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Tour New Mexico

Northern New Mexico

homes in the 2015 spring


inspiration ideas resources

off the grid

stunning solar in north ABQ

beautiful baths

come to life cactus gardening

Rio Rancho Parade winner Vol. 21 no. 2 SPRING 2015

Award Winning

Mesa Verde Homes Green Home Builder

with Marie

Where Green Living is Clean Living

Photos: Terry Guaderrama c

What’s your style? Traditional – Old World – Contemporary

2012 National Custom Home Builder of the Year Marie Blea has been designing and building high quality, unique homes for over 25 years. Call her today: 505-991-1405

4940 Corrales Rd, Suite 550 • Corrales, NM •


| 505 352 4868


Photo by Amadeus Leitner


Welcome to the new New Mexico.

Rejuvinate your bathroom

w w w. G ol d e n - E ag l e - D e s i g n . c om

Golden Eagle Design Golden Eagle Design, New Mexico’s most innovative kitchen and bath showroom, features a large selection of products, from classic style to modern luxury, to help you create the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams! There are endless possibilites when it comes to reviving your bathroom and we are the best source to start working towards your dream home! Our knowledgeable and experienced associates can assist you in making the best possible selection for you and your home.

Be sure to inquire about our current specials, and allow us to help you �ind the best route to a bathroom, or kitchen, that will rejuvinate your home... and yourself.

Albuquerque, NM 505.888.9457 2601 Vassar DR NE Albuquerque, NM 87107

Santa Fe, NM 505.473.5177 3935 San Felipe RD Santa Fe, NM 87507

Taos, NM 575.758.7987 65 Upper Las Colonias RD El Prado, NM 87529

Northern New Mexico

Kirk Gittings

inspiration ideas resources

54 46


homes 36 come to life

A budding builder designs a home for his young family and wins a few awards along the way.

46 let there be light

Off-grid and solar-powered, this north Albuquerque home melds inspired design with formidable energy efficiency.

66 Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade

A sneak preview of the 30 homes available to tour on the Spring Albuquerque Parade, complete with details about each home, maps, and directions.

SPECIAL SECTION 54 spa + sanctuary Four blissful, custom baths that offer a retreat from the everyday. The light-filled reading nook in a solar-powered, off-grid residence north of Albuquerque. Above: Four beautiful bathrooms that combine flawless form with enviable function. 6

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Chris Corrie


Robust handles. Impressive power. Generous capacities. GE Cafe Series delivers restaurant-grade performance and style that takes food further and kitchens from everyday to gourmet. To learn more, contact your dealer or visit

See our great line of 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

Builders Source Appliance Gallery 6560 Montana Ave El Paso, TX 79925 Phone: 915.775.1000

in every issue 14 Inside Su Casa

16 Life+Style Southwest Expert tips for buying or selling your home; contemporary outdoor furniture durable enough for the desert; shedding light on light bulbs; eco-friendly household products; Steve Thomas designs a “64 House.”

28 Enchanted Spaces

Mixing form with function, Moll Anderson delivers the “wow factor” in her well-designed, Santa Fe bathroom.

30 Design Studio

Making the switch from water-thirsty green gardens to gorgeous, low maintenance cactus gardens just makes sense in the Southwest. Q&A with John “Obie” Oberhausen of the Cactus Rescue Project.

32 Su Libro

Two new books explain how to grow your own fruits and vegetables in the arid Southwest and how to take charge of your diet with lightened-up recipes. 34 What’s Happening Events and performances going on in Central New Mexico through June.

92 Vida Buena

At Tucson’s Canyon Ranch, healthy choices are the only ones you can make.


Amadeus Leitner

104 Adios

Red Twig Studios gives a narrow backyard a modern landscape makeover. On the cover: An off-grid home in the Sandia Mountain foothills soaks up the sun, inside and out. Read more on page 46. Cover photo by Chris Corrie.


30 8

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Courtesy of Cactus Rescue Project

Xeric yet gorgeous, cactus gardens deliver year-round greenery and colorful spring blooms. Above: An award-winning, Rio Rancho family home by Modern Dwellings, LLC.

Your Source for Jumbo Mortgages.

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC

Most fixed rates lower than conventional mortgage rates Permanent Mortgages with low down payments available Construction loans handled locally

Publisher Bruce Adams

Associate Publisher B.Y. Cooper

Editor Amy Gross

Associate Editor Cristina Olds

Contributing Editor Amy Hegarty


Moll Anderson, Jessa Cast, Ben Ikenson Donna Schillinger, Tom Smylie, Steve Thomas Danielle Urbina, Barbara Wysocki

Lead Graphic Designer Sybil Watson

Designer & Media Specialist Michelle Odom

Contributing Designer Whitney Stewart

Graphic Design Intern Cameron Blickensdorf


Chris Corrie, Amadeus Leitner

Advertising Manager Cheryl Mitchell

Advertising Sales Executives

Melissa Salazar, David Wilkinson For advertising information contact: 505-344-1783

Operations Manager Ginny Stewart For subscriptions, call 818-286-3162

SINCE 1993

505-275-3040 8421 Osuna Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87111

Su Casa Northern New Mexico (ISSN 1094-4562 & USPS # 2-3618) Volume 21, Number 2, Spring 2015. Su Casa Northern New Mexico is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December by Bella Media, LLC, at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. Š Copyright 2015 by Bella Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Basic annual subscription rate is $9.95, Canada & Mexico is $23.95, Other international countries is $27.95. U.S. single-copy price is $5.95. Back issues are $6.95 each. Periodicals postage paid at Albuquerque, NM, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Phone (818) 286-3162, Fax (800) 869-0040,,

Regional & National Press Recognition




“… Santa Fe’s oldest family-owned design build firm continues to build clients’ dream homes in a variety of styles.”


“The firm is known for its award-winning project including a number of luxury residences featured in the recently released Woods Design Builders Celebrates 50 Homes in Las Campanas.”

Consistently the best

“It has all the features of an award winning home – a grand estate exquisitely restored to its historic New Mexico Territorial-style beauty, yet with st-century amenities and energy efficiency.”

photography by Jack Parsons


Designing and building the finest homes in Santa Fe for over thirty-seven years

302 Catron Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501


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

President: Brian McCarthy First Vice President: Jamie Baxter Immediate Past President: David Newell Associate Vice President: Diana Lucero Secretary/Treasurer: Lora Vassar Associate-at-Large: Connor Payne Custom Builders Council, Chair: Bill Reynolds Green Build Council, Chair: Matthew Brazil Home Builders Care, Chair: Bain Cochran Membership Committee, Chair: Ron Sisneros Parade Committee, Chair: Diana Lucero Production Builders Council, Chair: Kevin Patton Remodelers Council, Chair: Dominic Padilla Builder-at-Large: Scott Ashcraft Advisory Member: Mike Sivage Honorary Members: Bruce Adams, Mark Russell H om e Bu il d e rs Asso c ia tio n o f C e nt r a l N e w M e xic o S ta f f

Executive Vice President: John Garcia Vice President of Operations: Lana McClure Events Specialist: Kimberly Johnson Receptionist/Clerical Assistant: Mercedes Morton

presidential award

Copyright Š 2015 by Bella Media, LLC. Bella Media, LLC Pacheco Park 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105 Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-1444 Please direct editorial queries to Su Casa’s cover and text are printed by Publication Printers in Denver, Colorado, on SFI-certified paper. The papers used contain fiber from well-managed forests, meeting EPA guidelines that recommend a minimum 10% post-consumer 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.




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Inside Su Casa

dream big


he seasonal transition to spring has joyfully set in, as we feel the warmth of the sun on our shoulders. Trees are greening up, and many of us are looking at resurrecting our gardens for another year of outdoor living around our homes. It’s a time of transition, when we take stock of our homes for the coming warm months and determine any changes within our household, as our needs and even our dreams may have changed over the winter. If that’s the case, this is the perfect issue of Su Casa for you. Not only will you see 30 spectacular homes slated for Albuquerque’s Spring Homes of Enchantment Parade, but you’ll find wonderful ideas for transforming your own abode to the new season. You’ll even get tips on buying or selling a home in the busy spring real estate season. It’s all part of making your dreams come true. The Parade of Homes could just as easily be known as the Parade of Dreams. It’s an incredible opportunity for each of us to let our housing dreams run wild as we review the beautiful homes built by Albuquerque’s finest builders. This will be our only opportunity to step into these private homes, all of them fine architectural and building specimens, and I would suggest that you get to as many of them as possible. While you’ll no doubt witness incredible design and luxury features in the higherpriced homes, it may be the innovations in moderately priced homes that could prove most useful and accessible to you. The point is that you can always dream bigger than what you think your wallet will allow. The innovative and creative builders in our community are magicians when it comes to making dreams come true, so don’t hold back.

An intriguing blend of tile patterns helped earn Modern Dwellings, LLC, a Best Bath award in the 2014 Spring Parade of Homes. Read more about the home on page 36 and see more beautiful bathrooms on page 54.

Amadeus Leitner


David Robin

Bruce Adams

Life+Style Southwest

When you build your home with your own hands, as Heather and Matt French of French & French Interiors did, every detail becomes important. The husband-and-wife interior design duo skillfully blended vintage and modern aesthetics in their Madrid home, where they chose a neutral palette for the master bathroom. The rough-sawn New Mexico fir ceiling, mercury glass pendant lights, textured natural fiber jute rug, and clear-stained concrete floors allow lovely details to stand out. Estate sale and antique shop finds—vintage camellia prints, a Bentwood chair, a milking stool—are treasured belongings the owners say connect them to the memories and stories behind the objects. The open, double-console sink with its Carrara marble countertop was chosen for its versatility. “It works well with modern or rustic pieces,” says Heather. “[There are] endless ways you can decorate around this sink.” French & French Interiors, 16

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Amadeus Leitner

treasure trove

Rustic and hand-finished furnishings that are beautifully authentic and made with reclaimed solid-wood.

2 locations

Albuquerque NM | 6400 San Mateo Blvd NE | 505.349.0955 Santa Fe NM | 2820 Cerrillos Rd | 505.471.8539 Open daily 9am-6pm

Furnishings Pillows Bedding mirrors pottery accessories and more

Life+Style Southwest

by Ben Ikenson

real estate 101

Spring is still the best time of year to buy or sell a home, experts say


uying or selling a home—and then moving from one to another—can be an overwhelming process, especially with a New Mexico housing market that is still less than robust. But local real estate experts say you can always tip the scales in your favor. “Historically, the best time to buy or sell a home has been in the spring, and this still holds true for families wanting to get settled for the summer and the upcoming school year,” says Mike Cecchini, Marketing Director of ECOterra (, a custom home design/build firm that serves the Albuquerque and Santa Fe metro areas. He is also a licensed real estate broker. “But retirees and active adults have skewed that trend,” he adds. “Their interests in yearround weather and activities have created a 12-month buying window.” For buyers, Cecchini advises putting all pertinent criteria on paper first, asking the right questions: Are kids in the picture, and if so, where are the best schools? How much access to services will be required? And of course the biggie: What’s the budget?

Above: A licensed professional real estate agent or Realtor (a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors) can do a market analysis of the home you’re selling and help prequalify you for the purchase of a new home.

“You don’t really sell your house. You sell your kitchen.” —Annie O’Connell

“‘What can I afford?’ is probably the most common question homebuyers have,” he says. “A good place to start is with a licensed professional Realtor [who can] help with both sides of the equation—through a market analysis of your existing home, and then prequalifying you for your new home.” With more than 30 years of experience in the Albuquerque real estate market and a member of New Mexico Select, Annie O’Connell ( is an associate broker with Keller Williams. Sellers have to work harder to close the deal, she says. “While the market is recovering steadily, much of the impetus to Left: If you’re selling, choose kitchen upgrades carefully. Not all investments will pay for themselves.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

sell falls on homeowners and how much effort they’re willing to put into their home, because ‘first impressions are the only impressions.’” O’Connell’s suggestions: enhancing curb appeal; cleaning cabinets, carpets, floors and grout; making sure closets aren’t stuffed; maximizing light—all of these tactics are effective ways to improve that first impression. “Good old-fashioned elbow grease is necessary if you want to make your house the belle of the ball,” says O’Connell. “So, make like you’re getting the house ready to have the in-laws over for the first time—and then work even harder.” If the budget allows, “the benefits of upgrading a kitchen are endless,” she notes. “You don’t really sell your house. You sell your kitchen.” Yet another critical consideration for sellers is that a home should be priced right from the start. “If it’s priced too high, it is likely to become ‘market-worn’ and linger,” O’Connell warns, “and that’s a negative for buyers, realtors, and the dynamics of the market in general.” Below: Putting your house on the market? Instantly “enlarge” it by thinning out closets and decluttering personal items.

Life+Style Southwest



by Donna Schillinger

Dedon’s Swingrest loungers are built for indoor and outdoor enjoyment. Below: The Mermaid Chaise Lounge in silver, by Kenneth Cobonpue.

durable Outdoor furniture that withstands the rigors of New Mexico weather


hough it might not be quite warm enough to sit under the portal—at least not without a fire—now’s the time to prepare for Central and Northern New Mexico’s glorious summer season by updating your outdoor furnishings. With an ever-widening selection of materials that well endure the extremes of the high desert climate, there’s no reason to wait until warm weather to create the outdoor living area of your winter daydreams. “What makes our climate so challenging is how drastically conditions swing, even in one day,” says William Esch, owner of Patio and Hearth Co. ( in Albuquerque. Recent advances in the finishing process enable furnishings and fixtures to withstand the daily freeze-thaw-freeze cycle of spring and fall, as well as the constant, powerful UV assault of the summer months. Electrostatic application of a powder coating to a metal frame produces a finish with durability comparable to that of an automobile. “Everything we sell is ‘New Mexico–proof,’” says Esch, “but not all powder-coating will stand up to these elements. The application

Above: Comfort meets intriguing design in Kenneth Cobonpue’s Lolah collection, available through Moss Outdoor. Arrayed in a rainbow of colors, including Southwestern favorite turquoise, Breezesta Adirondack chairs (right), available through Patio and Hearth Co., are made of recycled milk jugs. 20

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Kenneth Cobonpue; Courtesy of Dedon; Courtesy of Rattan City; Courtesy of Breezesta

process is important. Even the subpaint primer is important. And in our process, we leave drainage holes so moisture can exit.” Patio and Hearth Co. offers a dizzying array of choices in powdercoated wrought iron, cast iron, and aluminum frames, as well as metal frames covered with durable, synthetic rattan. Synthetic rattan furniture is enjoying popularity for the same reasons its natural precursor proliferated from ancient Egypt and Victorian England to the United States. Gloria Moss, owner of Moss Outdoor ( in Santa Fe, lists the distinctions of synthetic rattan: “Refined weaving techniques, a wide variety of patterns . . . . It’s comfortable, air moves through it.”

