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spring essentials:

El Paso & Southern New Mexico


lounging ®

inspiration ideas resources

old world elegance in West El Paso

stepping it up   stairs with flair



Vol. 5 no. 2 SPRING 2017

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El Paso & Southern New Mexico


inspiration ideas resources


Brian Wancho

34 On the cover: Every corner of this elegant West El Paso home offers a visual treat. Read all about it on page 34. Photograph by Brian Wancho.

34 the sky’s the limit

Tuscan-inspired design and old world flair in West El Paso.

50 industrial revolution

A minimalist finds her place—and her design style—in the Mesilla Valley.

in every issue 4



Inside Su Casa Life+Style Southwest

An El Paso backyard overhaul; stylish stair options; Steve Thomas designs a garden with purpose; Alexa and Google Assistant are here to help manage your life.

Design Studio

Bonsai trees as art; the essentials of the man cave; a colorful Q+A with Moll Anderson; dark color palettes are trending; contemporary design; sinks that wow; chic outdoor seating for spring.

We review Moll Anderson’s newest book, Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ With Color: What’s Your Color Story?

Discover Napa, California, one sip at a time; climbing, flowering vines for your landscape; running “takes off” in the Southwest; the return of the brightly colored grosbeaks to West Texas and Southern New Mexico.

62 64


74 2

Su Libro

Vida Buena

Live Performance Calendar

Cirque du Soleil, Cinderella, and other events happening April through July.

Su Cocina

Get your health kick on at Nosh; savory cocktails for spring. S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017



Jeff Katz Photography

Inside Su Casa

anything is possible


Bruce Adams



S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017


he arrival of spring helps shake off the winter doldrums and catapults us into thinking about our home within a new season. For many, this might mean beginning the process of building or remodeling. Every homeowner knows that there’s always something to do, re-do, or enhance in our existing homes. It’s all part of our quest to create and enjoy our dream home. This issue of Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is chock-full of interesting ideas you can apply to your home, both inside and out. You can go big or you can go small. You can go rustic or you can go contemporary. You can even do both. In this issue we see different kinds of homeowners. For some, a contemporary minimalist approach with fewer things in a smaller space offers practical advantages and, one might say, a simpler lifestyle. In another story, we feature a lavish house that’s designed to hold many treasures and be visually stimulating. Within our spaces, we have access to every design option under the El Paso sun. What I find fascinating is how some homeowners are effectively mixing old and new. Wrought iron, for example, can be used with traditional designs or can offer a contemporary detail. You will see how one homeowner used a large warehouse-style door to completely open her house to the outdoors, combining a semiindustrial look with a very livable feature. It’s all possible, and in many cases more affordable than you might think. At this time of year, this same principle can be applied to the rebirth of our backyards. Claude Monet, the French impressionist painter, personally designed a garden at his estate from which he could paint colorful scenes. In designing our own garden areas, a little thought goes a long way and creates a lasting and rejuvenating picture of beauty. I planted purple and gold irises in my yard that bloom during the NBA playoffs. Purple and gold are my team’s colors. Anything is possible. This issue is but a stepping-stone into your own imagination and what you can do to enhance your home and your life. Let your dreams begin.

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Business Development Bob Skolnick Managing Editor Amy Gross Editor Danielle Urbina Contributing Editor Amanda Jackson Contributors Catherine Adams, Kimberly AmRhein Ben Ikenson, Frances Madeson Cassie McClure, R. Monroe Jessica Salopek, Tom Smylie Steve Thomas Art/Production Director B. Y. Cooper Graphic Designers ValĂŠrie Herndon, Allie Salazar Photography Nohemy Gonzalez, Jesse Ramirez Brian Wancho

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

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 Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 05, Number 2, Spring 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 Ben Ikenson

photographs by Brian Wancho


homecoming a total backyard transformation is the perfect welcome home for an El Paso native

With layers of lush, green foliage surrounding the pool, this landscape redesign hits all the right notes for homeowner Edward Orona’s new personal oasis. 6

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prominent business executive with a major publicly traded company, El Paso native Edward Orona has done his share of globe-trotting, but last spring came home to West Texas to roost. “I’ve worked and lived throughout the world and most recently in Mexico and South America, but I have always wanted to return home,” says Orona. “The diversity, the culture, the very relaxed atmosphere—El Paso is truly a hidden and unique gem.” Last May, Orona bought a single-story home in a private West El Paso neighborhood, perched on a small lot with commanding views of his hometown and the surrounding desert landscape. While the location was ideal, the backyard was dated and required work. He wanted help designing a remodel of the entire space—which included a swimming pool, a deck, and an outdoor kitchen—to create a luxurious and tranquil retreat that would capitalize on the stunning panorama. So he turned to El Paso–based Bomanite Artistic Concrete, which specializes in architectural concrete, swimming pools, and outdoor spaces, and has been serving clients in Texas and New Mexico for more than 30 years. “They had a lot of great suggestions,” remembers Orona. “They have been doing what they do for a long time, so they really have a good artistic eye and know the ins and outs of what will work and how to accomplish it.” “With Mr. Orona’s place, we could see right away that the space had excellent potential,” recalls Aaron Echaniz, president of Bomanite. “But as it was, it lacked cohesion due to the fact that it had too many different types of materials. There were various types of tile, concrete, and stone that had been used, and the presence of some overgrown plants and oddly placed gardens made it seem very disjointed.”

Above: Steps away from the outdoor kitchen, a concrete-topped dining table seats plenty for al fresco–style family gatherings.

“I wanted a very relaxing atmosphere for myself to be able to kick back and enjoy, but it is also a perfect setting for gatherings with friends and family.” —Edward Orona

Thanks to stunning panoramic views from every part of the backyard, one of Orona’s new favorite pastimes is simply sitting back and taking in the beauty of his hometown.



In other words, the space was cluttered and required the elimination of many existing features. In June, Echaniz and his crew began work with the demolition and removal of beams, wrought iron, planters, the pool deck, the patio, countertops, and some trees. Next the team installed a new concrete pool deck and a colorfully patterned patio using ashlar and English slate, as well as graceful curbing and colored concrete walkways. Existing planters were topped with decorative concrete caps. Altogether, the additions helped establish an aesthetically graceful fluidity to the previously disjointed backyard.

Altogether, the various additions —a new deck, curbing, landscaping, and more—helped establish an aesthetically graceful fluidity to the previously disjointed backyard. In addition, the Bomanite team worked to enhance an existing outdoor kitchen by adding stone veneer, a concrete countertop, and a new Lynx barbecue grill. The kitchen was also reconfigured to accommodate the installation of a Big Green Egg ceramic grill, an ice bin, and two sets of stainless steel doors for storage beneath the counter. As a crowning touch, a curved concrete mantel was added above a resurfaced fireplace. Throughout the backyard, the team updated the landscaping by planting a variety of sago and Arizona fan palms, silver-leaf ligustrum, dwarf boxwood trees, crepe myrtles, and an artful array of colorful flowering plants. By summer, the outdoor space had been completely transformed, offering up a spectacle of lush elegance that provides a sense of peace and tranquility. “I wanted a very relaxing atmosphere for myself to be able to kick back and enjoy, but it is also a perfect setting for gatherings with friends and family,” Orona says. “This is definitely a great spot to unwind at the end of the day.”

As part of the new design aesthetic, a small lawn counterbalances other elements, such as the garden beds and hardscaping near the outdoor dining area.

When he’s not enjoying his bright aqua pool with its new concrete deck, Orona enjoys a “front yard” comfort, his red Ferrari (below).

resources Bomanite Artistic Concrete Left: The sprawling outdoor kitchen offers several amenities, including a cozy fireplace and lounge area where Labrador Hudson enjoys catching some rays. 8

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017

Life+Style Southwest

by Jessica Salopek

stair flair

“step up” your style with modern materials and innovative design


ombining gracious harmony, form, and function, the staircase is an architectural masterpiece that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Whether you’re doing a little updating or pulling ideas for a new build, think beyond wooden newels and balusters. In more ways than one, the staircase can take your home to a whole different level.

Current building trends are leaning toward increased functionality and no-wastedspace floorplans, and the staircase fits right in. Ricardo Bocardo of Atrium Wrought Iron has been building staircases in El Paso for 15 years. He says that more often than not, when Atrium is called in to remodel a staircase, they are switching out wood for metal. “The good thing about wrought iron is that it works in both the traditional homes that have been popular in El Paso forever, as well as the more modern styles that we’re seeing more and more of,” says Bocardo. “If we’re doing a remodel, we’re usually replacing the wooden balusters with wrought iron or even cable railings. We’ve also started using stainless steel and aluminum in staircases because those materials really match the clean, straight lines that fit into modern design.” Bocardo also points out that the contemporary craze has homeowners shifting their balusters (also sometimes referred to as pickets or spindles) from vertical to horizontal, and opting for dark grays, browns, silvers, and coppers over a traditional black finish. Homebuilder Carlos Villalobos, owner of Pointe Homes, adds that getting creative with staircase


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017

Bill Faulkner

Left: In this Las Cruces home, wooden stairs get a lift from festive inlaid tiles in various patterns. A wrought iron railing is an added Southwestern touch.

Rudy Torres

In this entryway, architecture shines— the shape and structure of this elegant, winding staircase holds its own without too many added embellishments.

Courtesy Interceramic

Bill Faulkner

Above: To create a stunning focal point in the foyer, the owners of this home opted for a heavily embellished iron railing and detailed carving in the wood, with a metallic finish.

Left: An exposed brick wall adds texture to this stairway, where metal risers give the space a nuanced industrial look.

design isn’t limited to the railings and pickets. “One of my favorite looks is using one material for the tread and then something else for the risers,” he explains. “For example, I’ll use Crema Marfil marble tile on the steps and then pick a really neat designer tile for the risers.” Villalobos also cautions that while using wood for the steps is always in style, the bullnose on the edge is likely to get banged up and dented over time. If you’re sold on the look of wood, consider faux wood porcelain tiles or adding a carpet stairway runner. Modern staircases aren’t just focused on aesthetics. Current building trends are leaning toward increased functionality and no-wastedspace floorplans, and the staircase fits right in. “If you’re able to use the space under a stairway, why not include a storage closet or a pantry?” Villalobos offers. “What’s really nice is incorporating bookshelves, especially if they are facing a living area or somewhere you spend a lot of time, because then you’re enjoying the staircase not just when you come in the door or when you’re walking up the stairs, but also when you’re enjoying the rest of the home.”

resources Atrium Wrought Iron Pointe Homes Torres Welding 12

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017

continued on page TK

Design Studio

by R. Monroe

small satisfactions bonsai—an ancient art with modern appeal


on’t be fooled by their small stature; bonsai trees are proof that good things come in small pots. First things first: bonsai are not dwarf versions of full-sized trees; they’re normal specimens that have been carefully tamed, trimmed, and pruned into miniature versions of their full-size counterparts. (Technically, “bonsai” refers to the practice of miniaturizing trees, not the tree itself.) It actually takes quite a bit of daily effort and careful attention to detail to keep the trees small, healthy, and balanced-looking, but enthusiasts, known as bonsaiists, say that’s what provides the most satisfaction.

