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Southwestern homes

New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

at home with the


homes in the first-ever

spring Parade

far east meets


uncommon outdoor spaces a santa fe favorite

farm-fresh finds glamorous gardening and courtyard joy Vol. 17 no. 2 SPRING 2011

Photos by Kristine Massey

We inspire, surprise & amaze!

Appliances that inspire. Jenn-Air Pro-Style速 Stainless Robustly designed Pro-Style速 Stainless appliances bring a distinctive quality to your kitchen. Diamond-etched stainless steel handles and oversized knobs complement the striking, stainless steel finish, while an expressive badge and heavy-duty grates accentuate the bold details of commercial styling at its finest. Come explore our locally-owned showrooms at your own pace and discover the most innovative products on the market today.

Albuquerque | Las Cruces | Santa Fe

Albuquerque Showroom 308 Menaul NE Albuquerque, NM 87107 505.889.3001 THE MOST INSPIRING SHOWROOMS IN THE SOUTHWEST



To Help You Go Green

We Are “The Eagle”

U.S. New Mexico is partnering with Consolidated Solar Technologies to make solar installations more accessible for homeowners. Take advantage of CST’s no money down program and pay less for your solar than you do to your power company. You may even get a monthly rebate check. Call CST at 505-792-6359 for your solar, and let The Eagle green light your green loan.

505-792-6359 5225 Pino Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

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ENERGY STAR qualified homes offer: • Savings of up to 30% on monthly energy bills • The latest in energy-efficient technology • Independently verified construction • Improved health, comfort, and safety for your family • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Learn how an ENERGY STAR home is a great investment and find a homebuilder today by visiting

Visit these ENERGY STAR homebuilders during the Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade!

DR Horton • Kayeman Custom Homes • Lee Michael Homes • Panorama Homes • Pulte Homes • Rachel Matthew Homes Raylee Homes • Renaissance Custom Homes • Scott Patrick Homes • Silverton Custom Homes • Skyview Homes Stillbrooke Homes • The Strosnider Company • Sun Mountain Construction PNM and New Mexico Gas Company are proud to work in partnership to sponsor an ENERGY STAR Homes Program in our electric and gas service areas throughout New Mexico.

40 southwestern



32 life outside

Knowing the neighbors is just the beginning. Residents at Tres Placitas del Rio cohousing community in Santa Fe have created a natural paradise in their own backyard, complete with lush gardens, community goats and chickens, and verdant common spaces to share.

40 far east meets southwest

After years dreaming of designing his own place, Ron Griess brings his plans to life with an elegant contemporary house and garden he and his wife, Joanne, can truly call home.

74 the extraordinary ordinary

Behind its everyday appearance and unaltered footprint, the interior of this Santa Fe home reveals a spectacular showcase of Santa Fe-meets-modern design.

SPECIAL SECTION Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Use this guide to attend the first-ever spring Parade of Homes in and around Albuquerque.


Su Casa (ISSN 1084-4562) is published four times a year (March, June, September, and December) by Bella Media LLC, 215 West San Francisco, Suite 300, Santa Fe, NM 87501 for $9.95 for 4 issues, or $15.95 for 8 issues. Periodicals postage paid at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Denver, Colorado. POSTMASTER: Please send changes to Su Casa Magazine, P.O. Box 461393 Escondido, CA 92046-9952.

Above: Kirk Gittings; below: Amadeus Leitner


in every issue 12 Inside Su Casa

From the new spring edition of Albuquerque’s Homes of Enchantment Parade to a cluster of Santa Fe houses that share a richly landscaped and heavily gardened commons, New Mexico’s homes offer a little something for everyone.

14 Life Style Southwest

Get out this spring for farm-fresh finds, embrace your inner Luddite on the Antique Mile, and discover a Santa Fe gallery on a roll.

18 Finding Keepers

Embrace the season with glam garden tools that function with style.

21 Su Cocina

Start putting that convection oven to good use with a pinch of know-how and a generous serving of culinary inspiration.

22 Design Studio

Two outdoor experts share springtime inspiration for creating your own slice of high-desert heaven.

27 Home at Last

Around the world, wherever the weather suits them, courtyards and interior patios provide shelter from the elements along with the universal appeal of outdoor living.

81 Su Libro

Explore the thrift of growing your own, the lush life of luxury outdoor living, or the simple pleasures of the home—“where history ends up”—with these spring titles.

96 Dream On


Cover: Joanne Yoshimine-Griess enjoys one of the secluded courtyards at the home she shares with her husband, Ron Griess. Ron designed the house with a combination of Pueblo, contemporary, and Japanese influences. Photograph by Kirk Gittings


Charles Mann

A traditional Japanese tokonoma creates a focal point where Ron Griess and Joanne Yoshimine-Griess display their collection of scrolls. Below: A rare-in-New Mexico English-style knot garden is just one among many wonders at Elspeth Bobbs’ Santa Fe residence. For more of Mrs. Bobbs’ home, see Dream On, page 96.

Kirk Gittings

At Elspeth Bobbs’ storied Santa Fe home, the front portal holds a fanciful dreamscape as meaningful as it is lovely.

captivating Only GE Monogram offers the breadth and depth of design options to enhance any home. To learn more, visit

GE Monogram See our great line of GE Monogram速 and other GE appliances at: Builders Source Appliance Gallery 308 Menaul NE Albuquerque, NM 87107 Phone: 505.889.3001

Builders Source Appliance Gallery 1608 Pacheco Street Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone: 505.982.5563

Builders Source Appliance Gallery 760 West Palms Las Cruces, NM 88007 Phone: 575.526.5200

Published by Bella Media LLC Publisher

Bruce Adams Editor

Charles C. Poling Senior Editor

Alicia Kellogg Creative Director

B. Y. Cooper Managing Editor

Dianna Delling Contributors Elmo Baca, Emily Esterson, Gussie Fauntleroy, Joan Logghe, Jane Mahoney, Christine Mather, Marsha McEuen, Janice Myers, Carmella Padilla, Lesley Poling-Kempes, V. B. Price,

Laura Sanchez, John Vollertsen Graphic Designer

Sybil Watson Photography

Julie Dean, Kirk Gittings, Amadeus Leitner, Charles Mann, Douglas Merriam, Jack Parsons Advertising Sales

Advertising Manager: Cheryl Mitchell Account Executive: Melissa Salazar Account Executive: Emilie McIntyre For advertising information contact: (505) 269-2347 Newsstand Sales Consultant

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Ginny Stewart-Jaramillo For subscriptions, call (800) 770-6326


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

H o m e B u il d e rs As s oci ati on of C e n tr a l N e w Me x i co B o a r d o f D i re ctors

President: Garret Price First Vice President: Mike Cecchini Second Vice President: Rob Hughes Immediate Past President: Otley Smith, CGP Associate Vice President: Stephanie Peterson Secretary/Treasurer: Jody Contreras Associate Member at Large: Ron Sisneros Custom Builders Council, Chair: Troy Howard Green Build Council, Chair: Robin Harder Home Builders Care, Chair: Bain Cochran Membership Committee, Chair: Diana Lucero Parade Committee, Chair: Jody Contreras Production Builders Council, Chair: David Newell Remodelers Council, Chair: Debra Speck

H o m e B u il d e rs As s oci ati on of C e n tr a l N e w Me x i co Staf f

Executive Vice President: Jim Folkman Vice President of Operations: Lana Alderson Events Specialist: Kimberly Johnson

presidential award

Copyright Š 2011 by Bella Media LLC. Printed in the U.S.A. Editorial queries: Please send queries to the editor at Telephone: (505) 9831444. Website: Su Casa’s cover and text are printed by American Web in Denver, Colorado, on SFI-certified paper. The papers used contain fiber from well-managed forests, meeting EPA guidelines that recommend a minimum 10% postconsumer recovered fiber for coated papers. Inks used contain a percentage of soy base. Our printer meets or exceeds all federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) standards and is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Inside Su Casa

By Charles C. Poling

make yourself at home


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Left: Julie Dean; right (above and below): Kirk Gittings


ll of New Mexico got winter this year, so spring feels especially welcome. At last, we can get outside. The increasing daylight hours attend a lengthening agenda for most of us. And there’s so much to do: mind the garden, take the kids to soccer or celebrate the fact the kids have outgrown soccer, walk the dog, work on the house, maybe shop for a new one. We can help you with a few of those pastimes. If you’re thinking about a new home, the market is your oyster. You’ll find no better evidence than the first-ever Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade, staged by the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico on two consecutive weekends, April 29–May 1 and May 6–8. With a couple dozen homes available for viewing, chances are you can find what you’re looking for. Prices range from the $100s to well over $1 million in a variety of styles, from classic New Mexico to Tuscan to contemporary, and many have green-building credentials. We also celebrate the joys of outdoor living in this issue with articles about an East Mountains home its owners call Casa Sukiya, the wonderfully landscaped Tres Placitas del Rio community in Santa Fe, our columnist Christine Mather’s ruminations on courtyard joy, and our Finding Keepers department focused on gardening tools—which never looked so glamorous as they do here. Who says a rake isn’t a fashion accessory? Casa Sukiya manages to blend a lighter-than-air Japanese aesthetic with industrial-contemporary-Pueblo elements and an amazing depth of green-building features. The place drinks up the sun—and the views—while offering quiet, sequestered spaces for private outdoor living and meditation. What a charmer. Tres Placitas, on the other hand, is all about communal living, with a group of residents owning their own homes but sharing a spacious commons that includes play areas for the kids, lots of gardens, and a place to gather as a group outside for potlucks and community meetings. See how these Santa Feans have found the best of shared-but-independent living. Closer to downtown on a quiet side street in Santa Fe’s South Capitol area, designer Lisa Samuel and architect Dan Featheringill have gone inside to work their magic on an older home, transforming it into a sleek treasure of fine craftsmanship and exquisite style. Like the other homes in this issue, it manages to express the wide range of lifestyles here in New Mexico while capturing the unique visions of individual homeowners. So come on in, take a look around, and make yourself at home.

Correction: What a goof! In the Winter 2011 issue of Su Casa, our Dream On department article described a home built by Harder Custom Builders in the Sandia Mountain foothills (see top photo above). So far so good. The trouble is, to illustrate it we published a photo of a home designed by Albuquerque architect Jon Anderson and builder Paul W. Kenderdine, Inc. (see interior photo above)—a project that has nothing to do with the Harder-built house. With a trace of egg on our editorial faces and a sheepish bleat, we apologize to Kyle and Robin Harder, two of the nicest and best builders you’ll ever meet, and to Anderson and Kenderdine, who have collaborated as architect and builder on many spectacular homes, commercial buildings, and educational projects in the Albuquerque area. Sorry for the inconvenience, folks.

   There’s a green secret in Albuquerque. The alluring, year-round alpine environment of the East Mountains that is home to Paa-Ko. From the great green outdoors, to the custom-designed golf greens, to the gated green living of the Casita Community on the fairways. Green. It’s why some choose Paa-Ko. Others are just green with envy.