With a half-life of a million years, Viro synthetic rattan material can be ground up and recycled to make synthetic turf for future generations.

From Rattan City, stackable synthetic rattan furniture that easily converts from a single sculptural “vase” for storage into armchairs, tables, and more (shown here and above, left).

The Balou Easy Armchair and Ottoman by furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

Don’t wait until summer is already here to plan your patio design. Lead time to order custom Breezesta furniture, like this durable dining set, is about four weeks.

Moss Outdoor specializes in sleek, contemporary outdoor furnishings, many crafted in exquisite synthetic rattan weaves, from internationally acclaimed designers such as Jean-Louis Guinochet and Kenneth Cobonpue, under preeminent brands such as Dedon, Sifas, and Janus et Cie. Among the new collections Moss is most excited about for 2015 is Swingrest by designer Daniel Pouzet. Similar in purpose to Dedon’s iconic Nestrest, Swingrest is the ultimate hanging lounger, perfect for suspending on a terrace or veranda, from a tree, or even indoors. For whimsy alfresco in small or treeless spaces such as a patio or balcony, Rattan City ( in Albuquerque offers SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


“Everything we sell is ‘New Mexico–proof,’ but not all powdercoating will stand up to these elements. The application process is important.” —William Esch, Patio and Hearth Co. new stackable outdoor furnishings. A table and four chairs stack into the form of a ball; a table and two chairs form a vase shape when not in use. “We have about five different configurations in stock, reasonably priced and with our same highly durable and UV-resistant Viro synthetic rattan over a powder-coated aluminum frame,” remarks John Griffith, Rattan City’s marketing director. Viro is popular in the unrelenting climates of Saudi Arabia and Las Vegas, Nevada, and with a half-life of a million years, after serving its purposes, the material can be ground up and recycled to make synthetic turf for future generations. For even greener environs, consider one of the many lines of Breezesta outdoor furnishings, made entirely of recycled milk jugs and available through Patio and Hearth Co. Durable enough to take the heat of Death Valley National Park, these furnishings are a “zero issue” product, according to Esch. “Once people purchase it, all we hear is how much they love it,” he says. Styles include Adirondack chairs, rockers, picnic tables, and more in colors ranging from neutral wood grains to bold Southwestern turquoise. Lead time for custom Breezesta furniture is about four weeks, and custom synthetic rattan furnishings typically arrive in eight weeks, which is why Esch advises, “If you want it for when the weather is nice, order it now.”

shedding light on bulbs LED is the clear leader by Donna Schillinger for most tasks


one forever are the days when choosing a light bulb simply meant picking the correct wattage. Although no one wants to turn back the clock on energy savings, between halogen, compact fluorescent (CFL), and LED technology in a variety of lumens, watts, and color temperatures, it’s hard to know which bulb is the best. “Choosing the proper lighting is the most important part of designing a room or a house and is probably the part of the design that is neglected the most,” says Charles Silva of The Lamp Shop ( in Albuquerque. “The correct lighting can set the mood in a room, make a task easier, and make your furnishings look beautiful.” “We’re used to the warm light of an incandescent bulb,” says Megan McLaughlin, manager of Turn On Lighting (505-891-2124) in Rio Rancho. “But any bulb with a color temperature of 2,700 to 3,000 degrees Kelvin will make the warm light similar to that of incandescent bulbs.” McLaughlin suggests warm light Satco LED bulbs for use in most areas of a home’s interior. The yellow/orange hue of warm light is ideal for rooms decorated in earth tones. But as degrees Kelvin increase, the light temperature gets cooler and bluer, which is why bulbs ranging from 3,500 to 4,500 degrees Kelvin more closely approach natural light and are desirable for rooms decorated in fresh, airy blues, greens, and whites. Cool light is also preferable for task areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Finally, topping off between 5,000 and 6,500 degrees Kelvin is fullspectrum light for garages, hobby rooms, and offices where productivity is key. Essentially, the higher the degrees Kelvin, the better for close-up work like threading a needle or tweezing eyebrows. Sounds simple enough, but how do color rendition, lumens and watts factor in? The color rendition index (CRI), a scale of 1 to 100, indicates how closely colors appear in a given light,

The Philips SlimStyle LED bulb is ideal for flat or narrow lighting.

compared to natural sunlight (100 CRI). Color rendition is not related to color temperature, so there are bulb choices from CRI 65 to 90-plus anywhere on the spectrum from warm to cool light. The master closet, where it’s important to be able to distinguish between black and navy, is a good place for an 85 CRI or higher bulb, such as the TW Series from Cree and the GE Reveal LED. Lumens measure the brightness of a bulb, whereas wattage refers to the amount of electricity the bulb consumes. Lumens and wattage increase correspondingly, but given the low wattage draw of CFL and LED technologies, consumers are now thinking more in terms of lumens and less about wattage.

Courtesy of Royal Philips

“The correct lighting can set the mood in a room, make a task easier, and make your furnishings look beautiful.” —Charles Silva The good news is that the future of light bulbs will be less complicated. LEDs already outshine CFLs in all ways but one: price—and even that will change. “As the price of LED bulbs continue to drop, I believe that LEDs will replace all CFLs,” says Silva. “LEDs can be dimmed, they last longer than CFLs, have more color options, and don’t contain mercury. There are even LEDs that look like a filament incandescent bulb. They are the future.”

Don’t wait — RENOVATE! Earn a $500 or $1000 Reward Itching to start a yard or home improvement project? Do you live within 30 miles of the Greater Albuquerque area? If your answers are “yes”—you could win some cash*! • Use a Kirtland FCU Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit • Take before and after pictures of your project • Write a 500-word (max) description of what you did and why Our membership is more inclusive than you think. Visit, call 505-354-4369 or stop by our branch locations to learn how you can become a member. *Visit to view the complete set of rules and judging criteria. Each winner’s tax liability, if any, is the sole responsibility of that winner. Late submissions will not be considered. Finalists who refuse supervised access to their improvement project for the purpose of assessment will be eliminated from the competition. Kirtland FCU employees and their family members are not eligible.

Life+Style Southwest

by Cristina Olds

go green

at home

If you’re concerned about living eco-consciously, products that make the home environment more efficient and less toxic are plentiful. In honor of Earth Day (April 22), consider some of these environmentally friendly choices for decorating or cleaning your home—or even packing your daily lunch. Zabada Dust Glove and Dust Marvel An eco-conscious alternative to cleaning with chemicals, Zabada cloths’ microfibers remove bacteria, dust, and dirt with a simple “wet, wipe, and dry” process. Ditch costly, harmful, and wasteful cleaning products and disposable wipes for this efficient, long-lasting, chemical-free cleaning solution.

PlanetBox Shuttle, Rover, and Launch Lunch Boxes Packing a lunch instead of eating out is in itself an ecofriendly activity that minimizes consumer waste. Taking it a step further, PlanetBox has developed a stainless steel, reusable lunch box in three convenient sizes with compartments to assist with meal planning. The sharplooking containers are dishwasher safe and come with a five-year warranty. $35–$70, PlanetBox,

$70, Zabada,

Coyuchi Chenille Chunky Weave Throw This soft, cozy blanket is handwoven on a traditional wooden loom in India, with 100 percent organic cotton that’s certified to the global organic textile standards and blended with plush chenille. Finished with a stitched edge. $98, Coyuchi,

Solatube Smart LED System With this revolutionary system­— it automatically switches from natural sunlight to energyefficient LED lights as darkness falls—you’ll never have to flip a switch to stay in an illuminated room. An optional sensor activates the light only when an area is occupied, and the glass fixtures can be customized to match any interior décor. $700, The Natural Lighting Company,


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Vi-Spring Natural Fiber Mattress We spend a third of our lives sleeping, but while snug in our beds, we may be inhaling some nasty chemicals from the filling in and the sealants on our mattresses. For a cleaner, safer alternative, try a luxuriously comfortable Vi-Spring mattress, handmade with natural fibers such as silk, cashmere, and Shetland Isle wool. Starting at $3,500, Urban Mattress,

Marmoleum Natural Linoleum Flooring This ecologically produced, natural linoleum is made from renewable materials including cork, wood flour, linseed oil, rosin, limestone, and organic pigments, with a nontoxic jute backing. The durable panels are inherently antibacterial, contribute to good indoor air quality, and are third-party certified for sustainability. Marmoleum tiles and sheets are available in various sizes and colors. $6.59–$8 per square foot, Southwest Green Building Center,

Watermark Designs Chelsea Collection Bathroom Fixtures The average American home uses 400 gallons of water every day. Installing high-efficiency, low-flow aerator faucets can save up to 30 percent of this water. Watermark Designs’ brass-cast, 7-inch-tall, curvaceous spout with newly designed cross handles touts a flow rate of just 1.5 gallons per minute without compromising on style in the least. $728–$1,115, Watermark Designs,

AFM Safecoat Zero VOC Paint Going beyond the industry standard for VOC content, Safecoat’s paints and seals have no acid or ammonia, ingredients that aren’t regulated under federal and state indoor air quality laws. Designed specifically for those with chemical sensitivity, Safecoat products remain competitively priced and are available in a rainbow of colors and finishes. $19 per gallon, Southwest Green Building Center,

Get Fired Up!

Fireplaces from Traditional to Modern styling. Gas . Wood . Pellet



2718 University . Alb, NM 87107 . 505.888.4464 .

Looking for a great

Mortgage Loan? Purchase ~ Refinance Construction Financing

Helping families finance their dream homes since 1983 Scott Cummings (505) 884-8600 Office NMLS#199680


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Editor’s Pick

See the people you love in a whole new



eggiegrower Gardens owner Chuck O’Herron-Alex designed these raised bed garden boxes as part of a hunger relief project in Juarez, Mexico, in 2003. The food-grade, BPA-free resin boxes come in 32 colors and three sizes with interchangeable covers for winter and summer that reduce evaporation, block the wind, and protect produce from bugs and birds. These compact gardens use 80 percent less water than in-ground gardens and can be moved to suit the season or raised off the ground for convenient access. Making your gardening experience even easier, O’Herron-Alex offers a “get you started” package that includes organic soil, starter seeds, fertilizer, pest spray, and delivery and setup of the box and cover.—Cristina Olds $375–$850, Veggiegrower Gardens,

Chuck O’Herron-Alex


in a box

Veggiegrower Gardens’ raised beds with built-in irrigation and drainage make gardening easy and fruitful.

Alexa Collection It’s your home. When you re-imagine your space, it’s your life that gets a redesign. Transform yours with all the details that make home a happy place. Our showroom product experts share your passion for getting it right, helping you select the perfect bath, kitchen and lighting products for your building or remodeling project.

Albuquerque 4820 Hardware Drive NE (505) 345-9001

FERGUSON.COM ©2015 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

Enchanted Spaces

by Moll Anderson

a little piece of heaven When you mix form with function, a well-designed bathroom delivers the “wow”

W Moll Anderson Moll Anderson is a television host, interior designer, life stylist, and author of three books, including Change Your Home, Change Your Life. She and her husband are part-time residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

hen it comes to home design, I think bathrooms should be right up at the top of the list with kitchens! Think about how much time you actually spend in your bathroom. Every morning I bet it’s the first place you go straight out of bed. It is for me. You prepare for the day in your bathroom. You bathe or shower, brush your teeth, put on your makeup or aftershave. It’s the place you first see yourself every morning in the mirror, and where you take that last-minute look to say, “Okay, I’m ready to face the world!” before walking out of the house. That being said, a bathroom should reflect the vibe of your home and yet be super functional. You need to ask yourself this question: “What does my bathroom need to do to make my life better?” I’m serious! That should always be your goal when remodeling or building. If your life isn’t going to improve by it, then why do it? Another question would be, “What does my bathroom look like now,

“A large copper tub (above) serves as an eye-catching focal point and brings a lot of ‘wow factor’ to a bathroom—and nothing beats it for a long, luxurious soak,” says Moll Anderson. “Lighting in a bathroom is everything, from a chandelier over the tub, to antique sconces on either side of the mirrors, to well-placed accent lighting.”

and why doesn’t it work?” Is it outdated? Not user-friendly? Does it always seem to look dirty or cluttered? What would the ultimate dream bathroom be for you and for your relationship? Is it a Zen, modern, or sophisticated vibe? Or like me, do you want your bathroom to be an extension of your design décor? When I was working on our Santa Fe home, I knew my master bathroom needed to have what I call “the wow factor”—the moment when you walk into a room and all you can say is “Wow!” I know you know what I mean! Because I was remodeling an older (historic) home, I had to work within certain parameters, but the bathroom still had to be multifunctional to make a difference for my husband and me—meaning, it needed a closet, a laundry room, and a place to take long lingering baths and showers. By hiding all the necessities behind doors and upping the wow factor with accessories, my bathroom is both functional and “Santa Fe seductive.”

TC Building D E S I G N

RealTy inC. B U I L D

Tom Cardenas has been designing and building refined homes of distinction for over 30 years.

John Hall Photography

“Old trunk fronts and panels make wonderful sink fronts,” Moll notes. “I love to layer mirrors because it adds dimension. By hanging these fabulous old gilded mirrors from the ceiling with chains, I was able to mirror the entire back wall.”