Far from being typical houseplants, bonsai trees are exotic centerpieces and a form of natural art in the home.

Above: When it comes to caring for bonsai trees, most species require bright light, loose, fast-draining bonsai mix soil, and fertilizer. Bonsai enthusiasts, called bonsaiists, take pride in the careful pruning and cultivation the trees require. 14

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In general, a bonsai should look ancient, even if it isn’t actually all that old—an affect created by carefully tweaking the tree’s trunk and bark. Tree miniaturization has existed as an art form in Asia for nearly 2,000 years. Originating in China, it was soon adopted and refined by the Japanese. Its rise in the United States dates back to the 1940s and ’50s, when during the war and subsequent occupation of Japan, U.S. Army officers and their wives took courses in traditional Japanese cultural practices, including bonsai. These days, bonsai enthusiasts congregate at local meetings and show off their craftsmanship at exhibitions and shows. Texas boasts at least six regional bonsai clubs comprising hundreds of members, including the Houston Bonsai Society; in New Mexico members of the Albuquerque Bonsai Club get together at monthly meetings. Woody perennials are preferred, but many different kinds of plants can work as a bonsai. The tabletop size is the most prominent in popular culture, but bonsai trees can range in size from a few inches to up to four feet tall. Expert bonsaiists take care to coax their trees into specific shapes

inspired by trees in nature: kengai or cascadestyle trees, are modeled to look as though they’re growing on the side of a mountain, while fukinagashi, or windswept trees, are styled to look as though they’re buffeted by strong winds. In general, a bonsai should look ancient, even if it isn’t actually all that old—an affect created by carefully tweaking the tree’s trunk and bark. When selecting a bonsai specimen from a nursery or from the wild, pay especially close attention to the trunk; look for an attractive trunk-to-base taper and appealing bark. Foliage should be in good condition, and roots should appear to grip the ground. Traditionally, bonsai trees are grown in shallow pots or trays. It takes quite a bit of work to maintain the miniaturist shape— pruning roots and branches, nipping new shoots, shaping existing growth, and watering multiple times a day in hot Southwestern climates. But bonsai is more about the process than the end result, as a Japanese writer noted around 970 CE: “It is only when [a tree] is kept close to human beings who fashion it with loving care that its shape and style acquire the ability to move one.”

resources Houston Bonsai Society Albuquerque Bonsai Club

Above: A bonsai tree’s container not only helps to maintain root structure, but also adds to its aesthetic appeal.

Design Studio

man cave essentials

personality-filled spaces offer a place for the guys to get away

Bill Faulkner


Above: This man cave is all about friendly competition, with a billiards table, a versatile game table, and a small wet bar close by for game nights. Above, top: Masculine and refined, this space covers all the “guy basics”: a full bar, a flat-screen TV, leather seating, and wooden accents for a darker ambience and easier TV watching.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017

ids have their playrooms, “she sheds” are becoming more common for women, but men still claim rights to the man cave. The term is broad, often something as simple as an office for the man of the house. But with extra space, planning, and creativity, some men take the concept much further. According to Sherry Franzoy of Decorating Den Interiors, the most important aspect of the man cave is light—or to be more correct, the lack of it. “Hence the ‘cave,’” she says with a smile. It’s not that man cave dwellers sit in their designated masculine spaces shrouded in complete darkness all the time, but generally speaking, they want the ability to control light very specifically. “There may be a task light hanging directly over the pool or ping-pong table, or track lighting in the bar area,” Franzoy explains. “And everything should be on a dimmer switch,” agrees Lynda Power of Designs by L.L. Power and Associates. Gadgets and automation are key —“especially the window blinds.” The other fundamental aspect, explains Power, is that once a man ventures into his man cave he wants to have every amenity he needs right at hand so he doesn’t have to emerge for hours—the term “need” being defined broadly. Some man cave amenities are considered standard—mini-fridges, microwaves, ice makers, wet bars—while others are more fanciful—free-standing popcorn machines and humidors. One of Power’s clients built a climbing wall in his cave. Another parked his motorcycle in the corner. “He loved his bike!” Creating unapologetic space for the display of beloved possessions is another of the points of these domestic retreats; a man cave is a fantasy place where a guy can express his individuality without worrying whether his taste conforms to the rest of the home. Depending on his hobbies or interests, a man cave might be decorated with sports or hunting trophies, favorite movie posters, prized first-edition books, musical instruments—guitar collections are common—or in one case, an oversized saltwater aquarium. “For the calming effect,” says Power,

Bill Faulkner

by Frances Madeson

Bill Faulkner

Above: This den-like space gets the home theater experience with a large projector and comfy, reclining seats. Architectural elements and pops of red tie it into the design of the rest of the home.

who notes that one client who even had an inner sanctum within his man cave. “Behind a door of faux bookshelves hid an even more secret room where he kept his gun collection and all of his ammo.”

The man cave is a fantasy place where a guy can express his individuality without worrying whether his taste conforms to the rest of the home. Both designers say their clients often choose rich, dark, but neutral colors—“Mostly earth tones,” Power notes. “No bright colors.”—and lots of leather, hardwood floors, and rich-looking cabinetry. “I try to steer my clients toward some carpeting or area rugs for better acoustics, and toward durable, easy-to-clean fabrics,” she adds. “They want comfort during their downtime,” says Franzoy, and that usually means a combination of sectionals, recliners, or big, overstuffed furniture, often with—no giggling—built-in cup holders. Power sees big flat-screen TVs—up to 120 inches. Both designers also suggest including high-end audio systems so the men and their guests can enjoy games and movies in surround sound. This is the component that typically becomes the most time-consuming, often requiring a professional to conceal wires behind the drywall, then refinishing the walls. The ancillary to all of this great audio-visual technology is sound-proofing the spaces. “For one client, we sprayed the walls with foam and covered it in fabric,” Power recalls. “That way, he can turn the volume all the way up!” And if there’s no room for a man cave, what’s the next best thing? “A dark corner with a recliner directly facing a television screen,” laughs Franzoy—that’s a man cave reduced to its barebones essentials.

contributors Decorating Den Interiors Designs by L.L. Power and Associates

Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

Sara Holbrook

Left: Sea Cove Cottage in all its blooming summer glory. Notice how the row of lovely Limelight hydrangeas offers a subtle buffer between the porch and passersby, but still allows for neighborly interaction.

a garden with purpose

Douglas Merriam

landscape design as functional as it is beautiful

Steve Thomas


ne of the emerging building trends right now is small, tightly designed, energy-efficient houses. Curiously, boomers and millennials alike are gravitating to these compact homes, with both groups sharing a desire to be connected to the community around them. When we embarked on a comprehensive renovation of a small 1905 Shingle-style Victorian in a fishing village in Maine, my wife and I were fully aware of its “connectivity”: Sea Cove Cottage

is next to the post office, across from the church, a stone’s throw from the general store—and within spitting distance of a couple of neighboring homes. I’m all about conviviality and neighborliness, but I need some privacy, too, and aside from keeping the shades drawn, the way to achieve that is through a really clever landscape plan. We turned to friend and landscape designer Anne Cox, who specializes in the coastal Maine environment. As with any building, renovation, or landscaping project, I always use professional designers and architects. And I’ve found, over the years, that if you’re clear about your design objectives and your budget, you’ll get excellent results at a reasonable cost. And so it is with Anne. Her first take is generally right on, and here’s the plan we are currently implementing—one designed to be as functional as it is beautiful. The cottage has a broad front porch overlooking the sidewalk and street, with views of the harbor. The landscaping challenge here is to provide the opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors while sitting on the porch but also to maintain some separation. A row of glorious Limelight hydrangeas

Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation. 18

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does the trick. We’ll prune them to railing height and use Limelights along the walk and side porch, too, for continuity. Two Japanese tree lilacs frame the house. Their June blooms are gorgeous, and their overhead canopy provides additional texture and a sense of privacy. Anne favors them because they’re small and avoid entanglement with the overhead utility lines. They’re also quite tolerant of the winter coastal winds. The side yard was more of a challenge. The septic field is here, so our vegetable gardening will take place in raised beds lined with geotextile set in a quadrangle of pea stone. Privacy from the street is afforded by grasses, also in a planter, behind the stone wall. We’ll use Karl Foerster feather reed grass, which grows to five feet and maintains winter interest until cut down in the spring. Additional privacy is afforded by a long, narrow garden shed “floating” on the toe of the septic field, and privacy fence along the drive. Both the shed and fence will be planted with annual vines to soften the edge. Regardless of where you live—Maine, El Paso, or Santa Fe— plant choices will vary according to climate, but landscape design principles are universal: use trees and shrubs to provide texture and layers (horizontal and vertical), and mix evergreen, deciduous, and seasonal grasses with “hard” features (stone walls, sheds, fences) to both soften the edges and give depth, variety, and privacy. I also Wisteria cannot stress enough the tremendous advantage of hiring a design professional. Thanks, Anne! Summer’s around the corner and I can’t wait to see this plan realized!

Above: Working with a professional landscape designer, Steve and Evy sketched out a plan for their compact lot. Thinking in terms of function, privacy, and beauty, the team incorporated flowering shrubs and trees, a raised vegetable garden, and privacy borders made of hard features as well as shrubs and grasses.

Life + Style Southwest

the future is here

Courtesy Amazon

voice-activated assistants add a new dimension to the smart home ecosystem

by Danielle Urbina Left: Amazon’s Echo Dot proves that good things come in small packages. The Dot has the same capabilities as the original Echo and can transmit sound through your home’s sound system.

