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letter from the editor April showers bring May flowers. Ole décor is going to celebrate spring by making our world, or at least our valley a little wetter. And although we are not going to summon Mother Nature to bring on rain and weather, we are bringing in the water in a kinder, gentler way. Our Outdoor Living article showcases water features. In these pages you’ll find ponds, fountains, and waterfalls. Bring in birds and butterflies, enjoy manmade ponds swirling with exotic Koi fish, create ambience with bubbling fountains, and retreat to your backyard to listen to the soft sounds of a babbling brook. This spring put yourself outside more often and enjoy one of the best seasons South Texas has to offer. If you are a parent, then you know how important it is to sometimes take a break from the constant needs of your children and focus on yourself for a moment. A few minutes of quiet time can recharge you and get you ready for the next round of rambunctiousness.

Well we have the most ingenious idea for you to get the quiet time you need. Create an amazing kids room, and they’ll always want to hang out there! After you read our Indoor Living article on incredible kids rooms, feel free to send the thank you cards via email.

Eddie and Sandy

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

bar, while everyone’s kids are cliff jumping or cave exploring in your outdoor water

place in the lower Rio Grande Valley, the


article on fences and gates. Yes, we all need them, but the days of ugly cyclone fencing

local flavor, Bass Pro Shop has cherished

are over. It’s just downright criminal to

landmarks and stories of old built right

surround your home with materials that

into the design and décor of their signature

evoke that very descriptive. Break out of the

store. From the antiquated photo collection,

cyclone trap, and build a barrier that adds

to the Historical Champion Building, a trip

beauty, value, and appeal to your home. Not

through Bass Pro Shop is an adventure in

to mention the view your neighbors have to

combining environment, art, atmosphere,

share with you. Every neighbor to a neighbor

history and culture into a unique experience

is going to love this article and the incredible

beyond just a nice store. We can’t wait to

ways we offer to exquisitely “Keep it all In.”

and Spas issue! “Splish Splash, just laughing in the tub, thinking everything is alright.” Of course it is, everything is just downright great when you’re lying poolside or your

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mailing address

“Keeping it all In” is the title of next issue’s

Built with a distinct tradition of capturing

for years. Get ready for the 5th annual Pools

209 N. 17th Street. Suite B. McAllen, TX 78501

Printed in Mexico

may indeed be the most hyped event to take

what to expect, for we have been doing this


The delRio Agency 900 Kerria Avenue. McAllen, TX 78501

guests are doggie paddling up to the water

And because it will be summer, you’ll know


layout & production

Spaces, Public Places revolves around what

bring you there.

(956) 266 8663

Kingfisher Gallery 1 Padre Blvd, Suite 102. South Padre Island, TX 78597

Our most exciting feature article Fabulous


advertising sales

And finally, our gallery on South Padre Island is officially open. Eddie and I have embarked on a little dream of our own and we call it Kingfisher Gallery. It is located at the Sea Ranch Marina. The gallery specializes in fine art as well as traditional fish taxidermy and Gyotaku Japanese fish paintings. We can’t wait for you to discover the beautiful art pieces waiting to fill that open space on your wall!

next issue

grand opening of the new Bass Pro Shop in


front cover credits ON THE COVER: Home owners dreamt it, Kapal hatched it! This semi-circle cooking station offers plenty of room for food prep, along with a sleek countersunk glass range, while opposite the sink station gently curves following the contour of the Island. Cabinetry in Hi-Gloss White Lacquer by Kapal Kitchens and Design pg 4.

Visit your sleep &

FREE LEATHER UPGRADE with the purchase of a Stressless速 recliner during this month only.




18 Luxury Homes A good old fashioned love story and a home that was built from the heart.

48 18

48 Decorating With Decorating a kid’s room is more than just child’s play.

60 Indoor Outdoor Living Discover a world of striking water features and how they can make a great focal point for the front or backyard of any home.

68 Sorteo Tec Lucky One Eight Eight.

28 28 New Products Get total control with control 4.

34 Fine Art Gallery Guide 40 Fabulous Space Public Places Get your library card ready, McAllen’s got a new library.

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© 2012 Schonbek® Worldwide Lighting, Inc.

IT’S A SCHONBEK. BEAUTY THAT IS NEVER OUT OF FASHION. Since 1870, Schonbek chandeliers have brought life to light. A heritage of premium quality and timeless style ensures that every original Schonbek chandelier will be a cherished object today, and for generations to come. RENAISSANCE and other illuminating designs available for viewing at the showrooms below and Schonbek® is a member of the Swarovski Company.

The Light House Lighting Center 1001 E. Expressway 83 Pharr, Texas 78577 (956)702-3300

1002 S. Loop 499 Harlingen, Texas 78550 (956)423-6664

414 Queen Isabella Port Isabel, Texas 78578 (956)943-9316

Clearance Center 211 Nolana McAllen, Texas 78504 (956)631-1156

luxury homes

Home is Where the Heart is A good old fashioned love story, a couple’s enduring relationship and a Brownsville home built by love. WRITTEN BY: Sandra Reyes

Special thanks to the owners for allowing us a glimp of their fabulous home, and for sharing their heart felt story with us all.

From inception to completion. Sunrise Builders of Brownsville really shined with this stunning ultra modern home. pg 16. JC Ortiz - General Contractor Roberto Rodriguez- Design Cynthia Clayborn - Interior Decorator


his is a love story. A love story about two people and a house. But more than just a house, it is the embodiment of two spirits, one warm, vivacious, outgoing, and exuberant. The other, conservative, intelligent, refined. It is the story a young couple and the home that love built.

The Light House Lighting Center provided the Schonbek Crystal Globe, foyer LED accents, decorative wall sconces, and all the formal lighting throughout. pg 17. Glassica of mission crafted and installed the one of a kind etched glass front door framed in chrome. They also constructed the tempered etched glass sconces to mimic the door design. pg 27. Customized headboards match the trim tones that give the bedroom pallet cohesion. Juan Carlos Ibarra of Kasa Interiors pg 16.

