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Northern New Mexico

Tour 25 ABQ homes

in the 2019 Spring Parade

inspiration ideas resources

organically connected green home on the bosque

beautiful baths

+ cool coffee tables VOL. 25 NO. 2 spring 2019


~ AWA R D -W I N N I N G B U I L D E R ~

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Northern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Kirk Gittings

86 southwestern

homes 40

high above the city

Ron and Gloria Trask’s custom loft condo offers a fresh perspective on urban, Uptown living.

86 organically connected

Architect Lee Gamelsky and landscape designer Sue Frye’s green and sustainable home integrates seamlessly with its bosque surroundings.


Beautiful Baths

From clean and modern to warm and rustic, these six bathrooms are gorgeous retreats.


Spring 2019 Parade of Homes

There are 25 beautiful Albuquerque-area homes on the Spring Parade. Read about each one before you visit it, then pull out the map and plan your tour!


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019


Steven Raniszewski


in every issue 18 Inside Su Casa

Amadeus Leitner

40 On the cover: Sunlight streams through a wall of windows into the modernist living room of a home overlooking the bosque. Read all about it, and its architect and landscape designer owners, on page 86. Photograph by Kirk Gittings.


22 Life+Style Southwest A vault turned wine room; green building certification in New Mexico; Steve Thomas’s advice for keeping your build crew happy.

28 Design Studio Sexy coffee tables and gorgeous coffee table books to glam them up.

94 Vida Buena

The beauty and historic architecture of San Miguel de Allende; hearing loops bring clear sound to hearing aid users; and Tom Smylie’s tips for enticing birds to your backyard during the spring migration.

102 Su Cocina Grab and go vegetarian takeaway from Albuquerque’s Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen; James Selby sings the praises of Argentina’s non-Malbec wines.

106 Su Libro We’re thinking green this spring with two new books on green and sustainable building and how to grow countertop gardens.

Concerts, festivals, and performances happening around Northern New Mexico through June. 10

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019


Karen Worth

112 What’s Happening?

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Northern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

The Perfect Fit

Published by Bella Media, LLC

Publisher Bruce Adams

Managing Editor Amy Gross

Whether you’re buying your dream home or building it, Waterstone Mortgage has the right loan for your needs. We are local, offer a wide variety of programs, and close on time. We have all the tools you need to achieve your dream.

You have more options than ever before with our product variety: g Single Loan Close Construction program

Contribuing Editors Sarah Eddy, Patricia L. Garcia Lisa J. Van Sickle

Contributors Jessa Cast, Ben Ikenson James Selby, Tom Smylie Steve Thomas, Danielle Urbina

Art/Production Director B.Y. Cooper

Graphic Designers Sonja Berthrong Valérie Herndon


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Kirk Gittings, Amadeus Leitner Mark William

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Su Casa Northern New Mexico (ISSN 1094-4562 & USPS # 2-3618) Volume 25, Number 2, Spring 2019. Su Casa Northern New Mexico is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December by Bella Media, LLC at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. © Copyright 2019 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. Periodicals postage paid at Albuquerque, NM, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa Northern New Mexico P.O. Box 16925, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925 Phone (818) 286-3162, Fax (800) 869-0040,,

H om e Bu il d e rs Asso c ia tio n o f C e nt r a l Ne w M e xic o Boa r d of D ire c to rs

President: Mike Fietz First Vice President: Kevin Patton Second Vice President: Mackenzie Bishop Immediate Past President: Scott Ashcraft Associate Vice President: Brooke Nutting Secretary/Treasurer: Antionete Whittaker Associate-at-Large: Jason Balthrop Education Committee, Chair: John Berg Home Builders Care, Chair: Doug Keaty Parade Committee, Chair: Paul Wymer Production Builders Council, Chair: Jenice Eades Remodelers Council, Chair: Diana Lucero Sales & Marketing Council, Chair: Wade Messenger Green Build Council: Diane Huerta Custom Builders Council: Wade Wingfield Builder at Large: Carey Plant Advisory Member: Bo Johnson Honorary Members: Bruce Adams, Dr. Susan Bogus Halter H om e Bu il d e rs Asso c ia tio n o f C e nt r a l N e w M e xic o S ta f f

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Inside Su Casa

inspired solutions



Right: From their penthouse condominium in Uptown Albuquerque, Ron and Gloria Trask enjoy an enviable view of the Sandias. Read all about this modern, adaptive living space on page 40. 18

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Amadeus Leitner

Bruce Adams

Gabriella Marks

hen this year’s long cold winter drew to a close, I felt ever so grateful for the projects I did around my home last fall. While the skiing was great all over Northern New Mexico for many folks, I have a feeling we spent considerably more time in our homes avoiding a relatively severe winter. With spring finally here, it’s time to gear up for the warmer months ahead and prepare our homes for other seasonal activities. A great place to start is by taking advantage of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico’s annual Spring Parade of Homes coming up in late April. All the details, maps, and descriptions of the homes are right here in this issue of Su Casa Northern New Mexico, so be sure to bring your copy with you as you visit each home. Touring the homes will expand your vision of what your current home can be, and it’s also a great way to see firsthand what’s new in homebuilding in the Albuquerque market. In many of the new homes you’ll see innovative building techniques and technology interfaces that meet the needs of tech-savvy homeowners. Even more interesting is noting how new owners have dictated their needs to a custom builder, architect, or interior designer and then seeing the result. I love how animated builders become when they describe the various challenges presented to them by their clients, and then get even more excited when they show me the solutions they came up with that aesthetically and functionally met those challenges. Your preparations for spring can be more subtle, such as an upgrade to a bathroom. Our bathroom pictorial will have you seeing this critical room in literally a whole new light. From skylights to brick floors, your bathroom can take on a look that excites and inspires. The ongoing goal of Su Casa is to inspire you and provide interesting solutions to having a home and a lifestyle here in New Mexico. We live in a beautiful place that affords a wonderful quality of life. It’s my wish that this issue helps you find a bigger slice.

Windows with a Greener Outlook.

Designed for a More Beautiful Future.

Design + Build: Diego Handcrafted Homes Location: Albuquerque, NM Photo: Mark William Photography

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Life+Style Southwest 22

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Chris Corrie

come on in A vault? A safe room? It was hard to tell what this space was prior to its complete transformation by Fabu-WALL-ous Solutions, but one thing was for certain: with thick concrete making up the walls, ceiling, and floor, it was designed to keep people out. Its new homeowners decided to repurpose it as a wet bar and wine room, a gathering place for friends and guests. The Fabu-WALL-ous remodeling team worked through a series of structural and mechanical challenges, not the least of which was drilling through the concrete to plumb the room, and carving out a portion of the ceiling to allow gorgeous, arched wood doors to swing inward. Today, every trace of the cold, sterile concrete is gone, replaced with warm and comfortable materials, cozy seating, well-stocked open shelving, and elegant lighting. No longer formidable, this space is something decidedly more functional, inviting, and friendly. Fabu-WALL-ous Solutions,

Let the Adventure begin...

As artisan craftsmen we pride ourselves in creating the finest homes in the Southwest. Our team consists of seasoned professionals with decades of experience inrenovating, remodeling, and building in Santa Fe.

Boni Armijo, Owner & Builder | 505-670-6734

Life+Style Southwest

by Ben Ikenson

building greener and greener Mark E. Owen

Every Panorama Home is certified to be energy efficient and waterconserving, with indoor air quality measures. They also all qualify for New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit Program (see box, page 25).

third-party certification ensures high sustainable building standards

Indeed, for the benefit of builders and their clients, there are many solid, third-party green building certification programs. Panorama Homes, for example, builds to the rigorous standards of the Build Green NM (BGNM) program (, which started in the mid-2000s as an offshoot of the National Association of Homebuilders’ National 24

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Above and right: Taking advantage of the New Mexico tax credit, the owners of this Panorama Home installed solar panels on their roof. Their home is now near net-zero.

Mark E. Owen

Build Green NM

Mark E. Owen


ast year was the fourth warmest year ever recorded, according to NASA and NOAA. As grim predictions for the planet mount amidst increasingly turbulent, often catastrophic weather events, experts say global warming represents the single greatest existential threat to our species in its 200,000-year-long history. The buildings we choose to live and work in figure prominently in the problem. In the U.S., it is estimated that buildings account for almost 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, considerably more than the industrial and transportation sectors that are usually spotlighted. Fortunately, green building shows that some of the ways to sustain our collective global home include evolving technologies and techniques used to construct our actual homes. “As much as buildings have been part of the problem, they also represent part of the solution,” says Carol Orona, a green building manager for Panorama Homes ( in Albuquerque. “Some of it’s architecture; some of it’s building techniques; and some of it’s technology. Knowing what to use when is key.” For instance, Orona notes that thermal enclosure detailing has improved vastly in recent years so that building envelopes can be very tight. However, this necessitates attention to chemicals in products and materials and use of a high-performing ventilation system to facilitate healthy indoor air quality. “With standard, code-built homes, you don’t always get that,” she says.

third-party verification. “While there are builders who include good equipment and construction practices, certification by a third-party verifier and program legitimizes their claims and gives the homeowner documentation of the merits of their home for their own use or re-sale,” says Whitmire.

Courtesy Build Green NM

LEED for Homes

A Build Green NM rater conducts a blower door test to determine a home’s airtightness.

Green Buildings Standard. The performance-based program now requires homes be built to use 47 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than standard homes. “Our program evolved specifically for the Southwest,” says BGNM program director Steve Hale. “We worked with the NAHB and, more recently, with members from Albuquerque and Santa Fe in fine-tuning the program, which has become very much regionalized, so that certification protocols now include stringent water efficiency requirements. But the overall goal of the program is really about serving the homeowner while raising the bar on our industry; it’s intended to enhance comfort and health while it improves water and energy efficiency in the local building sector.”

“The return on investment from green building is rapid: green retrofit projects are generally expected to pay for themselves in just seven years.”—Patti Mason, U.S. Green Building Council Under the program, homes are physically tested for energy, water, and indoor air quality. Jane Whitmire is a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) expert and verifier for the program. “The HERS rating assesses the basic energy use of a home based on size and configuration, insulation, windows, HVAC, and major appliances, and includes testing for air tightness,” she explains. The HERS rating is a major factor in the energy section, but other sections round out the categories, and an overall certification level— Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Emerald—on the home is determined via

Perhaps the most recognized green building program is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), with more than 1.6 million residential units registered around the world. Inspired by green building program in the U.K., the U.S. Green Building Council (—a national, member-based nonprofit—launched LEED in 2000. Crafted to measure a building’s “greenness,” the program features a prescriptive point system to score a checklist of considerations in various categories, from sustainable site development, to materials selection, to energy efficiency. Certification may be awarded at one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. In New Mexico alone, there are 3,400 units of LEED-certified homes, of which 70 percent achieved Platinum certification. “LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy, 11 percent less water, have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, and have a 19 percent reduction in aggregate operations costs,” says USGBC Mountain West regional director Patti Mason. Mason estimates that upfront investment in green buildings equates to an average expected increase in value of four percent. “By virtue of lowered maintenance and energy costs, the return on investment from green building is rapid: green retrofit projects are generally expected to pay for themselves in just seven years,” she says. It’s not hard to see that one of the reasons green building has seen continual growth over the years is because the market demands it. And, it is estimated that green building will grow steadily over the next three years, with single-family homes representing some 40 percent of the market, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends report. “Green building just makes so much sense,” adds Carol Orona. “It improves the health of a home, and its occupants; it reduces utility bills by virtue of being more efficient; and this makes for a more comfortable home while helping reduce demand for natural resources.”

tax credits New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit offers exemptions for new and existing residential building projects, under both LEED and Build Green NM programs. To be eligible, residential buildings must be either BGNM-certified or achieve LEED Silver or higher, and the building must be at least 40 percent more energy efficient than a standard home of similar size.



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

barbie rules

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

In addition to being a skilled carpenter, Michael boasts some serious grilling chops.

Steve Thomas


egular readers of this column will know that I’m a sucker for tackling challenging projects on difficult-to-access island sites in Maine. So it should come as no surprise that when a friend of 40 years asked me to do extensive repair work to his summer cottage I readily agreed; friendship counts for everything in my book. I actually like the challenge of working on these remote sites. All materials from 2 x 4s to bags of concrete have to come over on a small barge and then be hauled up a rough track by Jeep or tractor. Organization is the key, as is rigorous control of your workflow—and a good crew. And we have a great crew for this job: Ben and Elijah, boat builders in their late 20s trying to earn enough spare cash to build a boat and sail around the world; and Michael, in his 40s, a very experienced builder and carpenter who just digs the whole idea of working on the island, and, of course, with Yours Truly. Successfully working on an island, or a ridgetop in New Mexico, or any challenging site, requires being fully equipped. As a “toolhead” I make sure we’ve got every tool we could possibly need, and I’m never shy about buying a new tool if it will streamline the job. So in addition to my usual array of worm Left: Elijah picks away at rotted wood, a regular issue in houses that have to endure Maine’s punishing weather.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Steve Thomas

the tougher the building project, the better the food should be

drive saws, reciprocating saws, drills, drivers, nail guns, wrecking bars, come-alongs, and so on, I brought over to the island my giant beam saw, a fleet of 16- and 20-ton hydraulic jacks, and boxes and boxes of specialty fasteners. As an afterthought I bought a little Weber gas barbecue. At the time the $200 bucks I spent on it just seemed extravagant, but it turned out to be one of the most useful tools in the kit. We started the project well into the fall, with the daylight waning and the early sunset blazing the sky with color. The weather at this time of year bounces around from rain to snow to freezing winds out of the northwest, followed by a couple of mild days—just to lull you into a false sense of well-being.

