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cozy +

functional living room design

El Paso & Southern New Mexico


inspiration ideas resources

a worldly view

going global in Las Cruces

on trend

gold dĂŠcor wallpaper revival

Vol. 5 no. 4 AUTUMN 2017

Joe Baca

El Paso & Southern New Mexico


Bill Faulkner

inspiration ideas resources


On the cover: A chic bathroom adorned with décor from all over the world adds to this spectacular home’s global flair. Read all about it on page 28. Photograph by Bill Faulkner.

28 a worldly view

Luxury homebuilders steer the design of their personal home in a new direction.

40 new country, new home

In West El Paso, a world-traveling couple settles down in their new modern home.

in every issue

4 Inside Su Casa


Life+Style Southwest

A Ruidoso kitchen with ties to its mountain surroundings; trending cabinet styles; playful, patterned tile; Steve Thomas on the benefits of downsizing.


Design Studio


Su Libro

Living room design tips; gold décor; midcentury modern furniture and design; wallpaper’s stunning comeback; Moll Anderson loves a great closet. A new architect-authored book covers the ins and outs of homebuilding.

Indoor cycling keeps the energy going; a tour of Southwestern vineyards in New Mexico and Texas.


Live Performance Calendar


Su Cocina


A roundup of this season’s most exciting live acts, from Motown the Musical to Swan Lake.

An El Paso family shares their decadent holiday recipes; a collection of favorite baking products; and James Selby’s top picks for New Mexican craft beer.

S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017


Courtesy Phillips Collection

50 Vida Buena

Inside Su Casa




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S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017

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El Paso & Southern New Mexico

hen it comes to home design, El Paso and Southern New Mexico will never be accused of being boring. In this column, I am usually encouraging you to create the house of your dreams, knowing that our builder community is more than capable of helping you achieve that goal. Given that our tastes and desires are as different as we ourselves, we live in homes that run the gamut from traditional to ultra-contemporary—and we’ve learned that a blending of new and old often makes for the most interesting homes of all. In this issue we’re going to explore those possibilities. In one of our features we visit a warm, livable, and impeccably constructed home in Las Cruces that is a tribute to Spanish architecture with Southwestern and even global influences. I am especially appreciative of homeowners who savor the traditions of our region (and others) and want to integrate them into their lives. Our other feature is a very contemporary home with sharp corners and sleek finishes. These homeowners love what our region is about but also want a lifestyle that is reflective of the era in which they live. Pulling the local scenery into their home through huge windows is their way of paying respect to this place. This connection to the land, the mountains, and the plant life reinforces the sense of place that is uniquely El Paso. While these two homes are at opposite ends of the spectrum, most of us have tastes that include both the traditional and the contemporary—the styles are not mutually exclusive. For example, the midcentury modern look, rooted in the late ’40s and ’50s, is very popular today. It speaks to another era, yet fits beautifully in many home styles. In every issue of Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, we aim to show you a multitude of design possibilities, all of which blend very nicely with the El Paso and Southern New Mexico lifestyle. Our goal is to give you a taste of those options through stunning examples, and hopefully motivate you to create a home that’s as beautiful as you dream your life to be. Live well and be beautiful.

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

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Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Business Development Bob Skolnick Managing Editor Amy Gross Editor Danielle Urbina Contributing Editor Amanda N. Pitman Contributors Moll Anderson, Ben Ikenson Cassie McClure, Jessica Salopek James Selby, Steve Thomas Art/Production Director B. Y. Cooper Graphic Designers ValĂŠrie Herndon, Allie Salazar Photography Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez Brian Wancho

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El Paso Office 550 South Mesa Hills Drive, Suite D-1 El Paso, TX 79912 915-581-2300 Santa Fe Office Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco Street, Suite D-105 Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 05, Number 4, Autumn 2017. Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is published quarterly in December, March, June, and September by Bella Media, LLC, at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. ŠCopyright 2017 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, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Life + Style Southwest

by Jessica Salopek

photographs by Bill Faulkner

strong roots

a rustic kitchen built to blend in with its mountain setting

Above: The home’s design was centered around creating a cozy, functional kitchen, which started with a hammered copper hood (below, left). Custom cabinetry followed, with gorgeous rustic-style doors and a nature-inspired island.


hen you build a home on a mountain ridgetop—flanked by 1,000-year-old alligator juniper trees and surrounded by national forest land—it has to have the right sort of vibe. The owners of this Ruidoso kitchen bought their 40 acres of land in 2003, and spent the next 13 years building the ideal dream home in their minds. When it came time to put it all down on paper, they found it was architect David Clarke, of WDG Architects in Las Cruces, who best understood their vision. Clarke started with a floor plan that ensured the kitchen was the heart of the home and a central place for gathering—an intention he says the homeowners had sketched out long before they met him. “The concept for the whole house, inside and out, was to be as authentically historic as we could get with contemporary materials and the budget,” Clarke notes. “It was to feel like an old lodge that had been there for a hundred years. The contractors, Alto Mesa Builders, really ‘got’ the concept.” Clarke credits the homeowners with selecting the details—“steampunk” hardware, rustic doors, slightly distressed, “aged white” cabinetry—that accentuate historic architectural features like high ceilings, tall baseboards, and 8-foot-high doors. “The kitchen has a lot of functional aspects—it has to work as a kitchen, and great appliances are really quite contemporary, so the appliances are more commercial looking while the cabinets bring in the historic feel,” Clarke explains.


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The homeowner describes the overall design as “Craftsman rustic with a little bit of Zen.” Architecturally, Clarke points to the stove and the amorphous shaped island as centering devices for the whole kitchen-living room area. “Then, the homeowners introduced the bar top that made it all work—so unique that it is one-of-a-kind,” Clarke says. Mike Buechter of Alto Mesa Builders agrees that the exterior trim and multi-pane windows are right in line with Craftsman style, but he says the juniper trees were “the origin point for the whole design.” Feeling guilty about one of the trees that had to be cut down for the home to be built, the homeowners insisted on incorporating its wood throughout the build. Glen and Sherry Barrow of Real Wood Works in Glencoe, New Mexico, sliced it crosswise to be used in a front entry custom-designed by Santa Fe Door. Perhaps most stunningly, the Barrows also integrated the tree into the kitchen as a live edge bar top with seating for three on the island.

“The concept for the whole house, inside and out, was to be as authentically historic as we could get with contemporary materials and the budget. It was to feel like an old lodge that had been there for a hundred years.” —David Clarke The ultra-functional island is also home to the dishwasher, additional casework, and the sink. When she’s doing dishes, the homeowner says her view is straight toward Sierra Blanca Peak—“Not a horrible spot for doing household chores,” she points out. Natural light was also imperative to the design. “To keep the composition balanced, tall windows are mirrored on each side of the stove,” Clarke explains. The homeowners add that the windows face almost due east, giving them a front-row seat to the sunrise coming up each morning over the century-old junipers. As in all cozy kitchens, it’s the people that gather there that truly make it special, and these homeowners love to host friends and family. “It feels intimate with just the two of us,” they say, “but we’ve had a lot of parties up here and it just flows. There’s an openness about it that expands and contracts so nicely. We never wanted a house that felt like a hotel lobby, and this one truly feels like a home.”

Above: For extra efficiency, a doorway in the kitchen leads to the home’s butler pantry, which houses plenty of small appliances and a collection of cookbooks.

Left: “We agreed early that the island would be the main feature of the kitchen to stitch the kitchen and living room together,” says David Clarke of WDG Architects. Its oneof-a-kind bar top was made from repurposed juniper trees that once occupied the space before the build.

Right: To keep from obstructing their views, the homeowners built most of the cabinetry below the stove, a design element that was “unexpected, but worked out incredibly well.”

resources A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Alto Mesa Builders WDG Architects SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Life + Style Southwest

pattern play

Right: Framed black and white tiles complement smoky hues in the flooring, giving this mudroom a cool, modern look.

a new look for a design classic

Courtesy Interceramic

Tile—honestly, what’s not to love about it? Most of the homeowners, builders, and designers I’ve met use tile in a variety of ways, from backsplashes to fireplace surrounds. One trend enjoying its moment in the spotlight is the use of patterned tile to add some wow to a design aesthetic. Not necessarily new itself, patterned tile seems fresh and exciting because it’s being used in new ways, livening up spaces with eye-catching designs patched together to create a chic focal point. While patterned tiles can be used anywhere around the house, I’ve found that homeowners and designers use it best in three main areas of the home: kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. Here are just a few (favorite!) ways to put this classic design element to work and give your interiors an eclectic, stylish kick. —Danielle Urbina

Courtesy Interceramic

lasting [first] impressions

Five different tiles with colorful geometric designs come together to amp up the energy in this modern kitchen.

creative in the kitchen

A backsplash can bring the whole look together, especially in the kitchen, where one solid palette tends to dominate the entire space. Patterned tile is a great alternative to typical subway tile and can be used in a variety of ways. Laser-cut tiles fit snugly together like a puzzle to create a uniform wall of shapes and colors, while differently patterned tiles can be pieced together to form something completely eclectic. Remember, a backsplash really makes or breaks a space, so take your time to lay things out thoughtfully and choose tile that will complement your home’s look and transition well over time.

