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all-season outdoor living

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

natural order

modern design with Southwestern appeal

Tuscan luxury in the hills of

Las Cruces

raised bed gardening

custom home bars VOL. 4 NO. 2 SPRING 2016


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inspiration ideas resources


Personalized and fun, an Upper Valley home makes a great location even better.

On the cover: The owners of Luxe Homes and Interiors designed their own Las Cruces home, where functionality meets family-forward living. Read more on page 48. Photograph by Jesse Ramirez.

36 natural order

Modern architecture and inspired design define a home in south Las Cruces.

48 la bella vita

Quiet living in a Tuscan beauty among the picturesque hills of Las Cruces.



Inside Su Casa

6 Life+Style Southwest

A luxury, all-season outdoor space in West El Paso; Moll Anderson demonstrates how to really “make an entrance”; Steve Thomas offers tips on building raised bed gardens, while a local expert shares her expertise on what to plant in them; and a roundup of spring cleaning products.


Design Studio


Su Libro


Vida Buena


Live Performance Calendar


Su Cocina


Home bars put the “fun” in functionality; interior design trends with staying power.

Jump into spring with best-selling author Marie Kondo’s new book on tidying up. The good times roll all year long in magical New Orleans; advice on keeping your skin safe under the sun this season. This spring’s hottest events, from comedy to live music. Creative fare and decadent brunch at The Kitchen at 150 Sunset; budget-friendly wine storage solutions; and a collection of cocktail recipes rich in the history of the Big Easy.

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2016


Jesse Ramirez

Quality Builders of Traditional New Mexican Homes * Remodels * Casitas * Grand Haciendas * Design Services * No matter the size, no matter the price, 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

Inside Su Casa


Bruce Adams



hen traveling overseas—or to any exotic location—we visit all the traditionally significant sights. Many of us, however, also want to see how the locals truly live. We want more than simply to view the exteriors of the beautiful homes we see sprinkled around a community; we want to get inside. In cities as diverse as Hong Kong, Istanbul, New Orleans, Charleston, and New York City, I have been blessed with seeing beyond the outside walls to the lifestyles within. Each locale has its own challenges, and accordingly, the homes have been designed and built with solutions in mind; but the homeowners’ more specific, personal needs were also met. Thus, the biggest influences in a home’s design are the owners themselves. El Paso and Las Cruces are no different to those other locales; except that here we can easily visit the Parade of Homes, get that interior view we so desire, and see the many creative ideas implemented inside. The upcoming Parade shows brilliant examples of how builders and homeowners have come together to create homes that meet personal desires and also fit the requirements of living in this region, with its mild winters, warm summers, and mostly dry climate. In this cooperative relationship, architects and homeowners negotiate a final design that meets environmental and individual needs while staying within budget. This, in my mind, is where the builders’ skills and creativity often play a big role, as they develop solutions that leave homeowners both surprised and satisfied. As you’re enjoying these stunning Parade homes, this is also your opportunity to visit with the various contractors about the possibilities surrounding your own new home. You’ll get a feel for their personalities, skills, and creativity. In short, by the end of the process, you will be rather intimate with this builder; so the Parade allows you the chance to do a little speed dating to find the right match. Before you begin visiting with builders, do what the homeowners did in our featured homes. They examined what they truly wanted and needed, and their list of priorities enabled a very meaningful and useful conversation. They were also flexible and trusting, understanding that creative architects can find even better solutions that provided even greater satisfaction. When you work this way, regardless of whether your home is in the Parade, it will make you proud. “Creating inspiring built environments that exceed expectation.” 550 S. MESA HILLS DRIVE STE. D2 EL PASO, TEXAS 79912 P. 915.533.2288 F. 915.533.2280


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2016

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 Editorial Assistant Stephanie Love Contributors Moll Anderson, Tiffany Etterling Anne Maclachlan, Cassie McClure Jessica Muncrief, James Selby Steve Thomas Graphic Designers ValĂŠrie Herndon, Allie Salazar Photography Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez, Jesse Ramirez

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

Please direct editorial queries to 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 Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105 Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-1444

The Art of Combining the Old With the New in the Mesilla Valley

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 04, Number 2, Spring 2016. 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 2016 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,

distinctively remodelling/refreshing homes since 1973

Life+Style Southwest

by Tiffany Etterling

seamless transition

an all-season outdoor space takes cues from its home’s interior décor


he intermingling of indoor and outdoor space is nothing new in the Southwest, where the sun shines nearly 350 days a year. But when one El Paso couple asked Don Waters of Waters Design Group to redesign their home, he decided to think outside the box and try something completely different. Working with Mark Nash of Nash Patio & Garden, Waters used color, shape, and texture to transition from the home’s Spanish-style interior to its contemporary exterior. Today the backyard furniture, pool design, and decorative accents all present a thoroughly modern feel, with innovative touches. “We try to break new ground every time we start a project,” explains Waters. While many local homes have outdoor patios, this outdoor area is truly one of a kind with its reimagined swimming pool, a customdesigned fireplace, several seating areas, an outdoor dining room and kitchen, and two televisions. For the interior, Waters designed an Andalusian-style home inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. The exterior juxtaposes contemporary style with a host of specialty features, making the outdoor space a place of its own without deviating entirely from the home’s interior. Along with updating the design, the homeowners knew their primary goal was creating an outdoor living space to connect the main house with their big game trophy room. An impressive 10 x 22–foot glass curtain wall retracts completely, opening the great room in the main house to the


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photographs by Jesse Ramirez

Above: The stunning Spanishstyle entryway of this El Paso home welcomes guests with colorful, tropical landscaping. Below: A granite swim-up bar is the ultimate pool luxury.

outdoor lanai, which seamlessly connects the main house to the trophy room. “El Paso has the great potential of integrating outdoor and indoor living,” says Waters. “A lot of the construction and the design were based upon the duality of the two living spaces.” The owners also requested that their outdoor space function year-round. To this end, a commercial-grade HVAC system was installed to heat and cool the outdoor living area, ensuring its usability in all seasons. “We also have drop-down, automatic insect screens that partition off each area so that it stays insect-free,” says Waters. Everything in the design is controllable. Joe Beechler of Paradise Pools updated the 20-year-old pool, modernizing it in terms of design, technology, and code compliance. “I proposed the ‘weeping wall’ water feature with a hidden basin under the deck,” says Beechler. “It equalizes with the pool continuously whether the cover is open or closed.”

Above: These outdoor spaces make the most of new technology, aesthetic design, and relaxation. A “weeping wall” and several decorative fire pots provide aural and visual interest, respectively.



Below: A more rustic, Spanish-style feature of the home is the charming, serene koi pond.

Four fire pots built into the water wall offer not only flames and ambience but also subtle RGB lighting that synchronizes with the pool lighting. “The entire platform will change color at the request of the owner,” says Waters. “You can generally set the mood of the entire outdoor living space through the use of chromatherapy.”

“We not only told a beautiful architectural story but were also able to pull color into the outdoor living space.”—Don Waters The homeowners also wanted to restore an existing fountain of overflowing vases, so Beechler equalized the fountain with the renovated pool to allow the fountain to recycle the same treated water. In this tech-savvy backyard, the screens aren’t the only automated feature. The pool itself is remotely controlled from anywhere on the property, and the automatic pool cover is controlled by a key switch. The pool also offers freeze protection, automatic water leveling, color changing and color synchronizing lights, a glass tile perimeter, granite steps, a granite swim-up bar, and exposed quartz aggregate plaster. With the initial desire to tie the exterior of the home to its Spanishstyle interior, Waters also incorporated lemon yellow tones and cobalt blue tiles on the outside to balance out the sleek, contemporary architecture. “We used tile in the way that they would have done in Spain,” says Waters. “We not only told a beautiful architecture story but were also able to pull color into the outdoor living space.” Left: Adjustable chromatic lighting in the backyard allows the homeowners to select the mood of their evening, while an expansive sliding window wall creates a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors.


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resources Nash Patio & Garden Paradise Pools Waters Design Group

Enchanted Spaces

by Moll Anderson


making an entrance If your home is truly a window to your soul, what is it saying about you?