Successfully working on an island, or any challenging site, requires being fully equipped. The little Weber gas barbecue I bought as an afterthought turned out to be one of the most useful tools in the kit. Phase one involved jacking up the building and replacing the foundation posts, piers, and support beams, most of which were undersized, failing, or rotting. On the mainland I’d have brought in big steel I-beams and other heavy equipment to lift the house, but that’s not an option on the island; we had to effect the repair by laborious cribbing, jacking, mixing, and pouring all the new concrete footings by hand and then manhandling the pressure-treated 6 x 6 beams and posts into position. It’s one thing to do this in the warmth of summer; quite another when you’re dressed in bulky Carhartts lying on a piece of plastic in the mud or slush with the wind howling through the underpinnings of the building. The job settled into a routine. Ben loved the big beam saw so he happily cut all the 6 x 6 posts and beams. Elijah, arguably the most nimble of the crew, wiggled under the building to dig the holes for the new concrete piers

Michael Roy

Above: On an island job site, every single thing has to come over by boat, from 2 x 4s to lunch. Steve (at left) and Ben make the daily trip, bundled up against the elements.

with a trenching shovel. I did whatever had to be done to move the job forward. And Michael, among his other talents, was dubbed “Grillman.” Nothing cheers up a cold, wet, dirty crew, especially a young and hungry one, better than hot food. So, starting about 11:30 Michael would crank up the barbie and begin turning out a copious supply of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, grilled veggies, and other delights, and we would sit in a semicircle on overturned plastic buckets eating lunch and warming our toes in front of the propane job site heater. Now, some may argue that providing lunch and grilling it is an unnecessary extravagance that’ll spoil a crew. But I’m here to tell you the difference in morale and enthusiasm for the job is vastly increased. As I write this it is full winter and the project is shut down. By the time you read this it will be spring and we’ll be back out there. Phase two is to replace the rotten deck and railing, a big job fully exposed to the weather (spring can be wet and cold and even snowy). But at least the days are getting longer and the temps warmer. And as we always say optimistically, summer is just around the corner. Whatever the weather, we’ll be hard at it with our can-do attitude and the help of the best tool in the kit, the barbie! Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert. The former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, he now heads up Steve Thomas Builders.

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Design Studio

by Amy Gross

perfect pairings coffee tables + books that look great on ‘em Is there anything more functional than a coffee table? Typically low-slung and at seat height, it’s the perfect piece to show off décor, collect TV remotes, and, of course, hold your coffee (or martini) while you read the paper or catch up with a friend. So-called “coffee table books” also claim their space on this table. Too beautiful to be relegated to a shelf, they demand their due as pieces of art. Here are a few tables we love, and books that would look great on them. Mix and match as you like!

Bellini Modern Living Tracy Coffee Table

A perfect marriage of contemporary design and classic materials, the Tracy coffee table features a geometric metal base and a true Italian marble top, available in diameters ranging from 24 to 35 inches and in three marbles: Ancient Black, Castle Ash, and Carrara White. Each size is also varied in height so that the tables can be nested together. $599–$769, TEMA Contemporary Furniture, Pair it with: Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern, by Wanda M. Corn, Prestel Publishing, hardcover, 320 pages

Hancock & Moore Rio Cocktail Table

What’s the difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table? Feel free to contemplate the question while enjoying the gorgeous, weathered look of the Rio table, which is achieved from “scraping” off parts of the red lacquered top. The base is hand-hammered iron finished in antique gold leaf—a look that has a subtle sheen and a lot of depth. $1,740, Dana Stringer Interiors, Glam it up with: Sacred Spaces: The Awe-Inspiring Architecture of Churches and Cathedrals, by Guillaume de Laubier and Jacques Bosser, Harry N. Abrams Publishing, hardcover, 240 pages

Four Hands Perry Coffee Table

A beautiful, sturdy table, the Perry complements nearly every style of home. The deep brown oak top is cut into a starburst pattern that’s framed with ebony sides and encircled by bright brass rings. It’s available in different sizes that can be “bunched” together for an intriguing look. $1,500, Reside Home, Deck it out with: Inspired Design: The 100 Most Important Designers of the Past 100 Years, by Jennifer Boles, Vendome Press, hardcover, 328 pages


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Copenhagen Wendell Coffee Table

The Wendell is classic midcentury modern thinking—sleek, rounded geometries, with plenty of storage space in the central hollow compartment for practical use. The walnut table is supported by angled spindle legs that are easy to clean under and allow air to flow beneath, for a look that’s both fresh and retro. $425, Copenhagen Imports, Make it pop with: Palm Springs: A Modernist Paradise, by Tim Street-Porter, Rizzoli Publishing, hardcover, 224 pages




Hancock & Moore Frenzy Table

Topped with tempered glass for a see-through look, the Frenzy table is generously sized at 38 inches in diameter. The eye is immediately drawn to the dramatic octagonal shapes of the base, made of a forged iron in a bronze textured finish. Any way you look at it, this is one intriguing table. $2,148, Dana Stringer Interiors, Dress it up with: Into the Great White Sands: Photographs by Craig Varjabedian, University of New Mexico Press, hardcover, 136 pages


sparkle and shine

When it comes to home design, Scott Ashcraft of Las Ventanas Homes is a firm believer in the “less is more” theory, an approach certainly evident in this gleaming, light-filled bathroom. As an en suite guest bath this space lives surprisingly large, thanks in large part to a muted dove-tone palette; minimalist, floating cabinetry; subtle, undermount cabinet LED lighting; and polished quartz countertops. Sunlight pours in through a skylight and a clerestory window in the shower, creating intriguing patterns in a room that’s all angles, mirrors, and smooth surfaces. In the curbless, glass-framed shower, a single, vertical rising band of accent tile is a nice contrast to horizontal subway tile and an example of Ashcraft’s affinity for clean, modern lines. Builder: Las Ventanas Homes,; Cabinetry: ProSource Cabinetry; Lighting: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery,; Countertops: Creative Countertops & More, 30

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019



This Santa Fe master bathroom was rooted firmly in the late ’80s/early ’90s and desperately needed a facelift. To lighten things up, Edy Keeler of Core Value Interiors and Bill Roth of Modern Design+Construction took advantage of an existing skylight and a window overlooking a private garden. Removing a clunky shower enclosure and replacing it with frameless glass immediately opened up the space and let in that light, and offered a peek into the shower itself, where the floor’s interesting herringbone tile pattern repeats on the walls. A lovely, freestanding Bain Ultra tub is now a focal point of the room, as are the distinctively marble-patterned quartz countertops. LED lighting and brushed nickel hardware complements the cool, soothing palette of grays and mauves on the walls, vanity, and ceiling for a look that’s bright and modern, feminine but not frilly. Interior Design: Core Value Interiors; Contractor: Modern Design+Construction; Tile & Lighting: Allbright & Lockwood; Plumbing Fixtures: Santa Fe By Design 32

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Ray Padilla-Hernandez

pattern play

Darrel DeVantier


a style all its own

There’s nary an ocean in sight, but Justin and Jen Newcomer and their builder, Ted Lowe of Lowe-Bo Homes, did their best to impart a watery, oceanic vibe to their new home in the Northeast Heights. The owners even coined a new style—“Southwest Modern Beach”—for their contemporary residence, which was enjoyed by many people who toured the house in the Fall 2018 Parade of Homes. In the roomy, clean-lined master bath, ocean-colored tile pops against pristine white cabinets and repeats in the glass-enclosed shower, where a wall of glass subway tile offers its own watery look. In an appropriately sandy hue, large-format tile surrounds the base of the shower, extends to the floors, and wraps around a monster of a cast-iron tub the build team successfully wrestled into place. Last but not least, a large, 4 x 4–foot skylight brings in the sunlight. Beachy indeed! As the designer of the master bath, Justin is justifiably proud it won Best Bath in its category in the Parade, and just as delighted at how well it fits the needs of his family. Builder: Lowe-Bo Homes,; Glass & Mirrors: Ideal Mirror & Glass; Cabinetry: Aesop’s Gables; Tub: Dahl Plumbing; Tile: Floorscapes SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Brandon Harwell



S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

stone gorgeous

In refreshing their dated master bath—complete with the obligatory corner whirlpool tub—the owners of this Northeast Heights home enlisted the design eye of Letisha Perry of Blue Eye Interiors. “They really wanted a place that looked upscale and spa-like, but also had a little bit of a rustic feel,” says interior designer Michelle Aragon. To achieve the look, the team opted for natural materials: real, stacked stone for the vanity backsplash; quartz countertops with a polished surface and a contrasting hand-finished, rough edge; and pebble tile floor in the shower. “For the vanity, they wanted something that looked like a piece of furniture,” Aragon explains of the beautiful, custom wood piece, stained a rich, deep teal that adds a subtle bit of color to the bathroom’s neutral hues. And the tub? Gone, replaced with a frameless, walk-in shower with a built-in banco. A little modern, a little rustic, this bath is entirely fresh and new, and its owners are over the moon with the final look. Interior Design: Blue Eye Interiors; Contractor: More Brothers Construction; Tile & Stone: ProSource; Shower Glass: Albuquerque Custom Shower Doors; Fixtures: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



personal onsen

David and Deborah Ill have done a lot of traveling together, but Japan holds a special place in their hearts. A few treasures and pieces of art acquired during a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun informed the design of their new bathroom, which they transformed with the help of designer Bobbie Goroum of Dreamstyle Remodeling. A large garden tub and tiny shower did not suit the owners’ needs, so both were removed, along with a window, and the entire area replaced with a large, walk-in shower that required the support of a massive, overhead wood beam. A whimsical sea theme is evident throughout the bathroom, from the “bubbly” mirrors and light sconces over the double vanity to the shower’s patterned and pebble tiles that feel like waves and bubbles. Indeed, the entire effect of the space is subtly watery, suggestive of a Japanese onsen, or bathing facility. Even the large-format rectangular shower tile contributes to the effect, finished cleverly with a light green grout very similar to the wall color: seafoam green, naturally. Design & Build: Dreamstyle Remodeling; Lighting & Mirrors: Bright Ideas, Inc. dba The Lamp Shop,; Countertops: United Stoneworks; Tile: Arizona Tile, 36

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Steven Raniszewski


warm and comforting

Wade Wingfield, a 20-year resident of New Mexico, claims, “Every house I’ve ever lived in here has had brick floors. I’m a fan!” The clay used to make the bricks in Sun Valley Custom Homes’ model home was dug up locally from the Manzano Mountains, strongly connecting the house to its surroundings. The brick’s rich pigments lend a warming, organic element to the otherwise modern master bath, playing off a patterned tile backsplash behind the oversized, insulated soaking tub, and the floating, underlit cabinetry—his and hers vanities, neatly separated. The sinks, as well as the tub, are undermount, a sleek, clean look capped with polished quartz countertops. Blending old and new elements, natural and manmade materials, this bath is a refreshing, contemporary take on warm and chocolatey Southwest tones. Builder: Sun Valley Custom Homes,; Brick: Kinney Brick, Tile & Stone Masters; Lighting: Turn On Lighting; Countertops: Emser 38

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

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high above the city a loft condominium offers a fresh perspective on urban, Uptown living

A wall of sliding glass doors offers a nearly unimpeded west-facing view from Ron and Gloria Trask’s penthouse condominium. Interior designer Patti Stivers kept the palette neutral to put the focus on cherished sculpture and art pieces, and to draw the eye toward the outdoor vistas.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

by Jessa Cast

photographs by Amadeus Leitner


hen telling the story of their move from a traditional home to a fourth-floor condominium, Gloria Trask and her husband Ron just beam. After years in a lovely house a block off the Central corridor in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood, the Trasks were tiring of cleaning superfluous square footage and were thoroughly disenchanted with yard maintenance. But they loved their urban environment, full of personality and walking distance from local eateries and entertainment. “We weren’t going to live in just anything,” they agree. “We lived in a really cool, unique setting, and we wanted to move into another really cool, unique setting.” A tidbit in the New Mexico Business Weekly about a potential penthouse development in the Uptown area caught Ron’s attention. A year later, upon hearing the project was indeed underway, he contacted the developers. Built in 1985, the commercial building was set to undergo a renovation. For starters, the dated façade would get a facelift. And in tune with the City of Albuquerque’s recent push towards mixed-use zoning, the top floor of the four-story structure was to become a series of six customizable penthouse condominiums, while floors one through three would remain commercial office spaces.



The sharp, clean angles of the living room are softened by two- and three-dimensional art, much of it set into lighted, recessed nichos. Each strand of the dramatic Blackjack Lighting pendant above the dining table (foreground) is vertically adjustable.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Above: The compact floor plan lives large thanks to its open concept, with a fully stocked wet bar neatly tucked into the center of it all.

Left: Ron Trask and pup Lola relax in front of a maternity statue by artist Russell Wray. Far left: Shelving as sculptural as the pieces it showcases wraps around a corner for a threedimensional art experience.

Ron’s inquiry proved timely. Of the six condos, three were already spoken for by the development partners. Upon approval by the partners, the Trasks bought one of two smaller, 1,365-square-foot condos, pleased with the prospect of downsizing. And yet, during their weekly visits to the construction site, they found themselves gravitating to the 2,223-square-foot unit next door. Though roomier than their initial purchase, it would still be smaller than their Nob Hill abode. With unimpeded east- and west-facing views, and five times the balcony space, the unit felt right, and the change was made. Sold as raw shells, the condos were built to be outfitted, from studs to fine details, by the homeowners. The Trasks quickly determined an office would SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The late New Mexican artist Maximilliano Padilla Henderson carved the Christ on the cross that hangs outside the office.


S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Above: The whole effect of the kitchen is sleek and understated, with slabfront cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, white quartz countertops, and neutral flooring and backsplash tile. Though well-lit, the space benefits greatly from the natural light pouring through the wall of windows.

be far more useful to them than an oversized utility room, so they altered the original floor plan, shrinking the laundry room and closet, to create a cozy, quiet office. Then came time for the bewildering task of designing the interiors, from floors and tile to colors and textures. To assist them with that overwhelming task, the Trasks called in Patti Stivers of Stivers & Smith Interiors. Gloria had worked with the Santa Fe–based interior designer on a design committee and knew her talents well. “Patti was really helpful,” says Ron. “Without her, we would still be at the tile store.” Ron envisioned a modern, open feel; Gloria desired a warm and welcoming ambience. As avid collectors of New Mexican art, they both wanted a clean backdrop against which to offset their medley of Southwestern pieces. These three factors—no small order—would dictate Stivers’s work. The team agreed on using one flooring type throughout the condo, a light-colored, large-format tile suggestive of concrete. In keeping with a visually clean and consistent style, they also used matching walnut cabinets throughout, and only differed the tile slightly, room to room, within a subtly metallic theme. The magical touch—exquisite Venetian plaster walls with a hint of sheen—provided the warmth Gloria sought. “The Venetian plaster just brings the walls to life,” says Stivers.

