SuCasa SOUTH WINTER 2019 DigitalEdition

Page 1

colorful + textural

design trends

El Paso & Southern New Mexico


inspiration ideas resources

bright + modern El Paso kitchen remodel

boho chic dĂŠcor Vol. 7 no. 1 WINTER 2019

Shades Under The Sun, LLC

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El Paso & Southern New Mexico


inspiration ideas resources

Brian Wancho



On the cover: Transformed with white cabinetry and contemporary finishes, an older kitchen gets a fresh makeover. Read more on page 14. Photograph by Brian Wancho.

24 Spanish in the Southwest

in every issue


Inside Su Casa


Life+Style Southwest


Design Studio


Vida Buena


Su Libro


Live Performance Calendar


Building the perfect pantry; boho chic décor; a modern kitchen makeover in El Paso; stylish textured surfaces; and Steve Thomas recalls “The House That Wouldn’t Die.”

Interior design trends for the year ahead—from gorgeous jewel tones to bold paint colors; pretty indoor planters. Handcrafted boots with a ton of character from El Paso’s Rocketbuster; the enchanting atmosphere of San Miguel de Allende; pet-friendly homes; California pinot noir grapes survive challenges to produce great wines; and Patrick Gabaldon shares his love of the Sun City through vibrant works of art. A new year means a fresh start—kick it off with two new books all about personalized design and organization. Stay entertained all season long with the best live events in El Paso and Las Cruces.


A West El Paso remodel showcases inspired design and local craftmanship.

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Nohemy Gonzalez

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Director of Sales & Marketing Edwin Rosario Managing Editor Amy Gross Editor Danielle Urbina Assistant Editor Jervon Perkins Contributors Cassie McClure, Teresa Odle Jessica Salopek, James Selby Steve Thomas Art/Production Director B. Y. Cooper Graphic Design Sonja Berthrong Valérie Herndon Photography Nohemy Gonzalez Brian Wancho

For advertising information contact: office 915-581-2300 mobile 915-355-7190

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

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Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 07, Number 1, Winter 2019. Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is published quarterly in December, March, June, and September by Bella Media, LLC, at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. ©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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305. Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305, Phone (818) 286-3164, Fax (800) 869-0040, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Inside Su Casa


Alexis Fernandez (915) 275-6763

Bruce Adams



S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019


Unlock Your Dreams of Home Ownership. I would love to help you!

e have so many options when designing our homes—and not only when building a new home. In this issue of Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, we explore many of those options. In some cases they are quite simple; in others much more elaborate. I was struck by Steve Thomas’s amusing and touching story in this issue about “The House That Wouldn’t Die”—a project that started as a tear-down, but turned into a major, and highly satisfying, remodel instead. Situations like his may change your mind and have you looking at your home in a completely new way. A traditional adobe-style home can take on a very contemporary look, for example. As you will read, a midcentury home needing an update was transformed into a residence with Spanish Revival elements much loved by its owners. There are, of course, many degrees to which you can make these changes. It’s amazing what even minor efforts can do to transform your home. Examining your belongings might be a place to start. Doing so helps identify your needs such that your belongings all have an appropriate place to be, without cluttering your life. The story on kitchen pantries speaks precisely to this issue. For those of us not blessed with a huge pantry, there are options—some big, some small, but nevertheless options that beautify and declutter our kitchens and our lives. We often talk about the use of a color to define a room and the feeling within it. So often we find ourselves stuck in a home with neutral walls that don’t make much of a statement. A splash of color can do wonders for a room. Ditto for textures. Most any surface you apply to a room helps define the room and make a statement. If all of this is beyond your desire today, yet you still want to make a new statement in your home, consider the many innovative featured home products that deliver a strong sense of design. Some appliances and other household products are almost sculptural in their look. As we point out in every issue, your home is like an artist’s blank canvas: You can do anything you like with it. Your home is your life, and you can make it very beautiful.

Life+Style Southwest

by Cassie McClure

the perfect pantry kitchen storage essentials


Bill Faulkner

he pantry is a core element of any kitchen. Whether you have ample space for a walk-in pantry or are converting cabinets or wall space into a storage area, functionality is key. Every pantry needs to be organized for easy finding so you can readily use what you have in stock. The pantry is also a space to store items that don’t enjoy regular use, such as crockpots, food processors, holiday linens, and specialized utensils; for many, it’s a place to store all the other small items and kitchen collections that seem to accumulate throughout the years. Rosanna Morales of A-1 Kitchens by Sierra in El Paso says clients ask for a variety of different options when it comes to their pantries—from open cabinetry and shelving, to more traditional cabinetry complete with plenty of space for storage. “If you like to hide your mess, you’ll want something more private. That’s when you’ll want full doors on [your] cabinets,” she says. Morales also explains that pantry design is dependent on space, and if it’s a walk-in, how much space is inside to navigate. “We use pull-out shelves, which are great to have for better oversight of specific items,” she says. “But they also work well with the elderly who may have a harder time accessing items and can’t bend.” The key to maximizing storage space is to utilize the entire wall— from floor to ceiling—and make access dependent on use. For example, everyday items should be within easy reach, snacks for the kids on lower shelves easily accessible to shorter limbs, and all the “once in a while” items placed higher up and out of the way.

Above, left: The walk-in pantry in this Las Cruces home is big on space and style. Open shelving showcases canisters, jars, and neat stacks of china, while added drawers allow space for small appliances and cooking utensils.