 

 

Life Style Southwest

By Alicia Kellogg

dig into this season’s fresh finds If you long for a shopping experience that’s free from pavement and predictability, The Farm Shop at Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque might be your new favorite spot. On the property of the historic inn, organic farm, and cultural center, The Farm Shop occupies the white, window-filled dairy building (originally a site for Creamland Dairies) and carries a delightfully diverse assortment of items tied together by their connections to Los Poblanos. “It is meant to be a microcosm of everything Los Poblanos is all about,” explains Matthew Rembe, Los Poblanos’ executive director. Body products made with Los Poblanos organic lavender recall summertime on the farm. The shop’s carefully curated collection of kitchen utensils and gardening tools are used on the property. And where else could you buy an elegant teapot like the ones at the inn? You’ll find house-made granola, caramels, and candied pecans, raspberry jam, and farm-fresh eggs, as well as aprons, cards, and wrapping paper featuring the designs of Alexander Girard, whose estate is handled by an independent business located at Los Poblanos. Altogether, The Farm Shop’s fresh selection and bucolic setting add up to a unique taste of New Mexico. 4803 Rio Grande Boulevard NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM,

barnyard animals 101 Intrigued by the backyard chicken craze but not quite ready to take the plunge? Consider getting your feet wet with Los Poblanos’ Barnyard Animals 101. For $5, this hour-long talk will teach you about raising hens, ducks, and goats. Held Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon, weather permitting. See the events calendar at or call 505/344-9297 for more information.

You might be familiar with Ben Forgey’s custom furniture at the three Range Cafes in the Albuquerque area, but you might not have seen the contemporary, rustic pieces this Bernalillo-based artist and designer creates out of driftwood he collects from lake shores around northern New Mexico. “I especially like to use driftwood in combination with surprising materials: Plexiglas, fake fur, real fur, mirrors, and rubber,” he describes. “Right now I’m working on chairs with seats made from hot-rolled steel and driftwood legs and backs.” You can find Forgey’s pieces at The A Store in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill area (3500 Central Avenue SE, 505/266-2222, and at Santa Fe Modern Home in Santa Fe (1512 Pacheco Street, Suite A104, 505/992-0505, For a look at Forgey’s latest work, check out 14

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Bare Bones Ghost Chair

Left: Jade Leyva; above: Sergio Salvador

designer to watch

Beautiful bathroom. Spectacular savings.

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shop the antique mile Jacqueline Smith

As spring blossoms and you’re primed and ready to get out of the house, one area ripe for exploration is the Antique Mile, a collection of shops along 4th Street Cabin & Cottage offers vintage home and garden pieces. between Ranchitos and Osuna roads in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Here you’ll discover an eclectic assortment of antiques stores featuring different styles, products, and time periods. (Look for the “Antique Mile” signs to identify members of the group.) You just might find a Saturday of nostalgic enjoyment stepping back in time through the everyday objects that once filled our homes. Typewriter, anyone? For details and locations, visit

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Fresh off a write-up from the New York Times, Axle Contemporary in Santa Fe is on the move with an original art-viewing opportunity to keep on your radar. The gallery operates out of an old Hostess delivery truck that Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel transformed into a mobile exhibition space with clerestory windows, a wooden ceiling, and track lighting. Exhibitions include established and emerging artists of all ages, and the gallery visits schools and communities around northern New Mexico. The goal? To bring a range of contemporary art to a broad audience. Axle Contemporary updates its website daily with location and schedule information, so you can visit for details about upcoming exhibitions, to view exhibition galleries, and to purchase artwork. You can also check Axle Contemporary’s schedule on Facebook and Twitter. The gallery’s spring program includes Kathleen McCloud’s installation on communication and mass media, through April 10, and Steina and Woody Vasulka’s video art April 15 through May 2. May 6 through 8, Madelin Coit will seal herself inside the gallery and read from The Wind in the Willows around Santa Fe. On May 12, Axle Contemporary will head to Albuquerque for an exhibitition of the community art studio ArtStreet. And from May 14 through 31, Caleb Lee Bowman will transform the gallery into a kaleidoscope to celebrate the completion of the new wing at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. Visit for more information.

Matthew Chase-Daniel

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Finding Keepers

Story and photography by Julie Dean

down to earth design Step out this season with glam garden tools that function with style. Below: A day in the garden can leave your hands sore, dry, and scratched, unless you wear the proper gloves. Bionic Blooms were designed by a hand surgeon to reduce calluses and hand fatigue and move with your hand as it opens and closes. Besides being quite lovely, these HandMaster gloves will protect your hands and forearms during the brutal job of pruning roses, pyracantha, and junipers. Left to right: Bionic Blooms in blue, $29.99. HandMaster gloves, $14.99.

5 4




Above: Excellent design is the trademark of this group of tools. The clean lines and simple design of the Japanese hori-hori knife function so well that it is considered an essential for any gardener. Because of the serrated blade and sturdy handle, hori-hori knives can efficiently dig and cut the roots of anything from a dandelion to a small elm tree. On the more delicate side, the Dramm cutters have the strength and sharpness to swiftly deadhead your flowers and offer the comfort and colorful choices associated with all of Dramm’s products. The Japanese hand hoe could be hung on the wall as a work of art. This handy tool has a forged steel blade made to cut into the dirt and uproot any unwanted guests in your garden. Left to right: Hori-hori knife with snap-on cover, around $30. Dramm garden scissors, $12.99. Japanese hand hoe, $19.95.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011



8 6



11 These really are the sharpest tools in the shed. Pruning tools must keep their edge to cause the least damage to a tree, shrub, or plant, and these three are all excellent choices for a good, clean cut. The Felco brand of pruners is considered the gold standard among landscapers, and Felco is one of the few companies to accommodate left-handed gardeners. This model has a rotating handle that moves with your hand as you prune. Once you try these pruners, nothing else will do. For bigger jobs, the Corona two-handed bypass pruner, part of the mini bypass pruner series, gives you the leverage and scope you need when pruning high and difficult-to-reach branches. The padded handles give your hands a break. The Corona pruning saw folds for safe and easy storage and handling. The saw locks open when in use, and the wooden handle is comfortable to hold. The folded saw is compact and easy to carry along with your other garden tools. Left to right: Felco pruner with rotating handle model 7, approximately $100. Corona two-handed bypass pruner, $39.99. Corona 10 1/2-inch folding pruning saw, $20.99.

where to buy 3, 6, 9, 10, 11 Agua Fria Nursery 1409 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe, NM, 505/983-4831. 1, 3, 4, 5, 12 High Country Gardens 2902 Rufina Street, Santa Fe, NM, 505/438-3031 and 6921 Pan American Freeway NE, Albuquerque, NM, 505/8678585, 2, 7, 8, 11 Payne’s Nurseries & Greenhouses 715 St. Michael’s Drive, Santa Fe, NM, 505/988-9626 and 304 Camino Alire, Santa Fe, NM, 505/988-8011, 6 Plants of the Southwest 6680 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM, 505/344-8830 and 3095 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe, NM, 505/4388888, 20

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2011

An established garden requires tools that can navigate the tight areas without damaging the existing plantings. These shovels and rake are designed to do just that. Small-scale blades and tines function well for planting and cleaning in close quarters. The ergonomically designed hand trowel moves with your hand as you shovel, causing less stress to the wrist area. Left to right: Extenda rake, $17.95. Grizzly shovel, $35. Radius hand trowel, $15.95.

The classic vegetable garden includes markers for each row planted, partly for identification but also because they are an attractive addition to a kitchen garden. These long-lasting weatherproof labels come with their own zinc pencil. Plant markers, $7.99 for a package of six. Also available in copper. 12

Su Cocina

By John Vollertsen

air apparent


Douglas Merriam

s home kitchens get more sophisticated, so too do the cooks who use them. As a consulting chef in Santa Fe, author of the cookbook Cooking with Johnny Vee, Food + Dining editor for the Santa Fean magazine, and director of the Las Cosas Cooking School, I am constantly exploring kitchen components that make food preparation easier, faster, and much more fun. In this column, I’ll examine some of those features and serve up recipes that might inspire you to check them out as well. Many savvy home chefs are clever enough to purchase ovens that include a convection setting but often don’t understand when or why to use them. Activating the convection option improves the results of anything baked this way. Fans at the back of the oven circulate hot air around the food, which creates an even temperature and avoids problems caused by the cool areas or hot spots often found in standard ovens. Cookies, biscuits, scones, and cakes benefit from this function as do other delicate dishes like soufflés and meringues. This fast-moving air also speeds up the cooking process by as much as 25 percent and acts on food as if you had raised the temperature by 25 degrees. Using the convection setting is an extra boon for folks living at high altitudes. For every 500 feet you live above sea level, you lose 1 degree off the boiling point. In Santa Fe, which sits at 7,000 feet above sea level, for instance, water boils at 198 degrees instead of the sea-level temperature of 212 degrees. You are in effect cooking with cooler liquid, and any recipe that contains liquid is affected. To counteract the effects of high altitude (above 3,500 feet), raise the temperature in a regular oven by 25 degrees. Or simply activate the convection setting on your oven set to the recipe requirement to facilitate hotter cooking. Conversely, if you are baking at sea level and want to use the convection setting, you must reduce the temperature called for by 25 degrees. Remember that whenever you use the convection setting, items will cook faster by about one-fourth the time called for in the recipe, so check for doneness early. Try this delicious New Mexico dish that rises to fabulous and tasty heights with the use of a convection oven. And remember, a slightly soft and underdone soufflé is always preferred to a dry overdone one. Buen provecho!


S U C A S A S p r ing 2011

Start putting that convection oven to good use with a pinch of know-how and a generous serving of culinary inspiration.

green chile cheddar soufflé 5 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon for dish 6 tablespoons flour 2 cups whole milk, warmed 6 egg yolks 8 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 teaspoon mild ground New Mexico red chile ¾ cup roasted, peeled, and finely chopped hot New Mexico green chile (if using frozen chile drain well) 10 egg whites Preheat oven to 350° on convection setting or 375° at high altitude. If you are using a regular oven, preheat to 375° at sea level and 400° at high altitude. Remove extra oven racks so that only one remains, and set it in the lower third of the oven. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Cut a 30-inch piece of parchment paper, fold it in half along the length, and butter one side of paper. Create a collar around soufflé dish by wrapping paper around dish with buttered side facing in, and affix with kitchen twine. Dust bottom and side of dish with Parmesan. Melt remaining butter in medium saucepan and whisk in flour. Cook for two minutes. Whisk in milk to form a smooth sauce. Remove from heat and whisk in yolks, one at a time. Return to low heat and stir in Cheddar, cooking until cheese melts. Fold in salt, red chile, and green chile. In a large bowl, whip whites until peaks form that droop slightly. Take 1 cup of the whites and gently fold into the cheese mixture. Place the cheese mixture in a large bowl and fold in the remaining whites in broad sweeps with large spatula. Make sure mixture is well combined. Pour batter into prepared soufflé dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the soufflé is set but still jiggles slightly when dish is shaken. Remove paper collar and serve immediately. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Design Studio

Edited by Alicia Kellogg

high-desert heaven Steve Biernacki & Jackie Hall

WaterQuest Landscaping


ur thoughts tend to collectively turn outside this season, but Steve Biernacki and Jackie Hall focus on outdoor spaces throughout the year at WaterQuest Landscaping, an Albuquerque-based company established in 1981. WaterQuest offers a range of residential and commercial landscape services from design to installation and maintenance. Steve worked as a custom home builder for 15 years before transitioning to the role of landscape manager at WaterQuest in the mid-1990s. Jackie comes from a background in creative fields and has been a landscape designer with WaterQuest for seven years.

