Page 1

trendy + transitional

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

in East

El Paso ÂŽ

inspiration ideas resources

pretty paths +

springtime gardening

Southwestern desert oasis Vol. 6 no. 2 SPRING 2018

A VA I L A B L E AT EL PASO: 6560 Montana Ave . 915.775.1000 . LAS CRUCES: 760 West Palms . 575.526.5200 . .

El Paso & Southern New Mexico



Brian Wancho

inspiration ideas resources

On the cover: Tiered gardens, shady trees, and multiple water features come together to create a magical, unexpected oasis in the desert Southwest. Read all about it on page 8. Photograph by Brian Wancho.

In La Luz, a home overlooking White Sands combines eclectic style and stunning architecture.

54 The Right Fit

A transitional model in East El Paso became the ultimate family home.

in every issue

4 Inside Su Casa

8 Life+Style Southwest

A landscape designer’s personal backyard oasis; roses for your Southwestern garden; a roundup of foot-friendly furniture; pretty pathways; pizza ovens; and Steve Thomas on the three core building principles.

24 Design Studio

Moll Anderson’s advice for merging households; re-emerging design trends; local shops celebrating the borderland; mixed metal décor; and cozy guest suites.

34 Su Libro

’Tis the season to spring clean and organize your home; this new book can help.

66 Vida Buena

Southern charm and diverse culture in Charleston, South Carolina; music festivals in the Southwest; and hoppy happenings at the Sun City Craft Beer Fest.

74 Live Performance Calendar

This spring’s exciting live music and hot Broadway shows.

78 Su Cocina


Savage Goods gives back deliciously to its Sunset Heights community; James Selby recommends a few “garden variety” wines that pair beautifully with light springtime fare.

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018


Nohemy Gonzalez

Inside Su Casa

new realities


Bruce Adams



S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018


f you’ve ever doubted that a garden can grow lushly here in the barren Southwest, our cover image is proof that it’s possible. Granted, this spectacular oasis took expertise, planning, and careful site selection, but it’s clear that landscape gardens can be done and done well. This ability to create verdancy in a land of dryness is a metaphor for what we can do with our homes. Technology and good thinking allow for most any need to be met, regardless of where we live, especially in Las Cruces and El Paso. Anything these days can be made to adapt to the realities of our environment. In the pages of Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, we’ve often shown incredible homes that bring qualities from big cities East and West that we wouldn’t normally think of as appropriate for this region. Yet, with the right planning and execution, they can work beautifully. For those who appreciate contemporary design and artwork, it’s incredible how well this genre fits in with the Spanish and adobestyle homes of our region. Contemporary can fit in here just as well as, if not better than, a Soho loft or trendy Los Angeles penthouse. While England, New York, and other humid places are known for their roses, I am here to tell you that I have abundant roses in my yard that actually seem to thrive under these difficult conditions. Our story on roses and information about the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden should be inspiration to add these colorful and relatively easy to grow flowers to your garden. The point is that our homes are not completely bound by the characteristics of our region. While bending those boundaries might take some work and might even require some outside expertise, it can be done and done well. It’s yet another reminder that our homes and gardens can be anything we want them to be. Even lush.

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 Contributors Moll Anderson, Elenie Gonzalez Cassie McClure, Teresa Odle Jessica Salopek, Donna Schillinger James Selby, Steve Thomas Art/Production Director B. Y. Cooper Graphic Designers Allie Salazar, Sonja Berthrong Photography Nohemy Gonzalez, Art Moreno Brian Wancho Business Development Edwin Rosario

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 Street, Suite D-105 Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-1444

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 06, Number 2, Spring 2018. 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 2018 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,

by Jessica Salopek

Life + Style Southwest

photographs by Brian Wancho

passion project a desert oasis continues to grow

As with many of the projects he takes on, landscape designer Mark Nash uses water features in many different ways in his own backyard to create a relaxing ambience.


ark Nash admits that he and his wife Gayle spend more time outside than they do in—and upon seeing their West El Paso home, it’s easy to see why. As the visionary behind the landscaping business Nash Patio & Garden, Nash’s home has become somewhat of a showpiece where he gives his clients a firsthand look at just what he can do. When they bought the home in the late 1990s, Nash snatched up three adjacent lots to ensure he had plenty of blank canvas to work with. Today, almost two decades later, he admits it’s still a work in progress and probably always will be. He continually tries out new ideas and creates features that intrigue potential and loyal clients alike. “I have so many different textures and types of material on display here for them to see,” Nash says. “People like to stand on something or touch it with their hand, as opposed to just looking at it in a picture.” Nash’s backyard certainly offers up plenty of ideas. He aptly describes the space as “meandering,” with various sections highlighting different tastes and styles. In dark corners, he’s created shade gardens filled with woodland plants such as holly ferns and colorful bear’s breeches. Another area showcases an artistically hedged topiary garden, which includes an antique door leading into Gayle’s secret garden. For clients who prefer more of a native

Left: With new features constantly being added, Nash’s yard seamlessly combines ponds, shady trees, and a variety of gardens. 8

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Above: Stones with hues of brown and red blend in with the yard’s natural landscape, while hanging vines and cascading water offer visual and aural interest. Right: Lounge chairs tucked away in the garden give Gayle and Mark a place to enjoy the outdoors and observe passing wildlife.

homage, a desert garden occupies one edge of the Nash property and drifts off into the natural landscape. He has opened up the space to his neighbors, who are welcome to stroll out their back gates whenever the need for nature’s serenity arises.

“I think it’s our water features that, more than anything else, really set us apart. It’s probably my favorite landscaping element to work on.”—Mark Nash

A charming antique door built into the stone wall opens out to one of many gardens on the property.

The property also boasts more than 130 types of trees, showcasing “pretty much everything that grows in El Paso.” Nash, who originally hails from Seattle, says he can’t see himself ever living without the lush greenery and shade that trees provide. Despite his love for all things that grow, Nash points out that the job of a skilled landscape designer stretches well beyond plants, trees, and shrubs. Masonry work, or hardscaping as it is often referred to in the industry, and water features make up the bulk of his workday. “Patios, outdoor fireplaces, and kitchens are the big trends right now, and the great thing about our weather is that we can SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


One of the major appeals of the yard is the different types of wildlife it attracts, from birds and butterflies to turtles, frogs, deer, and even skunks. Below: Ducks must think the Nashes’ backyard is heaven on earth.

actually enjoy them for 10 months out of the year,” he says. Nash’s own home features no fewer than five separate patios with over 4,000 square feet of hardscaping. Ivy-covered stone and brick walls pop up around the property. Some walls cleverly conceal pumps and equipment, while others create texture and old-world charm. There are also three fire features on the grounds, and a wood-burning pizza oven. Much of the space’s ambience, however, stems from the peaceful trickle of water. “I think it’s our water features that, more than anything else, really set us apart,” Nash notes. “It’s probably my favorite landscaping element to work on.” He started his own yard with a koi pond, and it’s grown over the years into a multi-tiered marvel with numerous waterfalls and a cozy seating deck built for two. The stunning feature has attracted a lot more than clients; it also draws in the wildlife he and Gayle love to observe. A herd of five deer visits the property most every day, while ducks, turtles, squirrels, and bullfrogs all make their home there. “We even have a family of skunks that we just about hand-feed at this point,” Nash adds with a laugh. A Nash Gardens project is never complete without the finishing touches, and Nash says lighting is one of the most crucial. Every tree and statue on the property is spotlighted with strategically placed illumination that takes the space to a whole new level. “Lighting is a big deal. It’s what invites you to come out once the sun goes down.” Nash says. “You can even find hanging chandeliers for your outdoor spaces. If you add in really nice furniture, it helps create that overall ambience that people want these days. They want to feel like they’re in their living room when they’re outside. Our job is to put together all the elements to create the feeling of home.” 10

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

resources Nash Patio & Garden

Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

stop and smell the roses

enchanting picks for your Southwestern rose garden

HYBRID TEA ROSE Appearance: Hybrid tea roses feature petaled blooms that range in color from white, yellow, and orange to pink, purple, and red. They can grow anywhere from three to eight feet in height with foliage in different shades of green. Sun: Requires full sunlight. Maintenance: Hybrid tea roses are commonly grown as cut flowers. Plant the roses in full sun and prune them often. These roses benefit from a well-draining soil and should be watered well at the base of the plant and fed regularly. Avoid wetting the plant’s foliage directly, as it can cause fungal diseases that can potentially destroy your plant. Why we love them: Hybrid tea roses are a longtime standard. Their iconic shape and look, as well as their fragrance and color options, make them enchanting additions to yards and gardens.

FLORIBUNDA ROSE Appearance: Floribunda roses grow in large clusters. They can grow anywhere from six inches to eight feet tall and bloom in hues of blue, pink, red, and white, with chartreuse or gold-toned foliage.

ENGLISH ROSE Appearance: English roses feature densely filled petals that are larger than most. They grow from one to 20 feet in size and bloom in blue, green, pink, red, orange, and white with varying foliage. Sun: Requires partial to full sunlight. Maintenance: Plant with enough surrounding space so that roots don’t compete for water. Mulch using compost or bark chips and feed your plant using a slow-release fertilizer. These roses require a regular, deep watering and should be maintained by deadheading and regular cutting to encourage new growth. Why we love them: English roses are stunning in appearance but also versatile when it comes to seasonality. If well taken care of, blooms will stick around for at least three seasons.

Sun: Requires full sunlight. Maintenance: Use a soil with organic matter to ensure proper drainage. Fertilize the roses regularly to encourage healthy growth and prune regularly for maintenance and shape. Why we love them: Just one stem of floribunda roses looks like an entire bouquet. These gorgeous, large roses are ideal for a yard that can use a splash of color, and also look great once cut and in vases.

resources El Paso County Master Gardeners 12

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

SHRUB ROSES Appearance: Shrub roses feature deep green foliage and grow from one to 20 feet. Blooms range in color from white and yellow to pink and purple. Sun: Requires full sunlight. Maintenance: Use a well-draining soil when planting. Remove dead or diseased foliage immediately to avoid damaging the entire plant and deadhead old blossoms to encourage regrowth for the following season. Why we love them: Growing roses can be intimidating for some, but for those who aren’t a natural green thumb, shrub roses are unusually lowmaintenance and surprisingly easy to grow and work with.

CLASSIC NEW MEXICO HOMES Quality Builders of Traditional New Mexican Homes No matter the size, we make all homes unique and classically New Mexico

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

View hundreds of photos at

Life + Style Southwest

by Teresa Odle photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

rosy refuge blooms of all kinds at the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

Lama says rose society and master gardener volunteers suggest varieties to add each year. The garden includes Earth-Kind roses, a special designation from rose garden partner Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service that’s awarded to roses with features like drought tolerance and pest resistance.