Google is considered a search engine pioneer, well known for its ability to quickly scour the internet for answers to random questions. When commanded, Google Home can likewise provide information on traffic, local businesses, sports, and most anything else the curious mind needs to know. Similarly, Amazon Echo can provide news directly from National Public Radio, play music from its 360-degree, omnidirectional speakers, retrieve flight information, and yes, it can even order a pizza for you. While we haven’t quite reached the days of actual robot assistants, inventive technology like these voice-activated interfaces certainly help to keep things running smoothly around the house, serving as the small—but powerful—hubs of today’s smart homes.


Courtesy Google

ome automation, in a certain sense, has been around for years—with the conveniences of things like television remotes, alarm systems, and remotecontrolled garage doors—but technology continues to surprise homeowners with intuitive new smart devices. Voice-activated assistants such as Google Home’s Google Assistant and Amazon Echo’s Alexa are becoming popular for homeowners needing an extra hand. Each system has similar abilities, from locking and securing your home, to playing music, reciting recipes, and instantly conducting research.

All it takes is an activation phrase like “Okay Google” or “Alexa” for a device to wake from its dormant state and await your command. Voice-activated assistants work in essentially the same way—all it takes is an activation phrase like “Okay Google” or “Alexa” and the device wakes from its dormant state to await your command. When paired with home-centered devices by WeMo, Phillips Hue, Samsung, and others, voice-activated assistants can control indoor and outdoor lights, turn fans on and off, lock and unlock doors, secure alarm systems, turn on sprinklers, and regulate the temperature in your home. Perhaps the greatest benefit of having a virtual assistant is the convenience, as these smart devices are useful in ways beyond home automation. Want the news with your morning cup of coffee? Both Google Home and Amazon Echo provide up-to-date information on the important happenings from around the world. Your assistant can also jump-start your day by delivering important reminders and calendar events, and preparing you for the weather. 20

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Above: Google Home’s sleek design features a customizable base, hi-fi speakers, and farfield microphones that can recognize your voice from across the room.

resources HPS Enterprises

Design Studio

Moll Anderson

one colorful character


hen designer and life stylist Moll Anderson published her last book, Seductive Tables for Two, Su Casa invited her to write a regular column for us. For the past two years, we’ve been thrilled to include in our pages Moll’s take on everything from remodeling tips to pillow placement. With a new book just released in March, the part-time Santa Fe resident took a few moments out of her busy schedule to sit down with Su Casa and talk about why she’s a big fan of color, strong women, and following your hunches.—Amy Gross

Did you have a breakthrough career moment? I was working at a furniture store in Nashville for $10 an hour—it was very humbling, to say the least—and this was at 40 years old! I had to sell my car. I said, “Okay, God, I need a miracle today. I need a sign.” And that day a woman named Patty St. Lawrence walked in the store. I’ll never forget it: She walked up to me and said, “Hi, are you an interior designer?” And immediately I thought of the Oprah author who said, own it! And I said, “Why yes, I am!” Long story short, Patty and I really connected, and I designed her empty, 15,000-square-foot house in just 30 days! She let me do a walk-through of it on TV, and my career started. How did you meet your husband Charlie? We were set up by my mentor in Nashville, Kitty Moon Emery. She just passed away from pancreatic cancer, and she defined dignity and grace like no one else. She 22

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became family to me, and ended up introducing me to Charlie. I met him when I was 45; we’ve been married 11 years. Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ came out about 10 years ago. Why did you feel you needed to write Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ With Color: What’s Your Color Story? now? When I started this book I really wanted to get back to my original brand. The Seductive Home was really a table book, and it was really chronicling my “before.” I had fallen out of love with color as a small child, then black became my signature color—still is, by the way; it’s one of the best foundation colors for design. But as I was figuring out the book I realized that black is a gateway to change, and that I’d been cocooning—protecting myself with that color. I knew then we needed to have a color lesson and a color story in every chapter. This book ended up being the book that I’d always wanted to write, that I didn’t know I was supposed to write. Jeff Katz Photography

Moll, how did you get started in interior design? Well, my son had gone off to college, and I had just gone through a divorce, and I just decided I really wanted to just change everything. So I picked up and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. I was trying to shift the energy of my life based on things that had happened to me in my childhood. I found myself on the couch for a week or two, feeling pretty depressed. I had painted all the walls I could paint, and I turned on Oprah and she had on a “life-changer” show. The guest was saying that one of the ways to really find your true passion is to go back through photographs that chronicle your life. The first pictures I came upon were before and after photos of remodeling I had done—not only everywhere I’d lived, but my friends’ places, too. It was crazy; I had gone through my whole life designing, and I just assumed everybody could do it.

Would you share with us your own color story? I had been abused by a family friend, unbeknownst to anyone, over a period of time at a very young age—4, 5, and 6. Like many abused children, I went into protective shock, and learned to move on. But when I started doing this journey

Michael Gomez Photography

about color, I realized that as I was going through my life in black, I was subconsciously trying to protect myself. I was doing the whole shroud thing. It wasn’t until I met Charlie, and I had broken through everything, that I started blossoming and getting in touch with the little girl inside me. I finally loved myself, which enabled me to mirror someone who had the same feelings and the same open heart. And I started falling in love with color again. I started noticing flowers, colors that were special and that I was drawn to. And one day I said to Charlie, “Let’s knock out the walls. We need to lighten this place up.” And when we did, the shift that started to happen was so powerful. I was always about creating atmosphere, even if it was dark. But now it needed be colorful, it needed to be happy, and it needed to have energy. So I went through a whole shift, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. So are you saying a person’s color story is already written and something to be discovered, or is it something you can consciously create? It can be both, but here’s the thing: We are born into our parents’ color story and we start from there. Let’s say your mom had a love for red but you didn’t have a good childhood. Red might not be a color you want around you, and you have to figure out why it affects you. We don’t always understand how powerful our psyches are, and how much energy and information we take in—even as small children and growing up, when we think we’re not paying attention. Sensory awareness is so important.

Do you see your own color story changing or evolving? I think it’s ongoing. I just did a thing in my kitchen in Dallas. The first color coming into my new color story was yellow—energetic yellow. I loved this painting in my kitchen, but I kept wishing the yellow in it was much more energetic. So I took it up a notch— found the most intense yellow flowers, and these energetic velvet pillows in a hot, hot yellow. We replaced those, and the energy in the room shifted that simply. I think at different times we’re drawn to things when we need the energy of that color. How did you muddle through the beige and neutral ’90s and 2000s? Remember I was into black, so I chose olives and eggplants as my neutrals. Now I create neutrals as a color and they might be pastels, or metals, because I love all of those things. If you want the lightness and the airiness of neutrals, you can have the energy of the color simply by bringing in flowers, throws, pillows, and art into the space. And it’s also interchangeable when you do that. You mentioned your favorite color is black. Do you have a least favorite color? Actually, I call black my signature color. I don’t have a least favorite color, but I have least favorite hues of color—certain golds that make me feel like I look yellow. So I tell people, before you decide you hate a certain color, let’s get in touch with hue of the color and see if that doesn’t affect how you feel about it. continued on page 70 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


by Jessica Salopek

embrace the dark side and try a bold color palette


eady to revamp your color palette? Dark and moody may be the new way to go. According to local interior designers, unconventional tones—navy, black, and charcoal—can actually make rooms more intimate while also highlighting design details and architectural features. “Darker tones are often used to create drama in a space—that substance that otherwise wouldn’t happen with lighter colors or mid-tones,” says Las Cruces interior designer Connie Hines. The trick is to avoid creating division or imbalance in a space. Dark colors stand out and there’s no hiding when it’s done wrong.

Above: Lively textiles stand out against a black wall in a dining room created by El Paso designer Margaret Ann Colia. Left: Interceramic’s Montpellier floor tiles give this contemporary dining space presence without being too dark or overwhelming. Gray and white walls complement inky tones on the flooring in this bedroom, giving it an air of sophistication and a nighttime ambience.

Courtesy Interceramic

moody hues

Bill Faulkner

Courtesy Interceramic

Design Studio

going all in To achieve that harmonious balance, Hines often recommends “taking the plunge” and committing wholeheartedly to your new color palette. Don’t just go for a smattering here and there that will ultimately look out of place. “Sometimes homeowners decide they want to add dark, rich colors, but the home does not have the color palette in place to support those deeper tones,” she explains. “They may get a rug with really deep tones, for example, but then everything else just seems to be floating on top of it; nothing in the room anchors it down. You need to carry the look to create the ambience and finish the room in a balanced way.” El Paso–based interior designer Margaret Ann Colia says one of her favorite design mantras is to create an element of surprise in the home, and that dark hues can be perfect for achieving that effect. In one memorable project, she and her clients decided to take a risk and paint their dining room walls black. “Black, especially on the walls, isn’t for everybody, but the homeowners were game to give it a try,” Colia remembers. “Two years later, it’s still a great-looking dining room. It’s a really good example of how you can add some punch to a room.”

contemporary conception While dark colors go hand-in-hand with traditional old world European architecture, contemporary design schemes are often lighter, airier, and based around neutrals—but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a little shade. “There are no 24

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laws when it comes to incorporating color,” Colia points out. “It’s just about deciding where you want to create high interest.” Don’t be afraid to reverse the color ratio, says Colia, who suggests building on a completely neutral color palette by incorporating dark hued lamps, rugs, and table accessories for a chic look that can add a bit of shock value to a space. Hines adds that dark colored artwork can also add a boost to the monochromatic palette typical of modern design. “Art is for art’s sake and doesn’t necessarily have to match the décor,” she notes.

“Darker tones are often used to create drama in a space— that substance that otherwise wouldn’t happen with lighter colors or mid-tones.” —Connie Hines

“You can use deep and rich art works to achieve depth and add a burst of energy, especially in today’s world, where homeowners aren’t tied to that old world look and may prefer a contemporary, sleek style.”

proper placement Sometimes incorporating dark colors is more about choosing the right space than choosing the right accessories. Powder rooms are ideal for the look, says Colia, whether you’re going completely dark or adding colorful accents to an otherwise white space with towels. Hines adds that spaces used for decompressing and relaxing will benefit from this “soothing, inviting” color scheme, but she cautions homeowners to take heed of the room’s natural light. “From morning to night, the light coming in changes those colors; they’re morphing all day long. Pay particular attention at night. Does it create a cave that’s a little oppressive? Always consider what the colors are doing in the 24-hour period, not just in the given moment.”

contributors Connie Hines Interiors Design Margaret Colia Interiors

Bill Faulkner

Below: Black custom cabinetry by A-1 Kitchens by Sierra features ornate carvings and elegant touches in an old world–inspired El Paso kitchen.



