Page 1

year-round El Paso

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

garden

sanctuary

inspiration ideas resources

mountainside living Las Cruces desert dream

custom-crafted:

one-of-a-kind

furniture

Spanish-Mediterranean fusion in West El Paso


Pella has more energy efficient window Pella andhas door more options energy to fit efficient your window and door options to fit your home and budget. So you can spend less home onand yourbudget. home energy So you costs can spend less on your home energy costs and have more for other things that matter and have to you. more In fact, for other Pellathings offers that matter to you. In fact, Pella offers many different energy-saving glass options. many different So we can energy-saving help keep your glass options. So we can help keep your home — and your budget — comfortable. home Other — and windows your budget and doors — comfortable. Other windows and doors merely frame the landscape. At Pella, we’re merelycreating frame the a better landscape. view of At Pella, we’re creating a better view of your energy costs. Month after month.your Yearenergy after year. costs. Month after month. Year after year.

888-512-6136 or 505-345-3502 • pellasw.com

El Paso, TX 6703 North Mesa Street • 915-833-3066 • pellasw.com Albuquerque, NM 3901 Singer Blvd. NE (New Location!) | Santa Fe, NM 706 St. Michaels Drive, #5B El Paso, TX 6703 North Mesa Street

© 2013 2014 Pella Corporation


El Paso & Southern New Mexico

southwestern

homes

24 happy medium

®

inspiration ideas resources

A Spanish-Mediterranean home in West El Paso elegantly fuses architectural styles.

34 the element of surprise

A Las Cruces hacienda goes mod, with a nod to its roots.

Renee Mullis

44 mountainside living Southwestern style and panoramic views of the Organ Mountains come together in a veteran builder’s personal home.

in every issue

On the cover: Vibrant colors in a Las Cruces home mimic those found in its Chihuahuan desert surroundings. More on page 44. Photograph by Renee Mullis.

4 Inside Su Casa

6 Life+Style Southwest A peaceful backyard fit for a green thumb; residential greenhouses allow for year-round gardening; herbs for your Southwestern garden; and why Steve Thomas doesn’t skimp on the finishes.

18 Design Studio

Moll Anderson explains how to romance one’s bedroom; geometric décor for the home; and locally made custom furniture.

58 Su Libro

Two new books to inspire the sometimes imperfect inner designer in all of us.

60 History The authentic architecture and rich history of the Woman’s Club of El Paso.

64 Live Performance Calendar Art exhibits, concerts, theater, and the kickoff of Broadway in El Paso.

66 Vida Buena Dr. Zeina Nahleh explains the realities of breast health.

68 Travel

Heber Valley, Utah, is a Swiss-style getaway perfect for year-round fun.

Homebuilder Pat Bellestri-Martinez cooks up a New Mexican feast with family and friends; local eateries Fudge-N-More and Gussie’s Tamales.

Visit SuCasaMagazine.com 2

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

34

Bill Faulkner

72 Su Cocina


Inside Su Casa

we’re from here

E

Bruce Adams

Publisher

David Robin

nvironmentalists often encourage us to buy locally grown food and avoid products that have to be shipped to us here in El Paso and Las Cruces. We’re lucky. Thanks to the ingenuity of the locals in this area, this is not difficult. Whether it’s food or items for our homes, solutions to our needs are often easily fulfilled by local producers. Backyard farmers, as you will see in this issue, have come up with innovative ways to garden year-round, successfully growing a wonderful variety of vegetables and herbs 12 months of the year. Winter’s chilly temperatures are easily overcome with greenhouses that create climate-controlled environments and yield abundant crops, so that even we less-sophisticated green thumbs can still eat local. By finding shadier outdoor spots around my house, I grow basil and other delicious herbs and veggies. And it’s all local. As you flip through this issue of Su Casa, you’ll see some incredible wood working that has been incorporated into beautiful area homes. Drawing on the traditions from this region, local talented artisans create furniture, doors, and other wood details. Not only is it local, I daresay it’s of an even higher quality than what you might find other places.  Chocolate, one of my favorite indulgences, is not excluded. As you will see, you don’t have to go to Germany or Switzerland to find quality chocolate. It’s right here, made with local ingredients, and most importantly, by locals.  I find there’s a peace that comes knowing that my neighbors hand-crafted my home, that local artists did the fine detail work, that the plants in my garden are indigenous to this region, and that the food on my table came from local farmers—in some cases, from my own backyard. But the best reasons to go local may be that we are integrally a part of this place, and that local hands have abundantly nourished and beautifully sheltered our lives. It’s good to be a local.


El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher

Bruce Adams

Business Development Bob Skolnick

Associate Publisher B. Y. Cooper

Editor

Danielle Urbina

Executive Editor Amy Gross

Associate Editor Cristina Olds

Contributors Moll Anderson, Tiffany Etterling, Cheryl A. Fallstead Cassie McClure, Kristian Hernandez, Ben Ikenson Jessica Muncrief, Steve Thomas, John Vollertsen

Lead Graphic Designer Sybil Watson

Designer & Media Specialist Michelle Odom

Graphic Designer Whitney Stewart

Photography Cheryl A.Fallstead, Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez Renee Mullis, Jesse Ramirez, Rudy Torres

Advertising Sales Representative Julieta Rios

For advertising information contact: office 915-581-2300 mobile 575-649-8340 mobile 915-603-8434

Customer Service Manager Danya P. Hernandez

Operations Manager Ginny Stewart Please direct editorial queries to editor@sucasamagazine.com

SuCasaMagazine.com For subscriptions, call 818-286-3164 El Paso Office 550 South Mesa Hills Drive, Suite D-1 El Paso, TX 79912 915-581-2300 Santa Fe Office 215 W San Francisco, Suite 300 Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-1444 Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 02, Number 4, Autumn 2014. Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December by Bella Media, LLC at 215 W. San Francisco Street, Suite 300, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. ŠCopyright 2014 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305. Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305, Phone (818) 286-3164, Fax (800) 869-0040 selcs@magserv.com, www.sucasamagazine.com

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

5


Life+Style Southwest

serenityin the garden A blooming sanctuary makes for peaceful living

by Jessica Muncrief Photographs by Bill Faulkner When Mitzi Kidd decided it was time to spruce up her surroundings, she had one word in mind: peaceful. For Kidd, serene relaxation has much to do with what she calls “puttering around in the garden and playing in the dirt. That’s where the worries of life lift off my shoulders,” she says. Kidd thoroughly enjoys her revamped backyard, not only for its beauty, but for the quality time it affords her with family. She can often be found lazing in a nearby hammock listening to the trickling water and watching her grandchildren play with the koi fish. “I have 25 grandchildren. As you can imagine, the fish are regularly overfed,” Kidd admits with a laugh. Her adobe-style home in the desert outskirts of Las Cruces already had an enviable pool and patio, but the remainder of the lot lingered completely unfinished. Kidd turned to local hydroponic designer Tony Miller to help transform the barren dirt into a fertile sanctuary. Miller brought the Zen with a fountain, a fire pit, and a waterfall that drops into a stream and flows across an expanse of green lawn into a koi pond. 6

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


“I love flowers, and I love color, and I wanted to enjoy both all year-round. Even in the winter.” —Mitzi Kidd

A glass greenhouse in the corner of the yard provides plenty of space for Mitzi Kidd to grow vegetables and flowers. It also allows her to explore her new passion for raising orchids (left and below).

Johnny Spreitzer, owner of Royalty Lawn Care and Landscaping, surrounded the water with leafy flora and grasses, and added dimension with a cache of jutting rocks and boulders. “A rock can make or break a design,” Spreitzer says. “It can either look very natural or very unnatural depending on the rock used and the placement of it.” Fulfilling Kidd’s need to get her hands dirty, Miller built raised garden beds all along the fence perimeter. They now overflow with squash, peppers, and tomatoes, along with other vegetables and flowers. Wood planter boxes perched on picnic-style benches sprout basil, mint, thyme, and oregano. Spreitzer and his wife Katy extended the raised beds to the pool area, and are in the process of staining the wooden doors and containers scattered

Opposite: Lush greenery and large boulders line the koi pond and trickling waterfalls in the center of the backyard.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

7


Fulfilling Kidd’s need to get her hands dirty, hydroponic designer Tony Miller built raised garden beds all along the fence perimeter. They now overflow with squash, peppers, and tomatoes, along with other vegetables and flowers.

8

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


throughout the landscape to enhance the flow. “Each space is very beautiful and very different from the others. We wanted to keep that separation while making it feel connected,” Katy explains. Kidd rounded out her wish list with one final, and somewhat unusual, request: “I love flowers, and I love color, and I wanted to enjoy both all year-round. Even in the winter.” Temperatures can drop pretty low in the cold season, but a full-size, glass greenhouse fulfilled Kidd’s wishes. She now grows vegetables and engages in her newest hobby, raising orchids, even when freezes blow through. “When it’s cold outside and there are no leaves on the trees, I can go in the greenhouse and read a book Opposite: Kidd grows all sorts of vegetables in her raised garden beds, from green peppers and tomatoes to squash and fragrant green chiles.

The attraction of dragonflies and butterflies to the ponds and foliage make the backyard a wonderland for Kidd’s many grandchildren.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

9


10 Above: A soothing fountain and views of the Organ Mountains provide a peaceful ambience. Below: Colorful potted plants line the adobe walls that surround the yard.

