Page 1

all that


Northern New Mexico



brilliant comeback

inspiration ideas resources

living by design timeless Santa Fe renovation

organized home, organized life

VOL. 25 NO. 1 WINTER 2019


4 4

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Northern New Mexico

Amadeus Leitner

inspiration ideas resources



Living by Design

After designing and building beautiful woodworks, doors, cabinetry, and other home features for clients for years, Scott and Melissa Coleman of La Puerta Originals finally turned their creative eyes on their own home. Filled with Native American art, antique and reclaimed accents, and classic Southwest-style charm, this newly remodeled Santa Fe home fits its owners’ lifestyle perfectly.



Abandoned unfinished for years, a very contemporary home in an older Albuquerque neighborhood was an eyesore until Chris and Kathleen rescued and transformed it. Today it serves as a gallery for their carefully curated collections of modern and contemporary art and furniture, but it’s no museum. This uniquely appointed and incredibly livable residence is the definition of tasteful minimalism.

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Gurusurya Photography

56 Thoroughly Modern Minimalism


New Year







Chris Corrie

46 On the cover: Custom details, Native American art, and a familyfriendly design are the hallmarks of this recently renovated Santa Fe home. Read more on page 46. Photograph by Chris Corrie.


12 Inside Su Casa 14 Life+Style Southwest An outdoor living area with enviable views; home (and life!) organization tips from experts; winter-defying home products; Steve Thomas recalls the house that wouldn’t die.


24 Design Studio Gold makes a sparkling comeback; ShowHouse Santa Fe wows again.

64 Vida Buena The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge comes alive in winter; El Vado Motel, an Albuquerque icon, reopens after a lengthy renovation.

68 W hat’s Happening? Festivals, events, and performances happening around Northern New Mexico from January through March.

71 Su Cocina Challenging growing conditions are creating some of the best pinot noirs to come out of California; Diner en Blanc, Albuquerque’s chic, flash-mob picnic.

74 Su Libro 80 Adios From dark and dated to light and chic, a casita gets a stunning makeover.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Jessa Cast

How do you want to live in your home? Two new books discuss.




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Northern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC

The Perfect Fit

Publisher Bruce Adams

Managing Editor Amy Gross

Contribuing Editors

Whether you’re buying your dream home or building it, Waterstone Mortgage has the right loan for your needs. We are local, offer a wide variety of programs, and close on time. We have all the tools you need to achieve your dream.

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Jervon Perkins, Danielle Urbina Lisa J. Van Sickle

Contributors Catherine Adams Jessa Cast, Ben Ikenson James Selby, Tom Smylie Steve Thomas

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Su Casa Northern New Mexico (ISSN 1094-4562 & USPS # 2-3618) Volume 25, Number 1, Winter 2019. Su Casa Northern New Mexico is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December by Bella Media, LLC at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. © Copyright 2019 by Bella Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Basic annual subscription rate is $9.95, Canada & Mexico is $23.95, Other international countries is $27.95. U.S. single-copy price is $5.95. Back issues are $6.95 each. Periodicals postage paid at Albuquerque, NM, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Phone (818) 286-3162, Fax (800) 869-0040,,


Pho tog raphy : © Wendy McEahern | Architectural Design and Construction : Woods Design Builders | Furnishings : Violante and Rochford Interiors


CONSIS T E N T LY T H E BE S T Designing and building the finest homes in Santa Fe for over forty years. Proportions, indigenous materials, abundance of natural light, attention to detail and classic, timeless style define a Woods home. WO O DS D E S I G N B U I LD E R S 302 Catron Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501


H o m e Bu i l d e rs Asso c ia tio n o f C e nt r a l Ne w M e xic o Boa r d o f D ire c to rs

President: Mike Fietz First Vice President: Kevin Patton Immediate Past President: Scott Ashcraft Associate Vice President: Joe Rogillio Secretary/Treasurer: Brooke Nutting Associate-at-Large: Antionete Whittaker Education Committee, Chair: John Berg Home Builders Care, Chair: Doug Keaty Membership Committee, Chair: Rita Powers Parade Committee, Chair: Diana Lucero Production Builders Council, Chair: Mackenzie Bishop Remodelers Council, Chair: Tina Lambert Sales & Marketing Council, Chair: Jason Balthrop Builder at Large: Jenice Eades Advisory Members: Rick Bressan, Mike Skolnick Honorary Members: Bruce Adams, Dr. Susan Bogus Halter H o m e Bu i l d e rs Asso c ia tio n o f C e nt r a l Ne w M e xic o S ta f f

Executive Vice President: John Garcia Vice President of Operations: Lana Smiddle Communication & Membership Specialist: Bridgette Madrid Events & Education Specialist: Jill Krogman

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Inside Su Casa

cleaning house



Right: Dramatically renovated, Chris and Kathleen’s Albuquerque home is a gallery for their collection of modern and contemporary art, including Richard Serra’s Coltrane. Read all about this amazing residence on page 56. 12

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Amadeus Leitner

Bruce Adams


e consider this, the Winter issue of Su Casa Northern New Mexico, our remodeling issue, providing ideas and inspiration for the various renovation projects you might be considering. While some may dread inclement weather, many of us savor the opportunity to address things in our home such as the nagging needs we set aside throughout the year while we enjoyed New Mexico’s lovely weather. The winter weather tends to bring outdoor enthusiasts indoors, and our homes often benefit from our presence. It might start by eliminating the clutter that has built up in garages, home offices, and master bedrooms. When one’s house is clutter-free, as several of the contributors to this issue write, the creative mind can soar, free of mental distractions. With the clutter gone, you will likely enjoy your spaces more. As we see in this issue, many a remodeling project was started by clearing the distractions. The first step in planning a renovation is imagining what a room or a house needs to be for you and then formulating your ideas. Our two featured homes couldn’t be less alike in design, yet both went through transformations as their owners found clarity in what they were looking to achieve, and stayed true to their visions. One home is the definition of minimalism; the other is more traditional. Both are examples of lives and treasures wellcurated and free of clutter. Now—before spring and its distractions arrive—is the perfect time to begin the process of organizing your home and your life. It all starts by getting rid of what is not needed, or what does not bring you joy. Follow the many suggestions about clearing out clutter, and then imagine what your home could be for you and your family. With the help of talented craftspeople and professional designers like the ones you will meet in this issue, you will be on your way to a home that will make you proud and leave you satisfied.

Windows with a Greener Outlook.

Designed for a More Beautiful Future.

Design + Build: Diego Handcrafted Homes Location: Albuquerque, NM Photo: Mark William Photography

Jeff Burkley 81211 Gallatin Road, Ste. B Bozeman, MT 59715 Open by Appointment Office: 406.587.9129 Cell: 406.241.3428 Toll Free: 800.824.7744

With new Sierra Pacific Windows and Doors you not only improve the performance of your home, but you create a lifestyle of beauty, comfort and reliability that you will enjoy for years to come. All Sierra Pacific Windows and Doors carry the seal of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Our products are made from sustainably-grown wood and manufactured in America. Albuquerque (505) 797-7880


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Life+Style Southwest

Atop a hill on what is arguably one of the best vantage points in all of Placitas, George and Sharon Arthur enjoy spectacular views from their contemporary home, designed by architect Robert Zachry and built by Paul Kenderdine of PWKI LLC. “There are really two distinct spaces and views,” says Kenderdine, noting the radius point generated off the two main galleries of the house. One captures the Jemez Mountains and volcanic mesas; from the southwest-facing direction shown here, it’s twinkling city lights at dusk. The homeowners enjoy throwing open the huge sliding glass doors and breakfasting and entertaining beneath the cantilevered, structural steel awnings of their outdoor spaces. A curving adobe wall and deep red hues that echo the distant mesas help the home blend seamlessly and organically into its natural surroundings and beautiful, painted desert landscape. PWKI LLC,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Amadeus Leitner

a natural fit

Life+Style Southwest

by Amy Gross

housewarming take the chill out of winter with these innovative home products Grohe Euphoria 260 Showerhead

Courtesy Grohe

The only thing better than a steaming hot shower on a cold morning is a steaming hot shower with spray delivered via an extra large showerhead. At a generous 10 inches in diameter, the Grohe Euphoria 260 Showerhead provides a more luxurious shower experience. Simply pushing a button in the center of the showerhead face delivers three flexible showering zones: a powerful, concentrated jet spray; a relaxing and energizing SmartRain spray; and a broad rain spray for extra coverage. Available in a chrome or brushed nickel finish, the showerhead can be purchased individually or part of a shower system bundle, and may be the easiest and most cost-effective way to upgrade your daily dose of spa pampering. $93–$122, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery,

Courtesy Simplifire

Simplifire Electric Fireplace

Nothing warms a home like a roaring fire, but when a built-in fireplace just isn’t possible, this electric fireplace adds instant ambience. Available in 38" (shown here), 58", and even larger, the fireplace can be hung on a wall or table-mounted. Everything’s operated by remote control, so you can easily change up the flame height and color, as well as the fun LED backlighting color, depending on your mood or décor. But this fireplace isn’t just about looks; it comes with a 4,800 BTU heater that can be operated independently or in conjunction with the flames, for a genuine, cozy heat that warms the body as well as the spirit. $459 (38"), $1,049 (58"), Mountain West Sales,

VOLA Electric Towel Warmer


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Courtesy VOLA

Oh, that agonizing moment when you have to leave your hot, comforting shower. A toasty towel certainly makes it easier to turn off the faucet and take that next step, and this gorgeous modern towel warmer by VOLA is both a functional innovation and an artistic bath statement. A built-in unit behind a wall hides all of the technical pieces, making the bars, which are flexible in height and number, look like they’re floating. It’s available in metallic finishes like the brushed stainless shown here, as well as a range of bright enameled colors. The rack heats from 68–120 degrees Fahrenheit, and an auto shut-off feature kicks in after two hours—plenty of time to wrap yourself in a luxuriously warm towel until you’re ready to face the day. Starting at $4,000, Santa Fe By Design,

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Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

the house that wouldn’t die


am a rationalist, not a mystic, so when my friend Chip philosophized, “Houses find people; people don’t find houses,” I thought, yeah, right. Upon reflection, I realized that most of the houses I’ve owned and renovated have found me, so maybe there’s something to it. But the notion that “the house finds you and then insists that you renovate it?” Crazy talk. Yet, that’s what happened when we bought the Island House. Here’s the story. In 1998 we purchased a really crappy house on a really spectacular site on a sea island in Maine. Sounds dreamy, but the only way to get there from the mainland was in your own boat, which you had to land on the beach (or mudflats at low tide) and then lug all your stuff up the bluff to the house. By “stuff” I mean everything—food, wine, charcoal for the grill, air compressors, sliding compound miter saw, 2 x 4s. That first summer we built a dock, freshened up the inside of the 18

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

crappy house with a coat of paint, and set about contemplating the future. Small, poorly built, with no redeeming architectural or historic value, the house really needed a gut rehab and total redesign with all new systems. Truth be told, it was a perfect candidate for a tear-down. So when our architect friend Hicks Stone inked a great design for a replacement house, I called the local fire department, who enthusiastically agreed to burn the existing house down in a training exercise. But a couple of the island residents worried the whole island would burn. “It’s the fire department,” I pointed out rather acidly. But it wasn’t worth the fight. Plan B: Tear it down. I scheduled an excavator, dump trucks, and a tug and barge to crunch it up and haul it off the island. It was late October, when the equinoctial gales roll through. Sure enough, a whopping nor’easter hit the coast, damaging the tug and barge, wrecking my work boat, and generally trashing my highly orchestrated sequencing. The winter weather pattern settled in and all was on hold. By early spring I decided that I had to do something, so I went back to an early rehab concept, working within the existing shell. The concept maximized the 1,500 square feet available, punched in windows everywhere, and added a big deck. In March, with snow Left: Steve considered razing and even burning down the original house, whose only asset was spectacular views.

