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El Paso & Southern New Mexico

summer sippers: wines + cocktails

inspiration ideas resources


in adobe

Las Cruces hacienda

custom closets

modern makeover

Upper Valley farmhouse VOL. 3 NO. 3 SUMMER 2015


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

888-512-6136 or 505-345-3502 • 915-833-3066 • Albuquerque, NM 3901 Singer Blvd. NE (New Location!) | Santa Fe, NM 706 St. Michaels Drive, #5B El Paso, TX 6703 North Mesa Street El Paso, TX 6703 North Mesa Street

© 2015 2013 Pella PellaCorporation Corporation

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El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Bill Faulkner

46 SOUTHWESTERN HOMES 20 artistry in adobe

Creative forces transform a blank canvas into a beautifully balanced composition.

On the cover: A 1940s-built farmhouse gets a modern makeover but retains its historic charm. Read more on page 32. Photograph by Bill Faulkner.

32 farmhouse modern

A family put their own contemporary spin on an Upper Valley classic.

46 all for the family

Casually elegant parental tastes meet kid-friendly amenities.

in every issue

4 Inside Su Casa 6 Life+Style Southwest

Artificial grass and turf keep things green all year round; Moll Anderson takes color outdoors; Steve Thomas extols the virtues of small kitchens; hot yoga; and refreshing summer white wines.

12 Design Studio

Enviable custom closets, iconic midcentury chairs, and more.

60 Vida Buena

The sun and surf of San Diego beckon to landlocked desert dwellers, and Artspace offers residential community housing to El Paso artists.

Events, concerts, and happenings around El Paso and Las Cruces through July.

66 Su Cocina

The Hoppy Monk celebrates the growing craft beer movement; fruity and delicious summer cocktails.


Nohemy Gonzalez

64 Live Performance Calendar

Inside Su Casa

a colorful season


Bruce Adams Publisher “Creating inspiring built environments that exceed expectation.” 550 S. MESA HILLS DRIVE STE. D2 EL PASO, TEXAS 79912 P. 915.533.2288 F. 915.533.2280


he colors of summer break out in every possible area of our lives. From the food and drink we consume, to our clothing, to how we decorate our homes, the surrounding color palette completely changes with the season. And here in El Paso and Southern New Mexico, we love bright colors. The outside environment changes dramatically as well during these warm days, both in the surrounding mountains and deserts and in the colors around our home. Green grass, red roses, and other colorful plants create a splendid color contrast against exterior walls. Of course, some of those walls in this region are adobe, and if we’ve learned one thing over the years about this uniquely Southwestern home style, colors—especially bright colors—stand out even brighter by contrast against that distinctive finish. As desert dwellers, we tend to gravitate toward “grass greens” and those vibrant blues often found on doors and window frames. These colors are complementary to the adobe color, providing a soothing and compatible color palette. It’s no wonder it brings us peace. If your home and life are lacking color, this is the perfect—and truly, the easiest— time to introduce it. Should you need inspiration to get colorful (and somehow this issue of Su Casa hasn’t gotten you there), I recommend checking out our story on Artspace. This exciting live/work area for local artists and their families just broke ground in downtown El Paso; next year it will be filled with intense, colorful art of every type as well as the individuals who created it. Color inspiration comes from many sources, whether man-made or divinely created. It starts by truly seeing and connecting with the colors around you. If you really look, you’ll notice an amazing array of vivid hues that can be incorporated into your lifestyle, creating a peace and harmony that can add joy to your daily life.

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Business Development Bob Skolnick Associate Publisher B. Y. Cooper Editor Danielle Urbina Executive Editor Amy Gross Associate Editor Cristina Olds Contributors Moll Anderson, Jackie Dishner, Tiffany Etterling Cassie McClure, Jessica Muncrief Stephanie Rodriguez, Donna Schillinger Steve Thomas Lead Graphic Designer Sybil Watson Designer & Media Specialist Michelle Odom Contributing Designer Whitney Stewart Photography Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez

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

Please direct editorial queries to For subscriptions, call 818-286-3164

El Paso Office 550 South Mesa Hills Drive, Suite D-1 El Paso, TX 79912 915-581-2300 Santa Fe Office Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105 Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-983-1444 Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 03, Number 3, Summer 2015. 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 2015 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. singlecopy 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,

Courtesy of American Artificial Grass

green up

The short- and long-term advantages of artificial turf


Courtesy of Synlawn

ime, money, water—all compelling reasons why more homeowners are opting for artificial turf in lieu of natural grass for lawns, pool areas, playgrounds, golf greens, dog runs, and more. “You save time in the sense that you don’t have to mow your grass,” says Jesus Diaz, owner of American Artificial Grass in El Paso. “You save money because you’re not spending on water in big amounts just to keep grass green for a few months. And you’re saving water for the future.” Such solid rationale for the enduring beauty of artificial grass makes growing natural grass almost seem like an exercise in futility. “A nice-looking lawn can be difficult to achieve due to our hot and dry climate,” agrees Ash Bianco, owner of Easylawn in Las Cruces. “The upfront cost to install synthetic lawn may be more, but in the long run, people enjoy the convenience and


low maintenance.” And recent innovations in turf technology have addressed former drawbacks, including heat on the feet and pet contamination. In the summer, it’s possible for artificial turf to attain uncomfortable temperatures, necessitating an occasional wet-down. However, Southern New Mexico’s Southwest Greens now offers HydroChill, a product that can be added to any artificial turf

The many natural-looking varieties of artificial grass make it hard to tell real from fake. Integrating turf into desert landscaping also gives kids a safe place to play.

Courtesy of Synlawn

for good

The use of artificial grass adds color and vibrancy to backyards and pool areas by breaking up the neutral tones in pool decking and rocky landscaping.

Courtesy of Synlawn

by Donna Schillinger

Life + Style Southwest

Practice your short game in your own backyard. Artificial grass is the perfect durable material for backyard putting greens.

that’s in-filled with silica sand. HydroChill’s long-lasting effect lowers surface temperatures by 30 to 50 degrees compared to a standard synthetic lawn. According to Southwest Greens President Scott Forster, “HydroChill absorbs water and releases it slowly for several days of cooling effect from one wetting.” Newer silver-based, antimicrobial materials give turf the edge over grass: no yellow spots from pet urine, no breeding places for ticks and fleas, and no filthy dogs who have been digging in the dirt. Ranging in affordability and corresponding life expectancy, artificial turf holds its color well, with higher grade turf carrying manufacturer warranties against fading of up to 25 years. Conservation, convenience, and yearround color, all without mowing? It may be time to take a look at artificial turf.

resources American Artificial Grass Easylawn Southwest Greens Synlawn SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Enchanted Spaces

Energize outdoor spaces with bold, vibrant hues

John Hall Photography

in living color

by Moll Anderson

Moll Anderson Life stylist and philanthropist Moll Anderson is an Emmy Award–winning television personality and the best-selling author of four books, including The Seductive Home. 8