10

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


“Each space is very beautiful and very different from the others. We wanted to keep that separation while making it feel connected.” —Katy Spreitzer surrounded by blooming color,” Kidd says. “It feels like I’m in the tropics— and that was the original concept.” While the fruits of her labor do make it into her kitchen—like fresh basil on pizza, for instance—Kidd doesn’t cook as much as she once did, and her urge to grow now stems from a sense of nostalgia. “I love walking by the herbs and running my hand across them. The smells remind me of childhood. It’s aromatherapy for me. It’s peaceful,” she notes, coming back again to the one word that inspired it all.

resources Royalty Lawn Care and Landscaping Tony Miller, independent contractor SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

11


Life+Style Southwest

by Ben Ikenson

green

building? Residential greenhouses make lush gardens a year-round reality

T

he last summer harvest may have long passed, but if your passion for gardening is annually plucked by the cool hand of autumn, you may want to consider the various “housing” options that can extend your growing season, increase your production, and protect your plants. Greenhouses, which create a warm microclimate, have been around for thousands of years and remain a popular option for commercial and residential growers and gardeners. “Greenhouses can be made in all different sizes to fit your property and are great for growing plants yearround,” says Denise Rodriguez, a county extension agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in El Paso. “Plenty of national chains sell greenhouses and greenhouse kits, but they can be expensive.” Plus,

Greenhouses, which create a warm microclimate, have been around for thousands of years and remain a popular option for commercial and residential growers and gardeners.

With the right tools, a greenhouse’s climate can be manipulated to provide the ideal environment for year-round vegetation.

Hoop houses, made with arches and plastic sheeting, are inexpensive alternatives to traditional greenhouses.

greenhouses require an energy source for heating and venting, which adds to the cost. A simpler, less expensive, and increasingly popular alternative to the traditional greenhouse is a “hoop house,” which is a structure that is framed, as indicated in the name, by a series of arches and covered with plastic sheeting. “All told, the cost of a hoop house is about $1.75 to $2.25 per square foot, which is a fraction of the cost of a greenhouse,” says Del Jimenez, an agriculture specialist with New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Jimenez teaches classes as well as individuals on hoop house construction, and has observed a huge swell in interest across the state, with well over 1,200 in current use. “We prefer to use PVC [pipes] for the ribs on our hoop houses because it’s very practical, very economical. If you place them every four feet, you can have a hoop house that’s 12 feet long to as long as 100 feet,” says Jimenez. “The pipes can be set directly into the ground, into rebar, or into wood framing.” While hoop houses do not use supplemental heating or cooling, which keeps operational costs down, they do leave plants vulnerable to extremely cold


temperatures during winter months or very hot temperatures during summer months. That’s why Jimenez recommends installing a maximum/minimum thermometer inside the hoop house to monitor seasonal temperature changes and fluctuations during the day and night. “Keeping records of hoop house temperatures can help with future planning of crops,” he says. “You can record temperatures with an inexpensive automatic data logger and temperature probe.” Ventilation is also important. When the temperature inside exceeds the desired maximum, the structure should be vented by opening doors, removing sheeting from the top, or opening the sides of the structure. “Some growers replace the plastic covering with a shade cloth during hot summer months to optimize growing conditions for their crops,” says Jimenez. And during the cold months, without supplemental heat, plants within the hoop house can still freeze. In this case, Jimenez suggests using row covers as an easy way to provide additional crop protection inside greenhouses. Want year-round lush greenery? Though it may seem tricky with the hot summers and chilly winters of the Southwest, adding a greenhouse to your outdoor space will leave you with the blossoming paradise you’ve been looking for.

“Greenhouses can be made in all different sizes to fit your property and are great for growing plants year-round.” —Denise Rodriguez

resources New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

13


Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

garden goodies

Delicious and healing herbal must-haves for your Southwestern garden

The power of herbs has been known for centuries. Before artificial flavorings and not-so-natural remedies, herb gardens have provided a flavorful kick to culinary dishes and relief for the common cold. Because the Southwest offers plenty of sunshine—even during the colder months—herbs easily grow indoors or out; all they require is well-draining potting soil and a little TLC.

THYME

Thymus vulgaris

Type: Woody subshrubs, perennial Appearance: Branched shrubs with small leaves and two-lipped flowers Maintenance: Plant in well-drained alkaline soil and trim back wood branches, but never prune below new growth. Uses: In the kitchen, thyme is delicious in broths, soups, sauces, and compound butters. Essential oils from thyme are used in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and medicinal ointments. Quick Tip: Place one tablespoon of thyme into a sterilized bottle, then pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of witch hazel over the top. Let the thyme steep for 20 minutes, and you have a natural herbal skin toner. Salvia officinalis

Type: Perennial Appearance: Large, heart-shaped leaves with purple flowers Maintenance: Water sage regularly, but avoid overwatering and remove old flowers to encourage a larger growth period. Do not prune into woody growth.

Uses: Sage is featured in various dishes, especially in sausage and other pork products. Medicinally, sage is widely used as a remedy for colds, fevers, and sore throats. Quick Tip: Twist a bunch of sage and place it into two cups of white vinegar for two weeks. Combine infused vinegar with equal parts water in a spray bottle for a natural all-purpose cleaner.

SWEET BASIL

Ocimum basilicum

Type: Non-woody perennial Appearance: Bushy plant with green leaves and white flowers with square-branching stems. Maintenance: Basil plants require plenty of heat and light. When planting, try a soil-less mix like peat or aged bark-based potting soils to avoid root rot. When pruning, cut the plant above its second set of leaves. 14

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Uses: Basil is the primary ingredient in pesto sauce. Soups and stews often include basil in conjunction with other spices. It’s also used in medicinal products that ease kidney disorders and poor blood circulation. Quick Tip: Add whole or thinly sliced basil leaves to your favorite cocktail for a refreshing kick.

Images: Commons.wikimedia.org (H. Zell; Aomorikuma; Mikrolit’; Fir0002)

SAGE


ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis Type: Evergreen perennial Appearance: Woody growth with branches of firm, green leaves Maintenance: Avoid harvesting while the plant is still in bloom. Cut above the woody growth when harvesting, and minimize trimming during the fall to allow the plant to regain strength for winter. Rosemary can be grown in pots or containers, but be careful not to overwater the plant as the roots can rot easily. Uses: Use rosemary sparingly in culinary dishes because of its strong flavor and aroma. The herb also makes lovely wreaths, garlands, and aromatherapy beauty products. Quick Tip: Place a sprig of rosemary and a handful of crushed red pepper in a cruet of olive oil for a fragrant and savory infused oil.

resources El Paso Master Gardeners

“When WE build, let us think that we build forever� -John Ruskin-

come home to definitive southern New Mexico traditions w w w. q u i n o n e s d e s i g n b u i l d . c o m info@quinoneshomes.com

575.524.8292 lic # 54879

luna sol media design

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

15


by Steve Thomas

saving the last for best

High-quality, carefully installed finishes make all the difference

M

y current renovation project, Sea Cove Cottage, is a small, shingle-style Victorian cottage in a fishing village in Maine. It was built in 1905 by a local fisherman out of kit parts, most likely from a supplier in Boston. Except for the addition of a deck out back and some band-aid repairs, the house had not been altered over the years. My job was to do a very sympathetic renovation/restoration without going too crazy on either scope of work or cost. Then the three most expensive words in renovation came into play—“might as well”— and the scope of the job expanded. Add to that rotten sills, remedial structural work, extremely demanding clients (me and my wife), and one of the bitterest winters in recent memory in New England,

and now I’m neck-deep in a job that’s three times the cost and three times the timeframe I first anticipated. But it’s the beginning of the end. The painters arrived today to start the exterior; the floor man starts tomorrow; the kitchen order goes in next week. There’s still a tremendous amount of detail work to do, such as the finish carpentry, building nooks and window seats, and installing kitchen and bath cabinetry, countertops, and so forth. It’s work I enjoy, but still there’s a lot of it, and I’m anxious to finish up the project, move in, and hang up my tool belt for a while. Then there’s the aspect of writing a continual series of large checks—we’re pretty tired of that, too! But this is exactly when all the hard work, attention to structure and infrastructure will pay off—in the finishes. The next time you walk into an unfamiliar but comfortable space, ask yourself, “Why does it feel good?” You’re subconsciously reacting to good design, of course, but also quite likely to the overall quality of the finishes. The finish carpentry and installation of the tile, cabinets, and countertops all have to be of excellent workmanship, with close attention paid to the detail of the layout and crispness of line. Painting, wallpaper, and floors should all be held to the same high standard: Neat and crisp with clean cut-in lines is the general rule. Materials and finishes can be

simple and of modest cost, but through attention to detail and workmanship, they will read with the same harmony as expensive materials. Think of a traditional Japanese temple or teahouse. Constructed of wood, metal, and paper, it is the definition of elegance. Conversely, even the most expensive materials will read as cheap if poorly installed. So my morning mantra is “It’s all about the finishes.” No one will ever see the cleverly engineered and executed way in which I was able to underpin the failing foundation, nor will they see the big engineered beams I inserted into the walls to hold the old place up. But they will see the finishes, and so will I. So I’ll take a little more time, spend a little more money than I wanted to, and in the end Sea Cove will be just right.

Kate Russell

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

Materials and finishes can be simple and of modest cost, but through attention to detail and workmanship, they will read with the same harmony as expensive materials.

Precise finishing details in this award-winning kitchen by Palo Santo Designs.

Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International. 16

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


Enchanted Spaces

romancing the

by Moll Anderson

bedroom

Why is the room you spend the most time in the last one on your decorating list? Since the bed is the focal point of any bedroom, make it the color palette for everything else. Find a color that stimulates you and your partner. It is important to know the person you’re sharing your bedroom with—stylistically speaking, of course!— and to incorporate their color tastes as well.

Moll Anderson

John Hall Photography

lighting

I

n our homes we sometimes get so focused on creating great public spaces, like family and living rooms, that we forget about the room we spend the most time in: the bedroom. Creating a seductive, welcoming bedroom starts with what I call sensory-scaping—the art of creating spaces that appeal to the senses—using color, texture, scent, lighting, and eye-catching focal points.

texture

Your bed shouldn’t just look great; it should feel great. Choose linens that make you feel sexy, relaxed, and comforted. Think of sheets as lingerie for your bed. Out with the old, worn, and tattered, and in with a new set of intimate apparel for your bed. Replace your set with sheets of at least 400 thread count in yummy tones. A seductive bed needs sheets you can slip your skin into. There is nothing more sensual than puddles of luxurious fabric. Your windows will love being draped in yards of decadent silk or velvet. Lining your curtains with blackout material or heavy fabric will add weight and give the appearance you’re trying to achieve— not to mention, it’s great for sleeping in on weekends.