Despite the attention that’s paid to the kitchen, bathroom, and living room, the entryway is actually one of my favorite parts of the home. There’s just something about a small space that packs a big punch; the entryway really sets the tone for your personal style and can be dressed up in ways that might be too overwhelming anywhere else. For a powerful first impression, cover an accent wall from floor to ceiling in patterned tile and keep everything else— mirrors, wall décor, console tables, lighting— minimal and balanced with solid colors. Another entryway we don’t often consider: the mudroom. Using patterned tile here adds a decorative touch and makes this highly functional space feel more like a cohesive part of the home rather than an afterthought in the design plan.

resources Casa Mexicana Tile Interceramic

MV Design Center

Below: Combining an eclectic mix of Moroccan-inspired patterns mimics the look of a patchwork quilt.


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Courtesy Interceramic

bold bathroom

Whether you want a powder room with big style, or need to add some pizzazz to the master bathroom, patterned tile is a great way to go. Adventurous? Consider decking out an accent wall in a geometric motif with loud colors, which creates an immediate focal point. Or, put the focal point underfoot. Floor tile can really help to define spaces in the master bathroom, and using a patterned design—beneath a freestanding tub or to frame the shower, for example—divides the room into sections. For something purely decorative, combine these tiles within a frame in the center of the room to mimic the look of a bathroom rug.

Life + Style Southwest

by Ben Ikenson

cabinet confidential Jesse Ramirez

trending styles for kitchens of all kinds


Above: The kitchen of this Las Cruces home got a fresh makeover with cabinetry that went from burgundy to bright white. Using contrasting countertops is one way to balance out the all-white look.

he kitchen is not simply for preparing meals; it is often the communal place where couples drink coffee, families bond at the end of the day, and friends gather to chat. As real estate agents have long claimed, it is the single, most effective room to upgrade in a home—which is why, in addition to quality countertops and high-end appliances, stylish cabinetry is essential.

“The kitchen has become the new living room for families and the cabinets are the heart of a kitchen,” says Justin Sherwood, president of Sher-Wood Cabinetry in Las Cruces. “Even if the appliances, lighting, and countertops are on point, if you miss the mark with the cabinetry, the finished project won’t have a satisfactory feel. What is in the cabinets can be just as important—items such as rollout shelves, trash rollouts, mixer lifts, and cutlery dividers will help you enjoy your kitchen so much more.” 10

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Jesse Ramirez

“The kitchen has become the new living room for families, and the cabinets are the heart of a kitchen.”—Justin Sherwood

Left: Looking to add an exciting element to their contemporary kitchen, Las Cruces homeowners turned to SherWood Cabinetry for cardinal red, Putnam-style cabinets and sleek, minimalist hardware.

Jesse Ramirez

Right: Decorative molding on the cabinetry adds texture and an elegant element to the classic look of a pristine white kitchen.

resources A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Prestige Cabinets Sher-Wood Cabinetry

Rudy Torres

With a range of cabinetry styles available to homeowners— from contemporary, to traditional and rustic—Sherwood says he is noticing a surge in demand for Shaker-style cabinets because they work with so many different architectural styles. “But if someone is trying to create a strictly modern or contemporary look, they may go with a slab-style door, although this style tends to work only in specific looks. Another popular option would be rustic-style cabinetry, which tends to feature a raised panel center with a knotty-type wood, and works well with the Tuscan and Southwestern styles.” As far as colors, Sherwood says, “We have everything under the sun; all colors of stains and paints, as well as finish treatments such as glazes, distressing, heirlooming, rustic, old world, weathered.” Lately, Sherwood notes, many of his customers have been drawn to white and gray finishes for their cabinetry, an observation echoed by Steve McClain, who owns Prestige Cabinets in Ruidoso. “The most trending things in the country are clean lines, solid colors, and gray tones,” says McClain. “Customers are definitely coming in looking for this style, which they’ve seen on TV DIY shows.” However, McClain says, “The majority of my customers end up with a stained, knotty wood, such as hickory, which has a rustic, mountain feel.” Working with designers, McClain is seeing the emergence of “a modern, rustic look to blend the mountains with a fresh, modern flair.” Regardless of style, McClain confirms, “I believe that kitchens are a great investment because they increase the value of the whole home. Cabinets are usually the building blocks that are used to show the home’s style and give the home its own character.”

Another great space for cabinetry: the island. This El Paso kitchen is centered around a massive island fitted with maple cabinetry custom made by A-1 Kitchens by Sierra.



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

living small quality up, quantity down—minimalism starts with freeing yourself of “stuff” tons of built-in storage, and lots of natural light that makes the house cheery even in the bleakest days of winter. Of course it is very well insulated with great windows, so the house is warm and draft-free in winter, cool in summer.


spent the formative years of my 20s sailing various yachts over a large swath of the Western hemisphere. When I moved ashore in 1979 with Evy, the woman I married, the sum total of my possessions was a big box of tools and a duffel bag of ratty boat clothes. Over the subsequent years we acquired a second home, a boat, a pretty cool art collection, and all the household paraphernalia associated with family life. (Oh yeah, and a lot more tools.) A decade ago, we embarked on plan to downsize—partly with the goal of spending less in order to travel more, but mostly because we just wanted to live more simply. Think of a sushi dinner vs. a medieval feast—we wanted the sushi. Cars and boats were easy to sell—houses less so—but now we have just one home, a perfectly renovated 1905 shingle-style Victorian in a fishing village in Maine, which I’ve written about numerous times in this magazine. Sea Cove Cottage, as we’ve named it, is only 1,800 square feet. Visitors often say, “Wow, it’s a really small house!” That’s true, but I like to think of it as a really large yacht—and a well-appointed one at that—with a state-of-the-art kitchen,


S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017

So far so good, but in the downsizing game it turns out that the physical dwelling is only part of the issue. Small houses can be perfectly designed, engineered, and lovingly crafted jewel boxes, worthy of all the photo essays in all the most notable shelter magazines, including this one. But the emotional sticking point with a lot of people seems to be not the house, but the “stuff.” Possessions are hard to part with! Friends of ours in their 70s, desiring to downsize, recently asked how they could edit their collection of possessions like we did. My answer: Living on a boat is the ultimate in minimalist living, as Steve and his wife Evy will tell you. Does this mean Steve is finally going to downsize his tool collection?

Carlos Martini

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

In the downsizing game the physical dwelling is only part of the issue. Possessions are hard to part with!

First of all, this is a first world problem, given the socio-economic bracket “too much stuff” implies. That said, it’s all about taking stock of what’s really important and ruthlessly curating the rest. Take the totality of your possessions, divide it into slices, or tranches. Start eliminating the lowest tranche, and then the next lowest, and the next. Once you get rid of the lowest tranche, eliminating the next one gets easier. You’ll end up with a highly edited selection of the very best objects in your universe. For me, looking around at all the possessions I most love, in a small house, gives me tremendous pleasure. But what if you really can’t decide? Are you a “downsizing wimp?” Well, the dirty little secret here is . . . storage. Full disclosure: We have two storage lockers, a big one for my tools, and a small one for furniture and art we’re not quite ready to part with. I’m not sure what will motivate me to get rid of that stuff. Maybe moving back onto a boat? Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation.

Enchanted Spaces

by Moll Anderson

are you a closet case? personalize your closet design to meet your needs, style, and budget


closet is a window to the soul! What does your closet say about you right this very moment? Is it beautifully appointed and well organized, or is it the place where you can barely open the door because you’ll be attacked by falling shoe boxes and piles of dirty laundry? The stress of a messy closet adds to the chaos of your daily life. So creating a closet that is clean, simply organized, and filled only with things you love and absolutely need will shift the negative energy in your life and allow you to be renewed, refreshed, and recharged!

John Hall Photography

display what you love

Moll’s closet connects the master bedroom to the master bath. In it, custom, underlit shelving showcases Moll and Charlie’s collection of gorgeous Western boots.