Design Studio

by Catherine Adams

style of its time Rudy Torres

Courtesy Mediterranea USA

contemporary design focuses on the here and now

High-gloss porcelain floors and a quartz waterfall countertop add shine to a kitchen designed and built by Crown Heritage Homes.


Jesse Ramirez

Above: Light and airy, this living room exudes contemporary style and design-—from the faux-wood floor tiles and simple lines to the subtle pops of color and the decorative light fixture as the crowning touch.

Above: In Las Cruces, the owners of this home and used a combination of materials including knotty pine, stone, tile, and stainless steel to create a space that blends contemporary architecture with the rusticity of the home’s Southwestern surroundings. 26

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ontemporary style takes a few basics—strong lines, open space, abundant light—and adapts them to the present. Grounded in simplicity, it is fluid and substantive, neither static nor over-the-top. While contemporary style may borrow from elements of modernism, art deco, deconstructivism, and futurism, it is none of these. It is not a specific movement relegated to an established time period. It is an amalgamation of styles that produces a style all its own; therefore, it will probably look different in 10 years, when what is now contemporary turns to vintage. “Contemporary style is all about the present, and the present is ever-evolving,” says Ross Landers of Ross Landers Interiors in El Paso. “It’s about new interpretations of the past, the process of elimination, joining old and new materials to create something new.” Without excess and frivolity, contemporary style tends to favor natural elements like stone and wood, neutral taupes and creams, and shiny surfaces—nickel, chrome, stainless steel. Forms and silhouettes are generally more smooth than ornate. Lighting is often strategically placed to highlight signature art and thoughtfully assembled accessories. Interiors are marked by the use of light woods such as maple and birch, and fabrics that lend softness and texture, such as silk, velvet, linen, and wool. Contemporary design’s fluidity blends well with other design styles; in fact, any given style can incorporate contemporary elements, as the very nature of contemporariness accommodates the shifting needs and preferences of different people at different times.

Contemporary style is reflected in architecture, too, often incorporating the distinct character of a region. Around El Paso and Southern New Mexico, contemporary style is appearing in new construction, often emulating its desert surroundings with natural elements that blend in with the environment, while still maintaining clean, curved lines free of excess ornamentation, and asymmetrical shapes and architectural components. “Up until now new construction in El Paso has been along the lines of traditional or Mediterranean style,” says homebuilder Sam Mlouhi, who along with his wife, Lydia, owns Crown Heritage Homes. “Demand for contemporary architecture has increased by about three to five percent over the past several years.”

“Contemporary style is all about the present, and the present is ever-evolving.” —Ross Landers Why is contemporary design becoming popular in this region? Probably because it’s new to the area, trendy, and follows the guidelines of a minimalist lifestyle, which many families and homeowners are embracing. Mlouhi credits interest in the style to recently arrived residents with adventurous style preferences, as well as travelers inspired by the architecture and design styles of bigger cities. “As wealthy families move to El Paso from other areas, they tend to bring their style preferences with them,” Mlouhi explains. “Plus homeowners who travel a lot and stay in higher-end hotels tend to favor contemporary style. They want the simple lines and classy designs they see in such places.” Though contemporary certainly espouses the notion of “less is more,” it is not to be confused with modern style. Often discussed interchangeably, contemporary and modern styles may look the same but differ slightly when it comes down to the details. While classic modern style typically sticks to strict design guidelines and an unforgiving aesthetic, contemporary design allows homeowners to break the rules and add warmth and personalization in small doses—giving them the best of both worlds, with a home that’s sleek and streamlined, yet cozy and comfortable, too.

contributors Crown Heritage Homes Ross Landers Interiors SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

think sink

go beyond traditional with statementmaking bathroom sinks

Courtesy Kohler Co.

Courtesy Thompson Traders


Because they’re fully exposed above the vanity, vessel sinks—like the Ovalo (above) by Thompson Traders— demand attention. Vessels come in a variety of styles, from traditional to modern.

Courtesy Kohler Co.

Right: Aqua blue glass adds an unexpected splash of color to a neutral-toned bathroom.

Left: This all-in-one sink and countertop steals the spotlight with intricate, Moroccaninspired patterns and hues of vivid blue.

n bathroom design, there are many ways to create a striking look, but choosing a visually interesting sink invites interaction and creates a focal point that can be integrated with the other elements—specifically the vanity, backsplash, and mirrors. In addition to traditional white ceramic, material choices for statement-making sinks run the gamut—from rustic copper to stone to glass— and in many cases, these types of sinks are carefully crafted by Thompson Traders, local artisans whose distinctive sinks can be seen at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. “Each sink is handmade and some require 15,000 strokes and days of production,” notes Alejandra Thompson, Thompson Traders’ founder and creative director. “Each stroke of our craftsman’s hammer yields a unique piece of art guaranteeing no two products are identical.”

A visually interesting sink invites interaction and creates a focal point that can be integrated with the other elements of the bathroom. Copper vessels instantly add old world charm to bathrooms in the Mediterranean or Tuscan style and can be paired with stone and iron elements to complete the look. “They are conversation pieces and will change the environment in your bathroom and kitchen,” says Thompson. For something with similar rusticity but a different finish, try a copper vessel with a hammered nickel finish, which lends itself nicely to traditional, transitional, and even contemporary-style bathrooms. Opting for something sleek and natural? Glass, and even wood, may be the way to go. Wooden vessel sinks offer a Zenlike appeal, with organically shaped bowls that can be paired with other natural materials in a contemporary setting. Glass vessels, on the other hand, reflect light and color and offer a modern look. Though trends in bathroom design are ever evolving, it’s safe to say that sinks with striking visual appeal are here to stay. “I think they already have a huge presence,” says Thompson. “When you have a sink that has a unique design and exudes warmth with its finishes, it becomes the focal point of your bathroom or powder room.”

resources Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 28

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Thompson Traders

Design Studio

by Amanda Jackson and Danielle Urbina

laissez-faire lounging outdoor seating made easy

Springtime has finally arrived, and so have longer days. That means more time to spend outdoors doing the things you love. Whether having a cup of coffee in the morning, reading a book mid-day, or sipping a cool cocktail in the afternoon, these outdoor seating options are sure to brighten your patio, porch, poolside, or backyard.

Swingasan® Turquoise Hanging Chair With its airy, open-weave back and fun turquoise color, this swinging/hanging chair will almost make you forget you’re not at the beach! Made for indoor or outdoor use, it’s constructed with weatherproof synthetic rattan over a rust-resistant frame. Also available with a cushion and stand, the chair measures 42" tall, 33 ½" wide, and 22 ½" deep. $300, Pier1 Imports,

O. W. Lee The San Cristóbal Collection This collection of wrought iron furniture is named for the Spanish cathedral that has stood in the Old Havana district of Cuba for over 400 years. With the ornate Spanish Baroque influence, these pieces add an old world feel to your outdoor setting. Cushions available in a variety of styles, patterns, and colors. Price upon request, The Patio Outdoor Furniture,

Peacoat Adirondack Chair How inviting is this chair? Crafted from solid acacia wood it is both charming and comfortable. Shown here in a deep blue hue, it is available in many other colors and coated in an ultraviolet protected finish that helps prevent scratches, chips, and fading. Matching stool and side table (tall or short) also available. $130, Cost Plus World Market,


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Soleil Metal Outdoor Bistro Dining Set In white, turquoise, or orange (shown), this delightful bistro set is a unique choice for a fun, modern aesthetic, and the space-saving size makes it a good choice for even a small balcony. Single chairs also available, to add room for three or four at the table. $647 for the set, single chair $199, West Elm,

Eric Trine + Dusen Dusen Outdoor Sofa Funky and functional, this powdercoated, jade colored, steel frame bench makes quite a statement when paired with a bold black and white graphic print. Dacron-wrapped cushions are weather-resistant and perfect for outdoors or in. Seats two comfortably. $950, West Elm,


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the sky’s the limit

Tuscan-inspired design and old world flair in West El Paso


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by Danielle Urbina photographs by Brian Wancho


uilding a dream home later in life means knowing exactly what you want, need, and may have desired for years. At Hank and Amparo Hernandez’s West El Paso home, the signs of a house built with special attention to detail are everywhere, from inspired Mediterranean-style architecture and design, to several outdoor living areas that capture all the beauty El Paso has to offer. All are elements and ideas that culminated after years of living in different locations while Hank and Amparo raised their three (now grown) children.

A A large central area in Hank and Amparo Hernandez’s home includes a gorgeous formal dining space and living room, accented with travertine stone, rich wood, and wrought iron décor.

Not forgetting one of the greatest joys of Southwestern living, Hank and Amparo Hernandez were sure to include an abundance of outdoor living areas, where, like most El Pasoans, they take advantage of the sunny weather nearly year-round. In a private neighborhood where the Franklin Mountains seem nearly within reach, the 4,800-square-foot home is a lovely example of Tuscan-style architecture, accented with natural desert landscaping that echoes its Southwestern environment. “We previously lived about two miles from our current location and discovered the property while on an evening walk,” says Hank. “We loved this spot because of the majestic views of the Franklin Mountains and stunning sunsets.” When it came to their vision for the rest of the home, Hank—a former senior healthcare executive for a local hospital—and Amparo knew they wanted an elegant but comfortable home where they could entertain not only their own family and friends, but also visiting prospective physicians and medical professionals. “One of my key thoughts when designing this home was creating a SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Art is everywhere in this home—from the detailed architectural elements, to paintings from the couple’s impressive collection, which includes pieces by local artists Mauricio Mora and Hal Marcus.


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Left: Hand-painted wall ornamentation by New York muralist Karin Linder elevates arches in the entryway. Below: Because the kitchen includes an everyday eating area, a separate formal dining room is used for holidays and entertaining family and friends.