Tom Cardenas | 505.823.4543 office | 505.991.4486 cell 8100 WYOMING BLVD. NE #508 | ABQ, NM 87113


by Donna Schillinger

Design Studio

more to the point Spine for spine, cactus gardening just makes more sense in the Southwest


reen lawns and exotic plants may be the landscaping norm in other parts of the country, but here in the arid Southwest, responsible water usage dictates a more thoughtful rethinking of the traditional garden. Smart homeowners have embraced the use of cactus in their own yards, and with no wonder. The list of advantages of cactus gardens over traditional gardens is imposing: “The plants are native, drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, easy to grow, extremely easy to propagate, they have beautiful flowers and fruits, and wildlife love them,” asserts John “Obie” Oberhausen, cofounder of the Santa Fe–based Cactus Rescue Project ( Certainly, the artful interspersion of cactus (and other drought-tolerant plants) among an interesting array of rock has always been a quintessentially Southwestern theme With arguably more year-round interest than traditional greenery, cactus enjoys a vivid blooming season from March until mid-July, followed by the appearance of colorful fruit through September. When other plants have gone to sleep, the many spines, shapes, and textures of cacti create winter whimsy when cloaked in snow. Appealing to both man and beast, cacti interact with native fauna throughout the seasons. “Most produce beautiful flowers that are great for a wide variety of pollinators such as bees and birds; thrashers and roadrunners often nest in cactus,” explains Wes Brittenham, manager of Plants of the Southwest (, a native nursery located in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Attracted to colorful blooms and fruits, hummingbirds are also frequent visitors to cactus gardens, Brittenham adds. 30

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Certain types of cactus will spread; planting them in beds around rock features (here and above) helps corral them.

Establishing a cactus garden requires little more than a needy space, and in fact, the biggest appeal of a cactus garden may be its ability to thrive in the worst conditions. “With traditional gardens, you need top soil, fertilizers, and so on. Cactus doesn’t need that,” says Oberhausen. Cactus grows well—and actually likes—coarse arroyo sand for drainage over a cleared garden spot. The four main types of cactus that grow well in Central and Northern New Mexico are paddle cactus, also called prickly pear for its fruit; the ubiquitous tree cholla; and low-growing claret cup and barrel cactus, also known as hedgehog—the latter two being quite prized among cactus enthusiasts. And yet, the variety of species in a cactus garden can easily rival any traditional garden. Oberhausen counts some 90 varieties in his own garden, and recommends complementing cactus with other drought-tolerant plants such as yuccas and agaves. When designing a cactus garden, he suggests placing larger rock features first, then planting and placing containers around them. Though some cacti from other states like Colorado do well in this area, it is advisable to purchase plants from a local grower. “Santa Fe is in growing zone six, and Albuquerque is in warmer zone seven. Some cacti are hearty in Albuquerque but can’t grow in Santa Fe,” says Brittenham. Further, varieties found in big box stores may not be at all suitable for Northern New Mexico winters, although they could be grown in containers and brought indoors during winter months.

The eagle claws cactus is a small barrel cactus that produces a brilliant fuchsia flower in early summer.



John “Obie” Oberhausen The Cactus Rescue Project was born when Santa Fe residents John Oberhausen (known by everyone as Obie), his wife Nancy Lehrhaupt, and fellow cactus enthusiast Joe Newman learned that a cactus species known as Santa Fe cholla had become endangered. In between “rescuing” cactus and transforming public spaces into cactus gardens, Oberhausen regularly preaches the gospel of cactus to packed houses of homeowners weary of thirsty, high-maintenance landscaping. What kind of blooming season can one expect in a cactus garden? Claret cups are among the first to bloom—and stay in bloom—until May. Hedgehogs bloom from April into May; prickly pear start the very end of May and bloom most of June; and cholla go from June to mid-July. Vibrant cactus fruits and drought-tolerant Mojave sage add color into late fall. Are certain species better suited for containers? Claret cups and hedgehogs grow slowly. They can be in the same pot for years without overgrowing the pot.

Which cactus is good for filling in a larger space quickly? Cholla grow and fill in quickly. A paddle (prickly pear) cactus starts with two to three pads and each pad adds one to two more in a season. Some people also encourage growth of cholla and paddle cactus by watering. Big sage and Texas red yucca are good for filling in areas, too.

Courtesy of Cactus Rescue Project

The biggest appeal of a cactus garden may be its ability to thrive in the worst conditions. Plant cactus anytime during its growing season between March and August, says Oberhausen. “Unlike trees that grow roots in winter, cactus grows in heat and goes dormant in winter. The earlier it’s planted in the spring, the better it grows throughout the season.” Cactus can be pruned anytime throughout the growing season, but Oberhausen recommends pruning just after flowering and using pruned pieces to propagate new plants as early as possible in the growing season. Almost convinced, but still put off by the “prickly” in prickly pear? “We sell spineless varieties of prickly pear and cow tongue cactus,” says Jessica Cummings, assistant manager at Osuna Nursery ( in Albuquerque, who has noticed a growing interest in cactus gardening over the years. “More people are trying water-wise gardening,” she adds. With so many advantages to colorful, virtually maintenance-free cactus, it might be time to give your garden a sharp, new look.

Are cactus gardens compatible with pets and small children? In the wild, cholla joints fall to the ground, and pets can get stuck with spines. In a garden, that is normally not a problem if you prune and rake the joints. What’s a next step for those cautiously considering cactus? Visit the third-largest cactus garden in the state at the Community Center in Eldorado (in Santa Fe). We planted 40 varieties there. Also, on May 2, I will speak about cactus at the 11th Annual Santa Fe Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair at the Santa Fe County Fair Grounds.—DS Left: The endangered Santa Fe cholla (Opuntia viridiflora) grows close to the ground. Its blooms are a distinctive salmon color.



Su Libro

different perspectives

Food goes from the garden to the cutting board in two new books Homolka’s first cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, features 150 tasty recipes—125 new dishes and 25 all-time favorites from her blog. Each flavorful dish is healthy; recipes include easy-to-find ingredients and detailed nutrition info for the everyday home cook. There are reimagined comfort foods like Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken and Kiss My Grits Shrimp, and more refined dishes like Chicken Marsala on the Lighter Side and Sweet n’ Spicy Sriracha-Glazed Salmon. For readers with a sweet tooth, Homolka’s Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (with mashed avocado swapped for butter), and Pumpkin-Obsessed Vanilla-Glazed Scones definitely hit the spot.

Homolka inspires (and challenges) home cooks everywhere to get in the kitchen and take charge of their health in the most delicious way possible.

The SkinnyTaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones, RD, Clarkson Potter, hardcover, $18



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Taking it a step further, Homolka includes the advice of registered dietician Heather K. Jones and also shares her tips for portion control, meal planning, and kitchen organization. With her first book, Homolka inspires (and challenges) home cooks everywhere to get in the kitchen and take charge of their health in the most delicious way possible.—Danielle Urbina

Penguin Random House

ome cook Gina Homolka found her place in the world of blogging when she merged her love of photography with a knack for creating delicious, low-calorie recipes of her own. “Needing a place to house all of my skinny creations, I started purely for fun,” she recalls. “As a graphic designer, my blog allowed me to marry several of my passions: creating fabulous skinny meals, design, and photography.” Originally inspired by her quest to shed a few pounds, Homolka began creating healthy recipes that avoided the use of artificial and processed foods found in many of the fad diets she’d tried over the years. “I’ve always loved to cook, and I love a challenge, so I set my mind to figuring out how to make some of my favorite meals lighter,” says Homolka. She began to tweak her favorite meals by using all-natural ingredients lower in fat and calories but in a way that still left in plenty of flavor. Hundreds of recipes, millions of fans, and many gratifying weight-loss success stories later, and Homolka knew she was onto something life-changing.

Above: Roasted asparagus garnished with lemon and parmesan, from The Skinnytaste Cookbook.


n what may be the understatement of the century, Jacqueline A. Soule, a botanist and the author of nine books about gardening, opens her latest work, Southwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening, with the statement, “Gardening in the Southwest is not like anywhere else on earth.” Anyone who has ever tried to grow a garden in the high desert of New Mexico or the drier climate of Arizona knows exactly what Soule is talking about; even Southern New Mexico, though more favorably disposed to growing, has its own share of idiosyncrasies. This book, much like gardening itself, is down-and-dirty. There’s nothing frou-frou about it, because its intended use is as a guide book, to provide the experienced or novice gardener with clear-cut directions for getting his or her own garden to thrive. As the title suggests, the three growing regions of Soule’s focus include Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, but the book is divided by chapter into gardening topics relevant to the growing regions (e.g.,“Planning & Planting Your Garden,” “Fruits,” “Dealing with Pests”) rather than the regions themselves. This book is strictly about edible plants, not flowers. But the author is as enthusiastic about inspiring the reader to experiment with growing relatively exotic fruit like pomegranates and pineapple guava (in the Southwest, remember!) as establishing a garden for a low-key (but still bountiful) late fall harvest of cool-season Growing herbs staples like turin a small kitchen nips, arugula, cargarden or in rots, onions, and containers by the cilantro. Unsure back door makes of when and how it more likely that to harvest? These you’ll use them, things are spelled says Jacqueline out for each edA. Soule. ible featured in the book. Although Soule is a botanist with a PhD, her writing is friendly and her

What if we told you... You could have it all.

Southwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening (Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico), by Jacqueline A. Soule, Cool Springs Press, paperback, $23

tips are easy for even the newest gardening to grasp. She offers advice liberally but without judgment, urging gardeners of all experience levels to give themselves a break when something doesn’t grow the way they’d hoped. After all, this is the Southwest. “There are many actors that don’t make the red carpet and tons and tons of produce that is fed to livestock,” Soule points out. “When it comes to food you grow, if it tastes good and is healthy for you and your family, a few blemishes do not matter.” The point of gardening, she reminds us, is to have fun, get a little dirty, and experiment like crazy.—Amy Gross

High Performance Green Homes Remodels, Additions & Restorations Local Design/ Build Team No Cost Custom Designs

Cool Springs Press

Winning Awards for Over 20 Years

505.299.1500 .

what’s happening? April through June

NAKED FOOD FAIR April 11, 10 am–5 pm ABQ Rail Yards, 777 1st SW $10–$30 Local restaurants, stores, and chefs share samples of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and all-natural cuisine at this one-day fair. Seminars, cooking demonstrations, and yoga classes are also offered.

FIESTAS DE ALBUQUERQUE April 18, 10 am–5 pm Old Town Plaza, Rio Grande NW and Central NW Free Experience five major eras of Albuquerque history with food, music, dance, and activities for the whole family in Historic Old Town.

GRAND OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND April 18–19 ABQ and Rio Rancho, various locations Free The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (GAAR) hosts its first annual citywide open house weekend, where real estate agents will be opening the doors to their best properties in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and surrounding areas. RUN FOR THE ZOO May 3, 7 am ABQ BioPark, 1320 Iron SW $25–$45 New Mexico BioPark Society’s 30th annual fundraiser hits the streets with fun run/walk and timed race options in the one-mile, 5K, 10K, and half-marathon categories. Stay after the event and visit the zoo—race admission includes a free ticket for that day.

AMERICAN INDIAN WEEK April 24–27, 9 am–5 pm Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 2401 12th NW $6 Celebrating American Indian Week for the 35th year, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center hosts dance performances, an art market, craft workshops, and more.

ALBUQUERQUE RENAISSANCE FAIRE May 2, 11 am–7 pm Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, 9201 Balloon Museum NE $5–$10 The Society for Creative Anachronism and the City of Albuquerque present a medieval festival with jousting, archery, music, living history demonstrations, and an authentic “royal feast,” all inspired by the Middle Ages.

GATHERING OF NATIONS POWWOW April 23–25, various times WisePies Arena (a.k.a. The Pit) 1111 University SE $14–$34 More than 3,000 participants from Indian tribes around the world gather to sing, dance, and dine at the 32nd annual Gathering of Nations Powwow, the largest of its kind in North America. 34

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PARADE OF PLAYHOUSES GALA AUCTION May 8, 6:00 PM ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden $95–$110 It will be an evening of dining, dancing, and laughter under the stars, as New Mexico Appleseed presents a live auction of 11 children’s playhouses that defy the imagination. Proceeds from the auction of the innovative playhouses, designed by teams made up of the Albuquerque area’s finest architects, builders, landscape designers, and more, will benefit New Mexico Appleseed’s programs, which promote service to the poor via systemic change.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY CELTIC FESTIVAL May 16–17, 9 am–8:30 pm Balloon Fiesta Park 5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy $7–$15 Come celebrate Celtic culture and traditions with dance, song, poetry, and children’s activities at this 27th annual festival. A bonus feature of the event involves Highland Games, which are athletic competitions such as the caber toss, the Scottish hammer throw, and the stone put.

MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT May 22–June 14 Albuquerque Little Theatre 224 San Pasquale SW $12–$24 Enjoy a hilarious interpretation of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table “lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” This local version of the Tony Award–winning musical production features showgirls, cows, and killer rabbits.

ALBUQUERQUE FILM & MUSIC EXPERIENCE June 1–7, various times Hyatt Regency Albuquerque 330 Tijeras NW $50–$500 With a week of community events including concerts, comedy, and, of course, movies, this event honors creative achievements in the arts. Actors Giancarlo Esposito, Sharon Lawrence, and Stephen Baldwin participate in actor/ director panels and special events.

OUTSIDE BIKE & BREW FESTIVAL May 13–17 Various Santa Fe locations $5–$20 Celebrate craft beer and cycling during five days of events presented by Outside magazine and Cycle Santa Fe. The festival concludes on May 17 with the Santa Fe Century, a 25-, 50-, or 100mile ride that starts and ends in Santa Fe.,

Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau


HEIGHTS SUMMERFEST June 13, 5:00–10:30 pm North Domingo Baca Park 8100 Wyoming NE Free The American rock band Smash Mouth (“Walkin’ on the Sun,” “All Star”) hits Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights’ outdoor stage for an intimate concert during this community festival that also features food, drink, and kids’ activities.

NEW MEXICO ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR June 26–28, various times EXPO New Mexico, 2501 San Pedro NE $6, 12 and under free Now in its 54th year, the New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair is a perfect place to find gifts for yourself and others from the original work of more than 200 artisans and craftspeople from across the state.