With a new design inked, a gut remodel ensued in the dead of winter.

The completely renovated house boasts more windows, a wraparound deck, and a detached new building with a steeply pitched roof.

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

resisting every challenge, an unremarkable house insisted on sharing its stories

on the ground and the winter wind still howling, we started gutting the place. As an experienced builder and renovator I knew I was turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. But it seemed like the path of least resistance, so we persevered, hauling the loads of construction materials over by large and small barge and work skiff and trundling them up the hill by tractor, wheezing dump truck, or by hand.

As an experienced builder and renovator I knew I was turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. After a punishing six-month effort our family and friends loved the amazing views from the deck and the delicious sense of detachment island living creates. But still I wondered if it had been worth it. Then, one by one our neighbors came over to express how glad they were that we’d kept the old place. “Yeah,” I’d respond, “but it was a piece of junk.” “I know,” they’d rejoin, “but my Aunt Gladys got married here.” Or, “I helped insulate the original place when I was a kid.” Or, “I had a summer romance with one of the girls who lived here.” Turns out it wasn’t about the house; it was about the memories. Community is about shared history—common stories. Mapping the stories onto the built environment makes the stories real. That’s why historic preservation is so important. I knew that, but I didn’t think it applied to a humble house on an island in Maine. I guess the house decided to teach me that lesson. Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert. The former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, he now heads up Steve Thomas Builders.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Select Knowledge. Select Experience. Select a Professional.

Jo Cook 505-379-6099

Mariessa M. Sanchez 505-440-7413

Lisa Parker 505-220-7068

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Vincent Bonino 505-235-6533

Chris Lucas 505-463-5317

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505-450-3630 505-720-7807

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Aaron “Buck Burnett 505-918-9868

Kim Jensen 505-948-1399

Linda E. Malott 505-507-2459

The Braden Team 505-263-4032

Mel Candelaria 505-263-2867

Sarah Black 505-401-0705

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Ruben Ortega 505-459-8589

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Nobody sells more Real Estate than RE/MAX! 122 Wellesley Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 | (505) 265-5111 | 3401 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque | (505) 433-5600

Life+Style Southwest

by Catherine Adams


organized home Courtesy Closet Trends

lose the clutter, find your center


enjamin Franklin famously said, “A place for everything, everything in its place.” Shannon Baker, of Shannon the Organizer (shannontheorganizer. com) in Santa Fe, thinks that’s a little much. As a realist, she prefers to amend Franklin’s quote to, “A place for everything, even when everything is not in its place.” It’s a given your socks may end up on the floor occasionally. “The important thing is you have a sock drawer,” Baker says. This kind of laidback approach is enough to put people at ease and get them started on sorting, purging, and organizing the stuff in their homes. While some find this easy, many find the task formidable, at least at first. Then they find it cleansing. “It’s a little like therapy,” Baker said. “The purging, sorting, deciding what to keep—it helps people let go of things, unload emotional baggage.” Many of her clients are going through some kind of life change: happy things like marriage, a baby, a new job; some difficult, such as death, divorce, or illness. At its most basic, organizing is about eliminating redundancy and maximizing efficiency. Professional organizers like Baker help achieve this by tackling everything from bedroom closets to kitchen drawers, living rooms to kids’ rooms. While these professionals may differ in approach, emphasis, and price, all work to bring order to chaos, often triggering a domino effect that empowers people in other areas of their lives. Clutter is cramping. Clutter is stifling. Clutter gets in the way.

Miriam Ortiz y PIno

A modular system by Closet Trends includes dedicated solutions for hanging and folded clothes, along with drawers and shelves for socks, shoes, and accessories.

“Research shows that even when we’re not conscious of our stuff, our subconscious mind is aware of its presence. It’s an underlying stressor. Things really aren’t ‘out of sight, out of mind,’” says Miriam Ortiz y Pino, a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and owner of More than Organized ( in Albuquerque. On the up side, when material objects are thinned and organized, anxiety and tension usually go down, while productivity and creativity go up. 22

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Miriam Ortiz y PIno

freeing up space

In organizing a well-used home office (left), Miriam Ortiz y Pino of More than Organized “got rid of all of the items that didn’t have a job and rearranged the décor to inspire rather than be in the way.” (below)

decluttering 1-2-3 Set aside a small block of time, usually less than an hour, to address one space. Larger attempts can be overwhelming. Pull out everything or otherwise make things visible. Then sort into three piles: 1. throw away or recycle 2. donate or sell 3. keep. Shannon Baker

Undecided? Put it in a box, date it, and set it aside for six months. If you haven’t missed it by then, chances are you don’t need it.

Above: A disorganized pantry (left) was reworked (right) by Shannon the Organizer to keep like items together: canned goods on the top shelf, breads and pastas in the middle, and often-used staples on the bottom.

“Our stuff says a lot about who we are and what we value,” Ortiz y Pino continues. “By looking at what we already have, we can figure out what we really want out of life. It’s part of the discovery process. I help people uncover the extraordinary in their ordinary.” By designing simple organizational systems that work for clients, she creates “environments that help them live their best lives.” Most of her clients are entrepreneurs who maintain a home office and are looking for ways to be more productive on the job while gaining sustenance from their home surroundings.

memories not momentous

As for the process itself, Baker says she helps people decide what things to keep, then figure out where to put them. When organizing a room full of objects and furnishings, for example, she goes into interior designer mode. “I read the room; I see dead spaces,” she says. “I help people set parameters like a certain number of hangers. If they buy a new shirt, they get rid of an old one to free up a hanger.” She also drops nuggets like, “A picture is worth a thousand square feet.” Meaning, if an item holds special memories but takes up a lot of space, consider taking a picture of it to reminisce over later—and let the material object go. After all, it’s the memory, or meaning, that matters.

off to a good start

The bedroom closet is the springboard that can send people into the day either rattled or relaxed. “When you start the day off organized, it puts you in the right frame of mind,” says Chris Vigil, owner of Closet Trends ( in Albuquerque. His highly modular, adjustable closets systemize the act of getting dressed. “You can even pull out valet rods and stage your outfits,” he says, rather than try on five things that end up on the floor. Tailor-made to accommodate each person’s lifestyle, these organized closet systems bring everything within reach—clothes, underwear, jewelry, belts, scarves, ties, shoes, socks—all from their particular place. “Not only is it more organized, it doubles your storage space,” Vigil notes. Plus, all the built-in drawers, pullouts, rods, and racks mean you can ditch freestanding dressers, hampers and cabinets, and open up space in the bedroom. Some would rather avoid the disorder of their homes rather than face the embarrassment of acknowledging the clutter. According to Baker, “The most common question I get is, ‘Is this the worst you’ve ever seen?’ The answer is always no. Many of us start out organized. Then things just get away from us. The important thing is to get started.”

Ortiz y Pino says she helps people be “mindful of consumption” and “shop with intention.” She also gets them to consider the real purpose of a room. Take the master bedroom, she says. “It often becomes a dumping ground for things we don’t want people to see when it should be a relaxing, regenerative space.”

Courtesy California Closets

“When you start the day off organized, it puts you in the right frame of mind.”—Chris Vigil

Above: An organizational system by California Closets (californiaclosets. com) gives an office the ability to instantly transform into extra sleeping space with a Murphy bed tucked into large white cabinets. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Design Studio

by Amy Gross

all that glitters Gold and bronze fixtures and furniture—de rigueur in the ’80s and ’90s—fell sharply out of favor with homeowners and designers when muted wall colors and natural elements like wood and stone became more prominent. Like all design trends, however, gold and other warm metallic hues are making a stylish comeback—though in much smaller doses than before, and most notably as elegant accent pieces in tandem with those natural elements. Here are a few gilded items that beautifully pass our “trending test” for the shiny new year.

Courtesy Hancock & Moore

gold makes a brilliant comeback in 2019 Hancock & Moore Susa Table

The Susa Table is as organic a shape as you can find, resembling a wave caught in mid-motion. A sculptural U formation splits into four delicate tips that balance a glass top, for a golden accent piece that’s at once arresting and subtle. Imagine it with a vase of colorful blooms casting hues through the glass onto its shimmering base. $1,899, Dana Stringer Interiors,

Courtesy Kohler

Courtesy Corbett

Corbett Pulse Pendant

A stunning blend of art deco elegance and feminine grace, the round Pulse pendant is made of delicate mesh “flowers” that cast a beautiful golden glow. Suspended from the ceiling from a straight rod, the organically shaped fixture helps to soften the hard edges inherent in dining rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms. The 30-inch pendant is shown here, but it’s also available in larger sizes for an even more dramatic effect. $2,500, Bright Ideas dba The Lamp Shop,

Modern and minimalist, this is not your grandmother’s gold faucet. The durable, solid brass Purist bathroom faucet has a single, straight lever handle and comes with a high-temperature limit stop that allows it to be turned on and off at any temperature setting. You can even pre-set a comfortable maximum temperature to eliminate scalding. This sleek piece comes in several gold finishes, including Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold, shown here. $970, Destination Dahl,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Gurusurya Photography

Kohler Purist Single Control Lavatory Faucet

Singing Bowls

Tibetan singing bowls have origins dating to the fifth century BCE. They are made of different metal alloys—some are 7, 9, 11, and 13 alloys—that create different sounds. The rich tones invoke a deep state of relaxation, which in turn aids in meditation. Available in various sizes, these lovely singing bowls make a special and purposeful addition to the home. Starting at $90, Sukhmani Home,

Brass Contemplating Buddha

Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond

Gurusurya Photography

One of the most beautiful ways to add a bit of gold to your décor is with a piece of elegant and meaningful statuary. Head resting over bent knee, this sweetly posed Buddha from India is in a state of repose and reflection, and is just one of many lovely statuary pieces available at Sukhmani Home. Starting at $25, Sukhmani Home,

We know a thing or two about sunshine in New Mexico, and this striking mirror embodies the majesty of the sun in an intriguing, textural design. Capturing the essence of neoclassical grandeur in a design reminiscent of the powerful Zia symbol, the mirror features “rays,” fashioned from wood, that radiate in a gold leaf finish. $995, Santa Fe Home,