Placing lamps on both sides of the bed creates balance to the space. Not only is it better for the symmetry of your room, but if you’re single, the balance keeps you more open to the idea of sharing your life with someone else. Candles create natural lighting, and nothing says sexy like low lighting with a single candle burning.

scent

Use flowers and candles to bring in a seductive scent and stimulate your senses of sight and smell. The scent of a candle or the brightness of a flower can change the direction of an evening, and even your mood. Flowers create a wonderful aroma and give a great pop of color to the room.

Pick up flowers you are drawn to, whether because of their color, scent, or meaning, then place small bouquets in unexpected spots— the bedside table, the dressing table, even the closet—for little aromatic sensory surprises.

eye-catching focal points

Every room, even the bedroom, needs at least one eye-catching focal point. In addition to the color and texture of your linens, don’t forget about the headboard. Whether it’s wood, iron, or upholstery, your headboard can make a ‘wow’ statement in your bedroom. A mirror, strategically placed to reflect light, will add depth to your space. Make sure the scale is right for the room. (When in doubt, go bigger!) To make a visual impact your accents should draw the eye and add weight to your room. Finally, if you have the space, create an intimate sitting area in your bedroom; a cozy seating area for two not only creates a focal point in your romantic bedroom, it also adds another place to connect with your special someone.

A seductive bed needs sheets you can slip your skin into.

Sensory-scaping a bedroom with a dramatic headboard, soft candle glow, and colorful, fragrant flowers.

Moll Anderson is a television radio host, interior designer, life stylist, and author of three books, including Seductive Tables for Two. 18

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

John Hall Photography

color


Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

shape up

Minka-Lavery Lucero Six Light Chandelier Add some sparkle to your foyer or hallway with an eyecatching chandelier, like this elegant six light pendant chandelier by MinkaLavery. Its intricately patterned body and Florentine silver finish shine brightly even when dimmed.

Remember that geometry class in high school you swore you’d never use in the real world? Interior design trends say it’s hip to be square (and round). Incorporating rectangles, circles, and other geometric shapes to your home’s décor adds instant gusto to any room. Here are a few of our favorite geopatterned products to elevate your living areas.

$600, Designer’s Mart, designers-mart.com

Daltile Metallica Collection Eyes will immediately be drawn to showers, backsplashes, and pools with the Metallica line by Daltile. These 1 x 1" brushed stainless steel tiles come in a variety of shapes and are an excellent way to add a mosaic of style to your indoor and outdoor spaces. Price upon request, Hacienda Carpet & Tile, haciendacarpetandtile.com

JCPenney Medina Ikat Grommet-Top Curtain Panel Give your interiors a splash of style with JCPenney’s exclusive line of curtain panels. This ikat textile with an intricate snowflake pattern adds an eclectic Asian look, and comes in several easy-to-match colors like chocolate, gray, taupe, and navy (shown here). $90, JCPenney, jcpenney.com

Avenue B Chengdu Table Lamp Light up your home with this elegant rectangular lamp from Avenue B. A delicate blue and white geo-patterned porcelain body rests on a dark wooden base and supports the white satin shade, perfect for jazzing up a table in any room. $215, Charlotte’s, charlottesfurniture.com

20

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Trina Turk Santorini Matelasse Geo Gate Pillow Give personality to bedrooms, couches, or love seats with one simple touch: throw pillows. This geo gate pillow by Trina Turk features a contemporary block motif in a bright orange that will bring the furniture in your home to life. $55, Dillard’s, dillards.com


Design Studio

custom-crafted Local furniture designers worth watching

Courtesy of Lorien Woodwork

by Jessica Muncrief

Buying local isn’t just about the food we eat. Supporting regional artists, designers, artisans, and craftspeople also boosts our economy. And for those who love interior design, it’s also an opportunity to create a custom piece that fits perfectly both size- and style-wise. Furniture like this has meaning—to both the people who create it and the families who enjoy their work as heirlooms.

Fox Den Décor / El Paso Rustics Designer: Jami Stewart Styles: Rustic Mexican and Southwestern Specialties: Vanities, nightstands, desks, tables, chairs

Bob Peticolas of Lorien Woodwork uses clean lines and contrasting woods in his custom-made pieces.

The leap from computers to furniture seems like a big one, but for Jami Stewart, the two didn’t seem that far apart. After happening upon a furniture maker, she realized some parallels with her work in web design. She found a carpenter who could execute her visions, and left a technology career behind. She now spends her time creating mostly custom furniture, often using wood reclaimed from old barns and stables. “Many of my pieces are distressed,” Stewart explains of her primary design style. “The Mexican pieces tend to have brighter reds, blues, and yellows. You’ll also see carvings—typically crosses—and the curved yugo legs.” Stewart says wood choice is an important factor in meeting her clients’ visions. “Woods come in different hues, and thus they stain differently. Cedar has a red undertone so it might not work exactly with the color a client wants,” Stewart says. “Reclaimed wood is going to have knots and dents; it’s not going to be smooth. Think about if you want a finer finish or more of a rustic look.”

Lorien Woodwork

Courtesy of El Paso Rustics

Designer: Bob Peticolas Styles: Arts and Crafts, Contemporary Specialties: Tables, cabinets, headboards

Handcrafted by skilled artisans at El Paso Rustics, this Mexican buffet table features ornate metal and a smooth turquoise finish. 22

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

In the heart of the American Southwest, Bob Peticolas is doing something a little different—and so far it’s working. There’s currently a three-month backlog on the custom furniture he describes as “modern takes on the Arts and Crafts movement.” He credits his time studying at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine with really turning his focus to the design process. “The lines are simple, so the architectural style is in something as small as how the leg is carved with slight indentations and curves, or in the decorative elements like black, metal brackets, or breadboard ends on a table,” he explains. Peticolas works primarily in domestic hardwoods, but he adds his own spin on the Arts and Crafts style through specialized veneers. “People associate the movement with Gustav Stickley, but it’s really so much broader than that,” he notes. “I’m particularly attracted to the California style, but I incorporate other styles and elements that aren’t necessarily associated with Arts and Crafts, like contrasting woods, to make it more contemporary.”


Desert Dragon Designs Designer: Craig Van Dommelen Styles: Southwest, Native American, Modern Specialties: Coffee tables, end tables, patio furniture, shelves

An end table crafted by Craig Van Dommelen of Desert Dragon Designs features long-lasting steel and Southwestern design.

Courtesy of Desert Dragon Designs

“With steel, the way you put furniture together is different,” says Craig Dommelen. “With wood you use dovetails, glue, screws, or maybe even wood pins, but metal has to be welded together. I’m always looking for furniture I like in wood because I enjoy figuring out how to translate that into steel.” Van Dommelen’s foray into furniture making came literally right to his front door. He received a brochure in the mail for a metal plasma cutter which piqued his curiosity. “I started cutting basic shapes, then I built my first piece of furniture, and, basically, I just kept trying to outdo myself each time until I got good at it,” he remembers. Much of Van Dommelen’s furniture features Mimbres Native American symbols comingled with his original patterns and sketches. Lately he’s become intrigued with forms outside the typical Southwestern vernacular, working with carpenters to incorporate wood into his pieces and drawing more modern designs with “chunkier widths, more basic shapes, and cleaner lines.”

resources Casa Décor Desert Dragon Designs El Paso Rustics Lorien Woodwork SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

23


happy medium A Spanish-Mediterranean home elegantly fuses architectural styles

A sparkling pool and close-up views of the Franklin Mountains make the backyard a Southwestern oasis.

24

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


by Danya P. Hernandez

I

Photographs by Rudy Torres

t started with an El Paso couple’s desire to incorporate two distinct architectural styles into one home. One wanted ornate Mediterranean design, while the other wanted the timeless feeling of a beautiful Spanish hacienda. Chad North, associate architect with CGN Designs, was up to the task, which as it happens was just the sort of challenge a good architect enjoys. “I had to find a balance and put the pieces of this puzzle together,” he says. After months of preparation and interaction with the homeowners, a design was agreed upon, and Carlos Villalobos of Pointe Homes got to work on construction. Villalobos knew siting the home on a mountain slope would come with many challenges, such as building retaining walls and smoothing out the terrain, but his previous experience in the area had prepared him. “These houses keep you on your toes, but the satisfaction and lessons are greater than the challenges,” he says. The home, located in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, hugs the sidewalk and follows the curvature of the street, a surprising design element that both North and Villalobos identify as one of their biggest challenges, but also as one of their favorite details. “We curved the house in sort of an S-shape and followed with the rock wall,” explains North. “It imitates what you would see in European or South American cities.”

Arches lined in red-toned brick surround the courtyard in the center of the home.

Wrought iron accents, dark wooden beams, and a clay tile roof complement the home’s vibrant white exterior.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

25


The home’s opulent formal living room features stunning views of the El Paso valley. Below: A collection of ornate silver charms embellishes a wall adjacent to the dining room.