Women have been collecting shoes for years. So why not showcase what you collect and love in an artful way? For Charlie and me, it was our boot collection from Santa Fe’s very own custom boot makers, Back At the Ranch. When building and designing our closet, our boots became our “closet art.” Simple shelving and lighting was all it took to create a focal point that also serves as a practical way to see exactly what we have to wear daily. Belts and jewelry are another natural choice for adorning your closet. When you display these items, you are more likely to actually make use of them. It’s amazing how, when things are tucked away, we forget we even have them until we clean out our closet. Men, watch-winding boxes are in. A watch-winding box is a wonderful way to keep watches wound and clean, plus it makes a great accessory on an island. They also now make big units that can be built in.

John Hall Photography

take a seat If space allows in your walk-in closet, bench seating is one of my must-haves. Not only is bench seating a great way to add a pop of color or textural interest, but it offers multipurpose use. Benches are especially handy when putting on shoes and boots, and many Left: “In my Santa Fe home,” says Moll, “I was challenged to maximize my storage needs and make use of all space available in the master bath. My closet serves double duty with the washer and dryer tucked away behind closed doors. Since this was my only available space, it made sense to have those appliances accessible where I needed them most!”


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benches have the potential for hidden storage. Make the space work for you, and hide away those items you don’t use on a regular basis.

A closet that is clean, simply organized, and filled only with things you love and absolutely need will shift the negative energy in your life. let there be lighting

Jeff Katz Photography

Lighting is another important musthave in any design, and nowhere more important than in your dressing area and closet. The right lighting illuminates your beautiful things, and helps give you a beautiful glow, too. Install a dimmer switch, because sometimes you want to switch from task lighting to creating a vibe.

Moll Anderson Life stylist, inspirational interior designer, and philanthropist Moll Anderson is an Emmy Award–winning television personality and the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color: What’s Your Color Story?

Design Studio

by Jessica Salopek

by Jessica Salopek

That’s not to say all of the seating has to be set up to catch your favorite shows. “There’s not a living room on the planet where every seat is great for watching television,” Colia explains. “I like to include at least one other intimate area where two people can sit and have a oneon-one conversation.”

This vibrant El Paso living room shakes things up with different colors and patterns on the sofa and accent chairs, and a soft, green rug to pull it all together.

the living room design tips from the experts When it comes down to it, living rooms are meant for well, living. And while every household has its own unique lifestyle, there are some design guidelines that work well in most any situation. Two El Paso–area designers share their best tips for living large in the living room.

think outside the circle

Whether you’re a social butterfly or not, interior designer Margaret Ann Colia, of Margaret Colia Interiors, says the living room should always be designed with entertaining in mind. “Even if you never intend to have people over, when it comes to arranging the room, think of it as if you will be,” she explains. “Every chair needs to have a place to put a beverage down. If the coffee table is all you have, that needs to be accessible to everyone no matter where they are sitting.” That doesn’t mean, however, that everything should be arranged in a circle around the fireplace. Colia says that’s a common inclination she sees in homeowners, yet it’s not the best arrangement for everyday living. More often than not these days, the TV—not the fireplace—is the centerpiece of the room. 16

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Since it’s the room guests are most likely to see, the living room really sets the tone for the home’s design. For homeowners looking to update—or who are just unsure about their personal style—decorator Adrian Yanez of JV Gallerie has good news: transitional style is totally in right now. “What we’re seeing a lot of, especially here in El Paso, are designs that combine a little bit of modern with a little bit of traditional,” he explains. To get it right, Yanez recommends choosing one style for furniture and another for the accessories—think clean-lined furniture with ornate accent pillows, or a more traditional end table topped with a sculptural vase or contemporary reading lamp. Below: White walls, ceilings, and furniture keep things fresh; rustic accents and a Southwesternstyle fireplace give the room New Mexican flair.

Jesse Ramirez

Rudy Torres

make the transition

Bill Faulkner

Designer Margaret Ann Colia used a variety of prints on the furniture and drapery to add warmth to this cozy yet elegant living room.

easy updates

Colia agrees that, especially for those looking to update a home, transitional style is the way to go. There’s no hard and fast rule mandating that every room in the home must have the exact same vibe, she notes, so adding some modern touches to a more classic design scheme can liven up the room. “Transition is the key to making your new room look complementary to the rest of the home. Maybe you just reupholster one item of furniture or change the paint color to get you on the road,” she suggests. “With color, if you just lighten it a shade or give it a little more depth, it can really update the room and set the tone for transition in the rest of the home later on.” Yanez adds that blue hues are popular right now, as are chrome, champagne, and mirrored finishes. He also points out that tufted accents—like a plushy ottoman with an accent button—are trending and can help meld that blend of modern and traditional.

contributors JV Gallerie Margaret Colia Interiors

Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

take home the gold get your glam on with metallic décor

Golden Lighting Aiyana Seven Light Chandelier Modeled after the blossoming branches of a cherry tree, the Aiyana chandelier brings a bit of the outdoors inside. Its contemporary design features organically shaped, sculpted branches in a brassy, gold leaf finish, with clear glass flowers. The fixture’s luxe gold color adds shine to a space without being too shimmery or overwhelming. $1,399, Designer’s Mart,

In many ways, gold is back, but nothing like the gaudy tones of the 1980s and ‘90s. As part of the comeback of metallic décor that started a couple of years ago, today’s gold is warmer, richer, and a more chic complement to various interior design styles. If you’re not ready to go all in, a great way to start is by introducing golden hues slowly, by using low-commitment elements like lighting and accessories, which can be easily interchanged. Alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with going bold with large pieces such as furniture in luxurious but tasteful shades. Just in time to warm up your interiors for fall, here are few of our favorite golden treasures.

Jack Rabbit Trading Co. Gold Desk Lamp Something about the combination of metal and wood gives this chic little desk lamp a stylish, industrial feel. Made locally by the artisans at Jack Rabbit Trading Co. in Downtown El Paso, each hand-crafted lamp is made to order and ready within two days. $45, Jack Rabbit Trading Co.,

Malene Lillelund Channel 2 Seat If you’re shy about using too much gold all at once, look for pieces of furniture that use the color in moderation. This plush sofa from Copenhagen walks the line between modern and vintage, its matte gold legs the perfect complement to dark blue velour. Created by Danish architect and furniture designer Malene Lillelund, this elegant design is also available as an accent chair. $729, Copenhagen,


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Phillips Collection Log Side Table Eclectic, nature-inspired furniture really makes a statement in interior design. This side table— cast from real tree trunks—really brings the glam with a sparkly, gold leaf finish. When paired with a glass tabletop and low-key décor, the table is a great addition to any room that can use some energy and color. Price upon request, JV Gallerie,

Design Studio

by Amy Gross Below: The George Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant, one of many futuristically shaped lighting designs Nelson created for Herman Miller.

midcentury modern actually, this is your grandmother’s furniture


alk about a comeback. An entire movement of architecture, furniture design, and décor, hugely popular from the late 1940s to around the middle of the ’60s, all but disappeared for more than 40 years—only to re-emerge in the last decade or so to become the hottest thing in “contemporary” design. Proponents of midcentury modernism were eager to capitalize on the post-war fascination with all things atomic and futuristic. Back then, of course, the style was just called modern, and it was characterized by clean, straight architectural lines; the abundant use of glass and steel; sleek, sculptural furniture; and, possibly most iconic to the era, spindle legs.

You can’t get more midcentury modern than a simple Danish modern dining set and a well-stocked home bar. 20

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Many of the leading modernist architects and home designers of the time, having designed houses and buildings in this new, unfussy style, expanded their areas of expertise to the design of compatible furnishings. Today, midcentury modern is all about the name-drop, and highly sought-after original pieces often fetch thousands of dollars: iconic chairs by Hans Wegner, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eero Saarinen; sleek sofas by Vladimir Kagan and Adrian Pearsall; and space-age lighting by George Nelson, Poul Henningsen, and many others. Major design houses and manufacturing companies produced these classic pieces; some, like Knoll and Herman Miller, still do. “Back then, it was all teak furniture—dining room and bedroom sets,” says Flemming Carlsen, owner of Copenhagen in El Paso. Carlsen would know; he grew up in manufacturing and retail in Denmark—home of Danish modern furniture—and has been with Copenhagen since 1972.

Furniture and Lighting Photos Courtesy Copenhagen

Amadeus Leitner

“Midcentury modern pieces are perfect crossover accents.” —Ross Landers

Right: Many modernist designers offered their take on the armless, sculptural Eames Molded Fiberglass chair. This woodenlegged, padded version can be found at Copenhagen.

Douglas Merriam

Left: Home renovation expert, Su Casa columnist, and aspiring minimalist Steve Thomas gets some reading in on the classic Eames for Herman Miller lounger.