Jesse Ramirez

Left: Barn doors slide open to reveal a fully functional butler’s pantry in this El Paso kitchen, complete with tons of cabinetry and countertop prep space. When closed, the doors hide the pantry away, but remain an attractive decorative element. 8

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Considering who uses the pantry is also important. “We like to ask clients if they cook or if they have help,” Morales says. “Some pantries are hidden, where it just looks like another set of cabinets; when it opens it’s a whole other space.” She recommends sectioning by use. If there’s a baker in the family, for example, one section in the pantry can be dedicated to items used for that specific purpose.

Here are a few more tips to consider: Use jars, canisters, and containers of the same shape and design, which makes items easier to find and look more organized. It also adds a style factor. Replace an existing pantry door with a sliding barn door for better accessibility and an easy style change. If your pantry shelves or cupboards are deep, include task lighting. Consider the need for a movable ladder or stepstool, and how it will be stored when not needed. Fortunately for homeowners, pantries can be designed in a wide variety of sizes and styles—from extra large and amenity-filled walk-ins, to cleverly designed spaces that tuck right into your kitchen’s main work spaces. The most important part of a pantry’s design, however, is how it works best for you and your family.

In a contemporary home, a textured glass door keeps the pantry concealed. Inside, floor-to-ceiling shelving organizes items according to their use.

Jesse Ramirez

The key to maximizing storage space is to utilize the entire wall—from floor to ceiling— and make access dependent on use.

contributors A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Sher-Wood Cabinetry



Life + Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

boho chic

décor for the free-spirited home


xotic, colorful, and all about texture, it’s no wonder bohemian style has remained popular over the years. Boho is eclectic, carefree, and chic—a fun design style that includes a little bit of everything, from natural elements and antique touches to artistic patterns and décor with worldly influences. In fact, the word “bohemian” is associated with a laid-back, unconventional lifestyle that often reflects the more creative side of someone’s personality. Boho design breaks all the stuffy, traditional rules of most other styles because it’s all about you and your interests. Here are a few of our favorite boho-inspired picks this season.

Courtesy Kalco Lighting

Kalco Lighting Jardin 18-inch Pendant

On the more boho glam (yes, that’s a thing!) side of things, metallic light fixtures make a major statement. With a carved leaf pattern finished in oxidized gold, this pendant by Kalco Lighting brings a botanical vibe to any space. Decorative accents like this fixture are great for adding a shimmery element to a boho space and can be paired to complement jewel tones and patterned pieces. Also available in a 24-inch pendant and as a sconce. Price upon request, Designer’s Mart,

Kirkland’s Mystic Macramé Pouf

There’s a reason boho homes look so comfy— they’re all about different kinds of texture. This macramé pouf can be used to layer different textures and patterns in a living room, and thanks to its neutral color, is the perfect match for all hues, from moody to vibrant. The crochet design is crafted with thick, knotted rope in an intricate diamond pattern and filled with comfy cotton. $90, Kirkland’s,

Alexis Oliva and Yanira Lopez, the designers behind Yerbamala Designs, take great care when it comes to making unique, handcrafted décor featuring influences from their hometown of Havana, Cuba. Their plant hangers—made to order—make it easy to add a natural touch to your interiors with small potted plants and succulents. Available in black, white, gray, mustard, and sage, the hangers are made using traditional macramé techniques and can accommodate planters 5 to 8 eight inches in diameter. Courtesy West Elm

Courtesy Kirkland’s

Yerbamala Designs Plant Hangers

$60, West Elm,

World Market Boho Kilim Nagar Indoor Outdoor Rug

Courtesy World Market

Rugs—especially patterned and worldly style rugs—immediately draw the eye to the focal point of a living room or bedroom. Even in kitchens, rugs can lend warmth and texture and make the space feel more put together. This handwoven features a bold pattern, but its softer colors are a great complement to neutral tones. Crafted by Indian artists, the rug is eco-friendly and made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s soft underfoot and a breeze to clean up in case of any spills. Available in standard rug sizes and as a runner.


$150–$450, World Market,

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Stay Warm this Winter The living room is considered both the most important and favorite room in the house, according to Napoleon Hot Spots research study. That makes it the ideal location for an added fireplace, which adds warmth, symmetry and the focal point for good times and life’s memorable moments.

The bedroom is the one location in any home that serves as a retreat from public spaces. It’s where the day begins and ends. Having a relaxing environment is essential and a fireplace helps create it, sparking emotional connections and taking the bedroom to the next level.

The kitchen is the central point of almost every home. It’s where meals are made, most foot traffic passes through and, boiled down, life is lived. Adding a fireplace to the kitchen generates a welcoming, social atmosphere that turns an ordinary, utilitarian kitchen into the place where family memories are made.