FESTIVAL FLAMENCO INTERNACIONAL DE ALBURQUERQUE June 7–13, various times and prices National Hispanic Cultural Center 1701 4th SW Renowned as the longest-standing flamenco event outside of Spain, the Festival Flamenco includes world-class performances and workshops.

come to life

A budding builder designs a home for his young family and wins a few awards along the way

No rounded corners here. This modern Southwest adobe by Modern Dwellings is all sharp edges and clean, contemporary lines.

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The Erenstein family plays in the backyard of their Rio Rancho home. A stone-filled gabion column supports the roof of the patio, well lit to provide plenty of light for evening dining and enjoyment of the Sandia views.

by Jessa Cast


Photographs by Amadeus Leitner

n a desert plateau in Rio Rancho, with unstoppable views of the Sandias, sits a modern home. In it lives a young builder with his eye on the future. This is only the second house Todd Erenstein, owner of Modern Dwellings, has built, but he wants to build more. “We moved to New Mexico in 1989, when I was 11 years old,” says Todd, who shares his home with his wife Noelle and their children, Savannah, 4, and Hudson, 2. “My parents had a house built over by La Cueva High School, when there was nothing out there. And I remember just thinking it was so fun to walk around that house while it was being built. I’ve always kind of liked it.” This lifelong dream inspired Todd to finally put on a builder’s hat. “I’ve always wanted to get into this; it’s just hard to break into the market,” he says. Modern Dwellings entered the Albuquerque homebuilding market in 2007 when Todd built his first house. The timing, of course, could not have been worse, but Todd tried again a few years later, building the home he and his family live in now. In 2014 the housing market was much brighter,

Almost as dramatic from the outside are the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room, from Piñon Window & Door.



Glass subway tile from Architectural Surfaces, Inc., gleams in all of the kitchen backsplashes, while the glass-top table from TEMA lets the beauty of the gorgeous aggregate flooring show through.


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Two large kitchen islands, designed with useful, grained walnut cabinetry by Marc Sowers Bespoke Woodwork, provide plenty of workspace, shelving, and seating spaces for the family. Eco by Cosentino countertops from United Stoneworks; sliding glass pantry doors from IKEA.

His personal residence is only the second home built by Todd Erenstein of Modern Dwellings (seen at right with his family—daughter Savannah, wife Noelle, and son Hudson), yet as a first-time entrant in Albuquerque’s 2014 Homes of Enchantment Parade, Erenstein swept the awards in his price category.

and Todd had the foresight to enter his home in the Spring 2014 Homes of Enchantment Parade. It proved to be a brilliant decision. The home swept the awards in its price range, winning Best Kitchen, Best Bath, and the Premier Award. Not too shabby for a first-time entry. The 3,400-square-foot, four-bedroom home blends the cleanliness of the modernist movement with an almost organic feeling—a sense of being a part of the vast landscape outside. The expanse from every direction of the 2.5-acre lot feels immense; Todd brought that feeling indoors with soaring ceilings and an array of windows to highlight the boundless views. Set quite a distance from the road, the home’s 110-foot length runs parallel to the stretch of mountains in the distance. A narrower entry segment defines the two-wing split of the home: bedrooms at one end, living spaces at the other. Sunlight beams through the east-facing hallway windows to create sharp, transient patterns on the interior surfaces, balanced by suffused light from a series of wall-wash skylights on the opposing wall. Artful and ever changing, this space embodSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Like a gallery, the smooth and uncomplicated walls of the living room allow even the pale yellows of the furniture to come forward. Cleverly offset windows on either side of the gas fireplace accentuate the majesty of the Sandia Mountains, which are captured perfectly thanks to the home’s excellent siting.

The exposed aggregate concrete floors are both textured and glass-smooth; one feels obligated to touch them to resolve the visual illusion. 40

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ies Todd’s philosophy: “I think of homebuilding as the ultimate expression of form and function. It’s one of the few things where you get to look at it and enjoy its beauty and still use it.” The whole interior celebrates freedom of movement and plays with the awareness of space with varying ceiling heights in every room. While a bedroom ceiling might stop at 10 feet, the kitchen rises to 11, and the living room climbs to over 15. To maintain the visually striking design of an exterior wall, Todd gave the wall’s interior a 12-foot ceiling, which also provided the guest room closet with ample vertical storage. Nowhere in the house is the feeling of height more evident than in the living room, where a gas fireplace is built into a 15-foot tall clay wall. Flanked by windows and slightly offset for an interesting visual twist, the wall rises to the ceiling, mica flakes winking in the clay for a glittery effect. In this home, there’s just as much to appreciate looking down. At ground level, it seems impossible that the exposed aggregate concrete floors could be both textured and glass-smooth. One feels obligated to touch them to resolve the visual illusion. It took three solid weeks to grind and polish the concrete to a flawless finish. With nine independently controlled zones of radiant heat, the floors are as warm as they are attractive. Todd and Noelle, who are fond of entertaining, elected to install two islands in the award-winning, oversized kitchen, which lends itself to the accommodation of many guests without inhibiting a busy host. Sliding, soft-close glass pantry doors from IKEA open to easyaccess shelves and create a visual epicenter for the room. Tucked in a corner beneath the upper cabinets and the countertop, a small, lone window allows for light, airflow,

Left: Warm gray porcelain tile cascades from the window wall to the tub surround to the floor in the award-winning master bathroom. Mirrors from Ideal Mirror & Glass; cabinetry by Marc Sowers Bespoke Woodwork; windows from Pi単on Window & Door; backsplash tile from ASI.

High ceilings, tall, narrow windows, glass-panel doors, and geometric pendant lights from West Elm help illuminate the entryway and hallway.



“Homebuilding is one of the few things where you get to look at it and enjoy its beauty and still use it.” —Todd Erenstein, Modern Dwellings and a sight line to the driveway. Marc Sowers Bespoke Woodwork built the beautiful, grain-matched walnut cabinetry that provides an intriguing pattern and texture at both ends of the kitchen. An impressive gabion pillar supports the roof covering the patio, located just off the kitchen. To match it, Todd put his metalwork skills to use (the third garage bay occasionally functions as a metal shop) in creating a steel and concrete patio table. The mudroom, tucked between the kitchen and garage, showcases more of his craftsmanship: a 42

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Left: Savannah and Hudson’s adjoining rooms are connected via a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Though appropriately youthful, they too follow the home’s soft, contemporary palette.

A stacked stone wall in the powder room is one of only a few highly textured surfaces in the home. Another is the runner of pebble tile that adds visual interest to the angular master bath (opposite, top left).

Save for a few pieces of art, such as Noelle’s textured paper painting of the family’s hands above the bed (illuminated by LED downlighting), the serene master suite (shown here and below) is a quiet retreat after a day of busy parenting.

handmade wood bench and coat rack. In fact, talent runs thick in this house. Noelle’s oil paintings and her grandfather’s watercolors hang throughout the rooms. Her rendering of the Sandias at sunset brightens the guest bedroom, currently used as a multipurpose playroom and office. Daughter Savannah may be a future artist; her first work, representing snowflakes, hangs over the dining room table, every bit as gallery-worthy as her mom’s paintings. At night, the drop ceiling above the dining room lights up, setting a dramatic stage for Savannah’s budding talent. The whole home exudes happiness, a testament to the man who built it. For Todd, the hardest part about construction has been breaking into the business, trying to make a name for himself and getting word-of-mouth business going for Modern Dwellings. But he loves the rewards, namely, the finished product, and his talent speaks for itself. “It’s amazing,” he says, “seeing something that you created on paper come to life.”

let there

be light

An off-grid solar home melds inspired design with formidable energy efficiency

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by Amy Gross Photographs by Chris Corrie


oug Velhagen spends a lot of time thinking about sunshine. He should. The incredible three-story home he built for his family—wife Valerie and daughter Juliet—located north of Albuquerque in an off-grid community called Evergreen Hills, is 100 percent solar-powered. It was even built using nothing but solar power, his wife notes. But for Doug, the owner of Construction Zone, a general contracting business specializing in residential remodels, harvesting sunlight to power the home wasn’t the only design consideration; it was an aesthetic concept as well. “I had one principle: light to walk toward,” says Doug. “I had it in my mind that every time you went a direction, you were walking toward a window.” The first noticeable example is at the front door, located on the second—yes, second—floor, which opens to a hallway that houses almost all of the bedrooms. Richly hued walls lead the way to a distinct point of light, the payoff to the short stroll a charming reading nook with large picture windows and a breathtakingly up-close view of the Sandia Mountains.

Sixteen commercial-grade photovoltaic panels provide 100 percent of the electric needs of Doug and Valerie Velhagen’s home in the Sandia foothills, in an off-grid community near the La Luz and Piedra Lisa trails. The 3.8-kilowatt array peeks above the treetops at an altitude of 6,900 feet.

Doug designed his home with the idea that one should always have light to walk toward—no mean feat for a home with several center-built rooms. In the entryway (above), the promise of sunlight through large, Sierra Pacific picture windows down the hall draws visitors to the cheerful reading nook at its terminus. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


A barrel ceiling in the mountain-facing kitchen is a lovely slate blue, one of a dozen or so American Clay colors found throughout the home. Doug fabricated the sheet steel countertops and the cut-out sink, both set into IKEA cabinets. Mosaic tile artist Erin Adams designed the geometric aluminum and glass backsplash tiles.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

The mountain views from the third-floor dining room, kitchen, and living room are spectacular (and astonishingly up-close) through huge picture windows from Sierra Pacific.

The house, which its designer and builder describes as an “upside-down cube” (the dimensions being roughly 36 feet x 36 feet x 36 feet), is the first Doug has built—but he’s eager to do many more. Even as an experienced contractor, he’d found it hard to convince prospective homebuilders of his ability to build houses without seeing an example. So he built his own—replete with every energy-saving and architectural element he’d always wished for. “When I designed the home, I tried to carry themes from one place to another,” Doug explains, pointing out the barrel-vault ceilings in the kitchen, the entryway, and an alcove in the master bedroom. Similarly, sheet steel countertops in the kitchen (fabricated by Doug himself ) are echoed in a master bedroom nicho. Art, much of it made by Valerie, is in almost every room, even the laundry, while a stone countertop in the powder room repeats in the master bath’s tub surround. Such thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing details are found at every turn, such as the American Clay walls in 12 different hues; soaring birch panels that make up the third floor’s ceiling; colorful artwork and furniture; and even the silver “veins” in the concrete floor. “Structurally it was a big deal to have this much weight up here,” Doug says of the third floor, which comprises the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, a TV room, an office space, and a powder room. When the concrete cracked, he melted solder typically used for sweating pipes and inlaid the cracks with the metal. That’s making lemonade. Architecturally, the incorporation of soffits wherever possible allowed for uplighting, which, according to Doug, “makes the spaces more human.” But there are serious brains behind this outward beauty, and the Velhagens’ home is a tour de force of energy efficiency. Doug notes that the hilly and rocky topography of the .82-acre lot was difficult to work with, which is why he

A tiny panel near the coffee nook (where Valerie’s Shrine to Coffee hangs above the microwave) “talks to everything downstairs,” says Doug. The refrigerator is raised off the ground and piped in such a way that cold air circulates around it, reducing the need to kick on as often. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The ethereal, cloud-like look of the ceiling in the living room was achieved with simple birch panels. Soffits throughout the home, including the TV room (right), provide architectural interest and places for uplighting and recessed lighting.

The “mail sorting station” (left, hidden behind the low white wall) was created to keep the dining room table free of clutter. Doug designed and built the many minimalist wall book- and CD cases found throughout the home, including in the TV room (shown here). Daughter Juliet’s representation of the family in “ugly dolls” rests on one of them.

“When I go to work, the house is still living, breathing—doing its own thing.”—Doug Velhagen 50

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Following the rule that a low-energy home should have a small building envelope, the home’s 2,880 square feet take up a remarkably small footprint.

The Velhagen family (Doug, Juliet, and Valerie) has embraced off-grid living. Valerie’s The Two Dollys (or perhaps The Two Dalais?), representing Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama, hang on the wall outside the powder room.

designed the home upside-down, with the main living areas (and most mass) on the top two of the three floors. Following the rule that a lowenergy home should have a small building envelope, its 2,880 square feet take up a remarkably small footprint. As for its shape, “The cube is the most efficient exterior wall percentage you can get next to a geodesic dome,” Doug explains. A 16-panel, 3.8-kilowatt solar array on the roof (coupled with 24 deepcycle solar batteries housed in a dedicated battery room on the first floor) powers all of the home’s electrical needs, including personal hot water usage; a passive solar system, coupled with propane, heats the radiant concrete floors. In Doug’s “magic cabinet,” a sophisticated Buderus heating system purchased through Perry Supply connects the boiler cabinet, the tank, and the panels on the roof. “After a full day of sun, water in the tank will sit at a scalding 150 degrees,” Doug says proudly. Appliances purchased for their ability to conserve power do their part to keep precious energy usage to a minimum. “When you’re off-grid, you move toward items that don’t have extra accessories—clocks, timers, and so on,” Doug explains. The Bertazzoni gas range, for example, eschews a glow bar, which keeps the pilot open and thus draws phantom power even when not in use. Doug wired the television in the TV room in such a way that he can control its power usage. “When it’s off, it’s off off,” he says. The family moved into their newly built home in February 2013, having had, as Valerie says, about five years to get used to the idea of not being downtown. “I was probably the one most resistant to living out here,” she

Even in the narrow stairwell leading from the second to the third floor, there is light to walk toward in the form of small clerestory windows. A wall of photoson-canvas chronicles the tight-knit family’s history.



The slightly lower ceiling of the tub room in the master bath creates a more intimate space. The Danze wall-mount faucets above the sink complement the natural stone mosaic tile.

admits. “I’m pretty social. We lived in Nob Hill, had a big circle of friends, and walked everywhere.” Now, she says, “I’m crazy for it. I have an overstimulating job, so this is so relaxing.” She notes that although Doug was the one who always had the vision of moving away from everything, “we caught up with him.” “We” includes 14-year-old Juliet. “At first I was worried my friends wouldn’t want to hang up here, but that’s all they want to do!” she says. Her room, filled with art and dominated by an expertly constructed loft bed, is naturally her favorite space in the house. But Juliet also enjoys hanging with Mom and Dad. “We cook together and spend time in the kitchen, and I really love that,” she enthuses. “We eat every meal at the dining room table. I love that family vibe.” Serious validation indeed, coming from a teenager. Their old friends from Nob Hill have started to visit, and the family is proud to show off their beautiful home in its secluded, pristine setting. It might be a trick—if not an utter impossibility—to get in and out during and after snowstorms and rainstorms, but the Velhagens are rarely at a loss for company. In fact, their home may just be the place to be should calamity ever strike. “When I go to work, the house is still living, breathing— doing its own thing,” Doug marvels. “That’s so weird to me. It’s good to know that come the zombie apocalypse, this house will still be going.”