Everything was planned around displaying their art—statues, sculpture, paintings, pots, santos, retablos. “We kept it neutral and let the art be the color,” says Stivers of the palette. Surfaces were designed purposely to fade away, to serve as an unobtrusive backdrop for different types of artwork.

Religious iconography is a recurring art theme in Ron and Gloria home. They have supported New Mexican artists over the years; almost everything they own was created locally, such as Arthur Lopez’s relief of a truck, called Old Faithful.

Surfaces were designed purposely to fade away, to serve as an unobtrusive backdrop for the couple’s different styles of artwork. Indeed, art is of great significance to the Trasks. Ron’s mother, Kitty Trask, owned The Pueblo Loft, the longtime Nob Hill art gallery, from which Ron and Gloria acquired many pieces. When Kitty passed, they inherited much of her fine collection as well. The couple is dedicated to collecting what they love, regional New Mexican and Spanish Colonial works, and speak of the artists like family members, eagerly detailing the story behind each piece. Stunning, one-of-a-kind artworks pepper their home, from such famed artists as Ben Ortega, Arthur Lopez, and Maximilliano Padilla Henderson. Frequent entertainers, the Trasks made sure to incorporate a snazzy bar, a.k.a. party headquarters, as almost the first stop upon entering the condo. Just as each piece in their Southwestern art collection comes with a story, so too does their quirky, colorful assortment of martini glasses, prominently displayed from floor to ceiling. “This one is from our honeymoon in Aspen,” says Ron, delightedly, “and this one is Swarovski.” He and Gloria talk over one another in their eagerness to relay the fun origins of all the glasses, cruising down memory lane in the process. It’s no wonder friends and family love to spend time here,

Left: The two seats of honor at the bar counter afford the best view of the Trasks’ fun collection of martini glasses. Choosing their preferred glass is a ritual enjoyed by the friends and family who visit and partake of the fully stocked bar. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Left: Gloria Trask (at right) and interior designer Patti Stivers met while working on a design committee together. In designing Ron and Gloria’s loft home, the two collaborated on finishes and furnishings, and found ways to incorporate the Trasks’ eclectic collection of art into the décor.

carefully choosing a favorite glass and then taking in the sunset from the veranda, cocktail in hand. It’s obvious this home is full of activity and love. What it’s not full of? Yard work. “You’re still in charge of the ‘yard,’” Gloria teases her husband. “I see three leaves on the balcony.”

The Trasks love living up high, being in the city while still enjoying a view of its glittering lights at night. After moving in last April, the couple has had time to assess their lifestyle change, and they give it an enthusiastic, quadruple thumbs-up. They agree they love living up high, being in the city while still enjoying a view of its glittering lights at night, a benefit usually only available from the outskirts of the metro area. Other perks: Several stories up, they live relatively dust-free, and vast views make the condo feel wide open. They spend less time cleaning, more time entertaining. And they can still walk to a variety of dining establishments whenever they feel like it. It was a great move, says Gloria. “No regrets.” 46

S U C A S A S p r i n g 2019

Above: The master bedroom is its own blend of modernist furnishings, cherished art, and mementos. Automated window coverings drop down for privacy, but when rolled back, the Sandia Mountain views are amazing. Right: An unsual angling of vanities, tub, seating, and shower (not shown) gives the master bath a look that’s literally “on point.”

Above: A micaceous clay perforated sculptural piece by Hubert Candelario (San Felipe Pueblo).

resources Interior Designer Patti Stivers, Stivers & Smith Interiors Home Design, General Contractor, Electrical, HVAC Sun Vista Enterprises Architect Kevin deGraauw, AIA Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Art Galleries Design Warehouse Nest Modern Automatic Blinds HD Systems Cabinetry and Quartz Countertop Fabrication Ulibarri Construction Dining Room & Kitchen Pendant Lighting RKL Sales Outdoor Furniture Patio & Hearth Co. Quartz Countertop Material Arizona Tile Sinks & Faucets Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Venetian Plaster Urszula Bolimowksi, Urszula Designs

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8509 Calle Alameda NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113

April 26–28 & May 3–5 11 am–5 pm Tour 25 beautiful and innovative Albuquerque-area homes during the 2019 Spring Parade of Homes.


*$100,000 $240,000 $307,396 $313,800 $335,000 $349,900 $384,900 $420,990 $428,950 $449,950 $450,000 $460,360 $489,990

blue eye interiors Twilight Homes Hakes brothers rayLee Homes: A New Generation snapspace Nm dba snapHome Westway Homes Westway Homes Twilight Homes Homes by Kim brooks Homes by Kim brooks GrG custom Homes by mgmt systems Lowe-bo Homes Pulte Homes

coLor coDe Key For eNTry Numbers


Northeast heights


13 20 19 21 9 10 23 18 24 22 7 11 17


$540,000 $639,000 $659,000 $760,550 $880,000 $925,000 $1,000,500 $1,030,000 $1,060,000 $1,200,000 $1,400,000 N/A


Rio Rancho

Vineyard Homes 15 sivage Homes 8 Panorama Homes 14 Las Ventanas Homes 2 Foutz construction 5 scott Patrick Homes 12 crescent custom Homes 4 New Haven Homes 1 Los Arboles construction 6 ecoterra Design/build 16 crescent custom Homes 3 sun mountain construction Featured Builder *cost of remodeled portion


Southeast heights

East mountains

if you require special assistance, please call the Home builders Association of central New mexico at (505) 344-3294.

The fireplace is the heart of the home. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

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2718 University NE | Alb, NM 87107 | 505.888.4464 |

Directions to all homes begin at the Big I intersection of I-25 and I-40 in Albuquerque. Prices and information about Parade homes were supplied by Parade builders and are subject to change.

Westside Blvd.


Cam ino Tec olo t

Tier ra M adr e Rd .

Ana sa

Vatapa Rd.


Rio Gr an de

16 5


NM 3 13

Don Julio Rd.

Me sa V ista .

Lo ma Co rra les Larg NM Rd a R d. 448 .

Pat D ’arco H wy. 52 8

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Golf Course Rd.

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Lo ma Loma Colorado Blvd. Vis ta Blv dN E




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21st Ave.


New Haven Homes Pa M seo Va issio de ll n Co rra ey R d. les ad ow lar kL n.

NM 165


Diam Tail R ond d.

Featured Builder: Sun Mountain Construction

Todos Junto s Rd.


ino Camranca Bar

Southern Blvd.


Brazos Trail Ct.

Hig h Re sort Blvd .

Albino Rd. August Mader Rd.

d. Blv ho c n Ra Rio

Terraza Blvd NE


Rd. ales Corr

d. lia R Ida

Homes by Kim Brooks 24

Kim Rd.

Las Ventanas Homes

Northern Blvd.

Westway Homes

Iris Rd .

Pe tro gly ph Tr.

. ln Ave Linco

Icarian Rd.


Camino Manzano

Vineyard Homes

Nativitas Rd.

d. lia R Ida

Montezuma Blvd. NE


Franklin Rd.

Homes by Kim Brooks

Paseo del Volcan West (NM 347)


US 55 0 RayLee Homes: A En ch New Generation an ted Hil ls B lvd .

19 Hakes Brothers


Unser Blvd.


Twilight Homes

Pikes Peak Loop

Twilight Homes

Chayote Rd.

Rid geli ne

Res erv oir


. or Rd Rapt

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Blu Gra e ma Dr.


es Jam Rd. Wall

Cayenne Rd

. p Rd

Pulte Homes NW Loo 17 a os . rip wy Ma Pk

Maps are not drawn to scale. Use directions provided with home descriptions to arrive at Parade entries.

Fro nta ge Rd .

Rd .

ECOterra Design/Build

Sh Po eriff’s sse Rd .







n Rd.


r. sD bu Gan



Lowell Dr.

Tennyson St.

Browning St.

Eubank Blvd.

Holbrook St.

NE Corta deria St.

s Rd.


Silver Charm Rd.

on ed E Av ve S A

Ave SE


Tramway Blvd.

Juan Tabo Blvd.

To East Mountains



66 Rte Exit Se dil Exit 178 lo R d. NM 217

Eubank Blvd. d.

Paa K o

Wyoming Blvd.

Wyoming Blvd.


Juan Tomas


ch Ln.

10 Westway Homes

To Los Lunas

To Albuquerque



Sedillo Hill Rd.

Central Ave. Southern Blv


Canyon Ridge Dr.

Lomas Blvd.

Central Ave.

Vi aE nt ra da

Raindance Rd. Broken Arrow Pl.

Indian School Rd.

Lomas Blvd.

Gibson Blvd.

Penn Ave.

High Desert Place

Louisiana Blvd.


Lowe-Bo Homes

Scott Patrick Homes 12

Menaul Blvd.

4 Hills Rd. SE

Rio Bravo Blvd.

Comanche Rd.


5 Hills D r.


SnapSpace NM dba SnapHome

Ventura St.

Barstow St.

MLK Jr Ave.



S 98th

e nd




Blue Eye Interiors

Nature Pointe Dr.


9 Lead Av



Spain Rd.

Juan Tabo Blvd.



. y Rd dem Aca

Menaul Blvd.



Del Rey Ave.

Pino Ridge Place








4th St.

DOWNTOWN Mountain gl

Central A

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San Rafael Ave. 13

San Antonio

Tres Lagunas Ln.

Candelaria Rd.

Indian School Rd.


14 Panorama Homes

GRG Custom Homes by Management Systems Inc.

12th St.



Coors Blvd .



Elena Dr. Modesto Ave.

Paseo del Norte

Girard Blvd.

. Blv d

se r






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os Rd




Sivage Homes


San Mateo Blvd.


St. Josephs Dr NW

Signature Community: Del Webb Mirehaven

Florence Ave.




Western Trails


2nd St. Edith Blvd. N

Los Arboles Construction








Los Ranchos

4th St.


Montaño Rd.





2nd St.


Crescent Custom Homes t ser . De in Rd Ra

Rio Gra nde Blvd .






or Taylor Ranch Rd.

Dr. mmick

Foutz Construction 5

Blvd. NW


Rosa Parks Rd.

Golf Course

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Universe Blvd.

Ellison Dr.

Irving Blvd.




McMahon Blvd.

BUILDERS Blue Eye interiors 13 Crescent Custom Homes 3 Crescent Custom Homes 4 Del Webb mirehaven Signature Community ECoterra Design/Build 16 Foutz Construction 5 GrG Custom Homes by mgmt Systems 7 Hakes Brothers 19 Homes by Kim Brooks 22



Diam ail Rdond .

Color CoDE KEY For EntrY numBErS


Northeast Heights




24 2 6 11 1 14 21 17 12

Rio Rancho

Sivage Homes 8 SnapSpace nm/dba SnapHome 9 Sun mountain Construction Featured Builder twilight Homes 18 twilight Homes 20 Vineyard Homes 15 Westway Homes 10 Westway Homes 23


Southeast Heights

East Mountains

Featured Builder

Signature Community



Platinum SPonSorS

Paul Wymer (Chair), Pulte Group

Jason Balthrop, Builders Source appliance Gallery


Paa K o


John Berg, Builders Source appliance Gallery

tad Johnson, tillery Buick GmC Sedillo Hill Rd. Exit 181

Rd . NM 217

Nature Pointe Dr.

5 Hills D r.

66 Rte Se dil Exit 178 lo

Diana lucero, new mexico Bank & trust Beverly maez, lanB

mary mcGarrity, united Stoneworks

Geoff mcGee, all about Blinds & Shutters Peggy moeller mead, Pm2 meghan mulryan, Pella Windows & Doors

Deborah Pacheco, aDt Security marty Padilla, Waterstone mortgage mikayla Padilla, Waterstone mortgage

rita Powers, interior logic Group

nick Salas, Western Building Supply anna treme, Emser tile

lora Vassar, arch Design Carla Wersonick, Doc Savage Supply

antionete Whittaker, antionete Whittaker Sales & marketing, las Ventanas Homes

SHoE CoVEr SPonSor

Juan Tomas

alex lang, aDt Security

Brenda owen, aDt Security

moBilE aPP/ tECHnoloGY SPonSor

SPrinG 2019 ParaDE CommittEE



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Signature Community

Del Webb Mirehaven resort-style living with exceptional amenities for active adults by Jessa Cast photographs by Style Tour Photography

Mirehaven residents enjoy exclusive access to the 10,750-square-foot Sandia Amenity Center.


n Albuquerque’s Westside sits a flourishing gem of a community. As 55+ communities for active adults have grown in popularity around the United States, such properties are finding stiffer competition. But Del Webb has cornered that market in Albuquerque with Mirehaven. Opened in February 2015, this gated neighborhood offers its residents all the benefits of Albuquerque’s fine weather, culture, and outdoor activities, combined with amenities to rival any vacation spot and home options to suit a variety of tastes. For those who prefer to build a personalized home from scratch, home sites are available with gracious views of the Sandia Mountains to the east and the volcanoes to the west.

50 50


When the New Mexico sun is bright, 3,400 square feet of covered outdoor space overlooking the pool keeps things cool.

The pool features lap lanes, a beach entry, and plenty of outdoor seating—all with incredible Sandia Mountain views in the distance.

Del Webb Mirehaven offers the benefits of Albuquerque’s fine weather, culture, and outdoor activities, combined with amenities to rival any vacation spot and home options to suit a variety of tastes.

A selection of move-in ready homes allows residents to get a jump start on their active lifestyle without having to wait to build. There are two Del Webb design collections from which to choose, both featuring generous, flexible spaces, extra room for storage, guest suites, and indoor/ outdoor living areas. Every one of the quality construction home designs is consumer-inspired and tested, and provides energy efficiency features like Low-E windows, tankless water heaters, 2x6 construction, and lowwater-use fixtures and toilets. Starting in the $270s, they range in size from 1,572 to 2,504 square feet. While the homes are certainly an attractive selling point, it’s the community’s myriad amenities that draw residents, both from New Mexico and from out of state. “There are Del Webb communities around the country,” says Jolene Montoya, Marketing Manager for Del Webb, “but Mirehaven offers a unique boutique concept creating a tight-knit community that’s close to the city and everyday conveniences.” More than six miles of connected, landscaped, onsite walking trails flow throughout the community and

Golf enthusiasts can practice their short game on the putting green, and then enjoy a coffee with friends in the air-conditioned social café (above). SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM

51 51


A mirrored, well-lit movement room in the fitness center is used for Pilates, yoga, and tai chi.

the amenity center. Nestled in the corner of the Petroglyph National Park, one of Albuquerque’s most popular sightseeing spots, Mirehaven grants direct access to the park’s trails. Residents can take in fresh air while roaming by the fully landscaped entry monument and community park areas, or enjoying the centralized walking trails that offer access to more than 7,000 acres of open space. Mirehaven is also conveniently located near Interstate 40, so it’s just a short drive to reach downtown, Old Town, shopping, and an array of restaurants. For enjoying some fun in groups, Mirehaven is prepared to coordinate. “We have a full-time lifestyle director on staff, Angela Manzanedo,” says Montoya. “Angela plans events, outings to ball games, hikes, and trips to Balloon Fiesta.” By tapping into Albuquerque’s seasonal events, Manzanedo ensures residents experience entertainment year-round. Below: The Amenity Center’s state-of-the-art fitness facility overlooks the pool, with views to the mountains.