Please visit our showroom at 11220 Rojas Dr. Ste. C9 - El Paso, TX 79935 (915) 260-8433


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Life+Style Southwest

by Jessica Salopek

photographs by Brian Wancho

Pat Haggerty’s Northeast El Paso kitchen is crisp, clean, and neutral. In an effort to turn the space into a blank canvas, designer John Nieman kept things white but made the space pop with wood-like floors from The Urban Kitchen and Bath Company.

from midcentury to ultramodern a dated kitchen gets a new lease on life


here’s a good reason John Nieman and Alejandro Marquez are often referred to as “the Property Brothers of El Paso.” Their company, Nieman Interiors, is known for high-end home flips featuring stylish, contemporary design concepts and efficient layouts. “The worst ones are the best ones for us,” Nieman says of the homes they choose to rescue. “We basically gut them and build a whole new house.” He picked up a 1958 midcentury modern in Northeast El Paso and ended up selling it in the early stages of renovation to Pat Haggerty, who immediately fell in love with the views and the intriguing curves of the home’s architecture. Haggerty gave Nieman full rein to continue with his design vision. “It was a complete shell,” Haggerty remembers. “He went right down to the studs and made a lot of changes to the floor plan.” Walls and columns were knocked down to expand the “chopped up” layout typical of the time period, creating an open plan living-dining-cooking space that’s strategically divided by a fireplace wall. Nieman points out that sometimes this tactic can lead to too much space, particularly in the kitchen where one frequently moves between Left: Dressed in three-dimensional porcelain tiles, the backsplash provides depth, texture, and visual interest against the slab-front cabinetry and smooth quartz countertops.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Left: The kitchen’s all-white palette lends itself to changing décor and colors depending on trends and the season. Here, bright blues and subdued hints of green are classic midcentury accents.

Below: Everything in the kitchen is compact and easy to keep clean and organized—from built-in appliances to slab front, pull-out cabinetry with lots of space for all the necessities.

workstations. Here, he kept an easily maneuverable distance between the “work triangle”—range, oven, sink, and refrigerator. Light and views keep the space expansive and unconfined. Aesthetically, the original kitchen didn’t have much going for it. “It was a complete gut job,” Nieman says. “It had flat-faced, dark wood cabinets and orange Formica countertops. The floor tiles were some form of cheap, plastic linoleum. The adjacent spaces had ugly carpeting.” The flooring was quickly remedied with state-of-the-art laminate that mirrors the look of sleek, dark wood planks. Everything else was updated into a glossy blank canvas of sorts. “We decided to go all white-on-white-on-white in here because I didn’t want the house to dictate what the homeowners could do with the space—the things they’d have to buy, what colors they’d have to continue with,” Nieman explains. The countertops are quartz, a material Nieman prefers to use in almost all his projects due to its durability and nonporous nature—no worries about red chile or wine staining the pristine surface. The cabinets are constructed of a lacquered, high-density fiberboard that eliminates any possibility of wood grain marring the ultra-modern sheen, while the backsplash, a three-dimensional porcelain, is embedded with thin strips of aluminum that help pull together the stainless steel cabinet hardware and appliances. Streamlined convenience takes shape in the form of a massive walk-in pantry, extra deep drawers for easy storage of pots and pans, pull-out spice racks, and lazy Susans in the cabinets. All the lighting is LED to keep any extra heat out of the workspace. A gas range, built into the center island, overlooks the bar seating and allows the cook to keep time with guests while prepping meals. Haggerty readily admits that the cook in question probably won’t be him. “I’ve got sisters who grew up feeding 10 siblings, and sisters-in-law who are really great cooks, too,” he explains. His preferred dish? Round steak on Sunday (a childhood favorite) and “anything Silvia cooks. My youngest brother’s wife is from Mexico, and she is just a fabulous cook. There’s not going to be a time when this kitchen won’t be used.”

resources Nieman Interiors The Urban Kitchen and Bath Company SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Life + Style Southwest

by Teresa Odle


Courtesy Interceramic

+ sculpture give your interiors a lift with textured surfaces

Courtesy Interceramic

Above: A combined installation of dimensional tiles gives this monochromatic kitchen a stylish focal point. Left: Silver and black waves in Interceramic Vintage Leather tiles give the illusion of depth in a contemporary bathroom. Because they’re used only on an accent wall, the tiles lend texture without overwhelming the space.


onsider adding depth and dimension to your home with textured surfaces. “Textured tiles have become fashionable lately because they give a three-dimensional look and expression to a wall,” says Armando Uribe, owner of Plasterqueen in El Paso. Plasterqueen hand-casts gypsum and concrete tiles to add lines, shapes, and geometry to accent walls and fireplace surrounds. The results—dramatic 3-D and shadow effects—make for excellent focal points. Texture doesn’t stop with high-impact walls. After years of highly polished marble and granite, many homeowners are turning to textured or matte finishes in their natural stone countertops. Cristian Gandara, owner of COMAF Marble & Granite in El Paso, says textured surfaces are appealing because of their look and feel. “It’s something different and it’s not shiny,” he says, noting that this makes the material more flexible for various home design styles. Using plaster tiles on a wall adds a unique pattern and dimension. The walls are made up of individual tiles abutting against one another, with no seams or grout lines. The tiles cast in Uribe’s shop come in 12 x 12, 16 x 16, and 20 x 20-inch squares; however, the size matters little for the final look once sanded and painted. “You lose the seams, so it looks like a full-piece panel,” says Uribe. They might look like wavy lines or geometric patterns or more artistic floral casts. Uribe adds that any experienced tile setter can install them, but they’re not really a DIY job. For example, trendy “crocodile tiles” made of quartz must be lined up perfectly to maintain the patterned look of crocodile skin.


According to Gandara, a distinct leather finish is becoming popular in kitchens, bathrooms, and bars—some quartz countertops even come in suede. These types of surfaces are only now slowly making an appearance because in the past, 16

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Rudy Torres

accent walls

Above: A combination of matte and shiny tiles give the bathroom in this El Paso home some artistic quality. Quartz countertops and sleek fixtures pull the modern look together.

many homeowners hesitated to install a textured countertop in hardworking places for fear of spills and stains. Textured surfaces are different, but no more tricky or time-consuming when it comes to installation. “The texture is not so pronounced,” Gandara notes. “You can see and touch it, but it’s not unlevel.” And homeowners seem to love the feel and more subdued sheen that leather, suede, and matte surfaces provide.