Left: Earthy tones on the brick backsplash lend a warm, country feel to the kitchen, pulling the complete Tuscan look together.

layout to assist me in entertaining friends, family, and work professionals, and it’s perfectly situated for me to accomplish that vision,” Hank says. Their vision ultimately came to life with the help of a team of local professionals, including designer Chad North of CGN Designs, home

“We wanted to build a home that was reflective of the Tuscan way of life while enjoying all the modern amenities available at the time.” —Hank Hernandez building company Gaddy Homes, and interior designer Lori McCuaig of LMC Design Group. Each contributed their own personal expertise, while working together to create the stunning and one-of-a-kind gem. “We wanted to build a home that was reflective of the Tuscan way of life while enjoying all the modern amenities available at the time,” Hank remembers. “We chose a big lot that offered us the opportunity to build a single floor


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A large island in the center of the kitchen is wholly functional with spacious cabinetry for storage and a heavily patterned granite surface with lots of room for preparing family meals.

The handsome bar blends elegance and comfort with a rope-edged marble countertop and studded leather bar stools where guests can sit back and relax.

Tucked away next to the bar, a walk-in wine cellar has space for more than 100 bottles. 40

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home plus elevation grade to build several gardens and secluded areas.” Having traveled to Italy several times, the couple took many photos of homes and other structures during their trips and used them to piece together a definitive plan for the style of their own residence. We asked Chad [North] to use the large lot and change in elevation to its maximum potential,” says Hank. Beginning from the entryway, columns, gently curved archways, and vaulted ceilings hint at the Spanish-Italian style throughout. The foyer opens into the home’s central hub, which includes a formal dining area and living room. Custom knotty alder woodwork and travertine stone go hand in hand with delicate wall and ceiling finishes by New York muralist Karin Linder, giving the space a charming, old world feel. Behind heavy, wooden double doors is an enviable chef ’s kitchen, complete with high-end appliances, double refrigerators, and a massive granite island with plenty of room to prepare meals. More than just a place to cook, however, the kitchen exudes a welcoming ambience with the inclusion of a cozy breakfast nook and ample space to hang out and enjoy the picturesque view of Hank’s Tuscan-inspired garden and the mountains beyond it from a large kitchen window. “We wanted a formal garden with a fountain where we could plant various flowering plants and fruit trees,” says Hank of the outdoor area just outside the kitchen. “We wanted this garden to be separate from

The master suite strikes a careful balance between light and dark, with plenty of windows for natural light during the day and heavy, custom-made drapery to induce sounder sleep at night.

Above: The master bath is nothing short of luxurious, dressed in Italian Carrara marble tile, with an infinity-edge bathtub sitting between his-and-hers vanities.

Above: Ideal for year-round lounging, a covered patio outside the living room is one of many outdoor living spaces and includes plush seating and a cozy brick fireplace.

the other entertaining areas so that it could be enjoyed by my wife and me.� While open in the central areas, the home is also designed so that Hank, Amparo, and overnight guests can enjoy maximum privacy. The secondary bedrooms extend out to a private area of the home; each includes an en-suite SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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bathroom and all of the comforts and amenities of a hotel. The master bedroom is its own getaway, with a comfy seating area for reading and sliding glass doors that lead out to a patio overlooking the backyard. For an elegant touch, the couple opted for custom-made window and bed drapery. The attached master bath features Italian Carrara marble throughout, a spa tub that fills from a fixture on the ceiling, and a luxury shower designed to emulate a suite at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Of course, when coming up with the plans for their home, Hank and Amparo knew they wanted amenities beyond the typical living areas, and used the space adjacent to the formal dining room to do some serious customization. A large, marble-topped bar is fully stocked with drinks and snacks for guests and anyone hanging out in the media room, which is decked out in leather theater seats, high-definition screening, and a THX-certified surround sound system—perfect for watching movies, sports, and other special televised events. Not forgetting one of the greatest joys of Southwestern living, the Hernandezes were sure to include an abundance of outdoor living areas, where, like most El Pasoans, they take advantage of the sunny weather nearly year-round. Doors in the living room open out to a covered patio complete with a fireplace, a TV, and plush seating for all-season entertainment. Down a set of what Amparo calls her version of the Spanish Steps, is the home’s partyready pool area, which includes a pool with beach entry and in-pool seating, an elevated spa, and yet another covered outdoor living space, dining area, and full kitchen. “Recently, we added a large ceramic grill, and we seem to be using it more than the other grills,” says Hank. “Having the convenience of a built-in dishwasher and large refrigerator completes all the indoor amenities in our outdoor kitchen.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The best part of all? Since Hank’s recent retirement from the medical industry, the couple is now enjoying every part of their home to the fullest. “We’re now able to take advantage of intimate areas we created when we built the home; we have the time to enjoy a bottle of wine from our walk-in cellar, especially while sitting around the fire pit in the backyard,” Hank marvels. “The views and serenity of the mountains are incredible.” Taking it easy and enjoying quality time with loved ones, all from the comfort of home—now that’s the life. Left: Faux grass “grows” up through pavers in this circular seating area, where the homeowners can enjoy mountain views and a glass of wine by a blazing fire.


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resources Builder Gaddy Homes LP Designer CGN Designs Interior Designer LMC Design Group Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Audio/Video Custom AV, LLC Bathroom Fixtures Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Cabinetry and Woodwork A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Countertops Granite & Marble by COMAF 46

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Above: The home’s exterior beautifully combines Tuscan and Mediterranean elements: rustic textures and colors, clay roof tiles, and a small courtyard whose walkway leads to the front door.

Left: It’s all about comfort and lounging in the pool area. A detached cabana offers several convenient amenities.

Entry Doors Artistic Entryways Exterior Doors and Windows Pella Windows and Doors Interior Doors Rawson Builders Supply Flooring Emser Tile Landscaping Classic Landscapes Lighting Designers Mart Pool and Spa Paradise Pools Synthetic Grass Southwest Greens Window Treatments Southwest Décor SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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Rustic with an industrial-style flair, Joni Autrey’s minimalist home is a new style for Las Cruces, but still captures the essence of Southwestern living through a combination of materials, warm hues, and desert landscaping.

industrial revolution

a minimalist finds her place— and her design style—in the Mesilla Valley


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by Jessica Salopek photographs by Jesse Ramirez


fter various moves in her life took her from 2,000 square feet of living space to just 570 square feet, and then down to 450 square feet, attorney Joni Autrey became a self-proclaimed minimalist. “I found that I very much enjoyed simplifying and living with that only-keepwhat-you-love mindset,” she says. After stints in Nashville and Oklahoma, she returned to her home state (she originally hails from Ruidoso) to be closer to her two sisters in Las Cruces. She settled into an apartment until, on a sudden whim, she welcomed Shih Tzu Stella into her life. “Apartment living got old real fast after that,” she remembers. A realtor friend began showing her condos and small houses, but nothing caught her attention, until she was introduced to Arista Development, new Las Cruces homebuilders who proved to be kindred spirits. Arista specializes in farmhouse and rustic-industrial residences, two styles that stray considerably from the Southwest and Mediterranean builds so common in Southern New Mexico. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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Autrey says she was drawn to the materials and textures in Arista’s model home, as well as the company’s commitment to super-efficient layouts. “We’ve downscaled the modern home and created open floor plans that ensure every bit of square footage is usable,” explains Mike Fraembs, director of build operations, who co-founded Arista with his lifelong friend, architect Matt Adams. “By doing away with long hallways and formal areas that never get used, we’ve been able to offer superior finishes to every income level.” Both Fraembs and Adams spent several years working on luxury and large-scale builds in Scottsdale, Arizona, before returning to their hometown and venturing out on their own with the goal of introducing something completely new to the local marketplace.

“I’m not a big decorator, but the house has so much character that I didn’t need to add a whole lot of my own things. It’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to Arista’s design style.”—Joni Autrey

Autrey’s approach to decorating the home was to make sure every space is as comfortable as it is attractive. To that end, she mixed and matched fabrics in the seating, rugs, and throw pillows, and displayed colorful artwork that she’s collected over the years.

Arista built the first of two model homes in the up-and-coming Metro Verde neighborhood in 2015, and the response was overwhelming. “We have a lot of people stopping in simply because the façade is so different,” says real estate agent Crystal MartinezFraembs, who oversees Arista’s customer relations. While their model homes offer a whole lot of inspiration, Fraembs says they pride themselves on straddling the line between custom and production building. He and Adams work closely with clients to customize each floorplan. Autrey, who admits to loving a good soak in the bathtub, changed up the guest bathroom finishes and pushed out a section of the master bath to separate the shower and create her ideal relaxation den. Other Arista clients have added on mudrooms and extra bedrooms, incorporated additional storage, and redesigned finishes to meet their individual needs and style. Autrey’s home is about 1,500 square feet—“Way more space than I actually need, but the two extra bedrooms are nice for guests,” she admits—and packed with Arista’s signature rustic-industrial style elements. Reclaimed plank walls, a sliding barn-style door on the master closet, and wood-look tiles in the bathroom fulfill the rustic half of the equation; concrete SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Following a new trend to nix the island, the kitchen features a farmhouse table in the middle, which warmly welcomes guests to linger. Signature to Arista Development’s industrial designs, a garage-style overhead door can be opened to create a breezeway between interior and exterior spaces. 54

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“I did worry for a moment that the industrial aspect might be cold or hard to make homey, but it really hasn’t been. It’s warm and has a very comfortable vibe to me, and all the natural light keeps it open and airy.”—Joni Autrey



floors and countertops, exposed ductwork, and black galvanized piping comprise the industrial. The energy efficiency and abundant natural light found in Autrey’s home are other hallmarks of Arista’s contemporary-minded designs. “I love the mixture of wood and metal; that’s just my style,” Autrey says. “What really attracted me to Arista are all the little details: the exposed


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wood shelving in the kitchen, the crossbeams on the skylight, the roping around the light fixtures.” One of Autrey’s favorite elements—and one of Arista’s most recognizable design features—is a glass overhead door (think garage-style) that opens up with the push of a button, extending the living space out onto a back patio with mountain views. When it came time to furnish the home, Autrey took cues from the interior design work Arista has already done. The company purchases

Adding some charming farmhouse appeal, a sliding barn door closes off the walk-in closet in an eye-catching way.

Below: Style and function: Edison-style pendant lights echo the home’s industrial design and add a glow to the relaxing master bath. Open shelving gives the feeling of more space overall.

A follower of the KonMari Method, Autrey keeps things minimal in the master bedroom, allowing statement pieces—such as the reclaimed wood headboard and a framed photo of her native Ruidoso—to be the center of attention.