What is the best thing we can do to improve our outdoor spaces? Steve: That depends on the individual. For a family, honestly the best thing you can do is to add some grass in the backyard and a play area that’s not broken up with trees—kids can’t play soccer in the middle of the trees. If it’s an area primarily used by adults, it might be adding a bigger patio so when you entertain you don’t feel like you’re falling off your patio. A beautifully landscaped front entry adds major curb appeal. This WaterQuest Landscaping design in Albuquerque’s High Desert area leads to a private courtyard and the home’s front door. The Belgard pavers provide a durable and attractive hardscape solution.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Jackie: You want a space where you can actually put some tables and chairs or a barbecue grill or a water feature. Outdoor kitchens are huge—people love them. But I think the initial factor is having enough space.

Top left: Dale Hart; bottom left and right: Chipper Hatter

A thoughtfully placed fire pit and seating area enhance the outdoor living area at this Albuquerque home.

Knowledge Teamwork Reliability We welcome you to contact one of us today for all of your Real Estate needs.

Missy Ashcraft (505) 362-6823

Barbie Brennan (505) 228-2876

Jo Cook (505) 379-6099

Deanna Dopslaf (505) 750-8138

Janie Gilmore-Daniels (505) 259-0502

Veronica Gonzales (505) 440-8956

Connie Johnson (505) 948-0001

Lynn Johnson (505) 350-5966

Katie McCabe (505) 440-9780

Annie O'Connell (505) 263-4141

Gary R. Peterson, CRS (505) 280-1952

Eve Price (505) 321-4004

Sandi Reeder (505) 269-9498

Stephanie Walter (505) 385-4283

Monica Youngblood (505) 350-7870

Keller Williams Realty Eastside

Keller Williams Realty North Valley

Keller Williams Realty Westside

9201 Montgomery Blvd NE Suite 101 Albuquerque, NM 87111 505-271-8200

901 Rio Grande Blvd NW Suite C-172 Albuquerque, NM 87104 505-271-8200

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What can we be doing to save water? Steve: We encourage everybody to try to be water conscious. The first thing is to have an automatic irrigation system with a timer. Jackie: People go to artificial turf to get the green as part of their water-conservation efforts. A lot of people are xeriscaping— taking out the sod, putting in what I like to call lush xeriscaping. Unfortunately when people hear xeriscaping, they see a sea of gravel with two plants, and it can be done so much better than that. How do you go about designing a beautiful xeriscape? Jackie: With any landscape design, the most important thing is looking at both functionality and aesthetics. When it comes to aesthetics, you always want a mixture of not only evergreens but also color so you have some winter interest as well as spring, summer, and fall. The biggest response I get from people when I talk to them about xeric is the perception of what xeriscaping is. The perception people have is that it’s basically an expanse of gray gravel, so they find it uninteresting, boring, stark, sparse. That’s the perception we want to guide people away from. You can have a lovely, interesting, welldesigned yard and still be xeric.

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Jackie: The key word is stages these days. We can do landscaping in stages to accommodate the budget. We tend to

Trees Chinese pistache Desert willow Vitex

Butterfly bush S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

How do we determine what is going to be most functional? Steve: Most of it is finding out what you like and thinking about your lifestyle, and some of it is education. If you build in a fire pit in the middle of a patio, which a lot of people ask for to start with, you later realize you can’t put a table there ever again because that fire pit is in the way. Maybe we set the fire pit off to the side a little bit, and you still get the same use out of it. A water feature is a wonderful thing to have in a yard, but sometimes people want it way in the back, where you can’t see it or hear it unless you’re outside. We try to place the elements people are really going to use in the places where they will be the most functional, and we consider what works into a budget.

In New Mexico, your xeric plant choices are beautiful and plentiful. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

(505) 275-3040 (800) 375-9101 8421 Osuna Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87111


What makes an outdoor living space great? Steve: Functionality. You want to put in what you’re going to use. I try to steer people away from gazebos in the back of their yard because they really don’t use them that much. Let’s bring your living space back down toward the house. You can put in an outdoor kitchen or a barbecue near the door, where you’re actually going to use it.

Plants & grasses Butterfly bush Karl Foerster grass Maiden hair grass Red-tipped yucca Spanish broom

recommend that hardscape go in first, whereas plantings might come later. Steve: What I always tell people is establish a plan, and then work toward the plan. What is your most important design tip for front yards? Jackie: Curb appeal. Many houses have an older, dated appearance, so you want to contemporize the house to give it a fresher look. That could mean something as simple as changing to a more updated style of gravel. You’ll tend to find plant species that were planted by a lot of landscapers many years ago, such as junipers and evergreens, and not enough color. Color is an important factor to provide curb appeal. We also do a lot of pavers, which are a beautiful and durable way to update an older concrete hardscape and upgrade your home’s appearance. How does a well-designed outdoor space affect your living experience? Steve: The key is the enjoyment you get out of the space. So many people don’t use their backyard because it’s not inviting; it’s not where they want to go. We want you to be encouraged to live outside. There are so many days you can enjoy the outdoors here.

Left: iStock; this page: Chipper Hatter

WaterQuest Landscaping, 5018 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 505/792-3600,

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Home at Last

the best little courtyard of all Around the world, wherever the weather suits them, courtyards and interior patios provide shelter from the elements along with the universal appeal of outdoor living.


n a perfect May day, it was love at first sight—not exactly my true love, but almost. I was being swept away by the warmth, the perfect proportions, and a sense of being enveloped, cared for, and secure in the courtyard of my about-to-be home, into which I had just stepped. Forget about the house for a second; it was all about the courtyard. The buildings that went with it were an enticing package, but brother, that courtyard was enough to carry the day on its own. Perhaps it had something to do with the crab apple tree in full pink flutter, or the burble of the fountain, or the big warm walls, or the sweet secret surprise of entering this private space. Altogether it formed one pure ecstatic, aesthetic experience. What’s more, it was a place we could possess; so, eventually, we did. From that moment forward there was no looking back in my relationship to courtyards—to know them is to love them. This entire form of relating a house to an outdoor space comes with a very long and impressive pedigree, being birthed in some long-ago time in a desert clime not so very different from ours, and then traveling across oceans only to discover itself again in an Old World meets New World reunion of equals. The home with an inner courtyard surrounded by a variety of rooms found itself from ancient downtown Rome and Athens to seaside villas near prevolcanic Pompeii,

An inviting courtyard design offers privacy, outdoor living space, and a significant dose of charm.

from country haciendas in Mexico to Middle Eastern palaces, from Moorish castles to main street Chaco Canyon. Some of the world’s dreamiest homes of all time, such as the Alhambra, epitomize the form, and with good reason. In a classic home with an inner courtyard or patio, rooms surround and open onto a contained inner space. Windows on exterior walls are rare or minimized, and a central door leads into it from the outside. Loggias or portales might form protection for the inward-facing rooms and provide shade and greater living space. In an urban setting, this style of home allows the family privacy and outdoor living, while in a rural setting the courtyard home might have a large protected area for work, guarding animals, and preventing incursions into the important supplies of the working hacienda. Throw in a fountain, some nice leafy, viny plants, and bam! You have the perfect formula for a stellar home design universally popular—wherever the climate is sunny and warm, that is. Don’t try this if you live in Germany or downtown Oslo. In fact, Santa Fe is just on the margin of making this livable. I can personally attest to the fact that the shade that is oh-so-nice in summer provides a meat locker effect in January, which may be why some courtyards in areas with true winters eventually get a nice glassy roof.



What enriches the courtyard both in a domestic or public setting is the sense that the outside world is as important to the overall space as the inside rooms or buildings that create and define it. This is the good news. The bad news is that you have to be sure you lavish just as much care on the design of the outside-in part as the inside-out part, otherwise you might be staring into a drab cellblock of a patio or a prisonyard-style plaza. The prison metaphor is particularly apt since what keeps some out can also be used to keep others in; the form can be used as a not-so-glamorous holding pen. There can be just a wee bit of glam to this, however; this style of building had particular allure for the harem set since the ladies—if that’s what you want to call them—could be sequestered within and could perhaps peek out from a second-story window but could not be seen from without. My personal favorite of this form is what I lovingly refer to as the Nun’s House in Oaxaca, Mexico. Probably an 18th-century structure, it has no windows at street level, just a formidable heavy plank door. The second story has a few windows with elegant ironwork grills from which the inhabitants could look down on the passing world. One

sees a glimpse of the courtyard that is dominated by what appears to be the world’s largest urban tree—sign me up for the nunnery. In general, low buildings work best, as do flat roofs. The form does not lend itself well to multistoried buildings unless the courtyard is large. Even then, with porches all around, the space might be too shady, to say nothing of rather gargantuan, for a home. However, it does work for public spaces such as a plaza—is this starting to sound familiar? Could we be in downtown Santa Fe? Of course the large form, the plaza—which finds itself in the same climes and cultures—really works well with that second story, especially if covered porches can be incorporated. This adds protection for pedestrians as they stroll around the plaza’s interior perimeter—perfect for sunny, hot, and dry or hot and rainy places: here is a townscape that can be found from North Africa to South America and huge swaths of the Middle East and Central America. Throw in a moat or citadel, make your wall of stone, beef up the gates and entryways, stick a tower wherever strategically sensible, make sure you



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eliminate all windows or openings on exterior walls, and you’ve got all-purpose fortification that sheltered people for thousands of years. Clearly, these homes and cities are made for protection—protection from the elements and protection from others—which goes a long way to explaining the courtyard’s universal appeal through both time and space. Closer to home, stellar examples of great courtyards are all around, starting with the plazas of both Old Town Albuquerque and downtown Santa Fe. Sena Plaza in Santa Fe best epitomizes just how lovely a well-landscaped space can be while the courtyard at the Palace of the Governors is a truly venerable enclosure graced by great, ancient trees. A stroll through the Pecos National Historical Park is a trip back to an even earlier creation in a magnificent and clearly strategic setting. The courtyard at the New Mexico Museum of Art gets kudos for scale and charm, while La Fonda’s La Plazuela brings home the prize for how to successfully cover a formerly outdoor space. At the most personal level, there is my courtyard, a tiny private parklike space that protects and shelters us and our home—the best little courtyard of all.



life outside

Knowing the neighbors is just the beginning. Residents at Tres Placitas del Rio cohousing community in Santa Fe have created a natural paradise in their own backyard, complete with lush gardens, community goats and chickens, and verdant common spaces to share. 32

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011


By Gussie Fauntleroy Photography by Julie Dean

t’s a timeless scene: children laugh as they run down a hilly path and jump onto a wooden swing hanging from a shade tree. Adults stroll along the winding path, stopping to exchange news with their neighbors, while others milk goats or gather eggs in a nearby barn, or pick squash from luxuriant vegetable gardens near a river. Now swoop up to a bird’s eye view, and the timeless rural scene takes on a 21st-century shape. The gardens, barn, paths, and shaded, rather wildfeeling spot where the children play are all contained within two and a half acres rimmed by close-packed houses, a small river, fences, and trees—all of which is surrounded by residential neighborhoods a few blocks from a shopping center and bordered by a heavily traveled city street. This is Tres Placitas del Rio, a cohousing community established in the mid-1990s on the west side of Santa Fe, just a short drive from the heart of town. Those who own the 11 homes facing into the property’s common space range in age from the mid-30s to mid-60s and hold occupations as

32 diverse as flight attendant, nuclear engineer, musicians, master gardeners, violin shop owner, computer wizard, and park ranger. These Santa Feans and their children are re-creating, in a contemporary American context, the spirit of extended family and village living that characterized much of human society around the world before the Industrial Revolution. It’s a spirit that embodies the values of shared work and play, communal space, cooperation, and consensus decision-making. It’s a way of life aimed at counteracting the soul-numbing isolation of the modern world. Yet unlike most back-to-the-land communes of the 1960s and early ’70s, or numerous 19th century American communitarian experiments, cohousing projects such as Tres Placitas combine the

These Santa Feans are re-creating the spirit of extended family and village living.