Courtesy Dekton

a style for everyone

Bill Faulkner

Above: Despite their soft, velvety appearance, suede countertops are resistant to stains and marks from kitchen tools.

Left: Stacked natural stone with a shimmery finish gives a kitchen backsplash a 3-D effect.

One reason textured plaster tiles are popular is because of the contemporary, modern look they create—Uribe seldom installs them in Pueblo-style homes, for example. Tuscan or Mediterranean styles often incorporate textured tiles, but with floral patterns or something more on the rustic side. The main reason people choose textured surfaces, says Uribe, is because “they look amazing.” Gandara adds that the matte appearance of textured countertops goes well in any style, including Southwestern rustic looks. Having just returned from a trip to Brazil to purchase granite, Gandara predicts that as the popularity of textured surfaces continues to rise, homeowners can expect to see a larger market, perhaps with more color and pattern combinations as well as surface and material selection.

contributors COMAF Marble and Granite Plasterqueen



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

the house that wouldn’t die


am a rationalist, not a mystic, so when my friend Chip philosophized, “Houses find people; people don’t find houses,” I thought, yeah, right. Upon reflection, it’s true that most of the houses I’ve owned and renovated have found me, so maybe there’s something to it. But the notion that “the house finds you and then insists that you renovate it?” Crazy talk. Yet, that’s what happened when we bought the Island House. Here’s the story. In 1998 we purchased a really crappy house on a really spectacular site on a sea island in Maine. Sounds dreamy, but the only way to get there from the mainland was in your own boat, which you had to land on the beach (or mudflats at low tide) and then lug all your stuff up the bluff to the house. By “stuff” I mean everything—food, wine, charcoal for the grill, air compressors, sliding compound miter saw, 2 x 4s. The first summer we built a dock, freshened up the inside of the 18

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

crappy house with a coat of paint, and set about contemplating the future. Small, poorly built, with no redeeming architectural or historic value, the house really needed a gut rehab and total redesign with all new systems. Truth be told, it was a perfect candidate for a tear-down. So when our architect friend Hicks Stone inked a great design for a replacement house, I called the local fire department, who enthusiastically agreed to burn the existing house down in a training exercise. But a couple of the island residents worried the whole island would burn. “It’s the fire department,” I pointed out rather acidly. But it wasn’t worth the fight. Plan B: Tear it down. I scheduled an excavator, dump trucks, and a tug and barge to crunch it up and haul it off the island. It was late October, when the equinoctial gales roll through. Sure enough, a whopping nor’easter hit the coast, damaging the tug and barge, wrecking my work boat, and generally trashing my highly orchestrated sequencing. The winter weather pattern settled in and all was on hold. By early spring I decided that I had to do something, so I went back to an early rehab concept, working within the existing shell. The concept maximized the 1,500 square feet available, punched in windows everywhere, and added a big deck. In March, with snow Left: Steve considered razing and even burning down the original house, whose only asset was spectacular views.

With a new design inked, a gut remodel ensued in the dead of winter.

The completely renovated house boasts more windows, a wraparound deck, and a detached new building with a steeply pitched roof.

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

resisting every challenge, an unremarkable house insisted on sharing its stories

on the ground and the winter wind still howling, we started gutting the place. As an experienced builder and renovator I knew I was turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. But it seemed like the path of least resistance, so we persevered, hauling the loads of construction materials over by large and small barge and work skiff and trundling them up the hill by tractor, wheezing dump truck, or by hand.

As an experienced builder and renovator I knew I was turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. After a punishing six-month effort our family and friends loved the amazing views from the deck and the delicious sense of detachment island living creates. But still I wondered if it had been worth it. Then, one by one our neighbors came over to express how glad they were that we’d kept the old place. “Yeah,” I’d respond, “but it was a piece of junk.” “I know,” they’d rejoin, “but my Aunt Gladys got married here.” Or, “I helped insulate the original place when I was a kid.” Or, “I had a summer romance with one of the girls who lived here.” Turns out it wasn’t about the house; it was about the memories. Community is about shared history—common stories. Mapping the stories onto the built environment makes the stories real. That’s why historic preservation is so important. I knew that, but I didn’t think it applied to a humble house on an island in Maine. I guess the house decided to teach me that lesson. Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert. The former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, he now heads up Steve Thomas Builders.

Full Indoor Remodeling

Design Studio

freshen up

We’ve only just welcomed 2019, but when it comes to design, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead—in fact, inspiration for the new year starts popping up in early fall, right after design shows that coincide with fashion week in cities like New York, Paris, and London. In years past, trends were all about ikat and geo patterns, whiteand-gray palettes with the occasional sprinkling of millennial pink, and brass and rose gold accents in fixtures and furnishings. This year, you’ll notice that homes are shifting from untouchable showpieces to more relaxed spaces where homeowners and their guests actually feel, well, right at home. That doesn’t mean a lack of style, however; everything from unique wall colors and decorative finishes, to sustainable décor and artful backsplashes are big contributors to this year’s chic trends. My favorites so far? Three transformative design details that are easy to incorporate without totally interrupting your home’s established style.—Danielle Urbina

neutral takes a back seat

Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Say it with me: embrace color. For years, neutral walls have been a go-to for homeowners, mainly because of how easy they made it to decorate everything else in a space. This year’s trends dictate boldness—whether dark and moody or bright and cheery. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to bathe your entire home in every color of the rainbow—start small and feel it out by painting one room with color that makes a statement. A good place to start, designers say, is in the living room, where bold wall colors will set the tone for the style of the rest of your home. Once a trend themselves, accent walls are one way to test out vibrant hues, but in 2019 the trend is to go big with wall-to-wall color.