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Jeff Katz Photography


requently people ask me how to add a pop of color to their outdoor living spaces. I tell them it’s easier than you think— and you don’t need a big, “colorful” personality to do it. Start by perusing the latest fashion, makeup, and Pantone colors. Which ones inspire you and really get your heart racing? Pick a few, then let go and have a blast by infusing those hot, haute colors you’re drawn to (and are lusting for a chance to use!) into your life. This couldn’t be easier in your outdoor living spaces, since you’re simply going to add your color with accents—pillows, towels, pots, throws, and flowers. This works so well because when you choose fabric for your upholstered patio furniture in a neutral color, either dark or light, you can always change the color of your accents—or add to them when you find another chroma you crave. One of my favorite ways to rejuvenate a space is with a fresh coat of paint. It’s a quick fix for a wall or any piece of furniture, especially this old, tired table and chair set I found. I loved the design and had been looking for the perfect table and chairs to set the mood I’d been dreaming of creating in my Santa Fe home. Most people would look at that table and chairs and think, Ugh! Ugly. But if you train yourself to look beyond the obvious and be adventurous—without necessarily thinking DIY—then you will learn to embrace the imperfect. The table set, I knew, simply needed to be a very electric color. In just a couple of hours, its weather-beaten pieces went from unsightly and boring to super seductive thanks to a little elbow grease and a hot splash of color. You get more mileage out of a can of paint than any other decorating tool!

The grand but rusted chairs of a metal dining set went from drab (above) to fab (above, left) thanks to cobalt blue spray paint, new cushions, and fun, mixed-pattern pillows. Right: Large planters in a vibrant blue equal to Moll’s revamped dinette pop against the adobe walls of her Santa Fe home. Where electric blue is dynamic and exhilarating, says Moll, blues in the sky and the pool suggest trustworthiness and dependability.

Which colors are you most drawn to? Blue is most often named a “favorite” color. It’s seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed—the color of sky and ocean. The color blue affects us physically and mentally. Electric or brilliant blues are dynamic and dramatic—engaging hues that express exhilaration. Soothing and relaxing mentally as well as physically, green helps to alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety and offers a sense of renewal, self-control, and harmony. Mentally stimulating yellow encourages communication. Yellow is full of optimism, enlightenment, and happiness, and shades of golden yellow carry thoughts for a positive future. Yellow pops from surrounding colors, brings energy, and sparks creative thoughts and memory. Fun and flamboyant, orange radiates warmth and energy. Orange affects us mentally and physically, stimulating activity and appetite and encouraging socialization. Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is exciting. The amount of red in a space is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red is seductive, increases enthusiasm, and draws attention; a pop of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element. Red encourages action and confidence and a sense of protection from fears and anxiety. Long considered having mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of young girls. It is calming to mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity.

Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas


Steve Thomas

y friend François grew up in a small French village in the hills outside Lyon. She and her family ran the only bistro, which served coffee, drinks, and of course the legendary French country cooking. In my mind, a “French country kitchen” meant a large space with a vast range and gleaming copper pots, but in fact, the Lagoute family produced all the bistro’s meals on a two-burner gas hob. François was a fantastic cook, and she disabused me of the notion that one had to have a big, fancy kitchen to produce great meals. There was a time I did a lot of cooking and spent a lot of time in the kitchen, though these days I prefer the plein air vistas of “Steve’s Grill Patio & Martini Bar,” where the best of Maine’s seafood is either grilled or steamed in a gigantic gas cooker. My wife Evy rules the indoor kitchen, especially now that we recently completed a really terrific space at our current renovation project, Sea Cove Cottage.

Douglas Merriam

cooking light

Small kitchens demand smart, efficient design

The kitchen is small, about 10 by 13 feet, but it boasts excellent design, equipment, lighting, and ventilation. Evy says it’s her favorite of all the kitchens we’ve done over the years, and she’s not shy. So what are the “ingredients” for a great small kitchen? Professional design is a must, and to help your designer you have to focus on what you really need. Small spaces are only successful if they’re highly edited—and that takes discipline. Our designer, Robin Siegerman, helped us be ruthless. Modern cabinets and cabinet hardware can utilize every square

to favor simple dishes made with fresh, local ingredients that don’t require an elaborate set of cookware. And back to Steve’s Grill Patio . . . don’t discount how much pressure a good grill area can take off the kitchen. I grill the Thanksgiving turkey outdoors, which my wife loves because it takes all the men (and their unruly holiday behavior) out of the house. We’ve been cooking in our small kitchen since December. It’s easy to work in, easy to clean, and looks really cool. So far, neither my wife nor I would go back to a large kitchen—or for that matter, a large house!

Small spaces are only successful if they’re highly edited—and that takes discipline. inch of available space. You’ll need an “engineer” who can get the most out of a cabinet line. Longtime friend Rick Spencer was able to use stock KraftMaid cabinets in our kitchen and make the result look custom—and he realized a ton of very usable storage, too. Go high end on the appliance package (if you can). High-end machines look great, work great, last a long time, and don’t go out of style. They can also be a differentiator in the marketplace if and when you decide to sell your house. Shop for discontinued, last year’s, or even used models to save money. Rigorously edit your stuff. We went with one set of caterer-quality white plates, bowls, silverware, cups, and glasses, and one set of high-quality pots, pans, and knives. (Okay, the espresso machine was Above: This tiny kitchen uses light colors, compact deemed a necessity!) The happy fact appliances, and see-through upper cabinets to give the is that cooking styles have evolved illusion of space.

Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International. 10

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El Paso (915) 231-5836

Design Studio

by Tiffany Etterling

closet envy Exquisitely organized custom

Bill Faulkner

closets are always in style


S U C A S A S ummer 2015

Accessories like pull-out drawers with sectioned jewelry compartments push ordinary closets to luxury level. Above: Decorative enhancements like a sparkling chandelier and a glass bowl with hues of blue enhance the pristine white color scheme in this closet.

Courtesy of Closet Factory


ou’ve probably heard the old saying “There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.” When organizing a home—and particularly closet space—this phrase couldn’t be more spot-on. Creating a custom closet can take your utilitarian storage area from a dark, disorderly mess of wire racks to an organized and attractive room for all of your closet needs. “Functionality is the main difference,” says custom cabinetmaker Sergio Villarreal of A-1 Kitchens by Sierra in El Paso. “Most closets are just shelves and rods. A custom closet is a unique space that ties into the overall concept of your home. It’s not just a place you dump your clothes.” Custom closets in many luxury homes actually provide additional living spaces—private sanctuaries where homeowners can dress, exercise, and relax. “Closets have become more sophisticated,” explains Lori Gaman of Closet Factory, based in El Paso. “It’s not uncommon for us to provide special lighting features, islands, and valet areas with electrical access, shoe benches or seating nooks, floating shelves or framed areas for objects of interest, and, of course, adjustable shelving and components for changing needs and styles.”