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ull up to your driveway and go up to your front door. What does your entrance say to the world? What does your front door communicate? Have you ever said to yourself, “If these walls could talk?” Well. They do! Even the outside of your house and the front door can talk! Take note! Is your entrance tired and worn out, the walkway uneven and maybe even dangerous? Or is it inviting guests to come walk this way? Does your entryway say, “You are welcome to visit?” or does it look like no one lives there? What about your plants? Do you have pots full of greenery and flowers? Now that you know your home communicates what’s going on inside of you, you might need to do some reflection of your life and the life you live inside your home. Get in your car or take a walk through your neighborhood, paying attention to what other homes are saying. Are your neighbors’ front doors stained or painted? Are their lawns and gardens nicely maintained? Is the lighting adequate? Why are some entries inviting and others not? This time when you pull into your driveway, approach your home like you don’t live there. Stand back and really see it; notice every detail. Then open your front door and say aloud the first words that come to mind. Are your descriptors fabulous and welcoming or startling and depressing? If the latter, your entry could be contributing to your stress. Remember your entry is the transition to your private sanctuary. It is the first impression space Left: Moll sensory-scaped her foyer with candles and lighting, and placed the mirror over the credenza to create a dramatic focal point. Above: An iron gate and oversized lighting and planters adorn the outdoor entry. “Don’t forget the wow factor,” notes Moll. “Bigger really is better!”

“Your home—the place of your refuge—reflects who you are. Is it where you want to be? If not, what are you waiting for?” —Moll Anderson

John Hall Photography

that welcomes both you and your guests into your home. I know what you’re thinking: With limited time or budget, my entry is not a priority. I’m saying your entry should be a priority. You are the most important person who will ever set foot in your home. Trust me. I have designed entrances on a budget, and I have done them the way I always dreamed of living. Creating a memorable, sensory-scaped entrance will bring you joy as it welcomes you home every single day.

Moll Anderson Life stylist and philanthropist Moll Anderson is an Emmy Award–winning television personality and the bestselling author of four books, including The Seductive Home.

Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina


Raised bed gardens are easy on the back and on the eyes. Experts recommend mixing 50 percent flowers with 50 percent vegetables in raised bed gardens.

elevated gardening Bill Faulkner

get “the dirt” from a pro on the best plants for your raised bed garden

Bill Faulkner

Raised beds can be made from any number of materials, from wood and metal to brick and stone, as shown here.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2016

or avid gardeners, raised beds are a dream come true. This convenient method of planting your favorite fruits, veggies, and flowers not only improves a variety of gardening problems, but also makes it physically easier to earn your green thumb. Well-planned raised beds utilize space more efficiently, so there’s more room to plant foliage in this controlled environment. What grows well in the Southwest? Martha Halla of Sierra Vista Growers suggests choosing items like lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, carrots, and radishes. “Then later in the season, once the nighttime temperatures raise up to about 55 to 60 degrees, you can plant your warm season items—tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, watermelons, melons, eggplants, cucumber, and cantaloupe,” says Halla. “All of those things do extremely well in this area.”

Planting your favorite fruits, veggies, and flowers in raised beds not only improves a variety of gardening problems, but also makes it physically easier to earn your green thumb. When it comes to flowers, Halla notes, there are a host of colorful blossoms that flourish in El Paso and Southern New Mexico. If you’re looking to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, you can’t beat cosmos and sunflowers. Just as you should carefully consider which plants you’d like to grow, you’ll need to think about the beds you intend to grow them in. Halla suggests starting with 4 x 4-foot raised beds that are 12 inches deep. Wood, metal, masonry—it’s your choice. (See Steve Thomas’s tips on building raised beds in “Time to Grow Up,” page 14.) Fill the bed with about a yard of soil or compost mix. (Ask a nursery professional to recommend a good mix for your area.) One of the best benefits of raised bed gardening is that it reduces strain on the back. Take that thought one step further by placing plants that require less care in the middle of the bed, so that needier plants are easy to access on the perimeters. Like any gardening project, designing a raised bed takes some thought and strategy. But the benefits

Courtesy Osuna Nursery

Try planting marigolds (above), nasturtiums, chives, and dill in your raised bed gardens. These plants, as well as other flowers and herbs, repel a variety of Southwest pests.

Bill Faulkner

of elevated gardens are many, from the beauty they add to your outdoor spaces and the convenience of growing produce in smaller areas, to more efficient water usage and reduced strain on the back and the knees. Isn’t it time you set your gardening sights a little higher?

Broccoli grows best in the Southwest during the early growing season.

resources 150 Sunset Nursery Guzman’s Color Your World Sierra Vista Growers

Life+Style Southwest

time to grow up

by Steve Thomas

raised bed gardening offers healthier plants, better yield—and less backache


ardening at my house is a perfectly balanced division of labor: I dig the holes, and my wife, Evy, plants the plants. Of course, since “hole digging” extends to all other matters of hardscaping, from creating paths, walls, and fences to hauling debris to the compost pile, I freely admit that my Kubota tractor with its backhoe definitely ups the fun factor. In my opinion, any excuse to drive your tractor is a good one. A few years ago Evy decided to convert our garden to raised beds. Their fabrication and installation involved utilizing my whole shop, many woodworking tools, and my laser level for the installation— because of course, the more tools you use in any DIY project, the higher the fun factor! A raised bed is really just a big planter box filled with high-quality planting soil. It is easy to tend (your knees and back will thank you) and requires a minimum of water. Being up and off the ground, the plants are less prone to infestation by weeds and pests. You can rig your beds with tents to shield the plants from wind and create mini-greenhouses to get


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Since raised beds become part of your home’s hardscape, it’s worth planning their design and placement with care. Raised beds can be any shape or size, but since they become part of your home’s hardscape, it’s worth planning their design and placement with care. We used a professional landscape designer to help us, and it was money well spent. Constructing raised beds is simple and well within the skill set of anyone who knows how to use a saw and a drill. A web search will turn up dozens of entries on how to make them, what type of soil to fill them with, and how to plant them to maximize your yield. You’ll also see ads for prefabricated beds of all shapes, sizes, and price points, made out of everything from galvanized steel to plastic composite. I

kept mine really simple, using 2 x 10–inch planks of green hemlock fastened to 6 x 6–inch corner posts with corrosion-treated timber screws. You could also use Western red cedar, Eastern white cedar, Alaskan yellow cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, or pine, although the latter three will not be as long-lived as the cedars. Not to worry: By using timber screws (Google them), you can easily replace individual planks as they get funky. We put in a total of eight beds—different sizes, but all 19 inches high, the dimension of two stacked planks. I filled the walkways between the beds with pea stone, but you could use crushed stone, pavers, or bark mulch—or leave the lawn. You can even place raised beds on asphalt or concrete. The best thing about a raised bed garden is, well, the garden! It is deeply satisfying to stroll out your kitchen door to pick a fresh, organic salad for the evening meal. Kids love it, too, and we’ve seen astonished parents watch their children who allegedly “hate vegetables” grazing through the beds like panda bears in a stand of bamboo. Building raised beds? Sounds to me like a great family project for the spring! Below and inset: Steve and Evy’s raised bed gardens in Maine annually produce a fruitful crop of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

Evy Blum

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

a jump on the season. Here in Maine we plant lettuces, tomatoes, snap peas, beans, Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, shishito peppers, garlic, herbs, and even edible flowers. (See “Elevated Gardening” on page 12 for tips from experts on what to plant here in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.)

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

Design Studio

by Cassie McClure

on the house

a custom bar makes your home the best place in town to grab a drink

Y Bill Faulkner

our personality can stretch into every crevice of your home with well-crafted design. By creating a home bar, that personality extends into a new area of the home where you can get the party started with family and friends. Before designing a home bar, there are several considerations to take into account. “Integrate your home bar into the rest of the house, but remember that style and layout are more than just configurations of the space,” says Sergio Villarreal of A-1 Kitchens by Sierra. “[T]hey also set the tone for interactions.” Some people prefer their bar area to correspond closely with the home’s existing décor. To that end, using similar tones and materials in things like cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures helps to seamlessly blend the bar into the home’s style. Alternatively, a home bar offers the opportunity to invent a space that’s a far departure from the home’s overall décor. Think beach and nightclub themes, which create fun, eclectic vibes, while a bar clad in dark woods and stone veneers speaks to the image of a traditional pub. Seating, too, is a crucial choice, whether it’s a selection of fixed barstools or cozy, cushioned chairs. Selecting a fabric can also help with color decisions for other items like backsplashes and countertops. 16

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continued on page 78

Jesse Ramirez

This home bar lifts the spirits with all the essentials needed to entertain at home, including a variety of drinkware encased in glass-front cabinetry, a refrigerator, and shelving for wine storage.