Clockwise from top: A shared meal at Tres Placitas del Rio’s outdoor dining area brings the community together. Melissa Schreck cradles one of the community chickens. Bountiful organic vegetable gardens populate the lush space near the Santa Fe River. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Clockwise from above: Moria Peters is an artist and head gardener for Elspeth Bobbs’ formal gardens. At Tres Placitas she heads the landscape committee. A sturdy goat house shelters Tres Placitas’ hoofed population. Lucy oversees a meal at the ramada, which serves as a gathering spot for parties and social events. Extraordinary outdoor spaces define the property at Tres Placitas. Opposite page: Houses within the community feature different architectural styles, including the Schreck home seen here.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Cohousing projects such as Tres Placitas del Rio combine individual home ownership with the benefits of shared community life.


Clockwise from top left: Cheerful countertop and backsplash tile adorn the kitchen at the home of Steve and Moria Peters. Cierra Schreck embraces her family’s dog Lucy among the property’s landscaped spaces. Tres Placitas’ design encourages interaction in the community’s outdoor common areas. Built-in shelves flank the elegant fireplace at Johana Moore’s home, where Valentine inhabits the living room.

American paradigm of individual home ownership and privacy with the benefits of shared community life.

uncommon spaces

Moria (rhymes with Gloria) and Steve Peters were among the first families to join Tres Placitas 15 years ago. They chose the building site closest to the Santa Fe River, at the far end of what would become a row of homes. Steve and Moria, who met when they both joined a collective household of urban homesteaders in California, are both master gardeners heavily involved in organic gardening and permaculture. Moria, also an artist, works as head gardener for the celebrated formal gardens owned by Elspeth Bobbs, off Santa Fe’s Canyon Road. Steve is involved with Family Farmers Seed Cooperative, a network of farmers growing openpollinated, public domain, organic seed. The couple’s skills have helped transform Tres Placitas’ outdoor spaces into a lush world apart. While cars, garages, and front entryways all face a shared driveway on the outer, public side of the row of homes, the heart of living takes place on the other side, in the common outdoor space encircled by houses and thick groves of trees. 36

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

33 Clockwise from top left: Master gardener Steve Peters takes charge of the community vegetable gardens. Moria Peters’ oil painting of a local scene enlivens her home studio. The Tres Placitas community provides a sense of extended family for the children who live there. From left: Quinnlyn Jonas, Aylin Sheehan, Cierra Schreck, and Nerissa Wuest. Resident Chris Sheehan works on a banister for the patio dining area. Local produce is close at hand at Tres Placitas.

“How else could we have gardens, chickens, and goats in our lives? It’s such a joy.” —Marcia Meckler



T here’s No Place Like Home, LLC

Chris Wuest started Tres Placitas del Rio on the west side of Santa Fe with a small group of community-seeking individuals.

The land slopes down toward the Santa Fe River, with a low section near the river holding organic vegetable gardens, children’s play areas, the goat pen, and barn. “We have a little bit of wildness left,” Moria says with a smile, gesturing toward Siberian elms, native hoary false goldenasters, and narrow-leaf cottonwoods as she leads the way to the gardens. Inside the tomato-vine-laden fence, towering sunflowers, hollyhocks, and cosmos intermix with squash, heirloom corn, and burgundy-hued amaranth. With plenty of kitchen scraps and goat and chicken droppings for compost, it’s a “very productive garden,” Steve points out. Higher up the property, terraced flower beds climb the hill behind a hand-built adobe playhouse. A large brick patio with a ramada and outdoor kitchen provides a focal spot for residents to gather for cookouts, parties, and other social events. Footpaths—the main one wheelchair accessible—wander through the property, accessed from each house. The tres placitas (three little plazas) of the community’s name have grown over the years to include several small seating and gathering spots with trellised grapevines, heirloom roses, and honeysuckle vines. continued on page 90



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far east meets southwest

After years dreaming of designing his own place, Ron Griess brings his plans to life with an elegant contemporary house and garden he and his wife, Joanne, can truly call home. Unstained cherry cabinets and patterned ceiling beams give Ron and Joanne’s kitchen a warm, modern feel. Ron designed the copper pendants, which were made by Alchemy Lights. The room incorporates a honed black granite island top and stainless steel countertops. The couple use the steamer on the stove for vegetables and fish. Right: The Japanese style guest space is designed for multiple purposes including yoga, meditation, a relaxing soak in the ofuro, and private guest quarters. 40

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

By Ellen Mather


Photography by Kirk Gittings

like to think of it as wabi-sabi meets kemo sabe,” Ron Griess says with a laugh, describing his home in the Paa-Ko development outside Albuquerque. The Japanese word wabi translates to tasteful restraint or quiet elegance. Sabi means rustic simplicity, a celebration of irregular, imperfect things, as in nature. And the kemo sabe reference alludes to the natural New Mexico setting in which Ron and his wife, Joanne Yoshimine-Griess, have created a tranquil oasis with a nearly invisible distinction between inside and out. Casa Sukiya, the moniker they’ve given their new home, reflects Japan’s most dominant style of architecture over the last several hundred years. Characterized by the integration of house and garden, the use of natural materials, and human scale, the Sukiya style evolved from the tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony, which typically took place in small, humble, garden-oriented structures with rustic elements. “We think of it as essentially Pueblo style, though a bit more contemporary, with a dash of industrial, all blended with a subtle Japanese influence that ensures the ‘spareness with warmth’ we admire,” Ron says.

Ron and Joanne’s home is oriented for optimal solar access to the south and mountain views to the east. Below: Multiple outdoor spaces offer a variety of experiences year-round.



The home’s entry begins with a path through the Japanese garden.

dream come true

With a lifelong interest in architecture and design and an appreciation for environmentally sensitive dwellings, Ron dreamed of building his own home for decades. Ron, a retired pharmaceutical researcher, and Joanne, a physical therapist, moved to New Mexico in 1995 when Joanne took a job as the director of physical therapy at a hospital in Taos. While living in a double-wide rental there, they concluded that life closer to Albuquerque suited them better, and they moved to the city in 2005. Through the years, Ron pursued his architectural interests by designing his sister’s home, two physical therapy facilities, and various projects still on the boards, but once he and Joanne were living in Albuquerque, he began to flesh out the design for the home where they live today. The couple had looked at lots in Paa-Ko, and after several visits to what they believed was a diamond in the rough—an open lot below the road, with a single piñon tree, near an intersection—they purchased the site for their future home in early 2006.

“This house plays on all the senses. I like hearing the water, the birds, feeling the sun and breezes, touching the earthy clay walls. No matter where I am inside, I’m almost outside.” —Joanne Yoshimine-Griess 42

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Shoji doors in the bathroom allow natural light to stream through.

Above: A comfortable window seat makes it easy to take full advantage of the view. Right: The home reveals itself gradually through the transitional entrance, including the stunning wooden gate designed by Ron and built by Modulus Design, which also made the screen wall grids and exterior metalwork.

The kitchen’s narrow design and adjoining outdoor living space allow Ron and Joanne to feel like they are almost outside when working in the kitchen. The kitchen/living/dining room offers a 60-foot sightline with southern light exposure that warms the room during the day. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The entry/library space minimizes clutter by providing aesthetically pleasing storage for Ron and Joanne’s extensive collection of books, as well as a closet for coats and shoes.

“Japanese architecture aims to please, rather than impress, the visitor.” —Ron Griess 44

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

Ron and Joanne spent many hours on the site, considering the ideal orientation for their new home to optimize passive solar heating and cooling while framing views of the mountains to the east. Paa-Ko’s covenants and restrictions specify a minimum home size, a requirement that Ron creatively met by connecting the 1,710-square-foot main house and 344square-foot guest house with a covered veranda. Builder High Mountain Homes broke ground in July 2007, and Ron continued to tweak design details throughout the building process, drawing from the philosophies and ideas of Japanese architecture, energyefficient and sustainable design resources, and several contemporary architects. Ron also drew heavily on the principles of the classic architecture book A Pattern Language, which he and Joanne discovered while taking a design course years before. The book outlines patterns common to all good architecture, regardless of size, type, or style. When combined, the patterns create “languages” that prescribe solutions for any number of design challenges. Completed in January 2009, the resulting home combines understated elegance with rigorous efficiency, requiring no more materials, space, or energy than necessary. The couple have clearly achieved their goal of creating a functional, eminently practical yet beautiful home. Ron was involved with the landscape design, along with Mary Burnett de Gomez of Hanayagi, an Albuquerque-based Japanese garden shop. Rick Garcia of Landscape Solutions put the design into action. Right: A series of staggered, external screen walls partially enclose the home’s Japanese courtyards. The stone lanterns and bench are from Stone Forest in Santa Fe.