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their furniture West Elm in El Paso, and Autrey followed suit with a reclaimed wood dining table with bench seating and an industrial headboard in the master. She threw down several large rugs to keep it cozy and, in keeping with her minimalist mindset, decorated with the few items she owns that have sentimental meaning, like artwork done by her college roommate and her high school art teacher. “I’m not a big decorator, but the house has so much character that I didn’t need to add a whole lot of my own things. It’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to their design style,” Autrey notes. “I did worry for a moment that the industrial aspect might be cold or hard to make homey, but it really hasn’t been. It’s warm and has a very comfortable vibe to me, and all the natural light keeps it open and airy.” Perched in a corner lot, Autrey’s home’s outdoor spaces have proven to be ideal in getting to know her neighbors. She recently added a small fire pit to the yard, which she enjoys while observing the hustle and bustle of the growing, family-friendly neighborhood. Since moving in last October, Autrey has found the open concept living/ kitchen area that flows into the outdoor space ideal for guests, but points out that it’s the unexpected design features that catch visitors’ eyes. She notes, “I have started entertaining a little bit, mostly because it’s such a fun house and I just love to show it off.”


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resources Appliances & Fixtures Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Builder Arista Development Cabinetry Sher-Wood Cabinetry Countertops Mesilla Valley Design Center Doors Mesilla Valley Door, LLC Electrical Contractor MDC Electric Exterior Door Rawson Builder Supply Interior Doors Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber and Building Materials Landscaping G A Landscaping Lighting Designer’s Mart Lumber C & D Southwest Lumber 575-526-2131 Overhead Door Mesilla Valley Door Tile Decorative Tile, LLC Interceramic Contrasting tiles in the shower create balance and tie back to decorative elements in the master bath.



Su Libro

paradigm shift Moll Anderson’s new book encourages looking at your home with fresh perspective The interior designer and author had longed to marry her interior design expertise with self-help; with this book, she has achieved that dream. “Color is a powerful influencer,” says the author, “and the way we feel when we see a color we dislike can affect us physically.” Likewise, she says, colors we’re drawn to can energize and elate. And there’s no overstating it: This book is a riot of color—including 13 chapters focusing on specific colors (black, white, and metals are in there, too) to help inspire real emotions for those looking for a shift in the enjoyment of their homes. Each chapter includes a color lesson and a color story, with eye-popping photos depicting each color—flowers, furnishings, pillows, food, shoes, even cocktails. A page of what Anderson calls “Insta-Inspiration” accompanies each chapter as well—a photo that inspired the author because of its colors. Swatches of every color from the photo are then laid out individually beneath. Ever wondered what the difference is between a “hue” and a “tint?” A quick tutorial on color language will soon have you thinking confidently outside the Crayola box. Anderson challenges, “If you knew you










Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ With Color: What’s Your Color Story? by Moll Anderson, Post Hill Press, hardcover, $35


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Nathan Schroder Photography


en years following the release of Change Your Home, Change Your Life™, Moll Anderson—self-help expert, designer, life stylist, and philanthropist—recently published a sequel of sorts to that first book. Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ With Color: What’s Your Color Story? is Anderson grown up, self-realized, deliriously happy, and doing exactly what she wants to be doing, right now. “This ended up being the book that I’d always wanted to write, that I didn’t know I was supposed to write,” says Anderson, who, as an adult coming to terms with years of childhood abuse, reached an epiphany regarding color—specifically, that she had fallen out of love with it as a child, “cocooning” herself in black for many years as a means of self-protection. She began to piece together her own “color story” a few years ago, after finally facing her childhood demons and discovering happiness in love and marriage. With an open heart, Anderson was able to fall back into love—with color.

could change your life in one weekend and clear out the cobwebs of your past with color and a brush, would you do it?” Discovering your own color story, she says, is more than DIY; it’s an emotional shift, and this book is a prescription a long time in coming.—Amy Gross Read our Q+A with author, designer, and life stylist Moll Anderson on page 22.

Moll Anderson found turquoise “InstaInspiration” in a photo of a peacock’s feathers (below), a textural oil painting (opposite), and the crystal clear waters of a tropical beach (above). Translating the color to the home, bold pillows and ottomans add pop to a sitting area (opposite, far left).



Vida Buena

Courtesy Visit Napa Valley

by Kimberly AmRhein

Left: The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a fun way to see much more of Napa’s wine country, from multiple-course gourmet dining journeys to special event rides for the holidays.

Napa Valley savor the flavors of world-class wineries amid breathtaking pastoral beauty


apa Valley—two words that evoke images of warm California sunshine, rolling hills, and bountiful grape vines so heavily laden with fruit their branches touch the ground in a silent, prayerful bow. Founded in the late 1800s, the Napa wine region survived two world wars, Prohibition, highbrow naysayers, and a pestilence that threatened its very existence to become the billion-dollar industry it is today. In fact, 90 percent of the wine made in the United States now comes from California. The valley, boasting over 450 wineries in Napa alone, offers a one-of-a-kind (and largely laid-back) tourist experience—from wine tours and sightseeing, to luxury spas and resorts, to world-class cuisine and art galleries.


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Courtesy Visit Napa Valley

Miles of gorgeous vineyards stretch out across Napa Valley, calling on visitors to slow down and take it all in.

Because good wine and good food naturally go hand-in-hand, there’s no shortage of restaurant choices to suit any appetite or budget. Breakfast before heading out on your wine tasting adventure is what the Model Bakery in St. Helena does best. Known for their English muffins and pastries—which have been featured on The Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate—the restaurant also offers hot breakfast items to help get the day going. Oakville Grocery, on Highway 29 in Napa, is the longest continually operating grocery in California. Their specialty sandwiches are made with locally sourced ingredients, and the grocery’s artisans will even pack them in a picnic lunch to take with you for the next adventure on your agenda. Auberge du Soleil resort has arguably the best view in Napa, making it a culinary destination that pleases in every sense. Set in the middle of an olive grove, on a terrace with breathtaking views, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant offers innovative dishes executed by Chef Robert Curry, from bacon-wrapped veal to squab with mission figs, foie gras, and eggplant caponata. For the casual wine sipper or serious oenophile, Napa Valley is a dream getaway. When you go, give yourself several days to visit the vineyards you want to see most, and be sure to build in plenty of downtime. Like the ripening of grapes on the vine, the pace in Napa is slow, relaxed, and deliciously lazy.

For wine-loving foodies, Napa is a dream come true, with opportunities to wine and dine alfresco right in the vineyards.

Courtesy Visit Napa Valley

for the foodie

Picturesque St. Helena (above) is home to boutique wineries, luxury spas, shopping, and outstanding California cuisine.

Bob McClenahan

The region runs from the city of Calistoga, down Highway 29, all the way to the rolling hills of American Canyon at the Southern tip. Don’t hesitate to veer off the to the east though—Lake Berryessa (where Moss Creek Winery and its wine caves can be found) and Angwin (home to Cade Winery and excellent cabernet sauvignon) shouldn’t be missed. The best time of year to visit is during “crush,” or production and harvest time. Crush varies from year to year, depending on the weather and other factors, but typically runs from July to October. Most wineries in the area offer tours and tastings, but do require appointments that can be made online prior to visiting. Some tastings are complimentary; others charge for the privilege of sipping, but part of the fun is figuring out which vineyards you really want to see in person. It’s an opportunity to find out more about the wines you love to drink at home. So what can you expect during a Napa Valley wine tour? Lots of wine, of course, tidbits of local history, culture, chatty vintners, winemaking tours, and gorgeous views everywhere. Tours vary, and while some are self-guided, most winemakers are eager to share the story behind their wines and how they are made. If you’re planning to make a full day of it, locals suggest bringing your own food for a picnic in gardens overlooking the vineyards, or taking advantage of delis located on-site where you can nosh on fresh California favorites that will complement your wine. If you can’t make it during crush, despair not! Napa Valley is home to year-round free concerts and numerous food-based festivals where wines are paired with a variety of dishes. For history buffs, there’s plenty to see and learn about in this area—most notably in St. Helena, where Nichelini Family Winery, founded in 1890, is the oldest of its kind in Napa Valley. Their current winemaker is a fifth generation Nichelini who produces the winery’s raved-about muscadelle de Bordelais and cabernet sauvignon.

Bob McClenahan

tasty touring

Left: Wine and art collide at the Robert Mondavi winery, where sculptures by Benjamin Bufano and other artists are permanently on display.

tip: If you want someone to do the driving for you while you’re imbibing, several methods of safe transportation are available in the area, including the Napa Valley Wine Train, which boards in downtown Napa and offers a round-trip journey to St. Helena and back. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Danielle Urbina

colorful climbers vibrant flowering vines for your Southwestern landscape



Stephen Lang

here’s nothing more magical than vine-covered garden walls, and pergolas and arbors draped in cascades of fragrant blooms. Flowering vines, though often wild and sprawling, are actually easy to care for in the sunny, warm, and dry Southwest, adding an eye-catching, ornamental element to landscapes and exuding sweet scents from their blossoms. Las Cruces gardener Gary Guzman of Guzman’s Color Your World shares his expertise on vines that will flourish under the Southwestern sun.

Honeysuckle Lonicera

Type: Arching shrub Light: Full sun to partial shade Appearance: Tubular, yellow to bright red blossoms, with oval leaves and strong, fibrous stems Maintenance: Honeysuckle grows best with well-draining soil and with support from a fence or trellis, but can also be grown in a container. Shear regularly to prevent uncontrolled growth and prune in fall or winter when the vine is dormant. Why it’s great: Honeysuckle vines not only look gorgeous, but they smell wonderful, too. Because this type of vine is very heat-tolerant, it’s an ideal choice for gardens in the Southwest. Start growing honeysuckle, and soon you’ll have a few visitors—hummingbirds love its nectar.


Wisteria Wisteria

Type: Woody climbing vine Light: Full sunlight Appearance: Long, pinnate leaves with short stalks of purple, violet, or white flowers Maintenance: Location is key when it comes to planting wisteria—it’s a twining vine that requires support and regular pruning because of its fastgrowing capabilities. Plant in deep, rich soil and prune new shoots regularly. Wisteria also requires a heavy pruning in fall and winter. Why it’s great: Because of its aggressive growth, wisteria quickly and beautifully covers arbors, pergolas, and garden walls with its violet-blue blooms. Another great-smelling vine, wisteria takes on a heady perfume in the spring when its flowers begin to bloom.