Following the unfortunate “oversized and overstuffed” ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, houses slowly began to shrink in size, and the compact modern furniture pieces of a few decades prior began to resurface. It was perfect timing. “Spaces today are smaller than they were 20 years ago,” Carlsen notes. “Homeowners need furniture that’s much more functional.” What could be more functional than being able to easily sweep under a buffet that sits eight inches off the ground on spindly, barely there legs? Today’s midcentury modern–hungry buyers want vintage, Carlsen says—until they see the price tags on those original, iconic pieces. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), midcentury modern knockoffs abound, offering the opportunity to incorporate the style into one’s home without breaking the bank. It makes good sense economically as well as design-wise, because as with all things midcentury modern, less is more.

“Midcentury modern pieces are perfect crossover accents,” says Ross Landers of Ross Landers Interiors. “They blend in so well in an industrial setting.” Picture a sexy Eames lounger and ottoman in a sparse lounging area, a reading nook, or a TV viewing space, Landers suggests. If you want to see what midcentury modern style looks like in situ, every season of Mad Men is a great tutorial. So is the movie Hidden Figures, and interestingly, the animated film The Incredibles. Apparently, even contemporary cartoon superheroes appreciate butterfly roofs and vintage furniture. “Part of it is nostalgia,” Landers explains. “Midcentury modern furniture has never completely disappeared from the scene; it’s always been lurking, passed down from family to family. It’s a remembering.”

resources Copenhagen

Ross Landers Interiors



Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

contemporary comeback move over, painted walls —wallpaper is in, again

I Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

t seems that despite all the advances we make as a society, history still manages to repeat itself in different ways, especially when it comes to interior design. With the revival of midcentury and midcentury modern design and a resurgence of interest in the styles of the 1960s and ’70s, a desire to personalize and kick up home décor with eye-catching touches is more popular than ever. All misconceptions aside, wallpaper—until recently considered the bane of interior design treatments—is back in a big way, and stronger than ever, its popularity influenced by the enormous variety of patterns, textures, and colors available. “I attribute the uptick in the popularity of wallpaper to two things,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “For one, there have been really great developments that make wallpaper easy to put up and remove, and for another, there’s been increased interest from homeowners in using patterns in design.”

Above: Combining classic materials with bold colors helps keep this patterned wallpaper from overwhelming the space. Wooden touches in the décor balance out the wall’s exotic purple motif.

“The quickest way to make [wallpaper] look dated is to play it safe.” —Sue Wadden

Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Right: A dining room accent wall is covered in a neutral-toned but eye-grabbing geometric pattern.


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The infinite design possibilities that come with contemporary wallpapers and wall coverings are hard to beat with materials like vinyl, fabric, metallics, and even natural grass. Patterns range from bright, bold, geometric shapes and botanicals to neutrals with strong texture. Want something completely customized to your taste? Thanks to digital printing—similar to the inkjet printing you do at home—custom wallpaper can be made in any color or pattern you can possibly imagine. To avoid taking a step back in time, Wadden advises homeowners to be a little adventurous. “It’s important to remember that the quickest way to make [wallpaper] look dated is to play it safe,” she says, adding that if you’re hesitant to go all in, you should balance things with paint. “Above all, I recommend thinking about both paint and wallpaper and how they can work together to achieve a very sophisticated look.” So where’s the best place to utilize wallpaper? Think about areas where you want to highlight a focal point. Many designers and homeowners use wallpaper on accent walls or on ceilings with interesting architectural details; Wadden also suggests using it in areas where your home offers a stellar first impression. “Wallpaper’s durability makes it good for high traffic areas in the home, such as the entryway,” she says. Using a neutral-toned and

Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Above: Delicate florals give this bathroom a peaceful ambience and complement the shower tiles on the other side of the wall.

textured material can elevate transitional spaces like hallways and stairways. Alternatively, loud and bold patterns in the same area also make a sweeping entrance, depending on the style of your home. Ultimately, choosing the right wallpaper is a lot like choosing the perfect dress or outfit—just commit to something you truly love. Once you find it, the results are captivating .

Above: A playful, nature-inspired print brings the outdoors into this modern bedroom. Hues of blue and green add color to the otherwise neutral space.

resources Designs by L.L. Power and Associates Sherwin-Williams



Su Libro

Courtesy Brown Books Publishing

down to the details an architect’s new step-by-step guide to homebuilding


exas-based architect and project manager Kristina Leigh Wiggins knows all about the struggles that come with building your home from the foundation up. Though Wiggins sees it as an exciting journey of self-discovery, even she admits that projects can easily become overwhelming, especially when trying to define your style and what comfort means to you and your family. “Do not underestimate the value of creating a master plan,” says Wiggins in her new book, Building Your Home: A Simple Guide to Making Good Decisions. “Whatever your personal dreams are for your property, be sure to address those items in a plan now. Having a master plan in 24

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Courtesy Brown Books Publishing

Building Your Home: A Simple Guide to Making Good Decisions, by Kristina Leigh Wiggins, Brown Books Publishing Group, paperback, $25

place will help you to make better decisions as you grow older with your home.” In her debut as an author, Wiggins makes the planning process easier for readers who are building new, with helpful content that breaks down big decisions element by element. “In the many years I have been projectmanaging homes, I have found that there is no good and simple guide to help people navigate the stressful waters of home building,” she says. “There are tons of books and guides for other big life events such as weddings and having babies, but there are no helpful books to steer clients through the pile of selections and decisions that they have to make when they are building their homes.” As a result, Wiggins created a guidebook that not only keeps homeowners organized with their choices, but also gives helpful advice on selecting and communicating with potential builders, architects, and designers—because building a home is so much more than just putting up walls and picking out the amenities and fun accessories. Building Your Home is divided into several chapters covering everything from selecting a lot for the home, to picking out all the final details and finishing touches—complete with

detachable worksheet pages that effectively narrow down choices, enabling readers to take big decisions step by step rather than solely focusing on the big, daunting picture. “Determine Your Style” gives readers 25 sketched examples of architectural styles, ranging from midcentury modern and contemporary to transitional, French country, and rustic. “Determine The Biggies” provides advice on selecting big-ticket items including roofing, front doors, windows, landscaping, and exterior fixtures, while “The Big Details” covers selection of things like ceiling treatments, countertops, flooring, and fixtures, but also discusses the importance of a builder’s allowance and how to stay within that budget. What really makes Building Your Home unique is the small details—including definitions of different architectural terms, author’s notes, and “quick tips” placed throughout the book. If you’re tech savvy, the book’s sister app, Simpleigh Done, helps to further organize and keep inspiration boards and photos handy, because after all, the point of this guidebook is to keep the building process flowing smoothly from start to finish. “The goal of this guide is to simply and gently guide you on how to make good decisions when building a home,” says Wiggins. “Breaking things down into sections that are easy to tackle will help you to make good decisions by allowing you to focus on one thing at a time and not be consumed by what can seem like an insurmountable mountain of things that have to be determined during the process of home building.”—Danielle Urbina Building Your Home offers advice on materials that can be used both indoors and out, such as the blend of rustic stone and wood on this home’s exterior (above). Author Kristina Leigh Wiggins prompts readers to focus on their everyday needs, like this all-inclusive laundry room (left).

The blend of materials, colors, and architectural details make the hearth room a chic standout in the middle of Robert and Jennifer Sandoval’s new Las Cruces Home.


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a worldly view luxury homebuilders steer the design of their personal home in a new direction



Practical and pretty, the copperaccented walk-in pantry features shelving and wooden cabinetry with plenty of storage for dishes and small appliances.

Above: Brick-lined archways and a customcarved door framed by a rainbow of glass hint at the elegant eclecticism inside.

by Jessica Salopek

The expansive kitchen carries the stamp of Robert and Jennifer’s personal styles, with contrasting cabinetry, tile floors, and eclectic light fixtures. 30

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photographs by Bill Faulkner

hen you’re a luxury homebuilder by trade, your own home is usually a reflection of just what you can do for clients. Such is the case for Robert and Jennifer Sandoval, the builder and real estate broker respectively behind Las Cruces–based R. Hines Construction. They built their previous home as a display gallery for their company’s signature architectural and design elements, but 12 years later, it was time for a change, both personally and professionally. The couple wanted to create a home that reflected a bit more of their individuality—as well as the “fresh” direction Robert is headed in his designs for other clients.

In the large family room, rustic wood and Southwestern-inspired prints link the home to its New Mexican surroundings.



Far left: The home’s unique design is all about surprising details, such as the intricate paintings and carvings on antique-style doors.

Left: A beautiful metal pendant fixture set into carved ceiling panels is a showstopper in the master bath. The freestanding tub takes advantage of views right outside the sliding doors.