The colors of the surrounding landscape are reflected in the Amenity Center, where residents gather for movie nights in the TV lounge (above) and play pool in the billiards room (top).

Not all coordinated activities take place off campus. In fact, it’s so replete with amenities that there’s almost no need to leave Mirehaven at all. At the heart of Mirehaven is the 10,750+-square-foot Sandia Amenity Center, which boasts an additional 3,400 square feet of outdoor covered patio space. Purposefully set in the center of the community, this amenity center is rife with luxuries, including a fully equipped fitness center with a movement room for yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. After a workout, residents can change in deluxe locker rooms and then enjoy a latte at the coffee bar. Friends can watch the game together on a large-screen TV in the main gathering room or enjoy a game of pool in the billiards room. In the social rooms, card sharks can put on a game of bridge or poker, or film enthusiasts can host a movie night. Outside, there is even more to do. Swimmers may enjoy the lap pool with a beach entry, and then ease tired muscles in the heated spa with its kiva fireplace. There’s an outdoor event lawn for bands, a covered patio with fire pits and comfortable furniture for lounging, as well as courts for pickle ball, tennis, and bocce ball. Rich in indulgences and comforts, it’s no wonder Mirehaven captures the attention of engaged, active adults from all over. With so many conveniences and diversions, it makes home feel like a permanent vacation retreat. Del Webb Mirehaven,


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

Del Webb Mirehaven 9205 Del Webb Lane NW

Signature Community

Del Webb Mirehaven Gated, amenity-filled community for active adults 55+! The 10,750-square-foot Sandia Amenity Center is available exclusively to Mirehaven homeowners! Here are just a few of the amenities offered: Outdoor resort swimming pool Huge covered patio with Sandia and Downtown views Year-round outdoor heated spa Tennis, bocce, and pickleball courts Fully equipped fitness center Movement room for yoga, Pilates, and tai chi classes Great room with social cafĂŠ Billiards room Event lawn for croquet, concerts, and social gatherings Full-time onsite Lifestyle Director Miles of landscaped walking trails and bike paths Dedicated access to Petroglyph National Monument

Sales: (505) 349-9980 Lisa Hayes ( Sue Goheen ( Julie Rivella (

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Unser Blvd., turning north (right). Turn left onto Tierra Pintada, then right on Mirehaven Parkway, then right onto Del Webb Lane.

Whether hiking the miles of walking trails that wind throughout the community, relaxing by the pool, or soaking in the heated outdoor spa, residents of Del Webb Mirehaven always have stunning New Mexico sunsets and extraordinary views to enjoy.



Select Knowledge. Select Experience. Select a Professional.

Jo Cook 505-379-6099

Lisa Parker 505-220-7068

Susan Storan 505-358-2700

Mariessa M. Sanchez 505-440-7413

Paul J. Chavez 505-720-7807

Linda E. Malott 505-507-2459

Chris Lucas 505-463-5317

Kim Jensen 505-948-1399

The Braden Team 505-263-4032

Mel Candelaria 505-263-2867

Sarah Black 505-401-0705

Mila Lucero 505-550-6824

Jessica Beecher


Ruben Ortega 505-459-8589

Scott Dean


Kristi L. Bowen 505-280-3505

Nobody sells more Real Estate than RE/MAX! 122 Wellesley Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 | (505) 265-5111 | 3401 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque | (505) 433-5600


Sun Mountain Construction

Featured Builder

building one outstanding green home at a time photographs by Mark William Photography

Sun Mountain Construction builds in many home styles. This contemporary residence features walls of windows that capture views as dramatic looking in as out.


orm Schreifels describes himself as a “hands-on guy” who has been building his entire life. That’s not surprising considering he has owned his own custom homebuilding business for more than three decades. What is unusual is that he remains as hands-on as always in terms of managing his company’s work. Not many other owners of prestigious custom homebuilding companies can claim they actually show up to the job site with truck and tool belt on a daily basis. “We don’t build quantity,” he says. “There is a certain measure of pride and ownership I feel for each and every home we create. I am as involved as my crew over the course of an entire project.” Schreifels started his business in 1987, first as a property maintenance operation while he was a student at the University of New Mexico. He was pursuing dual majors


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

A modern bath balances natural wood elements with solid surface finishes, and even manages to draw the outdoors in through the shower.

Above: A stunning residence in Corrales feels like a timeless old hacienda, when in fact it is only a few years old. American Clay adorns the walls in rich hues throughout the home, a non-toxic green finish that absorbs and releases humidity naturally. Left: “With a house like this, you need your A-team,” says Norm Schreifels, “and I’ve got the best craftsmen there are.” This house is one of the more than 150 homes built by Sun Mountain Construction over 32 years.

in finance and in the school’s new entrepreneurial studies program. When he graduated in 1991, his business was booming and it seemed like a natural transition to expand into homebuilding.

“There is a certain measure of pride and ownership I feel for each and every home we create. I am as involved as my crew over the course of an entire project.”—Norm Schreifels “It was a logical next step,” says Schreifels. “I was already proficient in a number of building trades, and the property maintenance business gave me a firsthand education in the inner workings of building operations.” Schreifels was among the first green builders in New Mexico, and, along with a few other HBACNM custom builders, established the first formal local green building program. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



The combination of custom woodwork, granite, and tile makes the kitchen feel homey and comfortable, while the high-end appliances are fit for a gourmet chef.

Spanish, Asian, and New Mexican influences can be seen in the master bedroom’s décor and architecture.

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

“Green building has always been in my blood simply because I don’t like to waste, and I’ve always been resourceful,” he says. “If I find something in the job site dumpster that can be used, my guys get an earful. Green building is not only about waiting for the return on your investment in certain green features, it’s about site orientation, design, careful consideration of materials, and other factors that, contrary to the lingering misperception that green building always costs more, actually make sense and can keep costs down. Simple things like keeping materials out of the landfill saves money.” Schreifels’s body of work—which consists of more than 150 homes of all styles throughout Albuquerque, Corrales, Rio Rancho, the East Moun58

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

tains, and Santa Fe—has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, his firm has acquired more than 90 awards, including national recognition for “Best Green Remodel Project of the Year” and “Best Green Single Family Custom Home of the Year,” by the National Association of Home Builders. The local chapter of the Home Builders Association named him to its Hall of Fame in 2011. Schreifels owes much of his success to the fact that he’s never been a “big builder” and only takes on a few home projects per year. “This really enables us to stay focused and to devote the necessary time and resources to each project,” he explains. Keeping the operation small has enabled Schreifels to be very selective about his subcontractors. In fact, many of them have been partnering with Sun Mountain since its inception 32 years ago. Another aspect of his success, says Schreifels, “is that we encourage the client to be a part of the entire process.” Sun Mountain offers not only design drafts, but also miniature 3-D printed models and virtual tours of prospective builds. “We can offer expertise and recommendations on the best materials and design approach,” he says. “We want the client to be involved as much as possible because, at the end of the day, it’s their home.” Sun Mountain Construction,

Sun Mountain Construction, Inc. 101 Mesa Vista Lane

Mesa Vista de Corrales


featured builder 3–4 bedrooms 4 baths 3,570 sq. ft. From the Big I, take I-25 north to Alameda, turning left onto Alameda and proceeding 4.3 miles to Corrales Road. Right on Corrales Road, then 5.3 miles to Cesar Chavez. Left on Cesar Chavez and follow signs to home.

Norm Schreifels This home is built to the Build Green NM Gold level. Some of the features in this unique home include custom cabinets and doors, a large chef’s kitchen with a walk-in

pantry, exercise room, pool, and spa, and large covered portals for comfortable outdoor living. Let us design and build your custom GREEN home.

(505) 892-8855

Offering a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living is a portal deep enough to comfortably cover multiple seating areas. Columns made from a 2,000-year-old Spanish quarry line the patio.



Š2019 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated.

Custom solutions for better living

505.858.1100 ALB U Q U E RU E

4801 Alameda Blvd NE Suite G3



New Haven Homes, Inc. 107 Mesa Vista Lane

Mesa Vista de Corrales

4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 3,972 sq. ft. $1,030,000 Bill Reynolds (505) 550-1605

Designed and built by the New Haven Homes award-winning design team, this custom design tastefully blends Southwest and contemporary styles, creating a sophisticated


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

design that allows for casual living. With the highest level of attention to all the details, it’s a New Haven Home you won’t want to miss!

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Alameda Blvd. (Exit 233). Turn left (west) onto Alameda Blvd. and drive 4.8 miles to Corrales Road. Right on Corrales Road for 5.4 miles. Turn left onto Cesar Chavez and continue onto Calle Contenta for 300 feet. Turn right onto Mesa Vista Lane.



Las Ventanas Homes 114 Mesa Vista Lane

3 bedrooms 3 baths 2,843 sq. ft. $760,550

Antionete Whittaker (505) 720-5354

This stunning contemporary home immediately impresses with high ceilings, an inviting great room open to the kitchen and dining room, beautiful luxury vinyl tile floors, custom cabinets, upgraded steel appliances, built-

3700 Rutledge Road NE Albuquerque, NM 87109 505.938.3125

Now open Saturdays! 8 am to 12 pm 64

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

in waterfall island, quartz countertops, and a contemporary fireplace. Designed with aging in place features and Build Green NM certification, this is a truly remarkable home in the heart of Corrales.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Alameda Blvd. (Exit 233). Turn left (west) onto Alameda and drive 4.8 miles to Corrales Road. Right (north) on Corrales Road for 5.4 miles. Left onto Cesar Chavez and continue onto Calle Contenta for 300 feet. Right onto Mesa Vista Lane.



Crescent Custom Homes 6600 Papagayo Road NW

6 bedrooms 5 baths 6,070 sq. ft. $1,400,000 Mike Sanchez (505) 220-7507

This home gathers inspiration from modern farmhouse and Southwest themes and incorporates them into a truly unique style. It features an open floor plan, butler’s pantry, home


theater, and large laundry/multipurpose room. The amazing outdoor area includes a covered patio, pool, and basketball court.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte and head west on Paseo del Norte. Turn left (south) on Unser, left (east) on Compass, and left (north) onto Papagayo Road.

Crescent Custom Homes


6605 Cuervo Place NW

5 bedrooms 5 baths 4,945 sq. ft. $1,000,500 Mike Sanchez (505) 220-7507

This unique Tuscan-style home features a large home theater, an outdoor kitchen, a large mas-


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

ter bath suite with walk-in closets, and a sensational kitchen complete with a butler’s pantry.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte and head west on Paseo del Norte. Turn left (south) on Unser, left (east) on Compass, and left (north) onto Cuervo Place.

Foutz Construction


8012 Victoria Drive NW


Molten Rock

5 bedrooms 5 baths 5,754 sq. ft. $880,000

Nick Foutz (505) 514-1718

This Ron Montoya–designed home blends Mediterranean and contemporary features and captures volcano, city lights, and mountain views. Beautiful, single level living with open floor plan,

blended indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces, radiant in-floor heat, tall ceilings, custom woodwork, and a fully appointed basement with a kitchenette and state of the art media room.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Unser, heading north on Unser. Left (west) on Molten Rock, left (south) on 81st Street, left on Shiprock Court, then left (north) onto Victoria Drive.

Visit Our Showroom! • • • • • •

Ask me about

Custom Drapery Bedding Top Treatments Headboards Roman Shades Pillows


*subject to credit approval

Plus the fine quality of





Los Arboles Construction


210 Sandia View Road NW

3 bedrooms 3 baths 4,250 sq. ft. $1,060,000

Matthew King (505) 261-8074

Thick plastered walls, vigas, and wood ceilings lend warmth and beauty to this adobe-style home. Designed for performing music, the living room/den accommodates many guests for a

house concert and yet remains comfortable living space. Energy-efficient, green-certified, and solar, this home exemplifies thoughtful design and construction.

From the Big I, take I-25 north, exiting at Osuna and proceeding west on Osuna. Cross 2nd Street and take the first left onto Edgewood Drive. Turn left onto Sandia View Road.

Photography courtesy of Builder, Los Arboles Construction

. .. with Andersen Architectural Collection wood windows & doors.

PLEASE VISIT OUR SHOWROOM: 314 El Pueblo Rd. NW Los Ranchos de Albuquerque 505.897 .9985


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

• 50 Standard Exterior Clad Colors • Custom Sizes and Colors • 8 Factory Applied Interior Stains • Full Service Department • Excellent Product Warranties

“Andersen” and the AC logo are registered trademarks of Andersen Corporation


GRG Custom Homes by Management Systems Inc. 1332 Valle Lane NW

Candelaria Village


3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,963 sq. ft. $450,000

Simon Garcia (505) 615-9229

Nestled in a private gated community in the heart of the North Valley, this Southwest contemporary home features an open floor plan with hand-carved vigas and latillas, stunning plaster wall finishes, impressive stone

and wood flooring, custom cabinets, granite countertops, and a charming courtyard with an outdoor kitchen. This home captures the quality that GRG Custom Homes is known for.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to the 12th Street exit, turning north on 12th Street. Continue on 12th, then turn left on Candelaria Road. Proceed one block, then turn left at the gated community of Candelaria Village.




Sivage Homes

2720 Puerta del Bosque Lane NW

Puerta del Bosque


4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,274 sq. ft. $639,000 Adrian Calderon (505) 998-1813 / (505) 385-8062 cell

Who wouldn’t love a gated community with the Bosque Trails within walking distance? Welcome to Puerta del Bosque. This contemporary open plan features large windows

offering abundant natural light, a private owner’s suite with a spa bath, and exquisite finishes throughout. This home is a must-see.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Rio Grande Blvd. Turn right (north) on Rio Grande, then left on Campbell Road. In about .5 mile, turn left to enter through the Puerta del Bosque community gates.