Quality Builders of Traditional New Mexican Homes * Remodels * Casitas * Grand Haciendas * Design Services * No matter the size, no matter the price, we make all homes unique and classically New Mexico View hundreds of photos at

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A high-end custom closet often features solid wood cabinetry tailored to meet specific needs and style preferences. “The whole crux of a closet is the way you design it,” says Tony Jabor of El Paso–based Classy Closets. Ideally, a closet specialist meets with the owner while the home is still under construction, but they can also work magic during remodels or updates to existing closets. Working with the homeowner, a specialist designs a space that maximizes organizational capacity based on the resident’s desires and the items they plan to store. Of course, what’s a fabulous closet without a few accessories? Gaman says pull-out baskets, sliding tie and belt racks, slanted shoe shelves with toe stops, cedar-lined drawers, tip-out laundry baskets, safes, and custom-designed jewelry drawers are

Courtesy of Closet Factory

A custom closet meets functional needs while simultaneously playing to an individual’s sense of style. To create a harmonious balance, use colors and patterns (in items like drapery and seating) that coincide with the décor of the rest of your home.

“A custom closet is a unique space that ties into the overall concept of your home. It’s not just a place you dump your clothes.” —Sergio Villarreal

To create a personalized space that’s as attractive as it is organized, display some of your favorite items, such as shoes, hats, and purses, as decorative pieces.

Left: Similar to what you might find in a kitchen, an “island” in a large dressing room serves double-duty as storage and prep space.


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among their most popular options. Embellishments like these provide designated places for just about any possession or piece of clothing imaginable. To increase drawer options, Villarreal recommends including a closet island that not only gives homeowners more room for their items, but also adds an elegant touch to the space. Customizing a closet can set the tone for organization throughout the entire home. “Just as no two people are alike, neither are there two storage challenges that are alike,” says Gaman. “Everyone’s space, style, and needs are unique, and a custom closet—one that is designed and made to order specifically for you—takes all of those aspects into consideration.”

Above: Having organized space is important for men, too. Units like this pegged cabinet keep ties wrinkle-free and ready to access.

resources A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Classy Closets Closet Factory

by Tiffany Etterling

some like it hot


or centuries, yoga has been a go-to exercise for anyone looking to improve strength and flexibility. In recent decades, new styles of yoga have emerged to accommodate the needs of practitioners at many levels. Hot yoga, which strives for the same mental, physical, and emotional benefits as traditional yoga, amps up the level of challenge by raising the heat. Practiced at temperatures ranging from 88 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, hot yoga offers improved detoxification, increased flexibility, and a general reduction of everyday stress. Bikram, Vinyasa, and Power Flow are the most common forms of hot yoga, and while some forms, like Bikram, involve a specific level of humidity in the room, heated yoga practice can be done with or without added humidity, says Brenn Micael of El Paso’s aptly named Hot Box Yoga.

Turn up the heat and the challenge level with hot yoga

No matter the skill level, hot yoga (as well as other forms of yoga) encourages yogis to stretch further into each pose (here and below) while simultaneously practicing balance, grace, and focus.

“I believe what makes Hot Box Yoga unique is the extreme passion that all of the teachers share for our love of yoga,” says Micael. Since opening in August 2013, Hot Box Yoga has encouraged instructors to maintain their own yoga practice to deepen their education. “One of our philosophies here is, ‘you will never reach your highest potential as a teacher unless you are always a student first,’ and that journey is infinite.” Hot Box Yoga is the only studio in the area to offer the full series of classes in the fast-paced Rocket Yoga method, which, according to Micael, “is good for people who are feeling drained from work, stress, or from family and social responsibilities.” Self-awareness, practitioners claim, is one of the most important components of hot yoga, and that goes for physical self-awareness as well. “If you push yourself too much, you can overstretch or hurt yourself,” explains Saharu Oda, owner of Indigo Yoga in Las Cruces. Oda, who opened Indigo Yoga in January of this year after practicing yoga herself for eight years, recommends that anyone with special medical conditions or concerns about injuries consult a physician before trying a hot yoga class. Indigo features state-of-the-art infrared heaters that intensify every hot yoga class. “This type of heating penetrates deeper into your tissue, thus allowing more detoxification to occur,” says Oda. Infrared heaters have been shown to increase circulation, reduce joint pain, improve the immune system, and improve the complexion. Indigo offers several well-known styles of yoga, as well as nontraditional forms such as Buti and Bikyasa. Hot yoga isn’t just for experienced yogis; as with most yoga forms, classes are offered at a variety of levels and modifications for anyone wanting to check it out. “It’s always great to know that it’s normal to be nervous before your first class,” says Micael. “Yoga is one of those things that you can take at your own pace at any time. All that matters is what’s happening on your mat.” 16

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Gabriella Marks

“Yoga is one of those things that you can take at your own pace at any time. All that matters is what’s happening on your mat.” —Brenn Micael

resources Hot Box Yoga Indigo Yoga


by Amy Gross

so nice on ice Chilled summer whites offer delicious reprieve from the heat

Sérgio Ferreira


ike most Americans, I love red wines. But in the heat of summer, just the thought of a big cabernet warming me from head to toe makes me break out in a sweat. When the temperatures rise, and particularly when I’m dining or entertaining outdoors, I reach for refreshing whites with crisp citrus tones that really develop upon chilling. Sauvignon blancs are fabulous summer whites, big enough to stand up to whatever you happen to be pulling off the grill, but delicate and crisp on the palate sans food. They also satisfy the American (and apparently, French) need for immediate gratification—in other words, drink them now. Other pluses: There are many really good ones out there, and, generally speaking, they’re relatively inexpensive. Everyday: Kim Crawford. Splurge: Cloudy Bay. They’re available at most WB Liquors & Wine stores. Fruity and floral, with hints of peach and honey, pinot grigio wines are lovely paired with chicken, salads, and, thanks to their Italian heritage, pizza. They, too, are reasonably priced and hence ideal for serving to crowds. Everyday: Ecco Domani. Splurge: Santa Margherita. Find them at Albertsons in Las Cruces and El Paso. Finally, if you haven’t discovered vinho verde wines yet, head directly to the “Wines from Portugal” aisle at Spec’s and grab a couple for sampling. To me, vinho verde is the ultimate summer wine: cheap, light, easy to drink, and ever-so-slightly effervescent. Though you used to be able to get a bottle of vinho verde for a ridiculous five or six bucks, its popularity is growing; expect to pay $8–$10 today—still a great deal if you’re stocking up for a big party. There really aren’t any to consider a splurge, but a few to sample include Casal Garcia, Broadbent, and Gazela. May your summer wines be as cold as the weather is warm. And stay tuned for more coverage of all things grape-related in future issues of Su Casa!


This father and son won a major victory by losing 256 pounds. As firefighters and paramedics, Ron and his son, Jacob, had seen the terrible toll obesity takes on lives. So they changed theirs with the help of weight loss surgery at MountainView Regional Medical Center. “I’ve lost 116 pounds,” said Ron. “It’s amazing how much more energy I have.” As Jacob put it, “The surgery was like a reset button. I reset my life and took control. I lost 140 pounds in weight, but gained 140 in self-confidence.” Find out what weight loss surgery could mean to you. For more information, call 575-521-8860. 575-521-8860

---- Jacob and Ron Herring Weight loss surgery success stories

Fruity and light, Gazela vinho verde pairs well with summer salads and grilled chicken. Individual results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of weight loss surgery.