Crossvine Bignonia capreolata

Type: Woody climbing vine Light: Full sun to partial shade Appearance: Trumpet-shaped, orange-red flowers that hang in clusters; glossy semi-evergreen leaves Maintenance: Plant in moist, well-drained soil and avoid the crowding of stems to help aid the growth of new flower shoots. Cut branches back in the spring to promote flowering. Why it’s great: Crossvine is very easy to care for and requires no support from containers or trellises. Claws at the ends of its tendrils allow the vine to cling to anything, from stucco to brick. Its brightly colored blossoms attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 66

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Vida Buena

put some spring in your step

running culture takes off in the Southwest

Courtesy Extra Mile Design

by Cassie McClure

Like many races in Las Cruces, the Super Sunday Road Race offers runners a scenic route, with the Organ Mountains in full view.


f you’re looking for a new perspective on life, lacing up your shoes and going for a quick run may be the easiest way to find it. The running culture has grown by leaps and bounds in both El Paso and Las Cruces over the last 10 years, with more opportunities every year to run solo or with like-minded groups, and to challenge yourself through running events. Chris Rowley, owner of Up and Running in El Paso, insists that before you grab a random set of shoes and hit the pavement, make sure to get fitted first. “Everyone’s foot is different; people have different arches and different gaits.” Rowley also notes that slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to running. “Start slow, with low mileage, so you can create a base and know what your body can do,” he says. “We tend to start new things like a horse taking off out of the gate, but you should easily be able to engage in conversation with someone running next to you.” Dr. Jacinto Obregon, a family medicine physician with The Hospitals of Providence, agrees that starting slow is best. He suggests taking time for a complete checkup before you’ve even purchased running shoes, and stretching before every run. He also warns that if you’re looking to lose weight—as many new runners are—running isn’t the be all and end all for that goal. “Better [weight loss] results come from a combination of a healthy diet and weight training,” Obregon explains. “But the more active you are, the longer you live.” With that in mind, it is important to know that running is an exercise and hobby that transcends age—as long as you’re able to put one foot in front of the other, running can become a lifelong sport for many people. Doctors do, however, recommend—especially as we age—paying specific attention to things like muscle strength (especially when it comes to calves and hip flexors) and good flexibility,


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which will keep the body going during long runs and ward off any potential injuries. Lawrence Joy, board member of the Las Cruces Running Club, found running inspiration by marrying a long-distance runner. His wife created a local running group by placing a sign in her car that read, “Experience the mental, physical, and social benefits of running.” “That’s the beauty of running: you can be alone or you can be in a group,” Joy says.

Running is an exercise and hobby that transcends age and can become a lifelong sport for many people. Today the Las Cruces Running Club hosts three different races during the year, including the scenic Super Sunday Road Race and the Electric 5k, which takes place before the Electric Light Parade every summer. “We just completed the Super Sunday Road Race, which was won by Memorial Medical Center’s group, the Band-Aid Bandits,” Joy says proudly.

The fees for the races go toward funding the club’s summer camp for children—junior high school–aged and younger—which encourages kids to get out with their families and start a lifetime of running. Joy points out that it has helped build a foundation for running in Las Cruces. “Ten years ago the running community was loose, and now it’s connected.”

“Start slow, with low mileage, so you can create a base and know what your body can do.” —Chris Rowley

Courtesy Extra Mile Design

Rowley agrees, acknowledging that running has also connected him to his own children— specifically his two youngest children, twin sixyear-olds. “They saw me run with their older three siblings,” Rowley remembers, “and now we’ve made Sundays our [family] run days.” Of course, there are plenty of walking breaks from time to time, but their energy keeps him going and reminds him of how easy running can be. “They don’t see limitations.”

Above: Races in El Paso and Las Cruces range from serious marathon qualifiers to fun, themed runs like the Turkey Trot, Electric 5k, Fourth of July Run, and many more.

Las Cruces Running Club The Hospitals of Providence Courtesy Extra Mile Design

Right: It turns out man’s best friend can also be man’s best workout buddy. Locals are often seen running alongside their four-legged pals during extra endurance challenges.


Up and Running



continued from page 23

Just Winging Through

Each chapter in your book has a diagram of what you call “Insta-Inspiration.” That came to be when I was going through my Instagram. I realized that no matter whose photos you looked at, including your own, that you see certain things you’re drawn to, like, oh, I have a lot of this color. I want to teach people to pull their paint colors, or color swatches, out of their Insta-Inspiration pictures that they love.

What projects, personal and professional, are you working on right now? I’m in pre-launch right now for the book. It’s really fun and exciting when TV producers say, this is groundbreaking stuff! It’s a reminder that I’m in this zone of “this is exactly what I need to be doing.” And in the midst of all this, the Paleo diet has become such an important part of my life. I want to share that, too, so we’re starting to talk about doing a cookbook! We’re getting ready to do some work on our Santa Fe house because our family has grown. We went from having two grandchildren to five this summer, and we can’t all fit anymore! The kids love being there all together for the holidays, so we’re thinking we’re going to have to knock out a wall or something pretty soon. But it’s going to be fun! Lots and lots of good stuff.

Read all about Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ With Color: What’s Your Color Story? on page 62. 70

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grosbeaks are the beauties and songsters of the Southwest’s elevations

Mark L. Watson

look at us!


ne of the real treats of walking through the mountains in summer is hearing the grosbeaks, whose serenading calls are similar to the robin’s, but more mellow and rich. But seeing a brilliantly colored grosbeak is even more of a delight. We find three grosbeak species commonly in West Texas and in New Mexico: the blackheaded, evening, and blue. A fourth species, the rose-breasted, is rare, but once seen is not to be forgotten, with its triangular bright splash of red on a white breast with black head, wings, back, and tail. In each species the male is very colorful; the females are similar but their coloration is duller and less conspicuous. Grosbeaks spend their winters in the tropics and return to West Texas and New Mexico forests above 5,000 feet to nest, raise young, and spend their summer months. The most common grosbeak, the black-headed, is easy to identify: a large bird with an allblack head, rich cinnamon body and under parts, black wings with white wing bars, and as the name implies, a large beak. The female will lay a clutch of three to four eggs in a loose nest of twigs and weeds in open woodlands. Blue grosbeaks are the smallest and prefer stream and valley habitats up to 7,000 feet. Although the males are a rich deep blue with rusty brown wing bars, in poor light they’ll look as black as blackbirds. I find the evening grosbeak the most beautiful. It’s a chunky bird about the size of a starling. The body is a dull yellow, with feathers tapering into a chocolatebrown head topped with a bright yellow streak that goes from the beak to over the eyes. They’re gregarious, travel in flocks, and are very noisy as they move about the forest eating tree seeds. They’re also fond of sunflower seeds. The evening grosbeak was mistakenly named because it was believed it only sang in the evening. After a winter of seeing mostly brown birds, the annual spring arrival of the flashy grosbeaks is heartwarming. Colorful grosbeaks migrate to West Texas and New Mexico in the spring Their beautiful songs and colors are hard to miss—and why to nest and raise their young. You would anyone want to? might hear before you see the blue Tom Smylie, from Edgewood, New Mexico, is a retired wildlife grosbeak (above) or the striking biologist affiliated with the World Center for Birds of Prey. black-headed (top).

Mark L. Watson

Where you do most often find your Insta-Inspiration? Oh gosh, everywhere! Fashion, art. Flowers inspire me a lot—they’re living inspiration. Food—I think the way we plate food is super important. I love Santa Fe, because you go and see all these tomatoes in all these colors at the farmers market, and not only do you want to eat them, but you want to place them in your kitchen in bowls, and it brings color in a whole other way.

by Tom Smylie



April through July


Based on the concept of a new ecosystem, OVO (egg in Portuguese) is teeming with life—insects of all kinds work, fight, and play with energy and emotion. When a mysterious egg appears, the insects are faced with attempting to understand this enigma and how it fits into their lives. LAS CRUCES COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL APRIL 28–30, PERFORMANCE TIMES VARY LAS CRUCES AVE AND CHURCH STREET, DOWNTOWN LAS CRUCES


A 1934 Cole Porter classic. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, an unlikely pair sets off on a wave of true love, with lots of added hijinks. All the favorites will be included: “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re The Top,” and, of course, “Anything Goes.”

Christopher Wilson

Courtesy Cirque du Soleil

In honor of its fifth anniversary, the Las Cruces Country Music Festival presents its biggest and brightest lineup yet. Headliners include Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Bri Bagwell, and many other locally and nationally known country artists.


The biggest craft beer festival in El Paso! More than 150 different craft beer brands and 60 breweries come out to show off their latest creations. This indoor and outdoor event has two live music stages, food trucks, a liquor garden, gigantic games, and much more. A commemorative 2017 pint glass is included. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA MAY 3–14, PERFORMANCE TIMES VARY PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Stopping in El Paso as part of the brand new North American Tour, Cameron Mackintosh presents The Phantom of the Opera with new special effects, new scenic and lighting designs, and new staging and choreography, all complemented by an orchestra of 52 musicians.


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Grammy-nominated American rock group Band of Horses rides into town with a concert at Tricky Falls. With songs from their fifth full-length album Why Are You OK, fans will enjoy both new music and old favorites.

Courtesy Rhino Entertainment


A one-night performance of well-known Jethro Tull hits from 1968 to date, complete with big screen HD video elements to add to the concert experience. Songs will include: “Dharma For One,” “Nothing is Easy,” “Living in the Past,” “Locomotive Breath,” among others.


Foster the People, Ghostland Observatory, Nelly, Frontera Bugalu, and Thomas Jack are just a few of the 40+ performers slated for this year’s festival. Check online for additional updated information. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA JUNE 6, 7:30 PM PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

The Tony Award–winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific enchants the Plaza Theatre with new twists to the Cinderella story. Don’t miss “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”


Journey, with special guest Asia, performs their greatest hits at the Don Haskins Center this summer, everything from “Don’t Stop Believin’” to “Faithfully” is on the roster. Special Journey VIP packages are available, and include premium seats, exclusive merchandise, and more.