The guest house veranda looks out onto a Japanese courtyard. 46

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

exterior A FACE LIFT G I V E YO U R H O M E

“I get great delight from this house,” Joanne says. “I am third-generation Japanese, and I’ve never lived in a Japanese-inspired house. The paper in the shoji bathroom doors glows like a lantern, and you see silhouetted, ever-changing shadows of trees and birds. It’s playful and fun, and it’s different every day.”

casa sukiya

Invisible to the naked eye but incorporated into every aspect of the home is Ron and Joanne’s environmentally conscious building philosophy. They chose highly efficient components for the building envelope and exterior, and natural, nontoxic materials for the interior—wood, concrete, stone, steel, sisal, bamboo, clay plaster, and recycled glass tiles. In addition to the low-water-use gardens, appliances, and plumbing fixtures, a gray water system in both bathrooms irrigates nearby trees and plants. Three passive thermal zones take advantage of

“Few people have the opportunity to live in a house that they can truly call their own. This house reflects how we think, what we value, what we prefer. It’s a personal expression of us.” —Ron Griess early morning eastern exposure, day-long southern exposure, and a cool, shaded northern exposure, respectively. By design, different rooms warm and cool naturally throughout the day. A detached garage in front buffers the house from the street and from northwest winter winds, while a meandering garden walkway nearby leads to the front door. The home’s transitional entry provides an element of surprise in which spaces gradually reveal themselves through a series of changing floor surfaces, ceiling heights, and views. Ample, well-designed storage off the entrance hall makes it easy to keep the house clutter free. Once inside, a traditional Japanese tokonoma, or ceremonial alcove, creates a focal point and displays a scroll from Joanne and Ron’s collection dating from the 1700s. In addition to fresh flowers, the scrolls and Japanese textiles—which Joanne and Ron rotate with the seasons—are the primary forms of art throughout the house, which is imbued with a warm, neutral palette of dramatically muted red and green. The absence of bold color is intentionally designed to highlight the flowers and art, and to draw attention to views outside. Every room in the house looks onto a garden and admits light from several sides through carefully positioned windows, skylights, and openings to other rooms. “This house plays on all the senses,” Joanne says. “I like hearing the water, the birds, feeling the sun and breezes, touching the earthy clay walls. No matter where I am inside, I’m almost outside.” The couple’s careful consideration of light, color, and texture is most apparent in the long kitchen/dining/living area, which includes a 24-foot bank of south-facing sliding glass doors and a deep window seat that perfectly frames the mountains to the east. Because the space is narrow—just one room deep— and filled with windows, daytime activities require no artificial light, and in summer cool breezes flow easily across the room. The dramatic 60-foot interior sight lines increase the perception of openness and closeness to nature, with unobstructed views at both ends. Closely spaced Douglas fir ceiling beams in the main living area replicate a design feature by contemporary architect Rick Joy and create a rhythmic pattern that contrasts with the smooth concrete floor. The separate Japanese-influenced guest house also serves as a yoga and meditation continued on page 89


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3 bedrooms with study 2 baths 2,281 sq. ft. $319,135 Take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Turn left on Paseo del Norte and continue to Golf Course Road. Turn right on Golf Course, then turn left on Cabezon Boulevard. Turn right on Vista de Colinas Drive.

This Energy Star certified home has a three-car garage and a cultured-stone-accented exterior and fireplace. The rear covered patio has a fourpanel sliding glass door. The master bath features

a luxurious garden tub and a dual sink. The guest bath has a dual sink as well, and both baths feature brushed nickel accents. The kitchen features custom maple cabinets and granite countertops.

Mark Ferguson (505) 797-4245

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Sun Mountain Construction



6690 Corrales Road

remodel 4,975 sq. ft. $950,000 (cost of remodeled portion of home) From the Big-I intersection, take I-25 north to Alameda Boulevard. Turn left on Alameda, cross the Rio Grande, and continue to Corrales Road. Turn right on Corrales Road and drive 4.5 miles to 6690 Corrales Road.

Green, green, green. This home will be the first remodeled home in New Mexico to receive both the LEED Platinum and the Build Green New Mexico Emerald certifications. Some of the green


features include geothermal heating and cooling, photovoltaic electricity, and recycled lumber. The home has way too many features to list. Come by and see our green products on display.

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Norm Schreifels (505) 892-8855


Exceptional service & quality products since 1971 KOLBE offers energy efficient Aluminum-Clad Wood windows & doors that are full of quality, innovation and performance. Whether you're planning a custom home project or simply replacing your home's windows or doors, you'll find the Kolbe product that meets your needs perfectly.

STEELHOUSE carriage doors are made entirely of steel. The original Steelhouse door combines distinctive style and curb appeal with strength and rigidity unmatched by similar products. Because these doors are well insulated, they'll help keep your garage comfortable in the Winter and Summer.

HEAT & GLO gas fireplaces add energy-efficient ambiance and warmth to any room at the touch of a button. With one-of-a-kind details, unique shapes and imaginative sizes, Heat & Glo gas fireplaces will complement any style of architecture.

4201 Paseo del Norte NE Albuquerque, NM 87113


RayLee Homes: A New Generation 6272 Carmona Road NW




3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,846 sq. ft. $201,101 Take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Take Paseo del Norte west to Golf Course Road. Turn right on Golf Course. Turn left onto McMahon Boulevard and continue west through the light at Unser Boulevard. Turn right at Maravillas Road into the Saltillo subdivision. Take the first left and follow west to the RayLee model village.

This single-story home is elegant in many ways. The dramatic dining room directly off a large entryway is stunning and leads into a large open kitchen perfect for entertaining or a quiet evening

at home. With vaulted ceilings and a corner fireplace, the living room is inviting and comfortable. The master suite is luxurious with patio access and a beautiful corner tub in the bathroom.

Tammy Grady Thornton (505) 917-1677

Hard water?

A Culligan® Water Softener removes the damaging minerals from hard water, helping transform the bird’s nest on your head into a soft and silky wonderland. To get yours, call Southwest Water Conditioning at 505-299-9581. Or visit us at 58

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Job #: 101906 Su Casa Magazine comb ad

Trim size: 1/2 pg Horizontal - Trim: 8” x 4.8125” Live: 7.5” x 4.3125”

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D.R. Horton


6539 Basket Weaver Avenue NW


Anasazi Ridge

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,861 sq. ft. $232,140 Take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Turn left on Paseo del Norte and continue to Universe Boulevard. Turn right onto Universe to McMahon Boulevard. Turn right to Atlatl Drive. Turn left on Atlatl to Basket Weaver Avenue. The home is on the corner of Basket Weaver and Atlatl.

This Energy Star certified home is also certified at the Silver level by Build Green New Mexico. The kitchen offers custom maple cabinets, granite countertops, and upgraded appliances. The home

has upgraded carpet and tile floors throughout and a two-car garage. The master bath has a luxurious garden tub and dual sink, and both bathrooms have oil-rubbed bronze bath accents.

Mark Ferguson (505) 797-4245

Home, sweet home and the security it brings. Whether you’re buying your first home or remodeling your existing one, Century Bank has a loan to fit your needs. We’ve been helping New Mexicans with home loans for over 122 years because we believe in building strong, long-lasting relationships, and that will never change. To meet with a mortgage professional about a home loan or to discuss any other personal or commercial banking needs, call 505.995.1200.



Santa Fe XEspañola XAlbuquerque XLas Cruces Offer of credit is subject to credit approval. 2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Scott Patrick Homes 4919 Valle Rio NW



El Bosque at Andalucia

4 bedrooms 3½ baths 3,205 sq. ft. $587,900 Take I-40 to Coors Boulevard northbound (Exit 155). Turn right onto Coors and continue past Namaste Road. Turn right onto Sevilla Road and follow into Andalucia. Continue to Tres Gracias Drive, turn left, and follow into El Bosque. Make your first left past the gate and follow to the Parade home.

The new Limited Series model offers a semicustom predesigned floor plan incorporating quality standards and a beautiful design. It features a contemporary Southwest design accented with

glass blocks and curvilinear window walls. Granite slab kitchen islands and countertops, double ovens, four-panel pine doors, and more define Scott Patrick’s new Limited Series.

Meryl Manning Segel (505) 828-9900

Get more of the city you love. dining • art • culture history • lifestyle

1 year, 6 issues only $14.95 subscriptions



2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

D.R. Horton

10642 Megafauna Road SW



Sandstone Villas

3 bedrooms 2½ baths 1,744 sq. ft. $145,234 Take I-25 south to Rio Bravo Boulevard, and turn right on Rio Bravo. Continue onto Dennis Chavez Boulevard. Turn right at 118th Street. Take the first right onto Cenote Road. Take the third right. Take the second right, then take the second left to 10642 Megafauna Road.

This Energy Star certified home features a kitchen with an open floor plan and five recessed can lights. Upgraded light fixtures and arches are included throughout the home, which also has

a rear covered patio and a one-car garage. The home’s flooring includes ceramic tile, and the lower level offers a half powder bath. Cultured stone accents this home’s exterior.

Mark Ferguson (505) 797-4245

Exciting NEW Home Designs Remarkably Priced From Only $99,990! D.R. Horton is excited to introduce our new “Villa Style” homes at Sandstone Trails. Our single and two story floor plans at Sandstone Trails range from approximately 933 to over 2,500 square feet, with uncompromising style and stunning architectural details. The community is easily accessible from both I-25 and I-40 and conveniently located to shopping, parks, golf courses and the newly constructed Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School and Atrisco Heritage High Academy. Life is great at Sandstone Trails! Prices, availability, incentives, plan features and materials are subject to change without notice and will vary by subdivision. Square footages are approximate. All floor plans and elevations are artist’s renderings. Not all buyers will qualify for all programs. See a D.R. Horton sales consultant in the community for details. D.R. Horton Inc. 505-797-4245

*AS REPORTED BY BUILDER MAGAZINE 2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Stillbrooke Homes 736 Jaconita Place SW


Stinson Park

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,600 sq. ft. $189,999


Take I-40 west to Unser Boulevard. Turn south on Unser and continue past Central Avenue. Turn left (east) on Tower Road, then take the first right on Jaconita Place to the model at 736 Jaconita Place. The subdivision is located between Coors Boulevard and Unser off Tower.

This home incorporates a study or fourth bedroom and an inviting vaulted great room. The Highland package includes wood windowsills, upgraded kitchen cabinets, a separate shower in the master bath, cultured


marble surrounds, and a textured painted garage. The home has a country kitchen, deluxe security system, backyard landscaping, and a three-car garage, as well as energy-saving features.

Elliott Isenberg (505) 923-4612

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Statements_SuCasa_Spring_2011.in1 1

2/9/2011 4:31:14 PM

Home Construction and Consulting Services



526 Calle de los Hijos NW

3 bedrooms 2 baths 2,548 sq. ft. $397,500 From I-25 north, drive west on Alameda Boulevard to 4th Street. Turn right (north) on 4th Street. Calle de los Hijos is the second street on the left. Turn left (west) on Calle de los Hijos, and 526 is approximately .5 mile on the left.

Sophisticated and elegant, this spacious Southwestern ranch offers rural living with quick access to city amenities. The kitchen, dining area, and great room merge into one large and functional

area and the expansive rear portal is perfect for entertaining guests. The home features custom alder cabinetry, granite countertops, and custom tile in the spacious and open kitchen.

David K. Langham (505) 238-7678

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Vineyard Homes



9614 2nd Street NW

3 bedrooms 2½ baths 2,427 sq. ft. $410,000 From I-25 north, take the Alameda Boulevard exit and drive west. Turn right (north) on 2nd Street. Turn right (east) on the first side street (Sandia Lane). The home is at the end of the street. Look for the Vineyard Homes signs.

This custom-designed Northern New Mexico style home offers three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a three-car garage. The open floor plan includes a great room, large kitchen, nook,

and formal dining room. The efficient layout maximizes the use of space. The private master suite is complete with a sitting area and dual closets, and the home has large secondary bedrooms.

Deborah Short or Annette Brown (505) 235-5225 or 228-6022

Lee Michael Homes

323 Nuevo Hacienda Lane NW



Rincones de los Ranchos

4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,756 sq. ft. $520,000 Take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Turn left (west) on Paseo del Norte and drive to 2nd Street. Turn left (south) on 2nd Street and continue to Los Ranchos Road. Turn right (west) on Los Ranchos to 4th Street. Turn left (south) on 4th Street to Nuevo Hacienda Lane. Turn left (east) on Nuevo Hacienda. Follow through the neighborhood gates to the second home on the left.