Introducing our new community Puerta del Bosque

Designed for Life…Designed for Living…


When you purchase from Sivage Homes you are not only purchasing a beautiful home; but a great reputation that continues to grow with each new home we build.


another Sivage community Vista Azul 70

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SnapSpace NM LLC dba SnapHome 631 14th Street SW


2 bedrooms 2.0–2.5 baths 1,400 sq. ft. $330,000 (base price) $335,000 (base price + all upgrades) Kyle Zimmerman (505) 228-2107

Urban living at its best! Walkable, bosque, zoo, movies, restaurants, pool, dog park, patios, deck, secure, private, outdoor living, open, natural light, views, contemporary, compact,

minimalist, sleek, net-zero, smart, custom, thoughtful, affordable. Six more townhomes to be built by SnapHome. Come see!

From the Big I, take I-25 south to the Lead/Coal Avenue exit. Drive west (right) on Lead Avenue to 14th Street. Turn south onto 14th; home is on the west side of the street.




Westway Homes 5800 Witkin SE


Mesa del Sol

3 bedrooms 2 baths 1,784 sq. ft. $314,900 (base price) $349,900 (base price + all upgrades) JP Rael (505) 463-4305

Mesa del Sol is an innovative, environmentally friendly community with walkable neighborhoods and a wide variety of housing. This amazing design features a modern, open floor plan,

beautiful kitchen, dining, and living space, a huge master suite, and a covered patio. Luxurious and efficient, this energy-efficient home is Built a Better Way, the Westway.

From the Big I, take I-25 south to Rio Bravo. East on Rio Bravo to University. South on University to Stieglitz. West on Stieglitz to Witkin.


It’s a design style. We know because we invented it.

New Homes, New Designs, Fresh Ideas - a New Way. Featured in Mesa del Sol.


Building a better way. Now Building in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Belen, Los Lunas & Las Cruces 72

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Lowe-Bo Homes


75 Raindance Road


3 bedrooms 2 baths 2,097 sq. ft. $460,360

Ted Lowe (505) 991-2555

This classic, traditional New Mexico–style custom home fits in perfectly with the Paa-Ko backdrop. The home shows off numerous custom features such as vigas, T&G ceilings, kiva-

style fireplaces, stone, and tile accents. The home is positioned perfectly to take advantage of the stunning views, and the dĂŠcor highlights the Southwestern flair.

From the Big I, take I-40 east to NM-14 North. Use the right lane to merge onto NM-333, the left lane to turn left onto NM-14 north for several miles. Turn left onto Paa-Ko Golf Drive, then right onto Paa-Ko Drive, and left onto Raindance Road.

Value and quality through generations of experience.

Call Ted Lowe at 505-991-2555 505.843.6758 |

505.888.4464 |




Scott Patrick Homes 5104 Piedra Alta Lane

Wilderness Canon in High Desert


3 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,832 sq. ft. $925,000 Jolynne Becker (505) 828-9900

Located in High Desert this contemporary custom home is nestled against the foothills with views of the Sandia Mountains, panoramic city


views, and beyond. The home is appointed with many upgraded features including an open master suite with its own enclosed patio.

From the Big I, take I-40 east to Tramway exit north. Continue on Tramway to Spain. Right onto Spain to High Desert Place. Turn right on High Desert Place and continue into the Wilderness subdivision. Stay on High Desert Place until you reach the gated community of Canon on the left. Follow Elevada Trail to Piedra Alta Lane.


Blue Eye Interiors

1608 Quailwood Drive NE

Remodel of Kitchen, Dining Nook, Entry, and Bathroom $100,000 (cost of remodeled portion only) Letisha Perry (505) 288-6688

This home has been updated in a contemporary Southwest style. With a great love of the local art scene and landscape, the homeowners wanted to modernize their home without losing its per-


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

sonality or warmth. The kitchen, dining, entry, and bathroom were all taken down to the bare studs and then rebuilt. Come see how style, design, and the Southwest live together!

From the Big I, take I-40 east to Tramway, heading north for 9.6 miles. Right onto San Rafael. Immediately after turning on San Rafael the home will be on the left. Parking is available across the street from the home in the retail parking lot.



Panorama Homes

9920 Cielito Oeste Way NE

Cielo Estates

4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,856 sq. ft. $659,000 John Lowe (505) 688-6834

This beautiful home features many Panorama signature details in a spacious yet efficient floor plan, including a heated covered patio with

built-in barbecue, and a “California� room off the master bedroom, perfect for outdoor living.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Paseo del Norte exit (Exit 232). East on Paseo del Norte almost 3 miles to Holbrook. Turn right on Holbrook, and then left on Palomas. Make another immediate left onto the frontage road and follow it to the subdivision entrance. Turn left on Cielito Oeste Way.




Vineyard Homes


7 Pueblo Bonito

Petroglyph Trails

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,664 sq. ft. $540,000 Deborah Short (505) 235-5225

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242. Turn right onto Hwy 165 east and then left onto the northbound frontage road. Turn right onto Petroglyph Trails Road. Another right onto Norte Trail. Go up the hill and then left onto Pueblo Bonito.


ineyard This home is for sale! A spectacular Southwest separate master suite and large study. On one home with huge windows to the acre of flat land. Visit Deb, the builder, during the mes, wecontemporary are mountains and north mesas. Open floor plan, Parade, and let Vineyard build your next home! ud to let you w that we d MORE THAN 2 018 T HOUSES. build dream mes for the ation of your MORIES. We mmunity y provide important n you choose u are company with When you choose Vineyard Homes, you are OMMITMENT choosing an award-winning builder who takes mer service. pride in building homes that are not only beautiful to look at but functional and comfortable owned by the to live in. Contact Deb about building your dream nner General home today!

Give us your ideas,

Award winning custom homes & remodels

we’ll build your DREAM!

h Short.

an interior 1 Ridge Court, Placitas NM 87043 nt throughout Holly Ave., NE Albuquerque NM 87122 Modern |9400 Contemporary | Traditional Southwest | Tuscan ver needed.

k and finish 76 505.235.5225

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

Š 2016 Vineyard Homes LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Deb Short, Builder 505-235-5225



ECOterra Design/Build 6017 Ridgeline Place NE


4 bedrooms 5 baths 2,840 sq. ft. (house + casita) $1,200,000 Michael Cecchini (505) 918-8476

This resort-like retreat on a bluff captures expansive views of mountains, mesas, and city lights. The contemporary Southwestern home has a main home, casita, and pool and boasts a


comfortable outdoor living area with a glass wall slider. This smart home is built to Build Green NM Gold/Emerald (pending) and will operate at or near net zero in energy costs.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Rio Rancho/Bernalillo/Placitas exit (Exit 242). Turn west (left) on NM 550 through Bernalillo. When in Rio Rancho turn south (left) onto NW Loop Road. NW Loop Road turns into Unser. Take Unser to Mariposa Pkwy, turning west (right), then turn south (left) onto Redondo Sierra Vista NE. South (left) onto Blue Grama, north (right) on Reservoir Road, east (right) on Ridge Top Road, then left onto Ridgeline Place.

Pulte Homes

2709 Kings Canyon Loop NE

Redondo at Mariposa


4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 2,771 sq. ft. $323,990 (base price) $489,990 (base price + all upgrades) Lisa Brooks

Tammy Kerns (505) 349-9995

In the Parklane design, a large sliding glass door connects the open living area to the covered patio. The kitchen features a granite waterfall island, staggered white cabinetry, and stainless

steel appliances, while the gathering room showcases a fireplace and built-in audio/visual center. Additional options include a den, a luxurious owner’s suite, and an additional one-car garage.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242 (US 550), turning left onto US 550. Turn left at NW Loop Road. Keep left at NW Loop Road for Unser. Right on Mariposa Parkway to arrive at Mariposa. Right at the gates on Zion Lane. Make an immediate left on Kings Canyon Loop.




Twilight Homes

2424 Desert View Road NE



4 bedrooms 3 baths 2,473 sq. ft. $376,990 (base price) $420,990 (base price + all upgrades) Pauline Hansen (505) 917-1387

Impressive upon arrival, this beautiful, transitional home encompasses 3 bedrooms, a study, 3 bathrooms, and a spacious 3-car garage. The kitchen, featuring gourmet Sam-

sung appliances, and the living and dining areas are open to the outdoors with two sets of 12-foot sliders, making this the ultimate entertaining space.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242 and head west (left) on Hwy 550. Continue approximately 7 miles and go south (left) on NW Loop. Veer left at the end approximately .5 mile. Right on Mariposa Blvd., left on Blue Grama, then right on Desert View Road.

We build homes from

Making Dreams C ome True.

the $170s - $750s with 7 communities in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas and Santa Fe. We will build you from our plans or yours, our lot or we will help you find the perfect one. Dreams Come True Faster Than You Think.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019


Hakes Brothers

4065 Mountain Trail Loop NE

Lomas Encantadas


3–4 bedrooms / 2.5 baths 2,119 sq. ft. $276,990 (base price) $307,396 (base price + all upgrades) ** Home not open Sunday, April 28, or Sunday, May 5 Eric Korpus or Christian Venegas (505) 750-8241

Luxury finishes at an unbeatable value! This beautiful Mediterranean-style home is located in the popular Lomas Encantadas community. The gourmet kitchen opens to the spacious

dining, living, and patio area, making this home a natural for entertaining family and friends. Luxurious features throughout.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Hwy 550 (Exit 242), turning left on Hwy 550. Proceed to Hwy 528 and make a left, right on Enchanted Hills, left on Lincoln Avenue, right onto Camino Venada, then right onto Camino Encantadas. Turn right onto Windy Road, then left onto Mountain Trail Loop.



Twilight Homes


6408 Mountain Hawk Way

Mountain Hawk


4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 1,672 sq. ft. $225,000 (base price) $240,000 (base price + all upgrades) Ivonne / (505) 507-1059 Kyle / (505) 331-8153

This home is perfect for homeowners who are seeking a spacious home in a great neighborhood. With no HOA fees or PID fees, the community of Mountain Hawk offers the

best value in homeownership in Rio Rancho. You won’t want to miss this open-concept, four-bedroom home.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242 and head west (left) on Hwy 550. Continue approximately 7 miles and go south (left) on NW Loop. Take the first left onto James Wall Road, right onto Raptor Road, then left onto Mountain Hawk Loop. Take first right on Snowy Owl, then first right on Mountain Hawk Way.



S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019


RayLee Homes: A New Generation 4053 Mountain Trail Loop

Lomas Encantadas


3–4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,008 sq. ft. $278,990 (base price) $313,800 (base price + all upgrades) Tammy Grady Thornton (505) 917-1677

This must-see open concept home features a spacious kitchen with a large island perfect for entertaining. A living and dining area features abundant windows, which fill the space with

natural light. A fourth bedroom option provides flexibility. Designed with classic contemporary finishes and retro flair, this home is both functional and stylish.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Exit 242, turning left onto Hwy 550. Turn left onto Hwy 528. Right on Enchanted Hills, left on Lincoln, right on Camino Encantadas, then right on Overview into Lomas Encantadas. Proceed to the home at the corner of Overview and Mountain Trail.

Learn More & Browse Homes at Al b u q uer qu e • Ri o Ra n c h o • Co rra le s Sa nt a F e • W h i t e Ro c k





Homes by Kim Brooks 3012 Vatapa Road

Vista Entrada West

4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,867 sq. ft. $370,950 (base price) $449,950 (base price + all upgrades) Paula Haynesworth (530) 788-3235

This perfect, spacious, one-story home showcases high ceilings, inviting living spaces, and an abundance of natural light with its oversized windows and skylights. The indoor living area

flows effortlessly to the outdoors, which makes it perfect for family living and friendly entertaining. This large, open floor plan is a perfect mix of comfort and style.

Making your life a little brighter.

From the Big I, take I-25 north to the Bernalillo exit (Exit 242). Go west on 550 to 528. Turn south on 528 to Idalia. Turn west on Idalia to Vatapa Road. Right on Vatapa.

L.E.D. Lighting Ceiling Fans Interior Lighting Exterior Lighting Lighting Design

Bright Ideas, Inc. New Showroom Opening Soon! Open Monday thru Friday – 9am-5pm Saturday 10am-2pm


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

d.b.a. The Lamp Shop

505-296-4393 •

Westway Homes


2461 Lynn Drive


The Enclave at Vista Montebella

3 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,220 sq. ft. $329,900 (base price) $384,900 (base price + all upgrades) JP Rael (505) 463-4305

Rio Rancho’s newest and best community is the Enclave at Vista Montebella, featuring some of the best views around. This home includes a modern, open living space designed for today’s

lifestyle. The en suite master features a walk-in closet, garden tub, and an enclosed shower. Luxurious and efficient, this home is Built a Better Way, The Westway.

From the Big I, take I-40 west to Unser. North on Unser to Westside Blvd. At Westside hang a U-turn and go south on Unser to Black Arroyo. Go west on Black Arroyo to 18th Street. North on 18th to Lynn Road. West on Lynn.

DESERT CONTEMPORARY. Where Imagination and New Mexico Meet

New Homes, New Designs, Fresh Ideas - a New Way. The Enclave at Vista Montebella.


Building a better way. Now Building in Rio Rancho. Also Albuquerque, Belen, Los Lunas & Las Cruces SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Country Chic Living Be sure to see the Livingroom Vignette Sponsored and Designed by West Star Ranch featuring products from their line of beautiful West Star Ranch Décor. Garden Seminars Presented by Local Professionals

DIY Home Décor Demonstrations By Deborah Smith of Simply Adorned. Come see how easy it is to use paints, stencils and chalk paste from A Makers’ Studio product line. Learn ways to customize your home and embrace your creativity.

Gift and Gourmet Products for Spring time Tour a Fully Decorated Manufactured Home by Solitaire Homes of Albuquerque


Homes by Kim Brooks


1522 21st Avenue

3–4 bedrooms 2.5 baths 2,412 sq. ft. $349,950 (base price) $428,950 (base price + all upgrades) Lindsey Anderson (505) 385-6701

Welcome home! This 2,400-sq. ft. single story showcases an open floor plan, perfect for entertaining. The 10-foot ceilings open the room up and usher in natural light and movement. This

spectacular floor plan features a private wing, separating the home’s owner’s suite from the additional bedrooms. Come build your perfect Home by Kim Brooks San Juan today!

