchens and Grills

This ultimate outdoor kitchen comes from Stevenson’s Appliances pg 47. Have everything at your fingertips from refrigerated meats to the grill or wok. Enjoy your afternoon cocktail with clear ice from your icemaker.

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“Imagine a magical space where both groups feel at home, confident and comfortable.”

or most people, cooking is the means to an end. It’s often one of those things we all do so often that it can begin to feel like a chore. And how often do you cook with your partner? Actually cook together? Probably very seldom. Can you imagine one of you chopping and prepping, while the other is stirring and combining ingredients? How fun would it be to take it one step further and actually plan meals together, figure out the meals for a week, look forward to cooking as much as you look forward to lazy Sunday mornings? Talk about a way to rekindle your relationship! Now, at this point, you have to put your “yeah right” and “c’mon I live in the real world” sarcasm aside and pay close attention. This can happen for you. It is so easy; it can change your life. This is why we highly recommend an outdoor kitchen! YES! We are saying an outdoor kitchen

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Like this outdoor kitchen? It can be yours! See more of this magnificent home in Harlingen on pg 16 Call Annette Baker.

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could be just what the doctor ordered to take the “chore” out of cooking. What happens beyond that is all up to you. To avoid sounding stereotypical, this article is not going to refer to men or women, husbands or wives, but you’ll immediately begin to identify which group you belong to. For the most part, one partner usually prefers to grill. Something about cooking outdoors differs substantially from kitchen-based cooking. As a result, people have developed a significant body of techniques and specialized equipment for preparing food outdoors. Currently, the scouting community and wilderness educators maintain and develop outdoor cooking traditions. At home, the self-appointed outdoor types take leadership in this realm. Simply put, these types likes to light fires, and they like protein, which cooks well over fire. A technique carefully honed


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over the generations is the handy water filled spray bottle. It is essential to douse out of control fires that threaten to burn the protein. This tool has revolutionized grilling, enabling all of us to enjoy nicely cooked animals. Specialized equipment includes extraordinarily long-handled prongs and forks, but hair and eyebrows still manage to get singed. Ending well is just the miracle of low beginning expectations being exceeded by the final result. Everyone eats. These cooks are proud of their successful meal, satisfied and quite content. If humans could survive on meat alone, this group might actually agree to do all of the cooking all of the time. Let’s flip the coin and get to the other group of humankind. There are millions of people whose cooking skills most likely include, but are not limited to: broiling, roasting, frying, baking, steaming, sautéing, boiling, searing, and reducing. It appears that many of them are also part chemist, mixing and measuring an endless variety of ingredients, spices, and sauces. If you

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are a part of this group you may already know things like putting a wet spoon into a container of dry ingredients makes a clumpy mess. Out of mere habit, you might get down to eye level when checking liquid measurements to make sure you’ve got the right amount. Your group really understands the dietary needs of humans and chooses to include vegetables on the plate. Your equipment is extensive, beginning with utensils that scoop and stir: spoons, ladles, slotted spoons, spatulas, pasta spoons, whisks, measuring cups and measuring spoons. There are as many different utensils that cut as there are days of the year and you own them all! You have confidence in the kitchen; you wield pots and pans with as much precision as a samurai wields his sword. Expectations are always high, and you deliver. It’s no wonder the other group feels so intimidated entering your culinary realm of marvel. Imagine a magical space where both groups feel at home, confident and comfortable: a space where people of all ages and sexes genuinely enjoy

This outdoor kitchen has all the comforts of an inside kitchen expertly combined with an inviting living space.