This welcoming Craftsman style home boasts a chef’s kitchen and an owner’s suite on the first level. Certified Gold in green building with solar panels and great energy efficiency, the home features two


covered patios and a vegetable garden. The home has a large RV garage/studio/workshop area, and it is situated in a private gated neighborhood adjacent to recreational paths and open space.

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Alexa Knight (505) 299-1500

Silverton Custom Homes



2015 Sydney Lane NW Sydney

3 bedrooms 3 baths 3,167 sq. ft. $750,000 Take I-40 west to Rio Grande Boulevard. Proceed north on Rio Grande to Candelaria Road. Proceed east on Candelaria to Indian Farm Lane, and proceed south to Sydney Lane (the first left into the gated community).

This custom Tuscan style home is an entertainer’s dream. This warm inviting home has plastered walls, water features, hand-scraped wood floors, barreled stone ceilings, cathe-

dral ceilings, movie theater, home gym, three fireplaces, knotty alder cabinets, an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, and much more. This home is a must see.

Gerald S. Maestas (505) 220-7508

The Abbreviations Stand for Excellence How do you know if your builder or remodeler is the best one for the job? These are the certifications to look for:

CGR Certified Graduate Remodeler CGB Certified Graduate Builder CMB Certified Master Builder CAPS Certified Aging in Place Specialist CGP Certified Green Professional

Visit the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico’s website 2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Paschich Design Group



1224 8th Street NW

3 bedrooms 3 baths 2,100 sq. ft. $339,000 From the Big-I intersection, take I-40 west to Rio Grande Boulevard. Go left (south) on Rio Grande to Mountain Road. Take a left (east) on Mountain to 8th Street. Turn left (north) on 8th Street to 1224 8th Street.

This progressive architectural design set in the Saw Mill District is located just minutes from Old Town. Using strong geometric forms coupled with regional building materials and techniques,


the home demonstrates a restrained synthesis of modernity. The concrete floors, multidimensional walls, custom cabinetry, and steel beam work elevate this home to a chic urban living space.

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Wristen Paschich (505) 250-1887

Renaissance Custom Homes



8916 Oakridge Court NE

4 bedrooms plus office 4½ baths 4,089 sq. ft. $599,000 Take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Drive east on Paseo del Norte to Ventura. Turn left (north) on Ventura, then turn left (west) on Oakland to the end of the street. The house is on the right side of the cul-de-sac.

This Tuscan style custom home features two master suites. The gourmet kitchen opens to a spacious living area and a patio with a fireplace. The upper level recreation room offers views to

the city and a covered patio. This home has ecofriendly features and custom features you’d find in a much more expensive home. “Luxury homes at affordable pricing” is our motto.

Oscar Muniz or Gary Padilla (505) 489-1000 or 720-4444

Need more on Southwestern Homes, Art, and Lifestyle? visit or The heart of the southwest is at your fingertips!

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Scott Patrick Homes


13519 Embudito View Court NE


Wilderness Village at High Desert

4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,977 sq. ft. $737,900 Take I-40 east to Tramway Boulevard. From I-40 at Tramway, proceed north past Montgomery Boulevard to Spain Road. Turn east onto Spain into High Desert and follow east to the last stop sign. Turn right onto High Desert Place and follow south into Wilderness Village to Embudito View Court.

Designed to take advantage of this breathtaking view lot looking northeast at the Sandia Mountains, Scott Patrick designed this Retreat model with a curved window wall across the main living areas

Su Casa 1/2 page:Layout 1



and master bedroom, amplifying the outstanding views. This Limited Series home boasts an incredibly efficient use of space, giving a family lots of privacy within 2,977 square feet of living area.

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Meryl Manning Segel (505) 828-9900


Whether it’s in the foothills of High Desert, along the Bosque trails in Andalucía, or the open mesa of Mariposa, Scott Patrick Family of Homes offers you a choice of planned communities to suit your lifestyle.

S c o t t Pa t r i c k Fa m i l y o f H o m e s HOMES





2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

$2,000, 000

CALL US AT 505.828.9900 OR VISIT

Stillbrooke Homes 916 Tiernan Court NE


Silver Leaf

3 bedrooms 2¼ baths 1,542 sq. ft. $189,782


From eastbound I-40, exit at Eubank Boulevard and drive north. Turn left (west) on Lomas Boulevard. Turn right (north) on Easterday Drive, then turn left on Marron Circle to the models on the corner of Tieran Court and Marron Circle.

This townhouse offers a study, optional game room, walk-in closet, open kitchen, and dining nook, and it incorporates energy-saving features. The Highland package includes wood windowsills,

upgraded kitchen cabinets with crown molding, a separate shower in the master bath, cultured marble surrounds, and a textured and painted garage, as well as upgraded carpet and lighting.

Elliott Isenberg (505) 923-4612

Southwestern homes


inspiration ideas resources

Coming in the Summer issue...

Jack Parsons

Step inside everyone’s

favorite room with our annual kitchens issue. Take in the unique charm and one-of-a-kind character of today’s Santa Fe style. Subscribe today at or phone (800) 770-6326 2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


The Strosnider Company 1440 Vinca Trail NE



Chelwood Hills

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,560 sq. ft. $299,300 Take I-40 east to Tramway Boulevard. Turn left on Tramway to Indian School Road. Turn left on Indian School and continue .25 mile to Eastridge Drive. Turn left on Eastridge and continue for half a block to Vinca Trail. Enter the gated community and continue to 1440 Vinca Trail.

At this home Tuscan architecture is accented by cultured stone, an oversized entry door, and wrought iron accents. Twelve-foot ceilings along with an open kitchen showcase an open floor


plan. Andersen wood windows along with Energy Star design and independent third-party certification guarantee energy efficiency. Universal design elements are also incorporated.

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Patrick Strosnider (505) 884-7666

Rachel Matthew Homes 2001 Mountaineer Drive SE




3 bedrooms 2½ baths 1,958 sq. ft. $279,900 Take I-40 east to the Juan Tabo Boulevard exit. Take Juan Tabo south past Central Avenue into the Volterra subdivision. Turn right (west) on Blue Ribbon Road, then take an immediate left on Mountaineer Drive to 2001 Mountaineer Drive.

This 1,958-square-foot custom design is located on an oversized corner lot in the Volterra subdivision. This home is a true representation of how Rachel Matthew Homes can customize

your floor plan at any square footage or price and build it green at a value that can’t be ignored. Come see how you can afford a custom, energyefficient, luxury Rachel Matthew home.

RayLee Homes: A New Generation 11809 Pocono Road SE

Marlene Vance (505) 792-4663




3 to 4 bedrooms 3½ baths 2,642 sq. ft. $253,101 Take I-40 east to Juan Tabo Boulevard. Drive south on Juan Tabo and continue past Central Avenue, over the new bridge into Volterra. Turn left on Pocono Road.

With a grand entry adjacent to a beautiful dining area off the family room, this design makes entertaining a must. The cook of the family will appreciate a large, open kitchen with extended serving

bar. The Rush floor plan includes a downstairs master. Options for a game room or second master bedroom upstairs provide ultimate flexibility in this spacious Energy Star qualified home.

Tammy Grady Thornton (505) 917-1677

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


Panorama Homes 220 Via Sedillo

East Mountains


Rancho Verde

2 bedrooms 3½ baths 3,507 sq. ft. $1,300,000 From the Big-I intersection of I-25 and I-40, travel eastbound on I-40 for 21.9 miles to Exit 181 (Sedillo Hill exit) to NM-333. Turn right on NM-333 (Old Highway 66) for .5 mile and then turn left on Via Sedillo and travel 3 miles to the end of the road.

Ten-foot-tall glass doors peer over the treetops, taking in the expansive view, folding back to form a 24-foot-wide opening to a crescent-shaped deck that seamlessly blends the outdoors with

the interior living areas. A unique contemporary home featuring cantilevered covered porches and stainless steel exterior wall tiles, this is one home on the tour that is not to be missed!

Alternative Building Solutions

John Lowe (505) 688-6834

East Mountains


299B Highway 472

3 bedrooms 2 baths 2,152 sq. ft. $247,800 From Albuquerque, take I-40 east to Edgewood, Exit 187. Take Exit 187 north (left) onto NM-344 for 5.4 miles to NM-472. Turn right (east) onto NM-472 for 3 miles to 299B. Turn left into the drive.

This custom home showcases 675 square feet of portales. The gourmet kitchen is accented with granite countertops, a walk-in pantry, and a chef’s island open to the living and dining areas with 72

reclaimed oak floors. A cozy woodstove accents the owner’s suite. The owner’s bath offers a designer snail shower, custom tile accents, and an impressive walk-in closet.

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section

Kerry L. Lujan or Olivia Stuard (505) 832-6111 or 991-0508

Vineyard Homes 10 Mudhead Court

East Mountains



3 bedrooms 3½ baths 2,614 sq. ft. $485,000 From Albuquerque, take I-40 east to Exit 175. Take the ramp for NM-14 north toward Cedar Crest. Take a slight right onto NM-333 (Route 66). Take a slight left onto NM-14 and continue for approximately 9.5 miles. Turn left into the second Paa-Ko entrance. Turn right on Paa-Ko Drive. Turn left on Mudhead Court to the home on the right.

This custom-designed 2,614-square-foot Southwestern style home offers three bedrooms and three and a half baths plus a three-car garage. The home has a large master suite, and the sec-

ondary bedrooms each have a private bath. Large windows throughout capture the stunning views. The design, nichos, custom fireplaces, and wood beams add to the custom flair this home offers.

Marie Enterprises 7 Tecolote Court

Deborah Short or Annette Brown (505) 235-5225 or 228-6022

east mountains



3 bedrooms plus study and hobby room 3 baths 3,383 sq. ft. $880,855 From Albuquerque, take I-40 east to Tijeras/Cedar Crest. Take the ramp toward NM-14 north/Cedar Crest. Turn right onto NM-333 north/Highway 66 east/Route 66. Turn left onto NM-14 north. Turn left onto Paa-Ko Drive. Turn right to stay on Paa-Ko Drive. Turn left on Rain Dance Road. Take the first right on Tecolote Court, and 7 Tecolote Court is on the left.

This contemporary Southwestern home was designed for the spectacular views—every room has a view. The open great room, kitchen, and dining room are accessible to outdoor living. An

operable skylight gives the kitchen ventilation and an additional open feeling. The home is tucked into the side of the mountain with a three-car garage. Many of our upgrades are found in this house.

Betty Blea or Lori Tortorici (505) 342-1532

2011 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade Sponsored Section


the extraordinary ordinary

Behind its everyday appearance and unaltered footprint, this home’s interior reveals a spectacular showcase of Santa Fe-meets-modern design. The Japanese soaking tub in its natural-looking grotto restores body and soul. The trunk of a birch tree that was once in the owner’s yard forms the stand for the faucet.