Tucked away from the central living space, the master suite is a private getaway complete with a warming fireplace and separate sitting area. 32

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In business since 1998, R. Hines is known primarily for premium custom builds, often in the Spanish Mediterranean style and decked out with architectural details such as intricately carved custom woodwork. While there’s certainly a Spanish element to their new home, Robert and Jennifer opted for more of an eclectic, global vision motivated by finds from their personal travels and their individual tastes. “I don’t really follow trends,” Robert explains. “I look to my own inspiration, and I don’t like to be repetitive. I’m constantly trying to evolve my aesthetics and my ongoing approach to style. I’m starting to go for worldly, as opposed to a localized style.” That doesn’t mean, however, that his company is trying to corner the contemporary or modern market. Robert says he’ll always be influenced by the past, as well as the classic, historical architecture seen in central Mexico and Spain, yet he and Jennifer both wanted to incorporate more of themselves in the design of their newest home. They mixed in wrought iron from India, doors from Morocco, and artwork from a Cuban photographer, among other finds from their well-traveled lifestyle. Some of the most eye-catching design elements in the new build were purchased for their previous home and have been patiently waiting in storage for more than a decade. For either space or aesthetic reasons, they didn’t quite fit in with that project, but the couple loved them too much to part with. One of Robert’s first orders of business when they started planning was to revisit that collection, allowing the pieces to dictate the overall feel of the home. He handed many over to frequent collaborators Renaissance Woodworks to repurpose and incorporate into the newly constructed millwork, effectively blurring the line between what is new and what is old. An antique tabletop, for example, was given legs and fashioned into an island for the black-and-white–tiled walk-in pantry. Other ornamental SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: A wall of glowing candles brings drama to a powder room in the home.

components were repurposed as ceiling panels in the bathroom and decorative skylights in the kitchen. “We’ve always paid a lot of attention to our woodwork—both decoratively and structurally—in all our builds,” Robert notes, adding that one of his favorite features in the home is the cabinetry made from old Spanish oak imported from Mexico. “This particular wood is just an amazing material. It’s very old and the grain is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s a very special material to find and use for custom cabinetry.”

While there’s certainly a Spanish element to their new home, the owners opted for more of an eclectic, global vision motivated by finds from their personal travels and their individual tastes. Despite the wide-reaching global influences, the layout is still decidedly Mediterranean with multiple outdoor areas serving as true extensions of the indoors. The front door opens, not 34

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Custom woodwork, patterned tile, and a pop of red leather all come together in the home bar, which looks out toward the Organ Mountains.



In the courtyard, columns, arches, and a classic fountain set the stage for a captivating and relaxing space. Shrub palms add lush, green color.

Above: Carved ornamental columns imported from Zanzibar are works of art.


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Aspects of the home’s interior design—arches, wooden beams, and varied tiles—translate outside in the family’s outdoor living area, which captures magnificent mountain views.



Simple symmetry was the goal for the pool, which is steps away from the outdoor living spaces.

into a grand foyer or living room, but onto an open-air courtyard flanked with columns imported from Zanzibar, an archipelago off the east coast of Africa. Outsized slider doors lead into the heart of the home, and similar expanses of glass open into the backyard from multiple rooms in the home.

“I’m constantly trying to evolve my aesthetics and my ongoing approach to style. I’m starting to go for worldly, as opposed to a localized style.” —Robert Sandoval This time of year, Jennifer says the doors are flung open most days, with she, Robert, and their two sons living an alfresco lifestyle and eating dinner on the back patio more often than not. While it’s still a work in progress, she has visions of turning a second courtyard into a true outdoor cooking and dining space, with fruit trees and an herb garden providing home-grown ingredients as well as ambience. Robert says that beyond its decorative 38

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appeal, he appreciates the house most for simply “the way it lives.” It’s ideal for the frequent entertaining they do, but also has “a casual element that makes it so nice for family living. It dresses up very easily and everything flows. It’s a multi-personality home that easily accomplishes the tasks of daily living while still maintaining a level of high-end aesthetics and cosmetic details.” Other family-friendly elements in the home include a mud room with built-in storage space for their boys’ backpacks and sporting equipment and an on-site exercise room. The setup is such that, whether the family is hosting potential clients or just spending time as a foursome, there’s a sense of togetherness. A rec space with a pool table and a full entertainer’s bar are seamlessly incorporated right into the main living room where the family regularly gathers for movie nights. And even the most formal of spaces—a hearth room with chic blue velvet sofas—is situated right in the middle of the hub of everyday life. “Maybe we don’t sit in it every day, but we’re still in it and passing through it,” Jennifer explains. “Every other space we literally use on a daily basis. That’s what’s really neat about this home. None of the rooms sit empty. We really live in it.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


new country, new home for a world-traveling couple, settling down in El Paso was a pleasant surprise


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The exterior of Christopher and Ellie’s West El Paso home is rooted in modern architecture, with strong, linear forms. Native plants and desert landscaping blend the home seamlessly into its Southwestern surroundings. Right: Christopher, Ellie, and pup Benji.

by Danielle Urbina photographs by Brian Wancho


hile traveling the world together, Christopher and Ellie never imagined that when they were ready to settle down, they’d plant their roots in West Texas. Christopher, a native New Yorker, and Ellie, originally from London, England, met years ago and lived together in Europe before relocating to El Paso for Christopher’s job with the United States Army. It’s hard to imagine two more opposite places to live than the historic towns and rolling countryside of Germany versus the desert landscape and mountainous scenery of El Paso—but when the couple landed here, they loved it. “We didn’t know what to expect when we got here; we had heard mixed reviews about El Paso,” Ellie admits. “But when we eventually arrived, we thought it was great! What more could you want? We’ve got the nice weather, the mountains, everyone is so friendly. That’s when we decided to settle down and start looking for houses.” After touring several model homes in the area to get a sense of El Paso’s architectural style, Christopher and Ellie found themselves stuck—until they viewed a home built by Sam Mlouhi of Crown Heritage SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Pairing clean lines with minimal furniture and dÊcor was key to the couple’s design aesthetic. In the living room, distinct architectural elements with few embellishments speak for themselves.


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Left: Bold additions of red in the furniture, art, and décor energize the space while still maintaining the overall streamlined and understated look.

Left: Straying from white and gray, the kitchen takes on moodier hues, including dark neutrals in the backsplash and nearly black flat-panel cabinetry. Below: A contemporary metal sculpture makes a statement in the hallways’s stone-lined alcove.

Homes. “A lot of the homes we saw were so nice, but it’s just the two of us so we didn’t want anything huge with rooms that we would never use,” Christopher says. “When we walked into [Crown Heritage’s] modernstyle home, we loved the clean lines and the usage of space.” Fast forward a few months and the couple had selected a prime location just below the Franklin Mountains in West El Paso. Knowing that they wanted the home to encapsulate some of the area’s culture and desert surroundings, as walls went up and options for finishes were offered, Christopher and Ellie made sure to choose warmer tones throughout. “We wanted something modern but with a warmer edge than the graytoned palette that we had seen,” Ellie says. Christopher adds, “ColorSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: Every hallway should have a focal point, and this one offers several: glowing sconces, modern art, and an oversized, frameless clock above the sliding glass doors.

wise, we went toward earthy tones because we’re right here by the mountain; it seems like it fits in with the landscape really well, too.” Now finished, the home blends the best of two worlds: the modern style the couple fell in love with in Germany plus a hint of the Southwest, which they now call home. Inside, the home boasts high ceilings and an open central space where the living room, dining room, and kitchen all flow together effortlessly, and every part of that area gets used daily. “The idea of the house was for everything to have a purpose and to be of use; we didn’t want any wasted space,” Ellie says.

“Color-wise, we went toward earthy tones because we’re right here by the mountain; it seems like it fits in with the landscape really well, too.” —Christopher, homeowner The well-appointed kitchen, with its sleek, dark cabinetry and large format backsplash tile, is well appointed with all the modern amenities needed for everyday use, including an electric cooktop and glass hood. And this kitchen is utilized often. After living in European apartments with small kitchens, the couple was thrilled to be able to install a large island in the center of the area where they would have room to prepare homemade Italian favorites. “This thing gets covered in flour when we’re making ravioli and pizzas,” Christopher laughs. “Honestly, it’s one of my favorite parts of the house. I always wanted something where I would have plenty of space for cooking.” 44

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Right: The minimalist look continues in the master bath, where the soaking tub’s tile surround blends into the wall.