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When Mrs. X was 15 years old, she had been granted the State of Texas’s symbol of freedom for all teenagers, her driver’s license. She had been cruising around Brownsville, discovering new neighborhoods, learning new routes about town, and building her knowledge of the streets and roadways. As she was meandering through, she managed to accidentally go off course. She was lost on a small street that ended with a cul-de-sac. But she didn’t panic, because at the end of this particular cul-de-sac, was a beautiful home. It enchanted her so much; she began to daydream about someday owning a home like that. The backyard rested on the edge of a Resaca, birds were singing, flowers were blooming, and the mature trees shaded her from the heat of the sun. She spent more than just a few moments admiring that house,

thinking about her future; until it dawned on her she better get back home. Instinct took over, and in a short series of lefts and rights, she was back on course, the shaded Resaca house at the end of the cul-de-sac was nothing but a distant memory. Mrs. X had a boyfriend in high school. Mr. Y wasn’t just her boyfriend; he was her best friend. There was no doubt they were in love, but it was much deeper than that. It was a relationship built on friendship, shared interests, mutual respect. From the first moment they spent together, they knew they would never be separated. It did not surprise anyone that in a few years they would marry. Life was a struggle, as it is for most young couples. Mr. Y had dreams of becoming a Dr. someday. There was much costly schooling to be had. Mrs. X had to learn quickly how to manage children, busy schedules, and budgeting. She learned to squeeze every penny out of a dollar. With teamwork, trust, and a strong faith in God, the young couple began to thrive. Success befriended them.


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The Entrance is striking. Taking every effort to make the best first impression, visitors approach a 20-foot tall, etched glass door with brilliant chrome molding. They embarked on a new chapter in their life together. They were going to buy their first home. With all the savings they had, they began the arduous process of becoming first time homeowners. They found many homes they could afford, but didn’t find one they loved. One day, the owner of a house for sale came into the young doctor’s office. She asked Mrs. X and Dr. Y how much money they had. The couple did not have enough to buy her house, but the lady was so impressed with Mrs. X and Dr. Y, that she sold the house to them anyway. Mrs. X was so happy, Dr. Y was so proud. They were owners now, and they loved their new home. Their family grew as the children came. Dr. Y was very busy in his practice. Mrs. X not only managed the home and raised her children; she was the office manager for Dr. Y. The two remained together in work, together in love, together in spirit. They made it a point to stop everyday, the craziness of life, and if for just an hour, to retreat back to their home and have a quiet lunch together. Success enveloped them. One day Dr. Y asked his beautiful wife if she was ready to build her dream home. He knew she had for years been collecting photos and pictures of homes from the pages of design magazines. She had photos of bathrooms, kitchens, furniture, flooring, and lighting, everything under the sun that could be put under a roof. Her photo collection was impressive. Mrs. X always kept these ideas in the forefront of her thoughts, harmonizing architectural and design elements into the perfect combination if she ever had the chance to build her own home. Now her moment had arrived.

The sinewy light tipped chandelier was purchased at The Light House Lighting Center. pg 17. Lunch with a view. This cozy nook contains a lazy suzan tabletop thats perfect for passing the parmesan cheese. Entire set from NIU Urban Living. pg 11.

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Mrs. X loved light. And space. And sleek design. Dr. Y loved sophisticated technology, perfect symmetry, and elegance. The house was to be of modern styling. Mrs. X planned for a glamorous spin on the functional workings of a home, Dr. Y injected a refined palette. The house began to take on both of their strong personalities, modeling the best characteristics from each partner into a balanced structural marvel. From

its very inception, this house was going to have every comfort imaginable, all cloaked in effortless elegance and incomparable quality. An architect, a builder, and an interior designer were assembled to complete the team, Dr. Y and Mrs. X would remain the leaders, making sure every detail of their vision was realized. The Entrance is striking. Taking every effort to make the best first impression, visitors approach a 20-foot tall, etched glass door with brilliant chrome molding. Just inside the threshold, there is an enormous crystal chandelier. A colossal ball of crystals, equipped with LED lights, hangs from a recessed circular dome, far above your head. Your feet glide across Italian Calacatta gold marble flooring. Everything is white. Just ahead is an Ivory baby grand piano, autographed by Raul DeBlasio, the famous pianist. There are brilliant splashes of color, emanating from glass sculptures from renowned artist Haziza. The Kitchen is the heart of the home. Built with high ceilings, it opens freely to the den. The appliances keep good company with each other, bearing well-known names such as Bosch, Subzero, Kohler, Wolf, Thermador and Miele. Granite flows like a river across countertops. The two kitchen islands serve different functions, one is used mainly for cooking, the other has a bar area. The breakfast nook has wide windows overlooking the infinity pool and backyard. The nook is the place where Mrs. X and Dr. Y eat lunch together, everyday, still. Gracefully, the kitchen leads into the family living room. It is a magnificent space, filled with natural light spilling in from the floor to ceiling windows. The soaring ceiling reaches 30 feet. The room is stark white save a shockingly red modern sectional sofa. The color of the sofa is visually linked to a series of modern paintings, depicting portraits of the family. For a beloved son that has passed, his portrait hangs in the second story balcony, highest from the floor, and closest to heaven. The artist that painted the portraits used many colors of red in the paintings, giving some ground to the towering walls.


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Romance permeates the Master Bedroom. The plush carpet is inlaid into the marble floor, creating an elegant border. There are French doors, which lead directly out to the infinity pool. There is a sitting area below an architectural beveled ceiling with beautiful views of the backyard and Resaca; it is lit with yet another of the dozens of Swarovski crystal chandeliers that are scattered throughout the house. The headboard to their kingsize bed was custom made along with the bedding. A built in fireplace along with a built-in mini bar make the master bedroom a retreat into tranquility.

Kasa Interiors flawlessly upholstered these twin half moon settees. pg 16.