Interior designer: Lisa Samuel, Samuel Design Group Architect: Dan Featheringill, Feather & Gill Architects 74

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2011

A touch of whimsy enlivens the winter landscape. After a complex renovation, the house proudly retains its historic character. By Marsha McEuen


Photography by Amadeus Leitner

n a narrow historic street in Santa Fe, an ordinary-looking small house nestles comfortably with its neighbors—but it’s not what it seems. It’s really like a Fabergé egg that opens to reveal a gemlike world of fine craftsmanship and sparkling treasures. An owner, an architect, and an interior designer shared a vision for keeping the character of the hundred-year-old working-class home while turning it into something special. Today the house is everything they hoped—a remarkable marriage of historic preservation and modern style—a little bit Santa Fe and a little bit New York. “This home is a jewel like its owner,” says Lisa Samuel, of Samuel Design Group, “very sophisticated and polished, but fun and sometimes surprising.” The first surprise is that the humble Santa Fe style exterior gives way to a sleek urban nest inside its walls. The second is that the house is actually bigger than it appears, thanks to a basement addition.

The custom furniture perfectly fits the scale of the living room, giving it a spaciousness that is larger than its actual size.



The rooms are not large, but the perfectly scaled furnishings and lush finishes on floors, ceilings, and walls give them impact and grace. dream job

The design on the outdoor fireplace, made by Rodney Begaye, is a combination of natural stone and recycled iridescent glass. 76

For Samuel, it was a dream job. She had an immediate rapport with the owner. “I always take the time to listen and read my clients, and she agrees that I read her very well,” she says. Samuel designed every inch of the interior down to the light switches and drawer pulls, and even all the furniture, made by Santa Fe artisans. The rooms are not large, but the perfectly scaled furnishings and lush finishes on floors, ceilings, and walls give them impact and grace. Warm chocolate leather, for example, panels the cozy study. Wood ceiling tiles and rich draperies in the master bedroom evoke an exquisite Renaissance box. A beloved birch tree removed from the owner’s property found new life, recycled in a relief sculpture in the guest room and as part of the seductive Japanese soaking tub. Although the space is compact, it embraces all the owner’s passions—writing, art, dance, and cooking. “It keeps me relaxed and sane to cook,” says the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. Her open galley kitchen reveals a sparse collection of utensils and ingredients. “It’s a real discipline, and I wanted that,” she explains. “I’m always striving to do it better.” But large, celebratory dinners were simply beyond the scope of the kitchen, so there is a second oven, a large refrigerator/ freezer, and a dumbwaiter in the downstairs laundry room. Other rooms do double duty too. The downstairs den is also a ballet studio complete with barre and mirrors. The architect for the project, Dan Featheringill of Feather & Gill Architects, came up with the inventive ways of providing the things the owner loves without making the house feel cramped. “Getting it to all fit gracefully was a challenge,” he admits. But it was not nearly as challenging as the basement addition. The home is in a tightly regulated historic district, so the exterior appearance could not be altered. Since the footprint

Clockwise from above: The chic and spacious dressing room/closet reminds the owner of a Chanel boutique. In the dining room, the eye-catching chandelier is made of copper pipe with a shower of crystals. The owner and the designer added gems and minerals. The guest bedroom expresses a connection to nature. Designer Lisa Samuel made the bas-relief sculpture over the bed from birch tree branches, and the furniture is zebrawood. The galley kitchen is small but holds everything a committed cook needs. Metallic porcelain tile from Spain on the backsplash and walls is luxurious but practical.



1(&OUFSQSJTFT Concrete/Asphalt Recycling • Excavation Aggregate Material • Granite Countertops

“This home is a jewel like its owner— very sophisticated and polished, but fun and sometimes surprising.� —Lisa Samuel




The study is paneled in soft leather, an invitation to read and write.

already exceeded the size allowed on the lot, the only way to expand was down—enlarging a small area that once housed a coal furnace. But the exterior walls were made of pen tile, a hollow masonry tile produced by state prisoners at the turn of the 20th century. The building was very fragile with no footings and very little structural support.

easy does it

“We had to be very careful,” explains Featheringill. “We braced the walls and left the roof and floor while we excavated. Eventually, the only things left intact were the four exterior walls.” There was no way to bring a tractor onto the property, so the digging was done by hand. “It was all picks, shovels, and buckets.” Pen tile is a notoriously poor insulator, but spraying foam insulation outside would have rounded the corners, changing the home’s appearance. So the insulation was meticulously applied inside. Solange Serquis of Serquis + Associates Landscape Architecture joined the team with the task of harmonizing the traditional with the new qualities of the property. “I looked at the interior design and brought some of the indoors to the outdoors,” she says. She interpreted the metal staircase railings in the front fence and as edging for the backyard terraces. With an eye to the elegant detail inside, she filled the landscape with subtle touches—smooth rock contrasted with round pebbles and plantings that change with the seasons. “I played with some ideas,” she says. “There is a stone path to the old garage that the owner will use as an art studio, and I planted Indian paintbrush along it to inspire her.” Historic preservation of this complexity is not for the faint of heart. “When you get into one of these old houses, you’re really into

In the downstairs laundry room, a second oven and a refrigerator/freezer provide reinforcements when the main kitchen reaches capacity during large dinner parties. A dumbwaiter sends fixings between floors.

it,” says the owner. Although it took a year and a half, she would do it again in a heartbeat. But she worries that other homes in similar condition may not find their angels. Architect Dan Featheringill, who is on the city Historic Design Review Board, is pleased with the outcome. “I think it’s great that it looks so much like the original,” he says. Lisa Samuel wouldn’t change a thing in the interior design. As for the owner, “I love it,” she says. “I want to live here for the rest of my life.” Lisa Samuel can be reached at 505/820-0239 or Dan Featheringill can be reached at 505/471-2195 or

Lots Available or Build to Suit on Your Lot Have Your Own Plans? We Can Build Your Custom Home For You

Custom Home Design & Build Team

P.O. Box 7726


Albuquerque, NM 87194 505.440.5486 Direct. 505.766.2547 Office WWW.MONTICELOHOMES.COM


The Remodelers Showcase & Expo Come to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and get great ideas for your new home or remodel project.

May 14 & 15, 2011 Talk to builders, trades, and suppliers of products including green products for your home. You can also review the portfolios of remodelers and designers who have submitted their projects in the Showcase and find out who was recognized for X-Cellence in Remodeling. The official magazine will be available for free at the Expo and sponsor locations.

SANTA FE AREA HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION A driving force for quality building in Santa Fe.

1409 Luisa Street, Santa Fe • 505.982.1774


“Camino Manzano” by Deborah Paisner


Su Libro

By Charles C. Poling

the life well earned Explore the thrift of growing your own, the lush life of luxury outdoor living, or the simple pleasures of the home—“where history ends up”—with these spring titles. Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden, by Andrea Bellamy, photographs by Jackie Connelly, Timber Press, paperback, $19.95.

a raspberry nipped from the bush? Man, that’s heaven. For many of us, intimidated by everything we don’t know, getting started is the hard part. No worries, Bellamy’s got your back. And though in an interview she describes her lovely new gardening guide Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden as a “one-stop resource for aspiring urban farmers,” it also provides more-experienced gardeners “detailed instructions on how to take their gardens to the next level.” Equal parts inspiration and empowerment, the book covers everything from garden design to harvest.

Photo by Amadeus Leitner

Author Andrea Bellamy sees a “huge cultural shift” under way as more and more people are establishing a new relationship to food, moving their diets away from processed foods, and eating more home-grown, locally grown organic produce. Maybe you’re one of them. You might be motivated by the healthiness of natural food, the thrift of growing your own, the recipe-boosting power of just-picked herbs and veggies, or a commitment to sustainability and keeping a low carbon footprint. Maybe you love the physicality of gardening— hands in the dirt, sun on your face, conjuring life and energy from the soil at your feet. And who can resist the intense flavor of a cherry tomato plucked from the vine, a carrot snatched from the earth and washed under the sprinkler, or

Interior Design

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“This book walks you through the basics—and then some—of planning, creating, and tending an organic food garden in a small space,� Bellamy writes in the preface. And she delivers, leaving out nothing. Chapters cover garden style (formal or informal? You decide.), assessing and finding your space (maybe it’s on the balcony like Bellamy’s, in a neighbor’s yard, or in a community garden across

Who can resist the intense flavor of a cherry tomato plucked from the vine, a carrot snatched from the earth and washed under the sprinkler, or a raspberry nipped from the bush?

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town), building the garden (raised beds, containers, or in the good olâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ground), and planning what to growâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the latter with tons of advice on what to plant (and when). Other chapters include a detailed discussion of soil (now thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a relationship to nurture), sowing seeds and growing plants, keeping the green things healthy (while zapping weeds and insects), making the most of limited space (youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be amazed), harvesting, and putting it all to bed till next spring. This book is delightful not just for being thoroughâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;though it isâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and authoritativeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;dittoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but for being well-written, beautifully photographed by Jackie Connelly, and engagingly designed. Maybe every generation needs its own gardening gurus to pass on the mantras and teach the ancient litanies. Bellamy has the voice and the style sense to go viral with her gardening message, with a presence as a communicator that she may well have

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honed on her blog, Heavy Petal (, which emulates the just-girlschatting flair and eye-candy appeal of the young-and-hip Design*Sponge ( Here she talks about her personal experience with small-space gardening at her Vancouver, British Columbia, residence, with lots of ultracute shots of her toddler daughter Lila digging around in the compost, say, or Bellamy unwrapping her advance copy of her new book. And like the book, the writing is crisp and friendly, the photos appealing and intimate. Topics on the blog partly track with the book, with popular posts covering “5 Reasons Container Farming Rules,” “The Secret to Successful Veggie Garden Planting,” and “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Seed Balls.” On one post, Bellamy talks about using iCal (that’s the Mac-based electronic calendar) on your iPhone for planning seed planting. You won’t find that in your mother’s gardening guide. Licensed t Bonded t Insured

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At Home: A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson, Doubleday, hardcover, $28.95.