“People come by on their lunch hours and have a sandwich on one of our benches and just have an escape for the day.”—Molly Lama Above: An unlikely oasis in the middle of the desert, the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden has been cared for by locals for decades and features more than 400 colorful varieties of roses.


unny El Paso offers great conditions for growing roses, some of the most fragrant and beloved flowers in North America. At the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden, gardening enthusiasts and their families can view hundreds of rose varieties on display. City of El Paso staff and El Paso Rose Society members planted the first 200 roses of the designated garden in 1958 and opened the garden to the public in the spring of 1959. The concept for the Manhattan Heights area garden took shape in the 1920s, when the city commissioned plans for nearby Memorial Park. City garden clubs sponsored plots in the area where the rose garden now thrives. One of the oldest rose bushes, a Mister Lincoln hybrid tea rose, has flowered in the garden for about 40 years, says Molly Lama, master gardener and co-chair of the rose garden. Today, volunteers from El Paso County Master Gardeners and the rose society keep the garden clean, pruned, and blooming. That means regular weeding and deadheading throughout the blooming season and pruning bushes in January. The rose garden’s volunteers and the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department hold a rose pruning demonstration in late January each year. “Our goal for the garden is to educate the public on rose care, pruning, and deadheading,” says Lama. Today, the garden displays more than 1,500 bushes from 430 rose varieties. You can see all types of roses, including climbing, miniatures, floribundas, and roses native to the Southwest. This includes traditional plants like the apricot-colored Marilyn Monroe hybrid tea rose or Harrison’s Yellow, the Yellow Rose of Texas. 14

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

It’s easy to record your favorites as you stroll through the garden’s four acres. “We tag every rose bush and keep up with our inventory list,” says Lama. Be sure to bring a camera, especially in April and October, peak bloom times, when “the whole garden is breathtaking when it’s in bloom.” Aside from education, the purpose of the El Paso Rose Garden is pure enjoyment. It’s a frequent site for picnics, weddings, and photography. “People come by on their lunch hours and have a sandwich on one of our benches and just have an escape for the day, Lama says. The rose garden is open seven days a week from 8 AM to 6 PM March 1 through November 30. To celebrate the season, volunteers host a public tour each spring. Attend this year on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 11 AM to 2 PM.

resources El Paso County Master Gardeners

Life+Style Southwest

by Amy Gross

take a load off

Copenhagen City High Back Chair and Ottoman Clad in a cheery blue Paloma leather, this contemporary recliner and ottoman combo is sleek and elegant with definite midcentury modern flair. The recliner rotates on its chrome star base and is equipped with “Balance Adapt,” a feature that lets it respond intuitively to your body’s motion and sitting angle.

Ambella Home Collection Edward Ottoman Upholstered in soft Tibetan lamb, the Edward Ottoman begs to be enjoyed sans shoes and socks. It’s the perfect companion piece to the midcentury-inspired Edward Chair, and at 36 inches wide, it offers plenty of foot space. Maple Marlboro legs add a touch of luxury to this textural accent piece, but let’s face it: It’s just plain fun! $1,400–$2,700, Designs by L.L. Power and Associates,

Courtesy World Market


hether you’ve spent the day in a rigid office chair or standing at a job site, the pleasure of kicking back, stretching legs, and elevating feet is nothing short of heavenly. Today’s furniture designers feel your pain. These fabulous furniture and décor finds are as attractive as they are functional, so kick back—and put those feet up.

$2,995, Copenhagen, Courtesy Copenhagen

Courtesy Ambella Home

comfortable, stylish ways to stretch out and say ahhhh

World Market Black Suti Pouf There’s no missing this brilliantly hued pouf, perfect for use as extra seating or as a foot rest. Made in India of embellished recycled fabrics and polystyrene beads, the patchwork pouf brings a touch of folk art—or perhaps a bit of bohemian flair?—to any living room, bedroom, or den.

Jessica Charles Delta Chaise A plush seat cushion, sloped arms, and a button-tufted back lend generous comfort to the Delta Chaise. With a nod to Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year—Ultra Violet— the ultra-feminine lounger shown here is clad in a sexy, purple velvet befitting the queen of the house, but other upholstery options are available for the choosing. Price upon request, Decorating Den Interiors, 16

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Courtesy Jessica Charles

$45, World Market,

Life+Style Southwest

by Teresa Odle

trending essentials for a pretty pathway


hether they’re straight or winding, stone or gravel, garden paths add attractive design elements to your home’s landscape and help to enhance its overall outdoor living experience. While design and material choices might seem endless, experienced landscape designers can help customers decide on and budget for garden path materials and designs that work best for every home.

Bill Faulkner

material matters

Stone steps are a popular choice for garden paths; their natural look and texture blend in with the surrounding nature, whether it’s grass (above) or other materials like gravel or mulch (above, top).


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Material popularity comes and goes, but George Ocampo, president of El Paso’s GO Designs, says materials used today are much like those from ancient times. “Crusher run stone, flagstone, pavers, bricks, rock, and mulch are as popular now as they’ve always been,” Ocampo explains. Additionally, designers consider how a material blends with a home’s character and style. Ocampo says materials like Pennsylvania bluestone work well with country French or traditional architectural styles, and Noce tumbled travertine goes better with a Tuscan-style home. Travertine and masonry pavers are popular with many clients, adds Paul Korody, owner of Green Lizard, LLC in Las Cruces. Homeowners also favor traditional materials like gravel and crusher fines. With so many choices, homeowners should consider budget, the home’s character, and walkway function. Korody recommends avoiding the incorporation of too many different materials—flagstone, paver patios, brick—in one design.

Bill Faulkner

joyful journey

Bill Faulkner

Paths don’t have to be straight and narrow. The concrete and brick pathway in this yard features a serpentine shape that adds visual interest.

function and character It can be fun to choose materials for a garden path, but the design is harder to change later, so think through design needs and share your desires with the landscape designer for the most attractive and functional design. When designers visit your property, they note the character and style of your home, neighboring yards, and the

surrounding area. Front, side, and backyard garden paths should match the home’s architecture, especially for curb appeal in the front yard. “The front needs to be clean in design and welcoming,” says Ocampo, “while the backyard is designed to be lived in and is your special place on Earth.” Even within a metro area, landscape styles, soils, and lushness can vary. In the river and valley areas of Las Cruces, the landscape is green and lush. “But up near Sonoma Ranch and Picacho Hills, it’s more of a xeriscape,” Korody says. The terrain, sun exposure, and needs of homeowners also affect custom designs. Don’t forget to factor in existing terrain, elevation, and especially drainage, which can affect the finished product or maintenance of the path. Function is key as well. “We try to lay it out so it’s all useful space and easy to maintain,” Korody notes. “Your pathway can be organic, geometric, or a hybrid,” adds Ocampo. “By keeping the design consistent with existing architecture, your new pathway or walkway can feel like it’s been there all along. That’s when you know it’s right.”

contributors GO Designs Green Lizard, LLC



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

the core principles


’ve been renovating and building homes for nearly 45 years. In that time I’ve watched appliances and building materials evolve, change, and in some cases, disappear entirely. But when it comes to sound building practice, simplicity, integrity, and sustainability are the essential and timeless core values for Steve Thomas Builders—as I suspect they are for many other conscientious builders out there. Simplicity is the principle that things work best when kept as elemental as possible. In scientific argument this is known as elegance; in architecture, as minimalism; and in mechanical design as KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). In architectural drawings, I look hard for what’s missing, but even harder for what’s superfluous. A good architect or designer will develop a design’s inner logic. I try to grab onto that and (on paper, anyway) eliminate anything that does not contribute. With electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems I opt for the most simple and robust options, eschewing most automated lighting systems and overly complicated mechanical systems. Machines break. 20

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

The fewer you have in your house, the fewer you’ll have to fix. Integrity pertains to three categories: the quality of materials, the general level of craftsmanship, and the overall quality of the build. Integrity is a value and does not indicate of itself a higher price point. Regarding materials, you could specify a concrete floor or a marble floor. Both materials have integrity, but the concrete is less expensive. On the other hand, a cheap, poorly made vinyl floor makes the whole project feel cheap and poorly made. Regarding craftsmanship, a well-executed, complex window trim detail with crown molding, frieze board, and back band will be costly, while a well-executed, very simple square edge trim detail will be much less so.

It’s the high level of craftsmanship that gives both approaches integrity. Integrity in the overall build is a little harder to quantify, but in general it means doing the right thing even when no one will ever see it—building for the long term, if you will. Our family house in Salem, Massachusetts, was a first period colonial from the 1700s that I was constantly renovating, restoring, and updating over 27 years. I vividly remember stripping off the lath and plaster in the living room to reveal perfect timber frame joinery, executed and assembled with skill and respect, which had been hidden for some 200 years. Whoever put that frame together understood the notion of integrity in building. Sustainability became an overused term a few years ago, when “green building” was all continued on page 77 In homebuilding, what you can’t see is often more important than what’s visible to the eye. Simplicity, integrity, and sustainability are the hallmarks of quality building.

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

materials and features come and go, but sound building practices are timeless

Special Advertising Section



orking from their home office, Carlos and Juanita Garcia founded ICON Custom Home Builder in 2004. With hard work and customer satisfaction ICON has grown, producing 94 homes in 2017 and over 500 custom homes since 2004. One of the keys to ICON’s success has been the Garcias’ personal involvement in all aspects of the homebuilding process. Another is their ability to attract and maintain a diligent and well-trained staff in both the planning/drafting department and the construction management team. A visit to ICON’s El Paso headquarters is an opportunity to meet with the ICON staff and plan one’s own semi-custom or fully custom home. ICON offers three starting plans. The Choice home plan offers a quality semi-custom home between 1,400 and 1,900 square feet. Buyers can discuss their home’s size, design layout, and finish amenities. The Advantage home plan provides a fully customized home ranging from 1,900 to 2,300 square feet and allows the new homeowner to make floor plan adjustments and select their finishes and appliances. The Premiere home floor plan, a fully custom home starting at 1,900 square feet, gives the new homeowner the ability to select all home amenities and make upgrades. ICON customer satisfaction comes from collaboration with their

homeowners. Right from the start new homeowners interface with the ICON staff, from speaking with mortgage lenders, to developing a floor plan design with the sales and drafting team, and finally to the construction team’s in-progress status reports. When a new home is ready, the closing is made easy with the help and expertise of the office staff. Energy efficiency has occupied a significant place in today’s new homes, and ICON uses top-of-the-line spray foam insulation in all homes. Depending on square footage, HVAC systems are zoned so that the homeowners can direct the cooling or heating to the rooms they select. Further energy savings are made with tankless water heaters and the use of double pane vinyl windows. ICON custom homes feature unique ceiling designs, walk-in pantries with creative entry doors, and sometimes 7-foot windows that separate indoor great rooms walls from the outdoor living spaces. In Premiere and Advantage homes the master bathroom includes a walk-in shower and a spa tub. All ICON homes come with full front landscaping with creative layouts and hardscape elements. Carlos and Juanita are trendsetters. “We evaluate all new techniques and products in the home building industry to provide our homeowners with the latest elements for their new home,” they say. “We ask our clients, ‘Is this a home you can enjoy living in?’ Always, the answer is yes!” ICON’s team of designers, draftsmen, construction leaders, and administrative specialists ensure your home is special.