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Their Master Bath is his and hers. The floor is made of Bizzazza Italian glass tile, as is the walls surrounding the Jacuzzi and commode areas. The commode itself has a heated seat, automatic flushing system, and a lit bowl. There is a pair of televisions, each installed over the two separate vanity areas. The shower is equipped with 5 body jets and a built in speaker system. Both areas

(commode and shower) are fully glass enclosed. The Jacuzzi window has a remote control solar window shade for privacy, and the crystal geometrix pendant light hovering above the huge tub provides ambience. Mrs. X and Dr. Y love to entertain, and just for this purpose, they planned for a state-of-the-art game room. There you’ll find two custom poker tables, one rectangular with a 10 player capacity, and a second smaller circular poker table able to seat 6. There are a total of three televisions in the game room. In addition to the 50-inch model, the two 27-inch overhead televisions are located on opposite ends of the room. Big games can be easily seen from any seat. There are French doors here also, but instead of leading to the pool, these allow access into the game room directly from the front of the house. Other areas of the home include four additional bedrooms, a gymnasium, laundry, maid’s room,

dining room, office, and a freestanding guesthouse completely detached from the main house. The couple thought that visiting guests would feel more comfortable being able to have a place they can temporarily call their own. But what may make this house so extraordinary isn’t what is found inside the house at all. The property encompasses nearly 3 full acres, and has 600 feet of water frontage on a breathtaking Resaca. The mature trees, groomed landscaping, flowers, and wildlife have park-like appeal. One of the simplest favorite pastimes of Mrs. X and Dr. Y has always been holding hands and taking long walks together, so they built in a winding sidewalk along the entire waterfront and around the back of the property. In the evenings, when the sun is setting, the couple still loves to take their walks. They hold hands. They love each other. And as they are walking along, they begin to reminisce about their younger days. The days before success came along. They tell stories of times when they were young and struggling. And Mrs. X recants the tale of when she was a 15-year-old girl, and she was lost in Brownsville, and she came upon a beautiful house at the end of a cul-de-sac. She smiles at Dr. Y as

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her gold buttons on her St. John pantsuit catch a little of a ray from the setting sun. Dr. M looks at his beautiful wife. She tells him she loves him. And although the original house on the property is no longer there, replaced by a beautiful new house; Mrs. X thanks her husband, she thanks him for the same thing she has thanked him a thousand times over, for so long ago, when they were first starting out, Dr. Y bought her that particular house at the end of that particular cul-de-sac. And success retires in peace and love for the night.

RIGHT: This original design glass bowl, counter, and pedistal in the guest bath was manufactued and assembled by Glassica pg 27.

We just don’t make beautiful counter tops, we have the expertise and experience to help you select between a variety of surfaces, such as quartz, granite, and marble. Our knowledge comes from more than 9 years in business and almost 4,000 completed projects. We can answer any questions you have regarding the pros and cons of every material and its application. “Don’t place your project in just any hands, go to the professionals at Rio Stone.”

2520 BEECH AVE MCALLEN, TEXAS (956) 631 3332

whole home systems integration: lights, climate, drapes & shades control We install: home theaters | full home audio and video | conference rooms | smart class rooms | intercom systems | structured wiring

(956) 627 0726

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new products



s more and more intelligent devices enter our homes, it seems complicated to make the best use of all of them. A typical home has many systems. These can include whole house music, intercom, distributed video, networking security, lighting control, heating and cooling systems, cameras, pool, gate control, etc. A home automation system ties all of them together so that you can interface with them from one point of contact. This will allow you to enjoy and control them in a simple and efficient manner. Think of home automation as an operating system for your home. The possibilities become near endless when you control your home from a single interface, such as a wireless touch panels, wall mounted keypads, iPads, iPod Touch or your smart phone. Imagine getting home and with the press of one button, turning on the lights from your garage to your kitchen, setting the temperature for your home, and turning on music from your personal playlist. You can also set a personalized wakeup scene for every member of the family. Set the temperature in your room automatically 15 minutes before its time to wakeup.


Have the lights in your room turn on gradually from 0 to 100% over the span of 10 minutes. Finally to ensure you wake up have the TV turn on to your favorite channel at just the right time. Another popular aspect of home automation is the multitude of information that it provides to the homeowner. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you remembered to set your alarm, lock your doors, or turn off your lights. You will be able to access your home remotely and securely. See what lights are on, which doors are locked, the temperature of your home and the state of you alarm. Do you have family arriving to your home while you are at work? No worries. Quickly login and disarm your alarm and unlock your front door to let them in. Want to check on the babysitter while you are away at dinner? Check your security cameras. With custom programming, you can automate all kinds of things to make your life simpler and make your home a safer place.

Home Entertainment of Mcallen are authorized dealers and certified installers of Control 4. To take control of your home see opposite page.

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Lo mas el eg ante y mo de r nista e n e sc a le ra s y ba lc one s de c rysta l 807 W. Price Rd. #6 Brownsville, TX (956) 546-8400

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find us on facebook


fine art GABY RICO

(956) 207 0932 This seahorse portrait has a story to tell, starting from the sweet, charming and innocent personality this little animal owns. They always playing weak roles in the mysterious deep seas, by being the slowest fish and unable to defend themselves, making them easy prey for many predators. But in this scene, there’s a dragon image hiding underneath the seahorse, trying to make up for what is not seen with the eye, giving him all the strength of a dragon so he can feel free to enjoy the richness of their environment and survive against such deep dangers, regardless of appearances.  Identify yourself and get represented by your own qualities and inspirations through  my dreamy brush. “The Dragon Beneath A Seahorse” (36x48x1.5 inch) Tech. Mix. / Canvas