Su Cocina

healthy bites

by Cassie McClure

El Paso’s Nosh keeps things fresh and local

N Above: Pressed for time? Nosh offers a weekly meal prep service with a variety of menu items to keep your diet healthy and delicious, even on the go. Right: The Spring Roll Bowl is packed with vitamins and crunch. Above, top: Nosh relies on fresh microgreens—like sunflower shoots and pea shoots—to create their tasty dishes. 74

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photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

estled in a sunlit nook at the Shops at Montecillo in West El Paso, Nosh aims to take its place in the Sun City as a hub for community wellness—one salad, shake, or coldpressed juice at a time. With a concept four years in the making, owner and executive chef Tara Livingston strives to bring a health-focused intention to her customer’s plates, and educate them on the strengths of eating raw and vegan food. Nosh, which opened in January, is seeing El Pasoans eagerly seeking out healthier food choices.

Livingston, originally from El Paso, first went to culinary school, then broadened her scope in the catering business. From there, it was an entrepreneurial adventure to build her own smoothie bar in a gym—but after studying the local food scene, Livingston wanted to create Nosh as community gathering place for those looking for local raw food and vegan options. As the seasons change, Nosh’s produce changes. Most of it is sourced locally, including kale and greens from La Semilla Food Center in Anthony, New Mexico; grapefruit and oranges from Patagonia Orchards in Rico Rico, Arizona; mushrooms from Myers Mushrooms out of El Paso; and juicing carrots from Schwebach Farm in Moriarty, New Mexico.

Relationships with local farmers help to bridge the gap from farm to table, and add to the sustainable, low-waste model in Nosh’s kitchen. Relationships with local farmers help to bridge the gap from farm to table, and add to the sustainable, low-waste model in Nosh’s kitchen. The restaurant composts its scraps, which are picked up once a week by local farms. Everything is made fresh daily, and all ingredients are made separately for those who may have allergies. You won’t find a microwave anywhere at Nosh. The menu, crafted by Livingston, aims to be antiinflammatory and easy on the digestive system, with little use of dairy. Additionally, it stays simple with three main food groups: Greens, Shake It Up, and Toasted. Greens are Nosh’s take on salads, from the Spring Roll Bowl—purple cabbage, green onion, carrots, Hass avocados, cilantro, sesame seeds, and a peanut sauce—to the Hippie Bowl—quinoa, mushrooms, asparagus, squash, with a superfood vinaigrette. An ahi tuna and Jamaican-style salad is coming soon. Livingston’s favorite? Brain Food: spinach, mushrooms, black rice, feta, and walnuts with a berry balsamic dressing. “It’s incredibly filling,” she says. “And people aren’t used to seeing black rice, which is fun.” Nosh’s shakes, though healthy, are also indulgent, creative concoctions like Piña Colada (pineapple, coconut, honey, bee pollen, and a milk blend), and Chocolate Affair (cacao, dates, vanilla, walnuts, cinnamon, and a milk blend). “Toasted” selections highlight their gluten-free breads and nut butter, along with options such as sprouts, goat cheese, salmon, pesto, and olive tapenade. “We make sure to have something for everyone,” Livingston says. “If four people walk in, we can cater to each of their tastes.” Livingston’s ultimate goal is to create a holistic experience for her customers; to that end, she offers a combination yoga and produce market on the third Wednesday of every month. “We hope to create positive energy with food, so that people feel comfortable coming in and talking to someone about healthier choices,” she explains. “We don’t want anyone to be intimidated by food.”

Above, top: In addition to salads, shakes, and toasts, Nosh also sells coldpressed juice by PUR Cold-Pressed. Juices range in flavor and include ingredients like beets, turmeric, blue-green algae, and chia seeds.

TK word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word

Left: Tara Livingston, Nosh’s owner and Executive Chef, with the Lox and Yogurt Toast bowl (detail above), made with Ezekiel bread, salmon, and Greek yogurt.



Below: Nosh is one of the newest additions to Montecillo, El Paso’s first SmartCode community, which combines city living and local retail.

Above: Salads are completely customizable with several ingredients to choose from and the option to include protein like shrimp, ahi tuna, chicken, tofu, and hardboiled eggs.

Nosh’s sister company, PUR Cold-Pressed, is a healthy option for juice and nut milk. Made fresh on Sundays, the juices are never processed or pasteurized. The cold pressing method extracts liquid

“We hope to create positive energy with food, so that people feel comfortable coming in and talking to someone about healthier choices. We don’t want anyone to be intimidated by food.” —Tara Livingston from plants without denaturing enzymes or breaking down nutrients with high levels of heat or oxygen, so the drinks, like the turmeric lemonade, are ready to go and last three to four days. For those who are truly busy, Nosh offers food to go and even a meal prep system with delivery. The menu changes daily. “Healthy meals for busy people are a challenge,” Livingston says. “Nosh is a solution for that.” Nosh, 150 W Castellano Dr, Ste D, El Paso,



Above: Avocado toast with gluten-free bread, tomato, sprouts, black sesame seeds, and cilantro. Below: Indulgent shakes include ingredients with several health benefits, like spirulina—rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals—and camu camu powder, which is high in antioxidants and strengthens the immune system.

Spring 2017 Advertisers A-1 Kitchens by Sierra.......................................................5 Acme Brick...........................................................................4 Atrium Wrought Iron....................................................46 A.V. Lawn Service & Landscaping..............................56 Bank 34................................................................................63 Bella Vista Custom Homes..........................................17 Bomanite............................................................................42 Bosch & Siemens Appliances........................................9 Builders Source Appliance Gallery..............................1 C & D Southwest Lumber Corp...............................60 Chaney & Marin Financial Planning..........................11 Classic New Mexico Homes...........inside back cover Closet Factory....................................................................44 Comprehensive Varicose Veins..................................69 Copenhagen.....................................................................27 Crown Heritage Homes...............................................47 Decorating Den.................................................................61 Design & Construction by Debbie Salome...........43 Designs by L.L. Power & Associates...........................13 DWS Building Supply.....................................................32 Easy Lawn...........................................................................60 Edible Arrangements......................................................77 Festival of Homes.............................................................33 GO Designs.......................................................................66 Granite & Marble by COMAF..................................48 HPS Audio & Video.......................................................46 ICON Custom Builders...............................................29 Johnny’s Septic..................................................................63 JV Gallerie..........................................................................21 Kitchen Kraft.....................................................................25 Kolmar................................................................................31 Las Cruces Awning Co..................................back cover LCHBA - Showcase.......................................................80 LG Lighting Gallery.........................................................59 Members Trust - Geronimo...........................................3 Milliken Construction...................................................57 MountainView Regional Medical Center..............73 Myriam’s Faux Finish Studio........................................19 Nash Patio & Garden.....................................................45 Nothing Bundt Cakes.....................................................79 Nuovo Cappetto..............................................................79 Outdoor Fire Concepts.................................................27 Pecan Grill & Brewery....................................................77 Pella Window & Door.....................inside front cover Pointe Homes....................................................................39 Pools by Design.................................................................32 Quiñones Design/Build.............................................4, 15 Rawson Building Supply.................................................59 Ross Landers Interiors...................................................44 Sher-wood Cabinetry.....................................................56 Silver Springs Pool & Spa............................................58 Southwest Greens of NM...........................................47 Southwestern Home Products...................................48 Spencer Theater................................................................71 Stonehouse Granite & Marble..................................43 Stout Hardwood Floor Co...........................................42 Sukhmani Home.............................................................49 The Hospitals of Providence........................................67 Torres Welding..................................................................61

Steaks · Pasta · Seafood Full Bar · Custom Brews Extensive Wine List Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free Options Desserts · New Specials Live Music And our new bar + most recent brew, the Hop N'Wheat has arrived! Great atmosphere, fun environment, great food and FUN! 500 S. Telshor Las Cruces, NM · 575-521-1099 · SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

by Danielle Urbina

hold the sugar When it comes to savory cocktails, most might think of a bracing martini studded with olives or the many different variations of a spicy bloody Mary—but bartenders and craft cocktail enthusiasts are changing the game in a big way. By digging deeper and searching for new and innovative cocktail ingredients, mixologists are including more unusual fare than your average fresh fruit and herbs. Savory flavors run the gamut from spicy and smoky to herbal and refreshing; added to cocktails and beverages they offer a surprising twist. Start with a savory-flavored alcohol or add unexpected options: dill, carrot, cucumber, and fiery hot sauce take starring roles in these three cocktails that are perfect for sipping in the sunshine. Try making them at home this spring!

Ultimat Dill Vodka is a popular base alcohol for dozens of cocktails because of its malleable flavor profile. It’s a great starter for savory sips, allowing other flavors to shine while still providing that familiar vodka taste. In this recipe, bright and aromatic dill is combined with cool cucumber for a super refreshing cocktail with a citrusy twist.

Patron Spirits

Makes 1 cocktail 2 oz Ultimat vodka 1 oz fresh lime juice ½ oz agave nectar 2 slices cucumber 1 sprig of dill Pour vodka, lime juice, and agave nectar in a rocks glass filled with ice. Top it off with cucumber slices and add a sprig of dill into the glass as a garnish.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2017

Patron Spirits

spicy, smoky, and salty—savory flavors add kick to cocktails

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed Just as its name suggests, this cocktail is chock-full of bright flavors and just the thing to complement a hearty weekend brunch. One part smoky and one part fresh, this drink calls for añejo—a tequila aged in wooden containers and known for its oak wood flavor and bold, caramel finish. Muddled celery and simple syrup, plus the addition of fresh lemon and carrot juice, balances out the strong añejo flavor and gives it a surprising kick.

Makes 1 cocktail 2 oz Patrón añejo 1 oz fresh lemon juice 1 oz simple syrup 1½ oz carrot juice 4 1-inch chunks of celery In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle celery chunks and simple syrup. Add añejo, lemon, and carrot juice. Shake vigorously with ice and strain onto fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.

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Spicy Cold Don’t let the name fool you: This cocktail is for those who like it a little hot. With the classic combination of vodka and lime as a base, this spicy cocktail gets a power-packed punch of flavor from Valentina hot sauce—a Mexican favorite deriving its distinct flavor from red hot chili peppers and a special blend of spices. Add as many dashes of hot sauce as you’d like—or can handle—and finish it off with cucumber dimes to cool things down just a bit.

Makes 1 cocktail 2 oz SKYY vodka ¾ oz fresh lime juice ¾ oz simple syrup 2 dashes Valentina hot sauce 3 cucumber dimes In a shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and hot sauce. Shake well, then strain over a rocks glass filled with cracked ice. Top with fresh cucumber dimes.

resources WB Liquors & Wine




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Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2017 | Digital Edition  
Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2017 | Digital Edition