When it came to putting together the rest of the home, Christopher had ideas, though he credits Ellie as being the visual one. “Ellie really has the eye for that stuff,” he says. “I might come up with something, but she’ll find a way to make things work and look good.” A contemporary-style red couch in the living room, for example, looks great against the neutral tones of the fireplace, plus it helped to inspire pops of red throughout the rest of the home, including an abstract metal piece tucked into a stone alcove in the entry hallway. “We knew we wanted to throw color in the house,” Christopher remembers. “I had a red car and I think I just liked red all of a sudden, so we decided to add those touches around the house.” That streamlined modernism carries through into the master bedroom, where gray and white is played up with black and metallic accents. Cozy fur throws, pillows, and rugs soften the angles, and there’s a great view of the mountains that sit right outside. That picturesque vista, however, is best enjoyed from another favorite spot in the house: the backyard, to which Christopher and Ellie paid extra special atten-


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Above: Christopher and Ellie played with texture in the bedroom, softening the metals and sharply angular furniture with throws and rugs.

tion. “We want to be able to spend loads of time outside because of the great weather all year,” Ellie explains. To that end, they hired Joe Beechler of Paradise Pools to design and build a lap pool and an elevated spa; both take advantage of stunning views. Once the pool was in place, landscape designer Mark Nash of Nash Patio & Garden was called in to create a blend of native and tropical gardens to surround the pool—and the result was even better than the two had imagined.

Christopher and Ellie’s home blends the best of two worlds: the modern style they fell in love with in Germany and a hint of the Southwest, which they now call home. Though Christopher and Ellie still have plans to continue working on and upgrading parts of the home, they feel like they’ve found the perfect place to do it, even if it was a little unexpected. They often spend their downtime driving through the differSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: “The idea of a pool was in my mind; swimming was something I really wanted to get into,” says Christopher. The lap pool also includes an elevated spa and offers great views from every angle.

ent parts of El Paso and exploring its culture and new things the city has to offer, but at the end of the day, going back to the home they’ve put their personal stamp on is the best comfort they could ask for. “We loved it here so much, but we didn’t even know a style like this was available in El Paso,” Ellie says. “Everything has been such a good surprise.”

resources Builder Crown Heritage Homes Appliances and Lighting Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Cabinetry EP Cabinet Masters Inc. Countertops Granite & Marble by COMAF Doors and Windows 84 Lumber Furniture & Accessories Copenhagen Landscaping Nash Patio & Garden Pool & Spa Paradise Pools of El Paso Tile Interceramic


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Quality Builders of Traditional New Mexican Homes No matter the size, , we make all homes unique and classically New Mexico View hundreds of photos at

Wayne and Kiki Suggs 575-525-9530 office 575-644-5327 cell

Vida Buena

Spin smarter: To get the most out of an indoor cycling class, spin instructors advise cyclists to arrive early to make sure they fit into their bikes properly and have a few minutes to practice good alignment and form.

by Cassie McClure

spinning wheels indoor cycling keeps the energy going from start to finish


ndoor cycling—or spinning, as it’s referred to by many—delivers the same intensity, rivers of sweat, and sense of accomplishment as extreme cycling, but with zero road or trail hazards or weather issues. Fitness centers in both El Paso and Las Cruces offer these high intensity cycling classes in which your derrière rarely hits the seat, guaranteeing a heart-pumping workout. The good news, local instructors claim, is that indoor cycling classes are for people at any fitness level, whether they’ve been working out consistently for years or are just getting started with an exercise routine.


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“The sweat and smiles are proof that what we do together isn’t just to better our health, but also to better our lives,” says Jesse Caraballo, owner and instructor at Fusion Fitness Studio in West El Paso. Their specialty class is Fuse n’ Burn indoor cycling, an all-level class that’s only 45 minutes. “We constantly hear that people are so busy that they don’t have or cannot make time for themselves,” Caraballo continues. “If they have one hour, we have the perfect class for them. We always encourage people to let the music move them and to have fun and remind them that they are all so strong already. Everything we do is modifiable for any kind of limitation that may hold someone back.”

“You’re in control. Everyone is on their own ride, their own journey.” —Monica Guidi Indoor cycling classes are typically small in size, usually 12 to 15 bikes per session, with an instructor at the front of the class guiding riders in time to the thumping music. Riders alternate between sitting and standing while pedaling faster or slower, and increase or decrease resistance in the wheels to mimic the hills cyclists might encounter outdoors. Monica Guidi, owner of Life in Balance Pilates Studio in Las Cruces, says the lure for many people is the possibility of burning anywhere from 400 to 600 calories per session. “It’s an amazing form of cardio,” she notes. “The heart is a muscle just like the arms, legs, and back. Spinning is non-impact and safe because it’s indoors. It was originally created for cyclists to train in bad weather.” Guidi has been Spinning® Certified since 1997 and has one simple tip for beginners: don’t give up. “People give up after one class; they get sore,” Guidi says. “Take two classes a week for a month; it’s in the second month that you’ll start feeling better. “It’s so gratifying to get a good sweat and a good burn,” she continues. “The classes can be daunting because they feel

competitive, but there’s motivating music, and we are always kind to new students because we all remember being there.” And though indoor cycling can feel like a team sport—with classmates motivating each other and the resounding “woo!” that can sometimes be heard after a short burst of leg-pumping sprints—cycling is still all about you and how far you’re willing to push yourself. “You’re in control,” Guidi stresses. “Everyone is on their own ride, their own journey.”

contributors Fusion Fitness Studio Life in Balance Pilates Studio



Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure

between the vines Courtesy Zin Valle Vineyards

inside the vineyards of the Southwest

Courtesy Zin Valle Vineyards

Picturesque back roads of Highway 28 lead to Zin Valle Vineyards (above), where Victor and Kathi Poulos produce several varietals, including malvasia bianca (below) and other refreshing white wines.


lthough places like California and Washington boast some of the nation’s most well-known wineries, Texas and New Mexico truly hold their own in the fine wine department, bottling everything from chardonnays to malbecs. A trip up the old highway from El Paso to Las Cruces leads to three wineries where expertly made wine starts with grapes grown from the loamy soil in this region. Stand back, Napa Valley: Wineries in the Rio Grande Valley are gaining international attention for their quality vintages and robust flavors that have locals visiting often and curious travelers stopping by to taste and sample.

“People come in saying they’ve never done a tasting before, so I tell them to relax, try samples, and see what they like. It’s about the fun.”—Kathi Poulos The first stop traveling from the south is Zin Valle Vineyards in Canutillo, Texas, owned by Victor and Kathi Poulos. Previously a teacher, Kathi now gets to educate newcomers about wine while also easing the intimidation factor that tends to be associated with wine. “My goal is to make people comfortable,” she says. “People come in saying they’ve never done a tasting before, so I tell them to relax, try samples, and see what they like. It’s about the fun.”


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La Viña Winery

The laid-back atmosphere of Sombra Antigua Winery invites wine lovers to relax and take a sip, either on their outdoor patio or in their eclectic tasting room (above).

Nohemy Gonzalez


Nohemy Gonzalez

The Pouloses fell in love with an old adobe home on the property and bought the 10 acres of land in 2000. The opening of the winery followed soon after, in 2004, serving up a variety of wines that range from semisweet whites to medium- and fullbodied reds. A couple of their popular selections include Rising Star chardonnay (hints of apple and pear with a smooth, buttery flavor and oak finish) and Rising Star pinot noir (full-ripe cherry and raspberry flavors with a velvety finish). The vineyard’s Rising Star label—which depicts different scenes familiar to locals, such as El Paso sunsets with the “star on the mountain” in full view— helps them associate as a vineyard still located in Texas, even though their property is directly bordered by New Mexico. Heading farther east through gently curving roads, the next stop is La Viña Winery, the oldest continuously operating winery in New Mexico. What started as 14 acres in 1977 is now a 44-acre vineyard with 24 varieties of grapes, and a success story that spans 40 years. La Viña’s most well-known event—the Harvest Festival (see “Harvest Time,” below)—will be held on October 14 and 15 this year from noon until 7 PM. La Viña will also host their lucky 13th annual HowlO-Wine Dog Walk on October 29. The one-mile dog walk around the grounds of the property features music, prizes, and food vendors, with proceeds benefiting local spay and neuter programs. The last leg of the tour leads to Sombra Antigua Winery, where pride of the wines offered is evident in David Fischer, who owns the vineyard with his wife, Theresa. “Our signature grape is malbec,” David says. That tasty malbec is full-bodied and fruit forward, with complex, dark fruit flavors, a medium oak finish, and a floral nose. Sombra Antigua also offers riesling, rosé, and several red blends. The Fischers started their winery in 2012 and have since grown their business to include entertainment (“live music every weekend, 52 weeks a year,” says David), jazz and rock performances that sing out into the hills of the valley. Sombra Antigua’s own special event—a sleepover with fellow wine and music lovers—is held in the fall and again in the spring. The Fischers invite patrons to bring a tent and enjoy a night under the stars without worrying about the drive back home.

Left: Sombra Antigua’s signature wine, malbec, pairs well with aged cheeses like cheddar and manchego.