Having guests over? Pull glasses, ice, shakers, and garnishes from your bar and keep them on a tray for easy access.

Design Studio

on trend

three design elements with staying power

There’s no doubt that stainless steel appliances are here to stay. They’re sleek and fit into most design plans, regardless of a home’s architectural style. However, a new variation of stainless steel has come to town, and it’s giving that look a whole new meaning. Black stainless steel appliances add color and dimension to kitchens, and they aren’t as pristine and shiny as classic stainless steel, so they give off a softer, warmer look. Black stainless steel tends to look better in modern or contemporary homes, but also adds finesse to transitional or traditional-style kitchens. One thing is for sure: This is one trend I hope sticks around for a long time.

Bill Faulkner

back to black

Courtesy Builders Source Appliance Gallery

When it comes to design, trends inevitably change from year to year—one season some styles are in, and the next, something new is taking the world by storm. I’m a sucker for lists, as well as new home fashions, so as 2015 came to an end, I consciously kept track of trends that caught my eye in showrooms around town as well as the many homes I visit. While I certainly can’t see into the future, I found that homeowners and designers seemed most enthusiastic about three new trends. My feeling is these three favorites will not only subtly transform style, but also keep homeowners happy for years to come.—Danielle Urbina

mix ‘n’ match

Sometimes it’s good to break away from the norm, especially when it comes to the design of a home. A trend I’ve noticed many homeowners leaning toward in their remodeling projects is the mixing of materials, colors, and textures in all areas of the home including exteriors, kitchens, and bathrooms. Not only is mixing styles and materials attractive, but it also breaks up the monotony of a monochrome space. If you’re not quite ready to jump into combining brick with metal or wood with marble, something as simple as contrasting cabinetry with countertops is a great way to add surprising dimension.


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resources Builders Source Appliance Gallery Daltile Marisa Martinez

Putting a twist on traditional things— like tile—presents a great way to liven up a space with something new. Large format tile (pieces larger than standard 12 x 12 inches) is a trend that’s gaining full steam in every area of the home, from floors to backsplashes, to showers and even fireplaces. I really love when homeowners and designers find ways to integrate these larger pieces of tile with smaller, contrasting tiles; it makes for an intriguing and stylish look. The nice thing about large format tile is that it’s aesthetically pleasing in so many ways. Fewer grout lines mean you’re left with a more streamlined look, and if done right, large format tiles can open up a space to make it look bigger and airier.

Courtesy Daltile

bigger is better

Ferguson Bath, Lighting & Kitchen Gallery Morrison Supply

Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

spic-and-span cleaning products that will help whip your home into shape this spring Just the thought of spring cleaning is invigorating. As the new season rolls in, a big, annual clean helps to declutter, reorganize, and bust the dust bunnies from every corner of your home. Getting a cleaning plan together is important, but so is choosing all the products you’ll need to wipe down and scrub clean. Get inspiration for your own cleaning spree with a few of our favorites.

Mint Housekeeping Utility Bucket With any big cleaning job comes a collection of cleaners, sponges, cloths, and other necessities. Having a utility bucket at hand makes going from task to task much more convenient. This durable (and adorable!) metal storage bucket is the perfect place to corral cleaning bottles and materials, and the flexible metal handle allows portable transportation, whether the job is indoors or out. $10, World Market,

Shark SE450 Pro Steam Pocket Mop Floors take a beating, and keeping them sanitized and spotless can sometimes be a battle. Though ordinary mops and brooms haven’t kicked the proverbial bucket, steam mops are a new and improved way to keep floors free of stains and dust. The Shark steam mop has a two-sided microfiber pocket that scrubs and lifts away stains; whether you’re just doing a quick sweep or going for a deep clean, the steam mop has two different steam levels to adjust to the level of cleaning power you need. $68, Sears,

iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot We may not have accomplished the do-it-all housecleaning robot yet, but there are a few gadgets out there, like the Roomba, that make chores so much easier. This floor-cleaning robot maps the rooms in your home and makes several passes. Sensors help it avoid tumbling down stairs, running into furniture, and uneven flooring. The vacuum’s small size and design allows it to squeeze into hardto-reach corners, giving floors a thorough clean. The best part? Roomba isn’t limited to carpeted homes; the round, flat robot can also be used on hardwood floors, linoleum, and tile. $375, Bed Bath & Beyond,

J.R. Watkins Orange Tub & Tile Cleaner No spring clean is complete without rolling up sleeves and tackling the bathroom. Keeping your tub and shower tiles fresh and sparkling is not only satisfying, it also keeps harmful bacteria and mold from forming in one of the home’s most vulnerable areas. This tub and tile cleaner uses environmentally friendly, natural ingredients, which help to scour away soap scum and hard water stains. Its fresh, citrus scent keeps everything smelling great, too. $5, Sprouts Farmers Market, 20

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fresh start personalized and fun, an Upper Valley home makes a great location even better


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2016

by Danielle Urbina photographs by Jesse Ramirez


hether it includes playing competitive rounds of board games in the media room, trying new recipes in the family-friendly kitchen, or soaking up some sun by the pool, this Upper Valley home encourages one of the simplest and most fulfilling joys in life—enjoying the company of family and friends. When building the transitional-style home, that’s just what designer Debbie Salome and homeowner Tina had in mind. “Tina and her family are very warm and loving people, and their lifestyle and likes are natural, warm, family tastes,” says Salome. “I wanted the house to give you a hug when you first walk in.” Though at the beginning of the project she didn’t have a specific design in mind, Tina knew she wanted a home that would facilitate entertaining, but that also had private spaces for herself and her two daughters. Tina had a great spot for her new home—a lot in the Upper Valley with a beautiful location and phenomenal front yard views—but the outdated ranch home sitting on it was beyond repair. Left: This Upper Valley home embraces a combination of rustic textures and materials like natural wood and stone. Designer Debbie Salome focused on using earthy tones on the exterior to integrate the home into its surroundings. Above: A heavy wood entry door complete with detailed carvings and windows welcomes homeowners and guests. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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Left: A faux finish on the accent wall brings the wow factor. Salome turned it up a notch by layering geometric patterns— on the pillows (below), drapery, and accent chair—with both wine-toned seating and scrolled wooden furniture, all from Casa Bella Home Furnishings.

“The existing residence on the land needed more work than was possible to be done, so we decided that our best option was to knock it all down and start over,” says Salome, who went to work making sure the new home would blend into the environment and occupy space better than the original one. “The prior residence was so much farther in front,” she says. “By doing the new design, we actually got better proportion and better spacing. It made a major difference.”

“I wanted the house to give you a hug when you first walk in.” —Debbie Salome Homeowner and designer’s vision of a home that would mesh well with its surrounding architectural environment came to life with a tan, stucco exterior bordered with stone accents. Debbie also included other materials like dark wood on the carport and wrought iron on the gate that leads to a custom-made, double entry door, also framed by meticulously placed stone pieces. Inside, gathering places were key—and there are several of them throughout the main living space downstairs. “The family gets together often,” says Tina. “I wanted a home that would allow entertaining and also had an open feel.” An open floor plan offers plenty of space, but also separates each room for its own purpose. Off the entryway, the formal dining room also includes a comfy sitting area for after-dinner coffee and conversation. To offset the surrounding white walls and white, coffered



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El Paso 820 Sunland Park Dr (915) 231–5836



TV host and Licensed General Contractor Amy Matthews has built and remodeled lots of homes over the years. As an expert, she knows better than anyone the value of working with professionals – like the ones at Ferguson. Our product experts will help you find the perfect products from the finest bath, kitchen and lighting brands in the world, so you can take pride in your home – on every level. Set up your appointment with Ferguson today, and let us show you the possibilities for your next project.