The home itself is certainly European-looking, with its striking white exterior, clay-tiled roof, dark wooden doors, and windows framed with brick and studded with beams. Coupled with wrought iron accents and barn-style garage doors, the home feels like an old farmhouse or Italian villa. North opted to frame only two of the three garage doors with brick to give the feeling of added space and to tone down the décor. The Spanish influence is obvious from the front door, where a carved door opens onto a tiled entryway decorated with plants and illuminated with a wrought-iron chandelier. This open area reflects the authenticity of hacienda-style homes, though subtle Mediterranean details like Turkish nazars (charms that ward off the evil eye) are featured throughout. Stunning eight-foot doors made of pure alder wood and hand-carved by local artisan Francisco Fernandez of El Paso Wood Products adorn every entrance of the house. The home’s custom-made entry door features a special rounded cut at the top—another distinctive hint as to the Mediterranean touches waiting just behind it. The view from the front door leads straight to a courtyard situated in the middle of the home. Its architect suggests that the house itself guides you the minute you set foot in it. “As you’re walking through the front threshold, every step that you take is a new experience,” says North. “The courtyard in the middle becomes an outdoor room that’s usable 365 days a year.” Dramatic groin vaults cover the ceiling and continue through the hallway 26

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


into the dining room. The vaults are quintessentially old world elements; North incorporated three arches to reflect the Italian tradition of the Trinity. The main dining room opens up to a formal living room with breathtaking views, which continue in the adjacent kitchen and an informal living room complete with a cozy fireplace and a Douglas fir mantel. In this space, massive, hand-carved wooden beams draw the eye across the ceiling. The home is full of unexpected features, like a spacious wine cellar, a breakfast area behind the kitchen with views of the Franklin Mountains, and even a gym overlooking the valley. “That’s the fun part of architecture, when you walk through a house and find these hidden gems,” says North. Some of the singular touches throughout the home were introduced by the homeowners, who took control of the interior design. They added details such as a small niche by the entrance where a saint stands, travertine tile, and more hand-carved wood detailing on the interior archways and furniture. The couple already owned most of the furniture and artwork now displayed throughout the interior spaces, but their attention to detail and love of Spanish and Mediterranean styles helped the pieces fit in perfectly with the design of their new home. Persian rugs cover the dining and living room areas, while

Below: To blend two styles into the décor, the homeowners combined pieces with Spanish influences, like a painting by Mauricio Mora, with Persian rugs and intricately patterned metal tables.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

27


“These houses keep you on your toes, but the satisfaction and lessons are greater than the challenges.”—Carlos Villalobos

28

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


Opposite: A grand chandelier adorned with crystals hangs from a groin vault ceiling in the dining room. Another ornate chandelier softens the rustic kitchen (left), with its dark-toned cabinetry and thick beams.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

29


artwork by local artist Mauricio Mora decorates the hallways and bedrooms. In the dining room, a grand wooden dining set with two majestic, carved-wood hutches perfectly complement the architecture. According to North, the home works well because the owners were involved in the project and because their vision of the home melded two aesthetically pleasing styles together. “You can see an eclectic mix of both styles,” says North. “There’s a difference between customers who want a home that represents who they truly are, and those who just want a building to live in.”

Above: A large soaking tub rests beneath a crystal chandelier in this bathroom. Opposite, top: El Paso Wood Products hand-carved the graceful entry door. 30

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


“As you’re walking through the front threshold, every step that you take is a new experience.” —Chad North

www.mccormickarchitecture.com

550 S. Mesa Hills Drive, Ste. D2 El Paso, Texas 79912 P. 915.533.2288 F. 915.533.2280 “Creating inspiring built environments that exceed expectation.”

Arches of various styles in the elegant hallway provide visual interest.

M CARC H C O NS T RU C TI O N, LL C

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

31


An arched, brick-lined, and lighted niche shelters a saint statue.

resources Architect Chad North CGN Designs Builder Carlos Villalobos Pointe Homes pointe-homes.com Appliances Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery ferguson.com Cabinetry A-1 Kitchens by Sierra a-1kitchensbysierra.com Countertops COMAF Custom Woodwork and Doors El Paso Wood Products epwoodproducts.com Fixtures El Paso Winnelson Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery ferguson.com Landscaping and Pool Blooming Paradise Tile Emser Windows Pella pella.com 32

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


A Professional Stone Countertop Company

(915)

590-0770

www.77stone.net

Marble

Travertine

Granite

Quartz Certified Fabricator

Soapstone

Onyx

337 E. Sunset Rd El Paso, TX 79922 I-10 at Mesa Exit 11

The Regions Largest Selection of

Brick, Stone, Veneer and Floor Tiles • Brick – Choices of Colors & Sizes • Concrete Stepping Stones & Blocks • Centurion Stone Veneer • Clay Coping & Pavers • Saltillo, Cantera & Travertine Tile • Thin Brick Veneer 33 years serving El Paso and Southern New Mexico

9400 Gateway East - El Paso TX 79907 Showroom Open Mon-Fri 7:30-4:30 Sat 8:30-12:30

www.efbuildingmaterials.com 915-593-1301

Delivery Available SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

33


Textured vigas stand out against striking white walls in a hallway leading to the master suite.

Above: A watercolor purchased by Marcus Miner in Spain echoes the long hallways in the home. Right: A breezy outdoor courtyard, complete with hacienda-style fountain. 34

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


the element of surprise A Las Cruces hacienda goes mod, with a nod to its roots

The exterior of Marcus Miner and Timothy Miller’s home features authentic adobe-style design—a major contrast from the home’s contemporary interior.

by Kristian Hernandez

I

nspired by the colors and textures of the river valley overlooking their home in Las Cruces, Marcus Miner and Timothy Miller created a modern hacienda that embraces the traditions of old Spanish architecture and blends it with the simplicity of contemporary living. “One of the things we really loved about the house from the beginning, and which was part of our vision, was the element of surprise,” says Marcus, a Las Cruces dentist. The 3,400-square-foot home is built in a

Photographs by Bill Faulkner

classic U-shaped hacienda floor plan with all the rooms facing a center courtyard. The courtyard, much like the facade of the home, preserves the original Pueblo style and dark earth tones. Outdoors, the xeriscaping and Santa Fe style of the home help it blend right into its desert surroundings, while indoors, rustic, textured vigas run along the high ceilings and lintels span every doorway. The natural beauty of the wood and adobe is accentuated by smooth, white walls—a refreshingly strippeddown, contemporary aesthetic. “When you walk in, it takes your breath away when you find out it’s not a Southwestern-style house anymore,” says Kevin McGinley of McGinley Construction, the builder who worked one-on-one with Marcus and SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

35


A large picture window that had been covered up prior to the remodel now brings in plenty of natural light to the sleek kitchen.

A colorful piece by Tucson-based artist Brenda Semanick adds bright hues of yellow and blue to the dining room. 36

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Timothy to bring their vision to life. Notes Marcus, “There’s a kind of playfulness to the design.” During the rebuild, the entire home was gutted; only the authentic interior adobe walls were kept intact. Saltillo tile throughout the home was replaced with oak flooring, and all the beams and headers were hand-painted to match the lighter, natural tones of the new floors and cabinetry. The home was sorely lacking in overhead lighting, so recessed art lighting was added in every room, along with a new sound system. Marcus and Timothy decided to move the kitchen into the great room so that they would have more room to entertain. The old kitchen space was subsequently turned into a cozy den. “It was about working with the existing structure—taking the good bones of the house and turning it into something that inspired and moved us,” says Timothy. The couple’s fondness for cooking, entertaining, and local art is clearly the raison d’être for their home remodel: Everything revolves around the great room and the new, modern kitchen. In the space’s 12-foot ceilings, towering adobe fireplace, and two sets of French doors, Marcus and Timothy first saw the home’s potential. The minimalist kitchen on the far side of the great room consists of a single wall of maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and an island that doubles as a breakfast bar. Small, tan accents in the white quartz countertops echo the lighter tones in the maple cabinets. Above the kitchen countertop, a large horizontal picture window frames the breathtaking New Mexico sky. When Marcus and Timothy acquired the original


A pull-out pantry and oversized drawers (here and left) allow easy access to cooking supplies.

The homeowners’ fondness for cooking, entertaining, and local art is clearly the raison d’être for their home remodel: Everything revolves around the great room and the new, modern kitchen. Ingenious inserts in a kitchen drawer effortlessly organize silverware. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

37


A cozy outdoor fireplace is surrounded by thick adobe walls in a private area of the backyard.

Large windows and French doors in the master suite allow for excellent views of the Organ Mountains and surrounding scenery.

38

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

floor plans they discovered the window had been added by the original owner, but it was hidden behind plaster. When they reopened the window, it became a defining factor in the design and orientation of the kitchen; the added benefit was that it lightened up the room. On the north side of the courtyard are the living quarters, where the master suite incudes a master bedroom with magnificent views of the Organ Mountains and a fully remodeled bathroom. An unplastered adobe wall in the master bath separates the river stone–tiled shower from the cabinetry, a deft and rather surprising use of the classic design element that softens the otherwise sharp lines in the contemporary space. In the spaces between coved ceilings and light wood floors, the homeowners took a minimalist approach to furnishing and decorating. With artwork taking center stage in every room, handpicked accent pieces play off its colors and textures. The house


Post-remodel, an area that was once the kitchen is now a comfortable TV room.

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

39


The extended great room features hand-painted beams in the coved ceiling, light oak floors from Stout Hardwood Floor Co., crisp white walls, and a sculptural fireplace.

Marcus Miner (on left, with Avery) and Timothy Miller (with Harold) in the great room of their newly remodeled Las Cruces home.