Need we say more? This outdoor kitchen has everything to turn cooking into sizzling, who could possibly resist?

spending time together, and can turn a mundane chore, such as cooking, into an exciting group activity. (Two people is considered a group.) Today’s outdoor kitchens are fully equipped with built in BBQ islands, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, stainless cabinetry, granite countertops, wine coolers, outdoor smokers, even wood fired pizza ovens. Summer temperatures soar in the Rio Grande Valley and all too often “It’s too hot to cook.” You can solve that problem by installing a misting system. These kitchens are meant to turn an outdoor space into an outdoor living space, so that everyone can enjoy being outside and never have to go back in, not even to cook a meal! Grills have come a long way since the standard charcoal grill. State of the art technology may have you asking if it is a backyard sculpture or a barbecue? Some grills are actually both, combining high-performance cooking capability with cuttingedge, artistic design. Unlike the bigger-is-better approach to traditional grills, modern grills are strikingly minimalist in design, usually compact,

and offer sleek lines, streamlined styling and a distinctive silhouette. In terms of function, they often incorporate innovative features that solve storage problems or answer other needs, while still packing the heat and performance needed to grill a mean steak. Let’s now turn back to the romantic notion of togetherness by re-emphasizing the importance of outdoor kitchens and grills. What better way to get people together in the same space, cooking together, talking, eating, experimenting, teaching, eating. Outdoor kitchens break all the rules. Feel free to light big fires--your smoke is welcome--and cook that protein to perfection. To the others, gather as many utensils and tools, pots and pans, and enjoy them all. Baking, frying, reducing, all methods of cooking is possible with outdoor kitchens that have every kitchen comfort that you find inside. Take our word for it, these are so much more than just kitchens, they’re the road to happiness!

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luxuryhome

Local Builder Hits Harlingen Home Run Written By: Linda Lewis

I

t is rare to find a perfect match, but the match between Will Haraway of Haraway Construction and the owners of this custom designed home in Harlingen seems to be one of those rare instances. Over the four years that it took to design and build this home, builder and owners have become fast friends.

Communication is a key element of any collaboration. This project involved extensive customization, and the homeowners were involved in every aspect of designing the home. They agreed upon a basic floor plan that fit their needs, and then customized the home extensively as it was built over the next eighteen months. As the home evolved, new ideas and opportunities were 56 olé decor SPRING 2013

incorporated into the plan, and the final product took shape. The floor tiles are an example of this process. They selected tiles at a big-box hardware store but customized the installation. The owners wanted the grout lines to be broken up instead of being straight lines across the floor. To achieve the desired effect, they utilized three different sizes of tile. This attention to details makes this home unique. The property has a dedicated green area on one side, and backs up to a resaca. In order to take advantage of these features, the builder elevated the property by three feet. He dug an 18” hole


The quintessential elements, of old world roofing design, are provided by ABC Supply pg 55. All that’s missing, in this piazza, is a flower or gelato vendor. Designed and built by Haraway Construction pg 55, this striking southern mediterranean style home sits on ground three feet higher than adjacent homes. Vertical windows, the entrance tower and attention drawing multiple roof lines amplify the sense of height.

and placed 4 1/2 inches of a select fill that doesn’t contract or expand. The builder explained that this is a technique commonly used for commercial buildings. It creates a rock solid foundation and eliminates any future issues such as shifting and cracking. Then, they added more fill to elevate the property by three feet. The walled courtyard on the front of the house provides a view of the green area and is an entertainment mecca. An elaborate wrought iron gate allows entry into the courtyard area from the front. Just inside the gate, there is a beautiful groin vault ceiling inspired by a trip that Haraway took to Israel. The intersecting lines of the vault resemble an emblem used throughout the house. SPRING 2013

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The emblem can be found in the wrought iron gate, an inlaid mosaic on the floor inside the door entrance, and in the bottom of the swimming pool, and other places.

cut crystals, hangs in front of it. A smaller version hangs over the formal dining table. Expertly painted venetian plaster and other faux painting techniques add interest to the walls.

Within the courtyard, there is a separate casita, an immense stone fireplace, with a seating area in front of it, an outdoor kitchen with Sahara Gold granite and cypress cabinets, a combination sitting and dining area, a large fountain, and hand carved limestone relief sculptures. One of the carvings is a floral bouquet and the other is a floral design. The former is part of a unit of elements, made to look like a hall console table. Even the windows have hand carved limestone trim pinned and epoxied to the structure.

Elaborate moldings throughout the home create emphasis and add architectural interest. A striking example is a grid of molding on the ceiling over the formal dining table that creates the look of a coffered ceiling. A similar, but smaller, design is repeated over the kitchen dining table. In the kitchen proper, the ceiling moldings become an extension of the custom cabinetry. An outline of molding around the stove vent gives definition.