©2016 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. 0316 125663

Left: A custom-made cantera fireplace in the cozy great room is a family favorite. Natural light streams in through windows in the entry door, and coffered details on the ceiling harmoniously tie the great room in with the formal dining room.

ceiling, Salome added color with a textured, navy accent wall and wine-toned seating. Of course, no get-together in this house is complete without some time spent in the kitchen. “We love to cook, so of course the kitchen is one of my favorite areas of the house,” says Tina. Transitional style and functionality formed the game plan for the kitchen, which has a farmhouse feel but includes all of the necessary conveniences for this family of home cooks. Two back-to-back islands provide Tina and her daughters all the room they need to test out recipes and dish out homemade treats, and bar seating along one end of the two islands is a place to enjoy quick, informal meals. Because cooking is a family event, the entire area embraces the look of one large space—the fully equipped kitchen as well as a cozy breakfast area overlooking the back patio and the saltwater pool. What really stands out in this part of the home, however, are the distinctive style and color choices. “The color combinations were based off the concept of a farm-style kitchen,” says Salome. “We did a combina-

Shades of blue find the limelight in the kitchen, from the hood and glass tile backsplash (above), to the cabinetry of the double islands (right), which allow the family to cook in one area while guests sit and enjoy, away from the work zone. A decorative, faux-finished ceiling dotted with recessed lighting adds drama to the room.


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Transitional style and functionality formed the game plan for the kitchen, which has a farmhouse feel but includes all of the necessary conveniences for this family of home cooks. tion of the crackle effect on the cabinetry and a blue wash below the islands and on the hood, then we made it pop with a glass tile backsplash.” In the breakfast area, an expandable dining table, plush seating, and a gallery wall that displays a collection of the girls’ art (and other finds) all add to the warmth of the space. The home takes on even more of the family’s personal style from the moment SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


you reach the top of the steps of the private, upstairs wing. Disney mementos and framed lithographs line the hallways as a joyful reminder of the family’s time spent together. “My children and I have lots of happy memories from Disney,” says Tina. “We have been to the parks several times, and of course Disney movies were a must. When my youngest daughter got married last fall, her wedding was all Disney, from the dress to the wedding cake.” Even though one of her daughters is away at college, Tina wanted to be sure that the girls would always be able to return to their own spaces. The bedrooms on the second floor are suites—spacious rooms with full bathrooms and walk-in closets—that are personalized according to each daughter’s style. Window seats capture views of the outdoors. At the end of the hall is a place far removed from Mom’s downstairs master suite where the girls and their friends can hang out, watch movies, and play games. The all-inclusive media room has all the bells and whistles needed for entertaining, from theater seating to a kitchenette for snacks. Not surprisingly, Tina’s new home has

Above: As part of the expansive kitchen, a durable hardwood table seats up to 14 people, so there’s room for everyone during Sunday dinners. 30

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A staircase with eye-catching metal embellishments (above) leads to the upstairs wing and family media room (right), where there’s plenty of seating for movie watching and a separate game table for game nights.





Above: “One of Tina’s daughters asked for a loft bed for her bedroom, but I wanted to give her the grown-up version of that,” says Salome. The result is an elevated, refined design for the bedroom she calls “the princess room.”

already seen multiple Sunday dinners, cookouts, and pool parties. In the end, Salome says, the time spent planning and building a home from scratch was well worth the effort. “We took advantage of everything that was already here—the location and the view—and turned it into something that’s very wonderful, warm, and new.”

Below: A collection of original movie posters reflects the family’s love of all things Disney.



Leaders in ICF Concrete Homes Design Services Available Entire Home Remodels & Room Additions Lic. # 2 2 52 2 32

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Tina’s master bathroom includes a large, spacious vanity, a steam shower, and a soaking tub (above) from which she can watch TV.



Above, top: The backyard features everything the family needs to entertain outdoors, including a sparkling pool, an expansive patio, and a covered outdoor living area complete with a television and a fireplace. Above: Mosaic tiles designed to look like turtles liven up the pool.


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resources Interior Designer Design & Construction by Debbie Salome 915-525-1743 Appliances and Plumbing Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Carpet and Wood Flooring Carpet City Furniture Casa Bella Home Furnishings  Ironwork  Elite Ironworks Lighting Designer’s Mart  Pool Pools by Design Tile Carpet-N-Tile World “R”Us   Interceramic  

natural order inspired design is all about perspective by Jessica Muncrief photographs by Jesse Ramirez

The exterior of this Las Cruces home is a modern composition of whitewashed surfaces with slate and stone elements among rugged, desert surroundings. Architect and homeowner Heather used things like a large, wooden overhang on the porch to blend the home’s modern architecture with the New Mexican landscape. 36

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ast Coast transplants Heather and Bruce passed over coveted lots in their south Las Cruces neighborhood with views of the Organ Mountains, opting for the privacy of a plot tucked among the sand and brush of the desert hills. Without the mountains to distract, this family sees only the quiet beauty of the untamed landscape through the windows in the back of their home. That appreciation of natural simplicity echoes throughout the home that Heather, the university architect at New Mexico State University, designed and built with GL Green & Associates.

“We used materials that you can get easily, but we experimented and did some things that maybe Las Cruces isn’t used to seeing.” —Heather, homeowner



Right: Accented with midcentury modern décor and furnishings, the open central living area with its soaring ceilings and decorative skylights strikes a happy balance between rusticity and clean-lined modernism. Below: Outside, shapes and materials that echo the home’s interior design create a strong connection between indoor and outdoor space.

Left: The spacious floor plan gets a lift with the addition of an elevated loft. Beneath the loft’s overhang, storage space is cleverly sequestered behind a sliding door along the wall. 38

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Keeping in mind their lifestyle—which includes a 3-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter—Heather focused on stylish functionality and ease of use. “I’ve incorporated a lot of different elements [from] my practice back East that I just wanted to experiment with here,” she explains. While the home is decidedly modern, it doesn’t overlook the rugged and natural beauties inherent to life in New Mexico. Each clean-lined space is softened with an intentional curve, like the sculptural, freestanding bathtub in the master suite. A juxtaposition of earthy woods and natural stones warms the home’s contemporary, metal accents.

Each clean-lined space in the home is softened with an intentional curve. The façade, an intriguing mix of contemporary elements—flat roofs, a large overhang, and exposed slate—offsets the use of materials familiar to homes in the area. Heather calls it “a reserved modern.” Inside, the modernist vibe intensifies with an efficient floor plan, intentionally crisp lines, and a neutral color palette dominated by “welcoming grays.” Inside and out, Heather wove a careful narrative joined by repeating shapes, lines, and materials. “The entire house is very open, so we kept everything consistent, from the cabinetry, to the trim, to the colors, to the tile,” she explains. “It was important to have everything run throughout.” To that end, the cedar and pine ceiling elements on the interior extend outside to the porch overhang. The only exception to Heather’s consistent choice of wood appears on the front entry door. “It’s a knotty pine you would find in this area,” Heather explains. “We purposely left the graining exposed; eventually it will weather really beautifully on the exterior side. It’s my nod to the Southwest, an homage to our new home.” One of Heather’s favorite features, the aluminum and glass garage door, appears to glow when lit up at night. It’s a concept she borrowed from time working in Virginia, but while the style there was ultramodern with sleek silver metal, for her Southwestern

Below: The sleek island doubles as kitchen storage and adds prep space and room for the Bosch dishwasher. At the end of the island, an expanse of stainless steel in the full-sized refrigerator takes visual weight off the dark cabinetry.

Above: To keep with the home’s minimalist style, natural materials and vibrant colors bring the kitchen to life without too much added ornamentation. A stainless steel hood fan goes hand-in-hand with gray geometric tiles on the backsplash.


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residence Heather chose a warm bronze and repeated it across the exterior window trims, finishes, and hardware. On the interior space, she embraced the more modern look, replicating the concept but with satin nickel. Compared to other homes in the neighborhood, this one’s size is modest, yet its contemporary layout maximizes space. Heather’s design reduces hallways and includes wellplanned storage areas. She also incorporated creative multiuse spaces, like a laundry/mud room that does double duty as an office space as well as a lofted play area that keeps her kids’ messes from immediate sight. After dark, the loft’s front-facing view offers a sea of city lights, a nod to their more urban roots from back East. The heart of the home, however, is the open concept living space, a large rectilinear room dominated by an electric fireplace at one end and a stylishly efficient kitchen at the other. In the latter, Heather went with low-profile, stainless steel appliances carefully selected for ease of use around busy family and professional lives. The double refrigerator-freezer was purchased with bulk shopping in mind, while the Bosch dishwasher’s third tray creates 33 percent more storage space. In lieu of base cabinetry, outsized drawers accommodate better organization and access. Without the distraction of outlets, which are hidden beneath the kitchen’s cabinetry, a tile backsplash glows with ceramic and stainless steel tiles hand-selected by Heather to amp up the room’s personality. Wide sliding doors open the living space onto the back patio where concrete slabs lead SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Long soaks in the oval, freestanding tub come with a view, thanks to a long window built into the stone accent wall. His-and-hers vanities are decidedly minimalist with unembellished fixtures and metallic sconce lighting.