From the Big I, take I-25 north to Paseo del Norte and turn west. Stay on Paseo del Norte to Unser Blvd., turning right on Unser. Proceed to Wellspring. Turn left or west onto Wellspring, then left again on 21st Avenue.





5800 Venice Ave NE | (505) 883-6076 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

by Ben Ikenson photographs by Kirk Gittings

organically T connected a green, sustainable home along the bosque integrates seamlessly with its surroundings

A small balcony jutting from Lee Gamelsky and Sue Frye’s North Valley home overlooks the bosque.The house utilizes abundant glass, concrete,and steel. Part of the house is clad in metallic siding (inset), which gleams in the sunshine.

he blue metal front door of Lee Gamelsky and Sue Frye’s home in Albuquerque’s North Valley opens to reveal an enormous wall of floorto-ceiling windows and a dramatic preview: a partially enclosed courtyard with a trapezoidshaped lily pond, and beyond, a young fruit orchard and the bosque lining the banks of the Rio Grande. It is a bold statement about the home’s connectivity to the outdoors, a major consideration for the couple who, after years of designing houses and properties for others, took it upon themselves in 2014 to design their own custom residence—a high-efficiency modern masterpiece with plenty of outdoor living spaces.

“We wanted the home to be integrated with the outdoors,” says Gamelsky, who served as both architect and general contractor for his personal home project. A native of New York City, Gamelsky studied environmental science and studio art before landing a job with the City of Albany, where he was tasked with inventorying the city’s stained glass. “This gave me an opportunity to really appreciate buildings,” he says. Eventually, on the advice of an architect friend who suggested he “go West, young man,” Gamelsky enrolled in the UNM School of Architecture and later started his own architecture practice in 1987. After architecture school, Gamelsky met Frye, a native of Chicago who’d recently earned a degree in SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Can you see the wooden slats embedded in the concrete slab separating a hallway from the sun-filled dining and living spaces? The wood came from the first house the owners shared in New Mexico. A wall of commercial grade windows offers views to the center courtyard. 88

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fine arts. Initially they lived in a Victorian house in the historic Huning Highland District, which they completely gutted and renovated, before moving to a modest home in the Altura Park area where they raised two daughters. A few years ago, after accompanying a friend to a solar energy conference, Gamelsky returned home enthusiastic about the possibility of installing PV panels on the Altura Park home. But Sue wondered if the installation cost on their existing home would be worthwhile; maybe it would make more sense to design a new home from the ground up? “Lee had always wanted to live in the Valley, but we didn’t want to uproot the kids from their schools and friends,” says Frye. “After I finished a graduate program in landscape architecture at UNM, the kids were grown and out of the house, and it seemed like the perfect time to make the move.” To their delight, Frye discovered a couple of acres adjacent to the bosque. Long before construction started or blueprints were even drafted, Gamelsky installed an orchard, a well, and an irrigation system. “The house design didn’t really start until after we sold our previous residence, but all those days working in the orchard gave me time to understand the nuances of the property,” he explains.



Above: Though modestly sized, the kitchen is extremely functional in terms of both cooking and storage. All of the brilliant white cabinets, drawers, and shelves are built low, including in the center island, for easier access and a more spacious feel.

Inside the home, an immediate focal point is a 7 x 9-foot concrete wall, a freestanding slab that serves to separate a hallway from the open dining/living room without completely closing the spaces off from one another. Embedded in the concrete wall are colorful slivers of sugar pine the couple managed to salvage from the first home they shared together, the old Victorian. Not only are the wood pieces remnants from the couple’s personal past, they provide a curious contrast to the more contemporary building materials primarily used for their current home—namely, concrete, glass, and metal.

For all its modernity, the home seems to interact with its surroundings in an almost organic way, without detracting from the serenity of the landscape. “I grew up in my father’s machine shop, working on lathes, grinders, drill presses, and milling machines at an early age,” says Gamelsky. “Metal isn’t ‘cold’ to me.” 90

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Indeed, much of the exterior is metallic, including one corner of the home clad in metal shingles, adding a touch of modernist variation in texture. Inside, many of the building materials appear in their natural state, such as the hardtroweled concrete floors and the concrete walls of the outdoor shower, sauna, and greenhouse. The interior is sparse and orderly, imbued with a sense of pragmatism and a subtle midcentury modern aesthetic. At one end is the master suite; at another, down a hallway with built-in shelving, a pair of guest rooms. The kitchen is set off in the northeast corner, where it gets plenty of morning light but isn’t visible from the open living/dining room (“so we don’t have to see the mess after we’ve cooked when we sit down to eat,” says Frye). The centerpiece of the home, the open living/dining room that looks out to the angular lily pond, is an atrium overflowing with natural light, further connecting the interior to the outdoors. For all its modernity, the home seems to interact with its surroundings in an almost organic way, without detracting from the serenity of the landscape. There are sitting areas, including a small covered patio on the north side of the house that remains cool and shaded even on the hottest afternoons, Gamelsky claims, as well as a deck above

Left: Finished in the same trio of materials as the rest of the house—concrete, glass, and metal—the minimalist bedrooms were designed for peace and serenity.

A bright turquoise door is a fun jolt of color in the otherwise neutral master bath, which opens directly to a concretewalled outdoor shower (right) for a truly indoor-outdoor living experience.

the front door that’s accessed by a spiral staircase housed within a tower. From this vantage, one can admire the long, tree-lined driveway and front yard, a low-maintenance oasis of shade trees, clover, and low-water flowering shrubs. The courtyard, partially enclosed by the home itself, is more formally designed, with the small pond, narrow boardwalks that float above patches of clover, and paths leading toward the bosque through the orchard. Gamelsky maintains two active beehives on the property, and, Frye notes, “A kitchen garden is in the works for this season that will feature herbs.” What’s more, the home itself is a study in highefficiency architecture. An array of 18 solar photovoltaic panels affixed to the sloping roof of the garage provides more electricity than the home consumes—and even powers Gamelsky’s electric car a couple times a week. Two solar hot water panels augment the heating system as well. The tower above the front door is designed to capture air flow and facilitate natural ventilation. Other sustainable features include high-performance glazing with solar control, a well-insulated building envelope, all LED light fixtures, energy-effi-



“I grew up in my father’s machine shop, working on lathes, grinders, drill presses, and milling machines at an early age. Metal isn’t ‘cold’ to me.”—Lee Gamelsky cient HVAC and appliances, and rainwater harvesting catchments. Even the lily pond, which helps cool the outdoor space in summer, was designed to provide solar reflectance into the 12-foot-high living space during the winter months. For Gamelsky and Frye, their quasi-farm in the bucolic North Valley represents a radical shift from their big city roots. Says Gamelsky, “Our home is a reflection of our belief in the importance of sustainability, living in harmony with the land, environmental stewardship, and creating a design that is in context to the site.”

resources Architect Lee Gamelsky AIA LEED AP BD+C, Lee Gamelsky Architects Builder/Contractor Urbano Lc Countertop Material Arizona Tile Countertop Installation Raby Fireplace Western Building Supply Garage Doors Overhead Door 92

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Kitchen Backsplash Daltile Landscaping Susan Frye, Landscape Designer and Lee Gamelsky Lighting RKL Sales Steel Welding, Entry Gate AZ Welding Exterior Metal Panels Midtown Metals Storefront Windows Western Glass

Above: Massing concrete and metal created a storage shed, one of several outbuildings on the property. Below: All acute angles and defined geometries, the courtyard’s fish pond is lined with Mexican river stones for visual contrast. It’s accessible by boardwalks that float above the ground.



Vida Buena

San Miguel de Allende

Central Mexico’s town of enchantment

A dome in Santuario de Atotonilco is covered in religious paintings dating back centuries.

Above: Streets bursting with color are among the many things to see in beautiful San Miguel de Allende. From its churches to its colonial homes, the small town is rich with architectural history.

W Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

alking through the streets of San Miguel de Allende is a treat for the senses; with its candy-colored, colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and open-air markets, the city is at once historic and cosmopolitan. For years, San Miguel has been a top vacation destination thanks in part to its artsy, authentically cultural vibe—it’s a place where you can shop art and handmade artesanías by day, and enjoy a dinner prepared by world-renowned chefs by night. Historically, San Miguel de Allende—located in East Guanajuato—began as an indigenous Chichimeca village. By the 16th century, roads and the discovery of nearby silver made the town a hub for both indigenous people and wealthy Spaniards, who owned many elaborate haciendas. Later, during the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel was the first Mexican town to gain its independence, and in 1826 was renamed after its war hero, Ignacio Allende. Today, the city’s vibrant ambience and bohemian nature make it a hotspot for travelers from around the world; however, to ensure it never departs from its roots, San Miguel has maintained much of its history, so much so that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

architectural marvel

Part of San Miguel’s artistic soul is its stunning architecture, which includes homes and buildings with early colonial influences combined with 94

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Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

by Danielle Urbina

the colorful culture of Central Mexico. The mountain city is also home to some of the most beautiful and well-known churches in the country, most with baroque-inspired architecture and intricately detailed interiors. Just outside the city in the small village of Atotonilco, travelers flock to El Santuario de Atotonilco, known as “Mexico’s Sistine Chapel.” While the exteriors seem simple, stepping through the church’s wooden doors takes you to another world full of breathtaking murals, sculptures, frescoes, and intricately decorated altars. Many also say the church’s statue of Christ, Our Lord of the Column, is associated with inexplicable miracles.

Part of San Miguel’s artistic soul is its stunning architecture, including homes and buildings with early colonial influences combined with the colorful culture of Central Mexico. Back in San Miguel, Iglesia del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri dates back to the 18th century; its façade combines baroque-style architecture and indigenous influences, and inside is a collection of art with colonial roots. More than 30 oil paintings within the church showcase scenes from the life of San Felipe Neri, and in one part of the church, you’ll find an original Virgin of Guadalupe painting by 17th century painter Miguel Cabrera. Perhaps one of the most famous attractions for tourists is the pink building that towers over the skyline known as Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, which dates back to the 17th century. Despite its distinctive hue, the church’s hallmark features are the Belgian-inspired towers added on by stonemason Zeferino Gutiérrez at the end of the 19th century.

Two blocks from the city’s flowering Jardín, you’ll find Bellas Artes—an art school and cultural center with an abundance of history and art depicting scenes from the past. Formerly a place of worship, Bellas Artes now offers several art classes, but is also a great place for a scenic walk among poinsettias, orange trees, and garden fountains. To truly blend in with the locals, though, you’ll want to hit the open-air markets. Every week, El Tianguis de los Martes (Tuesday Market) stretches through the center of town with hundreds of goods for sale including handmade clothing and shoes, antiques, furniture, seasonal produce, and much more. Arrive hungry and try local fare from dozens of food carts serving tacos, pozole, prepared cactus leaves, and fruit covered in lime, chile, and salt. After experiencing San Miguel de Allende’s flower-draped homes, distinct architecture, history, and colorful atmosphere, visitors often find themselves returning again and again. The city not only embraces newcomers, but welcomes them into its world through food, music, and art. It’s nothing short of enchanting.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel stands tall over the town, overlooking gardens and other area attractions.

cultural melting pot

Much of San Miguel’s charm lies in its culture—from the museums and galleries, to markets that focus on keeping things 100 percent local, whether it’s food, clothing, or crafts. Museo La Esquina is both magical and whimsical, with an incredible collection of folk art toys from several regions of Mexico. Started by Angélica Tijerina decades ago, the museum features dolls, wooden toys, and figures made from clay and other local materials. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

Above: A recently restored mural by muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros can be found on the ground level of Bellas Artes. The mural’s vivid colors and abstract design make it one of the most unique works in the art school.

Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

Below: The art scene in San Miguel is constantly evolving with artists producing both traditional and modern works—sometimes a combination of both.

Vida Buena

by Amy Gross

hearing loops an amazing technology that helps users of hearing aids


t was the mid-’90s, and Stephen O. Frazier was settling into his first meeting with the Albuquerque chapter of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). As the meeting was about to begin, another member suddenly spoke up: “Where’s the loop? I can’t hear the loop!” Bewildered, Frazier asked his neighbor, “What’s a loop?” Her response ignited what would become a passion in Frazier for hearing induction loops, one of the most useful technologies for hearing aid wearers like himself, and an ongoing mission of information and advocacy for others who are hard of hearing. A hearing loop is a wire that runs along a room, usually through the floor, that sends sounds from the microphone of the person speaking to the hearings aids of others in the room. To activate the sound, a hearing aid wearer simply touches a button in their hearing aid called a telecoil (T-coil), which is found in most hearing aids manufactured today. The telecoil acts as a receiver in the way a radio receives a radio station. The result, according to Frazier, is clear, pure sound delivered directly into the ears, much like wearing a headset.


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“You don’t get any of the background noise,” he explains. “It’s dramatically easier to understand someone speaking; in a church, for instance, it sounds like the minister is talking directly to you. With a PA system you hear echoes, paper rustling, and people coughing, and it’s very hard to understand what’s being said.” Venues that are prime candidates for looping include places of worship, theaters, city council chambers, office buildings, airports, and concert calls—“any assembly area,” according to the Americans With Disabilities Act. (For a partial list of venues in Northern New Mexico that are looped, see page 99.) You can even loop your own home, as Frazier has done in his living room for easier TV viewing. The disappointing—even dismaying—kicker to this easy to use, relatively inexpensive technology, however, is that very few hearing aid wearers are even aware it exists. A survey by the Committee for Communication Access in New Mexico reported that 66 percent—two-thirds—of hearing wearers surveyed said they had not been told about the telecoil technology in their new hearing aids by their audiologist or hearing aid dispenser. Hearing aids are not inexpensive, and the technology is increasingly

Kate Russell

The Lensic Performing Arts Center is scheduled to install a state-ofthe-art hearing loop system in its auditorium this July.

Come find your view...

Model open for viewing (6401 Picardia Place NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120)

Wade Wingfield, owner 505.321.0769 | Photography by Tye Hardison



more advanced and useful. So why are hearing aid wearers not being made aware of all of the benefits of their devices? Dr. Carol Clifford, an audiologist who practices at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance, says that getting the word through to patients is sometimes a challenge; often it’s simply a case of information overload.