Enchanted Spaces


hether you’re starting out or starting over, the very first step for couples preparing to merge their lives and belongings together under one roof is to set aside time to discuss a creative direction. If you’re having trouble coming up with a vision, try searching for design inspiration by perusing magazines like Su Casa, design catalogs, or online sites such as Pinterest. Make this assignment fun so that it feels more like a date than drudgery. Pour some wine, bring out a platter of your favorite cheeses, fruits, and crackers, and enjoy! Once you’ve each chosen images of rooms you love, sit down and compare your design styles. Some of the most interesting and fabulous rooms I’ve been a part of have come from collaborations. It’s important to always remember that your home is going to be a reflection of both of you together! The next step is all about the merge and purge. More stuff means more clutter, so it’s a good idea to work through who’s going to bring what before the big move. The most important rule: Watch your language. Say goodbye to mine and hello to ours. If you’ve been living on your own for some time, it is likely that each of you have accumulated some of the same things. You won’t need two of everything, so decide what to keep and what to donate. Kitchen items and appliances are easy things to make decisions about, but there will be some items neither of you will want to part with. I suggest limiting a “must-keep” to one item each.

caution: merging ahead!

Eric Adkins Photography

combining households requires conversation, compromise, and a creative direction


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

by Moll Anderson

Color Merge Exercise. If you were going to decide what color bench to put under this George Condo painting (left), what color would you choose? What colors would you choose together? Start with all the colors in your painting or inspiration piece and choose several fabrics in textures you love that match those colors. Individually, write down your first, second, and third choices. Read your choices aloud to see which ones you each picked. If your first choices don’t match, it’s okay! Discuss your preferences and choose from the other selections. If you can’t agree, sleep on it. Try again later with a fresh perspective. If you still can’t agree, then realize a compromise must be made. Sometimes metallics or neutrals can resolve the conflict.

I promise you there is always one item that one party can’t let go of (and the other just can’t stand to see!) in his or her new home. Take the time to learn and understand where the emotional attachment comes from. If the item must come into your home, propose a compromise. If he insists on that old recliner you’ll despise seeing every day, suggest having it reupholstered or find a location

The most important rule: Watch your language. Say goodbye to mine and hello to ours.

Jeff Katz Photography

that isn’t too busy like an office or man cave. Consigning furniture is another great option; consign what you both don’t love, and use the money to buy something new that you do love. Most importantly, come up with a unified plan together—the “this is us” plan. Remember, how you start out living together forms the basis of your relationship, so every decision requires the three C’s: conversation, compromise, and care.

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


Life + Style Southwest

by Jessica Salopek

pizza pie, oh my wood-fired pizza ovens bring the fun to outdoor parties

Rudy Torres


Right: The cart model from Chicago Brick Ovens is an option for pizza lovers who may not have as much backyard space; plus, it can be easily transported from place to place.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Chicago Brick Ovens

Above: The pizza oven in this West El Paso backyard is built into the outdoor kitchen, giving the homeowners space for prep as well as storage for firewood.

une into Food Network or follow a foodie blog, and one thing is apparent: people want more than just sustenance; they want to be entertained by what they eat. Whether it’s learning about wine and food pairings or choosing their favorite ingredients, involving guests in meal preparation is a surefire way to make a get-together a hit. “When we throw parties, we love to fire up our outdoor pizza oven,” says El Paso interior designer Lynda Power. “Everybody likes something a little different, so we set out bowls of veggies, meats, and cheeses, and guests choose their own toppings. It’s a really enjoyable way to have a group over and everybody can get involved.” Sure, doing it homemade takes a bit more work than dialing up for delivery, but that’s all part of the fun. First, a fire is built right inside the oven, in much the same manner as a campfire. The dome of the oven will start to turn black, but once the soot has burned off and the ceiling is whitish-gray in color, it’s ready for baking. The ashes are pushed to the side and continually stoked to keep the floor upwards of 700 degrees, allowing the dough to cook in mere minutes. When it comes to the ovens themselves, homeowners have a few options. The Power family hired craftsmen to construct their oven from scratch with firebrick, allowing for complete customization. However, to create the perfect pie, the oven must heat up very rapidly and retain that heat for an extended period. It’s a bit more complicated than standard masonry work and should only be attempted by skilled artisans. A simpler solution is buying an oven from a reputable company, like those carried by K.D. Scholten Co. in El Paso. Freestanding units come ready to go, but the more design-oriented option is to purchase just the dome in which the cooking takes place and hire a contractor to create an exterior face that matches the home’s style. Jeff Huff, owner of Design Alliance, has done just that for many of his El Paso clients and says

Chicago Brick Ovens

Countertop ovens (left) can be placed on any sturdy surface outdoors, with high heat that can cook pizza, as well as wood-fired veggies and meat dishes.

the sky is the limit as far as aesthetics go. “We’ve done the full range of architectural styles, from the very contemporary to Spanish Colonial Revival to Tuscan,” Huff explains. “The exterior embellishment goes a long way toward creating the right ambience and, since a pizza oven also provides flame and heat, the ambience is really a big part of its appeal.”

“The exterior embellishment goes a long way toward creating the right ambience and, since a pizza oven also provides flame and heat, the ambience is really a big part of its appeal.”—Jeff Huff To truly get the most out of the oven, Huff also recommends taking into consideration proximity to the indoor kitchen—multiple trips to fetch ingredients can get tedious—and the direction the exhaust smoke flows. “This should be a place for social gathering so a pleasant space with good seating is important,” he adds. And once the setting is in place, pleasing a crowd couldn’t be any easier. Powers’s entertainment philosophy is simple: “Just throw together a salad and a pitcher of sangria, and everyone is happy.”

resources Design Alliance Designs by L.L. Power and Associates K.D. Scholten Co.

Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

old is new again re-emerging design trends for 2018


ot all things are destined to stay in the past for good—that’s why vintage and antique items are so popular with those for a taste for something unique, but with a little bit of history. The same goes for interior design; styles once deemed “out” or too oldfashioned are popping up again, made with materials reimagined to fit into today’s home. This year, whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other area in the home, designers are all about reintroducing forgotten elements to give homes a reminder of the past.

Courtesy Interceramic

six-sided style

Above: A combination of black and white marble hex tiles by Interceramic stand out against the bright white countertop in this kitchen. Below: The Trough 30 sink, designed by Native Trails, is easily a focal point in this bathroom, but thanks to its sturdy, hammered copper build, it’s sure to stick around for years to come.

Dating all the way back to the 19th century, hexagonal tile—known as hex tile—is rising in popularity once more, thanks to its clean, classic look. Only now, designers and homeowners are a little more imaginative with the honeycomb-shaped tile, using it in a variety of ways. Bathroom floors take well to the tile and mirror the look of traditional homes from the early 1900s, but the tiles can also be grouped together to form a colorful mosaic for the floor or shower. In the kitchen, adding a hex tile backsplash is a great way to add dimension by using light tiles and a contrasting grout to create a textured look. The best part about these historic little tiles? Their style and shape are so versatile that they can fit in well with so many of today’s interior design trends, whether your home is traditional or super modern.

hardworking sinks

Courtesy Native Trails

In earlier times, homes lacked the modern conveniences—washers, dryers, dishwashers—we’re used to today, which is why utilitarian sinks were a must, in order to tackle household duties from dishes to laundry. Today, those utilitarian-style sinks add a chic, timeless look to bathrooms, kitchens, and even laundry rooms. Inspired by the authentic look of hardworking sinks from the past, sink designers and artisans are putting out everything from high-back trough sinks to industrial and farmhouse-style sinks, but with newer materials interpreted to artfully blend in with today’s trends. For something classic, go with porcelain, soapstone, or quartz; for an eye-catching centerpiece, designers offer sinks constructed from gorgeous copper or hammered metal. 28

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

classic illumination

Courtesy Tech Lighting

One way to add old-fashioned style without dedicating an entire space to the past is by incorporating vintage or vintage-style lighting through chandeliers and pendants. As many homeowners already know, lighting is critical because it helps to set the mood while also highlighting your home’s architectural style—it’s used to illuminate but can also become a decorative focal point if chosen carefully. A great way to add vintage flair is by pairing old with new—vintage lighting in a modern or contemporary space adds warmth and added charm. Luckily, if you can’t find the right vintage piece (or don’t want to spend the money on one) lighting experts such as Kichler, Kalco, and Tech Lighting are putting out designs that harken back to decades from the ’30s and ’40s to the ’70s and ’80s.

resources Builders Source Appliance Gallery Above: The Masque Grande pendant by Tech Lighting takes its inspiration from the distinct style of midcentury modern design of the 1950s. Its simple lines and smoky gray color add sophistication to any space.

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Interceramic LG Lighting Gallery 915-585-3000



Design Studio

by Elenie Gonzalez

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

cultural pride local shops with a love for the borderland


Above: Chuco Relic’s original shop in West El Paso carries everything from El Paso-themed shirts to colorful pieces from local arists. Above, top: Casita Home and Goods’ beautiful, handcrafted dishes and glassware etched with delicate patterns are made and sourced from artisans all over Mexico. 30

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

ake a walk around Downtown or hang out at an El Paso Chihuahuas game and you’ll see people wearing t-shirts with famed Mexican singer Juan Gabriel’s face on it saying “Vamos al Noa Noa,” or a tee that says, “Just the Tip,” both references that only El Pasoans understand. Chances are the shirts came from Chuco Relic, a local shop that has become a household name in the city of El Paso. “I love El Paso; I have a passion for El Paso,” says owner Chelsea Evaldi. “I only wanted to sell El Paso stuff. Little by little it just became more cultural. It comes from my background; it’s from what I know.” When she purchased her shop, Evaldi had an idea to sell souvenirs that would be unique to the borderland. “In the past, if a tourist visited El Paso, there would be nowhere to buy an El Paso souvenir except Walmart,” Evaldi says. Chuco Relic—which has two locations in the Sun City, one in the Roderick Artspace Lofts and the other in TI:ME at Montecillo—sells everything from t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and small novelties to art from local artists. It was important for Evaldi to showcase El Paso and give local artists a place to sell their work; each month she likes to showcase a different local artist. One of her more notable artists is Patrick Gabaldon, whose bright colors of the scenic landscape of El Paso are popular with shoppers. Entrepreneur Mila Marcus also has a love for the borderland and has her own take on how to share it with the world. She owns Casita

Marcus’s goal with her shop is to share authentic, one-of-a-kind home goods with consumers who aren’t as familiar with the border region. She also aims to assure that the items she sells would fit into a modern household where one probably wouldn’t have traditional Mexican goods in their kitchen.