Above: The master bedroom is a nod toward midcentury modern design, with a Nelson bench along the wall and bedside tables with hairpin-style legs. 42

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out to an unusual landscaping choice. Coming from an area where home swimming pools are a rarity, Heather and Bruce haven’t decided if they’d like to include one here. Instead, they’ve used metal edging to outline the rectangular shape of a lap pool in their backyard. It currently serves as a visualization tool, but is also measured and divided for horseshoes, cornhole, and bocce. The geometric proportions harmonize with the home’s overall design, making it an interesting focal point in one of two different outdoor living spaces. (The other is a secluded, halfindoor, half-outdoor courtyard with a fireplace and a 6 x 7–foot sunken spa.)


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Above: A single row of mesmerizing flames rises from rocks in a narrow firebox in the living room.

Heather and GL Green & Associates created a spalike retreat outside of the master suite, complete with a hot tub, a fireplace, and a television. This indooroutdoor courtyard was part of Heather’s concept of fully immersing the home into the family’s new Las Cruces digs.

It all ties together in a design that unifies Heather and Bruce’s urban familiarity with the rustic charm and the slower pace of desert living. “Most of the things in and on the house are really simple,” Heather says. “We used materials that you can get easily, but we experimented and did some things that maybe Las Cruces isn’t used to seeing.” Thinking outside the box elicited a fresh perspective from the architect as well, who notes, “It took seeing things a little differently to make it our own.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: One of Heather’s favorite elements, the glass and aluminum garage door, reflects the colorful, glowing rays of desert light each evening.

resources Builder GL Green & Associates Cabinetry Sher-Wood Cabinetry Countertops Stone Masters Countertops Entry Door, Shower Door, and Interior Trim Rawson Builders Supply Fireplace and Outdoor Grill Western Stoves & Fireplaces Flashing and Sheet Metal Sheet Metal Products of Southern New Mexico Garage Door Toby’s Doors Gates and Chimney Cap Fabrication’s Our Initiative Lighting Designer’s Mart Plumbing Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Tile and Stone Installer Maravilla Custom Tile 46

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la bella vita a young family finds quiet living in the hills of Las Cruces

by Jessica Muncrief photographs by Jesse Ramirez


ative to Las Cruces, Jeramey Pummill grew up in the construction industry, learning from his father before starting his own electrical contracting business, JP Electric. After Pummill successfully built his family a couple of custom homes, however, his wife Dominique decided to trade in a career as a registered nurse for the custom home building trade. Their company, Luxe Homes and Interiors, launched in May 2014 and built six residences in Las Cruces this past year. Several of their projects, including an unexpectedly contemporary design with concrete finishes and black, floating cabinetry, have been featured in the Las Cruces Showcase of Homes. That home’s ultramodern build earned Luxe a SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Beauty is in the details: A series of gently curved arches make a statement in the main living area. Glass doors with wooden trim open up to an alluring, lighted courtyard.


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reputation for thinking outside the typical Southwestern style and staying abreast of modern building innovations. While Jeramey and Dominique’s new family home—completed last spring after a year of planning and nine months of construction—certainly appears more Mediterranean-Tuscan than modern, the young couple thoughtfully integrated contemporary living trends into its design. The Pummills chose to build west of town, looking out over both mountain and valley views. Instead of the elaborate, multitier tower entries typical of Tuscan-style homes in the area, this home’s façade is a flat plane of rough-hewn stone—a nod to the authentic, old country villas and estates more often seen in Europe. Its beauty lies in the rustic simplicity that rings true to the inspiration the couple gathered on excursions to the Italian countryside. The arched, knotty alder door opens, not into a grand foyer, but a charming courtyard

Above: Beginning at the entryway, the home exudes an old world feel, from the knotty alder front door, to rich hues in the art and furniture.

Homeowner Dominique Pummill draped the living room in terra-cotta, soft orange, and gold—the earthy tones that are the signature of Tuscan palettes. Three large picture windows showcase unobstructed views of the Las Cruces valley. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: The kitchen opens up to three different areas: the dining room, the living room, and the backyard. Twin islands are super-functional, and varying material bases provide visual interest.

strung with bulb lights. A stone fireplace creates a cozy ambience, and a staircase leads to a covered terrace that evokes an indoor feel except for the fresh breeze floating through its openair design. The space pays testament to the European lifestyle that blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Here in New Mexico, Jeramey says they enjoy it nearly year-round, with the exception of those couple of winter months when it’s just too chilly. Inside, the home is designed with family living in mind, whether that is everyday life with the couple’s energetic three-year-old daughter, Mia, or dur-


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Above: Behind the kitchen, a secluded dining room looks out to a sea of bright city lights. Rustic wooden furniture and wood-look tiled floors warm the neutrally toned walls.

The home’s beauty lies in the rustic simplicity that rings authentically true to the inspiration the couple gathered on excursions to the Italian countryside. ing the frequent visits from their large extended family. Deceptively formal finishes and cabinetry by local woodworker Ryan Major include a multitude of organizational tricks and kid-friendly hacks. A tug on a drawer in one of the kitchen’s two islands reveals deep, built-in canisters for storing cooking utensils. Another nearby cabinet hides Mia’s arts and crafts supplies. In the master bath, the drawers on Dominique’s vanity open


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Above: Elegant architectural elements are everywhere in this home, including the master bedroom, where intersecting beams draw the eyes upward. Taking advantage of the room’s placement, Jeramey added a door that leads out to the expansive backyard and patio.

Left: A spacious and luxurious layout makes the master bathroom a place for pampering. A soaking tub with a tile surround takes center stage, with a curbless, dual-entry shower right behind it.



Above the courtyard, decorative wrought iron and bright red curtains set the stage for a partially enclosed entertaining space with Tuscan appeal.


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Above: There’s more than one way to rinse off in this house—a private, open-air shower gives the couple the option to cool down outdoors.

into super-organized slots for makeup bottles and hair styling tools. In Mia’s bathroom, the lowest drawers pull out into stepping stools. When she is tall enough to reach the sink on her own, they’ll convert into storage space with just the twist of a screw. That same ease of living is echoed in the home’s layout, which Dominique describes as an intentional flow of traffic circles. In keeping with the traditional style (and Dominique’s love of hosting family gatherings for holidays) the home does have a formal dining room. Yet, with two entrances—one on each side of the kitchen—it’s not cut off from the hubbub of the main living spaces. It’s a floor plan concept that Dominique says has worked well when they’ve hosted large groups. Guest quarters in the casita, accessible from the house via the garage in bad weather, also help out when they’re hosting visitors. But most days, Jeramey and Dominique find themselves reveling in the simple joys of quiet family time. When SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


“It’s just a quieter type of living up here. It’s one of the main reasons we chose to build where we did.”—Jeramey Pummill not in their piazza-inspired courtyard, they gather in the kitchen and throw open the Dutch door to let the breeze in and frame that million-dollar view— not the one of the mountains and the valley below (although that’s nothing to scoff at), but the view of Mia and the family dog playing on a patch of grass in a backyard that seems to roll off into the desert landscape. “It’s just a quieter type of living up here,” Jeramey notes. “It’s one of the main reasons we chose to build where we did.”


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Left: Mia’s pinkand-gold bedroom is fit for a princess. Tea parties are the norm now, but as Mia gets older, the room can be easily transitioned and has plenty of storage in spaces like the windowside reading nook.

Left: Jeramey and Dominique Pummill with their daughter Mia, taking tea in their Las Cruces home.



Above: Synthetic turf keeps the backyard green all year long and gives Mia a safe place to play outdoors.