Design Studio

by Cristina Olds

midcentury marvels Timeless, innovative chairs from history’s most gifted designers Renowned Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner famously said, “If only you could design just one good chair in your life . . . . But you simply cannot.” The irony, of course, is that Wegner designed more than 500 good chairs, many of which are still in use today. The trend-resistant chairs reproduced here, many commissioned for specific projects in the 1930s to the 1960s by leading architects and furniture designers, are snappy, sexy additions to many of today’s home styles. Barcelona Chair Conceived for the king and queen of Spain at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, the Barcelona Chair represents the epitome of modern furniture. Designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe aimed to “harmonize the old and new in our civilization,” allegedly basing the seamless, crisscrossing steel frame on the folding chairs used by Roman aristocracy. $5,429, Knoll,

Oyster Lounge Chair Although this foam upholstered shell chair by designer Pierre Paulin screams “the ’60s,” its design remains timeless. The seat appears to float above the minimalist frame, which is available in chrome or powder coat. $2,998, Hive Modern

Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Longue This adjustable “long chair” is constructed of triple chrome–plated steel with a lacquered steel base and an authentic cowhide fur–covered foam cushion and headrest. Designed by the influential Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1928 with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, the chair was meant for ultimate relaxation, offering a variety of reclining angles. $4,335, Design Within Reach, 18

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“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece!” John Ruskin

Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman With a more relaxed look than many of the contemporary designs of its time, his now-iconic lounge chair was Charles Eames’s embodiment of “a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” Fun fact: He and his wife Ray created this chair for Academy Award–winning director Billy Wilder in 1956 to provide him with a relaxing place to take catnaps on film sets. $4,859, Copenhagen

Eames Molded Plastic Rocker The molded plastic rocker was one of the first products in Charles and Ray Eames’s line of molded plastic chairs. Over the years the material changed from the original fiberglass-reinforced plastic to fiberglass. Today it’s made of recyclable polypropylene with chrome legs and maple rockers, but remains every bit as comfortable as when introduced in 1948. $539, Copenhagen,

artistry in


Creative forces merge to transform a blank canvas into a beautifully balanced composition

Bob and Mary Talamini’s classic Pueblo-style home is enhanced with uniquely Southwestern details such as the bright blue trim on the windows.

by Cassie McClure


Photographs by Bill Faulkner

funny thing happens when you let go of expectations: The creative spirit is unleashed, leading to possibilities you may have never known existed. Las Cruces homeowners Bob and Mary Talamini discovered their own creative sides and artistic style when they built their dream home strictly for themselves, in partnership with Wayne and Kiki Suggs of Classic New Mexico Homes. Kindred spirits, the four designed a residence that celebrates the joys of modern-day living even as it incorporates designs and building materials from the past.


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After nearly 40 years as a financial planner—and a stint in the NFL with both the Houston Oilers and the New York Jets— Bob Talamini was swayed to move to New Mexico from Houston with his wife Mary (a homemaker and artist) by a grateful client. “The client said, ‘Please come see us. We were able to build a house because you helped us in our planning,’” Mary recalls. “And I thought, I really want to meet them; they concentrate on the positive!” The decision to relocate to New Mexico was a fairly easy one, Mary admits. “We loved the sunsets, the open sky, and the weather.” Las Cruces also offered the couple

an escape from Houston’s legendary humidity. The Talaminis decided to build their home nestled into the side of Picacho Mountain, and their homebuilders were happy to comply. In their line of work, Wayne and Kiki Suggs have learned to gauge their clients’ preferences and passions quickly; in just three to four weeks they’ll have a sense of how they’ll create a home. “We get excited about it and think about it. Even after work, we work. We don’t work just 9 to 5,” says Kiki. Completed in 2009, the Pueblo-style home now reflects every bit of the couple’s tastes for furniture, art, and décor. “We looked at it as the last house we’re ever going to build,” Mary explains. “We built it just for us—not for future sale, or worrying about whether people wouldn’t like [a certain] color. We wanted to

Outdoors, the home’s 1,800-square-foot covered patio offers magnificent views of the Organ Mountains.

When it came to adding color throughout the home, Mary wasn’t afraid to go for it. Hues of bold blue and gold brighten a hand-painted doorway in the master bathroom.

The home boasts a largely open floor plan, which is ideal for the Talaminis when entertaining loved ones. Mary’s studio is on the opposite side of the huge, pass-through fireplace that warms the kitchen and dining areas. Pine cabinets, Talavera accents, and Saltillo tile floors in the kitchen and master bathroom (below) add to the home’s Southwestern charm.

build it like we’re going to live there forever.” For all its 3,850 square feet of space, the Talaminis’ home immediately feels cozy. Perhaps it’s the reclaimed wood—highly abundant in the cedar ceilings and knotty alder cabinets—that warms the rooms. Or the eye-catching fireplaces placed in the master bedroom and spacious kitchen area. The sculptural, double-sided fireplace transitions from the dining room into a wall in Mary’s studio on the opposite side. Her studio is just another subtle reminder of why the Talaminis came to fall in love with New Mexico. At the entrance is a spiral 22

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Above: Hues of vibrant green dominate a bathroom. A Talavera sink and a rustic finish vanity add to the feeling of authenticity. Right: A large picture window in the kitchen showcases gorgeous views of the valley beyond, while a huge skylight above the island lets in plenty of natural sunlight.

Mary and Kiki combined their personal tastes to create a harmonious, oneof-a-kind style. Every room is filled with antique finds, family heirlooms, and a few of Mary’s own paintings. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Staying environmentally friendly was a priority during the build; everything from the cedar ceilings to the knotty alder throughout came from dead standing trees taken from wildfires.

“It’s like having an empty canvas, just waiting to be filled in.”—Mary Talamini


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Transform your home and community! By shopping, donating and volunteering at Habitat ReStore, you become part of a movement dedicated to ensuring everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat ReStore’s ever-changing merchandise and one-of-a-kind finds give you the opportunity to be creative. Visit Habitat ReStore!



stone sipapu, with a vibrant turquoise stone in the center. The circular design inlaid into the concrete mimics the Hopi tradition of including an indentation on the floor of the kiva, representing the entryway for ancestors climbing into the earthly world out of the realm of the spirits. The sipapu design is much like the spirit of the land that inspires Mary when she gazes out to Picacho Mountain from her studio window. “I look out and think that I’m just so lucky to be able to enjoy it,” she says. In an effort to create a one-of-akind design within the home, Mary and Kiki collaborated to fill its rooms with bold colors, like the turquoises, deep purples, and bright yellows and blues found in the master bathroom. For Mary, decorating the home was similar to her love of painting: “It’s like having an empty canvas, just waiting to be filled in.” The home itself, a roughly circular shape, deftly employs the rounded edges and soft curves of a traditional

In the attached casita, comfort is key. Southwestern accents and cozy love seats make guests feel right at home.

Above: A traditional kiva fireplace and large vigas that span the ceiling are the focal points of the master bedroom. And through the windows: an amazing view. Opposite: Acollection of glass bowls, vases, and figurines fills a distressed wooden cabinet in the sunny master bath.