In the master bedroom, the barrel vault of the kitchen is echoed in the cozy reading alcove, above which a bookshelf is built into the wall.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015



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March 14 & 15, 2015 Sat 10 - 5 • Sun 10 - 4 Tickets $5.00

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spa + sanctuary Blissful custom baths offer a retreat from the everyday Though the functional elements tend to remain the same—shower, tub, vanity, sink, toilet—bathroom design trends change all the time. We hope you’ll enjoy these four beautiful baths that blend practical use with innovative design and exquisite detail.

by Donna Schillinger

54 The delicate veining in the Calacatta Gold Porcelanosa tile on the walls, floors, shower, and banco give depth to this white-on-white bathroom designed by Edy Keeler and built by Tierra Concepts.

composition in white When homeowner Shelly Phelan of Santa Fe returned from a visit to the Sunshine State, she brought home an unusual souvenir—not a bottle of beach sand, but a master bath design with the light, airy feel of a Florida bungalow. With the help of interior designer Edy Keeler of Core Value Interiors and veteran custom homebuilders Tierra Concepts, she grafted the brightness of a beach residence into a Southwestern-style home, creating a unique, contemporary amalgamation. “My father is an architect back East, and this bath design is from one of the high-end homes he designed,” says Phelan. “Our home was 12 years old, and we wanted a more contemporary look. We’ve gone room by room updating the home. But the bathroom is so special.” The original master bath was “too New Mexican,” with its dark woods, standard fixtures, and earth tones, but Keeler, who specializes in contemporizing traditional Santa Fe–style homes, was in her element giving the space a modern facelift. Leaving the windows and vigas as a nod to Santa Fe style, Keeler clad the floor, banco, and walls with Calacatta Gold Porcelanosa tiles from Floorscapes. The brightening effect was immediate. “Using light-colored materials in large pieces takes complexity out and makes a space feel larger and more open,” explains Keith Gorges, a partner at Tierra Concepts. Adding to the luminosity is plentiful natural light from skylights and windows, including two in the shower that look out on a hillside, as well as simple polished nickel Hallie sconces by Feiss. “Being able to sit at the vanity and do her makeup in natural light is a big plus for Shelly,” says Keeler. The deep drawers in the cabinets by Baglione Custom Woodworks open to reveal an interior sliding brushed nickel tray, providing two levels of storage. 54

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Wendy McEahern

A solid surface countertop cascades to the floor, outfitted with Ronbow vessel sinks and Axor Starck faucets, all from Dahl Plumbing. Providing vertical counterbalance to this elegant composition in white, tall mirrors accentuate the high ceilings and the elegant silver glass vases from Santa Fe home furnishings boutique Reside Home. “The room has a very elegant quality, almost monochromatic, but with just enough wood and grays in the marble and the cultured limestone look of the countertop to add visual texture,” says Kurt Faust, a partner at Tierra Concepts. “When you walk into that bathroom, it’s stunning.” Core Value Interiors, Tierra Concepts,

blinds • shutters • custom draperies & bedding • shades and more... FREE IN HOME CONSULTATIONS

Financing Available 505-892-3281

Showroom Hours: M-S 10am - 5pm and Sun 11am - 3pm 3771 Southern Blvd. SE, Rio Rancho SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Build Green Enjoy the Blue

Winner of the Best Bath award in its category in the Fall 2014 Homes of Enchantment Parade, this sumptuous master bath, designed and built by New Haven Homes, is filled with spalike amenities.

And that’s a good thing!

Building a Green Home offers many benefits: • • • • •

Energy Efficiency Reduces Water Usage Added Indoor Comfort Healthier Indoor Air Reduces Maintenance And Much More

Ask your Builder for a Green Certified home!



S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

lap of luxury What if coming home felt like entering a spa? That’s precisely the effect of the master bath in Mason and Beth Wells’s Albuquerque residence, which helped earn New Haven Homes several awards in the Fall 2014 Homes of Enchantment Parade. Design-builder Bill Reynolds rightfully calls this Valley home “one of a kind,” citing the Premier, Best Kitchen, and Best Bath awards won in its category. The last is well earned. Just one part of an expansive master suite, the impressive master bathroom is situated in its own wing of the home. A large window over the tub looks out onto a private courtyard and a portal with a hot tub, which is accessible from the suite. “It has a very spa-like quality to it,” says Reynolds of the bath. The snail-shaped shower features cascading color glass tiles and glass blocks that enhance natural light penetration into the shower. The shower wall is made of clay plaster, which, according to Reynolds, is “a living, breathing material that absorbs humidity then releases it again when conditions are dry.” For their own retreat, Mason and Beth opted for a brilliant lapis blue that mimics the intensity of a cloudless New Mexico sky. The steam shower is outfitted with hand-held and directional Kohler fixtures, and a comfortable, built-in banco is as practical as it is luxurious. The maintenance-free door is situated so that water cannot reach the zero-threshold entry. “The entire bathroom has universal design for aging in place; everything is easy to access,” says Mason, who had considerable design input into the entire home. Natural light and warm, Southwestern earth tones give a sense of bringing the outdoors in—but not the elements themselves. The travertine floor tile from Architectural Surfaces, Inc., for example, is always warm because of the room’s zoned radiant heat. Granite sits atop natural wood cabinets on his-andher vanities. Oversized chipped-edge mirrors reflect the Sandia Mountains, within view while soaking in the tub, while wall-mounted televisions allow the busy couple to stay abreast of current events even as they’re readying themselves for the day. “Everything we do is original and site-specific,” Reynolds says. But even he has to admit: “This project took us to levels we’ve never gone before.” New Haven Homes,

Kirk Gittings

Building or remodeling your home as a Green Certified Home is easier than you think. It is affordable and also efficient - and a Green certified Home helps keep the sky blue!

for distinguished guests

Amadeus Leitner

Distinctive Sonoma Forge fixtures are the perfect complement to a custom steel vanity and limestone shower tiles in a guest bath designed by HVL Interiors and built by Green Star Builders.

What started out as a modest addition to a Santa Fe home soon took on a life of its own and became a beloved guest bath. “At some point into the design process, the owners realized they didn’t want to just like their guest bath, but rather love it,” says Heather Van Luchene, ASID, founding principal of HVL Interiors in Santa Fe. In the farmhouse contemporary home, earthy, light accents in the bath, such as the Gabbeh rug and primitive, reclaimed Mexican pine bench feel right at home. A large-paned window treated with a natural woven shade by Hartmann & Forbes looks out upon bucolic scenery. Van Luchene calls the guest bath “a small showcase for the practical-turned-sublime,” citing as examples the plumbing fixtures, tile, vanity, and patinaed concrete flooring. The rustic nickel finish of the handmade Sonoma Forge plumbing fixtures (supplied by Santa Fe By Design) distinguish a textural combination of Golden Beach limestone tile on the shower walls and Seagrass limestone on the shower floor, procured at Statements in Tile/Lighting/Kitchen/Flooring. A cream-colored Sonoma Cast Stone countertop and integral sink sit atop a vanity of blackened steel, the creation of Jesse Gries of Green Star Builders in Santa Fe, the contractor for the bath addition. “Most of my steel pieces are one of a kind,” says Gries, who specializes in building green homes and custom steel fabrication for them. Gries credits HVL Interiors for bringing “a real creative and educated aesthetic to any project, while Van Luchene agrees it was a “great team effort” between designer, clients, and contractor. “This one turned out perfectly!” HVL Interiors, Green Star Builders, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


building the dream

Mark William Photography

What to do when you’ve looked and looked and still can’t find a home that meets your needs? Design your own, of course. That’s what homeowners Randy Herring and Lori Carrillo of Albuquerque did. With no home design or construction experience between them, the couple designed a home in the Valley that earned their builder, Vineyard Homes, the Best Bath award in its category in the Fall 2014 Homes of Enchantment Parade. Armed with Chief Architect Home Designer Suite software she bought online, Carrillo pieced together her dream home from elements she had been collecting over the years. “It’s a very clean look,” she says. “I wanted a lot of basic colors. We like art with big, bold colors . . . and art stands out well on grays and whites.” Another design imperative was an open, accessible feel, which is especially apparent in many elements of the master bath, such as the floating mirrors, the freestanding double vanity, and the walk-through shower with its dual entry points. When it came time to build, Herring and Carrillo found kindred spirits in Vineyard Homes’ Deborah Short and Tomenstock, LLC, an Albuquerque design firm. “The homeowners were very involved in making their vision a reality,” says Short. “They were looking for a contemporary style and very clean lines throughout the home. This master bath is certainly an example of that.” While the couple decided on some cost-saving measures, like procuring sinks, floating shelves, and lighting from national chain home improvement stores, they went higher-end on other items, such as the Kohler plumbing fixtures from Ferguson, and the see-through, glass-enclosed IntelliFire gas fireplace from Mountain West Sales that peeks over the spa tub into the master bedroom. Some features of their dream home simply had to be invented, Carrillo recalls. Of the hanging, double-sided mirror, she says, “No one in town had really done a mirror like that before, and there was a lot of discussion on how to hang it and keep it steady.” The feat was finally finagled by Ideal Mirror & Glass, while Pablo and Valentín Salinas of High Mountain Cabinetry crafted, as a single unit, the accompanying his-and-hers, back-to-back vanity. “We’re functional people and want things to work for a certain function and purpose,” Carrillo says. “This bath works exactly like we wanted it to.” Vineyard Homes,

Above: A double-sided, hanging mirror from Ideal Mirror & Glass separates back-to-back sinks and vanities in this contemporary bath by Vineyard Homes. Kohler fixtures from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery; gas fireplace from Mountain West Sales.



The “When I’m 64” House

by Steve Thomas

Small, highly designed spaces for active boomers

thing is in your face, so you want everything you see and touch and feel to speak quality. Control costs by editing features and furniture. Building small means you use less “stuff,” and editing the stuff you do put in means you’ll use less still. Utilize simple, efficient, robust building systems. On Sea Cove I used a combination of spray foam and cellulose In overall concept, the insulation, along with highly efficient Kolbe & Kolbe windows and doors (from Sunwest Construction Specialties in “64 House,” like the Santa Fe) for a very tight building envelope. The state-of“Family House,” is a the-art, mini-split heat pumps heat and cool the house for a dollar a day, and the electrical and plumbing systems are workshop, but one to straight and simple. Our 64 House is easy to maintain; we can lock the doors and go off for a month without worrying facilitate getting out of about complex mechanical systems failing. the house rather than We moved into the house this past December, just as the worst of the Maine winter set in. Despite bitter temperastaying at home. tures, the heat pumps keep the house warm, even below zero. It is always very instructive for me to live in what I renovate because I get to see firsthand what works and what Small doesn’t mean blah. Designer doesn’t. So far, so good with Sea Cove Cottage. I’ll let you Robin Siegerman maximized every know how it’s doing in six months. Or maybe I’ll just send square inch in Sea Cove with built-ins. It’s like living in a grand yacht rather than you a post card . . . from Patagonia! a small house. Left: Living Go for premium fixtures, fittings and small means appliances. If you think I like spending living smart. more for appliances than a car, I don’t. But Clever builtthe Wolf/Sub-Zero/Asko package is worth ins, like these under-stair every penny. Living small means every-


hen the Beatles song first came out, turning 64 was never going to happen! But it’s coming, so I’m thinking about it, particularly in terms of housing. My wife and I have bought and renovated a series of homes, each bigger and more suited to an active family life. The best was a 1700s first-period colonial in the historic district of shoe shelves, Salem, Massachusetts, with a big backfree up yard for kids and dogs; tons of bedvaluable rooms and bathrooms; a big kitchen closet space elsewhere. for the holidays; a garage, a workshop, a hot tub. I loved that place, but I needed something very different for my “64 House.” Left: High-end kitchen I’m currently renovating a circa appliances are worth 1905, Shingle-style cottage in Maine every penny, says called Sea Cove—a shore base for us Steve Thomas, who and a practical retirement home if we is partial to the Wolf, age out of the rigors of island life. We Sub-Zero, and Asko brands. Likewise, he could just as easily call it “64 Cottage” says, it pays to invest because the whole concept is to create in quality hardware a base for a very active next couple of and finishes, like the decades for my wife and me. upscale (but still fun) The “64 House,” like the “Famnautical fixtures on his kitchen sink (right). ily House,” is a workshop, but one to facilitate getting out of the house rather than staying at home—to ski Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International. or bike, to travel to Paris or Patago62

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Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

nia. Sound good? As you design your “64 House,” consider these suggestions: Keep it small. Get rid of stuff, rent a storage locker nearby, and seriously edit your art collection.


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If hard water stains don’t suit your fancy, might we suggest a Culligan® Water Softener. It removes the damaging minerals from hard water, leaving you with spotless dishes, not to mention softer hair, skin, and clothing. To get yours, call Southwest Water Conditioning at 505-299-9581 or visit

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Susan Jameson 505-766-7205 NMLSR ID 442357

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Stillbrooke Homes 1251 Alvarado Way

Aldea at Santiago

3 bedrooms 2 baths 2,073 sq. ft. $199,975 (base price) $239,788 (base price + all upgrades) Florence Toti (505) 771-9221 / (505) 235-1690

The new Aldea Cottage Homes hold incredible value. Starting at $140,000 they have all the energy-saving features plus free granite. Custom cabinets, tile floors, and a wood-topped island


make a spectacular kitchen. Cozy window seats, tile roofs, maintained front yards, and a private park complete the package.