(956) 943 1785 Larry Haines is an avid fisherman and he creates original paintings in oil, pastel, and watercolor. He owns The Shop, a business that sells supplies to fly fishermen. He maintains an art studio at his shop and his home. Haines studied art for three years at the University of Houston and studied individually with Bob Wygant, an oil-field and western painter, and National Geographic photographer, Marcelo Krause. He has created illustrations for many magazines, including Field and Stream, Florida Sportsman, Marlin, Sports Fishing, and Texas Game and Fish. Although Haines’ original artwork garners high prices, he sells Gicleé prints on watercolor paper or canvas for a very reasonable price through his shop and on his website (


(956) 560 4186 The colors of the soul. “I have found in me the beauty of a nocturnal dream, the sensuality of a rainy day, the letters of a sweet poem and the smile of an innocent child…I have seen my image reflected on the painted canvas; a fantasy, an inner adventure, where love and nostalgia come together. I have found the color of my soul…my other me.” My paintings are a combination of mixed media technique using a combination of drawing, acrylic, pastels and charcoal. Sometimes during the process the subject just explodes and takes on a life of its own. My inspiration arises from the release of a dream, everyday reality, or lines in a poem. The subject of my paintings is usually the human form, sometimes figurative, but they always appear from abstraction.

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gallery guide


(956) 639 2785 Carol Plumb brings a fresh perspective and a quiet intensity to her paintings of the often overlooked area of coastal South Texas.  She finds beauty in the vast expanse of the land, sea and sky scapes of South Padre Island, Laguna Madre, Bahia Grande and Mesquital, MX.     “Bahia Grande Evening”,( 4’X5’, oil painting on linen), encompasses the pink and grey palette of the coastal region.  Looking west while driving on Hwy 48 to Brownsville, one sees the shallow brackish water reflecting the beginning of a soft twilight.  Capturing local vistas at unusual times of day, Plumb transports viewers to serene peaceful landscapes and teaches us to see the beauty around us.


(956) 686 0632 S. Klein Galleries opened its doors at 521 N. Main St. in Mcallen 28 years ago, offering a full range of framing supplies. Mr. Klein’s 50 plus years of experience and his background as a trained artist, give him the expertise to provide a superior service, ensuring that you receive a beautifully crafted product. Sylvia and Stuart frame original artwork, posters, prints, diplomas, quinceañera photos, and anything else that requires framing. They also stretch canvases and sell note and greeting cards, prints and posters. Personalized service is their trademark, and anyone who walks through their doors can be sure that their framed product meets their requirements and their expectations.


(956) 423 8282 At House of Frames, we are your first stop when looking for Texas landscapes and sporting art! We are here to serve you and frame your hunting and fishing art!  Peggy Allen, owner and staff, Margaret, Julianna, Alice and Reed have the experience needed fore today’s conservation framing.  We specialize in one of a kind, individualized pieces that accent your decor and bring out the best in your art.  We can handle any project, no matter how big or small--from tiny object box framing to floor-to-ceiling canvases, and everything in between!  Come see us with your fabric art or antique photographs--you are certain to be pleased!


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SUPERIOR 3801 W. BUS. HWY 83 MCALLEN, TX TEL: (956) 661-1313

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fabulous spaces public places

BOOKMARK this space

This adaptive re-use of an old abandoned Wal-Mart to the new McAllen Public Library is seen as a sustainable environmental solution in land conservation and the reduction of the urban sprawl. WRITTEN BY: JOHN GATES AIA


elieve it or not, the new McAllen Public Library is the largest one-story library in the country. The 123,000 square foot community oriented facility is located at the corners of Nolana and 23rd street in McAllen, Texas.

It is also an adaptive reuse of an old abandoned Walmart. Adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl. It is seen as a sustainable environmental solution because it reduces the amount of energy required to completely demolish an existing space and create a new one. It also decreases the amount of rubble destined for the city dump. In her book Big Box Reuse, author Julia Christensen states, “America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box “supercenter” down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can’t be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway exits lead to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these sites have become a dominant feature of the American landscape.” The City of McAllen was one of several cities across America faced with this issue. However, the City of McAllen was determined to do something about it. For the most part, Christensen is correct, but the area can be reclaimed and changed to the extent that one may not recognize the building as a former big box store. This was the


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challenge. The McAllen City Commission was clear: “the new library should not look like it was a Walmart!” Several exterior features were altered and new ones added in an attempt to erase the Walmart image. The exterior design near the main entry features a large 100-foot canopy that extends to the parking lot. It serves as a covered area for vehicles picking up and dropping off library visitors. Two large concrete walls support the end of the canopy. One of the walls is a water feature. It partially submerged in a sizeable pool. Water cascades into the pool through a large circular opening in the wall. The water-wall was designed to pump over 2000 gallons per minute in an effort to mask traffic sounds coming from the busy nearby intersection and to cool the area around the canopy on hot days. A 42-foot tall glass storefront “light tower” stands alongside the canopy. At night its colorful lights beckon everyone to come enjoy the library. The garden area around the driveway canopy has been heavily landscaped with trees, berms and grasses. They have been arranged to establish several small, intimate spaces for patrons to relax in. Located at the east end of the mall there is a paver area straddled between two bubbling limestone fountains that will be used for outdoor performances by theater groups or bands. South of the building is a walking trail that circles a landscaped detention pond appropriately named “Dewey Park” after the system used to categorize books in libraries. Learning nodes have been set up along the trail to provide detailed information about the Dewey Decimal System. The new library possesses several environmentally friendly features. One of these is the exterior LED lighting (light emitting diode) system that illuminates the exterior signature tower. These lights consume significantly less energy than conventional incandescent and fluorescent lighting while providing an added dimension of changing colors. A software program produces spectacular color shows outside