Courtesy Tech Lighting

design trends for the year ahead

sophisticated shine

One of my favorite trending elements for this year is the use of jewel tones in everything from pendants and glassware to textiles and lamps. Incorporating jewel tones (emerald, sapphire, teal, ruby, etc.) into your color scheme will help to break up a monochromatic palette while adding a hint of luminescence. To really enliven your space (and create a focal point), larger pieces of furniture—including sofas and loveseats—in jewel tones will immediately energize the area and also add an air of sophistication. Take caution though: An abundance of items in these hues can quickly overwhelm, so use them sparingly.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Courtesy Sherwin-Williams

flower power

Floral design in wallpaper, bedding, upholstery, and wall décor is back, but in a chic way that isn’t too loud and overbearing. The key here is to learn how to balance florals with other decorative elements in the space to create a pretty and put-together look. Go small-scale for something simple and fresh, but bold for added drama, such as wallpaper that packs a big, vibrant punch. If you find a floral piece you’re really in love with, designers suggest basing your color scheme around it, using tones in the print to work in things like throw pillows, curtains, and rugs. Not feeling the florals indoors? Take patterns outside to the patio where they will be more in their element.

Design Studio

pretty planters showcase your indoor garden in style


he cool beginnings of winter are a reminder for homeowners with green thumbs to bring their gardening indoors. Not only do houseplants breathe new life—and oxygen—into your interiors, they also add color and are proven to be natural air purifiers and mood lifters. Though plants themselves are vibrant, you’ll want to showcase them in a way that’s stylish and appropriately decorative. Whatever you’re into—air plants, succulents, palms, or cascading greenery—ditch the plastic pots for well-designed containers that will help add natural flair to your living room and bedrooms.—Danielle Urbina

S O F T WAT E R B E G I N S H E R E Local El Paso Based Company with Level 3 Certified Water Treatment Specialists Full Service Home Water Softener and Reverse Osmosis 24-Hour Emergency Service Courtesy West Elm

We Service Both Municipal and Well Water Homes

F R E E H O M E WAT E R A N A LYS I S West Elm Iris Planter and Chevron Stand-Triple

This metal-and-stone planter set allows you to put all of your favorite greenery on display. The midcentury modern–inspired base is powder-coated and easy to lift, while the cement-and-stone planters are finished in a bright and airy white. Follow the interior design rule of three and combine a trio of different houseplants to create a unique, layered look. $129, West Elm,

Home Water Services

Serving West Texas and Southern New Mexico for the Past 20 Years

Family Owned & Operated 4500 Turf Rd. El Paso, TX 79938 (915) 881-3238 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond

Kate and Laurel Theah Indoor Planter Stands

The minimalist look of these geometric planters is perfect for modern and contemporary homes. The metal base is finished in a sleek, natural bronze and features a wooden holder with an enclosed metal planter. Try planting small aloe plants or dark green snake plants for a chic, trendy aesthetic. $186 set of 2, Bed Bath & Beyond,

At C&L Plumbing Supply Co. Inc. in El Paso, TX, we give our clients quality service, affordable prices, and knowledge and expertise to help you on every purchase. Finding a great plumbing supplier you can trust is hard. Sometimes it takes plumbing contractors months or years to find the plumbing supplier they value. We can be your match while also providing you products like plumbing fixtures, water heaters, copper tubing, commercial and residential plumbing supplies, tubs and showers, and so much more! Call us today!

Residential & Commercial Plumbing Supplies

C & L Plumbing

Courtesy Target


Project 62 Wood and Stoneware Indoor Planter

This slick, ceramic planter is a darker, moodier alternative to colorful planters, which makes it easy to blend in with homes of most styles. The slim base is made with natural wood, and the black container is deep enough to plant anything from fanned palms to fiddleleaf fig plants. The freestanding base is easy to move and there’s no drainage holes in the container, so you don’t have to worry about muddy messes.

4300 Rosa Ave, El Paso, TX 915-740-8499 AND 915-532-3917

$70, Target,

Corina Vega – Owner

Spanish in the Southwest new design and local craftmanship bring a ranch-style home up to date


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

by Danielle Urbina photographs by Brian Wancho


he owner of this West El Paso home has always had an eye for art and unique architectural details, so when he decided to remodel and add more space to it, he worked closely with Juarez architect Nemorio Lopez to ensure the new abode would not only be stunning to look at, but comfortable and functional for his young family. Sprawled over a large Westside lot overlooking the Franklin Mountains, the ranch-style home is over 50 years old. At the time the homeowner and his wife purchased the house, it featured more traditional interiors with French neoclassical design. They felt the location was perfect, but desired something different for the interiors: a Spanish Revival–inspired design, similar to homes in California. They wanted their new home to reflect their love of the stately style and its beautiful details, such as sturdy wooden beams, wrought iron accents, and rich textiles.

Warm and welcoming, the exterior of this extensively remodeled West El Paso home features a stone fountain, gas lamps, and a wrought iron gate custom designed with intricate detail. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Above: The formal living room elegantly combines rustic elements with rich color and texture from the fabrics and art in the space.