The natural beauty of the wood and adobe is accentuated by smooth, white walls—a refreshingly stripped-down, contemporary aesthetic. is a personal gallery for the couple’s collection of paintings and photographs by local artists, and like everything else in the home, there’s a deliberate placement of each work of art—as well as an interesting story behind every piece. “When we walked into this house for the first time we could see our future; we would walk into a room and imagine what it could be,” Timothy says. Marcus adds, “At that time it didn’t define who we were, but rather who we would become.” Now settled in and with all of their treasured belongings in place, Marcus and Timothy have indeed made this older house their own. Within its thick adobe walls, traditional New Mexican design elements have successfully—and beautifully—merged with a thoroughly modernist spirit. 40

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

41


An exposed adobe wall in the master bathroom pays homage to the original elements of the home.

resources Builder McGinley Construction, Inc. mcginley-construction.com Appliances Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery ferguson.com Backsplash Syzygy Tileworks Cabinetry and Woodwork Roger Atkins Woodworks Ceiling Fans Big Ass Fans 42

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


Countertops The Design Center Stone Masters Driveway, Walkway, and Landscaping Wasser & Wasser Inc. Flooring Stout Hardwood Floor Co., Inc. stout-hardwood-floors.com Kitchen and Bath Tile Emser Tile Solar Energy Positive Energy Spa Discount Pools & Spas SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

43


mountainside living Southwestern style and panoramic views define a stunning Las Cruces home

by Tiffany Etterling

T

he breathtaking beauty of the Organ Mountains, recently designated a national monument, draws thousands of visitors to the Las Cruces area every year. That doesn’t mean Las Cruces natives are immune to the view; just ask lifelong residents Bill and Marguerite Quiñones. “The mountains have always been a focal point in Las Cruces,” explains Bill. “It’s how you get a sense of direction in Las Cruces; you always know which way is east.” When it came to finding a site for their home, the mountains were the centerpiece of the search. “The mountains look differ-

44

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Photographs by Renee Mullis

ent to everybody in Las Cruces depending on the perspective,” says Bill. “The view from the Valley is different from the view on West Mesa.” When Bill and Marguerite came across property near the foothills of the Organ Mountains, they knew it was the perfect site for their new home. The property was secluded, spacious, and offered views of both the city and the mountains. “This spot is unique because it has a panoramic view of the Organs, which means it has a view from the northern part of the Organs all the way down to the Franklin Mountains, all from one property,” says Bill. Bill has built more than 700 homes during 41 years with his company, Quiñones Design/Build. With that experience, he meticulously designed every detail of the home. Architect Ron Nims of Studio D Architects helped maximize the mountain views from


The landscaping seamlessly blends into the Chihuahuan desert surroundings. Below: Even the fireplace draws the eyes outdoors.

Homebuilder Bill Quiùones designed the exterior of his own Southwestern home with both flat top and metal roofing to incorporate his own tastes with those of his wife Marguerite’s.

Gorgeous panoramic views of the Organ Mountains are visible from the moment you drive up to the home. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

45


Pops of violet and red were used in the kitchen (pictured here) and the great room (opposite, top).

In the dining room, a wooden table custom-built by Bill seats 12—perfect for the couple’s large family.

46

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

almost every room of the house. A glass curtain wall transforms the great room into a living work of art: unobstructed view of the home’s mountain desert surroundings. “Since we’re pretty close to the mountains, the ceiling had to be high enough that you didn’t have a porch ceiling cutting off the peaks of the mountain,” explains Bill. “Even when we stand back inside the house, we still see peaks unobstructed or the moon coming up over the mountains.” Marguerite, a graphic designer and co-owner of Luna Sol Media Design, says the home’s style incorporates a little of each of their tastes. “For me, a lot of it was about color—I have a lot of rich colors on my walls.” She selected an expansive palette of jewel tones that provide the perfect accompaniment to the neutral hues of the Chihuahuan desert. Even the roof was a compromise: “I really like metal roofs, but Bill likes the flat top, so the


A glass curtain wall transforms the great room into a living work of art: an unobstructed view of the home’s mountain desert surroundings.

The great room features high ceilings and a glass curtain wall. Left: A “floating sink” winds like a stream through the kitchen island.


Colorful Talavera tiles line the soaking tub and built-in fireplace in the master bathroom. Right: Marguerite (second from left) and her family relax in the outdoor living area.

A violet accent wall and cheery fabric on lounging chairs pull together the guest room.

In the master suite, walls with built-in nichos separate the bedroom from the bath. 48


Large, open space and cozy seating in the great room coordinates with similar features on the back patio to emphasize the fluidity from indoor to outdoor space.

A powder room features private his-and-hers areas for guests.

house has both,” she says. “When it’s all put together, it looks great.” The home features two separate stairways for easy access to the second story. Both are lined with industrial-style, metal handrails that Marguerite calls a contemporary touch in an otherwise classic house. “I had my doubts when Bill brought these in, but they ended up being absolutely perfect,” she says. A massive metal beam juts out from the peak of the roof, at the center of the great room, all the way out to the edge of the back patio. “We wanted our great room to incorporate with the back patio so that it all looked like one piece,” says Bill. “It’s the same ceiling that flows out; the only thing separating the great room from the patio is the glass curtain wall.” Large, open space and cozy seating in the great room coordinates with similar features on the back patio to emphasize the fluidity from indoor to outdoor space. Entertaining friends and family was another major design consideration for the couple, who have four children and two grandchildren. Marguerite’s mother has also lived with the family for the last 15 years. Because both come from large, close families, Bill designed and custom-built a dining room table for 12. For those big family parties, their outdoor living area can comfortably seat 36 people. The Quiñones’ deep respect for the desert goes far beyond appreciating the view: The home is also highly energy-efficient. The 12-inchSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

49


Marguerite and Bill Quiñones at their Las Cruces home.

“When we first moved in I’d wake up in the morning and see those majestic mountains; it was dreamlike and surreal.”—Marguerite Quiñones

Family dog Princess enjoys the home just as much as the family does. Right: For added relaxation, Bill incorporated a soothing water feature to the front courtyard.


SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

51


Floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the mountain landscape just steps outside the home.

thick exterior walls are double-framed and completely full of blown-in insulation, while active attic ventilation circulates the warm air out of the attic space to keep the home cooler in the summer. “Most of the homes we build are in the desert, so one of the things we do with all of our homes is clear vegetation only exactly where the house is going to sit,” says Bill. “We don’t take out one extra bush.” The effects of Bill’s preservation efforts are clearly evidenced by the natural desert vegetation that grows right up to the edge 52

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


of the home and along the meandering driveway. A graywater system irrigates the trees and landscaping planted along the patios and backyard. Bill and Marguerite agree that the home is everything they dreamed it would be. “When we first moved in I’d wake up in the morning and see those majestic mountains; it was dreamlike and surreal,” says Marguerite. “It’s just so beautiful. Who gets to see this kind of view out their window every day? We feel very blessed to have our home here.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

53


resources Builder Quiùones Design/Build quinonesdesignbuild.com Architect Ron Nims, AIA Studio D Architects Interior Design Bernadette Interiors Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery builderssource.com Audio Video Apex Technologies Bathroom Fixtures Las Cruces Winnelson Co. Cabinetry, Countertops, Woodwork, Outdoor Kitchen Kitchen Concepts Doors and Windows Rawson Builders Supply rawson-inc.com Driveway and Walkway R&R Concrete Fiber Art Abby Osborne Landscaping Eloy’s Landscape Services Tile Casa Mexicana Window Treatments Pat Bellestri-Martinez

54

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

55


Autumn 2014 Advertisers

56

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

150 Sunset — Nursery........................back cover 77 Stone.....................................................................33 A-1 Kitchens by Sierra...........................................5 American Fabrics..................................................30 Artistic Entryways.................................................32 Bank 34.......................................................................51 Bella Vista Custom Homes..............................23 Border Solar............................................................42 Builders Source Appliance Gallery...................1 C & D Southwest Lumber Corp...................42 Casa Décor..............................................................43 Cesar Espinoza......................................................10 Classic Granite & Marble...................................31 Classic New Mexico Homes............................19 Closet Factory..........................................................55 Connie Hines Interior Design Center.........11 Copenhagen...........................................................40 Crown Heritage Custom Homes...................54 Custom Doors & Fine Cabinetry...................53 Debbie Salome.......................................................53 Decorating Den.....................................................56 Definitive Homes...................................................8 Designs by L.L. Power and Associates..........17 Diamond Homes..................................................13 Diemer Building & Remodeling....................59 Edible Arrangements..........................................77 EF Building Materials.........................................33 El Paso Cosmetic Surgery..................................63 El Paso Home & Garden Show.......................28 El Paso Varicose Veins Laser Clinic..............67 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery....3 Habitat for Humanity.........................................52 HPS Audio and Video......................................30 Johnny’s Septic........................................................51 Las Cruces Awning Co........................................4 Las Cruces Home Builders....inside back cover McGinley Construction.....................................38 McCormick Architecture...................................31 Milliken Construction........................................54 Nash Patio & Garden..........................................10 Nuovo Cappetto....................................................79 Pella Window...........................inside front cover Persian Rug Gallery..............................................55 PlasterQueen..........................................................41 Pointe Homes...........................................................9 Ponderosa Furniture............................................21 Quiñones Design/Build......................................15 Rawson Builders Supply......................................55 Ripe Eatery...............................................................75 Sher-Wood Fine Wood Designs....................41 Southwestern Home Products.......................29 Spencer Theater................................................57, 77 Stonehouse Granite & Marble........................52 Stout Hardwood Floor Co...............................39 The Lodge Resort & Spa....................................71 The State Line........................................................75 Torres Welding......................................................56 Vanities......................................................................63 Walgreens................................................................80 Westside Lighting Gallery.................................32


Su Libro

In her new book, Myquillyn Smith celebrates living casually while still maintaining a beautiful, stylish space.

celebrating the imperfect Two new books for the inner designer in all of us

Courtesy of Myquillyn Smith

The Nesting Place is full of ideas for turning bedrooms into chic and cozy spaces by combining comfy fabrics (pictured here) with trendy accents (above).

58

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

F

or many homeowners, finding (and decorating) the picture-perfect home is a dream. But blogger-turned-author Myquillyn Smith reminds everyone that the home should be a sanctuary. “Homes are for living, not for looking,” she says. Smith, the author of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful, is a stay-at-home mother of three boys, and she believes that with the hectic schedules of everyday life, there is little or no time to be perfect. “I realized years ago that although immaculate homes are pretty in pictures, when I’m actually in one I’m uncomfortable,” she says. “I figured that if I wasn’t able to let my guard down in a perfect house, maybe others felt the same way.” And from that thought came Smith’s motto and inspiration for her new book: “It doesn’t need to be perfect to be beautiful.” More important than perfection, she says, is creating a cozy place that’s full of life. The Nesting Place is a refreshing book for all the would-be designers of the world, and it features actual easy-to-do, budget-friendly projects, with dozens of photographs to use as a guide. Smith’s goal is to encourage every homeowner to embrace their home’s imperfections and do a little rearranging and The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t redecorating to create a space that’s Have to Be Perfect to Be both comfortable to live in and inviting Beautiful, by Myquillyn Smith, for family and friends.—Julieta Rios Zondervan, hardcover, $20


Spruce: A Step-By-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design, by Amanda Brown, foreword by Grace Bonney, Storey Publishing, hardcover, $35

You Can Teach an Old House New Tricks!