“This really is an art. It’s really a tradition that’s passed on through generations of family, and it’s so cool to see.”—Mila Marcus

Above: For El Pasoans, nothing says “home” like the star on the mountain. Artists that work with Chuco Relic focus on producing items not only for locals and visitors, but for natives who have moved away, too.

Home and Goods, where she sells hand-crafted home goods produced deep in Mexico for the everyday American home. Inspired by her own childhood, in which she says her mother “created the most beautiful, welcoming, and entertaining home,” Marcus wanted to one day build the same kind of home for herself. Living on the border, Marcus often traveled to Ciudad Juárez. “I grew up on the border so I have an immense love for the border, and an immense love for the connections between the U.S. and Mexico,” she explains.

Ceramics and glassware are the more popular items at Casita Home and Goods. Marcus works closely with artisans spread throughout warehouses in Mexico who make hundreds of orders per day. Each item is not only high quality but distinctly handcrafted, hand-painted, and hand-embroidered. “This really is an art,” Marcus says of the artisans she works with. “It’s really a tradition that’s passed on through generations of family, and it’s so cool to see.”

contributors Casita Home and Goods Chuco Relic



Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

mixed metal

Courtesy Kalco

let your home’s personality shine with matte and metallic finishes


one are the days of one-dimensional spaces. In so many of the interior design trends we see today, homeowners and designers are ditching “matchy matchy” for something with more depth by combining styles, colors, and finishes all in one room. One way to achieve this look is by mixing metals—metallic and matte—to create a feeling that’s both sophisticated and warm. From kitchen products to lighting, here are a few things to get you started.

Kalco Fossil One Light Pendant Inspired by images of the prehistoric era, the Fossil Pendant is a statement-making fixture that glows from the inside out. The pendant’s antique bronze exterior is paired with an antique gold interior for a gleaming finish that will seamlessly tie in with a streamlined, matte palette. $2,920, Designer’s Mart,

Courtesy Pier 1 Imports

Price upon request, Builders Source Appliance Gallery, S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Courtesy Bertazzoni

$140–$160, Pier 1 Imports,

Bertazzoni Master Series 48 Six Burner Range Moody, black kitchens are all the rage right now, and a great way to get on board is with stylish, matte black appliances. This wide range by Bertazzoni features six gas burners, a dual-power burner, electric griddle, and double ovens. Seen here in matte black, the range is also available in matte white and matte cream.


Courtesy Kohler

Pier 1 Imports Pierced Metal Floor Hurricane Candle Holders These hefty floor hurricanes by Pier 1 are the perfect example of metallic décor that’s flashy without being too shiny. The hurricanes are made with strong iron bases and are handpainted with a dark bronze finish. Additionally, each piece has been intricately carved with a Moroccan-inspired design to give your interior spaces a touch of eclecticism.

Kohler Iron Plains Wading Pool Bathroom Sink Because we typically think of sinks purely for their functionality, they often get overlooked as an intentional part of a bathroom’s design plan. Fortunately, there are plenty of sinks out there that embody elevated style with unique shape and a dash of color. This sleek sink is made from heavy-duty cast iron and boasts a curved, organic shape and matte black underbody—a great choice for a chic, minimalist look. Price upon request, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery,

Editor’s Choice

go for

the bold

If your living room seems to be lacking in style, it may finally be time to add color—in a big way. I often hear people say that neutraltoned sofas and seating (think tan, gray, and white) are the way to go because of their versatility. Sure, that’s easy, but in my opinion, easy isn’t quite as fun. This spring, designers are rolling out their latest design trends. One of my favorites? Sofas and loveseats that really go for it in terms of color and pattern. There’s nothing like a bold, stylish sofa that commands attention to inspire you to be a little more brave when it comes to choosing large pieces of furniture for your home. A vibrant or colorfully patterned chair can easily bring a room to life—but be careful to keep everything else relatively calm and neutral so that your room’s style falls in line nicely. So whether your style is traditional, contemporary, or lingers somewhere around midcentury modern, this season it’s all about color, and I dare you to break the rules.—Danielle Urbina

Courtesy World Market

Below: The Kenway Loveseat from World Market features a simple silhouette, but comes in several bright colors and patterns to add some fun to your interiors. Shown here in Kelly Green Bindi.



Su Libro

clean for spring a new book highlights the joys of an organized home Remodelista: The Organized Home, by Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick, Artisan, hardcover, $18


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Matthew Williams


When it comes to organization, authors Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick believe in quality over quantity and putting everything in its own place. A closet uses wire and cloth bins for storage (above), while an ultra-organized kitchen’s shelves (below) are lined with neat containers.

readers to start their own overhaul. To help get you thinking like an expert, the authors also interview professionals—a kindergarten teacher, a food editor, a designer, a veteran hotelier, and others—for their unique advice and opinions on keeping things effortlessly organized. The book’s introduction begins by briefly explaining 12 universal storage tactics, as well as daily rituals that will help readers maintain a sense of calm in the home. This applies to every home, the authors stress, no matter the size or style. “You don’t need cavernous closets and built-in cabinetry to have an orderly household,” they note, “but you do need a place for everything.” The chapters that follow dig into specific details on tackling organization in each

Matthew Williams

s the dust from winter clears, it’s time to start thinking about a deep spring clean to declutter and refresh your interiors with new trends and less chaos. It’s no secret that an organized home makes life a little less stressful—but actually keeping it that way can be a challenge. In their new book, Remodelista: The Organized Home, authors Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick give readers helpful insight on how to minimalize and declutter a home while still keeping it comfortable and stylish. The keys, say the authors, are to buy fewer, but better things; utilize things you already have (but forgot about); and take your ideas from experts like interior designers, hoteliers, and shopkeepers. Above all, Carlson and Guralnick remind readers to relax and focus on keeping things homey. “Too much enforced order is uninviting for occupants and guests alike; rooms are for living,” they explain. The book is divided into several informative chapters based on some of the most important spaces in a home: the entryway, the kitchen, bathrooms, closets, and more. In each chapter, Carlson and Guralnick include a section called “Steal This Look,” which features interior spaces in several different styles to help inspire

room—from creating a streamlined entryway, to thinking like a foodie in the kitchen. Even further, the book features beautiful photography as an example of each organized space—a few photos are numbered to highlight tips such as using trays to frame objects, what to use as storage containers, and hacks for using and repurposing items that you probably already own.

“You don’t need cavernous closets and built-in cabinetry to have an orderly household, but you do need a place for everything.” —Carlson and Guralnick

Matthew Williams

The best part about this book is that the authors keep everything simple, straightforward, and realistic—even including tips and tricks for apartments, which makes it a great read even for students in dorms or those just starting out in a place of their own. If simply flipping through the pages of this visual manual doesn’t immediately inspire, diving into each chapter certainly will (trust me, I tried it!). Remodelista: The Organized Home is a complete guidebook for the modern lifestyle, and proves that you can have a comfy, stylish home that’s organized, too. –Danielle Urbina

Above: “Clean and uncluttered is the impression you want from a bathroom,” say the authors. Stow everything but the necessities to maximize space.

Design Studio

by Donna Schillinger

be our


inviting, visitor-ready retreats


ospitality is not so much about putting your best foot forward as it is about creating an environment where guests feel at ease and can relax. Decorative soaps, antiques and heirloom décor, beds piled high with decorative pillows—these all sound like the makings of a showpiece guest room, but will they contribute to your guests’ comfort? “Pillows end up on the floor and then guests don’t remember how they were supposed to look on the bed,” says Connie Hines of Connie Hines Interior Design in Las Cruces. “You don’t want to add little stumbling blocks to your guests’ experience.” For Hines, ideal guest quarters offer many of the same amenities of a high-end hotel room, but with the added comforts of home. Hines approaches guest suite design from a first-person perspective: “In designing a guest suite, I start by thinking about the best hotel room I’ve stayed in recently and then begin to apply the functionality of that room first. The look is important, but it’s always function first.” High on the list of functional amenities is an en suite arrangement, which may be as modest as a closeted toilet and vanity, or as elaborate as a jacuzzi tub. Equip the guest bath with a hair dryer, robes, slippers, plush towels, and a place to hang used towels. Provide travel or sample-sized toiletries that are clearly intended for your guests’ use. Furnishings are usually the core of a room’s interior design, but designer Ross Landers of Ross Landers Interiors in El Paso says guest suite furnishings are often a secondary consideration. “Guest rooms tend to inherit the leftover furnishings that didn’t work elsewhere in the home,” he notes. In that case, Landers says strate36

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

In Las Cruces, a separate guest casita features a small dining area and charming kitchen with a cheery green and yellow palette.

Jesse Ramirez

Bill Faulkner

The guest room in this El Paso home is compact, but includes all the necessary amenities for overnight guests, including a desk and easy access to the outdoor living area.

Bill Faulkner

Jesse Ramirez

Above: Bedding is just as important as every other amenity in a guest room. Here, a Southwestern-style space includes a cozy comforter, plenty of pillows, and an extra blanket at the foot of the bed. Right: The viga-upon-latillas ceiling design and combination of fabrics and iron give this guest room a warm but eclectic feel.

gic choices in fabric, wallpaper, draperies, upholstery, and rugs can achieve design consistency with the rest of the home. Landers recommends a gender-neutral color palette in cool grays or warm browns to appeal to a variety of visitors and create a soothing, tranquil environment. A simple, tailored duvet over 400-thread count linens with choice of foam and feather pillows on a queen-sized bed, or two twins, will be appropriate year-round.