The telecoil in a hearing aid acts as a receiver in the way a radio receives a radio station. The result is clear, pure sound delivered directly into the ears. “Particularly for older adults who may be daunted by technology and are just trying to grasp their hearing loss, it’s difficult,” she says. “You get that glazed-over look.” She and her colleagues always try to steer patients in the direction of hearing aids with telecoils. In her own practice, every exam room is looped, along with the lobby, for easier activation and tuning of hearing aids. And, Clifford notes, even though New Mexico law requires a 45-day trial period for hearing aids, her practice’s trial period is 75 days—an extra month to let that tech information start to sink in. One solution to the lack of awareness of telecoils may be to make the provision of the information mandatory. Frazier, who now runs an information clearinghouse called Loop New Mexico, is one of a few individuals supporting New Mexico HB 48, a bill sponsored by New Mexico State Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D), which would require audiologists and hearing aid dispensers to inform their clients about the technology that is compatible with the ADA requirements for assisted listening. Interestingly, Roybal Caballero’s sponsorship of the bill stemmed from having not been informed about the technology when she purchased her own first pair of hearing aids. As hearing aid technology improves, those with hearing loss are better positioned than ever before to remain fully connected to the world around them. May is Better Hearing Month—a perfect time to learn more about protecting your hearing and advocating for your own hearing health. 98

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Q+A Stephen O. Frazier


Loop New Mexico Steve, what are the benefits of hearing loops over other types of assisted listening technology? The main benefit is that everyone in the looped room can use the technology without additional equipment. There are products and systems that operate on FM or infrared, but a headset or transmitter is required. So if you have two or three people in the room who are hard of hearing, you would need to have headsets for each of them, keep the batteries charged, and so forth. Whereas when a venue is looped, all they have to do is touch a button on their hearing aid and they’re connected. Is this technology prohibitively expensive? Depending on the size of the space being looped, and how much metal rebar is in the floor, a typical size church, say, might cost around $1,500 to $2,000. In the case of The Lensic in Santa Fe, which is working on funding right now for what’s called a phased array—a loop with a grid pattern that gives the signal equal strength throughout the room—the work is more comprehensive. I would guess that project is going to be around $15,000. I know that they want to have a first-class system there that they can be proud of, so they’re not going to skimp on it. How should someone go about advocating for a loop in their place of worship, business, or favorite entertainment venue? A member of a congregation would go to the church leadership and explain to them that they have difficulty hearing even with their hearing aids and a public address system. They could contact me at Loop New Mexico for literature, or go online to HLAA and get literature to present to the leadership. In the case of a venue or community center, or senior center, where some employee is aware of the fact that some people are still having difficulty hearing in their big activities room, that person could advocate for it. Can Loop New Mexico help my group install a hearing loop? Loop New Mexico does not sell hearing loops or anything else; it’s an information clearinghouse. We can provide people with brochures and fact sheets, and make presentations to them. If they decide they want to look into looping a venue, then we give them the names of local firms we know are familiar with this type of technology. Loop New Mexico, Hearing Loss Association of America,

in the loop Here are a just a few of the venues with hearing loops in Northern New Mexico. For a more complete list, visit Albuquerque Area Adobe Theater Albuquerque City Council Chamber Albuquerque Hearing and Balance Albuquerque Little Theater Auditorium at the V.A. Hospital Bernalillo County Commission Chamber Cell Theatre Christ United Methodist Church Community Outreach Program for the Deaf Deaf Culture Center Faith Lutheran Church Family & Community Services First Assembly of God First Baptist Church First Presbyterian Church Hearing Group of New Mexico Hispano Chamber of Commerce HLAA - Albuquerque Metro Court - Room 900 NM Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing NM Commission for the Blind North 4th Theater Oasis Institute Classrooms Saint John XXIII Catholic Community Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church UNM Continuing Education UNM Mental Health Center Vortex Theater Santa Fe Academy for the Love of Learning Cristo Rey Catholic Church El Castillo Retirement Community First Presbyterian Church HLAA - Santa Fe Lensic Performing Arts Center (coming in July) Ponce de Leon Senior Community Renesan Institute For Lifelong Learning Saint Anne’s Catholic Church Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church Santa Fe City Council Chamber Santa Fe Playhouse The Church of the Holy Faith Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe





Just Winging Through

by Tom Smylie

feeding the birds

Mark L. Watson

A rufous hummingbird reluctantly shares her feeder with a praying mantis.

Karen Worth

if you fill it, they will come


Cassandra Trevino

t is said that watching aquarium fish reduces stress. I find A flock of hungry evening grosbeaks descends upon a seed-filled platform feeder. this to be true with bird feeders in my yard. Whether to start or end my day, watching birds come and go to the feeders is relaxing and keeps me connected to the natural world. favorite feeders is a platform placed on or near a window, which offers You can attract birds to feeders in almost any setting, urban or close examination of the birds as well as great photo opportunities. rural. Only three things are needed: food, water, and cover. SetEstablishing a feeding station means also taking on the responsibility of ting up a feeding area requires placing the feeders and water near keeping it supplied and clean. Birds, especially in winter, become dependent protective cover (such as beneath a tree) where the birds can safely on your feeding, and feeding stations create an unnatural situaapproach and leave to avoid predators. tion because they concentrate birds in one location and make Feeding can be as simple as tossing grain on the them vulnerable to disease and predation. Upkeep, proper ground, to hanging homemade or elaborate storeplacement, and continued feeding are essential. bought feeders. Quail, doves, and towhees prefer A yard chock-full of a wide variety of trees, shrubs, ground feeding, while other species, such as and vines, plus flower beds filled with native species grosbeaks, juncos, finches, and sparrows prefer plants, will attract more birds than a sterile lawn, and hanging feeders or cylinders with a wild bird will further beautify your property. mix consisting of milo, millet, cracked corn, Ultimately, putting out feeders and planting wheat, and black oil sunflower seed. bird-attracting flowers and trees is not just good The wider variety of food choices you offer, for birds; it’s good for the human soul. It’s such a the greater variety of birds you’ll likely see. Nyjer pleasure to increase our home’s beauty with a colorful seed (often referred to as thistle seed) in tube array of birds. In doing so, we’re giving ourselves a feeders, mesh feeders, and socks will bring in pine visual treat and reaffirming the joy and goodness of siskins and goldfinches, while suet feeders and cylinders living. Not rooted to the earth, birds are among the will attract woodpeckers and nuthatches. In the summer, Above: A male laddermost eloquent expressions of life. fruits and jellies will bring in orioles and tanagers, and of backed woodpecker Tom Smylie, from Edgewood, New Mexico, is a retired wildlife course, brightly colored liquid feeders filled with home(left) and a bushtit face biologist affiliated with the World Center for Birds of Prey. made sugar water will attract hummingbirds. One of my off at a suet feeder. 100

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Photography by Reece Martinez

A Wo�ld Away... Yet So Clo�e.

Patsy Spellman, Infinity Real Estate | c: 505-321-8848 |

2 acre lots • Gated Community •13 minute drive to the city Award winning Community Center • Home Owners Association

office: 505-281-2596 30 Nature Pointe Dr, Tijeras, NM 87059 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

story and photographs by Amy Gross

Mata G

vegetarian takeaway, cooked with love

M With a corner location at Amherst and Silver in Nob Hill, it’s easy to drop into Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen for a grab and go meal. Large refrigerator cases (below) offer soups, daal, vegetables, hummus, and samples of the daily international specials.

aybe it’s the scents of turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon that hit your nose when you walk through the door, or perhaps it’s the friendly smile from the server behind the counter. Either way, Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen has hit upon a surefire formula for restaurant success: fill your place with genuine warmth of spirit, pair it with time-tested family recipes made fresh every day, and make it easy for customers to make quick, healthy choices and get back to their busy lives. Owner Gurubachan Kaur Khalsa has been feeding people for much of her life—including her own family, says Hari Mander Jot Singh Khalsa, one of Gurubachan’s three children and my culinary guide for the day. Hari and his brother, who own and operate Sukhmani Home and Sukhmani Nob Hill Jewelry next door, call themselves her biggest fans. “The food Mama makes in the restaurant is the food she makes at home,” he explains. “It’s the food I grew up eating.”

“The food Mama makes in the restaurant is the food she makes at home. It’s the food I grew up eating.” —Hari Mander Jot Singh Khalsa Back in the early ’70s Hari’s parents opened one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Boston. They toyed with the idea of opening a vegetarian restaurant here in New Mexico, but having done it once before, Gurubachan was not interested in being stuck in the kitchen all day; she wanted to be meeting people and connecting with her customers. As a grab and go establishment, Mata G (Sanskrit for “Sacred Mother”) showcases Gurubachan’s own recipes (as well as those of her mother and grandmother) and puts her out in the front of the house where she can chat and laugh with guests and get instant feedback on her dishes. The day I visit Mata G in its sleek, tiled Nob Hill location at the corner of Amherst and Silver, the weather is uncharacteristically (for New Mexico) gray and dreary. A big container of yogi tea—a proprietary blend of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, honey, and milk—is soulwarming and restorative as I peruse the large refrigerator cases filled with pre-packaged vegetarian and vegan soups, burritos, salads, sandwiches, hummus, and other sides. Gurubachan’s delicious tofu salad has apparently changed the tune of many a non-tofu fan; after sampling it,


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It’s strictly counter service at Mata G, but there are a few tables if you prefer to enjoy your breakfast or lunch in-house.

I count myself among the converted. Some items are designed for munching at a desk; others are ideal for heating up at home after a long day. It’s a Thursday, which means the daily hot cuisine is Indian. Each day of the week offers a different international cuisine, such as Moroccan, Lebanese, and Mexican. The popular Mata G Sunday brunch consists of “whatever Mama feels like cooking,” says Hari with a smile. Every day there’s a daal on offer, a rice, a burrito, a soup, a sautéed veggie, and usually tofu in some form. I sample the mung daal, in the form of khichdi—an Indian comfort food that proves to be just the antidote for the gloomy weather. The curried vegetables are cooked and seasoned perfectly, and the potato shells stuffed with turmeric- and spice-infused mashed spuds and topped with a fluffy cheese are positively decadent. A steady stream of customers passes through as Hari marvels at how well the restaurant is doing considering it’s still in its soft opening stage. “One customer drives across town every Wednesday (Italian day) for Mama’s spinach supreme [a pasta dish with spinach, cream, green chile, and cheese] and beet parmesan [which swaps the traditional eggplant for shredded beets],” he says. “The response has been phenomenal.” When you go: Be sure to sample the daily hot dishes (and say hello to Gurubachan). Grab a container of soup from the refrigerator case for dinner, and some yogi tea for the road.

Above: Though the name says “vegetarian,” about 50 percent of the dishes served at Mata G are actually vegan, and many are gluten-free.

Above, left: Seasoned chickpeas are a tasty snack to enjoy at one’s desk. From the refrigerated case, pre-packaged salads, including the Lebanese salad (above) with romaine, kalamata olives, kibi cakes, and tahini dressing, are generously portioned.

Though his mother, Gurubachan Kaur Khalsa, is the owner of Mata G, Hari Mander Jot Singh Khalsa (left) is one of the restaurant’s— and the head chef’s—biggest fans. “I’m there nearly every day,” he confesses.

Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen, 105 Amherst Dr SE, Albuquerque, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



by James Selby

take my Malbec—please! South America has so much more to offer than its famous red


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Courtesy Paul Hobbs Wines

Above: Perez Cruz Limited Edition Carmenere is made from the Carménère grape, which does well in Chile.

Courtesy Paul Hobbs Wines

Derek Mossman Kapp

Right: A trio of South American wines to put on your watch list. From left to right: Garage Wine Co.’s Truquilemu Vineyard Carignan Field Blend; Pulenta Estate’s complex Gran Cabernet Franc; and Paul Hobbs Viña Cobos Felino Chardonnay from the Mendoza region of Argentina, which is famous for its Malbecs.

versions. Their Garnacha Blend, Bagual Vineyard, is sophisticated, cherry liqueur red, with potpourri aromas and suave Asian spice notes, while Truquilemu Vineyard Carignan Field Blend ($32) has bracing layers of blood orange and herbs driven by florality and finesse. Some of the world’s finest interpreters of chardonnay, Nicolás Catena and Paul Hobbs among them, are rendering high-elevation versions that lift acidity and brightness, taming the buttery oak. Catena Alta ($30) exhibits peach, citrus, and jasmine; Felino Chardonnay ($22) has green apple, peach, and subtle vanilla. Toss a pinot gris or sauvignon blanc in your basket, too. You’ll find them some of the most delightful from anywhere, and extraordinary values to boot. If Malbec is your go-to, keep going, but along the way don’t miss savoring some of South America’s numerous other, pleasurable wines.

Courtesy Massanois


e don’t pay enough attention to anything but Argentine Malbec from South America, but we should. In Bordeaux, where cabernet sauvignon and merlot reign, Cabernet Franc, like Malbec, is only used in small amounts for blending. Bottled on its own in South America, it’s remarkably expressive. Pulenta Estate, Gran Cabernet Franc XI ($45) from Argentina is complex and piquant with elegant depth. Forgotten in Bordeaux but thriving in Chile, the Carménère grape is producing high-quality, aromatic wine with concentrations of raspberry and pomegranate, like Perez Cruz Carmenere Limited Edition ($24). Putting Malbec in its place, so to speak, there are stunning Bordeaux-styled wines. Viña Cobos Cocodrilo Corte Red ($30) is Cabernet Sauvignon–driven, blended with Malbec, merlot, and Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, with deep red and violet tones, blackberry, and chocolate. What’s Tannat (other than a palindrome)? It’s another French grape flourishing in Uruguay’s temperate, Atlantic-influenced climate. An appealing red high in antioxidants, Bodega Bouza Tannat Reserva ($16) is textbook—full-throated, with rich cassis, clove, and vanilla. Garnacha and Carignan are Mediterranean grapes to watch. Garage Wine Company from Chile exports organically farmed

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.

David C. Peterson Construction THE ART OF FINE HOME BUILDING.