From the Big I, proceed north on I-25 to US 550 (Bernalillo, Exit 242). Left on US 550 to Pat D’Arco Blvd (Hwy. 528). Turn left on 528 and go approximately 1.3 miles. Left at light on Santiago Way. First left on Bosque Vista. First left on Alvarado Way. First home on the left.

Express Homes by D.R. Horton 7328 Skagway Drive NE

Lomas Encantadas


4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,706 sq. ft. $226,000 (base price) $252,670 (base price + all upgrades) Paul Rodriguez (505) 410-8171

The charming Roark plan provides an open and spacious feel with many sought-after features. You’ll delight in the upscale granite kitchen countertops and executive kitchen cabinetry,


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

the spa-like owner’s suite bath with luxury tile shower, and so many extras. You simply have to see it to believe it.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242, turning left onto Hwy 550. Left on Pat D’Arco Hwy. 528, then right onto Enchanted Hills Blvd. Turn left on Lincoln Avenue, then right onto Camino Venada, and then left onto Skagway Drive.



Twilight Homes

7129 Napoleon Road NE

Lomas Encantadas

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,608 sq. ft. $249,990 (base price) $269,990 (base price + all upgrades) Pauline Hansen (505) 917-1387

Love drama? This home is for you. Twenty-four-foot ceilings in the foyer are topped with clerestory windows and a tower. Enjoy phenomenal views of the Sandias

in this four-bedroom home with huge family gathering places upstairs and downstairs. A 25-foot-long covered patio completes this perfect family home.

Take I-25 north to Bernalillo. Exit 242, turn left on 550. Turn left on 528. Right on Enchanted Hills Blvd. Left on Lincoln. Right on Nativitas. Left on Franklin. First right on Napoleon. House is on right, after Lexington.

CHANGES G U E SS W H O S AY S Y E S ? We do. Although our floorplans are award-winning already, we understand that sometimes you want to customize them to fit your life. No problem, tell us what you need and we’ll work with you to make it happen - gladly.

You are going to love it!





Twilight Homes

2801 Redondo Santa Fe


4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,312 sq. ft. $266,000 (base price) $320,000 (base price + all upgrades) Ann Daniel (505) 349-3723

Chic, modern, and sophisticated, this home has it all. Need flex space—maybe a home office or casita? Done. Three-car garage on your must-have list? Check. How about amazing views? All day

long. State-of-the-art tiled walls, incredible lighting, and decorated to the nines. You won’t want to miss this one.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Bernalillo. Take Exit 242, turn lefto onto 550, and go about 7 miles. Left on NW Loop Road (becomes Unser), proceed about 3 miles. Right on Mariposa Pkwy. Left on Redondo Sierra Vista. Right on Santa Fe Vista. Left on Redondo Santa Fe. Model is immediately on the left.



Custom & Semi-Custom Homes


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015



Stillbrooke Homes 716 Tiwa

Ocotillo Hills

3 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,710 sq. ft. $352,586 (base price + all upgrades) Jeremy Martinez (505) 401-0504

This is our popular Ashton plan that features 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a 3-car garage, and many other amenities like a covered porch entry; an open courtyard that adjoins the dining room and


an open great room with fireplace; the kitchen; and a nook. There’s also a 35-foot-long covered patio accessible from both the master suite and family room.

From the Big I, head north on I-25 to Paseo del Norte, turning left (west). Exit onto Coors Blvd. Follow Coors past and up the hill from Cottonwood Mall to Hwy. 528 (Pat D’Arco Hwy.). Proceed north on 528 to Northern Blvd. Turn left (west) on Northern and proceed to Broadmoor Blvd. Left on Broadmoor to Ocotillo Hills community on right. Enter through gate to Tiwa.


Twilight Estate Homes 2411 15th Street SE

Vista Montebella

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 3,002 sq. ft. $419,900 (base price) $499,900 (base price + all upgrades) Wade Wingfield (505) 550-8818

This designer’s dream home on a half-acre lot showcases spectacular views. It’s unforgettable, with commercial-grade appliances, custom lighting, stone floors, and iron doors.

The home has spacious double living areas, an outdoor entertaining area, a large media room, a study, 3-plus bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a 3-car garage.

From the Big I, take I-25 north, exit at Paseo del Norte, and continue west to Unser. Take Unser north to Wellspring Drive (across from Presbyterian Hospital). Turn left on Wellspring. Take the first left on 21st Avenue and continue to the stop sign. At the stop sign, go left onto 15th Street. The model is on the right.





Joseph Custom Homes 188 Tierra Encantada

3 bedrooms 2.5 baths 3,246 sq. ft. $817,350 Greg Joseph (505) 890-5000

Modern classic design, both livable and timeless! A beautiful, contemporary Mission-style home, located on 1.4 acres in Corrales, capturing amazing panoramic views you’ll have to see to believe. Two


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home offices provide the perfect working environment at home. Natural stone finishes throughout, complemented by onyx, glass, and copper. Another outstanding Joseph Custom Home!

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Alameda and head west. Pass Coors Road, turning right on Ellison Drive, which turns into Loma Larga Road. Head north on Loma Larga approximately 4 miles. Left on Tierra Encantada. Follow Tierra Encantada approx. 1.4 miles to the top of the hill.


Panorama Homes


1419 Sagebrush Drive

3 bedrooms 3 baths 3,042 sq. ft. $715,000 John Lowe (505) 688-6834

This beautiful Corrales home is a freestyle traditional Pueblo design, oriented for mountain views. The expansive covered porch enhances

outdoor living with a fireplace and a BBQ, and can be enclosed with retractable screens.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Alameda and turn west. Pass Coors Road, turning right onto Ellison Drive, which turns into Loma Larga Road. Head north on Loma Larga approximately 3.6 miles (past the stop sign at Mission Valley Road). Left on Sagebrush Drive. Jog right on Calle Blanca, then quick left on Sagebrush. Proceed up the hill .5 mile.

It’s the special details that make it yours with a beautiful custom storage solution built just for you and the way you live. Call us today or visit us online to be inspired and arrange for your free in-home design consultation.

Š2014 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated. Lic# 61344

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ALBUQUERQUE 4801 Alameda Blvd. NE 505.858.1100 8/15/14 11:19 AM 71 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Home Construction and Consulting Services

#1 Perfecto Lopez


4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 3,982 sq. ft. $919,695 David K. Langham (505) 238-7678

Beautiful Southwestern Pueblo home by awardwinning builder Home Construction and Consulting Services. Open floor plan with outstanding living spaces. Custom alder cabinetry, brick and travertine


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floors throughout, kiva fireplaces, wood and beam ceilings, beautiful views of the Sandias, and excellent exterior massing. Outstanding finishes and features throughout! A must-see!

From the Big I, head north on I-25 to Alameda and turn left (west). Pass Coors Road, turning right on Ellison Drive, which turns into Loma Larga Road. Continue north on Loma Larga approximately 3.5 miles (past the stop sign at Mission Valley Road) to Perfecto Lopez. The house is on the corner. Enter the property on Loma Larga.

Kathleen Atkin (505) 235-9829

Jo Cook (505) 379-6099

Delese Dellios (505) 688-5343

Janie Gilmore-Daniels (505) 259-0502

Veronica Gonzales (505) 440-8956

Kim Jensen (505) 948-1399

Lynn Johnson (505) 350-5966

Tim Lopez (505) 249-8282

Mila Lucero (505) 550-6824

Kas MacKenzie (505) 205 4375

Annie O始Connell (505) 263-4141

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

Sandi Reeder (505) 269-9498

Shirley Rich, CRS (505) 280-8811

Tracy Venturi & The Venturi Team (505) 263-2526



Sun Mountain Construction 490 Rincon Road

3 bedrooms 3 baths 3,460 sq. ft. $1,040,000 Norm Schreifels (505) 892-8855

This Southwestern home meets the Build Green New Mexico Emerald level. Green features include geothermal heating, photovoltaic electricity, Insulated Concrete Form construction, high

insulation values, nontoxic finishes, and much more. It includes custom cabinets and doors, a chef’s kitchen, an exercise room, an office, and large portals for comfortable outdoor living.

From the Big I, go north on I-25 to Alameda Blvd. Turn left on Alameda and go 4.3 miles to Corrales Road. Turn right onto Corrales. Go 2.6 miles to Rincon and turn right. Go about a half mile to the house.




Vineyard Homes

130 Camino Vega Verde

Entrada de Corrales

Whole house remodel plus additions 4,899 sq. ft. (808 sq. ft. additions) $246,300 (price of remodeled portion + additions) Deb Short (505) 235-5225

This complete home remodel with additions includes all bathrooms and a full master suite. The master suite bath includes a dry sauna, a gym, a steam shower, and a bubble massage


tub. We also added a huge theater room, a new kitchen, a coffee bar, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, and a two-sided fireplace. This is a Vineyard Homes must-see!

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Alameda exit. Turn left (west) onto Alameda and go across the Rio Grande. Turn right (north) onto Camino Vega Verde. Home will be on the right.


Picasso Builders

9421 Riverfronte Road NW 5 bedrooms 4 baths 4,445 sq. ft. $1,100,000

Chris G. Martinez (505) 720-0627

This Italian-styled home features natural limestone and brick inside and out, clay roof tile, a


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

large open kitchen and family room, large patios, and an infinity edge swimming pool.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte and turn left. Proceed to Coors and turn right. Turn right at the light on Irving. Turn right onto Riverfronte Road.


RayLee Homes: A New Generation 10940 Esmeralda Drive NW



3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,961 sq. ft. $229,990 (base price) $287,942 (base price + all upgrades) David Newell (505) 918-9943

Traditional meets contemporary in this spacious and bright RayLee home. The home boasts cabinets to the ceiling, Craftsman interior doors, and plenty

of natural light. Let the outside in with the stunning 12-foot-wide glass door to a spacious patio that’s ideal for entertaining.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Take Paseo del Norte west to Unser Blvd. Turn right on Unser. Turn left on McMahon. Turn right on Maravillas Drive, then left onto Carmona Road. Turn left on Esmeralda Drive.

Transform your home and community! By shopping, donating and volunteering at Habitat ReStore, you become part of a movement dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat ReStore’s ever-changing merchandise and one-of-a kind finds give you the opportunity to be creative. Visit Habitat ReStore!

Shop. Donate. Volunteer.





Twilight Homes

8827 Valle Prada Lane NW

Valle Vista

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,735 sq. ft. $305,990 (base price) $335,990 (base price + all upgrades) Jose Andreu (505) 450-2861

Who doesn’t love a gated community within walking distance of award-winning schools? Private, luxurious master suite on the first floor with 3

bedrooms and a flexible loft upstairs. Curl up in the reading nook tucked away off the staircase. It will bring a smile to your face.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Paseo del Norte exit. Proceed west to Rainbow Blvd. Turn left on Rainbow. Turn right on Woodmont. Take first left onto Valle Prada Lane. Model home is immediately on the right.



Custom & Semi-Custom Homes


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015


D.R. Horton

6927 Tombstone Road NW

Tierra Vista at The Trails


4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,674 sq. ft. $252,990 (base price) $291,530 (base price + all upgrades) Paul Rodriguez (505) 410-8171

This stunning home is ideal for an evergrowing family. The downstairs owner’s suite and a junior owner’s suite upstairs, accompanied by 2 additional bedrooms, provide plenty


of privacy, while the open family room and upstairs loft are perfect for a family looking in the Volcano Vista school district.

From the Big I, take I-25 north, then go west on Paseo del Norte. Turn left on Universe Blvd. Take a right on Woodmont Blvd., then left on Indian Hills Street. Turn left on Tombstone Road.

Las Ventanas Homes 51 Wind Road NW


Ventana de La Luz

3 bedrooms 2 baths 2,073 sq. ft. $339,900 (base price + all upgrades) JP Rael (505) 463-4305

Luxury . . . Views . . . Green? We can’t decide what best describes this home. The city lights, the bosque, and mountains are outside your door. The master bedroom and living room boast breathtaking views.

High ceilings and beautiful floors are features usually found in more expensive homes. You’ll be amazed so much is possible in under 2,100 square feet.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Montano exit. Head west on Montano to Coors, turning left (south). Proceed to Sevilla Ave and turn right. The first right (Costa Almeria) leads to the gated entry for La Luz del Sol. Left onto Wind Road.




Scott Patrick Homes 4901 Camino Valle Trail NW

El Bosque at Andalucia


4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,870 sq. ft. $639,800 Scott Schiabor (505) 228-4417 cell / (505) 828-9900 office

The relaxed North Valley feel awaits you in this contemporary, open-concept custom home. Large window walls highlight surrounding bosque and mountain views. Gracious architectural


features include wood flooring, stone, and beams, a gleaming granite and stainless steel kitchen open to the living areas, a spacious covered rear patio, and much more.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Coors Blvd. (Exit 155) northbound. Turn right onto Coors and continue 1.5 miles, then turn right onto Sevilla into Andalucia. Continue to Tres Gracias, turn left, and proceed into the gated community of El Bosque.


Stillbrooke Homes 8800 Desert Rain NW


3 bedrooms 3 baths 2,646 sq. ft. $284,802 (base price) $363,449 (base price + all upgrades) Robin McMorries (505) 898-1450 / (505) 934-5812

The inviting foyer takes your breath away with large family room ceilings, an open dining area, and an extraordinary kitchen and nook. The family room


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

window wall provides stunning views of the Sandias. One wing is devoted to the exquisite master suite, while the other features a game room.

From the Big I, proceed west on I-40 to Unser. Right on Unser to Tierra Pintada. Left on Tierra Pintada to Watershed. Right on Watershed to Desert Rain Road. Left on Desert Rain to the first house on left.


Del Webb

9223 Del Webb Blvd. NW

Del Webb at Mirehaven


2 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,504 sq. ft. $304,990 (base price) $477,385 (base price + all upgrades) Wade Messenger (505) 349-9980

Nestled around the Petroglyph National Monument in the new Mirehaven master-planned community, this inviting home features an open gathering room, curved kitchen island, raised

dishwasher, and café. This home offers a large covered patio with stunning views of the Sandias, dual master suites, a courtyard, bowed windows, and decorative features throughout.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Unser Blvd. Exit right on Unser. Turn left on Tierra Pintada. Take a right on Mirehaven Parkway, then a right on Del Webb Blvd.