Courtesy Jonathan Charles

Jonathan Charles Gilded Rectangle Sunburst Mirror

Pacific Coast Lighting Ripley Table Lamp

A bold, contemporary aesthetic defines the angular and geometric Ripley lamp, but it’s the brilliant, gold leaf finish that really catches the light— and the eye. A simple white shade allows the metallic base to shine both figuratively and literally, a shimmery accent piece designed to enhance transitional, contemporary, and even midcentury modern style homes. $130, Bed Bath & Beyond,

Courtesy Original Style

Original Style Inca Gold Mosaic Tile

These gleaming metallic mosaic tiles certainly catch the eye, perfect as backsplashes in kitchens, bathrooms, powder rooms, and wet bars. Made of a metallic glazed resin, this indoor-only tile brightens and cheers spaces of all sizes and looks great in every style of home. $40 per sq. ft., Statements In Tile/Lighting/Kitchens/ Flooring,



Design Studio

by Amy Gross

photographs by Lou Novick

ShowHouse Santa Fe 2018 chef-inspired, designer-driven

THE LIVING ROOM Marty Wilkinson (Metamorphosis) Bekye Fargason (Bekye Fargason Staging/Tending & Decorative Painting) Chef Paulraj Karuppsamy (Paper Dosa) Inspired by the rich colors and cuisines of India, every inch of the glamorous living room shimmers, from the wall and coppery ceiling finishes to the metallic upholstery and chandelier.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Chefs pair wines with food; interior designers pair furnishings with décor. And last October, ShowHouse Santa Fe took a bold, creative step in pairing chefs with designers, for a sixth annual event that was as delicious as it was glamorous. “A World of Taste” tasked over a dozen design teams and local restaurant luminaries with creating culinary samplings and beautiful tablescapes for the Friday night Gala Preview party. The Gala is the traditional reveal of the house and the kickoff to two weekends of ShowHouse touring. As a fundraiser for Dollars4Schools, ShowHouse welcomes hundreds of partygoers and visitors looking for interior and architectural design inspiration. “It was fun and interesting to watch the creative juices of two creative groups work in tandem for a common cause,” says John Vollertsen, a.k.a., Chef Johnny Vee, last year’s honorary ShowHouse chair and the organizer of the Gala party. “Many of the designers had never worked directly with a chef, and vice versa, and I think both groups learned a little about how the other group operates.” Listed with Santa Fe Properties’ The Bodelson-Spier Team, the house and casita on Madrid Road had been in one family’s care for over 40 years. The design teams, along with a landscape architect, landscape artist, and several artists-inresidence, transformed their assigned rooms, spaces, and outdoor areas using inspiration from their restaurant partners, modifying some of the original finishes and leaving others in place. Co-founders David Naylor and Jennifer Ashton once again brought their expertise to organizing the event even as they designed their own, multi-room spaces—Naylor the master suite and Ashton the guesthouse. It wasn’t the biggest home ShowHouse has transformed in its six years, but Ashton feels it was one of the best. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


THE NURSERY Elisa and Brandon Macomber (Showhomes of Santa Fe) Chef John Rivera Sedlar (Eloisa) The nursery is a grown-up take on pink and blue, where a large-format canvas painting, contemporary pendant lighting, and oversized rocking chair are chic adornments.

THE REC ROOM Heather & Matt French (French & French Interiors) Chef Christian Rodriguez (Maize) There’s something for every member of the family in the fun, boho rec room, where bold colors, patterns, and modern lighting by Matt French pair beautifully with playful artwork and comfortable seating.

“On that scale of house it reminded me how everyone delivers, no matter what,” she says. “I’m always taken with how every design team executes and just goes with it, even in the little spaces.” ShowHouse mixes experienced and new-to-theindustry designers, with everyone interpreting the annual theme to help bring cohesion to the house. “A World of Taste” was a bit of a risk in that it was less design-specific than in years past; organizers worried the house might lack continuity. In actuality, says Ashton, it inspired designers to up their games and give a little more. “It was fun, and different, just like every year should be.”

THE GUEST SUITE Victoria Sanchez, Pam Duncan, Gloria Devan & Buffy Kline (WGD Interiors) Chef Kiko Rodrieguez (izanami) Muted hues, carefully curated textures, and quiet patterns mark the guest suite, which its designers say was “inspired by the beautiful Japanese mountains.” Beautifully and delicately appointed, the bedroom and its adjoining spaces evoke a tranquil retreat, spaces that nurture peace and inspire self-reflection. 28

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ALFRESCO LIVING Erica Ortiz Berke (NeuBleu Interiors) Chef Luiz Marquez (Bouche Bistro)


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OUTDOOR SCULPTURE Frances Parker (Parker Ceramics) Chef Sean Sinclair (Luminaria)

Homes & Remodels

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A covered outdoor living space reminded Ortiz Berke of “the French Riviera during the swinging ‘60s.” With a glammed-up fireplace, elegant seating, and drapes that can be drawn across for privacy, the alfresco area is now ready for use in almost every season. Giant ceramic spheres from Frances Parker’s aptly named Marbles for Atlas series add to the sense of whimsy.

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THE MASTER SUITE David Naylor (David Naylor Interiors) Chef Tony Blankenship (Rio Chama) Strong geometries and decisive textures in the master bedroom extend to its seating areas. Earthy and masculine, vintage and modern, the space blends antique elements with newer finishes and furnishings, such as the leather-clad armchairs that evoke a smoky gentleman’s club or swanky chophouse from a century ago.

THE KITCHEN Edy Keeler (Core Value Interiors) Chef Rory O’Brien (Legal Tender) The spacious kitchen was the gathering space for a large family for many years. Keeler opted for a vintage feel with washed cabinetry, copper-painted scalloping, and a tile backsplash that she calls “reminiscent of the checkerboard floors in my childhood home.”

THE DINING ROOM Megan Smith, Robin Smith & Janen Korth (Smith Design) Chef Todd Spitzer (Opuntia) The dining room is a study in texture and spatial arrangement. The palette is neutral but warm, an elegant pairing of almond walls and ceilings with off-white upholstery and a modern antler chandelier.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019


Neither should you - Life’s short, Live well.


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to detail; she’s a stickler when it comes to getting it right. “I tell my guys, imagine this is your house. Now do it better!” Even in the middle of a project Kay can’t stop thinking about how to improve something. “Kay worked with us to get the most value for our money and help us stay on budget,” say the Jaegers, former Reliance Construction customers. “We had complete confidence in her ability, her honesty, and her ethics. We are very happy with our beautiful custom home and our experience with Kay Beason and Reliance Construction. We highly recommend her.” Of course building custom homes is a business and a career, but it’s Kay’s heart that drives her to produce a home that is a work of art. Vigas, corbels, and rough hewn timbers are a few of the elements that Kay likes to work with in her projects.


native New Mexican, Kay Beason comes from a family of builders, decorators, interior designers, and artists. When she established her company, Reliance Construction, over 30 years ago, Kay knew that her family would be a valuable asset to the company. Today her family works alongside her in every facet of the business. After working as a property damage insurance adjuster and a career in mortgage banking and real estate, Kay decided to try her hand at residential renovation. Initially she only planned to restore her Nob Hill rental properties, but the neighbors in the area were so impressed with her work that they asked her to renovate their homes. Before long Kay had restored 13 homes in Nob Hill. “Restoration takes time, patience, skill, and a lot of love,” she says. Her Southwestern roots run deep and feed her love of Southwest architecture. Vigas, latillas, corbels, carved wood, and brick are the elements that add just the right touch to a Southwestern home—which is Kay’s specialty. “It’s all about how it feels,” she explains with a smile. Reliance has built from Texas to Montana, but New Mexico is home to this company. Reliance has won Parade of Homes awards and has had homes featured in magazine and newspaper articles and even on HGTV, but Kay says nothing is as great as handing the keys to a client who is thrilled with their custom home. While her passion is for Southwest architecture Kay realizes that it’s necessary to answer a homeowner’s desires, and that might mean other styles that are trending. She works with each client one-on-one to establish just the right design and fit for them. The process can be lengthy but is always well worth it in the end, due in large part to Kay’s attention

A warm welcoming entrance utilizes the Southwest styling that Reliance Construction is known for. 32

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~ AWA R D -W I N N I N G B U I L D E R ~

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ouldn’t you like to go to just one local trusted source for your project materials? Builders FirstSource supplies materials for builders, remodelers, and homeowners in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and the surrounding Albuquerque Metro area. Whether you’re a contractor working on a new home build, remodel, addition, or renovation, or a homeowner making DIY home improvements, Builders FirstSource has what you need—in one place—for projects large and small. As a one-stop shop, Builders FirstSource is able to offer their customers lumber, trusses, decking, windows, doors, hardware, stucco, and related items from one location. This is so much easier because you have everything you need in one place. Even better, you’ll work with just one person instead of having to constantly search out someone to assist you. Of the many thousands of supplies carried by Builders FirstSource, one of the most noticed products is their windows and doors. “Windows and doors can determine the character of your home, so you want to make sure you get it right,” says General Manager Paul Stanislawski. “We can help make sure you do.” JELD-WEN is one of the most trusted names in window and door products, and at Builders FirstSource there is a wide variety

of options and price points available. With JELD-WEN, you can get that modern or farmhouse style you’ve always wanted and a more secure and energy efficient home—at a price that’s right for you. With hundreds of years of combined experience in this location, doing what they do best—helping people build and transform their homes—the professionals at Builders FirstSource can help make your new home, addition, remodel, or DIY project a reality. Paul and his staff at Builders FirstSource invite you to bring your projects to them, because then you’ll see what a difference their experience and knowledge can make when you are working on a project. “Our employees have chosen this business as a their career, not just a job,” Paul explains. “They take it seriously—so seriously that one of our employees was recently recognized for his efforts.” As a supplier of products for the most important, if not largest, investment most people will make—their home or dream home—it is a matter of pride for Builders FirstSource that their customers leave knowing they got the best service, price, and products, on time and on budget. The quality of Builders FirstSource’s products speaks for itself, and so does their customer service. If you’re tired of searching empty aisles for someone to assist you and want a first-rate, individual experience, come into Builders FirstSource where they take your satisfaction personally. 

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Builders FirstSource is driven by the desire to provide professional class building materials and services to homebuilders and remodelers across the country. Our goal is to provide outstanding products and services to every customer, regardless of size. We are proud to partner with JELD-WEN and some of the nation’s leading manufacturers in the homebuilding industry.

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n exactly the way a house is built, Joe Boyden started from the ground up, working in the construction field from the age of 16. Today, after having defined and refined his building skills for over three decades, this extraordinary custom homebuilder has grown Homes by Joe Boyden into one of New Mexico’s premier residential design/build firms. “When your name is on the product you take it very seriously,” says Melinda Bowen, Director of Sales and Marketing for Homes by Joe Boyden. Joe personally oversees, from start to finish, the construction of nearly 100 homes per year. It’s not unusual to see Joe around the construction site running the backhoe, operating a bobcat, or wielding a hammer. Each project is as important as the next, and all of them have to be right. “A lot of builders forget to finish,” says Joe. “We are finishers!” Joe and his team firmly believe that because all families are unique, with different needs and personalities, every home should reflect that individuality inside and out—today, tomorrow, and for years to come. It’s that “people first” philosophy that has made Homes by Joe Boyden successful in building beautiful homes and lasting relationships over the years. And if you’re thinking about remodeling your home, here’s some great news. The same builder who brings you exceptional homes in beautiful places, Homes by Joe Boyden, is the builder you can count on to remodel your home! Whether you want to update your kitchen, move walls, add rooms, raise the roof, or totally renovate your home, Joe Boyden will work with you to create a design and plan you’ll love . . . one that fits your personal needs, lifestyle, and budget. 2018 Spring Parade of Homes award winner.