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at night that can be coordinated to music. Another environmentally friendly design feature is the addition of several exterior windows and skylights that add daylight to the interior spaces. The interior artificial lighting is sensor controlled and dimmed automatically to adjust to the available infiltrated daylight through the windows and skylights. When an ample amount of natural lighting is present, there is a reduction in energy consumption. The mechanical system is another environmentally friendly feature. It is about 70% more efficient than the original Walmart mechanical system. It has a chilled water system that reduces the amount of humidity inside the building, which can be damaging to books. Another sustainable feature of the mechanical system is its ability to recycle condensate water back into the chilled water system. Throughout the interior and exterior, a design theme of “growth” has been presented. The growth referred to is the figurative mental and personal growth that one experiences from reading. A wall in the children’s outdoor area has nautilus shaped patterns that depict natural growth according to the golden section. Three custom tile mosaics of local flowers and wildlife on the wall reinforce the growth concept. Natural wood is used on the ceiling in the lobby and throughout the entire building. The wood has small circles with images of mesquite branches. In addition, portions of the wood ceiling are dramatically backlit from above by new skylights. In keeping with the philosophy that libraries are about more than just books, a large percentage of the new library was designed with community events in mind. The largest community space is the 6,000 square foot computer lab near the entry lobby. Designed to operate 24 hours a day, it currently contains 60 computers with the capacity to increase to 150 computers. Another large space accessed from the lobby and main gallery is an auditorium with 180 stadium style seats and stage for small theatrical performances, speeches or video presentations. Adjacent to the auditorium, there is a large dividable

Throughout the interior and exterior, a design theme of “growth” has been presented. The growth referred to is the figurative mental and personal growth that one experiences from reading. multipurpose meeting room that can be used by large groups or divided for smaller gatherings. In addition, there are two smaller individual conference rooms that are accessed from the main gallery space. All of the community spaces are available for rent and are available even when the library is closed for normal operations. A bistro cafe is conveniently located adjacent to the main entry offering patrons the opportunity to purchase a snack or beverage before an event or entering the library. The new library has an enormous children’s area dedicated just for them. It is decorated with bright and vibrant colors to attract and maintain their attention. Children can enter the space through one of several differently scaled openings in the wall reinforcing the growth design concept. Once inside, there is a giant open space filled with computers, book stacks and reading spaces. Along the east wall is a large secure outdoor garden space for events. It too is heavily landscaped with benches and seating areas for storytelling or reading. There are individual study rooms as well as a separate program area at the south end of the building that can be used for book readings or puppet shows. A state of the art automated book conveyor and sorting system is showcased behind a very large glass window. This allows the children to watch the books travel on the mechanical conveyer from the book-drop at the north end of the building to where they are automatically sorted into their respective bins for reshelving. Teenagers also have a dedicated area. The space was designed with the help of the city’s Teen Advisory Council to make it “their” space. This group of teens was active in the programming of what needed to be included to make the space successful and inviting for their peer group. This visually dynamic space is divided into two distinct areas by a horseshoe-shaped circulation desk. There is a social side and an academic side. The social side has a small stage, TVs for video games, shag carpet, and plenty of uniquely designed living room type seating for informal social interaction.


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The academic side consists of several rows of book stacks, tables for studying and computers. In the short time since moving into their new location, membership and lending transactions have skyrocketed. Additional staff was required to deal with increased demand. With its new modifications and adaptations, the old Walmart image has been successfully erased and an old vacant Big Box shell left behind has been transformed into a thriving, revitalized library. The new McAllen Public Library is a colorful, dynamic, interactive space that is a community-oriented destination that begs to be experienced by all ages.

Design Team: Architects: Boultinghouse Simpson Architects - McAllen, Texas Robert Simpson AIA and John Gates AIA Library Consultant and Interiors: Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle - Minneapolis, Minnesota Jack Poling AIA Landscape Architect: Terra Design Group Structural Engineering: Bill Reiffert, P.E. Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering: ACR Engineering Civil Engineer: Perez Consulting Engineers Audio Visual: BAi Construction: General Contractor: Barcom Construction

Premier Granitepg 45.

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decorating with


CHILD’S PLAY Creating a stylish room for your child & still meeting their developmental needs isn’t always child’s play. WRITTEN BY: LINDA LEWIS

Girls Twin Poster Bed Casual girls lifestyle group created to offer a feminine style with lots of options and unique storage bed configurations. The soft curved shapes and floral hand carved motif give a lasting appeal for all young ladies. Direct Buy pg 46.

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ow do you create a stylish room for your child and still meet their developmental requirements? The same design elements required to design adult spaces are also applicable to designing children’s rooms. However, an important point to keep in mind is that adult needs are relatively fixed, while a child’s needs change dramatically within a relatively short span of time. Safety First

Swarovski Crystals were used to accentuate the murals and castle walls. Nora was the original designer who provided all the specialty pieces and hand sketched the artwork throughout the room. Nora Designs pg 47.

Child safety is an extremely important aspect of designing for children. In recent years, child safety proofing has become a growth industry. You can hire experts to inspect your home and remove any possible danger before the baby arrives. Even if you hire a professional to install safety proofing devices, it would be a good idea for you to look at your household from a baby’s-eye view. Drop to your hands and knees and look carefully to ascertain all the tantalizing temptations and resulting dangers. Is there anything that can be pulled down, knocked over, climbed upon, climbed into, opened, or placed inside the mouth? Your safety expert can provide the solutions, or you can purchase products from your local retailer.

Items such as safety latches and locks, safety gates, door knob covers and door locks, anti-scale devices, smoke alarms, window guards and safety netting, corner and edge bumpers, outlet covers and outlet plates, carbon monoxide alarms, window blind protection, furniture and appliance anchors, pool and spa barriers will help to protect your child. Your child’s health is an aspect of child safety that has emerged in the past forty years. The specter of lead poisoning has been reduced dramatically, but the list of chemicals that can have a negative impact on your child’s health is steadily increasing. You can protect your child by educating yourself and then reducing exposure to dangerous chemicals found in furniture, textiles, toys and dishes/bottles. There are a number of companies that specialize in safe/green products. Once you have armed yourself with this important information you can tackle the challenge of creating safe, healthy, and fabulous rooms for your kids. Indulge Your Fantasies Designing a room for the first few years of a child’s life could be all about what your preferences are. This is the time to indulge your own flights of fancy.