The southern coastal mediterranean styling of the home’s exterior and front courtyard continue in the home’s interior. The front door of the home is made from Italian walnut. The wood is beautifully textured with warm red/brown tones. The door’s window is arched with 12 panes of beveled glass. This door opens directly into the formal living/ dining area of this 6,000 square foot home. A massive tile and stone fireplace extends upward to the ceiling of the two story room. An extraordinary two-tiered chandelier, with straight

In the kitchen, all moldings and cabinetry were glazed, for a slightly antiqued look. They used an amber colored textured glass in the cabinet doors. The homeowners wanted the home to look lived in rather than brand new. The yard had to have a lived in look also, so plantings were mature. Beautiful custom cabinetry fills the home, with much of it designed for specific purposes. For example, at one end of the kitchen’s center island, there is a lift for the blender, and niches in the drawers for baking tools. The laundry room is amazing. It has beautiful cabinetry that includes a sewing center with a lift for the sewing machine.

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realestate

A center island in a separate food pantry is just as beautiful as the kitchen island. This home has an exceptional array of appliances. My eye was immediately drawn to the built-in coffee maker in the kitchen. It has its own water supply. There are other things in this kitchen that are mind-boggling. For example, there are six ovens, one food warmer, two microwave ovens, and two dishwashers (one full size and one half size). There is a professional stove with a pot filler faucet. In the laundry room, there is a heated drying cupboard for delicate items that you wouldn’t want to put in a tumble dryer. Will Haraway commented that he really likes the “round” study. As you enter the study, you see built-in desks and cabinets to the left and right. They are stained in a rich dark brown and have Tropical Brown granite countertops. There are three windows looking out over the front courtyard with built-in window seats with upholstered cushions. In the center of the room is a tufted and skirted upholstered ottoman. It is a very cozy room.

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There is only one inset tray ceiling in the entire house located in the master bedroom. Wide molding, with a rope detail, and inset lighting enhance the tray. A secondary trim of molding was added to the ceiling inside the tray. The molding is painted a medium tone of beige, the ceiling a light cream color, and the ceiling fan has a bronze finish. Utilizing these three tones add interest to a color scheme that is fairly muted in tone. A wide arched opening in the master bedroom creates a visual separation for an alcove sitting area. The alcove features two chaise lounges and a round ottoman with turned wood legs and tufted upholstery. Luxurious silk drapes, with a sheer under curtain, provide privacy. A wrought iron and crystal chandelier has an interesting octagonal paneled glass drum shade. Overall, the room has a perfect blend of elements that create a casual elegance that would please a man or a woman. The homeowners commissioned a local artist to paint a mural within an arched niche in the master bedroom. It is a trompe l’oeil painting of a

A softly neutral color palette creates a relaxed atmosphere in the master bedroom. Designer’s Showroom’s pg 1 large padded headboard adds scale and dimension to the bed and provides luxurious comfort.


realestate

Crown moldings, ceiling moldings, a built-in buffet, and the floor tile patterning, are custom details that add polish to the formal dining room. The room is completed with an elegant dining table and chairs from Designer’s Showroom pg 1.

window divided into eight panes of glass. One can “see” a body of water and the sky in the distance. A painted green vase, with the homeowner’s favorite flower (white tulips), looks as though it is sitting on the real marble sill. The skillfully blended blue and green hues give it a cohesive look. This same artist also created individual paintings of flowers and plants that are in the homeowner’s yard. Even though this is a luxurious home, the practical aspects, of energy consumption and safety, are not overlooked. Energy bills are kept low by utilizing energy star products. They sprayed foam insulation to keep the wood frame home air tight. All windows have a high impact rating. The home has a water filtration system that utilizes top tier filters. Reflecting upon this project, Will Haraway mused that every aspect of this home required the application of creative energy. He says that change is a part of the process because new ideas and opportunities develop as you work. Both parties were open to this process, so they were able to realize their dream successfully.

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