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ne of the most trusted resources for interior designers, builders, and remodelers across the country has weighed in on the latest styles and innovative trends that are making an impression in today’s homes. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery has compiled a glimpse into what will be trending next. After product research and discussions with leading interior designers, manufacturers, and industry insiders, these are their top trends. SMOLDERING HUES

Consider the possibilities of the gray spectrum, a popular color trend for the home. From warm light grays to the coolness of matte black, these tones add a subtle layer of intrigue and distinction.

Contento™ Collection


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When it’s time for an upgrade, select products that improve performance and modernize your daily routine. Offering easy installation and seamless integration into existing layouts, remodel-friendly products provide a quick transformation to refresh the style and functionality of your space.



These multifunctional masterpieces are infused with thoughtful design elements that take the chore out of routine tasks. Featuring customizable settings and integrated tech enhancements, form and function are indistinguishable. Let the experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery find where your style intersects with today’s trends. With perfect selections, your home projects will create a lasting impression.

When it comes to your dream home – making sure it is perfect means tons of tough decisions. Let our knowledgeable product experts relieve the stress and restore the fun while introducing you and your design team to our extensive collection of products from the most sought after brands. Request your appointment today at


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ave you ever wondered how designers get furniture and décor to fit just right? Many a homeowner has bought a piece of furniture only to find it won’t fit through the door without a fight or is much larger in the room than they’d expected. A visit to Designer Warehouse is extremely illuminating. You learn that fitting furniture to your home is both fairly simple and a little technical. Susan Kirkpatrick, interior designer and owner of Designer Warehouse, explains, “The reason why designers get it right is because they measure everything”—doorways, hallways, rooms, walls, and areas of the room you are going to be placing furniture or décor. “You want to make sure it fits properly,” says Susan. “No one likes bumping into their furniture or having to go out of their way to get around something.” Designer Warehouse’s in-house experts simplify the furniture and decorating process through the use of technology. They’ll create a full digital layout of your home or the room you want to decorate and help you size furniture or décor to fit as needed. Not only will you have a great visual of what your home can look like, but all of the guesswork will be removed, down to the exact size you need so you won’t constantly be clipping your couch or bumping your shins on the table. Designer Warehouse also has a large selection of artwork and mirrors customized to fit in the spaces you can never seem to fill, as well as accessories like pillows, window coverings, headboards, and bedding. All can be custom-fitted to your home’s décor—no “one size fits all” here. So, pull out those magazines or Pinterest ideas and bring them with you. The experts at Designer Warehouse are eager to help you create or re-create your dream home.


DESIGN CENTER: By Appointment Only STORE HOURS: Mon. - Sat. 10AM-5PM

8610 Presidents Place NE • Albuquerque, NM 87113

505.821.5000 |

Designer Warehouse is the exclusive Norwalk dealer in New Mexico.


Sugarloaf in Porcelina finish shown here and in image at right.

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our walls can be interesting, beautiful, natural and healthy. They don’t have to be covered in paint. American Clay Enterprises in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the original earth plaster made in the U.S.A!  Natural earth plasters add a unique aesthetic harmonious with the environment. Walls covered in clay have a natural, threedimensional quality that works in a variety of settings. Since all the pigments have been formulated with natural oxides and ochres, the result is a truly balanced, integral color system, without the monochromic flatness or gloss that paint presents. Because the colors come from the earth, you won’t find otherworldly hues in the collection—but there are certainly plenty of colors to choose from.   If clay conjures images of adobe huts and Southwest themes, it’s time for some mind-expanding. American Clay’s website showcases photos from a variety of home types, including a stunning Florida rustic home featuring exposed wood, and a modern home in New Zealand, with floating staircases and concrete looking walls. Many architectural styles work with clay walls, as demonstrated in the current portfolio of commercial projects where American Clay has been used, including MAC Cosmetics, Aesop’s skin care, and Origins, among many other places.   Clay walls improve air quality by absorbing moisture, then slowly releasing it back into the air. In turn, lower humidity retards the growth of mold and mildew. The plaster doesn’t attract dirt and pet hair the way paint does. Due to the natural mineral pigments, colors will not fade, and if you want to update the color, just trowel on a new layer—simple as that!   “For me, the joy is reintroducing earth to our lives,” says CEO Croft Elsaesser, “because so many things are taking us away from that.” 

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With 8 plaster finishes in a variety of textures and 239 faderesistant colors, American Clay plasters create a space of natural warmth and beauty incomparable to any other material. | 1-866-404-1634 photo credit: matthew berglund, luxe plaster, llc

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Photography by Reece Martinez


What are you waiting fo�?

2 acre lots • Gated Community •13 minute drive to the city Award winning Community Center • Home Owners Association 30 Nature Pointe Dr, Tijeras, NM 87059


uild your dream home, nestled in the pines or with a stunning view of the Sandias and beyond, at Nature Pointe. This quiet gated community is located in the beautiful East Mountains offering easy access to I-40 and a short, 13-minute commute from the city. Living in Nature Pointe offers the best of both worlds: close proximity to the city for enjoyment of all its activities, and your own two acres of beautiful mountain views, fresh air, colorful sunsets, and starry night skies. With underground utilities and covenant-protected dark skies, you genuinely experience the natural surroundings and feel the true relief of peace and quiet. For those who enjoy the outdoors, Nature Pointe offers easily accessible walking trails and frequent wildlife sightings. “My husband and I are avid mountain bike riders and we love that we can ride out our back door and onto 100+ miles of Cibola National Forest trails,” says Shawna Chriss, a resident of Nature Pointe. The amenities Nature Pointe offers can’t be beat, either.  “We have an award-winning Clubhouse with a workout center, indoor swimming pool, racquetball, tennis courts, and an event hall for resident mixers and celebrations,” says Developer Alex Leonard. Nature Pointe’s inviting lots are well-priced between $99,000 and $149,000, while the new lots bordering the national forest have awe-inspiring scenic views and start at $175,000. If you have been looking for property, you know this is very affordable when compared to other lots in ABQ and surrounding areas. Patsy Spellman is the listing Realtor at Nature Pointe and a resident as well. “Finding the right place to build is already an adventure. My husband and I chose Nature Pointe because of the tranquil, natural environment and luxury living. The quick trip to Uptown shopping doesn’t hurt, either.”  Come visit Nature Pointe and see the amazing lifestyle residents enjoy every day. “Who would not want to sit on their patio and enjoy this view?” asks Nature Pointe resident Shawna Chriss.

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t’s a family affair at Lee-Sure Pools. Lee Poper and his sons Jacob, Jeremy, and Garrett work as a team in the business. It all started in 1976 with pool plastering; later, in the ’80s, Lee found a niche in pool repair and renovation. During this time his company saw firsthand the pitfalls of pool construction because they were fixing the problems that others had left behind. It was this knowledge that encouraged them to move into pool construction from the ground up—or perhaps the ground down—in 2004. Having expertly fixed and solved pool problems for years, LeeSure Pools is today able to eliminate potential issues through unique building techniques and top quality materials. Sales Manager Jacob Poper says, “We are not a ‘yes’ company. We want to construct a family-friendly pool that will perform year after year through four seasons of climate swings.” That means each Lee-Sure Pool is shaped in such a way that an automatic cover can be used. No lagoon pools for these folks; it simply doesn’t make sense in New Mexico. The process starts with a phone conversation, followed by a site inspection by Jacob. Once a budget has been established the design phase can commence. “We are less worried with saving a few dollars and more concerned with doing the job right,” says Jacob, who adds, “You get what you pay for.” This second-generation business is built on a strong core value of quality construction and materials, and excellent customer service. Over 40 years of knowledge has given Lee-Sure Pools the expertise to design and install pools that stand the test of time. It takes a while to build a pool, though—best to get started now.

Viking Fiberglass Pool and Spa.

Building premium pools with the highest quality of craftsmanship. We Specialize in Custom Gunite Pools and Viking Fiberglass Pool Installation.


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Envision the possibilities...

My grandma is an amazing builder!

Style. Beauty. Comfort. Modern | Contemporary | Traditional Southwest | Tuscan



he details matter. If you have ever walked through a Vineyard Homes parade home or custom spec home, you know Vineyard Homes is about simplifying your life through the use of space and details. “We want you to have the custom home you have been planning and dreaming of, but we also want to design a home that’s useful to your specific needs and wants,” says owner and custom builder Deb Short. Deb and her design team bring many combined years of experience to building, remodeling, and designing homes. This knowledge and experience is applied to every home they build or remodel, along with just the right amount of detail to give each home a bit of elegant simplicity and sophistication you will love. Planning and financing a custom build or remodel can be difficult, which is why it’s very important to have a trusted design team and custom builder there when you need them, and be willing to listen to you and walk you through the process. Deb understands this is a partnership from the beginning to the end and wants you to have the best building or remodeling experience possible. If you are one of the many searching the market for your next home, why not call Deb for a consultation? You may be pleasantly surprised. As Deb says, “What have you got to lose—it’s free!” She offers free consultations because she wants you to leave with a better knowledge of what is available to you even if you do end up buying an existing home or going with a different builder—because in the end it’s all about your wants and needs.

Let us build your forever home. When you choose Vineyard, you are choosing a builder who supervises her own projects and works directly with the contractors to make sure your home is not only beautiful but comforable to live in. Contact Deb about building your dream home today! •505-235-5225

“From the consult to the finishing touches I will be there,” says Deb Short.


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utting a smile on a client’s face is the best result we can ask for,” says the Team at I’m the Blind Lady. In fact, says owner Karen Wike, “That’s our daily goal!” Walk into the expansive showroom and you can feel the smart sophistication of the high-quality Hunter Douglas window blinds, shades, and shutters, as well as other fine offerings such as custom-made drapery, bedding, pillows, and much more. I’m the Blind Lady offers high style presentation and expert advice, delivering the highest quality products designed to meet the client’s style and goals—whether privacy, protection from sun fade, insulation, or all of the above—for many years to come. Although I’m the Blind Lady represents over 40 years combined professional services in design and window treatments, there’s nothing stuffy about this Team! “We love to have fun with our clients, but our job is to bring harmony to the home’s furnishings with attention to detail,” Karen explains. “Often folks approach us frustrated after hearing from others ‘this is what you need to do.’ They’ve been left feeling as though they weren’t heard, or their ideas were disregarded. This is their home, their dream. We’re here to listen and make that dream a reality within their budget. It all starts with a free in-home consultation.” The Team at I’m the Blind Lady also includes in-house Hunter Douglas certified installers, not outside vendors. “Our clients love our installers, and often ask for them by name in the next install. It’s another opportunity to make our clients smile!” Karen says. “We’re not just building our business; we’re building relationships that focus on the client. I can’t think of a better reason to go to work!”