Dominique attributes at least part of their relaxed living to the rush they went through to get the home ready for the Showcase of Homes last May. That stressful moment ultimately turned into an unexpected blessing. “Everything had to be done and finished—no excuses,” she remembers. “But now we actually get to enjoy all of it. In the other homes we built for ourselves, there were always those last things we were eventually going to get around to, those final details that would make it complete. We can actually say that this home is done, and all we have to do is enjoy life in it.”

resources Builder and Interior Design Luxe Homes and Interiors Audio Video JP Electric Cabinetry Major Building Industries Countertops No Limit Granite Ironwork Hernandez Fencing Co. Landscaping Green Lizard, LLC Stonework Decorative Tile, LLC 60

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Left: There’s much to love about the home’s outdoor area, including desert landscaping, spectacular views of the Organ Mountains, and a casual outdoor kitchen for alfresco dining.

Su Libro

jump into


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, hardcover, $12

a tidying and decluttering expert launches her second book


fter the success of her first New York Times bestseller (The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up), organizing guru Marie Kondo is back with an illustrated guide to her world-famous KonMari Method— her take on the basics of tidying up and decluttering your home for good. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up is not only a tool guide for keeping your home tidy, but also an encyclopedia of information and illustration on how to maintain the organization of every room in the house. In this new book, Kondo explains her self-established KonMari Method in detail, while helping readers to follow the six basic rules of tidying: commitment; imagining your ideal lifestyle; discarding; tidying by category; following the right order; and of course, asking yourself if the items in your home really spark joy. “You could say that tidying orders the mind, while cleaning purifies it,” says Kondo. Her suggestion, then, is to tidy before that big spring clean that many homeowners tend to do to rejuvenate their spaces for a new season. The pages of Spark Joy help with that “tidying marathon” by using step-by-step directions for everything, from folding specific items of clothing, to organizing the most cluttered areas of the home, like closets, drawers, and kitchen cupboards. Because as Kondo says, “Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order.”—Danielle Urbina

“I don’t believe that kitchens have to be perfectly tidy all the time,” says Kondo, though she suggests focusing your attention on storing kitchen tools and dishes in organized drawers (far right) and cupboards.


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Natsuno Ichigo

For instant color, Kondo suggests adding fresh-cut flowers to keep things bright and natural in the kitchen and bath.


Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure, with Anne Maclachlan

New Orleans where the good times roll all year long you’ll see trees festooned with beads that missed their marks.” Gross adds another tip: “Ask your streetcar driver if he knows any good spots for po’boys or gumbo or anything else along his route. It’s a good bet he will.” Gross knows of what he speaks; food is a big deal here. It has been copied around the world, but New Orleans–style cuisine is best appreciated right where it originated. You can find great eats—traditional Cajun and Creole dishes like etouffee, jambalaya, and hearty seafood gumbo—at any number of small holes-in-the wall, or at Arnaud’s or Commander’s Palace for upscale versions of the same. Bars are ubiquitous in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter, with hurricanes and Sazeracs on almost every cocktail menu. (Check out recipes for a few of New Orleans’ favorite libations on page 76.) The snowball—fine ground ice drenched in syrup or condensed milk—is a curious confection. “Any time, it’s a treat, but in summer, it’s a survival tool!” says Gross, who says people line up for hours at Pandora’s Snowballs on North Carrollton Avenue. Another New Orleans must-have dessert: the hot, sugar-dusted beignets at Café du Monde, washed down with strong chicory coffee. The café closes only on Christmas day and, it claims, “when an occasional hurricane passes too

Stately courtyards and ornate wrought iron balconies and gates mark the Creole-style townhomes in the French Quarter.


Courtesy New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau


f the United States is a melting pot, then New Orleans is the spice in the dish. A city rich in history, the Big Easy has a blending of cultures, a highly influential music scene, and a unique local cuisine. The French Quarter, founded in 1718, is recognized as being the oldest part of the city. A designated National Historic Landmark, the iconic area runs along the Mississippi River. Within its renowned neighborhoods, you’ll discover lively, boozy, and energetic Bourbon Street; Creole-style townhomes with their fancy iron-enclosed balconies; Preservation Hall and its three-times-nightly jazz shows; and Jackson Square, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in The Cabildo, New Orleans’ old city hall. Most sights are easily seen on foot (determined sightseers with limited time can traverse the French Quarter in about three hours), via horse-drawn carriage, or by streetcar. “The St. Charles streetcar takes you down through the Garden District, which itself is both beautiful and historic, lined with mansions, schools, and churches well over a century old,” says Greg Gross, a New Orleans–born travel agent and owner of Trips by Greg. “It’s also one of the principal Mardi Gras parade routes, so for almost its entire length,

Courtesy New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fresh seafood and shellfish star in Lousiana favorites like gumbo (above), crawfish etouffee, and jambalaya. Below: Sample a bourbon cocktail at any number of establishments.

Held annually since 1970, Jazz Fest highlights the best in jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, and Afro-Caribbean music.

Cheryl Gerber

New Orleans never needs an excuse to party. Milling crowds take in the nightlife of the French Quarter all year long, not just during Mardi Gras.



The Garden District, with its stately Greek Revival, Italianate, and Craftsman-style architecture, exemplifies the old South.

resources New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Trips by Greg

The Big Easy calls to—and repeatedly brings back—visitors from around the country and the world. est years, a startling and haunting sight for those unaccustomed. Speaking of which, at St. Louis Cathedral you can hear the Holtkamp pipe organ, or you might run into one of its two resident spirits: Père Antoine, a former priest who is said to take morning strolls in the alley named after him; and Père Dagobert, a monk who sings “Kyrie” on rainy days. Kookyspooky New Orleans ghost tours can be picked up almost anywhere—a testament to the city’s often mysterious and haunted past. New Orleans loves to party—not even Katrina could postpone the world-famous Mardi Gras celebration, during which parades with wildly decorated floats process through the streets filled with throngs of people milling shoulder to shoulder. For those not keen on mega crowds and happier to experience live music, the renowned New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is just the ticket. Held annually since 1970, Jazz Fest highlights the best in jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, and Afro-Caribbean music, along with some folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, and even bluegrass. Resilient, magical, and always up for a good time, New Orleans welcomes you with wide open arms, a stiff drink, and a whole lotta soul. 66

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Riding the streetcars is a great way to learn your way around the city and pick up locals’ tips on best places to eat. Below: The Endymion, Bacchus, Rex, and Zulu parades are among the most popular during Mardi Gras.

Courtesy New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

close.” Indeed, though only minimally damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans institution closed for two months in 2005. Its reopening signaled a sense of recovery and rebirth for the city as a whole. The natural environment has shaped New Orleans distinctly in many ways, most recently by Katrina, but also for centuries by its soft soil and propensity for flooding. Above-ground cemeteries like the three Roman Catholic St. Louis Cemeteries have been necessary since the city’s earli-


PERFORMANCE April through June

and choreographed by Tony Award– winner Andy Blankenbuehler, tells the family-friendly story of Joseph’s trials and tribulations while teaching valuable life lessons. Don’t miss this magical, colorful performance full of outstanding vocal and dance performances.


Former contestant and champion of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Felipe Esparza has embarked on a worldwide comedy tour, entertaining audiences with his animated humor. This spring, Esparza takes the stage in El Paso with his often-relatable comedic show about Latino life, as seen on popular shows including The Tonight Show and Comics Without Borders. APRIL 17, TIM HAWKINS, 6 pm, ABRAHAM CHAVEZ THEATRE, EL PASO

After giving up his job as a grocery truck driver, comedian Tim Hawkins decided to go in a completely different direction with his life. Over the years, Hawkins has crafted a no-bones comedy act that has entertained thousands of fans across the country. With both musical talent and a knack for parody, Hawkins rattles off his own comedic versions of hits by country stars like Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. APRIL 26, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, 7:30 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the reimagining of the biblical story of Joseph, his brothers, and a coat of many colors. This new production, directed 68

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Spencer Theater to perform the latest in concert repertoire and contemporary jazz. MAY 13, CELTIC WOMAN, 7:30 pm, PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Back by popular demand, this all-female Irish ensemble returns to El Paso to perform as part of The Destiny Tour, while also celebrating the release of their new album, DESTINY. DESTINY honors Ireland’s past but also brings a contemporary edge to old and beloved songs. The show will feature world-class vocalists, Celtic violinists, and dancers for a fusion of Irish culture.