“In designing a guest suite, I start by thinking about the best hotel room I’ve stayed in recently and then begin to apply the functionality of that room first.”—Connie Hines Other essentials include adequate light—bedside and overhead—and a nightstand with a small tray to set reading glasses or jewelry. If space allows, create a separate seating area, and provide light reading material that features local points of interest. Today’s well-connected visitors will appreciate a convenient charging dock and the Wi-Fi password written on a card. A smart TV can be wirelessly paired to laptops to serve as an oversized

monitor, enabling the luxury of working from the bed. Even so, the well-appointed guest suite will still offer a small desk and chair with pen and stationery. “Don’t overfill the room with furnishings and décor,” Landers advises. Give your guests space and dedicated places for their belongings in clutter-free closets and empty drawers. Finally, offer night lighting for easy navigation when lights are out, and provide bottled water and snacks for their comfort overnight. Your choices of everything from furnishings to snacks should be based on an honest assessment of who will be using your guest room. “Use wide brush strokes to fit a lot of different people’s tastes in furnishings and décor,” Hines advises. The snacks, on the other hand, should be your guests’ favorites. Whether it’s for your mother-in-law coming for an open-ended visit, or an Airbnb one-night stay, offering comfortable and tasteful guest accommodations is a caring way of letting your guest know just how welcomed they are.

contributors Connie Hines Interior Design Ross Landers Interiors



The Retreat

big views, cozy spaces, and eclectic style all add up to a stunning dwelling in La Luz


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

by Jessica Salopek photographs by Brian Wancho


hortly after a massive windstorm took out over 50 trees on their 40acre property, La Luz, New Mexico residents DJ and Graciela decided it was time to start anew. DJ had lived in the property’s historic home, a former hunting lodge built in 1930, for four decades and he was ready for something with more modern day comforts. Graciela wanted more open space than homes built in that era typically afforded. Having worked with Alamogordobased builder Ernesto Martinez of Bar M Construction in the past, they invited him over to scout out their prospective site—a ridge at the high end of their property overlooking a picturesque pond and boasting sprawling views of all of White Sands in the distance.

“Having choices leaves everyone with a better experience because the final product is completely personalized.” —Ernesto Martinez

Overlooking White Sands and the surrounding landscape, the backyard of DJ and Graciela’s new home is a private escape, complete with a pool, fire bowls, and a column-lined living area.

Anyone who has ever built a home probably remembers at least one cringe-worthy conversation in which they asked the builder to deviate from the original plan. Martinez believes the word “custom” means just that, and he welcomes any challenges that pop up along the way. “Giving the client the freedom to get creative is what makes the space truly theirs because it’s tailored to their wants and needs,” he explains. “I’m not only open to changes, I make my own suggestions as the project goes along. Having choices leaves everyone with a better experience because the final product is completely personalized.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Left: Beautiful pieces from the couple’s art collection are on display throughout the home. In the living room, a colorful, modern-style screen hides the TV but blends in with paintings in the space.

Below: Archways define each space in the center of the home. Here, the custom mesquite and stained glass front door peeks through a rotunda in the entryway.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Left: The pantry door and cabinetry in the kitchen are all made from solid mesquite, making them “not only beautiful, but sturdy,” says homebuilder Ernesto Martinez.

Below: A backlit piece of onyx adds something extra to the home bar, which boasts glass shelves and built-in cabinetry.

“Graciela is very eclectic—she likes color; she’s bold. DJ is a little more traditional, so we needed to find that harmony.”—Ernesto Martinez The trio started with a vision of a Pueblo-style hacienda decked out with arches and rustic stonework that pays homage to DJ’s cherished lodge. On a material-finding trip to Mexico, they found themselves rounding out their personal style with contemporary touches and finishes. At one quarry, they fell in love with a slab of onyx, and Martinez immediately saw it as the backdrop for the full-scale bar that now holds court between the kitchen and living area. “I drew up a sketch, as I often do, and explained how we’d light it up from behind. It was a fun process because it’s one of those things that evolved here on the job site as the project moved along,” he says. The gleaming backdrop sets the tone for sculptural onyx light fixtures throughout, along with glass vessel sinks and a diamond wall finish that gives off a seductive sheen. These decidedly modern design features are interwoven with rugged elements like stone fireplaces, cantera columns, and wood beamed ceilSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


An onyx globe glows orange and yellow in Graciela’s Zen-inspired garden.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

ings. Many of the rooms revolve around pieces of antique furniture that DJ has had “for years and years,” including a butcher block from the old lodge that is built right into the granite kitchen countertops. Martinez and the homeowners share an affinity for mesquite wood, and it too is a resounding theme throughout the home. In addition to the cabinetry and bar area, all the eight-foot-tall interior doors are solid mesquite, shipped in from Mexico. “Graciela is very eclectic—she likes color; she’s bold. DJ is a little more traditional, so we needed to find that harmony,” Martinez remembers. “Getting the doors here from Mexico was a huge challenge, but they are here now and they make a statement. I hope that as he walks through his home every day DJ sees exactly what he wanted.” Right: The elegant formal dining room is the designated spot for big family dinners and special occasions.

Below: Every part of the home has its own story, including a pergola in the backyard, which is constructed with reclaimed vigas salvaged from a hacienda in Mexico.



Above: Color abounds in the master bedroom, where a vivid red accent wall brings character and speaks to Graciela’s eclectic tastes. A doorway nearby leads to DJ’s personal library and office space.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Everything in the couple’s master suite is built with their needs in mind, including a custom “picture frame” vanity that opens up their separate spaces in the master bath.



Left: Homeowners Graciela and DJ (at right) with buildersturned-personalfriends Ernesto and Susana Martinez of Bar M Construction.

Another “welcome challenge” arose mid-construction in the master bathroom. The his-and-hers spaces are conjoined by a Jack-andJill steam shower, but DJ changed his mind about having them completely separate when he realized how much he’d miss morning conversations with his wife. Instead of the original plan to divide the vanity areas with a solid wall, Martinez got creative and designed a mirror enclosed in what he calls “a picture frame they can converse through.” Graciela says her master bath is now one of her favorite spaces in the home, along with the kitchen where a large fireplace—built, stone-by-stone, by Martinez’s brother—roars as she indulges in her passion for creating Mexican, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine for family and friends. But that’s not the only focal point in the kitchen; one of the first things you see as you walk in is an enormous copper range hood with a story 46

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Above: Built around antiques from the old lodge, the game room includes a pool table and a vintage pinball machine.

Blazing fire pots, colored lighting, and a well-lit patio bring the stunning backyard to life at night.



of its own. After seeing something similar in a magazine, Graciela tracked down the East Coast craftsman who made it and had it replicated for their new home. Without a way to ship the entire piece, the craftsman traveled across the country to not only deliver the hood, but install it personally. For his own place of serenity, DJ finds solace in his study, lined with shelves of books on one end and picture windows framing the silvery stretches of White Sands on the other. “DJ has a ritual of reading on a daily basis,” says Martinez. “The study isn’t just for doing paperwork; it’s also a meditation space of sorts.” The same can be said for the Zen garden right off the master suite. Just around the corner sits a swimming pool and nearly 2,500 square feet of covered patio for entertaining large groups, but this tucked away haven is all about solitude and peace. A massive onyx globe shimmers in the center of the serene outdoor space, which strives to incorporate a multitude of natural textures. On the other end of the property, guests can walk straight out of their private suites and


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Designed by Martinez, all of the exterior columns are constructed with cantera stone and Mexican sillar bases. Opposite: A century-old tree that toppled over during a wind storm was cleverly used as a design element in the temperature-controlled wine cellar.



The all-inclusive outdoor living area showcases a full kitchen, dining space, and fireplace. Wooden beams and stone flooring mimic the home’s interior style.

resources Builder Bar M Construction Appliances Morrison Supply Audio Visual Home Theater & Security Experts Countertops Stone Masters Kitchen & Bath Center


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Landscaping J&L Landscaping Flooring Casa Mexicana Tile Pool & Spa Bomanite

soak in the tranquility while lounging on the cushioned swing that hangs beneath a pergola constructed from 100-year-old vigas salvaged from Guadalajara, Mexico. “You literally can’t replicate this,” Martinez notes. The rambling property—perched favorably in a landscape that offers the best of both desert and mountain living—is also planted with over 400 grapevines. DJ became interested in wine when he was a resident of California in the 1970s, and one of the hallmarks of the home is a wine cellar that incorporates one of the century-old trees that fell prey to the windstorm. After a long day working in the vineyard, DJ and Graciela say they now have a place to find respite. DJ says, “I haven’t put it on any placard or anything, but in the back of my head, I think of this home as simply, The Retreat.”

Special Advertising Section



ustin and Amy Sherwood, drawn to the relaxed Las Cruces lifestyle, beautiful weather, and amazing food, moved to this area in 2004 and were blessed to raise six beautiful children. Long before he came to New Mexico, however, Justin started learning woodcraft in his grandpa’s shop as a kid, becoming well-schooled in wood working and cabinetry making in the Phoenix area. Justin and Amy believed a natural move would be to start a cabinet business in their new hometown for Las Cruces homeowners and area builders. Working as a team, Justin and Amy grew Sher-Wood Cabinetry steadily from a home garage to an amazing design center. Looking back, after operating in Southern New Mexico and El Paso for 14 years, Sher-Wood has proudly served over 7,000 satisfied customers. Sher-Wood Cabinetry has an excellent Sales & Design team, which includes Travis Sherwood, Justin’s brother, Shawn Brownfield, Brenda Thatcher, and Anna Lueras. One of Sher-Wood’s main services is providing complimentary professional design evaluations to meet their customer’s preferences. They are experts at maximizing available kitchen and bathroom space. Sher-Wood offers a broad selection of cabinetry styles and high

quality finishes to fit any style and any budget, and each cabinetry package they create is fully custom. Although kitchen cabinetry and baths are a common request, Sher-Wood also produces cabinetry for entertainment centers, pantries, master closets, offices, libraries, and other areas of the home. Matching hardware with a variety of top-ofthe-line options is of course available to complement and complete the many cabinet styles and finishes. Sher-Wood now sells a variety of flooring options as well. At Sher-Wood, custom countertops are manufactured to the customer’s design specifications. Countertops are available in granite, quartz, wood, solid surfaces, and laminates. Of course, installation is a critical part of the new cabinetry and countertop process, and Sher-Wood’s team of trained and experienced installers ensure each installation is finished professionally and matches all design specifications. Sher-Wood offers a “One Year Tune Up” a year from the time of installation where their service tech will come back to your home and touch up and adjust your cabinetry. Whether looking to remodel a kitchen or a bath or create a new office space or master closet, come visit Sher-Wood Cabinetry in their new facility, where they have evolved into the Sher-Wood Design Center.

Justin and Amy Sherwood (front row) with Sher-Wood Design Center’s dedicated team of cabinetry and countertop experts.

the right fit a transitional model in East El Paso became the ultimate family home

Art Moreno

Carlos and Perla Robles’s new home features transitional-style architecture with several traditional elements including cantera stone throughout, a tiled front porch, and elegant columns.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

by Danielle Urbina


ears ago, Far East El Paso was nothing but desert you’d pass on the highway. But once businesses and homebuilders began to develop the area with shops, restaurants, family-friendly recreation, and beautiful homes, this side of town boomed with new energy. Hoping to be a part of that renewed energy were Carlos and Perla Robles, two native El Pasoans who were beginning the search for a new home for themselves and their three children. Carlos, an insurance agent, wanted an east side home that was close to his office, but couldn’t seem to find what he and Perla were looking for in terms of fresh, trendy style. “At the beginning, we started thinking we wanted to just build our own home so we could get exactly what we wanted and needed,” he remembers.