“Visit our showroom”

• • • • • •

Custom Drapery Bedding Top Treatments Headboards Roman Shades Pillows

Plus the fine quality of

Bonnie and Karen at I’m the Blind Lady.

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hat’s in a name? Well, the owners of Jeebs & ZuZu would say . . . quite a lot. It’s an unusual name because Jeebs & ZuZu offers an unusual concept for home improvement. Their business model was developed as a way to simplify the often overwhelming process of home renovation, and they are here to serve you. That’s what it’s about: service and straightforward project planning and management. The company’s old-fashioned diner atmosphere isn’t just a fun design affect. An actual “menu” of options allows you to quickly determine what’s on offer and how it fits into your budget. Will it be the Jeebs & ZuZu Signature Kitchen or the Princess of Monaco Kitchen? Estimated pricing is right there and available on the menu. No surprises, just straightforward information. The owners of Jeebs & ZuZu know that each job is unique in size, scope, and budget. Sometimes it’s as simple as an elegant update; other times it’s a full makeover. The process starts with a complimentary visit to your home where they will assess your space as well as your needs and desires. The next step, the design phase, is your opportunity to plan your project with dedicated design experts. This 10-hour block of time allows for custom drafting and design work in order to provide you with two or three options. Once the detailed proposal is approved and scheduled the construction phase begins. Not to worry, though: Jeebs & ZuZu are prompt, clean, friendly, and efficient. After all, it’s all about serving you. Once your project is complete Jeebs & ZuZu are available for routine maintenance so you can enjoy your new space for years to come. It’s so rewarding to Jeebs & ZuZu when they can help a homeowner live a better life in their home, and they always want to leave their clients with a smile.

Clever barn door TV concealment and a modern fireplace.

where your ideas can find their Expression

3700 Rutledge Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87109 505.938.3125

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living by design the family that works together, lives together—in a home of their own creation

Busy working parents plus two teenagers equals a lot of daily activity. Scott and Melissa Coleman’s home in Santa Fe was designed—or redesigned—to be a comfortable, quiet respite from the hustle and bustle. The kids’ TV and game room (foreground), the sun room (at rear), and the formal living room (at right) easily flow into one another. 46

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by Amy Gross photographs by Chris Corrie


ou might assume that a couple who has not only been married for 18 years but works together every day—designing custom doors, cabinetry, and decorative woodworks for discerning homeowners all over the world—would have a very clear, joint picture of their own home’s renovation. Not exactly. Scott Coleman, creative director of La Puerta Originals, is, by all accounts, an admirable husband and father, and a design genius. He is not, as it turns out, a mind reader. “I would draw something and she would say, ‘That’s not what’s in my mind!’” says Scott, referring to his wife Melissa, La Puerta’s president. “So I’d draw it again; same result. And then I’d draw it again. And then finally, ‘Yes, that’s what’s in my mind!’ It was all about trying to guess what she was thinking.” He’s the creative; she’s the planner, to the degree that when Melissa finally was able to get Scott to start putting pen to paper for their personal project, she had long since decided on the arrangement of rooms, interior finishes, and even the outdoor areas. Melissa recalls, “Scott would say, ‘Are you sure you really want to do that?’ And I was like, arghh, the time for decision-making is over!” The Colemans purchased their home, an older one-story near Museum Hill in Santa Fe, in late 2015, after seeing about 50 houses that were available at the time. They were drawn to the one-acre property with its

Beautifully carved doors designed and made by La Puerta Originals open in the master bedroom to reveal a painting by Tony Abeyta (Navajo), part of Melissa’s extensive collection of Native American art.



Stan Natchez’s (Shoshone/Paiute) powerful Medicine Crow adds color and presence to the sun room. In planning their remodel, the Colemans opted for simple white diamond plaster walls in order to best show off their many pieces of art. 48 48


expansive backyard, gardens, and apple trees. The house itself was relentlessly rectangular, dark and low-ceilinged, and although it was missing a few key elements—notably a master bedroom and bath, a laundry room, and closet space—it possessed the proverbial “good bones” every potential remodeler looks for. After interviewing several contractors, Scott and Melissa hired Joel Muller of Tent Rock, Inc., winner of a 2009 Heritage Preservation Award. Muller’s knowledge of historic renovation practices would come in handy during the renovation of the Colemans’ 1940s-built house, though often to the owners’ dismay. “When you renovate an old house, there’s always something you’re going to find,” says Melissa. “Things like that start adding up, and we had a budget.” Tent Rock removed and replaced the floor joists due to sagging and mold. The roofline was sagging. All of the plumbing and electrical was redone. “We probably could have, and should have, built a brand new house; just pushed it over,” says Scott. The family—Scott, Melissa, teenagers Chance and Story, and a passel of pets— initially tried living in their home during

La Puerta Originals creates their oneof-a-kind pieces by incorporating antique and reclaimed elements into new settings. The door at left is worked around a 19th-century center panel from the Nuristani region of Pakistan. The carved wood column below, also from Nuristan, represents corn or bounty.

the renovation, then in an Airstream in the backyard, and finally in a rented townhouse in downtown Santa Fe, but timing forced an earlier than expected return to the house while it was still being worked on. With no kitchen, no appliances, no electrical, and no lights, their existence, at least for a few months, was little more civilized than glamping, but as the interiors began to take real shape, the family took heart in the knowledge that the painful part

Lovely archways, such as the one leading from the front door to the living room, are part of the home’s classic Santa Fe appeal. In the entryway, an equine painting by Nocona Burgess (Comanche). SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

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Melissa’s warm, inviting kitchen is outfitted with all of the modern conveniences needed for cooking and decorated with a few rustic elements and antique details. Note the hand-hewn beams, sourced from a deconstructed tobacco barn in North Carolina, which retain the cut-outs from their original use. The family tends to gather at the wood-topped and storage-filled island. 50

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Above: The kitchen was deliberately moved so it would overlook the beautiful backyard. The new divided-light windows were a key design element, not only for aesthetics but for function; Melissa loves bringing in fresh air when the weather is fine.

would soon be over. D Maahs Construction came in at the end to wrap up a few items, and in April 2018 a collective sigh of relief was heaved by all; the project was finished. And it was magnificent.

Fond memories of the entire family cooking together in Scott’s parents’ kitchen drove the design of this one. Melissa finally had her dream kitchen, relocated from the front of the house to the side facing the backyard, where the views through new divided light windows are glorious. With creamy, “shabby chic” white cabinetry, ample cook and work space, a pantry (finally!), and a smattering of antique wood accents—a few of Melissa’s favorite pieces from the Nuristani region of northern Pakistan—the kitchen is well-appointed, cozy, and comfortable. Its similarity in design and feel to the kitchen Scott designed for his late parents is no accident; fond memories of the entire family cooking together in Ken and Ruthe’s house drove the design of this space. “The whole feeling of their kitchen was just so wonderful,” says Melissa. “The only thing that was missing was a place for us all to sit at the bar. We sit at our bar all the time; rarely at the dining table.” Left: The kitchen’s creamy white cabinets are a nice contrast to the rough finish of the reclaimed Douglas fir island. Sturdy, farmhouse-style hardware ties the look together. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The family lives outside in the summer, so a large, covered, and well-appointed portal was essential. The distinctive curved beam— designed, built, and very carefully set into place by La Puerta Originals—lends an organic feel to the previously angular area. Folding window doors offer seamless indoor-outdoor access and make entertaining a breeze. 52

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Right: Amazingly, the original house lacked a master suite. An addition rectified this omission, and the new master bedroom is cozy and colorful. A handcrafted and carved La Puerta bedframe anchors the space.

Melissa didn’t deviate too far from the design of her last bathroom, which she loved. Into a soft, neutral palette are woven beautiful wood details, custom cabinetry, and timeless finishes and tile.

All of the walls are now a simple white diamond plaster and serve as gallery space for the Colemans’ impressive collection of mostly Native American art. Melissa is involved with the Institute of American Indian Arts, and prior to that, she was associated with the National Museum of the American Indian; her collection dates back 25 years and includes pieces by Stan Natchez (Shoshone/Paiute), Darren Vigil Gray (Jicarilla Apache/ Kiowa Apache), and others.

“In the end, it’s both of our personalities. It’s got his brilliant design, and it has my practicality.”—Melissa Coleman The cramped, catch-all space that previously served vicariously as Melissa and Scott’s bedroom, closet space, kids’ hangout, and office is now gone—or rather, redesigned and repurposed as a spiffy laundry room and office. There is now a true master suite thanks to the addition built on the west side of the house, angled slightly to break up the house’s rectangle shape and to capture better views of the gardens and backyard. And oh, that backyard. “We live outside in the summer, and for us not having a place where we could be outside was just killing us,” Melissa explains. “Now we’re out there all the time in the summer.” A massive landscaping project courtesy of Clemens & Associates was part of the renovation, including seeding the expansive yard with 54

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Left, top and bottom: Story (on ladder) and her mother Melissa pick apples in the sprawling backyard. The Colemans have room to grow in the expansive space; a guest house is under consideration, and this summer Melissa hopes to expand her already significant gardening efforts.

grass. A rounded, organically shaped portal was built off the den and sunroom, with an incredible, custom-built curved beam— designed by Scott and built by La Puerta Originals, naturally. “It came in on this giant flatbed, then they hoisted it up on a New Mexico blue sky day and sat it into place,” Melissa remembers. “There’s nothing holding it there; it’s so heavy and massive that they just built the roof right on top of it.” Sliding window doors open wide to facilitate a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, and the big portal is comfortably appointed with a fireplace, beautiful Moorish lanterns, a water feature, and plenty of seating. Melissa is thrilled with her newly renovated home, which she says is the perfect size for her family. That La Puerta Originals did most of the work on the house is a source of pride for both Melissa and Scott, who claims that what he likes best about the house is that he was able to make Melissa’s wishes come true. “In the end, it’s both of our personalities,” Melissa demurs. “It’s got his brilliant design, and it has my practicality.” It is certainly another successful project for La Puerta Originals, and given the discerning clients involved, may be the most important one in the entire history of the company.

resources Home Designer Scott Coleman, La Puerta Originals Builders/Contractors Tent Rock, Inc. D Maahs Construction Interior Design Scott & Melissa Coleman A/V System A Sound Look Custom Cabinetry, Décor, Custom Furniture, Front Door, Interior Doors, Gates, Kitchen Hood La Puerta Originals Appliances Sierra West Sales Plumbing Fixtures, Sinks, Tub Dahl Plumbing of Santa Fe Countertops United Stoneworks Beams/Vigas/Wood Flooring Atlantic Reclaimed Lumber Flooring (Tile) Stonewood Flooring Arizona Tile Folding Doors LaCantina Doors Kitchen Backsplash & Bathroom Flooring United Stoneworks Landscaping Clemens & Associates Lighting Ferro Antico Windows JELD-WEN Left: A smaller version of the main portal’s curved beam tops a sweet, rounded patio built off the master bedroom. “Instead of being square things, the two portales are meant to look out to two view corridors,” says Melissa. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


thoroughly modern minimalism rescued and reimagined, an Albuquerque home is part art gallery, part laid-back living space

The impressive curving staircase and soaring ceilings in the center of Chris and Kathleen’s home naturally draw the eye, but not to be missed are modern and contemporary artworks, such as a sculpture by John Chamberlain (1927–2011) (on glass table) and Ellsworth Kelly’s (1923–2015) Blue Yellow Red. 56

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by Jessa Cast

photographs by Amadeus Leitner


oft dwellers Chris and Kathleen, along with their six-year-old son Alexander, loved their space but were ready for a larger home. Fond of an ultra-modern design aesthetic but equally attracted to living in the heart of town where adobe reigns, they had some difficulty finding a structure that fit the bill. That is, until they stumbled upon a lucky—and unlikely—opportunity, a spacious, dreamily modern, 5,000-square-foot house that had been vacated while only partially completed. The property had lain vacant for years, frozen in time. Tucked as it was into a quiet neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac street peppered with homes of similarly modern slants, it had the potential, with a bit of investment and heart, to be Chris and Kathleen’s perfect home. They were able to purchase the house in March 2017, thereby rescuing the property, and that slice of the neighborhood, from decay.