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A standalone soaking tub sits beside a roomy shower lined in Talavera tile. The Suggses used a combination of solid and patterned tiles to create a striking design for the shower (opposite).

The expansive outdoor living area features a full outdoor kitchen, a dining area, and ample seating to enjoy the year-round sunny weather.


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adobe-style edges fitting into the Southwestern landscape quite naturally. adobe home. The inner walkways flow from the entrance past Bob’s office (with a grand view of the Organ Mountains) into the workout room, then to a large walk-in closet, and finally into the master bathroom, where a magnificent freestanding tub sits in direct view of the calming presence of the Organs. While other homeowners might go for more traditional layouts with extra bedrooms and bathrooms, Mary and Bob embraced the freedom to construct as they saw fit, including in their home an array of skylights from the kitchen to the laundry room, intricate tile work in the bathrooms, and an attached casita for visitors to come and enjoy everything Las Cruces has to offer. The Talaminis’ home looks like it was placed with meaning, its curved adobe-style edges fitting into the Southwestern landscape quite naturally. Coming from a family of artists, builder Kiki Suggs says projects like this one make her feel tied to her lineage: “We like to build things that won’t go out of style in this area.”

resources Builder and Interior Design Classic New Mexico Homes Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Audio Video Precision Video and Sound Cabinetry Classic New Mexico Homes Greg Duff Countertops Mesilla Valley Design Center Tile Casa Mexicana



farmhouse modern A family puts their own contemporary spin on an Upper Valley classic


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by Jessica Muncrief


Photographs by Bill Faulkner

uying a house that was built in the 1940s comes with one immediate challenge: figuring out how to preserve its historical character while still making it your own. “We’ve been told this was one of the original farmhouses in the area,” the owner of this Upper Valley remodel explains. “Many of the neighbors came to us with their stories and memories of the house when they were growing up. It meant a lot to a lot of people, and we knew we couldn’t just scrape that history away.” Originally drawn to the home’s charm and the large plot of land it stood on, the owners liked that it hadn’t—yet—been expanded to fit the needs of another family. “It was perfect for us at the moment with room for us to grow and put our own stamp on it,” says one homeowner. And stamp it they did. Four years after moving in, the

Light pours in through the windows of a long hallway leading to the master suite. Gold-trimmed light fixtures brighten the interiors and add character to the space. Opposite: A 1940s farmhouse beckons with a warm, contemporary makeover.

Black never goes out of style. Inky tones on the dining room walls allow the bold textile patterns to shine. A brick-lined wine room is nearly hidden in plain view behind glass doors.

Acrylic furniture brings a spacious ambience—and a bit of ‘60s mod—to the casual, daily dining area. 34

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couple recognized some changes were in order. The wife was a bit disenchanted with the tiny master bathroom and closet, and by this time their family now included two young daughters. Plans to renovate the upstairs bedrooms soon spiraled into a full-scale remodel and expansion. Walls were knocked down to open up confined passages typical of midcentury builds. Downstairs, the guest room became a chic, formal dining room, with the closet repurposed into a glass-paneled wine chamber. Add-ons included a living room with an expanse of cathedral-arched windows and an entire new wing for the children’s living quarters and the master suite. “We decided we weren’t going to do a patch job,” says the husband. “If we were going to build, we were going to build the house we truly wanted—our forever home.” The home’s traditional character came out in the details, with gable-end roofs and a buttery yellow hue on the exterior. Inside, the coffered ceiling in the living room and the kitchen’s white, Shaker-style cabinetry preserved the farmhouse’s elegant simplicity. The original red oak floors were refinished in the existing build, then reimagined in the hallway of the new wing in a herringbone pattern “just to make it more fun,” explains the husband. Adding “fun” and contemporary touches was a big part of the family’s vision. About halfway through the year-

It’s not just for appliances anymore. Stainless steel countertops and walls gleam in the modern kitchen. Left: In selecting a countertop for the bar area, both homeowners were instantly drawn to the vibrant blue of Azul Bahia granite.

The large living room features a coffered ceiling, an elegant combination of prints in the furniture and drapery, and expansive windows to showcase the lush garden.



A gleaming black baby grand strikes an appropriate chord in the home’s formal living room. Below, left: A built-in coffeemaker, a refrigerator, and a mini-bar in the master bedroom closet allows for quick access to morning coffee.

Landscape designer Sallie Homan brought in several flowering annuals to add color to the backyard.

long remodeling, they realized they needed help pulling it all together. Upon the recommendation of several friends, they called in designer Margaret Ann Colia, who immediately clicked with the duo. “We weren’t looking to put terra-cotta everywhere, and Margaret has that genteel, Southern eye that fits with our ideas,” the husband notes. Colia’s role ranged from serving as tie-breaker when husband and wife couldn’t come to a consensus, to approving purchases via text-messaged photos. She also encouraged the homeowners to take some risks, particularly in terms of patterns and colors. “They knew what they wanted; I just helped them get where they wanted to be,” Colia says. “They would show me pictures of things they liked, and we would reinterpret them for their own family’s needs. They weren’t afraid to be a bit edgy, which really made this an exciting and enjoyable project.” In the dining room, for example, Colia pushed for the black

Classic black and white tiles and a luxurious claw-foot tub give the master bath a vintage twist.



An alluring window nook in the hallway is an added living space for the family to curl up in, while enjoying the view.

paint and shepherded the selection of boldly patterned fabrics for the drapes and chairs. “Margaret said, ‘The rest of the house is so serene, we need to go for drama in here,’” the wife remembers. “And she was right. It’s a fabulous room.” With construction and décor mostly complete, the homeowners realized there was one final step to solidifying the farmhouse theme: They needed a thriving landscape. “When we decided we were going to create this long hallway with windows for the addition, I knew right away I wanted this courtyard-like entertaining space with gardens right on the other side,” says the wife. Working with landscape designer Sallie Homan of Classic Landscapes, she and her husband embarked on an eight-month project surrounding the home with colorful


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While the interior is updated and modernized, the home’s exterior stays true to its farmhouse roots.

A geometric-patterned headboard and elegant chandelier add glamour to the spacious master bedroom.

With construction and dĂŠcor mostly complete, the homeowners realized there was one final step to solidify the farmhouse theme: They needed a thriving landscape.


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Left: With the master bathroom, both owners got their wishes: his-and-hers sinks, a soaking tub, separate showers, and a specially designed mosaic floor.



Rosy, indeed! Bright pink walls and playful polka dot accents give the children’s shared bathroom lots of cheerful style.

vegetation including 30 new trees, several varieties of hydrangeas, more than 20 types of roses, and tons of flowers. One entire side of the home is outfitted with raised beds for vegetables and herbs. Homan, whom the homeowners refer to as “a bit of a romantic,” envisions adding tables and chairs for garden tea parties.

“From the outside and architecturally, this home is still very traditional, like it was when they bought it,” Colia notes, “but inside they’ve treated it with a contemporary slant. They accomplished the ideal in remodeling: They expanded it and made it reflect them, but kept the integrity. This is truly their home.”