“There are a lot of people who want contemporary, but it can feel cold. So we combined traditional elements.” —Edgar Garcia That all changed after a weekend stroll through El Paso’s Festival of Homes, when a home built by Bella Vista Custom Homes piqued Perla’s interest and its unforgettable architecture and interior details made an impression on her. As it happens in life, sometimes you unexpectedly make the right move at the right time. During yet another drive around town to scope out lots and homes, the couple decided to put in a call to Bella Vista, and owner Edgar Garcia immediately offered to show them some of the new projects he’d been working on. One happened to be the transitional model home Perla fell in love with— and the rest is history. “The home was beautiful, and I loved the architecture,” says Carlos. Garcia, too, admits that it’s a recent build he’s most proud of. “We kind of fell into transitional design based on what some of our other customers have been wanting,” he says. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Brian Wancho

Above: Together with Grisel Ortega of Bella Vista Custom Homes, the homeowners chose light-colored, traditional furnishings to contrast rich browns in the living room.

Brian Wancho

Left: Ten-foot doors custom-made by The Iron Snail open into the entryway and adjacent home office.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

“So that’s how we came up with the design for this home. But this project was just over the top.” That trendy blend of cozy traditional with cool contemporary happened to meet Carlos and Perla’s desires, but it was the interior design too that caught their attention. “Edgar had put a lot of upgrades into the home since it was his show house, so it was already basically everything we wanted,” Carlos explains. “What I liked was that everything was ready for us and I wouldn’t have to put any work into it for the next few years; it was ready to live in.” Tall and sleek, two custom, contemporary-style doors greet you and open into the home’s entryway and open concept floor plan, which includes a spacious living area, dining room, and kitchen. Though much of the architecture in this space features clean, modern lines, Garcia

Art Moreno

The home’s central spaces were laid out so that the living room, kitchen, and dining room all flow together harmoniously.

Brian Wancho

Art Moreno

Below: An iron entryway table is outfitted with sculptural dĂŠcor with a chic mirror conveniently placed right above.

Accents like natural stone columns and stone finishing on the entertainment center lend added warmth to the living room. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Brian Wancho

Above: In the kitchen, extra long maple cabinetry features glass panels where the homeowners can display china and other pieces of dĂŠcor.

Art Moreno

Left: Wanting to include a layered lighting plan throughout, homebuilder Edgar Garcia incorporated several fixtures from room to room including these globe-like pendants in the dining room.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Right: A combination of materials—stone, steel gray granite, and marble—come together in the master bath.

made it a point to use a combination of materials to give it warmth. “There are a lot of people who want contemporary, but it can feel cold,” he explains. “So we combined traditional elements.” Those elements include things like stacked, natural stone columns, an entertainment center with a stone finish, wood grain tile, and a palette that includes both neutral tones and rich browns. As an added bonus, Carlos and Perla decided to purchase a majority of the furniture and accessories already in the home, thanks to Bella Vista’s new sister company, 8 Designs, which offers their clients hand-selected furniture, lighting, and accessories from several markets across the United States.

Art Moreno

Art Moreno

Contrast is key in the master bedroom, where rustic wood furniture effortlessly blends with soft white fabrics and darkertoned wood grain tile.



Art Moreno

Undoubtedly the focal point of the master bath, a jacuzzi tub with a stone and granite surround is topped off with a sparkling chandelier.


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

In the kitchen, layered lighting illuminates custombuilt, maple cabinetry and the gray steel granite countertops throughout. For contrast, Garcia chose a cream-colored stone backsplash and stainless steel appliances to match the industrial look of four hanging pendants. Plush barstools surround the kitchen’s bar top for informal meals and snacks for the kids, but just steps away, a dining area is perfect for formal family dinners and overlooks the backyard.

“Edgar had put a lot of upgrades into the home since it was his show house, so it was already basically everything we wanted.”—Carlos Robles Privately tucked away in one corner of the home is the master suite, where Garcia really honed in on adding distinct detail. Contrasting colors on the walls and ceiling lend depth to the space, while an open breezeway leads from the bedroom to the luxurious master bath. “We mixed a lot of materials in the home,” says Garcia. “Especially in the bathroom where we used natural stone, wide format tile, and marble in the jacuzzi tub

Brian Wancho

Art Moreno

A beautiful English-style porter’s chair in the entryway features a dome shape with elegant navy blue fabric and a wooden frame.

Above: The couple’s home office showcases one of many distinct ceiling designs in the home. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Brian Wancho

Left: A warming metallic fireplace set into a stone surround makes the outdoor living area extra cozy and livable during more of the year.

and part of the shower.” The tub—complete with an elegant chandelier—is all about relaxation, while frameless glass doors open into a shower glimmering with mosaic tiles. As it is with so many homeowners in this area, a highly favored part of the home is the backyard and outdoor living area. “We design all of our homes with a spacious outdoor living area in mind because people here really like to spend time cooking and just enjoying the weather we have,” Garcia notes. That goes for Carlos, too, who says he loves to invite family over to hang out and relax as he grills up carne asada in his new outdoor kitchen. But even when they’re not cooking and entertaining,


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

the family still enjoys alone time outdoors, sitting around the fireplace and relishing in their new surroundings. “Honestly at first I didn’t want to move to this part of town; I was unsure about it,” Carlos remembers. “But this house changed my mind. It’s modern, it’s new, and it’s trendy.” Together with Bella Vista’s style and the couple’s own personal touches, the model house has now become a busy home where Carlos and Perla are raising their young family and enjoying everything East El Paso now has to offer—happily ever after, indeed.

Art Moreno

Above: The home’s balanced interior style is translated outdoors, where plush wicker furniture is paired with metallic accents.

resources Builder Bella Vista Custom Homes Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Cabinetry David Hernandez Countertops Stone City Rocks Doors Trim Team Doors & Windows Entry Doors The Iron Snail, Inc. Flooring Interceramic Furniture and Lighting 8 Designs Landscaping Forever Green Landscaping Windows Franklin Building Materials SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Danielle Urbina

charmed, I’m sure gracious Charleston is rich in lowcountry history and culture


ith its cobblestone streets and antebellum homes, Charleston is a step back in time. The charming city, once solely a seaport, is now the crown jewel of the Carolinas, constantly transforming, and yet maintaining its unique culture and deep-rooted history. As it continues to top lists on many travelers’ must-see destinations, Charleston is also quickly building on its present-day aesthetic, becoming the place to which new generations of chefs and restaurateurs, artists, and eager entrepreneurs are flocking—and thriving.

TK word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word 66

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Courtesy Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau

rich in history

Charleston lays claim to a storied history that began some 400 years ago when, thanks to its coastal location, it became a hub for ships carrying raw materials back and forth from England. Ships returned from Europe laden with foreign, luxury goods, which quickly earned Charleston its cosmopolitan reputation and nickname, “Little London.” In the 18th and 19th centuries, Charleston plantations and farms, utilizing slave labor, powered the local economy by producing rice, cotton, and indigo. It was in Charleston Harbor that the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and the city suffered during and after the war. On top of all that, natural disasters have plagued the city, including multiple fires and an earthquake in the 1800s, and Hurricane Hugo in 1989. After each devastation, the people came together and rebuilt Charleston. Today, it’s one of America’s most preserved cities, evident in the Georgian architecture Left, top: Charleston exudes Southern charm, where the clip-clop of a horse and carriage along the streets of historic neighborhoods is a common sound. Left, middle: Since 1804, the Charleston City Market has been a hub for both visitors and locals to purchase authentic, handmade goods and vibrant art from over 300 vendors. Left, bottom: Named for its strip of pastel-colored homes, Rainbow Row features some of the oldest architecture in Charleston.

Above, left: Moss-draped branches grace the entry to Boone Hall, a plantation established in 1681 by Major John Boone. One of the oldest working farms in America, Boone Hall still produces strawberries, peaches, and other produce. Above, right: Sweetgrass basketry—an important part of Gullah tradition—is an artistry that dates back centuries. Today, sweetgrass baskets can be found in markets all over the city.

of homes on colorful Rainbow Row and in the plantations you’ll find outside the downtown area, including Boone Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and Drayton Hall. Other historic attractions include Fort Sumter, and the Heyward-Washington House. As you stroll the cobblestone-lined streets, you’re sure to hear the melodic symphony of church bells coming from the many churches that stand tall in the city, from St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where George Washington worshipped during his tour of the South, to the Old St. Andrews Parish Church, the oldest surviving church in the Carolinas.

combined culture

An important part of what makes Charleston such a magical place is its eclectic culture. The city effortlessly blends old traditions with new ones, and offers a variety of live music venues, museums, and art galleries to discover. Charleston City Market on Meeting Street, houses vendors selling everything from sweetgrass baskets and spices to art and handcrafts. For contemporary art enthusiasts, Robert Lange Studios, Redux Contemporary Art Center, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art are the best places in the city to view exciting new works from emerging artists. For something more in tune with the South, check out Lowcountry Artists and Wells Gallery (on nearby Kiawah Island), where you’ll find art focused on the lowcountry experience. Charleston has its share of annual festivals, which brings visitors to the city in droves. Spring is a particularly great time to visit, either to check out the Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, or Piccolo Spoleto Festival, a two-and-a-half-weeklong celebration of performing, literary, and visual arts. But festivals and art only begin to scratch the surface of Charleston’s vibrant culture. For centuries, African-American contributions have indelibly influenced the city in so many ways. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of local Caribbean and Gullah culture by taking a Gullah tour, which includes visiting

sweetgrass markets, Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Jones Hotel.

for the foodie

No trip to Charleston is complete unless you’ve spent some of your time experiencing the city’s local food scene, where you’ll find everything from lowcountry delicacies to James Beard Award– winning restaurants serving up Southern food in new, innovative ways. For a taste of old Charleston, stop by 82 Queen in the French Quarter for their famous she crab soup, as well as other staples like fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, grits, and tomato bacon jam. In Cannonborough, Hominy Grill is home to one of the best Charleston Nasty Biscuits (fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy) in the city, as well as a variety of grit bowls. For visitors and locals alike, Husk in the French Quarter celebrates Southern ingredients with seasonal dishes and serves some of the best Above: Charleston’s booming food scene hops with everything cornbread anywhere.

from old fashioned barbecue and fresh seafood to lowcountry fare.