Everything’s brilliant white, the furnishings and art all minimalist and modern classics—very carefully collected, curated, and placed. But it isn’t a museum. Not everything in the house suited their tastes—striped cabinets, dark walls, gray stucco, and floor-to-ceiling gold tile in one bathroom, for example—but they looked past those quirky “personality traits” and imagined how it could be molded to their own style. There were plenty of aspects about which Chris and Kathleen were quite excited. “It had some really good features,” says Chris. “We kept what we liked, got rid of some things, and pulled it together in a cohesive design.” The two most prominent features, a grand staircase in the entry and a stunning oculus overhead, make for such a dramatic effect that they were definitely keepers. “There’s so much cool light that happens in the house throughout the day,” says Chris. Indeed, with so much glass atop the entry, sunlight casts varying patterns on the walls, hour by hour. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: The living room ambience may be midcentury modern, but the sliding window doors are a decidedly contemporary element, offering easy entertaining and access to the backyard and outdoor living areas. Below: The open floor plan includes a TV area that’s within easy eyeshot of the kitchen, where windows above and below the cabinetry let in as well as diffuse natural light.


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Renovation took about eight months. The original wood floors were retained and refinished, as well as a wall-mounted toilet in the downstairs powder room. Perhaps the most visible change to the house was the complete white-washing of both the interior and exterior. Black walls were repainted white, and an unfinished gray stucco was also redone in a vivid white. Avid midcentury art collectors, Chris and Kathleen enjoy using the crisp white walls as a backdrop for their admirable collection, which includes pieces by famed artists, furniture designers, and architects—Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Gehry, and Ellsworth Kelly, to name just a few. The homeowners’ cheeky sense of humor can be seen throughout the house. In the powder room, Chris pays homage to his college days, when his mother would stock him up like a bathroom tissue warehouse. “That toilet paper is for show,” he says winkingly of the vanity’s toilet paper “art” installation. “It’s not to be used.” Outside, they installed a swivel-hinged

A Jean Prouvé dining set is well placed for appreciation of the large-format Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) piece in the living room, as well as the outdoor patio. The wood stack? Purely decorative and for textural interest.

side gate, purposefully wide enough to drive a riding mower through. The joke is that the patch of grass could be mowed by hand in mere minutes. Also, they don’t have a riding mower. To toy with guests visiting this art-filled home, they’ve put a Warhol Brillo footstool in the living room, adorned with a stack of miniature versions of the same. Art? Nope. Just a footstool and some paperweights, they explain, laughing.

“We call it comfortable minimalism. Very simple; not a lot of stuff, not a lot of clutter. Everything is usable.” —Chris, homeowner The downstairs layout includes Alexander’s room, bedecked with his own selections from his parents’ art collection. “It’s cool putting art in his room. He loves it,” says Chris. Next to that is the guest room where, most nights, Chris and Kathleen sleep, to be close to

Chris and Kathleen converted an extra bedroom into a clever wine room, where bottles are arranged, store-style, on shelves rather than racks, with labels clearly visible.



With so much glass atop the entry, sunlight casts varying patterns on the walls, hour by hour. 60

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young Alexander. Down the hall is the TV room and office, a.k.a., the “fun room,” with Chris’s library tucked charmingly into a former laundry machine–ready closet. Formerly a mother-in-law’s quarters, this room has its own radiant heat and air-conditioning. On the opposite side of the entry foyer is the wine room. The bottles are thoughtfully grouped and laid out as in a wine store, labels exposed, as one might expect from astute art enthusiasts. In the bright, cheery kitchen the cabinets share vertical space with windows that look out over the yard. Adjacent, the dining room showcases an original Jean Prouvé dining table and chairs. Open, airy, and social, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are essentially all one space, bordered by a wall of sliding glass doors to the backyard. Everything’s brilliant white, the furnishings and art all minimalist and modern classics—very carefully collected, curated, and placed. But it isn’t a museum. Kathleen and Chris mean for it to be inviting

Left: Chris and Kathleen periodically cycle their art to keep it interesting. Red Yellow Blue mimics the color schemes in other Ellsworth Kelly pieces in their collection. Above and top: The master suite, with its monochromatic décor and art, is the definition of minimalism. In this house, art can even be walked on. Can you read the signature floormat by Ann Hamilton in the master bath? SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Alexander’s second-floor playroom (also minimalist, and also sparingly adorned with modernist art) overlooks the spiral staircase via a glass window. From his vantage point, Alexander can enjoy blue sky views through the glass oculus.

Above, top: Another primary color–themed piece, this one by New Mexico–based artist Stuart Arends. Above, bottom: Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923–1997) Painting on Canvas.

Fred Wilson’s 3-D Drop, Dripped (at left) is a bit of whimsy. Chris says Frank Gehry’s Sherman chair is “actually really comfortable.”

Above: In the powder room, Chris pays homage to his college days, when Mom would stock him up on toilet paper. This cheeky “installation” is flanked by real art: a Tony Lewis piece on the left and a Tara Donovan print on the right. 62

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and lived in. “We call it comfortable minimalism. Very simple,” says Chris. “Not a lot of stuff, not a lot of clutter. Everything is usable. It’s a functional space.” Upstairs, Alexander delights in a stepped-down playroom with a glass wall overlooking the entry foyer. Here, he and his friends can play in a unique space, flooded with light, never far from his parents’ sight. Across the landing, double doors open to a sumptuous master suite. “This is the room we don’t use,” Chris says wistfully. “When Alex spends the night at his grandparents’, we’ll come up here and it’s like going to a hotel.” Another example of their humor: They’ve turned the bidet into a planter.

The brightly reflective exterior stucco hints at the home’s all-white interiors. Construction by its original owners was started, then abandoned, several years ago. Recognizing the building’s potential, Chris and Kathleen purchased the sprawling property and converted it into a singular residence that reflects their tastes and lifestyle.

A lucky find turned into a benefit for all. The neighborhood avoided a derelict lot, Alexander grows up with a daily world-class art education, and Kathleen and Chris get to enjoy the fruits of their artistic labors.

resources Remodeler and Painting Sam of All Trades LLC Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Art Galleries Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Richard Levy Gallery Gemini GEL A/V System Paradise Village

Cabinetry and Bathroom Countertops Los Ibarra Custom Woodworking Front & Interior Doors Santa Fe Door Store Gates & Metal Fabrication Southwest Wrought Iron & Welding Glass Work Albuquerque Custom Shower Doors

Left: A gleaming Donald Judd (1928–1994) copper armchair sits squarely in its own spacious nicho, looking very much like a museum display. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

winter wonderland

An adult bald eagle eats a meal while balanced on a frozen pond. Eagles, hawks, and other raptors draw legions of birders to the Bosque.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge comes alive in the coldest months photographs by Mark L. Watson

Thousands of snow geese fly out of the Bosque del Apache in the early morning hours, illuminated by a full moon.


he Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, in San Antonio, New Mexico, was established in 1939 as a stopover point for migrating waterfowl. Though it is busy all year round and especially during the spring and fall migrations, in winter the 57,331-acre refuge becomes the temporary home for tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese, who take advantage of the refuge’s many ponds, lakes, and fields to rest, feed, and socialize. The early morning fly-outs and evening fly-ins are astounding sights, drawing birders, photographers, and nature lovers eager to witness the surprisingly orderly—if deafening—mass movements of these amazing creatures. The Bosque is one of New Mexico’s most impressive natural treasures. If you visit during the winter, an overnight trip will help you make the most of an already remarkable experience.—Amy Gross 64

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Birds aren’t the Bosque’s only wildlife; mule deer (above) and javelina (below) are regular sightings.

The Bosque is home to many species of diving and dabbling ducks. A determined female goldeneye (above) gets a running start across the water in preparation for take-off.

Dan Williams, NMDGF

Left: A pair of sandhill cranes dance and call amid a pond full of snow geese.

MARK L. WATSON is a wildlife biologist who has served as Terrestrial Habitat Specialist with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for 22 years. An accomplished photographer and longtime birder, he has traveled to Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and South Africa to photograph birds and other wildlife, and his stunning images regularly grace the pages of Su Casa. Watson especially enjoys photographing raptors in flight, and capturing a rare or uncommon bird on camera. Several years ago at the Bosque del Apache he was able to photograph an extremely rare (to this area) rufous-necked wood rail, whose sighting inspired birders from around the world to visit the refuge. He remains ever hopeful about getting a second chance to spot a northern goshawk, the largest accipiter in New Mexico, a raptor he calls “rare, elusive, and hard to get a photograph of.” The photographs in this collection demonstrate Watson’s unique ability to capture the colors, light, and activity that make the Bosque del Apache an incredible place to appreciate nature.