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If you want to walk into a room that looks like it was transported directly from the Versailles Palace or from the interior of a pirate ship, it is completely your choice.

Helle’s has every wall covering print your child can imagine, and drapes with every print and pattern Walt Disney can produce. pg 52.

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If you want to walk into a room that looks like it was transported directly from the Versailles Palace or from the interior of a pirate ship, it is completely your choice. Of course, you will have to operate within the functional parameters set by the needs of your child. Think soft for the first two years. Besides a safe and comfy crib, you’ll need a rocking chair. You could opt for an old-fashioned wood rocking chair, but a comfy upholstered rocker/glider is a more luxurious option. They are available in modern, contemporary, traditional and transitional designs in a variety of fabric designs. You’ll need a table next to the chair to place items while you are rocking the night away. Make sure it is the same height as the arm of the chair. Toddlers pull themselves up and later climb on furniture, so make sure it is sturdy and won’t tip over. You’ll spend a lot of hours on the ground with baby, so make sure you have soft carpeting and/or a plush area rug to spend those hours in comfort. I’ll never forget my first encounter with my grandchild, who was just beginning to walk at the time. My husband and I picked him up and took

him to a park. I had brought along a blanket and a pillow for him. I will never forget his delight and utter joy as he cooed the word “pillow” while collapsing onto it. Be sure to include a number of pillows in your room. They are great for climbing and jumping on and piling up to create hiding and look-out spaces. Instead of a toy box, consider having low shelving with cubbies to place interesting toys for your child to view and touch. This helps to develop hand/eye coordination. Reduce the number of display items to avoid confusing clutter. Your child will learn organizational skills better if there is a place for everything--so that everything can be put back in its place. There comes a time in every toddler’s life when they want to feed, drink and dress themselves. My son was a toddler before the days of Zippy Cups. One day, in a restaurant, we were struggling for dominance over a full glass of ice water. My hand slipped and the shockingly cold ice water poured out on his head. Even though it stunned him, it never diminished his desire to hold the glass himself. There are many products today that will help you facilitate their quest for independence by making it easy for them to do it successfully. Place closet rods and clothing hooks so your child can reach them. Hang a mirror at eye level so they can see to comb their own hair. Once they are walking, a child-sized table and chair makes it easy for them to work on projects. I found an interesting green product online that is a convertible chair/table made from wood that is sealed with an environmentally friendly finish. Hang a bulletin board for them to hang up their art projects, and family pictures. These are simple additions to any themed room. Once your child’s personal preferences begin to emerge, it may be time to give up your decorating preferences and alter the room to reflect the interests of your child. Children thrive in environments that allow them to manipulate objects creatively. To facilitate this creativity, include objects and props that they can manipulate, move and construct. For example, include a stage in the room, with a variety of materials and tools, so they can create their own stage sets and costumes. Many designers advise against creating highly thematized rooms, because kids outgrow them too quickly. They suggest that the key to designing kids’ rooms is to keep all the elements flexible. For example, the core furniture pieces should be in a transitional style and design that would be appropriate for an infant or a teen.

Cribs that convert to toddler beds are readily available in major retail outlets, but there are a few companies that specialize in creating customized cribs that convert to a toddler bed, a daybed and then a full size bed (with the purchase of conversion rails). It is important to change out chairs and tables to accommodate your child’s growth. One suggestion is to keep the furniture and walls neutral and to use textiles and accessories to establish the theme. Use adult wallpapers and fabrics rather than children’s patterns to create a sophisticated design. If designing for an older child, one designer advises to just install the basics and let the kids theme the room with toys and posters. With a few simple ideas, you can create a flexible design for your kid’s room with the perfect balance of practicality and creativity to serve them for years to come.


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Built By: Ancer Construction


956.581.1109 | 956.994.8550 | 956.464.5152 MISSION



“Like what you see” Walls by Emser (Honed and polished travertine in ‘Silver’), provide a strong backdrop for intense pops of color throughout this shower. The accent glass in the niches and on the ceiling is American Olean Legacy Glass in ‘Ocean Blend’. Natural stone in ‘Mocha’ frames out the shower system and deco of Legacy Glass in ‘Powder Blue’ and ‘Wedgewood’. The unique ‘Azul Boquira’ marble is complimented by two natural stone drop-in sinks that allow the marble’s deep blue color to take center stage, while the continuation of the brick jointed glass as a backsplash ties everything together. To provide a softer transition into the surrounding area, the floor coverings (also Emser products) are a less intrusive mocha and Tumbled Ancient travertine in ‘Beige’. The entire shower sits above a Schluter Waterproofing System and is bonded by Trucolor Premixed Grout by Bostik, both of which will ensure that this beauty stands the test of time!

Tile | Saltillo | Linoleum | Carpet | Laminate | Hardwood | Glass Tile | Travertine | Travertine Borders | Slate | Marble | Onyx | Granite | Quartz | Butcher Block | Sinks 36293 ST. HWY. 100, LOS FRESNOS, TEXAS 78566 | TEL: (956) 233 8690

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1200 W. HWY. 100, STE.3-UNiT 117 PORT iSLAbEL | TEL: (956) 943 1185 FAX: (956) 943 1186

Sometimes a small hand sample of the product doesn’t deliver the true visual effect you need to see to make a decision. Allow me to bring my full size samples into your home, and experience the true effect our products have to offer. We will show you what blinds are best suited for your windows.Call now to set a FREE p color & product consultation.