If you didn’t already know, El Paso is home to one of the largest craft beer festivals in West Texas; this year, the festival teams up with El Paso Live to give the festival a new home in Convention Center Plaza with more space for craft beer enthusiasts from El Paso and Southern New Mexico. This year’s event will feature selections from 60 local and national breweries, two stages of live music, art vendors, and food trucks. Designated drivers can purchase a ticket for a reduced price. APRIL 30, 1ST ARMORED DIVISION BAND, 7 pm, SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO

Based in Fort Bliss, Texas, the 1st Armored Division Band—an ensemble of 52 enlisted soldier musicians and vocalists—performs historical, patriotic tunes to provide support to deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. This spring, the “Old Ironsides” band will grace the stage at the


You won’t want to miss a chance to see iconic British rockers The Cure as they make their way to El Paso this spring. After a wildly successful run of more than 20 years, The Cure is now touring the country for the first time since 2008 with a show that promises fan favorites (like “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Friday I’m In Love”), mixed

hits, and previously unreleased tracks.



One of El Paso’s biggest festivals is back again this year with five stages of live music ranging from rock and alternative to country and Latin. Headlining this year’s festival are Seether and Goo Goo Dolls, with opening acts by Neon Trees and Collective Soul. Other festival features include a car show at the Convention Center, as well as dozens of vendors and local eats.

Every piece is unique and special Pandora I Candles I Fabulous Furs I Holiday Gifts and Much Much More

915 584 1183

7933 N. Mesa Suite N El Paso, TX 79932 Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm


For more than 40 years, James Taylor has wowed fans and audiences with his personalized style of guitar playing and distinct, baritone voice. Over the course of his career, Taylor has earned gold, platinum, and multiplatinum awards for his music, sold more than 100 million albums, and won five Grammys. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer makes his way to El Paso for one memorable night this June. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena


under the


May is Skin Cancer Detection Month. Are you taking measures to protect yourself?


kin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States—not surprising, given Americans’ collective love of the outdoors and our shared reluctance to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Unfortunately, a wide variety of people will fall victim to the ultraviolet rays that damage the layers of their skin. Each year, over 3.5 million people will be checked and found to have basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell skin carcinoma, and roughly 73,000 of those diagnosed also typically harbor the more dangerous melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cancers refer to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in layers of the skin, and both typically develop in areas that are exposed most in the sun: the face, neck, and the back of the hands. Basal cells are slow to grow and usually shallow. Squamous cells can go deeper, but like basal, can be treated if found early. Melanoma begins in the cells that make the skin pigment (known as melanin), which gives skin its color and protects deeper layers from the sun. Melanoma can also develop and grow in other parts of the skin, even those not exposed to the sun. While curable in its early stages, melanoma is more likely to spread. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is the cause of most skin cancer deaths, at over 10,000 per year.


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by Cassie McClure

Basal cell and squamous cancers typically develop in areas that are exposed most in the sun: the face, neck, and the back of the hands. Local expert Dr. Adrian Guevara at Sun City Dermatology suggests some tips to make the most of the sunny season while still caring for your skin. First, consider sunscreen to be the extra barrier for your skin that you have the ability to create. Reapply every two hours, more if you swim or sweat heavily. In the sweltering summer, enjoy your air conditioning, and try to avoid direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm. Finally, since 85 percent of a lifetime’s sun exposure is gained by the age of 18, be a model to the children in your life and help them adopt good sunscreen habits.

resources MountainView Regional Medical Center Sun City Dermatology The Hospitals of Providence



Su Cocina

by Jessica Muncrief

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez


in the garden

The Kitchen at 150 Sunset adds another dimension to the chic El Paso nursery

The beautiful location at 150 Sunset Nursery adds beauty and charm to this stunning restaurant.

Innovative breakfast dishes and traditional favorites like omelets pair well with Lavazza specialty coffee drinks.

W Since The Kitchen at 150 Sunset opened just over a year ago, it has created its own French farmhouse–style niche in the El Paso dining scene.


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ith lush botanicals and twinkling white lights draped across an oversized industrial space, 150 Sunset was flooded with requests to host weddings and parties on the premises when it first opened. For this West El Paso boutique nursery and landscape design company—with an on-site kitchen in place—adding an event venue to the repertoire seemed like a natural progression, and opening a restaurant the logical next step after that. Among the nursery’s potted plants and trees, The Kitchen at 150 Sunset pairs its tucked-away location with rustic finishes and eclectic wall hangings, creating a vibe restaurant manager Ramiro Gomez calls “organic, with a very French farmhouse feel.” It’s an unexpected theme amid the West Texas mix of steakhouses and Mexican joints, but its distinct ambience has been well received in the time it’s been open—just over a year.

The Kitchen’s covered patio welcomes diners for all occasions, including monthly themed dinners, all-day brunch, and special events.

The Kitchen’s culinary concept centers on “creative food with a healthy twist.” Because the facility is often booked on weekend evenings, the restaurant only serves breakfast and lunch, but, as Gomez notes, those hours help them fill a niche. “There’s not a whole lot of good breakfast places in town,” he says. “I think we’re really filling a void in El Paso.”

On weekends, favorable online reviews draw in a steady stream of brunchers seeking the off-menu, weekend specials like eggs benedict and steak and eggs. Breakfast options range from the wholesome apple berry granola served with steamed milk or yogurt, to the decadently indulgent challah French toast topped with seasonal berries, chantilly cream, and berry gastrique. Breakfast is served all day, and soups, salads, and sandwiches are available starting at 11. And since 150 Sunset doubles as an event venue, the restaurant holds a full liquor license. If you’re one of the folks who visited the eatery when it first opened, you might recall ordering at a walk-up counter. That Challah French toast served with chantilly cream and berry gastrique will delight any sweet tooth.

Above: The apple berry granola offers diners a healthy option without sacrificing flavor. Left: Citrus tuna atop a bed of mixed greens, avocado, jicama, oranges, and pistachios. With an emphasis on locally sourced sustainable foods, The Kitchen is truly a part of the El Paso community.

resources The Kitchen at 150 Sunset concept has since evolved into full table service that lends sophistication to the casual garden atmosphere which, during the week, attracts business professionals and young mothers who live in the neighborhood. On weekends, favorable online reviews draw in a steady stream of brunchers seeking the offmenu, weekend specials like eggs benedict and steak and eggs. Chef Andrea Heras, a graduate of the EPCC culinary program, cut her teeth working at The Greenery before taking over The Kitchen. Foodies eager to sample Heras’s supper skills can attend regular wine dinners, hosted on the last Thursday of each month. The wine selections are built around a varietal, a region, or a particular vineyard, while the upscale menus aim to include ingredients uncommonly served in the area—think elk, rabbit, and lamb. As the weather starts to heat up, Ramiro says to expect even more from The Kitchen at 150 Sunset, which plans to start hosting live music. Look for repeats of fun social events like the Bend Into Brunch yoga class held on 150 Sunset’s grass lawn, and a Thursday evening “brinner” (breakfast-for-dinner) tasting that sold out quickly last year. From flowers to weddings to delicious eats, it’s worth a visit to see this eclectic El Paso business’s modern take on the one-stop shop. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



by James Selby

common “cents” wine storage keeping your wines in top shape when custom storage isn’t an option


n any given day, if drinking wine is not an afterthought, then how and where to store your bottles shouldn’t be either. But unless you’re investing to collect fine wine and mature expensive bottles, a few simple solutions can keep your everyday or even special occasion wines ready and sound. A good place to start is to determine how much wine you need to stow. Then choose a cool, dry area where a bookcase might fit. Could you perhaps sacrifice a closet or a portion of a dry basement? Use the modified Goldilocks principle: not too hot; not too cold; just consistent. Kitchens and laundry rooms, generally, are too warm, and heat can “cook” your wine, making it taste stewy. Conversely, don’t keep wine where it might freeze, like an unheated garage. Air conditioning helps to cool and dehumidify, and a temperate 70 degrees is fine; minor fluctuations are not a worry. Avoid direct sunlight, as the UV rays can break down and age wine. That’s why many bottles are dark green. (Think Ray-Bans® for wine.)