Vida Buena

story and photographs by Ben Ikenson

Its light dimmed for years, El Vado Motel’s iconic neon sign once again illuminates Central Avenue. Renovated and recently reopened, the motor court today welcomes a new generation of travelers.

it’s back to the future for an Albuquerque landmark


ne of the first in a wave of motor lodges built along Central Avenue in Albuquerque to accommodate the growing demand of Route 66 travelers, El Vado Motel opened in 1937. With curving, alabaster-painted adobe walls, exposed wooded beams, and an iconic neon sign, El Vado (“The Ford”) charmed legions of guests throughout the Mother Road’s heyday. Alas, decades after the old highway was displaced and replaced by Interstate 40, El Vado fell into disrepair and eventually closed in 2005. Fortunately, the place was spared the fate of the wrecking ball, and after an $18 million renovation project that refurbished and amended the old property, El Vado was given a new lease on life and a grand reopening in the summer of 2018. Today, El Vado’s 22 boutique hotel rooms feature midcentury modern furnishings and artwork, and are named after vintage cars like the DeSoto and the Packard. As in the motel’s glory days, the rooms are moderately priced and a comfortable respite for travelers visiting or passing through the area. The project also saw the addition of a 32-unit apartment building, El Vado Place, next door. The renovated property includes a large swimming pool and lounge area, an events center, an amphitheater where live concerts are planned, a craft brew pub, and a handful of independent retail shops. “You have to re-purpose old buildings sometimes in order to make them


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relevant today,” says Chad Rennaker, president of Palindrome Communities, the Portland, Oregon–based firm that led the mixed-use project. Rennaker says the project was managed carefully to preserve important historical aspects of the original property. “There were a lot of incentives—including tax incentives since the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—to preserve the historic integrity of the property,” he explains. “This can be challenging as some of the guidelines are pretty stringent, but we found room to be creative in a way that gives this gem of a property relevance and life. And I think in the end, we have produced something that honors its past while giving it a future.” The future of El Vado ties into an even broader plan that includes the possibility of a like-minded endeavor for another historic Route 66 property, the Monterey Motel, less than a block away. Rennaker reports that his company is in the process of evaluating the feasibility of pursuing historic restoration work on the Monterey. “Regardless of whether we can register the Monterey as historic or not, we plan to renovate and add rooms to the property probably starting in 2020,” he says, adding that ultimately the property will become incorporated into the overall El Vado development effort. “Given its nearness to cultural destinations in Albuquerque such as the BioPark and Old Town, we feel El Vado is well located as a destination for tourists and local guests alike.”

Making your life a little brighter.

L.E.D. Lighting Ceiling Fans Interior Lighting Exterior Lighting Lighting Design

Bright Ideas, Inc. SHOWROOM HOURS Monday thru Friday – 9am-5pm Saturday 10am-2pm

d.b.a. The Lamp Shop

Located at 121 Eubank Blvd NE • Albuquerque, NM 87123

505-296-4393 •




National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show Rent at The Popejoy

Norman Johnson


TAOS WINTER WINE FESTIVAL January 31–February 3 Taos Ski Valley, Taos, various locations Event times and prices vary Events in the town of Taos and at Taos Ski Valley feature great food and wine, seminars, tastings, and wine dinners. All tickets are electronic and must be purchased in advance.

Friends & Lovers Balloon Rally


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Patrick Chando

FRIENDS & LOVERS BALLOON RALLY February 9–10, 7 AM Balloon Fiesta Parkway, ABQ Free The second-largest balloon rally in the nation. Special shapes, ascensions, and competitions including a cooking contest.

THE ALBUQUERQUE HOME REMODELING & LIFESTYLE SHOW February 23–24, Saturday 10 AM–5 PM, Sunday 10 AM–4 PM Expo New Mexico, Lujan Building, ABQ $7 general admission; 11 and under free Over 150 vendors will be available to chat and discuss ideas for your home renovation, remodel, or other home improvement project. The Glenn Miller Orchestra

THE WORLD FAMOUS GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA February 28, 7:30 PM Lensic Performing Arts Center 211 W San Francisco, Santa Fe $29–$47 The name Glenn Miller is synonymous with big band and swing. The group plays Miller’s classic chart hits—“In the Mood” and “Moonlight Serenade”—plus a few contemporary pieces.

NATIONAL FIERY FOODS AND BARBECUE SHOW March 1–3, times vary Sandia Resort & Casino, ABQ $15.50 adults, $5 ages 18 and under, 6 and under free The 31st annual National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show allows visitors to sample the best hot BBQ sauces, blazing salsas, “sweet heat” desserts, and everything in between. Kinky Boots

Matthew Murphy.

SOUPER BOWL 2019 January 26, 11 AM–2 PM 5840 Office Blvd NE, ABQ $40 in advance, $50 at the door, $10–$15 children under 12 The Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico hosts the annual Souper Bowl the weekend before the NFL’s big game. A fundraiser for the food bank, this soup and dessert sampling event and competition features more than 40 local restaurants and chefs, live music, and prizes.

RENT February 15–17 Popejoy Hall at UNM, ABQ $43–$73 Premiering in 1996, the musical is a contemporary retelling of the opera La Bohème. Set in New York during the AIDS epidemic, Rent follows a group of young artists struggling with poverty, integrity, relationships, and illness.

Courtesy Glenn Miller Orchestra

Souper Bowl 2019

Carol Rosegg

Richard Kehl

January through March

KINKY BOOTS March 7–10 Popejoy Hall at UNM, ABQ Ticket prices TBD How do you save a struggling shoe factory? Make boots for drag queens! With the book by Harvey Fierstein and songs by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots has been a hit since its 2013 Broadway debut. Your journey home starts here.

Powered by local New Mexico Realtors ® – your expert guides on your journey home.



RIO GRANDE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL March 8–10, times vary Expo New Mexico, Lujan Building, ABQ One day pass $8, festival pass $11, 12 and under free The 31st annual Spring Show will host 185 artists and craftsmen from all over the country. Marking the state’s first major art event for the year, this juried indoor festival showcases fine arts and crafts as well as music, artist demos, and other family-friendly fun.

Dean Strober

Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest

SOUTHWEST CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE FEST March 16–17, 10 AM–6 PM daily Expo New Mexico, ABQ $10, $3 kids 4–12, 3 and under free; parking $5 per vehicle Few things pair more nicely than coffee and chocolate! Over 130 vendors attend this annual event. From small batch coffee roasters to chocolates in all forms, and even local wineries, there is something for anyone who loves coffee, chocolate, or wine. UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN March 24, 7:30 PM Lensic Performing Arts Center 211 W San Francisco, Santa Fe $29–$50 In 1985 a group of citizens of Great Britain formed a ukulele orchestra on a lark. To their surprise, their first gig was a smash hit and they have been strumming the four-stringers ever since. Expect anything from folk songs to Tchaikovsky to Nirvana covers. PIANO BATTLE March 31, 3 PM Popejoy Hall at UNM, ABQ $25–$63 Piano Battle, the (friendly!) head-to-head duel between Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, returns. Performing on twin grand pianos, the artists alternate renditions of Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy, while also improvising from audience requests. At the end of the night, the audience crowns a winner.


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by James Selby

from adversity, greatness California’s new pinot noirs thrive on challenge end of the earth. Appropriately, Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir ($60), blended from 33 distinct blocks, has dark intensity, lift, and energy. Domaine de la Côte (“estate of the slope”) is a collection of five vineyards, unique in geology, aspect, and microclimates in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. Vines used for the Domaine de la Côte Memorious Pinot Noir ($65), planted on a windward hillside, are so battered they grow only knee high but give wine of grace and precision, with a rush of savory herbs, cranberry, and blood orange. Risks faced in such bleak terrain give mesmerizing wine. As the adage says, go out on a limb; that’s where the fruit is. Left: LIOCO La Selva is made in small batches. Because winemaker Sara Licklider keeps New Mexico in her heart, we are able to enjoy this big pinot noir here.

Courtesy Morgan Winery

Courtesy LIOCO

Above: The Santa Lucia Highlands produce Double L Vineyard’s grapes, which are used in Morgan Winery’s pinot noir.

Left: David Hirsch, founder of Hirsch Vineyards, is featured in Jon Bonné’s book The New California Wine (2013). Erik Castro


ecently, California has been producing exciting, stylistic pinot noir, capturing what’s unique in off-the-beaten-path vineyards planted in climatically challenging locations. Matt and Sara Licklider, owners of LIOCO Wine Company, source old-vine pinot noir from the vineyards in Anderson Valley, 100 miles north of San Francisco. Defined by marine influences, fog, winds, and cool temperatures, the sites are carved from a pitch amid towering redwood groves. LIOCO La Selva (Spanish for “the forest”) ($40) shows high-toned notes, heft, Italian plum, and huckleberry. We’re talking small production: just 500 cases. Luckily for New Mexico Sara went to college in Santa Fe, so she sees to it we’re well supplied. Morgan Winery’s Double L Vineyard Pinot Noir ($65) comes from a single vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands near Monterey Bay. Cold, deep water and strong winds keep temperatures down, lengthen the growing season, and thicken grape skins, all of which fosters intense flavors of cherry, blackberry, and tea. The Pacific Ocean is visible from the Hirsch Vineyards on the windswept rainforest of Sonoma Coast. Vines planted by David Hirsch in 1980 on difficult to access slopes of folded mountains a mile from the San Andreas Fault are literally at the

James Selby James Selby has directed wine programs in New York, Portland, and Santa Fe, where he lives and works as a wine consultant and writer. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

story and photographs by Jessa Cast

Diner en Blanc bring everything, leave nothing

As the sun begins to set, lines of formally attired revelers, carrying everything from tables to wine, step off buses at a secret destination and get ready to party the night away.

Guests light up the evening sky after dinner with sparklers, and later enjoy a fireworks show.


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n 1988, a Frenchman by the name of François Pasquier invited some friends to a fancy outdoor dinner. To simplify finding one another in a public space, he asked everyone to wear white. Thus, Diner en Blanc, French for “dinner in white,” was born. Thirty years later, Pasquier’s hatchling event has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with events in such far-flung places as Nigeria, Australia, Singapore, Cuba, and Greece, as well over 35 U.S. cities. Paris’s 25th-anniversary event hosted a whopping 15,000 people. Five years ago, Diner en Blanc came to Albuquerque, and it’s been growing in local popularity ever since. For the uninitiated, the concept can be described as something of an elegant, outdoor, flash-mob picnic. The attendees, dressed entirely in white formalwear, pack their own dinner supplies, including a folding table, chairs, linens, fine china (no plasticware allowed), centerpieces, and their meals. Gathering at a predetermined meeting location somewhere in the city, attendees board buses to the dinner location, which is kept entirely secret right up until their arrival. Onlookers and passersby are often stunned by beautifully dressed revelers, in long lines of crisp white, streaming onto an event site that quickly transforms from empty space to formal dinner party. Groups of friends have discovered ways to connect and decorate their tables as one long dinner table, complete with elaborate décor. Once all the attendees have their tables set up and decorated, the party begins with the entire group waving white napkins over their heads. There is dining, entertainment, music, and dancing, and even a post-meal light show where every attendee twirls an outsized sparkler—a dazzling sight. When the festivities come to a close, attendees pack up their belongings and depart on their buses, leaving no trace behind. Over 800 people attended Albuquerque’s first Diner en Blanc, held at Balloon Fiesta Park, where they enjoyed front-row seats to a spectacular fireworks show. The second year’s event, hosted at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, saw an increase in attendance and a charming dance performance. Year three took shape

Amid rows of white-clad tables and partygoers, Jessa and Devin Cast prepare to tuck into the meal they’ve brought to Diner en Blanc

Onlookers and passersby are often stunned by beautifully dressed revelers, in long lines of crisp white, streaming onto an event site that quickly transforms from empty space to formal dinner party.