F

Courtesy of Ryann Ford

urniture looking shabby? These days, it’s easy to browse popular DIY sites to find the perfect upholstery project. Exciting as the idea may seem, many times the expertise of most homeowners only goes so far, and projects can quickly go downhill. But before you put the hammer and nails back in the toolbox, DIY guru Amanda Brown has advice that can make the process a little easier. Brown, the author of Spruce: A Step-ByStep Guide to Upholstery and Design, speaks to homeowners who are adventurous, hands-on, and ready to take on a new project, especially in an era where creative DIY projects are celebrated. Spruce consists of over 900 step-by-step photographs of five fabulous upholstery projects. It covers everything from material requirements and advice for stripping old furniture to the frame, all the way through to the finished product. You’ll be amazed at how a little sprucing can turn an old piece of furniture into something chic and elegant.—JR

Imagine the Possibilities

Above: In Spruce, Amanda Brown gives readers step-by-step instructions on taking recycled furniture from drab to fab.

www.ddiemer.com SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

59


History

by Danya P. Hernandez

Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

a history of community

Jackie MorganTomko (on left), president of the El Paso Woman’s Club, with former club president Lois Rayome.

60

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

I

n El Paso, many historic buildings have witnessed the rapid growth of one of the busiest border regions in the United States. While some of these old buildings have been passed to new owners over the years or have received modifications and new roles, others have been fortunate enough to preserve their historic charm and purpose. That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Woman’s Club of El Paso, the first clubhouse of its kind in Texas. Since its creation in 1916, the clubhouse at 1400 North Mesa has maintained its original purpose of empowering women, and through them, the community as a whole.

Courtesy of the Woman’s Club of El Paso

Authentic architecture and a legacy of powerful women come together at the Woman’s Club of El Paso


Since its creation in 1916, the clubhouse at 1400 North Mesa Street has maintained its original purpose of empowering women, and through them, the community as a whole.

Opposite: The historic Woman’s Club of El Paso as it appears today (top), and as it looked in its early days (inset). Above: A silver tea set adds historic charm to the décor of the clubhouse. Right: Special events like recitals and weddings fill the club’s spacious ballroom throughout the year.

“When you get to know our mission, you can see how important it is for us to maintain this historical clubhouse so that we can use it for the benefit of our community,” says Jackie Morgan-Tomko, president of the club. Some of the club’s early contributions include starting the city’s first kindergarten and offering after school programs; today it continues to support local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Child Crisis Center. The clubhouse was designed by architect Otto H. Thorman and built by H.T. Ponsford & Sons. In that era, Thorman primarily designed residences, though he’s also known for his work on commercial buildings such as the El Paso Public Library and the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces. It’s easy to forget the clubhouse is a commercial building; Thorman’s design combines the best elements of the residential and commercial architecture of his time, giving visitors today a real sense of the building’s 1920s charm. Antique furniture tastefully decorates the foyer, and beautiful wood floors extend throughout two adjacent parlors. For decades, El Paso residents drawn by the classic elegance of the clubhouse have hosted events and meetings in these rooms. Each parlor’s décor features elegant, traditional-style armchairs, sofas, dining tables, and glass cabinetry, as well as paintings purchased or donated by members or artists. Charming details—silver tea sets, lace tablecloths, porcelain figurines, gold-framed mirrors, stunning crystal chandeliers—add to the building’s nostalgic, period ambience. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

61


Below: Treasured paintings, like this one by El Paso artist Greg Allen, adorn the ballroom. Below, bottom: Though the clubhouse was built in 1916, it still retains most of its original architecture, like intricate details in the exterior columns (opposite).

Directly across the entrance is a vast ballroom with a balcony and space for about 300 people. As it did over a century ago, this ballroom continues to host community events such as theater rehearsals, weddings, and music recitals. The portraits of more than 100 club presidents hang on the ballroom’s back wall as a reminder of the many women who volunteered to make a difference over the decades. “We have been able to maintain this wonderful organization for 120 years with strength, and that’s remarkable in itself,” Morgan-Tomko says. “If you didn’t have this wonderful organization, you wouldn’t have this beautiful building.” The members’ commitment to the clubhouse has protected this historic gem’s prime condition, but it hasn’t always been easy. Morgan-Tomko says the club has continuously donated time and resources to the community, but every so often it will focus on preserving the historic building itself. She recalls stories from the time the club’s founding members congregated in the small adobe home of founder Mary Hamilton Mills, and began raising funds to build a proper clubhouse. By maintaining the clubhouse and its mission, the current members of the Woman’s Club of El Paso honor those who began a tradition of love and care for El Paso’s community. 62

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Courtesy of the Woman’s Club of El Paso

Above: A stunning chandelier and several antique artifacts grace the north parlor. Below: Many of the antique pieces throughout the clubhouse have been donated by previous members.


El Paso’s Women’s Club resources The Woman’s Club of El Paso

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

63


live

performance

calendar October through December OCTOBER 4 LUCY SCARBROUGH, 7 pm, CHAMIZAL NATIONAL MEMORIAL, EL PASO

Back again this fall, the El Paso Chopin Music Festival will feature several outstanding pianists, including soloist Lucy Scarbrough, the festival’s artistic director, who is known for her standing-room-only concerts. This October enjoy the sounds of Scarbrough’s talented piano playing as she closes out the festival. elpaso-chopin.com OCTOBER 3 CLINT BLACK, 7 pm, SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO

Known for bringing back the traditional sounds of country, Clint Black makes his way to New Mexico this fall. The Academy of Country Music award winner will perform several chart-topping hits during an intimate evening at the Spencer Theater. spencertheater.com

OCTOBER 4 BILL ENGVALL, 8 pm, INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS, RUIDOSO

Award-winning entertainer Bill Engvall is truly a jack-of-all-trades. The comedian, movie star, game show host, recording artist, and professional dancer brings his well-known Here’s Your Sign segment featured in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to Ruidoso for a night of laughter. innofthemountaingods.com

OCTOBER 3 through October 2016 BIRTH OF CUBISM: PAUL CÉZANNE AND PABLO PICASSO, EL PASO MUSEUM OF ART, EL PASO

In partnership with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art presents Birth of Cubism: Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso. This inaugural installation of the masterpiece series will highlight some of the artists’ most famous and powerful works such as Cézanne’s Still Life: Plate of Peaches and Picasso’s Carafe, Jug, and Fruit Bowl. elpasoartmuseum.org

64

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


NOVEMBER 7 DAVID SEDARIS, 8:00 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Humor writer David Sedaris makes his way to El Paso this November with his witty take on satire and the human condition. Sedaris is the bestselling author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, and his original radio pieces are often heard on This American Life. ticketmaster.com OCTOBER 7–8 BLUE MAN GROUP, 7:30 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Back by popular demand, the dynamic Blue Man Group returns to the Plaza Theatre to kick off the Broadway in El Paso Series. Don’t miss this wildly popular show which includes music, technology, and comedy for an exciting form of entertainment. ticketmaster.com

NOVEMBER 21–DECEMBER 7 THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, 2 pm AND 7 pm, NMSU CENTER FOR THE ARTS, LAS CRUCES

Don’t miss NMSU Theatre Arts program’s fun and interactive performance of this Tony award–winning musical. Based on Charles Dickens’s unfinished novel, the musical follows the Theatre Royale Music Hall Company as they try to complete the story of Edwin Drood. nmsutheatre.com

OCTOBER 25 THE BROADWAY TENORS, 7 pm, SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO

The leading men of musical theater take you back to the Golden Age for one night at the Spencer Theater. The tenors will perform hits from some of Broadway’s most popular shows like West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. spencertheater.com

DECEMBER 23 MOSCOW BALLET’S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER, 7:00 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

NOVEMBER 1 FLASHDANCE: THE MUSICAL, 8 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

You know the unforgettable story of Alex Owens, steel mill worker by day and bar dancer by night, who has big dreams of someday becoming a professional performer. After 30 years as a pop culture phenomenon, Flashdance is now live on stage and hits the Plaza Theatre this fall with an electrifying show. ticketmaster.com

Join the Moscow Ballet this holiday season for a spectacular night of dance. Great for the entire family, this beloved production brings the Christmas spirit to life with 40 world-class Russian artists, animated puppets, largerthan-life Matryoshka dolls, and the magic of a growing Christmas tree. ticketmaster.com

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

65


Vida Buena

raising awareness

Myth: Changes in breasts are common during menopause. Fact: While our bodies do change during menopause, any change in the breasts should be immediately discussed with your doctor.

Dr. Zeina Nahleh separates myth from reality

Myth: If it’s not painful, it’s not cancer.

when it comes to breast health by Danya P. Hernandez

Dr. Zeina Nahleh (above) is the chief of hematology/oncology at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

T

hroughout the year, and especially in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness month, tips on how to prevent cancer, treat it, and cure it are found in anything from pamphlets to online forums. That overload of information can easily become overwhelming and is often misunderstood. That’s why Dr. Zeina Nahleh of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso has made it her personal mission to educate both women and men about breast cancer and to

Courtesy of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

help to distinguish truth from myth. “Don’t think that it can’t happen to you,” she says. When it comes to breast cancer, getting an early diagnosis is key for a successful treatment. Dr. Nahleh suggests getting to know your body, your family history, and placing an importance on any warning signs such as lumps, swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, and breast pain. As a method of education, Dr. Nahleh uses a booklet she wrote titled “Cancer Myths & Facts” to help the public understand fact from fiction when it comes to breast cancer. Here are a few things everyone should know.

66

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Fact: Breast cancers are almost always painless.

Any change in the breast such as lumps, swelling, and irritation should never be ignored.