Bill Bryson’s new book is an enterSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


taining romp through the house, by which I mean he writes in great detail about the creation of the ice industry in New England, the plight of servants in Victorian England, the development of corn in Mesoamerica, the life of a late-medieval English village rector, the chores of scullery maids, and the construction of the nearly all-glass Crystal Palace outside London in the 1800s. Plus approximately 80,123 other topics. A highly readable generalist and affably astute cultural observer, Bryson apparently never sniffed a rabbit trail he didn’t follow. Fortunately, to mix our metaphors and literary allusions, he always follows his own trail of bread crumbs back home. And home is, after all, the subject of At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Don’t be fooled by the subtitle. This history is anything but short—or private. To Bryson’s credit, in the introduction he lays all his cards on the table: “So the history of household life isn’t just a history of beds and sofas and kitchen stoves, as I had vaguely supposed it to be, but of scurvy and guano and the Eiffel Tower and bedbugs and bodysnatching and just about everything else that has ever happened. Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.” Bryson starts with his own home, “a former Church of England rectory in a village of tranquil anonymity in Norfolk, in the easternmost part of England.” He became intrigued by the place and its ties to things that happened around it. “So I thought it might be interesting, for the length of a book, to consider the ordinary things in life, to notice them for once and treat them as if they were important, too.” And while Bryson concentrates on the last 150 years of household history, he makes frequent forays into the more-distant past. Thus, for instance, an uncountable number of fascinating digressions

later, we learn that a long-buried settlement in the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland was discovered to have houses—older than the pyramids—that offered a form of running water for flushing away waste. We further learn that the Mason jar was invented in 1859, so that at last people could preserve food to eat

“The history of household life isn’t just a history of beds and sofas and kitchen stoves, as I had vaguely supposed it to be. Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.” —Bill Bryson later. If your bedroom is upstairs, Bryson explains, you owe its location to the invention of the fireplace and chimney, which replaced the smoky open hearth. And with Bryson we find out that long before the Homes of Enchantment Parade home tour, middle-class folks could tour rich people’s houses, though sometimes the servants charged a little fee on the side. All these arcane, shadowy, and sometimes forgotten details of life find their way to light in chapters focused on the hall (meaning the great hall, not the little connecting passage that leads to the bedrooms), kitchen, scullery and larder, fuse box, drawing room, dining room, bedroom—every space from cellar to attic and out to the garden (“yard,” to us Yanks, of which Bryson is one, being an American by birth and sensibility). There’s method to the meandering narrative mad-

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ness: we get sex in the Bedroom chapter (Victorians weren’t having much fun—but then, we knew that, right?), a treatment of food preservation in the Kitchen, and candle technology in the Fuse Box. In the Bathroom chapter, Bryson observes that “washing merely for the sake of being clean and smelling nice was remarkably slow in coming.” Hey, scrubbing once a week with a sponge and soap was good enough for Karl Marx when he went off to college in the 1830s, or so his mother advised. But then, when you had to break the ice in the basin to wash your face in the morning, full-body immersion might have been the last thing on your mind. An overwhelming volume of research lies behind the book. Bryson’s bibliography runs to 20 pages. To keep the references from overwhelming the book, Bryson pushed all that to a 140-page pdf with page-by-page notes, which you can download from a website if you want to do a little fact-checking on the side. Probably you won’t bother with the notes. Your nose will be too deeply buried in the free-flowing narrative about what just might be your favorite place: home.

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With buds on the cottonwood trees and the geese and cranes starting to head north, our minds naturally turn to the outdoors. That anticipatory, creative energy of the season often drives us to get busy in the yard, planting, landscaping, or maybe just planning the summer’s alfresco events. In much of New Mexico, like the lower-desert Southwest states around us, we can enjoy the patio most of the year, so why not make it a wall-towall living space? That seems to be the intent in The Sustainable Landscape and New Ideas for Living Outdoors, two new books by Nevada landscape designer Damon Lang and his coauthor, Darlene Claire Preussner. Similar, even overlapping in content and intent, the two books distinguish themselves by theme and organization. The authors shaped The Sustainable Landscape around particular homes, each backyard getting a couple dozen pages of photos, seemingly documenting the goodies from every conceivable angle, in every conceivable light—and even showing baredirt, new-home “before” shots so you can appreciate the stem-to-stern transformation wrought, presumably, by Lang and crew. Thus we have, for instance, the “Moody Blue” (without an ensuing “nights in white satin” pun, for you Boomer readers) project, which features a swim-up bar and adjacent sunken kitchen, a pool with pier-

like bar stools, and iridescent glass tile accents, all tucked neatly into the pocket-sized backyard of a suburban subdivision that could as easily be on Albuquerque’s Westside as its actual location in southern Nevada. Another place has massive stacked stone walls, low glass-tiled bancos, a porcelain-tiled water feature, enough fire bowls to light an episode of Survivor, palm trees, underwater LED lighting rimming the pool—really, you could charge admission. I’m not sure the “sustainable” theme is wellrepresented here, but that’s between you and your conscience. This place is all about suburban hedonism, the life well earned. The authors provide information about materials in the form of callouts labeling them in photos, enabling you to track down the swag yourself. These yards were built through large construction projects, though, not DIY weekend work parties. The idea is, you take the book to your favorite landscaper and say, “how much?” New Ideas for Living Outdoors shows a wider range of projects—and, I suspect, budgets—arranged around the themes of outdoor kitchens, fire, and water. The kitchens section shows how to integrate the must-have appliances with the hardscape, examples of seating and counters and covers, how to accent with tile and stone, and so on. The fire section covers fire pits, fire bowls, and fireplaces. In the water section—don’t get ahead of me, now—you’ll find pools, water features, spas, and streams in configurations you might never have thought of. Consider these two books from Schiffer Publishing to be either companion pieces or alternatives to each other. With the overlapping content, you probably don’t need both. But if you’re looking to win bragging rights for the sleekest, most fully appointed backyard in your subdivision, either The Sustainable Landscape or New Ideas for Living Outdoors has the glitzy inspiration you’re craving. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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continued from page 47 room for Joanne, a weight-lifting room for Ron, and a welcome retreat for both. In the adjoining bathroom, a deep Japanese ofuro, or soaking tub, positioned just under a window allows Joanne to look out into the garden while she relaxes in the wooden tub after a stressful day at work. “Japanese architecture aims to please, rather than impress, the visitor,” Ron explains. “To please is about them with a generous feeling that endures; to impress is superficial and more about you, and a feeling that quickly fades.”

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For Ron and Joanne, Casa Sukiya represents a culmination of many life experiences, starting in the couple’s hometown of Midland, Michigan, where they were surrounded by Japanese-influenced buildings and gardens. Dow Chemical Company is based in Midland, and company founder Herbert Dow had an appreciation for Japanese architecture, art, and gardens. Dow’s son, Alden, studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and went on to design many contemporary buildings there. In his 20s, Ron’s passion for architecture took root as he worked as a tour guide for the Dow Gardens, where he admired the view of Alden’s home and studio every day. Although Ron spent his career working in pharmaceutical research, when he decided to retire from his job in Indianapolis, he was asked for his input on how the company’s new laboratories might be constructed. Ron seized the opportunity to combine his interest in architecture with his knowledge of science and spent the next three months designing a total of eight labs, taking into account the unique requirements of laboratory design, how each should be configured, and how the spaces should be positioned to take advantage of natural daylight. Ron and Joanne later moved to North



Carolina, still searching for a place to build their own home, before heading west to New Mexico. Ultimately, the move gave Ron the opportunity to create the perfect living environment for him and Joanne. “A lot of ideas have come and gone over the years, and those that remain are sort of a distillation of what we’ve learned from where we’ve lived,” Ron says. “Few people have the opportunity to live in a house they can truly call their own, that really suits them, that they love. This house reflects how we think, what we value, what we prefer. It’s a personal expression of us, no question.” continued from page 38

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Tres Placitas was begun by long-time community organizer and river restoration activist Chris Wuest and a small group of community-seeking individuals. Born and raised in Germany, Chris was familiar with the European model of human-scaled, pedestrian, and bike-friendly towns and villages with close-quartered homes. He purchased the riverside property and along with the original core group developed a vision for the community. In planning the arrangement of houses and common areas, Chris and the others were inspired by the ideas of architect Christopher Alexander (author of A Pattern Language), who argues for buildings and spaces intentionally designed to encourage human interaction and community. The project’s physical and organizational elements were planned to grow organically, based on this shared vision, Chris says. Construction and maintenance of common property, including the ramada, paths, retaining walls, and gardens, is done by the residents. Each member commits to about 80 hours of work each year, as well as dues, attendance at monthly business meetings, and regular dinners and potlucks. “We always had to wrestle with the question of how to get things done in a way that people

want to take part, so people can take part, so they like what they do, and so they do what has to be done,” Chris explains. The solution that has worked itself out over the years involves members taking on jobs and roles for which they are most suited. Steve is in charge of the vegetable gardens and Moria heads up the landscaping committee, for example, while others contribute building, organizing, meeting facilitation, maintenance, and other skills. Community decisions are made by consensus, an often time-consuming and difficult but valuable process, members say. One issue that has returned to the table over the years has been the members’ desire for a community building for meetings, dinners, and other group activities, a common feature among cohousing groups. Tres Placitas grew by about one house a year until the final home on the last empty space was completed in 2010. By the time there were enough members to consider collectively paying for a building, construction costs had become prohibitive. As much as they wanted such a space, the group agreed not to go into debt to build it. Instead they eventually settled— for now—on the ramada. “Some people really wanted a common house, but they wouldn’t force it,” Moria recalls. “It took a few years of meeting periodically about it to come to a decision. It really put the process to the test.”

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better together Each modestly sized home at Tres Placitas is distinct, reflecting the owners’ needs and tastes. Many were owner built. Some sport a traditional Southwestern feel while others are decidedly contemporary. The last home to be added features an ultramodern square-edged design with a cantilevered second floor. The home’s owners, Scott Rothstein and Marcia Meckler, say they considered cohousing communities around the country before deciding on Tres Placitas. “The gardens sold us totally,” Scott continued on page 95

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declares, stopping to chat as the couple amble along the paths on a warm afternoon. Both Custom Homes & Structures he and Marcia work and travel internationally. Having a community of close neighbors and Maintaining standard friends to return to was an important factor inour their choiceforof a home base, they explain. “How excellence in Residential Construction, else could we have gardens, chickens,Architectural and goats Planning, in our lives, but without sole responsibility? Design/Builds and Consulting. There’s no other way we could do this,” Marcia adds enthusiastically. “It’s such a joy.” For the seven children currently atBlue Tres 8 toin13theand each a single child at SkyPlacitas—ages Traditions –A leader construction industry throughout home—the community provides a kind of extended family with ever-ready playmates and Northern New Mexico. adult role models. “I think it’s one of the benefits, having other people around as teachers and License No. 355566 to watch the kids,” Moria reflects. The Peters’ own twin daughters, now 22 and away at college, were 7 when the family moved to Tres The girls always enjoy having to pitch in 613Placitas. Bond Street, Suitedidn’t A 87532 having grown up there, Steve relates. with gardening and other work, butEspañola, now theyNM appreciate

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Dream On

Photograph by Charles Mann

land of Bobbs The mural under the front portal at Elspeth Bobbs’ Santa Fe home seems an invitation to enter an alternate world. Artist Jim Roe painted a continuation of the portal’s flagstone floor and a post, lintels, and beams, creating the illusion you can step right into the painting. Bobbs’ daughter Sheila Armstrong calls it “one woman’s dreamscape,” showing as it does homes that her mother once lived in—including a place nearby on Canyon Road—a penitente morada, a gallery Elspeth’s late husband Howard Bobbs (an artist himself) owned on San Francisco Street, and St. Francis Cathedral centered in the view below a darkening sky. Bobbs moved to Santa Fe in 1943, married Howard in 1945, and with him bought this three-plus-acre property on East Alameda in 1946, acquiring it from Tony Taylor—Lady Bird Johnson’s brother. Armstong remembers the house didn’t have a kitchen. Her father liked to build things and set about furnishing the house and adding dwellings, where the couple’s two daughters have lived. The outdoor areas and gardens are spectacular, featuring a model train (The Santa Fe, Oxford, and Canterbury Train in homage to Elspeth’s English origins) and matching mural, a huge vegetable garden, an “Evolutionary Labyrinth” that pays tribute to Charles Darwin, the “Funky Shway” garden filled with spiritual objects, and so on.

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Su Casa Magazine Spring 2011  

Su Casa Magazine Spring 2011

Su Casa Magazine Spring 2011  

Su Casa Magazine Spring 2011