Before he delivers his famous last line in Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler tells Scarlett O’Hara he’s going back to Charleston in hopes of finding a life of charm and grace, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this coastal city. Drawing on her deeply Southern ambience and historical roots, and despite any setbacks, Charleston continues to carry herself with timeless grace.

resources Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


on the market

4848 Villa Encanto Located in beautiful Villa Encanto in El Paso’s Upper Valley, this charming villa features all the best of authentic Tuscan style. The home’s interiors are light and airy, but still include traditional old world elements like wooden beams and ironwork throughout. The main house includes three bedrooms—each with its own en suite bathroom—plus an office space along with a gourmet kitchen and butler’s pantry, great room, and several cozy fireplaces. Elegance abounds outdoors, where you’ll find a brick and stone-lined, two-story courtyard perfect for outdoor entertaining. Also outdoors, a sleek pool is surrounded by lush landscaping and trees. Additionally, a separate guest casita gives your visitors a comfy place to settle in.

1204 Calle Alta

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

This elegant Park Hills home in West El Paso is a stunner from the moment you step into the courtyard. The home sits on about 13,000 square feet of land and features four bedrooms and three and a half baths, a game room, and a home theater. Inside, traditional interiors meet Tuscan style with brick and tile elements as well as hand-painted wall finishes in the chef’s kitchen. Also included in the kitchen are granite countertops, a large pantry, and highend appliances. The spacious master suite includes a luxurious bathroom, fireplace, and its own balcony overlooking the Franklin Mountains. Outdoors, there’s plenty of space to take advantage of El Paso’s sunny weather with a full outdoor kitchen and living area, jacuzzi, basketball court, and soccer field. List price: $1.2 million Contact: Alexander Cordova, 915-203-9783, Home Pros Real Estate Group,

Robert Ordonez

Christopher Enriquez

on the market


List price: $995,000 Contact: Barry Karch, 915-549-4663, The Real Estate Power Houses,

Vida Buena

let the music festival culture in the Southwest


S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

AB Gonzalez


“Listening to the fans is the best feedback we will ever be able to receive,” says Zach Paul, co-founder of Neon Desert Music Festival. “They influence every inch and ounce of our fest—I really should say their fest. It belongs to them.” Thanks to fan feedback, the festival has seen a diverse lineup of artists including Khalid (above) and Alesso (below).

AB Gonzalez

very spring, the streets of Downtown El Paso and Las Cruces transform from their everyday bustle to spaces where festivals of all kinds are held. In these parts, though, music festivals are prominent, keeping fans of all ages on their toes for lineup reveals every year. While the Southwest can’t claim to be home to the start of music festivals, it certainly holds its own among bigger cities, and with hundreds of festivals to choose from worldwide, locals are lucky enough to have a few notable ones to attend right here at home. May is the kick-off month for the festival season in the Sun City, and during Memorial Day weekend, one of its biggest—Neon Desert Music Festival—takes over a huge part of Downtown El Paso for an entire weekend of music from several genres. From the beginning, the founders of Neon Desert aimed to provide a new experience to the borderland, and that became their focus. “El Paso and Juarez together create one of the largest international borders in the world, so we didn’t understand why an area of more than two million didn’t have a contemporary music festival,” says co-founder Zach Paul. “We felt that the timing was right and the market was ready to support something like this.” They were right. Back in 2011—the first year of Neon Desert—El Paso was on the verge of what would become amazing growth in every way possible—from the rebuilding of the downtown area, to the influx of entrepreneurs eager to give the city a better reputation. “There has been a tremendous investment in El Paso in recent years, whether from prominent local business owners, or even just young people coming back and starting families and businesses,” Paul explains. “People are coming home; people have become even more proud of El Paso than they already were.” The city’s revived energy gave the Neon Desert team a platform to host what is now one of the largest music festivals in Texas. What started as a one-day event with mostly local bands has turned into a two-day fest featuring big names such as Foster The People, Future, Mutemath, Passion Pit, Wiz Khalifa, and MGMT. However, Neon Desert also places importance on setting the stage for local talent and up-and-coming artists like El Paso’s own Khalid, who recently earned a Grammy nomination and the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. This year, Neon Desert’s two-day lineup includes EDM’s Martin Garrix and Dillon Francis, as well as Third Eye Blind, Grammynominated Cardi B, and hometown rockers At The Drive In. In late June, El Paso is once again taken over by the El Paso

by Danielle Urbina

Downtown Street Festival—with several stages of rock music, live art, and the O’Reilly National Car Show. Over the last several years, Streetfest (as the locals call it) has been a summertime staple in the Sun City, drawing in big crowds to see performers including Goo Goo Dolls, Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, Collective Soul, and Blue Oyster Cult. Just a short drive west, Las Cruces has its own festival to be proud of. Over the last five years, country music fans have come together in Downtown Las Cruces for the Las Cruces Country Music Festival, which features live music, the Las Cruces Rodeo, and opportunities to mingle with other fans at designated after parties and a pre-concert Sunday brunch.

In the past, performers including Kacey Musgraves, Travis Tritt, and The Eli Young Band have helped make the country fest a major success—so much so that this year, the festival will not only relocate but also change its date from mid-April to mid-October. Due to a significant growth in attendees and the unpredictable spring weather in Las Cruces, Jennifer Bales, executive director of Visit Las Cruces, says the move is best, not only to create a better atmosphere, but also to accommodate the growing number of fans coming in from other cities. Ultimately, every music festival has its own aesthetic—from a country ambience and all night two-stepping, to flashy sets and artistic vibes—but the ultimate goal of each is to always keep it about the fans. “At the end of the day, it’s not really a music festival; it’s an experience,” says Paul of his own festival. “We’re trying to cultivate the best experience possible.” And the same can be said about every other in the borderland and throughout the Southwest—because really, there’s no experience that tops the feeling and energy of a crowd that has a passion for the same thing you do.

Courtesy Visit Las Cruces

Courtesy Visit Las Cruces

Simply put, music culture in the Southwest is booming and more diverse than it ever has been before.

resources Neon Desert Music Festival Townsquare Media Visit Las Cruces

Above: For the last several years, thousands have flocked to Downtown Las Cruces for the Las Cruces Country Music Festival. This year, the festival’s location will move to the ball fields off Hadley Avenue. Left: Las Cruces native Bri Bagwell entertains a crowd of country music fans. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Danielle Urbina

Sun City Craft Beer Fest a hoppy experience for beer enthusiasts

“The people of El Paso have been a huge support,” says Emily Beardmore of El Paso Live. “Every year the attendance has grown, allowing the festival to invest in cool features for future years.”

Of course, all that sampling can work up an appetite, so food trucks will be serving up local flavors as well as staple street foods like burgers and tacos. Additionally, festival organizers include a designated game zone with trashcan pong, human foosball, gigantic Jenga, and a variety of arcade games. Ultimately, the festival is all about helping El Paso grow and providing yet another experience for people in the Sun City to join together over a shared interest. “It all started as a small beer tasting reunion and has grown to be the biggest craft beer festival in El Paso,” says Avila. “Since the first year, the festival has changed so much; we have adjusted all the details in order for people to have as much fun as possible. This festival belongs to El Paso, and we try to do our best to make it special.” Sun City Craft Beer Fest,, April 21–22 (1 PM–8 PM), El Paso Convention Center Plaza, admission $10–$80

Courtesy El Paso Live

Right: Sip while you play at the festival’s game zone, which includes gigantic Jenga, arcades, and more.

resources El Paso Live

Courtesy El Paso Live

Below: For the last several years, the Sun City Craft Beer Fest has taken over Downtown’s Civic Center Plaza with beer booths, games, and art and craft vendors.

Courtesy El Paso Live


hen it comes to craft beer, American breweries are all about providing diversity—complex, one-of-akind flavors that are sometimes only available for one season at a time. For fans of craft beer, perhaps the best experience is by attending the annual Sun City Craft Beer Fest. One of the largest of its kind in Texas and the Southwest, the Sun City festival brings in beers from more than 50 breweries from across the country. “When the festival was created in 2012, El Paso’s craft beer scene was just beginning,” says Emily Beardmore, special events and sponsorship manager for El Paso Live. “Festival producers wanted to help the scene grow, educate the city on craft beer culture, and create a fun, engaging event for beer lovers in the region.” The festival’s creator, Nahum Avila, agrees, saying the Sun City event is focused on shaping a particular culture. “Organizing the festival has been an amazing adventure,” he says. “We have seen the craft beer culture in El Paso—and even Juarez—grow along with the festival.” Throughout the two-day event, beer enthusiasts can learn more about beer culture and the brewing process, and also try different flavor combinations and types of beer they may not normally choose. The lineup of breweries this year is impressive: Brooklyn Brewery, known for their easy-to-drink Brooklyn Lager and rich, malty Brooklyn Brown Ale; Deep Ellum Brewing Company, a Texas-based brewery putting out unique brews like a dark brown coffee-infused ale and cherry chocolate Baltic porter; Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery, which makes over five types of IPAs; and many more. Festivalgoers can also expect to see local breweries over the weekend, including El Paso Brewing Co., Ode Brewing Co., Blazing Tree Brewery, and Sun Brewing Co.

Spring 2018 Advertisers 8 Designs..................................................................... 6 A-1 Kitchens by Sierra...........inside front cover Acme Brick...............................................................46 Bank 34........................................................................ 4 Bar M Construction................inside back cover Bella Vista Custom Homes...................................7 Blue Star Custom Homes...................................65 Builders Source Appliance Gallery....................1 C & D Southwest Lumber Corp..................... 25 Classic New Mexico Homes..............................13 Closet Factory......................................................... 61 COMAF Marble & Granite.............................49 Comprehensive Varicose Veins........................ 73 Crown Heritage Homes......................................33 De Gala Kitchern Design...................................27 Decorating Den...................................................... 25 Design & Construction by Debbie Salome..............................................33 Designs by L.L. Power & Associates................11 DWS Building Supply.........................................29 Edible Arrangements............................................77 El Paso Association of Builders........................64 GO Designs.............................................................63 Green Lizard........................................................... 19 ICON Custom Builders............................. 22–23 Johnny’s Septic.......................................................... 4 Las Cruces Awning Co........................back cover Las Cruces Builders...............................................51 LG Lighting Gallery...............................................31 Loya’s Shutters............................................................5 Milliken Construction..........................................35 Nash Patio & Garden............................................................................................ 15

Silver Springs Pool & Spa.....................................................................................45

Nothing Bundt Cakes...........................................................................................77

Southwestern Home Products......................................................................... 50

Phillips Hoover Construction...........................................................................21

Spencer Theater. ..............................................................................................68, 75

Phillips Hoover Roofing..................................................................................... 44

Stonehouse Granite & Marble...........................................................................63

Planet Development..............................................................................................17

The Hospitals of Providence.............................................................................69

Rawson Building Supply .................................................................................... 48

The Slab House. ........................................................................................................ 3

Red Oaks Pergolas................................................................................................. 62

Torres Welding....................................................................................................... 47

Sher-Wood Design Center. .......................................................................52–53

Trails End Woodworks........................................................................................ 47 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM




April through June


All the way from Stourbridge, England, childhood friends Dan Haynes and Pete Ridge have always bonded over their love of Simon and Garfunkel. To keep the spirit alive, the two formed their own tribute band, Bookends, and have since continued spreading the message of the iconic duo’s music and lyrics to new generations of fans. Catch them this April at the Spencer Theater as they hit the stage with a melodic string quartet.