Left: The point of Diner en Blanc is “formal.” Thus, Jessa and Devin’s sushi is served on real china and displayed on a lovely tiered tray along with delicate pastries. Metal chopsticks are in keeping with the event’s policy prohibiting disposable plasticware and serveware.

under the trees at the BioPark, and year four stunned partygoers with 360-degree views from the top level of the Sandia Casino parking garage. This past September, the surprise location was a grassy park outside of the gorgeously curved façade of Aperture Center, at Mesa del Sol. Homeowners along the route stood on their front porches, watching, and even photographing, the white-clad guests marching by. After dinner, dancers emerged from the neat rows of tables, putting on an energetic show, and a vibrant fireworks display topped off the evening. Registration for the event requires Diner en Blanc membership, attainable through sponsorship by an existing member or by joining the waiting list. One need only attend the event every year to maintain membership, and once a member, you can attend any Diner en Blanc in the world. It’s a unique and memorable event for everyone involved, and one more feather in Albuquerque’s hat of diverse attractions. Diner en Blanc SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Libro

how do you live? personalized home design and organization, in two new books

The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way, by The Editors of Real Simple, Oxmoor House, paperback, $27

Above: This neat-as-a-pin kitchen cabinet gains space from mugs hanging from hooks. With shelf risers, there’s no need to lift stacks of bowls to get to your plates. Left: If your mud room is the catch-all space for coats, shoes, and backpacks, install racks and shelving to keep those things off the floor and easy to grab.


he word organize energizes some people, but for most, it conjures dreadinducing thoughts of spaces in the home where clutter—forgotten, and not-so-forgotten—lurks. To the latter group, organize suggests “work” and huge challenges. And it’s a problem, say the authors of The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room, that we’ve turned the simple and positive idea of organization into a complicated, taxing chore. Imagine a group of hyper-organized home design and lifestyle experts putting a proverbial hand on your shoulder and telling you to take a deep breath. With each room of a house presented as its own chapter, Real Simple covers ways in which organization can happen in virtually any length of time. For those who only have 15 minutes to spare, the authors suggest “hiding the big stuff” when conquering the closet. Then there are the bigger, more comprehensive weekend projects with longterm organization in mind, which might necessitate a trip to the hardware store to purchase shelving solutions or storage containers. The book also covers organizing areas where pets dwell, outdoor areas, and even inside the car.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Above: One of the best ways to keep clutter from taking over is to create manageable storage solutions. Many furniture manufacturers are designing pieces like this sofa that do double duty as storage space.

Part of the process Real Simple also advocates is removing unneeded items—a step beyond the concept of decluttering. Readers will be pleased with helpful, easy-to-grasp ideas like Doubles Are Trouble and Have a Place for Nothing. The latter, in particular, invites the reader to leave an empty space in each room for future items. Real Simple isn’t a one-time read that might get shelved afterward (and create its own unwanted clutter); it’s interactive and filled with checklists, pictures to help illustrate its points, and tips and reminders on how to keep things organized. That’s arguably the most appealing factor of the book: It conditions the reader to maintain their improved lifestyle. The Real Simple editors have built their brand on simplifying interior design solutions, and their newest book makes organization accessible to absolutely anyone. It reminds us that being organized isn’t that complex.—Jervon Perkins Excerpted from The REAL SIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room by the Editors of REAL SIMPLE. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM Southwest_Fall20184x5Ad.indd 1


10/30/18 10:40 AM

Lisa Petrole

Su Libro

Above: In Homebody, author and designer Joanna Gaines focuses on helping readers create spaces that are not only comfortable, but that tell a story through style and décor.


s one of the most well-known faces of television home remodeling, Joanna Gaines has had her share of experience when it comes to everything interior design. While working on HGTV’s Fixer Upper and creating Magnolia Market, Gaines began to realize that a home and its rooms should be so much more than pristine showplaces. That’s why her first design book, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, celebrates just that—living in a place that’s all about you and the things you love. “From the beginning, I wanted this book to be a practical and useful guide that would empower and motivate you to create a home that communicates the soul and substance of the people who live within its walls,” says Gaines. Without a doubt, homeowners looking for guiding inspiration will find it within the pages of Homebody, whether it’s for a specific room or the house in general. While she acknowledges you should focus on creating something functional and realistic, Gaines emphasizes that her book and advice are all about making the most of the house and means you have now—whether it’s your own, a rental, or a place you’re planning to remodel over time. Gaines begins by defining several core design styles—farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, and boho—and illustrating what each looks like, whether on its own or combined with others. Furthermore, each section features a helpful word bank of key descriptors that define each style in order to give readers an idea of the décor, patterns, and textures for which they should be on the lookout. 76

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The chapters that follow delve into every room in the house—from central living areas to bedrooms and bathrooms. While each chapter showcases gorgeous inspirational photos, Gaines encourages readers to dream up spaces of their own that are similar, but matched to their personalities, rather than mirror-image replicas. To help with this, the book offers a section with key points for critical thinking and troubleshooting tips that address potential problem areas in each space—bad lighting, outdated elements, lack of space and ambience, and so on. Blank pages and a design template are also included for notes and sketches. Designing and remodeling homes has been her career for several years, but Gaines’s true passion comes from creating a space that speaks to the personality of every homeowner she works with. Homebody reflects that sentiment, both encouraging and guiding readers to tap into their inner designer and tell a story through style and décor. “My hope is that wherever you are, you find a way to love the home you’re in,” she says. “It’s a story worth telling because it’s yours. That is how you create a space you’ll never want to leave.”—Danielle Urbina Making a statement from the start, this entryway has it all—wall art, stylish light fixtures, cozy textures, and natural elements.

Lisa Petrole

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, by Joanna Gaines, Harper Design, hardcover, $24

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on the market Just Winging Through

by Tom Smylie

fun by the flock


artful design

Mark L. Watson

bushtits are nature’s tiny acrobats

on the market

Listing price: $1.2 million Contact: Jo Cook, 505-379-6099, RE/MAX Select,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Jim Gross

Mark L. Watson

itting at the breakfast table with my cup of morning joe, I notice the bird feeders outside my window are covered with a moving mass of tiny gray birds. Further investigation identifies them as bushtits—by the dozens. These little birds overflowing with cuteness are not much larger than a hummingbird—in fact, they are the smallest birds in North America except for hummingbirds. As they move about from limb to limb, you can hear their constant chorus of ticking and tweeting with a Pee! P’pee sound. Even when you are certain there’s a group in a tree in front of you, you’ll be hard-pressed to see them. Bushtits are rarely found outside the forest below 7,000 feet or in treeless terrain, and are almost always in large flocks, except when nesting. They’re noted for their elaborately woven basketlike nests made up of sticks, leaves, and spider webs that hang 10 to 15 feet above the ground and are lined on the bottom with feathers, animal fur, and other soft materials for the eggs and young. Bushtits lay large clutches of 6 to 8 tiny white eggs to offset a high mortality rate, as around 75 percent of the eggs and young are taken by predators such jays, owls, and hawks. The common gray is one of only two bushtit species found in Mew Mexico (the other is the black-eyed). Bushtits are of the same family as chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, and verdures. They eat mostly insects, some seeds and fruits, and they love suet. Unlike most other species of insectivorous birds, however, bushtits do not migrate to the tropics for winter. They are friendly, curious, and gregarious little birds who are largely unafraid of humans. If you come across a flock in a tree while you’re out walking, don’t be surprised if they play “leapfrog” with you, flying into one Above and top: Though tree after the next just ahead of you as you come near. photographed here in Although small in stature and dull in color, these year-round close-up, bushtits usually residents of our forests are big in personality, and a constant travel in big, talkative flocks. Draw them to your source of pleasure. yard this winter by putting Tom Smylie, from Edgewood, New Mexico, is a retired wildlife out suet or suet cylinders. biologist affiliated with the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Mountain, city, and sunset views top the list of the stunning perks of this contemporary home. An architectural gem, the home combines poured concrete construction, floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed steel beams, and clean-lined design. Situated over 2,826 square feet are three spacious bedrooms, three bathrooms, a library, and a private study nook. At its center, the home’s entertaining hub features an open floor plan that includes a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen clad in stainless steel and mod cabinetry. Additionally, art enthusiasts love the home’s gallery walls, which feature excellent lighting and plenty of space to display collection favorites. In the master suite, an open and airy floorplan boasts fantastic city views and includes a master bath with contemporary vessel sinks and a large, walk-in shower dressed in blue glass tiles. Take a step outdoors and you’ll be met with a tree-lined patio complete with an outdoor kitchen, alfresco dining space, and a cozy fireplace.

ARIZONA TILE Winter 2019 Su Casa Ad 5.25”wide x 2.375” high

Granite ■ Marble ■ Porcelain ■ Quartz ■ Glass ■ Soapstone ■ Limestone ■ Quartzite ■ Travertine

on the market

history + style

Listing price: $715,000 Contact: Marcelle Vittitow, 505-620-9959 Realty One New Mexico,


Macaubus White Quartzite


COLORADO NEVADA NEW MEXICO w w w. a r i z o n a t i l e . c o m




Look for Builders who go the

Extra Distance Let us certify it “GREEN”

Ask if your builder’s homes are

“Certified: Build Green NM” Contact Us Today (505) 688-5335

The Longest Running Home Show in Albuquerque Tye’s Photography

This lovely home blends old and new in a sophisticated, bright, and airy space. The fully renovated adobe is situated in the North Valley and features four bedrooms, two master suites, three and a half bathrooms, and three patios that take advantage of beautiful courtyard and mountain views. Indoors, the Pueblo-style home embodies many Southwestern-style details, such as vigas, refurbished wood flooring, kiva fireplaces, Saltillo floors, and a wood-burning stove. Recently renovated features can be found everywhere throughout— from quartz countertops and a patterned backsplash in the kitchen, to new lighting and decorative fireplaces. Relaxation abounds in a master suite that includes not only a private living room but a spacious master bath with a newly tiled shower and freestanding tub great for restful evenings at home.

Reside Black Porcelain

5800 Venice Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87113 505-883-6076

April 6 & 7, 2019 Expo New Mexico

The Show you need to exhibit in. Space is already limited. Call and Reserve your Location Today.

800- 333-2122

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Talk about a transformation! This charming casita, part of the 2018 ShowHouse Santa Fe property (see page 26), was dark and dated before interior designer and ShowHouse cocoordinator Jennifer Ashton got her hands on it. Inspired by her chef partner, Luminaria’s Sean Sinclair, Ashton envisioned “high design without tone”—a soft and easy interpretation of burlap, muslin, and other kitchen linens. In making the decision to eliminate color, Ashton turned to texture and pattern, covering the living room chairs in a charcoal and white Scalamandre fabric. Every inch of the interiors was lightened, from the beams (now whitewashed) to the floors, where the gorgeous, digital-print-on-porcelain tile literally stopped visitors in their tracks. In giving the kiva fireplace a fresh look, Ashton turned to one of ShowHouse’s artists-in-residence, Karen Earle-Brown, who created a painterly and abstract symbol design that softens the room’s sharper lines. Earle-Brown’s own art hangs next to the kiva. Clean, linear, and monochrome, it suits the space perfectly. Jennifer Ashton Interiors,; Karen Earle-Brown, 80

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Lou Novick

modern farm meets casita

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Winter 2019  
Su Casa Northern New Mexico Winter 2019