Surrounded by the

Petroglyph National Monument

Over 6 miles of onsite walking trails

Exclusive Gated Community

10,000+/- sq. ft. Amenity Center Coming Spring 2016

Visit the Journey model during The Parade of Homes

Contact us to learn more about the Del Webb Lifestyle

Unser & Tierra Pintada north of I-40 505-349-9980 or

At least one resident must be 55 years of age or better, a limited number of residents may be younger and no one under 19 years of age. Some residents may be younger than 55. Community Association fees required. Complete offering terms for the homeowner’s association is in an offering plan available from sponsor. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. Some conditions, limitations, and restrictions apply. Please see a sales associate for details. Void where prohibited. Prices reflect base prices and are subject to change without notice. Lot premiums may apply. Photography is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an actual representation of a specific community, neighborhood, or any completed improvements being offered. ©2015 Del Webb. All rights reserved PGI Realty, brokerage for Del Webb 505-761-9606




Twilight Homes


5743 University Blvd. SE

Mesa del Sol

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,582 sq. ft. $249,990 (base price) $267,990 (base price + all upgrades) Renee Cepenos (505) 508-4846

This gorgeous, unique home in the highly amenitized master-planned community of Mesa del Sol has beautiful views and a convenient location. Imagine

opening the wall of glass doors in your family room to your private courtyard and watching the stars from your sofa. A beautiful way to end the day.

From the Big I, take I-25 south to the Rio Bravo exit and turn left onto Rio Bravo at the end of the exit. Take the first right after the freeway (University Blvd.). Stay on University approximately 3 miles and the home will be on the right after Bourke-White Drive.





S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015



Enjoy beautiful parks, swimming pool, dog park, fitness center, events and so much more in a master-plan with a keen eye on sustainability. There is no other place like it in Albuquerque. Best of all, it’s close to everything and you don’t have to cross the river to get there.

NEW HOMES FRO M $1 50K - $ 400K ( +) • 82




RayLee Homes: A New Generation


1668 Bull Lea Drive SE



3 bedrooms 2.5 baths 1,609 sq. ft. $229,900 (base price) $261,766 (base price + all upgrades) David Newell (505) 918-9943

Eastside living with contemporary style is only part of what this home has to offer. Designed with an open concept, this home features sleek


finishes like quartz countertops and tile floors. Its unique style and convenient location make it the perfect place to call home.

From the Big I, take I-40 east to the Eubank exit and head south. Take a left at Southern Blvd., then turn right on Juan Tabo. Cross over the bridge into Volterra and turn left onto Silver Charm Road. Turn left onto Bull Lea Drive.

Luxury TownHomes on the East side Starting in the 190's!

Volterra Village


• Upscale environment adjacent to Four Hills • Modern style townhomes full of stylish amenities • Private courtyards with minimal yard care • Minutes away from Kirtland Air Force Base & SNL • Miles of biking & walking trails • Near Uptown and premier shopping malls and dining

Live in Albuquerque’s Most Desired Community Building Locally since 1974

Contact us: (505) 903-6803 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM




D.R. Horton

1515 Barbaro Drive SE


4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 3,081 sq. ft. $344,990 (base price) $501,520 (base price + all upgrades) Paul Rodriguez (505) 410-8171

The Thomason offers the best of everything: spacious beauty with a 2-story open living room, a downstairs owner’s suite, an executive chef’s kitchen, an oversized study, 4 bedrooms,


From the Big I, take I-40 east, exiting right (south) on Eubank. Take a left at Southern Blvd., then turn right on Juan Tabo SE. Cross the bridge into Volterra. Turn left onto Silver Charm Road, then left on Gulf Stream Street. Turn right on Cavalcade, then left on Barbaro.

and a large loft/game room. This comfortable home, conveniently located near Sandia Labs, is a must-see.



2040 Sydney Lane NW

Sydney Place

4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,757 sq. ft. $725,000 (base price + all upgrades) Brent Strebeck (505) 345-7733

A contemporary home in Albuquerque’s North Valley with a refreshing and inviting appearance. Unique modern features combine with functional


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

and sleek design components to create a relaxing urban setting.

From the Big I, take I-40 west. Exit at Rio Grande Blvd. and turn right (north). Turn right onto Candelaria Road and travel .3 mile. Turn right onto Indian Farm Lane, then left onto Sydney Lane. The home will be on your left.


Patriot Homes


207 Vernon Court

Vernon’s View

4 bedrooms 4 baths 4,359 sq. ft. $1,200,000 Jimmy Porter (505) 974-5300

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte. Turn left onto Paseo del Norte and follow to 2nd Street. Turn left on 2nd Street and proceed about .5 mile. Turn right onto Horton and take the first left onto Vernon Court. Come visit this Fall 2014 Parade Premier Award Winner featuring an enclosed courtyard, impressive ceiling details, and unique touches throughout. New to this Parade is the completed backyard,

which includes a reflection pool and a beach entrance kiddie pool, a pool house, an outdoor shower, and a putting green. We look forward to meeting you.

Welcome Home!

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Twilight Estate Homes 320 Nueva Hacienda NW

5 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,987 sq. ft. $699,950 Tim McNaney (505) 975-1154

Nestled in the Rio Grande Valley, this stunning twostory will take your breath away. Elegant, sophisticated, and modern with conservative underpinnings, it’s

the perfect home for a truly discerning family. Open the 16-foot glass wall in the family room to add the magnificent patio to your entertaining space.

From the Big I, take I-25 north. Exit San Mateo/Osuna and go left on Osuna, under I-25. Turn right on 4th Street. Proceed on 4th Street, then turn right on Nueva Hacienda. Enter gates, and the model is on the right.


HAS A NEW BEST FRIEND You can expect the highest level of detail in your new home as well as your customer service. We are changing the way homes are built in New Mexico.

You are going to love it!


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015


Lowe-Bo Homes

7900 Florence Avenue NE

Desert Ridge Trails East


4 bedrooms 3 baths 3,611 sq. ft. $800,000 Ted Lowe (505) 991-2555

A stunning masterpiece to entertain and enjoy! Exterior is Tuscan Mediterranean with an interior showcasing stylish traditional taste. Sensational views, expansive entry towers, inviting barrel-

ceiling hallways, crafted stairway, natural wood floors, and beautiful tile work all blend to make the home wonderful. The deck and collector’s garage are phenomenal.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 232, turning right onto Paseo del Norte. Turn left on Wyoming. Go five streets past Alameda, turn right onto Florence Avenue. Turn right into the 6th inlet.

Value and Quality through generations of experience. Call Ted Lowe at 505-991-2555 505-888-4464





Renaissance Custom Homes 8341 Beverly Hills Avenue NE


4 bedrooms 3 baths 4,300 sq. ft. $999,000 Gary Padilla Oscar Muniz (505) 720-4444 (Gary) (505) 489-1000 (Oscar)

Come see this modern, Tuscan-style, and extremely livable home with an open floor plan. Great for indoor and outdoor entertaining with mountain views. You’ll see features such as cus-


tom wood cabinets, granite countertops, elaborate travertine, stone accents, vaulted wood beam ceilings, and an oversized 4-car garage. “Luxury Homes at Affordable Pricing”

From the Big I, go north on I-25 to the Alameda exit. Turn right (east) on Alameda. Turn left (north) on Wyoming, then turn right (east) on Beverly Hills. The home is on the corner of Beverly Hills and Barstow.


Las Ventanas Homes 6308 Mojave Aster Way NE

The Legends

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,922 sq. ft. $500,000 (base price + all upgrades) Missy Ashcraft (505) 362-6823

Beautiful tile floors appearing as weathered wood will fool your eye. A gourmet kitchen features Bosch appliances and quartz countertops to please the most discerning chef. The


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

master bath, with glass shower and Kohler tub, feels like a spa. This home has features usually only found in million-dollar homes.

From the Big I, go east on I-40 to the Tramway exit, turning north. Turn right (east) on Academy. Go straight through the 4-way stop and make the first right turn into The Legends. After passing through the gate make the first right onto Cliffbrush Lane, then the first left onto Mojave Aster Way.



Infinity Homes

60 Nature Pointe Drive

Nature Pointe

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,800 sq. ft. $570,000 (base price) $610,000 (base price + all upgrades) Carl Sanchez (505) 459-0621

Nature Pointe subdivision is one of the east mountains’ most prestigious gated communities. This home is surrounded by piùon and cedar trees but allows for amazing views. The interior of this

home is highlighted with barrel ceilings and lots of custom tile. Stonework abounds both inside and out. This is a must-see.

From the Big I, take I-40 east to Zuzax (Exit 178). Continue east on Highway 66 for 2 miles. Turn right on Five Hills Road. Right on Sedillo Road. Turn left on Avenida Allegre to enter the Nature Pointe subdivision gate. Left onto Nature Pointe Drive. Continue on to #60.





Panorama Homes 10 Shard Court


3 bedrooms 3.5 baths 4,862 sq. ft. $1,200,000 John Lowe (505) 688-6834

Situated on one of the most spectacular view lots in Paa-Ko, this gorgeous mountain retreat captures vistas across golf course greens to the ridgeline

of the Sandias. This BGNM-certified home was designed for luxury and comfort, with exquisite attention to detail. Worth the drive from the city.

From the Big I, take I-40 east for 14.5 miles. Take Exit 175 NM 14/Cedar Crest. Proceed north on NM 14 approximately 9.5 miles. Left on Paa-Ko Golf Drive, then right on Paa-Ko Drive. Left on Raindance Road. Follow the curves and turn left on Broken Arrow Road, through the gate. Turn right onto Shard Court.

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Monday Thru Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 10am-2pm 90

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Located at 121 Eubank Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87123

505-296-4393 •

Customer Testimonials


What Our Clients Have to Say

Fabu-WALL-ous Solutions not only met our goals, it helped us discover problems that needed solutions to protect and enhance our property and our we totally relied on Fabu-WALL-ous Solutions and we were never disappointed—in fact we were delighted because it was as though Bill and Chuck were treating the property and house as his own! —The Johnson Residence, Santa Fe, NM 1925 Rosina Street, Suite B, Santa Fe, NM 505.982.9699 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena


by Barbara Wysocki

Slow down and grow at Tucson’s award-winning resort and spa

Above: At a Lunch & Learn cooking class, watch a chef prepare a delicious, healthy meal in the demonstration kitchen, then enjoy the results. Tasty, waistline-friendly meals are also served in the Clubhouse (above, top).

Walk or jog picturesque trails that show off the natural beauty of southern Arizona.

“Every choice you can make here is a healthy one,” Canyon Ranch promises.

seize the power

Located at the foot of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains, Canyon Ranch welcomes eager seekers of selfimprovement. Touting “The Power of Possibility,” attentive staff backs up the resort’s promise with offers of more than five dozen classes, workshops, and lectures daily. Guests sit down with program advisors to design four or more days’ worth of renewal and discovery. A sample itinerary might include a photography hike in the morning, exploring sacred dreams or a better golf stroke at midday, then closing the day with a discussion on how to connect nutrition with the immune system. Within this smorgasbord of medical, fitness, spiritual, and metaphysical activity exists the opportunity for introspection and personal growth. From sunrise to moonlight there’s so much to do. Guests take dips at the Aquatic Center; paint at the Creative Arts Center; combine knowledge with tasty bites at Lunch & Learn kitchen sessions; hit the tennis, squash, and Wallyball courts; and even zip-line through the High Ropes Challenge course. The spa offers numerous treatments—try an herb-infused wrap— but the red adobe building also houses six gyms, a Pilates studio, a yoga dome, indoor cycling, and spaces for dance, drumming, and weight training. Many guests and new friends pause to chat in the spa lobby as they grab continued on page 101


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Photos courtesy of Canyon Ranch

Canyon Ranch

ere, quiet pathways crisscross 150 acres of ponds and flowing streams. Desert flowers, trees, and cactus plants grace colorful gardens. Timeless sculpture echoing the wisdom of Arizona’s ancient ones enriches peaceful walkways. Snugly situated in the adjacent rolling landscape, Southwest-style casitas almost whisper “relax” by way of rocking chairs nearby and whitenoise machines. It’s the perfect place to slow down: Canyon Ranch, a world-class destination resort and spa, teaching guests since 1979 how to live healthier, longer, and more joyful lives.



Fire embers can travel up to a mile away in high winds...are you prepared?


considered to be in a state of extreme drought, particularly in mountainous areas. Unfortunately, it adds up to potential disaster for homes, businesses, ranches and farms as the weather warms and dry conditions set in.


As the summer temperatures rise, it doesn’t take long to dry out any moisture that has been gained in the winter months, turning forests, open grass prairies, and Bosque areas into tinder boxes. With such conditions, disaster is only a lightning strike or careless person away. In remote locations, where there are no fire hydrants or other water sources and where response times are

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – March X, 2015 - According to the New Mexico Drought Monitor’s February 24, 2015 report, more than a quarter of New Mexico is


longer than in urban locations, fire often rages out of control before fire fighters can arrive, consuming everything in its path. In response to the danger, a local company, Perry Supply, has developed a simple yet effective solution. Locally owned and operated since 1958, Perry Supply has served the state as a leading plumbing and HVAC wholesaler. Management and employees know and understand the dangers and problems related to fighting fires in the state. Leveraging their knowledge and expertise, the Perry team developed a new system, the Firelyzer Fire Suppression System, designed to give property owners an effective and affordable means of fire protection.

The system consists of a water storage tank, gas or electric powered water pump, and fire hose. Homeowners can choose the amount of water storage, ranging from 550 gallons to 3000 gallons. Tanks can be placed above or below ground, with manual or auto-fill options. Water can be stored indefinitely and will be ready for immediate use. With lengthy hoses and up to 100 feet of directional spray, the Firelyzer Fire Suppression System gives property owners peace of mind with an immediate and effective means of suppressing fire and protecting property. The system also provides a backup water supply for fire fighters.