When it comes to breast cancer, getting an early diagnosis is key for a successful treatment


Myth: Vitamins and supplements

can prevent or help cure cancer.

Fact: There are no proven vitamins

or supplements to prevent or cure cancer. In fact, research suggests that some supplements can do more harm than good for people who are generally well nourished.

Myth: I don’t have insurance, so my

screening will have to wait.

Fact: Any woman has access to free

mammogram screenings; it’s just a matter of asking local health providers for guidance. Regular mammogram screenings are vital for maintaining breast health.

resources Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

67


Travel

Text and photographs by Cheryl A. Fallstead

Heber

Experience a Swiss-style getaway and year-round fun in Utah

Valley

I

f you’d like to experience a bit of Switzerland while traveling no farther than one of the Southwest’s neighboring states, head to picturesque Heber Valley in Northern Utah. The area around what is now the city of Midway—originally a fort located between two communities—was settled by Swiss families in the mid-1800s. The area still boasts a distinctly Swiss ambience, epitomized by the Zermatt Resort and the annual Swiss Days celebration held over Labor Day weekend.

outdoor mecca Just 50 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Heber Valley is a destination for golfing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding, fishing, sailing, sightseeing, and even scuba diving in a hot spring. It is home to three state parks: Wasatch Mountain, Jordanelle, and Deer Creek. The bucolic valley offers activities year-round, but it’s the area’s winter recreation opportunities that double the county’s population of 25,000. Soldier Hollow Resort hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics’ biathlon and cross-country skiing events (the resort maintains 20 miles of trails). It also boasts the state’s longest tubing run, with lift-assisted, day- and nighttime family fun. In Park City, the acclaimed Deer Valley Ski Resort will satisfy the downhill skier’s thirst for speed with 300 inches of packed powder on its slopes. The beautiful Sundance Ski Resort offers 42 alpine ski runs and six miles of snowshoeing trails. Both Deer Valley and Sundance are an easy 25-minute drive from Midway. When there’s no snow on the ground, check out Soldier Hollow’s three golf courses. The area is also home to the Red Ledges Golf Club, designed by famed golfer Jack Nicklaus; two courses at Wasatch Mountain State Park; and the Crater Springs course at Homestead Resort. 68

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

The Heber Valley is home to four golf courses, including Crater Springs at the Homestead Resort in Midway. Above: To get an overview of the area, drive to the top of Memorial Hill on the outskirts of Heber City.


Courtesy of Heber Valley Office of Tourism

Vintage and restored coaches on the Heber Creeper provide tourists with an opportunity to enjoy a view of the Provo River and Deer Creek Reservoir.

A visit to the Heber Valley wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Heber Creeper, the Heber Valley Railroad line that historically transported sheep and supplies. Today, vintage and restored coaches provide tourists with an opportunity to enjoy a view of the Provo River and Deer Creek Reservoir. The Creeper also offers a variety of themed train rides, such as a North Pole Express Christmas train and Friday night date trains. Horse lovers will want to check out KB Horses at Red Ledges for a trail ride that is no “nose-to-tail” experience. The stable staff starts each ride by matching the horse to the rider’s experience, followed by a safety lesson in the corral before heading out into the lush mountain trails. There are also equine adventures that don’t require saddling up: Clydesdales Butch and Sundance will take you on a sleigh or wagon ride, depending on the season. Butch and Sundance, a pair of beautiful Clydesdale horses, pull a sleigh through the snow on a crisp winter day.

Courtesy of Heber Valley Office of Tourism

fun with the family


Courtesy of Heber Valley Office of Tourism

At the Homestead Resort, bathers soak in a hot mineral spring that's 65 feet deep and covered by a calcite dome. You can also scuba dive to explore the crater's depths.

To work out any kinks after a trail ride, take a soak in a crater. At the Homestead Resort in Midway, bathers wear floatation devices and relax on underwater benches in a hot mineral spring 65 feet deep, covered by a stunning calcite dome. Homestead Resort also offers lodging, restaurants, a golf course, and a tempting candy shop. Simon’s Restaurant at Homestead Resort is a great place to grab a bite. Across the street, the Zermatt Resort adopts the area’s Swiss look and offers luxurious rooms, dining, tennis courts, a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and a carousel for the kids. Z’s Steak & Chop Haus is Zermatt’s upscale restaurant; the more laid-back Backerei & Eis is perfect for a panini, breakfast pastry, or gelato. Downtown, Café Galleria’s awardwinning wood-fired pizza is topped with homemade artisan cheeses. Indulge in a delicious meal on the patio of this 110-yearold renovated building and maybe even enjoy some live music. 70

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

The Zermatt Resort in Midway evokes the feeling of Switzerland in this community settled by the Swiss. It can serve as your home base to adventure in the picturesque Heber Valley.

From horseback riding under sunny skies to riding the Heber Creeper through a snowy reservoir, there is plenty to see and do any time of the year. The only thing you’ll wish for in Utah’s beautiful Heber Valley is more time to enjoy it all.

Photo courtesy of Zermatt Resort

resorts and dining


HEBER VALLEY: PLANNING YOUR TRIP Heber Valley Western Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering October 29–November 2, 2014 Various Locations hvcpg.com Swiss Christmas December 5–6, 2014 Midway, Utah midwaychristmas.com Swiss Days Labor Day Weekend 2015 Midway, Utah midwayswissdays.com

The Heber Valley’s Swiss roots are evident at the Zermatt Resort in Midway. This sign shows how far this Zermatt really is from Zermatt, Switzerland.

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship Late August/Early September 2015 Midway, Utah soldierhollowclassic.com

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

71


by John Vollertsen

Photographs by Jesse Ramirez

Su Cocina

the family that cooks together Homebuilder Pat Bellestri-Martinez dishes up a New Mexico classic with a little help from her sisters

W

hen Soledad Canyon Earth Builders’ Pat Bellestri-Martinez builds a home, it’s not just a structure she’s creating; it’s a new family, community, and camaraderie. Pat grew up in a large and tight-knit family, where helping and supporting each other was second nature. It’s a gift she passes along to her clients in Las Cruces.

a fortuitous meeting

Homebuilder Pat Bellestri-Martinez (front row, far left) and Chef Johnny Vee are joined by family and close friends for a dinner party at Pat’s Las Cruces home.

The dinner party feasted on spicy enchiladas montadas and ice-cold margaritas. Right: Pat’s sister Bernice tops the dish with cheese and onions.

As the rich, scarlet enchilada sauce simmered on the stove, plump, homemade blue corn tortillas from Truth or Consequences were warmed and readied for stacking. 72

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

The story of Pat and her career path from Truth or Consequences to one of the Mesilla Valley’s most respected builders is paved with triumphs and heartbreak. Petite but sturdy, Pat’s welcoming smile and bubbly personality developed as she grew up among four sisters, though finding her niche and voice within the clan took some finagling. After leaving the family unit and finding love with her late husband Mario, with whom she would start the company, Pat was ready to start a new life. “After getting a master’s degree in consumer economics at New Mexico State University I volunteered at the Mountain View Market Co-op and eventually became a manager,” Pat begins. “Mario was a purchaser for


Right: A colorful salad tossed with juicy tomatoes accompanies the enchilada dinner, while a tub of ice-cold Mexican beer (far right) awaits thirsty party guests.

Homemade blue corn tortillas from Truth or Consequences give the dish a distinct flavor.

Above: A rich tres leches cake topped with sweet coconut flakes is the perfect ending to a classic New Mexican meal.

one of our supplier warehouses in Tucson, and we crossed paths through that.” The year was 1980; within three years the couple married. “I told Mario if he wanted to be with me he’d have to move here because I wasn’t moving to Arizona,” she laughs. Taking advantage of Mario’s prior remodeling and building experience, the couple began building their home as soon as he arrived in Las Cruces. However, the adobe dream home they’d envisioned quickly changed to a rammed earth home after the couple attended an earthen technologies conference that introduced them to the rammed earth building concept.

building a legacy Above: Blue corn tortillas drenched in an eyepopping red enchilada sauce. Left: Blue corn chips, pico de gallo, and fresh guacamole.

The land they found for their own home is nestled at the foot of the Organ Mountains, and although well within reach of Las Cruces proper, it’s still a rustic trek even after 20 years. “We bought 25 acres and decided to build our home ourselves,” says Pat. Three years later, the couple’s business began to grow as they built homes for friends and other members of the Las Cruces community. Immediately they stood out from other companies. “We were green before the concept even existed,” Pat explains. “The rammed earth style of building is simply a process of using earth and raw materials to build structures. It’s certainly more sustainable and earth-friendly.” Sadly, in November of 2008 Mario passed away suddenly, leaving Pat to figure out if and how she could continue the business without him. Luckily their daughter-in-law, Melissa, had been working with them for several SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

73


Su Cocina

Sister chefs (from left) Bernice, Diana, Gilda, Eva, and Pat give Chef Johnny Vee a taste of their fiery enchilada sauce.

years, and their son Max, while in college, had worked with the family business and was committed to continuing it. “We were in the middle of [finishing] one home, and I had to get my license to continue,” says Pat. “So I did, right away. I knew immediately that I would continue in the business, and the support from my staff, Max, Melissa, and the construction business community was amazing.”

all in the family

To research the story, and to get a sense of the place Mario, Pat’s sisters, and friends play in her tale, I asked Pat if I could come to the home she and Mario built so we could cook together. On a lovely summer Sunday afternoon we all Above and opposite: Pat with her beloved late husband, Mario. Right: Family and friends toast to great memories before dinner. 74

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

Any home Pat Bellestri-Martinez touches, including the ones she builds, is filled with love.


assembled in the Organ foothills to break bread (well, actually blue corn tortillas) together and feast on a traditional New Mexican meal. I immediately felt the presence of Mario, not only in photos on display but in his work room where his desk is packed with pieces of one of his many hobbies, that of tying fly fishing flies. The enthusiastic (and hungry) collection of Mario’s family and friends made the afternoon a joyful and delicious celebration. The five sisters—Pat, Eva, Gilda, Bernice, and Diana—got to work assembling red chile enchiladas. As the rich, scarlet

enchilada sauce simmered on the stove, plump, homemade blue corn tortillas brought down from Truth or Consequences were warmed and readied for stacking. Guests nibbled on guacamole and fiery salsas over beer and bracing margaritas brought by Pat’s friends (and former clients) Bill and Sally Perry. The sibling affection was obvious; the sister chefs worked happily and cohesively, laughing and chatting as they prepared a dish they had done many times before. And what a feast it was: The enchiladas were the best I’ve had, bubbling and authentic with the fabulous tortillas and Martinez touch. Our meal finished up with a delectable coconut tres leches cake sent by the wife of one of Pat’s employees. Watching Pat interact with all her guests concludes the final part of her story. It is evident she is part pal, part sister, part builder, part chef, part community leader, and part friendship matchmaker. Any home she touches, including the ones she builds, is filled with love. Mario was a lucky guy, and in his absence, so are we.

resources Soledad Canyon Earth Builders SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

75


Su Cocina

by Cassie McClure

Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

for the love

of chocolate Fudge-N-More lives up to its name with delicious treats—plus a few surprises

T Above: Mouthwatering fudge, including bestselling flavors pistachio almond and chocolate pecan, on display at the shop.