Sombra Antigua Winery Zin Valle Vineyards

harvest time! Outdoor festivities last long past summer in the Southwest; as the heat dies down, fall festivals begin coming to life throughout the area—including La Viña Winery’s annual Harvest Festival, which takes place every October. With a sprawling, 44-acre vineyard and cool, autumn air as the backdrop, the festival celebrates harvest season with over 20 wines available for purchase and tasting, including La Viña’s dry white, dry red, semisweet, and sweet varieties. With admission, wine aficionados will receive a souvenir glass and a choice between nine different tastes or a full pour. Looking for more than just wine? There’s something for everyone at the Harvest Festival, including local food and craft vendors, and live music by Austin Jimmy Murphy, Chris Baker Band, 24/7 Blues Band, and Abe Mac Band.

Where: La Viña Winery 4201 NM–28 Anthony, NM 88021 When: October 14, 2017 12 pm–7 pm October 15, 2017 12 pm–7 pm Admission: Guests 21 years of age and up: $20 Guests 12–20 years of age: $10 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM





October through December


Known for their catchy blend of alternative, psychedelic, and indie rock, Oregonbased band Portugal. The Man has taken to the road after the major success of their latest album Woodstock. Embarking on an international tour, the band will stop at the Plaza Theatre this October to perform hits like “Feel It Still,” “Modern Jesus,” and “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” WAY OUT WEST MUSIC FESTIVAL OCTOBER 14, 4 pm SOUTHWEST UNIVERSITY PARK, EL PASO

Way Out West Fest celebrates all things Southwestern, including great country music, food, and festive drinks. Now in its second year, the country music festival will feature several concerts, with country superstar Jake Owen headlining the event and performing some of his songs like “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Beachin.” Other festivities include a margarita contest, a chili challenge, and an outdoor dance floor perfect for two-stepping the night away.


We all remember Morticia and Gomez Addams and their delightfully wicked brood from The Addams Family television series and movies. Now, this weird and wonderful family is back with another storyline— Wednesday Addams is all grown up and in love with a “normal” man, much to her family’s dismay. Watch it all unfold and come to life at the UTEP Dinner Theatre this fall.


Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a princess who falls under the dark spell of an evil sorcerer, and the only person who can save her—Prince Siegfried. This production, performed by the Russian Grand Ballet, is a tale of romance and tragedy and features the timeless music of Tchaikovsky and the famous choreography of Marius Petipa.


Known around the world as one of The Beatles and as a solo artist, Ringo Starr needs no introduction. Since 1989, the music legend has toured with his All-Starr Band, which has consisted of several talented musicians from popular bands throughout the years. After the release of his latest single “Give Me More Love,” Starr and guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), singer Richard Page (Mr. Mister), keyboardist Gregg Rolie (Santana), and other musicians will hit the road this fall, making a stop in El Paso for an exciting night of music. 54

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Motown the Musical is the story of a true American dream. Motown founder Barry Gordy went from featherweight boxer to legendary music mogul by launching the careers of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and more. In its time, Motown shattered barriers and brought music lovers together with songs that made their mark on the world forever. There are two opportunities to catch Motown the Musical this November, which will feature classic songs like “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” EL PASO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA—TWO MUSICAL WORLDS COLLIDE NOVEMBER 17–18, 7:30 pm PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO


Acclaimed conductor John Williams joins EPSO conductor Bohuslav Rattay for an unforgettable weekend of music from classic films including Jurassic Park and the Star Wars film series. In a career that spans five decades, Williams has composed scores for over 100 films, earning him a number of prestigious awards, including Grammys, Emmys, and Golden Globes.

After a successful Christmas album that provided a fresh take on holiday music, Chip Davis, founder of Mannheim Steamroller, assembled a band of classically trained, rock-loving musicians and set out on the first of what would be 25 Christmas tours. Mannheim Steamroller takes the stage at the Pan American Center this December with a show sure to put you in the holiday spirit.



A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is the hilarious hit show that tells the story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by “eliminating” a few pesky relatives who stand in his way. Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.

With more than 10 million albums sold, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has inspired generations of fans to rediscover a genre of music that blends rock with classical music. This holiday season, TSO is touring the country with The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, a show that celebrates over 20 years of their greatest hits.



Su Cocina

by Cassie McClure

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

language of love generations of cooks gather to re-create family recipes and share memories

Gathered to prepare a weekend dinner at her West El Paso home, Deborah (at left) and her Aunt Blanca share stories about their favorite holidays and family get-togethers.

In the Terrazas family, a language in the kitchen speaks to the generations, a gift of cooking lovingly bestowed by matriarch Maria Carballo upon her six children. 56

S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017


here are several languages that float through a kitchen, much like the scent of spices. Sometimes it’s the language of recipes, perfected in one pair of hands and then re-created by another. Sometimes it’s the language of stories, the ongoing narrative of a growing, changing family. And sometimes it’s the language that asks simply, “Te gusta, mi amor?” Great-aunt Blanca asks 14-year-old Penelope that very question as she bends over to dab a handmade churro into a plate of sugar. “Do you like it, my love?” In the Terrazas home in West El Paso, a language in the kitchen also speaks to the generations, a gift of cooking bestowed by matriarch Maria Carballo upon her sons and daughters—Blanca, Cande, Marina, Lilly, Oscar, and Victor—by a simple tradition. When her six children were still at home, Maria asked each one when they turned 12 to take over the cooking one night of the week.

Known for her salads, Cande (right) tosses together mixed greens and sweet figs with a simple vinaigrette.

Above: The cooking gene runs strong in this family, with 14-year-old Penelope joining in to learn some of the family recipes. Together, she and Mom Deborah prepare poached apples for dessert.

It was a learning curve every member of the family came to accept. “Say you were good at cooking meat and potatoes, and that’s it,” laughs Deborah Terrazas, Maria’s granddaughter. “When your day of the week rolled around, everyone would know exactly what would be on their plate!” It was Maria’s turn to cook on Sundays, when family would gather in extended layers to enjoy and take advantage of her considerable cooking skills, which filled the home with scents both savory and sweet, along with the chatter of the family sharing their week. Over time, each daughter and son developed their own special talent in the kitchen, gravitating to certain meals and dishes based upon their skills and interests. For Deborah’s mother Cande, it was salads and mashed potatoes. Not surprisingly, those things are her granddaughter Penelope’s goto comfort foods. “I’ve never tasted mashed potatoes anywhere else like how she makes them,” Penelope marvels. “It’s the cream; they’re so soft.” Even now, with just three of Maria’s daughters in the kitchen to share the traditional dish of chiles en nogada, their steps around one another, as they find plates and utensils, prep ingredients, and use the stove, are a well-tuned system, a sisterly dance. They laugh and poke each other to taste each dish for the meal “just one more time” and pour themselves a glass of red wine. Chiles en nogada is a seasonal dish, poblano chiles stuffed with flavorful rice and meat. The sisters’ local twist on the dish is a delectable pecan creme sauce, topped with juicy, bright red pomegranate seeds. While they work, the sisters remember their past. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Below: After a day in the kitchen, everyone sits down to a spread of salad, chiles en nogada, and rice.

On occasion, Aunt Marina cooks some of her own authentic recipes to cater special events for family and friends.

Chiles en Nogada Makes 6 chiles 6 poblano peppers Filling: 1/2 cup chopped white onion 1 medium tomato, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 lb. ground pork 2 tbsp golden raisins 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup chopped apricot 1/2 tsp dry oregano 1/2 tbsp ground clove 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon Salt and pepper to taste Nogada: 1/2 cup goat cheese 1/2 cup crema Mexicana 1/4 cup milk 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 tbsp granulated sugar Preheat broiler and line a cookie sheet with nonstick aluminum foil. Rinse peppers thoroughly and dry before placing in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Place peppers under broiler for 3 minutes or until skin is blistered. Turn the peppers until all sides are mostly black and blistered. Let the peppers cool, then peel the skin off. Slit roasted peppers down one side (keeping the stem on), remove all seeds, and set aside. In a large skillet, add oil and sautÊ chopped onion over medium heat until translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute. Add ground pork and spices to the skillet. When the pork is thoroughly cooked, add chopped tomato, fruit, and walnuts to the mixture and cook for 3–5 minutes. Cover, then cook for an additional 5 minutes to let the fruit soften. Remove from heat and set aside. In a blender, combine milk, crema, goat cheese, and walnuts. Blend until smooth, adding milk if needed. Add sugar, then blend for 1 minute until sauce is smooth and velvety. To assemble, fill poblano peppers with meat mixture and top with nogada. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.