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Below: A kid-friendly mudroom is perfect for the couple’s daughters to hang out in, display their artwork, and to do homework.

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all for the family

Casually elegant parental tastes meet kid-friendly amenities

by Danielle Urbina

T A walkway in the backyard leads to a pizza oven, a pergola, and a seating area sited to capture the views.

Photographs by Bill Faulkner

his is a West El Paso home with lots of character, inside and out. From the gabled roofs and architectural angles of the exteriors to the large open spaces within the beveled glass front doors, the sense of the family that lives here is immediately apparent, thanks to various pieces of décor, mementos, and even toys placed in each room. But the home’s lively personality and architecture weren’t always this way; in fact, its remodel had to be carried out over several phases to get the home looking just the way the homeowners imagined. “Most importantly, we have two children, so we needed a home that was familyfriendly and durable,” says the homeowner, a native El Pasoan. After moving back to El Paso from Houston in 2001 and then finding this property in 2008, she and her husband knew they’d found the perfect place for their family. “The property is what’s so beautiful about the home—the unobstructed view of the mountain and the valley,” she says. “With El Paso weather being what it is, this place was just wonderful.” But first, the house required a complete renovation to align with the homeowners’ wish for spaces that were more suited to their family’s needs. After working with El Paso designer Ross Landers on their first home, the couple knew he was the man for this job as well. “His vision for making a home beautiful and yet so accommodating for day-to-day living is just remarkable,” says the homeowner. “Ross has become a member of the family now; we’re very specially bonded with him.”

Cushions and throw pillows in hues of orange and red add a splash of color to the living area outside the guest house.

A child’s riding saddle and leather chaps—used by one of the homeowners years ago—are on display in the kitchen and dining area.

Thinking “elegant, inviting, and reflective of the family’s personality,” Landers partnered with the couple to create a functional family dwelling blending rustic aesthetics with updated traditional style. The result is an eminently comfortable residence with several special touches. “This home has made a total transformation,” says Landers. “It was a layered project.” The original structure was built around a winding staircase that dominated the main first floor living area. Walls and hallways separated each room, leaving tight space that the homeowners desired to open up. Knowing more open space would benefit their family, they made it a priority to design a floor plan that would do just that—and the walls came tumbling down, literally. “All we did was start taking down walls, and when we started doing that, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Left: “The mesquite table in the study was once a dining table, but it wasn’t big enough for the family. So we ended up using it as a work table for kids, and that has worked out very well,” says Landers. The room is filled with reference books and educational tools.

To keep family heirlooms in the home, Landers had dining room chairs (passed down from one homeowner’s mother) refurbished to match the style of the rest of the home. Sweetly mismatched, they add a special charm to the oversized table.


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The homeowners opted for both black and neutral-toned countertops to contrast the combination of light and dark wooden cabinetry. Below: The upstairs common room is one of the family’s favorite places to spend time together.

everything else kind of followed,” says Landers, noting that they were still able to maintain some of the home’s original design. “We followed contours that were originally here,” he says. “But now that it’s opened up, this space is marvelous for entertaining because you can fit a large number of people in here to flow through.” When it came to design aesthetics, the homeowner had a specific theme in mind. “[She] wanted a house that felt like it had been here for a long time,” says Landers, “something that had a feeling of age rather than just a quick build.” To that end, he SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Two distressed tables in one of the home’s family rooms have a vintage feel, which was deliberate on the part of the homeowners. “Most of the pieces, even though they may be brand new, have some ‘age’ to them,” says Landers.

A central work station upstairs serves the needs of parents and children. It was important to the owners to create several areas in the home for work and play.


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incorporated exposed brick and rock walls in the downstairs living area to complement painted oak wood floors and travertine tile throughout. He also knocked down walls separating the living room, dining room, and kitchen area and took down the winding staircase. In its place, he incorporated two staircases, one in the entryway and one in the kitchen, which enable a more effortless flow from room to room. The living room took on a surprising twist. What appears to be a decorative leaded glass door on one side of the room actually leads into a study for the children with floor-toceiling shelves filled with reference books, and a private guest room at

Landers took one homeowner’s taste for brown and incorporated surprising textures and materials into the master suite for striking toneon-tone effects. In the master bath (above), an ornately carved ecru mirror hangs not beside the window but right over it to create a sense of depth.


Above: Walls came down in the main living area to create one large, harmonious space, followed by the addition of exposed brick walls, coffered ceilings, and travertine floors to match the flooring outside. Up two short steps, the living room opens straight into the spacious dining area.


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Above: Square frames were cut into the walls surrounding the waterslide so Mom and Dad could keep an eye on the children and take photos as they slide down into the pool.

the end of the hall. This hidden wing exemplifies the owners’ goal of creating a home that was all about the kids, though they also wanted spaces that would enable their tightknit clan to spend time together. Upstairs, an entirely separate living area gives the family space to hang out privately. The great room, complete with a computer table for parents and kids, as well as plenty of toys and games, is the center of it all. But undoubtedly, the focal point in this room is the outstanding panoramic view of the Franklin Mountains through huge picture windows. “The upstairs family room is probably my favorite room in the house,” says


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one homeowner. “We all enjoy it so much.” In addition to adding windows and creating yet another open floor plan upstairs, Landers also raised the ceilings, created a larger master closet, and added a playroom just for the children. For practicality, he enclosed a small balcony in the master bedroom and turned it into a home office. Re-creating the outdoor living area was a must—and in this home, there’s no shortage of excitement in the backyard. After raising the pool and incorporating an impressive winding water slide, Landers also added a climbing wall, a putting green, and a zip line for the kids and their friends to enjoy all year long.

A putting green, made of artificial turf, allows for year-round practice.



Re-creating the outdoor living area was a must—and in this home, there’s no shortage of excitement in the backyard. Everything, from the major renovations to the smaller details, adds up to a home that not only looks lived in and feels good, but is also adored by the family that lives in it. “The home has been more than we expected in terms of comfort, and in terms of the experiences we’ve had—seeing sunsets and sunrises, all the wildlife presence, and other things that are so characteristic of the desert,” the homeowner says. “We have enjoyed the home immensely.” 56

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San Diego

Vida Buena

by Jackie Dishner

The sun, sand, and surf desert dwellers love getting away to

The beach at Coronado Island. Left: Seaport Village.