Ruby Mijares’s brownies and white chocolate macadamia blondies are made in a special, stainless steel “magic pan” from the 1940s.

he playful chocolate drizzle pattern on the floor at Fudge-N-More on North Mesa is the first clue that this El Paso institution is more than just a sweet shop. The second clue comes from the joyful welcome from Fudge-N-More’s owner, Ruby Mijares. For 12 years (nine in her current location), Mijares has operated the go-to shop for those looking to get their chocolate or candy fix in the Sun City. “This is my home, my happy place,” says Mijares, whose colorful shop overflows with fun details, from signed UTEP Miners memorabilia and stands filled with cards and jewelry to cello-wrapped, homemade treats adorned with whimsical, Texas-shaped labels. One shelf in the cozy shop is filled with photo albums numbered 1 to 39. Mijares’s “faces of chocolate” albums stem from both her interest in photography and the desire to capture the genuine connections she makes with her customers. As though the customers in the photo albums were old friends, Mijares points out hundreds of people embracing and smiling. All had just shared a moment in time at her shop. After printing the photos for her album, she makes duplicates available for her customers to keep—at no charge. “There are all kinds of stories [behind the photos]—spiritual, romantic, funny,” says Mijares. “Once I took a picture of a girl who was pregnant. She ended up losing her phone with her pictures and she came back [to the shop] to get a copy of the only picture of herself pregnant.” Photos aside, the real reason people come to Fudge-N-More is for the mouthwatering sweets. Previously a homemaker, Mijares says, “I make everything as I would for my children.” Her bubbly energy visibly grows when she speaks about her customers: the fudge lovers (her current best-selling flavors are chocolate pecan and pistachio almond), and the brownie addicts. Mijares’s brownies and white chocolate macadamia blondies are

Owner Ruby Mijares prepares chocolate-covered strawberries and polar bears at Fudge-N-More in West El Paso.

Customers flip through Mijares’s “faces of chocolate” albums while enjoying sweet treats.

76

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014


made in a special, stainless steel “magic pan” from the 1940s, for which she has yet to find a duplicate. However, the classic favorites are Mijares’s chocolate-covered strawberries. “I got a call on my day off from a young guy who had promised his girlfriend strawberries for their anniversary, so I filled his order,” she says. “I started telling my customers to call me when they have ‘chocolate emergencies.’ I always try to fill those orders.”

Mijares’s “faces of chocolate” albums capture the genuine connections she makes with her customers. The caramel turtles are extremely popular, as are Mijares’s own invention: polar bears, gummy bears dipped in white chocolate and refrigerated because “polar bears like to be in the cold.” Although she usually works alone, Mijares hires part-time help during the holidays, with Valentine’s Day being her busiest time. “I tell my customers to make themselves at home, which allows me to enjoy their company while tending to the details of running my candy store,” she says. “When things get hectic, I center myself and say, ‘Go back to the basics, Ruby: How did you start? One day at a time, with gratitude.’” As an homage to her attitude towards life and her line of work, the back of every photo Mijares takes of her customers is stamped with her favorite word: joy. “Sometimes when people come in, they feel guilty about eating chocolate,” she says with a smile. “I say, ‘Give yourself permission; eat in a state of joy.’”

resources Fudge-N-More

SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

77


Su Cocina

Text and photographs by Danya P. Hernandez

a taste of home

From tamales to marranitos, comfort food comes in all forms at Gussie’s Tamales

F

or many in the Southwest, cultural pride is deeply rooted in traditional cuisine. Whether it’s a warm bowl of menudo or a plate of spicy enchiladas, certain special dishes bring back childhood and familial memories. For more than 40 years, Gussie’s Tamales, a family-owned bakery in Central El Paso, has been serving up those delicious memories in the form of classic Mexican comfort foods. The sweet breads at Gussie’s, such as marranitos, conchas, and apple- or pineapple-filled empanadas, have a loyal following of those looking for freshly baked pan dulce. For a savory fix, Gussie’s tamales are freshly cooked by the hundreds on a daily basis: red tamales filled with pork meat in chile colorado or red chile sauce; green tamales filled with green chile and cheese or chicken; or sweet tamales made with coconut, raisins, cinnamon, and anise. For owners Rudy and Dolores Gonzalez, presenting oven fresh, traditional products is crucial. “We have to keep the bread fresh. That is our number one priority,” says Rudy, who doesn’t let any of that bread go to waste. Day-old bread that hasn’t been sold is donated to Catholic charities throughout the city. Another priority for the couple is to fully satisfy their customers’ cravings with authentic recipes, which is why they have always employed knowledgeable

Owners Rudy and Dolores Gonzalez at Gussie’s Tamales in Central El Paso. 78

SU C A S A A u t u m n 2014

A variety of savory and sweet tamales are a staple at Gussie’s. Below: The display case at the bakery is always well stocked with traditional pan dulce.

bakers who know the traditional recipes by heart. Master baker José Manuel Rangel has been with Gussie’s for more than 20 years. Rangel first learned the ropes when he began helping at his father’s bakery just across the border in Juarez at the age of 12. Now 58, he leads a team of three dedicated bakers at Gussie’s; his admiration of the owners’ attention to detail is what he says has kept him there for so long. “We have always tried to keep things traditional here,” says Rangel. “[The owners] don’t put limits on what goes in the bread. Other places might change ingredients to save money, but that takes away from the original flavor.” Rudy Gonzalez uses the example of Gussie’s traditional (and very popular) marranito sweet bread. “A lot of places use molasses, but we like to use piloncillo. Molasses gives a nice dark color, but it doesn’t taste the same,” he explains. Piloncillo is a traditional Latin sweetener made from unrefined sugar pressed into a cone shape; it is usually melted and mixed into different recipes. Rangel also notes that the bakery uses no preservatives in their breads, mainly because they change the flavor. Most of the customers at Gussie’s have Mexican roots. Rudy says they are quick to tell him if the


bread tastes different, so he strives to stick to the original recipes. He inherited this mentality from his mother, Gustavina “Gussie” Carrasco, who opened the bakery in 1973. After many years of being told she should make tamales to sell, she did just that, opening a bakery using her mother’s recipe for tamales, a dish she would typically only cook during holidays or special occasions. She started at a small spot on North Piedras Street in El Paso, with only one baker and herself making tamales and sweet bread by hand. “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into,” says Rudy, who returned from the Navy a year later and began helping his mother with the business. Gussie’s was a true family affair, with all of the siblings, including Rudy and his three

Gussie’s classic sweet breads—marranitos, conchas, and apple- or pineapple-filled empanadas—have drawn the attention of those looking for freshly baked pan dulce.

Above: Master baker José Manuel Rangel arrives at the bakery every day before sunrise to provide fresh bread and pastries (right) for customers.

sisters Linda, Violet, and Patricia, bringing their spouses and children to lend a hand. In the winter of 1993 the bakery moved into bigger digs right across the street; the location at Piedras and Richmond has been its home ever since. Carrasco retired in 2008 and sold the bakery to her son and daughter-in-law. Customers hungry for their favorite comfort foods stop by daily for a taste of the delicious treats she brought to the area so many years ago. “I give all the credit to my mother for succeeding. It was a difficult era, but she did it,” says Rudy. Today, he and Dolores enjoy the challenge of a business that keeps them on their toes and connected to the community in a very sweet way.

resources Gussie’s Tamales SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

79


150 B R EATHTAKING. I N SPIRING. M E MORABLE. B R EATHTAKING. I N SPIRING. M E MORABLE.

C R E A T I N GE LPA S O ’ S M O S T E X C E P T I O N A L O U T D O O R L I V I N G S P A C E S . C R E A T I N GE LPA S O ’ S M O S T E X C E P T I O N A L O U T D O O R L I V I N G S P A C E S .

E X T E N S I V E N U R S E R Y S E L E C T I O N S . CREATIVE LANDSCAPE DESIGN . OUTDOOR KITCHENS & COUNTERS E X T E N S I V E N U R S E R Y S E L E C T I O N S . CREATIVE LANDSCAPE DESIGN . OUTDOOR KITCHENS & COUNTERS

FIREPLACES & FIRE FEATURES . PATIO FURNITURE & PERGOLAS . CUSTOM POOLS, SPAS & WATER FEATURES FIREPLACES & FIRE FEATURES . PATIO FURNITURE & PERGOLAS . CUSTOM POOLS, SPAS & WATER FEATURES

Landscape Services, Nursery & Event Venue Landscape Services, Nursery & Event Venue 150 E. Sunset Rd.

.

(915) 585-0801

.

www.150sunset.com

150 E. Sunset Rd.

.

(915) 585-0801

.

www.150sunset.com

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Autumn 2014 Digital Edition  

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Autumn 2014 Digital Edition

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you