Rose Eichenbaum

Known as “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” ZZ Top is one of the most widely known rock bands in the United States and all over the world. Since the 1970s, the band has toured worldwide with music that incorporates blues, new wave, and punk rock, ultimately landing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Don’t miss this trio of rockers as they travel to El Paso this spring. CINDERELLA APRIL 22, 2 PM SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO VANCE JOY APRIL 24, 7:30 PM PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO

Along with the release of his latest album Nation of Two, Australian musician Vance Joy is embarking on a massive world tour starting this April. Fairly new to the music world, Joy has been a major success since the release of his first album Dream Your Life Away, which features platinum hits like “Riptide” and “Mess Is Mine.” 74

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Choreographed by State Street Ballet Founder Rodney Gustafson, this reimagined telling of a classic fairytale has successfully warmed the hearts of audiences of all ages. Complete with exciting digital animation and vivid sets, the show is performed by talented dancers from State Street Ballet and combines classical ballet with elements of contemporary dance.


Known as one of the best in Southern rock and Americana music, Jason Isbell has been on the scene for several years, either writing and producing music of his own, or writing songs for other artists in rock and country music. Today, the talented musician has earned himself four Grammy Awards as well as several Americana Music Honors and Awards over the last six years. Together with his latest band The 400 Unit, Isbell will put on an unforgettable show of soulful music in El Paso this spring.



After a six-year hiatus, indie rockers Fleet Foxes are back with new music and new sound with their latest album Crack-Up. As they tour the United States this spring, fans will enjoy both new music and old favorites like “White Winter Hymnal,” “Mykonos,” and “Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Esteemed singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot started his solo career in the early ’60s during a time when folk revival was at its peak. Since then, Lightfoot has shared success with other folk legends by releasing several number one hits including “Early Morning Run” and “Ribbon of Darkness.” After 50 years of making hit music, Lightfoot is hitting the road to tour the country, making a stop in El Paso for one night this May. GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA JUNE 18, 7 PM PLAZA THEATRE, EL PASO


Throughout her career, Mexican artist Natalia Lafourcade has won nine Latin Grammy Awards including one for Best Folk Album for her wildly successful 2017 release of Musas. Now, after being featured on the soundtrack of Disney Pixar’s Coco, Lafourcade is touring the country, gracing the stage at the historic Plaza Theatre this May.

Fans of jazz and swing will be taken back in time with music from the iconic Glenn Miller Orchestra. This June in Downtown El Paso, the band will perform world-famous classics like “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Tuxedo Junction.”


The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Disney’s The Lion King is one of today’s most successful and most loved shows on Broadway. That’s why this spring, the show will have a nearly two-week run at the Plaza Theatre, where fans will get a chance to see the phenomenal show live. Complete with larger than life music and performances and stunning visuals, this is one show you won’t want to miss. 76

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

continued from page 20 the rage, and then it somehow acquired the undeserved reputation of being expensive and effete. In fact, sustainable building techniques are based on hard building science and are used to build and renovate buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.

Integrity in the overall build is hard to quantify, but in general it means doing the right thing even when no one will ever see it. Big technological advances have been made in insulation, windows, sealing the envelope of the house, lighting, and heating and cooling equipment. Plus, we now understand the thermo- and vapor-dynamics of wall, basement, and attic spaces. We know how to build and renovate homes that are extremely efficient, very comfortable, healthy, and built to last the generations with a modicum of maintenance. My attitude is that since we have the knowledge and techniques to build sustainably, we are obliged to do so. Recently I attended a seminar on “Self Adhered Weather Resistant Barriers”—the latest and greatest form of house wrap. There were some older guys like me, as well as a whole crop of younger builders (men and women), who eagerly shared their experiences with the various brands and application techniques. I found it very cool that this next generation of builders and renovators—partly inspired by the television shows I worked on—really wants to build right. It’s not just a job for them; it’s a passion. Next time you’re looking for a contractor you might casually ask a question like: “Hey, what do the values simplicity, integrity, and sustainability mean to you?” How they answer the question just might determine whether you hire them or not. Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert. The former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, he now heads up Steve Thomas Builders. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

by Cassie McClure

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

Savage Goods food and family find a home in Sunset Heights

From left: Owners Mariah, Tyler, and Michelle Savage at Savage Goods in Central El Paso.


hen local stores and restaurants open, owners hope to give the best of themselves and their service to the community that has taken them in. For Savage Goods, a familiar name from the El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market, their new location on Oregon Street aims to do just that—building upon the love they’ve encountered in their new hometown. For Tyler and Michelle Savage, and Tyler’s sister Mariah Savage, the energy in El Paso was almost tangible in its potential. Newly married, Michelle and Tyler wanted to grow roots in a new location together, and “Mariah told us that El Paso felt like it was on the brink of something incredible,” remembers Michelle. Mariah, who had come to El Paso for work, invited them for a visit. “El Paso is a place where you want to stay put and keep investing in, where you feel you can belong, and that what you have to give fits what the community may need,” says Michelle. “When we first moved here, we had no jobs, no friends, no apartment, but El Paso felt like our chosen home. It adopted us from day one.” The Savages began their joint business venture selling a variety of baked goods at the farmers market, where they were well known and loved for their sea salt chocolate chip cookies and donuts. Those goodies are all sold now at the brick-and-mortar cafe, but Savage 78

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Savage Goods’s delicious pastries accompany coffee drinks, like this coffee cake with cinnamon cocoa swirl topped with a crunchy crumble.

The Ploughman’s Lunch, with aged Irish cheddar, soft boiled egg, pickled vegetables, house bread, and seasonal jam.

The cafe’s open concept floor plan includes a bar and dining area where customers can relax, study, or enjoy happy hour.

Goods has since branched out to offer coffee, breakfast, lunch, appetizers, and a chance to interact with the happy hour crowd by offering beer and wine. It took two years for the trio to find a location that spoke to their vision—near the bustle of Downtown El Paso, but slightly tucked away with room for parking and a patio. Their location was a recognized old convenience store, and they made sure to get community buy-in before they went to work. Tyler explains that this outreach on their end is part of what took time to find the right location. “We needed to know how it works in El Paso, what’s important,” he remembers. “When we asked, everyone wanted to tell us what El Paso meant to them and what makes the place tick.” During the renovation, they pried bars off the windows, dramatically enhancing the flow of natural light in the space and giving the early bird crowd a chance to enjoy spectacular sunrises over the skyline. A bar in the middle of the dining area is for patrons to work on laptops during the day, and for those who want the experience of social connection that is so often missing these days. “We want to know your name and your favorite drink, and for you to know you belong here,” says Michelle. Mariah, who heads the kitchen, says she feeds off the energy in the café, which is different in the morning and the evening. “When it’s five o’clock and a lot of people are hanging out, it’s such an energy boost,” she muses. “Or when you’ve been working on donuts for hours and you see people grabbing them to go, it completely changes the feel of the kitchen. You’re now a part of what’s happening.”

resources Savage Goods

Several menu items are plant-based, including the veggie dream sandwich (above, bottom) and the dip flight (above, top), which includes hummus, pesto, and creamy lemon avocado dip with house bread. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



by James Selby

garden varieties flavorful wines that pair beautifully with light spring fare


obin Williams quipped, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” We transition from the lion of winter to the lamb on the grill, and make a beeline to farmers markets for leafy greens, spring onions, and asparagus. Seasonal foods guide us to complementary wines, and the time is nigh for those refreshingly crisp, lighter-in-weight styles. Never has there been such a rainbow of offerings. Here’s a primavera guide.

Empire Estate Dry Riesling Finger Lakes, NY ($18) (alternative to sauvignon blanc) The Finger Lakes region, south of Lake Ontario, is quietly producing inspired wines. This riesling brings flavors of lime, apricot, and ginger into a long minerallaced finish, making it a perfect pairing for the season. Note “Dry” on the label; riesling doesn’t have to be sweet.

The Eyrie Vineyards

Maison Antech Cuvée Eugénie Crémant de Limoux ($16) (alternative to cava and prosecco) One hundred and fifty years before Dom Perignon “saw stars” in his wine, bubbles were produced in southwestern France. The neighborhood is less très cher than Champagne, and so are its wines, but they are nonetheless lovely and effervescent, combining white flowers and golden-fruit flavors ideal for an aperitif or a wedding.

Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris Dundee Hills, OR ($22) (alternative to pinot grigio) First to plant wine grapes in the Willamette Valley, the Eyrie family’s pinot gris is aged three times longer than commonplace versions, giving a deeper, rounded, lively palate. Hexamer Spätburgunder Weissherbst Halbtrocken ($16) (alternative to rosé) Allow me to get on my wine box: Try German [and Austrian] wines! They’re among the finest wines and values anywhere. Hexamer = winery; Spätburgunder = pinot noir; Weissherbst = rosé; Halbtrocken = half-dry. Blushing peach in color, more full-bodied than sweet, here is mouthwatering acidity with aromas of almonds and spearmint. Guímaro Tinto Ribeira Sacra ($16) (alternative to pinot noir) While coastal northwestern Spain is famous for white albarino, the nearby mountainous region of Ribeira Sacra gives lushly fruited, pleasurable, spicy red wines from the mencia grape, pairing easily with grilled foods, particularly chorizo or lamb. My best recommendation is to find good independent wine shops, start conversations with knowledgeable clerks, and let the bounty of spring awaken your taste buds.

Nohemy Gonzelez

Above: The Eyrie Vineyards’ 2015 Oregon pinot gris is a full-bodied white that pairs surprisingly well with spicy Indian and Thai dishes. Antech’s “Cuvée Eugénie” Crémant de Limoux is a crisp, effervescent accompaniment to the Sunset Salad with Ahi Tuna (below) at The Kitchen at 150 Sunset.

James Selby James Selby has directed wine programs in New York, Portland, and Santa Fe, where he lives and works as a wine consultant and writer. 80

S U C A S A S pr i n g 2018

Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2018 | Digital Edition  
Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Spring 2018 | Digital Edition