BUILDING GREEN SINCE 1980. Photo courtesy of Kirk Gittings Photography©

505-239-3729 •



Su Libro

green built + grown two new guides to going green in the home

L Building a Sustainable Home: Practical Green Design Choices for Your Health, Wealth, and Soul, by Melissa Rappaport Schifman, Skyhorse Publishing, paperback, $25


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

arge-scale project management is a daunting business, especially when it comes to the myriad details involved in building a house. When Melissa Rappaport Schifman and her husband Jim decided to build their home, they (or really, Schifman) wanted it to be as green and sustainable as it was in their power and budget to make it, and LEED for Homes certified to boot. After poring through book after book on green building, Schifman realized there was no easy manual or advice blog that answered the basic questions that arise during any complicated project: Does X make more sense than Y for our size home? Is X more expensive than Y, and if so, is the cost worth it? Would you do X over Y? And, if you could give me one piece of advice, what would it be? That is to say, the real story—“the process of decision-making, prioritizing against financial constraints,” says Schifman. Naturally, she was unable to find such a practical, straight-answer manual. So she wrote one herself, for the next guy. Building a Sustainable Home is the result of months of research, soul-searching, and even blogging about her own LEED home building project. Why would someone unfamiliar with the subject of green building voluntarily subject themselves to LEED’s 85, notoriously stringent, performance standards? For Schifman, the reasons were her family’s health, wealth, and soul, and she breaks down the book into chapters that deal specifically with each. Below: Though Schifman has mixed feelings about the financial benefits of her solar panels, which she purchased through a tax rebate program, she is pleased that the megawatt hours of solar electricity they produce offer “the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by 14 acres of trees.”

on the market Writing in a frank, informative, and conversational manner, Schifman becomes that trusted professional we all wish we could rely on to give us the straight skinny on an expensive, time-consuming project. Though she uses specifics from her own home build as examples, every tidbit of advice easily translates to any build or remodel. That’s not to say all of the information is easy to process; Schifman delves into the really complicated and technical subjects, such as energy and water efficiency, green materials, and the intricacies involved with ensuring a house has truly clean water and air. A most telling chapter: The Worst Green Decisions We Made.

Schifman was unable to find a practical, straight-answer manual on green building. So she wrote one herself, for the next guy.

Mediterraneaninspired A clay tile roof and distinctive Mediterranean finishes mark this completely remodeled home in the coveted Northeast Heights neighborhood of Glenwood Hills. Light and bright, the home features soaring, woodbeamed ceilings, a Venetian plaster fireplace, eye-catching flooring, and a sunny chef’s kitchen complete with crisp, white cabinetry, a custom backsplash, and top of the line stainless steel appliances. Generously sized at just over 3,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room for everyone, including a grand owner’s suite with its own fireplace and spa-like bath, two guest bedrooms, and even a separate heated casita that could be utilized as a fourth bedroom or office. From the partially covered and arched rear patio enjoy amazing sunsets and unparalleled Sandia Mountain views.

Ultimately, Building a Sustainable Home is a well-researched and thorough guide book, written by someone who’s been in the trenches. Schifman recalls how, while her home was being built, a local builder who was designing his own home called her for advice—even though he had LEED accredited professionals on staff. Why me? she had asked. “Because you write the checks,” he replied. “I have a dozen friends who can give me green advice, but you have experienced green building. And that is where the rubber meets the road.”—Amy Gross

Listing price: $529,900 Contact: Deanna Dopslaf, 505-307-1129 Keller Williams Realty,

Left: LEED considers flooring to be lowemissions if at least 90 percent of the floor is CRI Green Label Plus carpet (shown here) with CRI Green Label pad.


Above: A regular tap (on right) and a reverse osmosis (RO) tap on left, which removes fluroide and other dissolved solids and chemicals suspended in drinking water.




t’s a tale as old as urban living: a city dweller residing in a cramped apartment dreams of a vibrant, sprawling garden. Shelley Levis found herself in just such a situation in her mid-20s, which is how her journey with indoor gardening began. Years of trial and error, studies in horticulture, and jobs as a garden designer and a retail garden center manager qualified Levis to write Countertop Gardens, a comprehensive guide to growing edibles indoors. Readers of all gardening skill levels will find this book informative and easy to follow. It contains introductions to growing basics such as light, water, temperature, and humidity before delving into countertop-specific tips and tricks. No extra Googling required—each chapter walks you through the process from start to finish.

Modern Sprout

Countertop Gardens: Easily Grow Kitchen Edibles Indoors for Year-Round Enjoyment, by Shelley Levis, Quarto Publishing Group, paperback, $23

Right: In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, indoor gardening can brighten your countertops.


Having fresh cooking herbs at your fingertips is one of the best uses of a countertop garden.


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

! LE ) B A ts

L o AI cre L V A S Ae 1.5 T O re 3 L (Th

Views of Sandias to East and access to Rio Grande Bosque.

10151 North 4th Street, Albuquerque, NM 87114 (off main road)

For more information call: 505-401-9876

Shelley Levis

All new website

available online now!

Above: Hanging plants from the ceiling is one method of saving space.

Countertop Gardens introduces numerous modern devices that make small-scale indoor gardening feasible. Including hydroponics and aquaponics devices, Levis has personally tested every countertop gadget she mentions. Especially interesting is a betta fish tank that recycles its water to the plants growing on its lid, providing nutrients to the plants and cleaner water for the fish. When your windows don’t bring in enough sun, you can learn about mini greenhouse kits that provide plants with the right variety of light.

Look for Builders who go the

Extra Distance Let us certify it “GREEN”

Ask if your builder’s homes are

“Certified: Build Green NM” Contact Us Today (505) 688-5335 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


on the market

Amber Breen

a little country in the city Tucked between the North Valley and Old Town, this Bill Osofsky–designed residence benefits from both a bucolic setting and an urban location in the gated community of Acequia Escondida. Softly contemporary and with clean lines throughout, the home gracefully embraces open concept in the play between the living and dining areas and kitchen, while large windows bring in abundant light. Warm, masculine colors mark the interiors, from the richly hued slate floors to the kitchen’s iridescent tile backsplash. There are two master suites in this 3,318-square-foot home—one on each of the two floors—as well as an en suite guest bedroom, two lofts, and a study. Outside there are three patios, a courtyard, and raised garden beds. Prefer relaxing to gardening? The second-floor deck offers treetop views and plenty of peace and privacy.

Jim Gross

Listing price: $725,000 Contact: Jo Cook, 505-379-6099, RE/MAX Select


S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

Above: When windows don’t provide enough sun, there are devices that can give your indoor mini-garden the light it needs.

If you’re not ready to invest in a fun-sized device, Levis describes ways to grow edibles in pots, planters, and glass bottles and jars. The book is packed with do-ityourself methods like using plastic wrap to retain moisture while seedlings germinate and growing sprouts in a terra-cotta saucer with a muslin cloth (ready to harvest and enjoy in just five to seven days!). Other DIY projects teach you innovative ways to make the most of limited space, from hanging herb planters to creating terra-cotta pot towers. Happily, because it focuses on edibles such as herbs, greens, and mushrooms, Countertop Gardens is sprinkled with recipes featuring the plants it describes how to grow, including flavorful sandwiches packed with fresh sprouts to salad toppers starring homegrown radishes. Some recipes are quite simple—a dianthus syrup, which can be added to cocktails or drizzled on fresh fruit, only calls for water, sugar, and fresh clove pink flowers. If you’re looking for a new hobby that will brighten your living space and provide you with fresh, homegrown food, Countertop Gardens is an essential guide. Like Levis, you may just find yourself on a lifelong journey. As she writes, “It’s not a job you get done, it’s an ever-changing opportunity to create.”—Sarah Eddy

This fish lives symbiotically with the plants on the lid of its tank.

Amber Breen

on the market

Spring 2019 Advertisers Albuquerque Home & Garden Show............................................................ 84 American Clay........................................................................................................4 Arizona Tile...........................................................................................................85 Bell Bank Mortgage.............................................................................................17 Bright Ideas, Inc. dba The Lamp Shop.......................................................... 82 Build Green NM..............................................................................................109 Builders Source Appliance Gallery................................................................ 48 Building Adventures Unlimited......................................................................23 California Closets................................................................................................61 Creative Countertops & More.........................................................................16 David C. Peterson Construction.................................................................. 105 Del Webb Mirehaven.........................................................................................54 Designer Warehouse...........................................................................................93 Diego Handcrafted Homes............................................................................. 29 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.................................................21 Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors............................................ 97 GRG Custom Homes by Management Systems Inc................................69 Hermanson Construction.................................................................................14 I'm the Blind Lady.............................................................................................. 67 JCH Design Build.................................................................................................2 Jeebs & ZuZu........................................................................................................93 John Mark Custom Homes.................................................................................6 Keller Williams.....................................................................................................63 Kirtland Federal Credit Union.......................................................................... 3 Koinonia Architects & Builders.......................................................................37 La Puerta Originals............................................................................................ 27 Lambert Construction......................................................................................99 Las Ventanas Homes..........................................................................................65 Lee-Sure Pools..................................................................................................... 47 Lowe-Bo Homes..................................................................................................73 Maloy Mobile Storage...................................................................................... 105 Marvin Windows...................................................................................................7 Mountain West Sales...............................................................................gatefold Nature Pointe/Vista Del Oro.........................................................................101 New Haven Homes............................................................................................ 62 New Mexico Bank & Trust...............................................................................39 New Mexico Select............................................................................................. 49 Osuna Nursery..................................................................................................... 31 Panorama Homes................................................................................. back cover Peak Performers................................................................................................... 13 Pella Windows & Doors....................................................................................... 1 Piñon Window and Door................................................................................. 68 PWKI LLC.........................................................................................................101 RayLee Homes: A New Generation...............................................................81 Realty One............................................................................................................20 Reliance Construction..........................................................inside front cover Re/Max Select....................................................................................................... 55 Rio Grande Bosque Property........................................................................109 Sandia Area Federal Credit Union................................................................. 15 Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union...................................................... 11 Sierra Pacific Windows......................................................................................19 Sivage Homes.......................................................................................................70 SnapSpace NM dba SnapHome......................................................................71 Southwest Block..................................................................................................111 Stonewood Flooring........................................................................................... 64 Strahle Tile & Granite Inc.................................................................................75 Sukhmani Home................................................................................................. 79 Sun Mountain Construction...........................................................................60 Sun Valley Custom Homes.............................................................................. 97 Tesuque Stucco Company..................................................... inside back cover Twilight Homes............................................................................................ 78, 80 Vineyard Homes, LLC...................................................................................... 76 Watermelon Mountain Design Works.......................................................109 Waterstone Mortgage.........................................................................................12 Western Building Supply..................................................................................... 5 Westway Homes............................................................................................72, 83 Wholesale Timber & Viga................................................................................99 WinSupply...............................................................................................................9 York Septic Systems...........................................................................................111

Keystone Garden Wall®




HAPPENING? April through June

Eric Williams

Live music at Fiestas de Albuquerque.

FIESTAS DE ALBUQUERQUE April 6, 12–5 pm Historic Old Town, 303 Romero NW, ABQ Free Celebrate Albuquerque’s birthday, enjoying the history and traditions of the city with live entertainment, children’s activities, artists’ demonstrations, dancers, and a Founders Day Procession. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL CORTEO April 12–14, times vary Santa Ana Star Center, 3001 Civic Center Cir NE, Rio Rancho $39–$110 The latest of Cirque du Soleil’s arena productions is now touring North America. The show portrays a festive parade imagined by a clown. GATHERING OF NATIONS POWWOW April 25–27, times vary Powwow grounds at Tingley Coliseum, Expo New Mexico, ABQ $19 per day Tribes from across North America are represented at the Gathering of Nations Powwow.

ALBUQUERQUE RENAISSANCE FAIRE April 27, 10 am–5 pm Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum 9201 Balloon Museum NE, ABQ $5–$10, children 3 and under free The Albuquerque Renaissance Faire is an annual rain or shine event with food, drinks, and entertainment at the Tilted Tankard Tavern and the Commoner’s Food Court, shopping at the Artisan Village, events at the Children’s Realm, and much more!

Knights joust at the Renaissance Faire.

31ST ANNUAL RIO GRANDE VALLEY CELTIC FESTIVAL May 4–5, times vary Rotary Park, Bernalillo $7–$20, children under 6 free; discounts for seniors and active military Visitors to the 31st annual Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival will be delighted by Celtic music, piping, dance, contests, rugby, and food and drink for all. Fun for the whole family. NATIVE TREASURES May 24, 5–7:30 pm May 25 and 26, 10 am–4 or 5 pm Santa Fe Community Convention Center 201 W Marcy, Santa Fe Free, $150 Friday evening Over 200 artists participate in the show and sale of Native art and fundraiser for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Attendees have access to high-quality works–including jewelry, pottery, painting, basketry, beadwork, carvings, sculpture, and textiles–from artists representing tribes across the United States.

Derek Mathews

9TH ANNUAL ABQ BLUES & BREWS FESTIVAL May 26, 2–6 pm Sandia Resort and Casino, 30 Rainbow, ABQ $25–$65 112

S U C A S A S P R I N G 2019

This 21+ event is highlighted by live music from numerous blues bands, a souvenir tasting glass, and unlimited samples of beer from craft breweries around the country. There will also be homebrew demonstrations, vendor booths, games, and more. Proceeds go to local charities. 32ND FESTIVAL FLAMENCO INTERNACIONAL DE ALBUQUERQUE June 15–22 Various times, locations, and prices Cohosted by the National Institute of Flamenco and the University of New Mexico, this event invites the best flamenco artists in the world to participate in workshops and performances. The overall purpose is to sustain and support the artistry, history, and culture of flamenco among all national and international communities.

Eric Williams


The Annual Gathering of Nations is the world’s largest assembly of Native American and Indigenous people, drawing more than 700 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world. There’s dancing, a horse and rider regalia parade and contest, and music on Stage 49. The Miss Indian World Competition is $15 on April 26.

BEAUTIFUL June 12–16, times vary Popejoy Hall 203 Cornell Dr NE, ABQ $48–$98 Beautiful—The Carole King Musical chronicles the rise to stardom of the legendary singer-songwriter. Along with the title song “Beautiful,” this joyful production features some of King’s most famous hits, including “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” 70TH ANNUAL RODEO DE SANTA FE June 19–22, various times 3237 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe $10–$37 Now in its 70th year, the annual Rodeo de Santa Fe, a PRCA event, offers fun for the whole family. Featured are all the favorite rodeo events plus a rodeo clown reunion. A parade, carnival, food, and beer garden are also part of the festivities.

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Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2019 | Digital Edition  

Su Casa Northern New Mexico Spring 2019 | Digital Edition  

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