Clockwise from left: Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals; Seaport Village; Courtesy (2)

San Diego’s area beaches, like the one at Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla, draw thousands of visitors daily, including plenty of surfers (below) eager to check out the waves.


ome long weekenders haul boats. Some stay in their condos or beach rentals. Still others make the trek in RVs. Easily driven in a day or via a quick flight from El Paso International Airport, San Diego’s damp ocean breezes are a welcome alternative to the scorching heat and dry air of West Texas and Southern New Mexico. Thousands of desert denizens from El Paso and Las Cruces with an aching thirst for adventure, fresh scenery, and beautiful beaches hang out along this part of Southern California’s more than 70 miles of coastline during the summer, thrilling to the sounds of the surf and reveling, if only briefly, in San Diego’s legendary summer temperatures that top out at about 80 degrees. Though it’s hard to avoid the touristy fun (San Diego Zoo, LEGOLand, the Gaslamp Quarter), San Diego’s biggest treat is the ocean. Pacific Beach, for sure. Its almost four-mile boardwalk, from North Pacific Beach to South Mission Beach, attracts families, couples, and singles on foot and on wheels. Clad in flip-flops or rollerblades, crowds meander along the concrete path bordered by palm trees and patches of ice plants. Every morning, surfers in black neoprene weave in and out of the crowds, sometimes on bikes with surfboards in tow, hurrying to catch early waves. Sun-bronzed locals in dark sunglasses hoist blankets, coolers, and umbrellas from the trunks of their cars, scrambling to claim a patch of real estate on the warm seaweed-coated sand. Couples cuddle on blankets amid volleyball games and Frisbees. The lines start forming early at restaurants like World Famous (great for brunch), Kono’s Cafe (try their breakfast burritos, served all day) and the Iron Pig Alehouse, where barbecue is king. From one end to the other, wrapping its way around the Pacific Ocean and over to Mission Bay, where the Catamaran Resort sits, attractions line the boardwalk: a cliffside park, the tidy row of blue and white rental cottages (since 1929) on Crystal Pier, and the wooden roller coaster at historic Belmont Park.

On the side streets in between, people sign up for surf lessons, rent bikes, and check out the tightly packed cottages, envisioning their next vacation in the area. Visitors might rent a beach cruiser and cruise the boardwalk, grab a cup of fair trade coffee at The Swell Cafe, or sample craft brews at Amplified Ales or Karl Strauss Brewing Company.

You Can Teach an Old House New Tricks!

Desert denizens thrill to the sounds of the surf and revel in summer temperatures that top out at about 80 degrees. Off Mission Bay, noted for its bird watching opportunities, is Paradise Point, the 44-acre, tropical island resort founded by Hollywood producer Jack Skirball in the early ’60s. Movie set artifacts, such as the porpoise fountain from Cleopatra (1963) are scattered around the island. It’s now a resort and spa property operated by Destination Hotels, where guests can rent boats or bikes at the marina, hail a water taxi to SeaWorld, and enjoy custom spa treatments made from any combination of the 600 exotic plants grown on the island. For those who need to moor a boat, the San Diego Harbor is a popular destination. From towering hotel windows, guests are greeted to the picturesque view of the Coronado Bay Bridge in the distance. Down below, the wharf along Harbor Drive carries visitors past a sea of sailboats, steps up to the San Diego Convention Center, the Maritime Museum’s Star of India (the oldest, active sailing ship in the world), the boutiques, gift shops, and restaurants at Seaport Village, the USS Midway (public tours inside), and over to the Embarcadero Marina Park where the fishermen hang out. Consider a day trip to any number of San Diego County’s beach cities: Carlsbad to walk through the flower fields; Coronado Island for a tour of the historic Hotel del Coronado; Del Mar to watch thoroughbred horse races; La Jolla to get a glimpse of amazing residential architecture and witness surfing at secluded Marine Street Beach; or Torrey Pines to play a game of championship golf. You might take the Coaster commuter train all the way to Oceanside to visit the California Surf Museum or watch a surfing competition. By weekend’s end, guaranteed: Your thirst for adventure (and cooler weather) will be well quenched.

Imagine the Possibilities

Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure

a place to call home

The future looks bright for El Paso’s creative community as Artspace builds in the heart of the city


creative human element animates a city in a way that almost nothing else does. With that in mind, the El Paso Community Foundation has teamed up with Artspace Projects, Inc., a Minnesota organization whose mission is to bring affordable housing to local artists around the country. Construction of a 51-unit Artspace at the corner of Oregon and Missouri Streets in Downtown El Paso is scheduled to begin in July. “We were trying to find something that would be a standout building,” says Eric Pearson, president of the El Paso Community Foundation. “This [area] is the gateway to El Paso if you drive in from the west, so we wanted something appealing, something that El Paso doesn’t have in that corridor.” Artspace, a nonprofit organization, was created in 1979 in response to the idea that artists were vulnerable to the gentrification that typically occurs in tandem with the economic growth of an area. When artists create and populate communities in previously undiscovered, affordable locations, they


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“We want residents to use the areas outside their apartments as gallery space, and we encourage artists to make the place their own by painting and decorating as they see fit.” —Sarah White

Courtesy of Destination El Paso

Several local artists come together to create colorful, cultural works of art in the downtown area, from vibrant murals to lifelike chalk art, seen here at El Paso’s annual Chalk the Block festival.

often end up being pushed out when developers realize their neighborhood’s growth potential. “Artists tend to be pioneers,” Pearson says. “What traditionally happens is that artists move in and make an area suddenly cool and give it mystique, but then they are unable to live there anymore because they’ve been gentrified out by rising costs. We see Artspace as an institutionalized way to protect those artists from rising rents.” Leasing will begin in summer of 2016 and will follow a selection process typical of most other apartments and rental homes, with credit and criminal background checks. Future tenants will need to show proof of their income due to the apartment’s status as IRS Section 42 Low Income Tax Credit Housing. Residents need to make 30–60 percent of the area’s median income, which in El Paso is an estimated $39,000 for a family of four. Applicants who are artists will receive precedence when coming before the selection committee, which will be made up of Community Foundation members and local artists. However, it won’t be a juried selection, and although artists are not required to make their living from their work, they will need to show that they have a body of work—visual, musical, or liter-

Artists seeking residence will need to show a body of work—visual, musical, or literary—in order to demonstrate commitment to the values of living in an artistic community. ary—in order to demonstrate commitment to the values of living in an artistic community. The four-story Artspace El Paso Lofts will have a variety of one-, two-, and threebedroom residential spaces for artists and their families, and they will be designed to complement the historic downtown district. Sarah White, director of property development for Artspace, says the team is including many large windows throughout the building to take advantage of El Paso’s frequently sunny days. “What we try to incorporate in every project are high nine-foot ceilings, and accommodate for wider hallways,” White says. “We want residents to use the areas outside their apartments as gallery space, and we encourage artists to make the place their own by painting and decorating as they see fit.” Pearson views Artspace as the beginning of something very special for the Downtown El Paso community and for the city as a whole. “We have a downtown that is already vibrant, but what it doesn’t really have is a critical mass of people living downtown,” he says. “In order for [the downtown area] to become a true living, breathing community, it really has to have that element.” El Corrido del Segundo Barrio by Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado and Victor “Mask” Casas reflects the growing and ever-changing artistic culture of Downtown El Paso.


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June through July


American music legend Johnny Rivers has sold over 30 million records, with nine top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. His delivery of rock, folk, and traditional bluesy tunes have also landed him in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and just recently earned him a nomination for induction into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame. Hear him play cover tunes and favorite originals like “Secret Agent Man,” “Memphis,” and “Whisky à Go-Go.” DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! JULY 18, 8 pm, ABRAHAM CHAVEZ THEATRE, EL PASO

Following a successful 10-year run on ABC, Dancing With the Stars goes live in over 40 cities across the United States, including El Paso. This summer, Dancing With the Stars: Live! brings its Perfect Ten Tour to the Abraham Chavez Theatre to unleash a lively show with favorite performers like Witney Carson, Peta Murgatroyd, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and Sasha Farber, hosted by All-Stars Champion Melissa Rycroft.