Right: The entryway makes a lovely first impression with a unique ceiling design and a collection of the homeowners’ art, including a framed photo of Venice by Peter Lik.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

With Lopez chosen as the architect of the remodel, the two went to work putting together plans for every corner of the home. The starting point? Ceilings. “Nemorio and I designed the ceil-

The homeowners wanted their new home to reflect their love of Spanish Revival style and its beautiful details, such as sturdy wooden beams, wrought iron accents, and rich textiles. ings together, starting with the Spanish coffered ceilings,” the homeowner says. “I love beams, so [Lopez] came up with this idea to re-create the ceilings similar to the ones from museums in Spain.” Every ceiling in the main living areas is different—from the entryway’s Southwestern-inspired ceiling to the weathered beams in the living room.

Above: During the remodel, walls were broken down to create one large flowing space in the kitchen with plenty of room for entertaining.

Above: With a dramatic effect in mind, the homeowner chose to create an oak accent wall in the master bedroom. French doors extend out to the private back patio. Right: Weathered wooden beams and corbels lend warmth and even more character to the family room. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Now with an open concept floor plan, the kitchen extends out to the dining space and elevated family room. Floorto-ceiling windows capture mountain views from the outdoor living area.


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Left: There’s ample room for two in the spacious master bathroom, with both a freestanding soaking tub and a large, walk-in shower enclosed in glass.

Below: Extra tall, vertical mirrors above the double vanity elongate the space, and a decorative rug adds a splash of color.

Another important part of the design process was creating one open and flowing space from the formal living room all the way back to the outdoor living area. Walls were knocked down so that the kitchen would become the center hub, complete with a butler’s pantry and nearby mudroom for backpacks and shoes. The large, super functional kitchen was created with the family’s needs in mind. “I wanted a kitchen that would be very easy to work in,” the homeowner explains. “We don’t have a large freezer because we like to eat as fresh as possible, so instead, we have two large refrigerators.” The wood-fronted

Every ceiling in the main living areas is different—from the entryway’s Southwestern-inspired ceiling to the weathered beams in the living room. refrigerators match the kitchen’s Shaker-style cabinetry and complement the countertop and backsplash materials. To give the space an added element of visual interest, the homeowner had a hood custom-made with a bit of industrial flair. Bands of gleaming copper are in sharp contrast to the black steel; both colors pick up accents in the metal light fixtures hanging over the island. When necessary, the kitchen is a workhorse, especially when the homeowner has a chef over to prepare large meals for entertaining. “He can easily cook for 100 people at least,” the homeowner says. Other special features include high-end appliances, an espresso machine, and a wine fridge. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Left: The “little man cave” features banco-style seating and a well-designed space for kid-friendly entertainment— drawing, playing board games, or watching movies.

Left, below: How fun is this children’s hideout? Bunk beds are tucked away in a semi-secret room surrounded by shelves of toys and games.

It’s in the two living areas—both the formal and everyday living rooms—where the homeowner’s various art collections add color and character. Though framed Peter Lik photography, paintings, and bronze sculptures are standouts, the homeowner says every rug in the house is equally special. “All of the rugs are like art,” he explains. “They’re each handmade from Pakistan and other areas; every one has its own personality.” Ultimately, this home was remodeled for daily living, and the homeowner put a lot of effort into making other spaces throughout the home practical and fun for his children. “All of this is about family—the space, the gardens, the outdoors—I went from 2,000 square feet to much more in this house just for that,” he says. Up a set of stairs is a “little man cave” built specifically for the kids. Inside, toys and books are easily accessible from various bins and shelves, and comfy couches are perfect for cozying up. The focal point, though, is an enclosed space with bunk beds that sometimes serve as a hideout for the little ones. In the master bedroom, the homeowner made sure to design a space that would feel like its own sanctuary. “I wanted something dramatic for the master,” he explains. “The room’s theme was based off an oak accent wall and the fireplace we added to it; it’s a relaxing area with the added seating.” Essential to the lifestyle of most El Pasoans, an outdoor living area with exceptional mountain views is a favorite spot for the family to hang out—even during the cooler months. “I wanted an outdoor patio with a natural wood fireplace,” the owner explains. “Usually in the winter I like to burn cedar wood from Las Cruces—it smells amazing.”


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Above: Chosen specifically for its uninterrupted mountain views, the lot allowed the homeowner to create a spacious outdoor living area surrounded by lush landscaping. Right: Perfect for cool evenings, a separate seating area gets a lot of use from the family thanks to an added custom fireplace.

resources The spacious patio is also the spot for family events, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings. For the homeowner, what started as one huge project turned into a lovely, artful home that showcases design trends as well as his family members’ personalities. Though he and Lopez worked hard on the design, he says he often marvels at the amount of work that went into it—from the flooring and cabinetry to the ironwork and custom details. It was all done by local craftsmen, the individuals he praises for truly making their house a home. “I appreciate everyone who worked on the house,” he says. “I think it’s so important for people to know that this quality of work is available right here in El Paso.”