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indoor outdoor living


WORLD Discover a world of striking water features and how they can make a great focal point for the front or backyard of any home. Written By: Linda Lewis

A custom designed and installed natural mossy boulder waterfall provided by Southern Stone pg 59. engages the senses as the water dances from valley to cliff. Tucked away amidst the boulders is 7’ spa with plenty of jets to soothe your pains away with hot water therapy as drops of cool water from the waterfall keep you alert. The pool was designed to seem as though the pool was built around the waterfall. Notice the waterfall is partially submerged providing the purest of natural experiences. Hamlin Pools pg 59.


onsider embellishing your home with a striking water feature. Create a focal point for the front of your home or include one in your backyard garden. You can derive your inspiration from the classical fountains of Europe or today’s contemporary styles. Water is the element for which fountains are built, so take a short tour with me and discover when the first fountains were developed and then take a look at the latest fountain designs. Can any man-made fountain or waterfall rival the awesome power of Niagara Falls and Old Faithful in the U.S. or Angel Falls in Venezuela? We have certainly tried our best. The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy and the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, Nevada come to mind. They may not rival the magnificence of nature, but each hold their own unique fascination for us. In trying to the mimic the grandeur of nature, Trevi Fountain designer Nicola Salvi utilized scale. The fountain is part of the facade of the Poli Palace. There are three niches on the face of the building. In the center columned niche, the Greek God Oceanus stands on a clam shell chariot. The chariot, horses, male figures, and boulders spill out from


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The concept of the water tower was developed around the 17th century, but methods of getting the water to the tower were inefficient until the electric pump was invented. Even today, pressurized water is delivered to our homes from water towers.

this central focal point. Water emerges from an opening at the base of the shell and cascades over three small basins into a large basin. The square the sculpture is enveloped within is almost completely taken up by the fountain. Because this large fountain is squeezed into such a small space, it seems very imposing when you first encounter it.

aesthetic, honorific or religious purposes. Tributes and offerings were made to honor or appease the Gods of water. Many a fountain has been clogged up by coins or other artifacts. For this reason, drinking water was separated from public fountains for health reasons. Today, potable water is reserved for drinking fountains.

The Bellagio Fountain is grand in scale also, but only when animated. Four hundred and sixty foot columns of water shoot up into the air, creating massive patterned curtains of water. Lights and music complete a spectacular display that delights spectators. Much like the Trevi, this takes place in front of the imposing multi-storied Bellagio Hotel, in an nine acre lake. I would venture to say that many people might be as impressed by this display as they would be by Niagara Falls.

Water was delivered to the Trevi Fountain through a system of aqueducts. The force of gravity delivered the water from sources in the hills around Rome. The higher the level of the source of water, the higher the water will shoot upwards out of a vertical pipe in a fountain spout. In order to achieve a more dramatic delivery of water in the Trevi Fountain, the water basins were built below ground level. This was the only method of water delivery up until the 20th century.

Driven by necessity, humans developed ingenious methods to direct the flow of water to towns. Initially, the fountains were purely functional, but eventually decorative elements were added for

The concept of the water tower was developed around the 17th century, but methods of getting the water to the tower were inefficient until the electric pump was invented. Even today, pressurized water is

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The patio stone “Southern Hickory” is available in an array of thickness to accommodate multiple applications. This material is also available in “slabs,” which can be up to 5’ x 7’ in size. Boulders can be small as cantaloupes all the way up to small cars! Round or flat, nature gives us a lot of options. Southern Stone pg 59.

delivered to our homes from water towers. For each foot that water is raised, 0.43 pounds per square inch of pressure are added. The higher the tower the more “amplitude” you can achieve in a water jet. The Bellagio Fountain represents the current state of the art in decorative fountains. It has no purpose other than entertainment. The fountain is formed as a pair of large concentric rings and a long, curved arc, and two smaller circles are attached to the arc near each end. Nozzles attached to the framework shoot water vertically as columns and curtains of water. The jets can be timed to look like high-speed chase sequences. The Oarsman nozzle, a robotic water jet that can be moved 120 degrees from side to side, and front to back, provide a rhythmic fluidity. They are grouped with a pod of lights that follow the water stream. Each Oarsman’s direction, water height, and light are controlled independently, making a nearly infinite variety of patterns possible. Underwater lights follow the movements

ABOVE: Water, natural stone, native plants, and gurgling fountains make what use to be a blank pallet a beautiful relaxing focal point to these McAllen backyards. Innovative Environments pg66


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by Wendell Berry I was born in a drouth year. That summer my mother waited in the house, enclosed in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind, for the men to come back in the evenings, bringing water from a distant spring. Veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank. And all my life I have dreaded the return of that year, sure that it still is somewhere, like a dead enemys soul. Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me, and I am the faithful husband of the rain, I love the water of wells and springs and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns. I am a dry man whose thirst is praise of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup. My sweetness is to wake in the night after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.

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of the water and a fog generating device adds additional effects. A team of dive-certified engineers are on-site at all times, maintaining the fountain’s complex mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems. Water has the power to sustain life and to take life in a matter of minutes. For these reasons, it is intricately woven into our cultural narratives. In Greek mythology there were four floods, two of which destroyed the land humans resided upon. The story of the Fountain of Youth has been told throughout the ages, and a more recent version is that Ponce de León traveled to Florida in search of it. It is the magical life giving properties of water that we are most attracted to. Water is also believed to have healing properties for the body and mind. We are exhorted by health professionals to imbibe a healthy amount of water each day to be physically well. Water can help us maintain our emotional health. Some believe that we are connected to water on a primal level, because our lives began in fluid. Some may say it reconnects us to our positive experiences with water, thus creating a state of calm and relaxation. Most of us probably don’t take the health benefits of water as seriously as we do its entertainment properties. Even as toddlers, we

spent a lot of time playing in water. Once of the greatest joys of my childhood was to spend time at Lake Michigan and the smaller lakes around my home town. Today, I appreciate the buoyant quality of water because it makes exercising much easier and the water keeps me cool. A 5 p.m. session in the pool reinvigorates me for the rest of the day. I think it’s safe to say that we love water because we’ve all been affected by it positively. It is our deep connection to and love of water that compels us to pay homage to it in our buildings and homes. Water features of all sizes, styles and materials are available for us to enjoy. We can power them with solar, electric of gravitational energy. The possibilities are endless, because the technology is available to take our love of water to spectacular heights.