Use the modified Goldilocks principle: not too hot; not too cold; just consistent.

Courtesy Pottery Barn

Traditionally, bottles are stored on their sides to keep the corks moist and sealed from air, which will oxidize wine. But for immediate or short-term consumption, they’re fine standing up for as long as two years. Modern closures like screw caps and plastic corks don’t require lying down, though horizontal storage is more efficient. Magazines and wine websites advertise numerous options like home bars with wine shelves, stackable modules, and wall-mounted or standalone units providing attractive, easy access to your bottles. Optimally, temperature-controlled systems maintain an even 55 degrees. A small wine fridge may hold a case or two of your special wines. Larger cabinets can accommodate 100–200 bottles with dual zones for whites and reds. If you outgrow these—as wine enthusiasts often do—you may be in the market for a professional-grade, custom-built cellar—but that’s a whole other story. Above: Wine racks come in all shapes and sizes. If your storage needs are modest, you may opt for aesthetics as well as function. Each Singular Modular Iron Wine Rack ($12, Pottery Barn, holds one bottle; link them together into a decorative vertical chain.


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Left: No larger than a dishwasher, a small wine refrigerator fits neatly into cabinetry. Many hold up to 50 bottles and offer dual temperature zones.

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.

Su Cocina

by Danielle Urbina

a taste of New Orleans three cocktails rich in the flavor and history of the Big Easy

There’s history in every corner of New Orleans, from the French Quarter to the Garden District, but history can also be traced back to the spirited cocktails of the area. Many of the city’s most famous concoctions were either invented or perfected in several iconic bars along Bourbon Street and elsewhere. In these authentically delicious cocktails, rich spirits are tempered (slightly!) with ingredients like fresh herbs, sugar, and bitters for drink combinations that are modest and flavorful, and classically New Orleans.

Mint Julep Pimm’s Cup Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liquor infused with herbal botanicals, spices, and caramelized orange, is the star of Pimm’s Cup, which was originally created in London by English bartender James Pimm. Thousands of miles away and many years later, New Orleans bars have adopted the cocktail (naturally adding their own distinctive twists), making Pimm’s Cup a wildly popular drink choice in places like Napoleon House and Carousel Bar and Lounge. Napoleon House keeps things simple, with just a slice of cucumber as garnish, while Carousel Bar gives the cocktail an edge by adding seasonal fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple.

Makes 1 cocktail 2 oz Pimm’s No. 1 4 oz lemon-lime soda or ginger ale Lemon juice to taste English cucumber and fresh fruit (optional) to garnish Over ice, fill a highball glass with Pimm’s No. 1, then combine with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add slices of English cucumber and seasonal fruit to garnish. 76

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Sure, the mint julep is often associated with the Kentucky Derby, but this refreshing classic is as much at home in other parts of the South, including New Orleans. This seemingly simple combination of mint, bourbon, and syrup is taken seriously by mixologists all around the city—most notably by bartender Chris McMillian, who has earned celebrity status in NOLA for his ability to craft what many say is the perfect mint julep.

Makes 1 cocktail 1 oz minted simple syrup 2 cups crushed ice 2 oz bourbon 1 sprig of fresh mint In a highball or silver julep cup, combine minted simple syrup, 1 cup of crushed ice, bourbon, and a splash of water. Add the remaining ice to the top of the glass and garnish with fresh mint.

Sazerac Known to many as one of America’s first cocktails, the Sazerac packs a powerful punch, but is also a cocktail that allows enthusiasts to fully enjoy the flavors of rye whiskey and absinthe. The Sazerac was first invented in a New Orleans apothecary in 1838 by Antoine Peychaud, and then later changed by bartender Leon Lamothe in 1873, who added the distinct flavor of anise by using absinthe. Today, this quintessential New Orleans classic is enjoyed by tourists and locals all over the city (especially in the Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel) and holds the honor of being the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans.

Makes 1 cocktail 3 oz rye whiskey 3/4 oz simple syrup Peychaud bitters to taste Absinthe Chill an old fashioned glass by filling it with ice and letting it sit while preparing the cocktail. In a separate mixing glass, muddle the simple syrup and bitters together. Add the rye whiskey and ice to the bitters mixture and stir. Discard the ice in the chilled glass and rinse with absinthe by pouring a small amount into the glass, swirling it around, and discarding the liquor. Strain the whiskey mixture into the old fashioned glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

resources WB Liquors & Wine



continued from page 16

Bill Faulkner

Built into a corner of the home’s great room, this unique bar’s personality derives from rich, dark wood and Azul Bahia granite.

Of course, a few key elements are necessary to make a home bar fully functional. Villarreal suggests abundant and varied storage for wine and liquor bottles, as well as all the gadgets necessary for creating the perfect drink. Ample drawer storage will hide tools not in use, like muddlers, jiggers, and strainers. Some nonessential conveniences include bar sinks, icemakers, stem glass holders, and plenty of counter space for bartending. Although a variety of alcoholic spirits will stay fresh if kept in a cool place away from sunlight, many home bar owners also include a small refrigerator to store wines, vermouth, and beer. “A home bar area . . . is a way to enjoy the mere essence of life—existence,” says Villarreal. And nothing says “living is easy” like the luxury of enjoying a cocktail in the comfort of your own home.

resources A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Designs by L.L. Power & Associates


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Bill Faulkner

Granite & Marble by COMAF

Spring 2016 Advertisers 150 Sunset - Nursery......................................back cover A-1 Kitchens by Sierra....................................................13 Acme Brick..........................................................................41 Artistic Entryways.............................................................34 Atrium Wrought Iron...................................................60 Bank 34.................................................................................57 Bella Vista Custom Homes..........................................27 Builders Source Appliance Gallery...............................1 C & D Southwest Lumber Corp...............................46 Classic New Mexico Homes...........................................3 Closet Factory.....................................................................52 Comprehensive Varicose Veins..................................70 Copenhagen.......................................................................42 Cornerstone Home Lending.......................................29 Crown Heritage Homes................................................34 Decorating Den...............................................................44 Design & Construction by Debbie Salome............30 Designs by L.L. Power & Assoc...................................17 Diemer Remodeling.......................................................63 DWS Building Supply.....................................................31 Edible Arrangements......................................................78 El Paso Association of Builders..................................80 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery..........26 GL Green & Associates..................................................39 Granite & Marble by COMAF...................................56 Guzman’s Color Your World......................................70 Habitat for Humanity.....................................................63 HPS Audio and Video...................................................45 ICON Custom Builder, LLC.....................................61 Johnny’s Septic...................................................................57 K.D. Scholten Company................................................42 Las Cruces Awning Co....................................................4 Las Cruces Home Builders .........................................47 Lighting Gallery.................................................................59 McCormick Architecture................................................4 McGinley Construction.................................................32 Members Trust - Geronimo...........................................9 Mesilla Valley Design Center.......................................33 Milliken Construction....................................................35 Morrison Supply................................................................15 MountainView Regional Medical Center...............71 Myriam’s Faux Finish Studio........................................21 Nothing Bundt Cakes.....................................................79 Nuovo Cappetto...............................................................78 Outdoor Fire Concepts..................................................41 Pella Window & Door.....................inside front cover Plasterqueen......................................................................40 Pointe Homes.....................................................................53 Ponderosa Furniture..........................inside back cover Quiñones Design / Build..........................................5, 29 Rawson Building Supply.................................................58 Ross Landers Interiors....................................................52 Security National Mortgage.........................................43 Sher-Wood Fine Wood Designs.................................55 Silver Springs Pool & Spa................................................8 Southwest Greens of NM...........................................60 Southwestern Home Products...................................28 Spencer Theater.........................................................69, 75 Stone Masters....................................................................45 Stonehouse Granite & Marble....................................30 Stout Hardwood Floor Co............................................54 The Hospitals of Providence.......................................67 The Kitchen at 150 Sunset............................................79 The Iron Snail....................................................................32 ThePatio..............................................................................44 Torres Welding.................................................................46 Tropicana Homes.............................................................19 Vanities................................................................................69 WB Liquors & Wine......................................................77 Western Stoves & Fireplaces.........................................11 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Casa South Spring 2016 | Digital Edition  
Su Casa South Spring 2016 | Digital Edition