El Paso’s annual Downtown Street Festival is back, with five stages showcasing several musical genres from alternative to country. Headliners Halestorm, Rob Zombie, and Weezer are set to rock the Budweiser main stage while hundreds of vendor booths, food trucks, and a children’s carnival will also be available for plenty of entertainment during the two-day festival.











One of the most successful duos in the music industry makes a stop in El Paso this July. Four-time Grammy winner Pat Benatar, along with her husband, songwriter and producer Neil Giraldo, kicked off their 35th Anniversary Tour in April, performing hits like “We Belong,” “Promises In The Dark,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” and “Heartbreaker.” Don’t miss your chance to catch the talented couple this summer at the historic Plaza Theatre. 64


What do you call four New Hampshire natives banging on a set of junk? Recycled Percussion, of course! The internationally known band gave birth to a genre of music called “junk rock” by drumming on barrels and cans, and creating rhythms using buckets, power tools, and pretty much anything else they could bang drumsticks on. Don’t miss this dynamic, action-filled live show.

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Four-time Grammy-nominated rockers Daughtry will dominate the stage at Inn of the Mountain Gods for one night only this summer. Daughtry’s impressive repertoire includes back-to-back number one albums, a four-time platinum album, and four American Music Awards. Armed with music from their latest album Baptized, the band will also perform top hits like “Waiting For Superman,” “It’s Not Over,” and “Home.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

raising the bar The Hoppy Monk taps into the growing interest in craft beer and the food that goes with it

There’s one resounding theme in the bar, and that’s beer. A water fountain made from a variety of taps trickles outdoors in the expansive patio.

by Stephanie Rodriguez


Photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

road trip through Texas and across Europe led Beto Longoria and Joseph Valenzuela right back to the place they started—El Paso—but filled with a desire to share their passion for craft beer with their hometown. “We figured out a way to open this place up and expose El Paso to the culture we loved so much,” says Longoria of The Hoppy Monk, the craft beer bar and restaurant on Mesa Street in West El Paso he co-owns with Valenzuela.

“Our concept revolves around beer. We’re trying to put out a food menu that’s worthy of our beer selection.”—Beto Longoria Neither partner had a background in restaurant or bar management, having both come from the investment research industry. Nevertheless, The Hoppy Monk opened in December 2010 as one of the first craft beer bars in El Paso, with two primary goals: to acknowledge independent brewers who take great pride in their product and to put out high-quality beer for El Pasoans to enjoy. Everything at The Hoppy Monk is tied into the culture of craft beer. The interior of the bar is styled after an English pub, complete with dark wood paneling. The draft wall (which contains an impressive 70 taps) was styled after the classic American bar. Even the bar’s name was conceived as a nod to its delicious refreshment, as American craft beer traditionally contains a great deal of hops—reminiscent of how Belgian monks brewed beer in monasteries centuries ago. Novices to craft beer shouldn’t fear when entering the bar. It should come as little surprise that with 70 brews on the menu, employees of The Hoppy Monk are well trained on the flavor profiles of each style of beer. After chatting with a customer and 66

S U C A S A S ummer 2015

Beer-braised rabbit tacos made with huitlacoche tortillas, chile de arbol and San Marzano tomato puree, lime crema, red cabbage, and cotija cheese, paired with a pint of Rahr & Sons Texas Red.

It’s all in the details. Carvings of the Belgian monks that inspired the bar’s name are found in the woodwork throughout.

gaining an understanding of the customer’s palate, they’re happy to offer an appropriate beer selection. If you want to try something outside of your comfort zone, samples are always available upon request. An extensive collection of premium Scotch whiskeys and cigars are also offered at The Hoppy Monk, and a craft cocktail program using higher-quality spirits is currently being developed. The restaurant’s menu reflects food items that are made fresh and in-house, with as many local and organic ingredients as possible. For example, all soda products contain natural cane sugar; the organic, grass-fed beef comes from El Paso’s Bakka Ranch; and the aioli sauces and dressings are handmade by Longoria’s mother. Try the Hop Wings and Beer-Mosas (a combination of lighter IPA and orange juice) at Sunday brunch. Special care and attention is taken to ensure that all menu items can be enjoyed with an accompanying beer. “Our concept revolves around beer,” says Longoria. “We’re trying to put out a food menu that’s worthy of our beer selection.” The bar and restaurant’s popularity has allowed for the expansion of a second Texas location in San Antonio. As a craft beer fan himself, Longoria takes pride in promoting the craft beer industry. “What we want is for strangers to have something in common, which is a passion, or interest in beer,” he explains. “It’s a very strong force that brings people together.”

resources The Hoppy Monk SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


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Su Cocina

summer sippers Two fantastic cocktails that pack a punch and please a crowd


ecadent cocktails never go out of style. This summer, forget hitting the bar— it’s all about concocting super-refreshing drinks using fresh fruit, herbs, and unexpected ingredients (like beer) to mix up the perfect signature drink. Beat the heat this season with these two yummy cocktails.

by Danielle Urbina

Raspberry Beer Cocktail Craft beers like American Brett, American Imperial Red Ale, and IPAs each have fruity, floral notes that pair well with cocktails.

Bluebonnet Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail 1-1/4 oz gin 1/2 lime 4–6 fresh blueberries 1–3 basil leaves (optional) In a shaker, muddle the fresh blueberries with freshly squeezed juice from the lime. Toss in the basil leaves. Add ice, shake, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with blueberries and basil.


S U C A S A S ummer 2015

word word word word Cocktail 101:word Having a word good, sturdyword muddler word on hand is essential for word word drawing out words extra flavor from fruits and herbs.

It turns out beer plays pretty well with others. Perhaps because of the many varieties of craft beers that use fruits and other ingredients in the brewing process, it was only a matter of time before beer fans began combining beer with other spirits and ingredients to produce a sudsy concoction full of one-of-a-kind flavor. Raspberry lemonade and vodka add a tasty twist.

Makes 6 cocktails 3/4 cup frozen raspberries 42 oz (not quite 4 bottles) beer, chilled One 12 oz container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed 1/2 cup vodka Stir ingredients together, serve over ice, and enjoy!

Courtesy of Star Beverage Co.

Centuries old, gin is making an en vogue comeback. There’s something about its piney flavor (thanks to the alcohol’s infusion of juniper berries) that makes it a go-to liquor for refreshing drinks. This cocktail combines gin with fresh blueberries and basil for a delicious ode to the Texas state flower.

Try using your favorite spirits with seasonal fruits like blackberries, strawberries, peaches, and passion fruit to put your own spin on mixed drinks. resources WB Liquors





LAS CRUCES 575-523-6330


EL PASO 915-219-8265 7812 GATEWAY EAST #230 EL PASO, TX 79915

Su Casa South Summer 2015 Digital Edition  
Su Casa South Summer 2015 Digital Edition