Architect Nemorio Lopez

Flooring Mario’s Floor Covering

Appliances and Fixtures Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Furniture Bassett Furniture

Audio Visual Home Theater Experts Cabinetry A-1 Kitchens by Sierra

Granite and Marble Piedras Mundiales Landscaping Nash Patio & Garden Lighting Designer’s Mart

Doors El Paso Wood Products



Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

kickin’ it old school handcrafted boots, traditional technique, and a riot of color at Rocketbuster Every boot at Rocketbuster is unique, with character and intricate, handcrafted designs that represent each owner’s personality.


exans are so famously fond of their boots that in 2007 the cowboy boot was named the state’s official shoe. In El Paso, Rocketbuster has been drawing fans of custom cowboy boots for decades. Rocketbuster’s warehouse spans the length of a city block, but its brick-lined walls and buzzy atmosphere make the shop feel cozy and inviting. A vividly colored collection of vintage items hints at the eclectic designs you’ll find on the company’s handcrafted, one-of-a-kind boots. Nevena Christi, the face of Rocketbuster, glides through the shop with a practiced eye for each detail being painted, etched, or sewn in various corners throughout the open layout. Every custom boot made for a customer is special and pieced together with inspiration and hard work. Christi came to El Paso in 1994 to commission boots for a New York fashion show. She fell in love with Rocketbuster owner Marty Snortum—a professional photographer who had traded a car for the company in 1989—and moved to the Sun City to be with Snortum and run the shop. Back then, their Anthony location wasn’t nearly as hip, surrounded as it was by dirt roads and near a park full of dumpsters. Today, Rocketbuster—in its Union Plaza location, decked out with racks of boots and collectibles—has become a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. Recently, it was a group of Australians who marveled at what they found and requested a tour to see everything, from the collections of boots to workspaces loaded with specialty tools and paint, and of course the Guinness Book of World Records’ “World’s Largest Boots,” which sit tall and proud in the center of it all. 32

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Left: Rocketbuster in its longtime Downtown El Paso location, where even the doors are draped with boots.

Below: A custom pair of Texas wildflower boots receive their finishing touches in the shop.

Left: Rocketbuster owner Nevena Christi, surrounded by dozens of pairs of colorful, eclectic creations and wearing a pair of her own.

Right: A newly made boot sports some serious Texas pride.

“It’s a brilliant time in El Paso—we get people from all over the world who find that there are these little gems,” Christi says. “We’re happy to be an ambassador of the town.” People who come for a tour can witness the art design and sewing process, and see the basement where boots are born. As the number of artisanal leather crafters drops around the country, more traditional boot makers are starting to close shop, but Christi continues

“We have a handstacked leather heel, 100 lemonwood pegs in each boot, no plastic. It’s totally old school but with more art.”—Nevena Christi

tion; according to Christi, over 75 percent of their customers come back to order another pair. “We have a hand-stacked leather heel, 100 lemonwood pegs in each boot, no plastic,” she explains. “It’s totally old school but with more art.” As for what’s possible, she cites one woman’s particularly memorable order. “She brought an inch of paperwork and wanted 52 items—a Bible verse, her kids, her Jeep, Texas bluebonnets,” laughs Christi. But of course, it’s that very thing that sets Rocketbuster apart from everyone else—the ability to turn everyday things into wearable (and walkable) art.

contributors Rocketbuster

to welcome an abundance of clients seeking originality in design. The challenge is working with clients used to traditional cowboy boots. Christi’s goal is to inspire people to think beyond the brown, functional boot, and to have them incorporate their personalities for a perfectly fitted pair. “We’re making heirlooms for the future,” she notes. Christi recalls that actor Ethan Hawke had stopped by the previous month to outfit a costar with a pair of boots, and to show off his own Rocketbusters, a pair purchased 13 years ago. In one spot you’ll find signed photos from clients such as Taylor Swift, Brooks & Dunn, Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once a pair of boots goes to its owner, it seems to become a slight addicSUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


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.

Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

by Danielle Urbina

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.

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


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

Courtesy Consejo Turistico de San Miguel de Allende

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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 achool.

you’ll find an original Virgin of Guadalupe painting Molding a Fountains a Columns a Limestone a Fireplaces 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 a Fountains Molding and Design Remodelinga Projects a Construction Zeferino Gutiérrez at the end ofArchitectonic the 19th century.

Cultivate Stone a Travertine Granite a Marble a Onyx a

cultural melting pot

Columns a Limestone a Fireplaces

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 its incredible Exclusive Kitchen Designs, Closets & Bathrooms collection of folk art toys from several regions of Mexico. Started by Angélica Tijerina decades ago, Architectonic Projects a Construction and Design Remodeling the museum features dolls, wooden toys, and figures made from clay and other local materials. Cultivate Stone a Travertine a Granite a Marble a Onyx Two blocks from the city’s flowering Jardin, you’ll find Bellas Artes—an art school and cultural center with an abundance of history and art depicting Exclusive Iron Design scenes from the past. Formerly a place of worship, Bellas Artes now offers several art classes,AV. butDE is also LAS RAZA NP. 264 - COL. EL COLEGIO C.P 32340 CD. JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA - PH. 01152 656-382-89-83 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 Exclusive Kitchen Designs, Closets & Bathrooms 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 Exclusive Iron Design world through food, music, and art. It’s nothing short of enchanting. AV. De la Raza No. 4627 - COL. EL COLEGIO C.P 32340

CD. JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA - PH. 01152 656-382-89-83

Su Libro

how do you live? personalized home design and organization, in two new books

The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way, by The Editors of Real Simple, Oxmoor House, paperback, $27

Above: This neat-as-a-pin kitchen cabinet gains space from mugs hanging from hooks. With shelf risers, there’s no need to lift stacks of bowls to get to your plates. Left: If your mud room is the catch-all space for coats, shoes, and backpacks, install racks and shelving to keep those things off the floor and easy to grab.