For additional information, contact Perry Supply at 505.884.6972.

on the market



RayLee Homes has been building custom homes in Albuquerque since 1976 and recently introduced a green-built, affordable model in Placitas. Taking full advantage of its fabulous location, this 2,699-square-foot contemporary Pueblo–style home offers views from every room. Each of the three bedrooms has a private bathroom and an exterior door that opens to a covered patio. The ceiling of the master suite is paneled with tongue and groove planks, and the master bath features floating cabinets, vessel sinks, and a luxurious soaking tub looking out to the Sandias. The gourmet kitchen boasts a large central island, a walk-in pantry, granite countertops, quality appliances, and floating shelves. Silver Level–certified by Build Green New Mexico, RayLee Homes are constructed with recycled content insulation, resource-efficient lumber and concrete, Energy Star–certified lighting and appliances, low VOC interior paint, and other environmentally friendly materials and building practices. List price: $599,990 Contact: Joe Maez, Keller Williams, 505-401-5775,

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S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

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Don MacCarter

by Tom Smylie

New Mexico’s jays are colorful characters

Clockwise from top: Don MacCarter (2); Dan Williams, NM Dept. of Game & Fish


here’s certainly no missing the jays, with their flashy blue colors, harsh calls, and aggressive manners. Members of the intelligent crow family, five blue jay species are found in New Mexico, but the three most commonly seen are scrub, piñon, and Steller’s jays. The scrub jay is named for its habitat of the scrubby, pygmy forest of piñon and juniper trees. This foot-long bird has a blue head and wings, a long tail, a whitish throat, and a lightly streaked gray breast. Like all jays, scrub jays are aggressive, resourceful, and attracted to bird feeders, where they supplement their natural diet of insects, nuts, and seeds. Noisy and bossy, they’re easily noticed as they fly from treetop to treetop with an undulating wing beat. The piñon jay is highly social and constantly on the move in seeking its favorite snack: piñon nuts. Piñon jays are about the size of scrub jays, but they’re easily distinguished from their more solitary cousins by their constantly moving large flocks of uniform powder blue coloring. When piñon nuts are abundant, their namesake jays will even cache the excess for future use. Their boisterous presence and bullying behavior at bird feeders is often unappreciated by smaller birds. The striking Steller’s jay stands out in the mountains with its crested blue/black head (which bobs with every decisive step), white stripes above the eyes and under the throat, and all-over rich blue color. You might hear the Steller’s jay’s loud and distinctive harsh “shraack” call in the tops of the spruce and fir trees. Other birds would do well to heed that cry; though renowned for their beauty, Steller’s jays are highly aggressive and will seek other birds’ eggs and young to supplement their diet. You can admire or hate these noisy, intelligent hustlers, but the jays’ enlivened presence—and glorious blue coloring—is an eloquent expression of nature’s beauty and diversity in New Mexico. Tom Smylie, from Edgewood, New Mexico, is a retired wildlife biologist affiliated with the World Center for Birds of Prey.

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Five species of jays can be found in New Mexico. The three most common are (clockwise from top) the Steller’s jay, the piñon jay, and the scrub jay.

2400 Midtown NE Albuquerque, NM 87107 505-761-4076 Carpet • Hardwood • Tile • Cabinets • Countertops • More

on the market

everywhere Taking advantage of its perch in the foothills of the Sandias in the community of Placitas, this spacious residence is lined with windows in nearly every room that open to vast, stunning vistas. Drink in the natural surroundings from the deck, courtyard, hot tub, and pool that wrap around the four-bedroom, five-bath, 7,284-square-foot home on one acre of land. Special features are abundant inside, from the hardwood and travertine floors in the main living areas to the custom cabinetry, refrigeration drawers, and granite countertops of the open kitchen. Seven fireplaces are strategically placed throughout the home, while solar panels help offset the utilities. An immaculate workshop is attached to the oversized garage, and the large guesthouse includes a private entrance. List price: $1.299 million Contact: Wende Calvert, Coldwell Banker Legacy, 505-452-6934,


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

Eric Trujillo

a view

Let’s Get Growing

Your local, family-owned GARDEN CENTER serving Albuquerque for



501 Osuna Rd | Albuquerque, NM 87113 | 505.345.6644 | Gardening Hours: Everyday 9-5 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


su casa nueva


13509 Trail Vista Ct NE

Albuquerque, NM

Carole Hartman RE/MAX Elite 505-235-2525

High Desert- Wilderness Estates! Custom Contemp on one acre! Age 8. Amazing Views of Mtns, City Lights & Sunsets. Open Space. 5000 sq ft. 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, Formal Dining, Game room, Gourmet Kitchen, Granite. Huge View Deck for BBQs. Lower Patio, Hot Tub & grass. Master Suite features Onyx & Granite, Spa tub, separate shower. Huge closet. Main living space on 1st level. 3 fireplaces. 3 car garage. ABQ MLS# 831266 $1,175,000

807 Los Prados de Guadalupe Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

Diana L. Griego, CNE Castle Finders Realty, LLC PO Box 67077, 505-238-6478

Located in the prestigious community of Los Prados within Los Ranchos, this home defines modern sophistication and tranquility. Showcased by beautiful beamed tongue and groove ceilings, well-appointed kitchen, expansive pantry, radiant heating, 10 ft ceilings, natural light, 9 incredible outdoor entertainment areas, Rastra construction, and exquisite attention to detail make this spectacular 3 BR, 3.25 Bath, 3,664 sq. ft. home delightfully surprising at every turn. MLS# 834088 $795,000

continued from page 92 water, juice, fruit, and cookies at the snack bar. (Delicious, calorieannotated menus are also served in the Clubhouse.) Early risers may bump into Mel Zuckerman, the resort’s 87-year-old founder, in the gym, where he works out daily. Inspired after having revitalized his own body and soul, Zuckerman and his wife Enid created Canyon Ranch to offer “healthy living vacations,” ensuring “every choice you can make here is a healthy one.”

Within the resort’s smorgasbord of medical, fitness, spiritual, and metaphysical activity exists the opportunity for introspection and personal growth.

on the right foot

On-site medical evaluations by physicians and medical personnel often become springboards to changing old habits. New ones are initiated with the support of Canyon Ranch staff in an intimate setting. The Life Enhancement Department helps guests focus on weight loss, brain health, smoking cessation, and even new exercise practices. But guests can also indulge in horseback or bike rides, facials, or new life-affirming awareness via astrology. At Canyon Ranch they say, “Maintain your body as devotedly as you do your house,” which might mean working on your health literally from the ground up. At the Healthy Feet Center, for instance, classes are designed especially for the feet, because “when they hurt, everything hurts.” In “Happy Feet,” even the toe tips get a workout standing, balancing, and stretching.

solo pursuits

Zuckerman and his staff members urge guests to take time for contemplation. Slowing down for solo pursuits, such as laps in the outdoor pools or hiking on the boulder-bordered desert trails, stimulates new internal rhythms, they say. Guests are encouraged to take self-guided Spirit Walks, where along the way, short prompts provide space for internal reflection and suggest what it means to experience peace, joy, and serenity. Benches in the new Meditation Garden allow for wordless communion with birds, butterflies, and sculptures and a connection with symbols of rebirth (the lotus flower, for one), letting tension melt away just by focusing on the gentle splash of a nearby water feature. Guests are invited to splash, too. Watsu, another calming liquid venture, provides watersupported massage inside a warm personal pool. Overheard emerging from the pool, a Boston banker declared it made him feel “like a manatee,” while a children’s librarian related the experience to that of being in the womb. Before it’s time to leave, stop and browse the Showcase Boutique or Ranch Store for books, workout gear, fitness equipment, and aromatherapy. These are just a few of the many take-homes available for purchase, so that the lessons learned about slowing down don’t come to a full stop. Canyon Ranch,

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Technologies..........................................................96, 98 Contemporary Southwest Furniture..........................................................99 Culligan Southwest Water Systems.............................................................63 Custom Builders Council.............................................................................99 Dahl Kitchen & Bath Studio..........................................................................91 Del Webb.........................................................................................................81 Diamond Tail Ranch........................................................................................9 Diana Griego/Castle Finders Realty..........................................................100 Diego Handcrafted Homes...........................................................................35 ECOterra LLC................................................................................................58 Erin Williams Homes.......................................................................................3 Fabu-WALL-ous Solutions...........................................................................91 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation............................................26 Ferguson Enterprises.....................................................................................27 First National Santa Fe..................................................................................85 Fresco Harmony............................................................................................103 General Electric................................................................................................7 Golden Eagle Design..................................................................................4–5 Habitat for Humanity.....................................................................................77 Hermanson Construction Inc......................................................................12 HOAMCO....................................................................................................22 Home Construction & Consulting Services, LLC......................................72 Homes by Joe Boyden.....................................................................................93 Ideal Mirror & Glass, Inc..............................................................................103 Jackalope/Classic Concepts Furnishings.....................................................17 JCH / Joseph Custom Homes........................................................................70 Keller Williams Realty...................................................................................73 Kirtland Federal Credit Union.....................................................................23 Koinonia Architects & Builders....................................................................43 Lee Michael Homes........................................................................................33 LifeWater LLC.............................................................................................102 Lowe-Bo Homes.............................................................................................87 Marc Sowers Bespoke Woodwork...............................................................14 Marvin Design Gallery..................................................................................13 McIntyre Decor...........................................................................................100 Mesa del Sol....................................................................................................82 Mesa Verde Homes with Marie.........................................inside front cover Mountain West Sales......................................................................................26 Murray Drilling Co.....................................................................................100 New Haven Homes........................................................................................19 New Mexico Bank & Trust.............................................................................64 New Mexico Fireplace Gallery......................................................................93 New Mexico Select..........................................................................................65 Osuna Nursery................................................................................................99 Panorama Homes.............................................................................back cover Paschich Design Group..................................................................................57 Pella Windows & Doors.................................................................................1 Perry Supply.............................................................................................94–95 Pinon Window & Door, Inc...........................................................................98 Positive Energy Solar...................................................................................102 ProSource Wholesale Flooring.....................................................................97 Rattan City....................................................................................................101 RayLee Homes: A New Generation / Volterra.............................................83 Renaissance Man Construction...................................................................63 Rio Rancho Home & Remodeling Show......................................................55 Rocky Mountain Stone..................................................................................89 Rutherford Design & Construction.............................................................59 Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association................................................53 Sierra Pacific Windows..................................................................................15 Southwest Ceramic Lighting......................................................................101 Statements in Tile/Lighting/Kitchens/Flooring.........................................59 Stonewood Flooring, LLC..................................................................gatefold Sun Mountain Construction..................................................................74–75 TC Building & Realty Inc..............................................................................29 The Lamp Shop...............................................................................................90 TJ Hardware...................................................................................................96 Twilight Homes...........................................................................67, 68, 78, 86 United Business Bank....................................................................................45 US Eagle................................................................................inside back cover Warrick Custom Homes................................................................................99 Western Building Supply.................................................................................2 Wholesale Timber & Viga...............................................................................98 Wood Moulding Specialties, Inc................................................................103 Woods Design Builders, Inc..........................................................................11

Your Home Source WA L L T R E AT M E N T S YS T E M

C u stom M o u l d i n g & M i llwor k

Fresco Harmony

Wood Moulding Specialties, Inc.

fresco harmony


Live in Color

Introducing the nation’s first color line designed to be mixed into one 3.5 gal box of joint compound. Now it’s possible to smooth out your existing painted and textured surfaces with one easy system. Introducing Fresco Harmony. Visit us online: Or contact us directly:


Albuquerque Sound & Vac

For over 25 years Albuquerque Sound & Vac has been your low voltage contractor for Central Vacuum Systems, DIRECTV, Home Theater Solutions, Intercom Systems, Network and Structured Wiring and Security & Surveillance Systems. We offer many of the premier brands including Beam, Yamaha, SpeakerCraft and many others. Our professional experienced team is ready to work with you on your home or business. 5701 Carmel Ave NE, Suite A Albuquerque, NM 87113 505-883-6136

Serving New Mexico’s contractors and homeowners for over 34 years. Residential & Commercial. Choose from hundreds of patterns in stock or let us create a custom design for you. OFFERING SU CASA READERS ADDITIONAL SAVINGS 8009 Edith NE Albuquerque, NM 87113 505-897-2997


Ideal Mirror & Glass, Inc.

Ideal Mirror & Glass has installed elegant mirrors and shower doors for over 30 years. Our gallery is one of the largest shower enclosure showrooms in the state. For your upcoming remodel or new build, come by and let us provide you with your next mirror and shower enclosure. 9930 Mcknight NE Albuquerque, NM 87112 505-294-0699 or 888-223-1847 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



made for the shade

Amy J. Steidlmayer

Homeowners of a recently renovated Albuquerque midcentury modern residence wanted their surrounding yards to look equally mod. Amy J. Steidlmayer, owner/landscaper of Red Twig Studio, was called in to transform the space. To give the illusion of depth in the narrow backyard, Steidlmayer rested a large mirror against the far wall and stuccoed the banco and the partial screen, obscuring the air conditioner unit with a receding dark gray. Draping a retractable, fabric shade sail attached with steel cables between the house and a double-T support added flowing movement to the space, which is now more terrace than yard. As for the foliage: “I used a simple color palette of white and purple flowers,” says Steidlmayer. “All the plants are low-water users that grow well with a balance of shade and sun, including some evergreens for year-round color.” Red Twig Studio,


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2015

U.S. Eagle, We’ll be there with you at the closing. Dream




Whether you are buying, refinancing, or building, we can help turn your dreams into reality.

Calculate a comfortable payment that stays within the maximum that guidelines allow.

Start your new home project with a construction loan that can be refinanced to a conventional loan when you move in.

Same-day approval, low rates and fees, local underwriting and funding, and a no-cost application.

Call 342-8957 Where Everyone Belongs

Don’t Our 2 Miss Pa Entrie rade s! CUSTOM HOME BUILDER

Introducing… North Tramway Estates A new custom home community offering stunning mountain and city views. Located on the west side of Tramway Blvd. and Tramway Ln.

Certified Green Professional


No Cost, No Obligation Design Build Green New Mexico Certified Affordable Luxury. Cost-Saving Engineering. Healthy Indoor Environments. Quiet Comfort. Model Home at 9700 Sand Verbena Trail NE (Paseo del Norte & Holbrook) | 505.688.6834

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2015 Digital Edition