This 5 tiered water feature at the entrance to UT Brownsville is a hydraulic wonder. Special planning went into the design and size of each cascade basin that would allow water to spillover during operation, but not overflow the final tank when the system was off. The custom limestone coping and veneer provides the fountain with the means to blend with the landscape while maintaining its’ presence and a showcase piece of the Campus. Natural Stone material provided by Arte en Cantera, design and built by Hamlin Pools pg 59.


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sorteo tec

Un sorteo más y otra oportunidad de convertirse en millonario, otra oportunidad de ayudar a México por medio de la educación y como siempre Sorteo Tec ofrece más increíbles premios que invitan a soñar.


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El proyecto es contemporĂĄneo, sutil y sencillo de manera deliberada, de formas rectangulares, espacios abiertos, con alturas generosas y basta presencia de luz natural que ofrecen sus grandes ventanales y azoteas verdes, ubicadas en el segundo nivel las cuales brindan una sensaciĂłn de contacto con la naturaleza desde su interior

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al es el caso de los premios principales, tres bellos recintos que encantan con su diseño contemporáneo, funcional, de líneas sencillas y sofisticadas, los cuales gozan de amplios espacios e inmejorables ubicaciones y lo mejor… equipadas totalmente con la mejor tecnología y el más fino mobiliario, logrando una mezcla perfecta que nos obsequia tres espacios imponentes, con magia propia y encanto único. La residencia ubicada en San Pedro Garza García, nos muestra la sencillez de sus formas y espacio, como perfecto estuche de los elementos que componen su diseño interior contemporáneo. Contiene una propuesta de colores neutros, en su mayoría de monocromo blanco, crean una combinación que armoniza con la sencillez de su arquitectura, enmarcando el mobiliario, sobre los cuales se pueden observar accesorios de cristal y piezas geológicas y las obras de arte que forman parte importante de este maravillosa residencia. Una Casa especial en cada una de sus áreas y detalles con la que seguramente todos sueñan y uno será el afortunado o la afortunada, pero no es la única, la otra residencia, igualmente hermosa que también forma parte de esta impresionante bolsa de más de $92 millones, la Casa del Tec ubicada en Zapopán, Jalisco.

Y que mejor que escaparte a un paraíso terrenal, cada vez que se te antoje, un lugar donde el mar baña el ambiente y la arena pone el toque final a un escenario majestuoso como son nuestras playas mexicanas; todo esto será posible para el afortunado ganador o ganadora del 3er premio, que ahora tendrá la oportunidad de elegir el destino del sensacional departamento el hermoso puerto de Acapulco, Guerrero o en las enigmáticas playas de Cancún Quintana Roo, el cual además incluye un millón de Kilómetros Premier de Aeroméxico, con los que se puede recorrer la república entera, visitar increíbles destinos alrededor del mundo ó simplemente viajar una y otra vez a tu departamento en la playa. Además el ganador del increíble cuarto premio, podrá elegir entre una carrera completa en el Tecnológico de Monterrey o un certificado de $20 mil pesos por un periodo de 3 años. Como podemos ver, esto es solo una parte de todos los premios que nuevamente Sorteo Tec, después de 65 años, se afianza como el mejor sorteo en el país, por su prestigio, transparencia, ofreciendo las mayores oportunidades de ganar; además continúa con el firme objetivo de cumplir sueños y apoyar a miles de jóvenes en su formación académica. ¡Sorteos Tec, 65 años apoyando a la educación!

Una residencia que combina calidez y elegancia, ideal para el descanso y la convivencia, un recinto que se adapta a las necesidades de quien la habita y no de manera contraria, una amplia residencia, de espacios extensos y rebosado de áreas verdes, sin perder la calidez de un hogar.


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DESCRIPCION DEL PROYECTO ARQUITECTONICO El proyecto Arquitectónico de esta Residencia esta desarrollado en dos niveles, teniendo en la planta baja las áreas sociales y de servicio y en la planta alta se encuentran las recamaras y una estancia familiar adicional. Un terreno con una amplia distancia de fondo que nos permitió un gran jardín posterior y una alberca con dimensiones considerables, con un canal de nado, que permitirá a los habitantes poder ejercitarse, además de un área social exterior que invita al esparcimiento. El proyecto es contemporáneo, sutil y sencillo de manera deliberada, de formas rectangulares, espacios abiertos, con alturas generosas y basta presencia de luz natural que ofrecen sus grandes ventanales y azoteas verdes, ubicadas en el segundo nivel las cuales brindan una sensación de contacto con la naturaleza desde su interior. Los pisos juegan un papel preponderante, ya que son de mármol blanco, armonizando con los muros de un acabado platinado innovador, que sirve de lienzo para la gran variedad de obras de arte que se colocaron para decorarlos brindando protagonismo a los elementos decorativos , mobiliario y desde luego a sus futuros habitantes.

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El diseño de interiores es contemporáneo con una propuesta de colores neutros sobre bases metálicas, concebido de acuerdo con la funcionalidad de la arquitectura, se utilizaron colores vivos en los accesorios, así como piezas minerales que se encargan de acentuar la belleza de esta magnifica Residencia. Los muebles empotrados se basan en tendencias europeas contemporáneas, donde se destacan sus líneas limpias y sencillas, que expresan su personalidad atemporal, y los accesorios propuestos se apegan al concepto del lugar y aporta un notable valor estético. La iluminación esta propuesta a base de luminarias empotradas en la mayoría de las áreas tanto sociales como intimas a excepción de los candiles que son metálicos y los dos plafones luminosos de la sala. La búsqueda de ambientes con identidad propia y de espacios acogedores son prioridad en esta residencia. A la vez, una sutil pero equilibrada integración de los diferentes espacios de esta casa, resulta fundamental para poder disfrutarla en su totalidad.

Ole Decor Spring 2012  
Ole Decor Spring 2012  

Ole Decor Spring 2012 Issue