S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017

“My mother would make flour tortillas by hand,” recalls Marina, as she leans over to fluff the rice. “I would beg her to let me try it because it looked fun. When I was 9, she finally let me attempt it.” For Marina, that early tutelage meant more quality time with her mother. Times when the whole family can be together are always cherished. “The holidays are always a feast,” Deborah says, remembering with her sisters the homemade tamales at Christmas. “Ours have spinach and olives, and pine nuts in the masa. It was almost a torture to wait for until midnight because you could smell them all day.”

The women’s steps around one another, as they find plates and utensils, prep ingredients, and use the stove, are a well-tuned system, a sisterly dance. When the dishes are ready, including the tequila-infused caramel for the quickly disappearing piping-hot churros, the sisters each bring multiple gleaming plates to the dining room table. Here, the laughter and stories continue, now with sincere compliments to each chef. Blanca holds up a glass of wine and nods to her sisters. “With love of cooking, it makes this so rewarding.”

Above: Poached apples and freshly made churros with a tasty tequila-caramel sauce. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

by Danielle Urbina

ready, set, bake! don your apron and get your kitchen ready for the holidays

In the fall, there’s nothing quite like filling your entire home with the comforting scents of freshly baked goodies chock-full of cinnamon, clove, pumpkin, and other seasonal flavors. Baking at home is all about the simple pleasures—finally trying out that cookie recipe you’ve had forever, or covering the kitchen in flour while baking traditional favorites with visiting family members. Whether you’re whipping up treats for Halloween and Thanksgiving, or planning to give homemade gifts over Christmas, these kitchen items will help you feel like a baking pro.

Copper Measuring Cups A necessity for any baker: measuring cups. This stylish, stainless steel collection features a gleaming copper finish— an on-trend addition to any kitchen. The nested set includes measures from 1/4 cup to 1 cup and is hand-wash only. $10, World Market,

Wilton Martini Glass Shot Tops Say “cheers!” this season with decadent cupcakes that take their cue from cocktails. Adding spirits to cupcakes elevates ingredients like chocolate, caramel, and cinnamon, and adds a delicious dimension of flavor. To satisfy your sweet tooth, garnish your favorite recipes with Wilton’s shot tops, and with just a squeeze of the infuser, fill cupcakes with an extra shot of boozy flavor. $5, Create A Cake, 575-525-2253


S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017

KitchenAid Artisan® Series Five Quart Stand Mixer KitchenAid’s Artisan® Series stand mixer is a jack of all trades and a huge help in the kitchen, whether you’re baking up a storm or trying your hand at homemade pasta. The tilt-head mixer features 10 speeds to knead and whip up ingredients quickly and includes a five-quart stainless steel bowl with the capacity to mix up to nine dozen cookies and four loaves of bread. Pictured here in boysenberry, the mixer comes in 20 different flavors—er, colors—to match your kitchen and personality. $380, Kitchen Collection,

Beatriz Ball Pedestal Pearl Denisse Cake Plate If hosting a holiday party is in the plans this year, this gorgeous cake plate by Beatriz Ball will add visual appeal to all of your handmade baked goods. Made of top-quality aluminum alloy, the plate features sculpted edges and a stylish, silver finish that adds to the holiday feel—an elegant, heirloom piece worthy of any soiree. $132, Vanities,

Autumn 2017 Advertisers A - 1 Kitchens by Sierra ....................................................5 Acme Brick ........................................................................39 Bank 34 .................................................................................4 Bella Vista Custom Homes .........................................15 Bosch & Siemens Appliances ........................................9 Builders Source Appliance Gallery...............................1 C & D Southwest Lumber Corp ...............................38 Chaney & Marin Financial Planning ........................25 Classic New Mexico Homes ......................................49 Closet Factory ..................................................................44 Comprehensive Varicose Veins ..................................51 Copenhagen .....................................................................46 Crown Heritage Homes ...............................................47 Decorating Den.................................................................33 Design & Construction by Debbie Salome ...........48 Designs by L.L. Power & Assoc ..... inside back cover Edible Arrangements .....................................................59 El Paso Home & Garden Show ..................................55 GO Designs .....................................................................48 Granite & Marble by COMAF....................................11 ICON Custom Builders ..............................................19 Inter National Bank .......................................................44 Johnny’s Septic..................................................................39 JV Gallerie .........................................................................45 Kitchen Kraft ....................................................................34 Las Cruces Awning Co. ................................back cover Members Trust Company ..............................................3 Milliken Construction ...................................................17 MV Design Center ........................................................26 Nothing Bundt Cakes ....................................................61 Pecan Grill & Brewery ...................................................61 Planet Development ......................................................27 Rawson Building Supply ...............................................36 Red Oaks Pergolas & Landscaping ...........................21 Southwestern Home Products ....................................35 Spencer Theater.........................................................59, 63 Stonehouse Granite & Marble ...................................47 Stout Hardwood Floor Co. ..........................................37 The Hospitals of Providence ........inside front cover Torres Welding .................................................................38 Trails End Woodworks ..................................................33 Westside Lighting Gallery ............................................23 WestStar Home Loans ...................................................13




by James Selby

fall draft picks New Mexico’s microbreweries are tearing up the craft beer industry


ext time you’re in your favorite local brewpub, watching a beer flow from a tap, remind yourself that you’re witnessing the coursing of American history. Brewing in the United States illuminates much about immigration in this country, urbanism, and the evolution of business. Find that hard to swallow? The Smithsonian decided the brewing industry was significant enough to create a department at the National Museum of American History to document it, as well as showcase a collection of historical, beer-related artifacts.

Left: La Cumbre Brewing Company’s Project Dank is an ongoing experiment for the brewery using different hops, hopping techniques, and malts. 62

S U C A S A A u t u m n 2017

Courtesy Marble Brewery

In the second half of the 19th century, over a million beerthirsty Germans came to the U.S. By the late 1800s there were over 4,000 breweries here. That number flatlined during Prohibition, but surged again following its repeal and the boom of the post-war years. Macrobreweries became formidable conglomerates, their catchy jingles and slogans served up by Madison Avenue via the new medium of television. In the 1960s things began to change with the proliferation of regional, craft breweries like Samuel Adams on the East Coast and Anchor Steam out West, which made small-batch beers in many styles. By 2012 there were 2,500 microbreweries in the U.S.; today there are twice that many. New Mexico is hopping beer-wise, ranking 11th in the nation of breweries per capita, and Albuquerque proudly boasts many of them. Craft and microbreweries are restricted in the amount of beer they’re allowed to produce, which limits distribution and ensures that most of the nearly 60 breweries in the state are truly local. But a few brands have achieved statewide, even regional presence. Prominently available are La Cumbre Brewing Company, with its Elevated IPA, a high-scoring, high-hopped IPA with shades of pine, citrus, and graham cracker. Bosque Brewing Company’s Scotia Scotch Ale is a highalcohol brew with a viscous texture and deep caramel fla-

vors. Floral, spicy and crisp, Marble Brewery’s Pilsner is a German classic. The brewing forerunner in New Mexico is Santa Fe Brewing Company, founded in 1988. The Pale Ale is their workhorse, but hitched to the wagon is the Nut Brown, an English-style ale, nutty (as the name suggests), with chocolaty malt and ripe cherry flavors. Since our country’s inception, the making of beer has had a significant effect on American society, reflective of our myriad cultures, communities, and tastes, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In the Southwest and New Mexico, amazing things are brewing.

Courtesy Santa Fe Brewing Company

Courtesy La Cumbre Brewing Company

New Mexico is hopping beer-wise, ranking 11th in the nation of breweries per capita.

Above: A special release pilsner from Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery. Below, left: The label on Santa Fe Brewing Company’s Nut Brown Ale snarkily states, “Contains: no nuts, unlike your dating history.” Ouch.

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

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Our Reader Demographics 95% 80% 73% 66% 33%

95% 31% 35% 32% 17% 77%


As a helpful resource 99% Refer back to previous issues 92% Refer back to advertisements 77% Read after home project is complete 98% Out-of-state readers planning to buy or build a home in the region 40%

All Sources 99,994


Paso Home outlets annually, including the following: and Las Cruces Home Garden Show Spring - 3000 and Garden Show Las Cruce s LOCAL HOME SHOWS - Spring - 3000 s Show case of Home El Paso Sprin s g LOCATIONS Parade of Home - Spring - 4000 s El NEWSSTAND s - Summer Paso Festival 4000 of Homes - Fall - 4000 s El ELPaso PASO & Home LAS CRUCES Fall & Garden Show - Fall - 4000 RETAIL SHOWROOMS On Line Readership 2255 per month (grow s ONLINE READERS s per edition)

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Su Casa South Autumn 2017 | Digital Edition  
Su Casa South Autumn 2017 | Digital Edition