he word organize energizes some people, but for most, it conjures dread-inducing thoughts of spaces in the home where clutter—forgotten, and not-so-forgotten—lurks. To the latter group, organize suggests “work” and huge challenges. And it’s a problem, say the authors of The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room, that we’ve turned the simple and positive idea of organization into a complicated, taxing chore. Imagine a group of hyper-organized home design and lifestyle experts putting a proverbial hand on your shoulder and telling you to take a deep breath. With each room of a house presented as its own chapter, Real Simple covers ways in which organization can happen in virtually any length of time. For those who only have 15 minutes to spare, the authors suggest “hiding the big stuff ” when conquering the closet. Then there are the bigger, more comprehensive weekend projects with long-term organization in mind, which might necessitate a trip to the hardware store to purchase


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Real Simple isn’t a one-time read that might get shelved afterward (and create its own unwanted clutter); it’s interactive and filled with checklists, pictures to help illustrate its points, and tips and reminders on how to keep things organized. That’s arguably the most appealing factor of the book: It conditions the reader to maintain their improved lifestyle. The Real Simple editors have built their brand on simplifying interior design solutions, and their newest book makes organization accessible to absolutely anyone. It reminds us that being organized isn’t that complex.—Jervon Perkins Above: One of the best ways to keep clutter from taking over is to create manageable storage solutions. Many furniture manufacturers are designing pieces like this sofa that do double duty as storage space.

Excerpted from The REAL SIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room by the Editors of REAL SIMPLE. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

shelving solutions or storage containers. The book also covers organizing areas where pets dwell, outdoor areas, and even inside the car. Part of the process Real Simple also advocates is removing unneeded items—a step beyond the concept of decluttering. Readers will be pleased with helpful, easy-to-grasp ideas like Doubles Are Trouble and Have a Place for Nothing. The latter, in particular, invites the reader to leave an empty space in each room for future items. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Lisa Petrole

Su Libro

Above: In Homebody, author and designer Joanna Gaines focuses on helping readers create spaces that are not only comfortable, but tell a story through style and décor.


s one of the most well-known faces of television home remodeling, Joanna Gaines has had her share of experience when it comes to everything interior design. While working on HGTV’s Fixer Upper and creating Magnolia Market, Gaines began to realize that a home and its rooms should be so much more than pristine showplaces. That’s why her first design book, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, celebrates just that—living in a place that’s all about you and the things you love. “From the beginning, I wanted this book to be a practical and useful guide that would empower and motivate you to create a home that communicates the soul and substance of the people who live within its walls,” says Gaines. Without a doubt, homeowners looking for guiding inspiration will find it within the pages of Homebody, whether it’s for a specific room or the house in general. While she acknowledges you should focus on creating something functional and realistic, Gaines emphasizes that her book and advice are all about making the most of the house and means you have now—whether it’s your own, a rental, or a place you’re planning to remodel over time. Gaines begins by defining several core design styles—farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, and boho—and illustrating what each looks like, whether on its own or combined with others. Furthermore, each section features a helpful word bank of key descriptors that define each style in order to give readers an idea of the décor, patterns, and textures for which they should be on the lookout. 38

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The chapters that follow delve into every room in the house—from central living areas to bedrooms and bathrooms. While each chapter showcases gorgeous inspirational photos, Gaines encourages readers to dream up spaces of their own that are similar, but matched to their personalities, rather than mirror-image replicas. To help with this, the book offers a section with key points for critical thinking and troubleshooting tips that address potential problem areas in each space—bad lighting, outdated elements, lack of space and ambience, and so on. Blank pages and a design template are also included for notes and sketches. Designing and remodeling homes has been her career for several years, but Gaines’s true passion comes from creating spaces that speak to the personalities of the homeowners she works with. Homebody reflects that sentiment, both encouraging and guiding readers to tap into their inner designer and tell a story through style and décor. “My hope is that wherever you are, you find a way to love the home you’re in,” she says. “It’s a story worth telling because it’s yours. That is how you create a space you’ll never want to leave.”—Danielle Urbina Making a statement from the start, this entryway has it all—wall art, stylish light fixtures, cozy textures, and natural elements.

Lisa Petrole

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, by Joanna Gaines, Harper Design, hardcover, $24

Presented By

Saturday April 13, 2019 9:00am to 5:00pm Sunday April 14, 2019 10:00am to 4:00pm

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum 4100 Dripping Springs Rd

Las Cruces Home Builders Association | 575-526-6126 | | P.O. Box 2608 2825 N. Main Street Las Cruces, NM 88004-2608


by James Selby

from adversity, greatness California’s new pinot noirs thrive on challenge end of the earth. Appropriately, Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir ($60), blended from 33 distinct blocks, has dark intensity, lift, and energy. Domaine de la Côte (“estate of the slope”) is a collection of five vineyards, unique in geology, aspect, and microclimates in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. Vines used for the Domaine de la Côte Memorious Pinot Noir ($65), planted on a windward hillside, are so battered they grow only knee high but give wine of grace and precision, with a rush of savory herbs, cranberry, and blood orange. Risks faced in such bleak terrain give mesmerizing wine. As the adage says, go out on a limb; that’s where the fruit is. Left: LIOCO La Selva is made in small batches. Because winemaker Sara Licklider keeps New Mexico in her heart, we are able to enjoy this big pinot noir here.

Courtesy Morgan Winery

Courtesy LIOCO


ecently, California has been producing exciting, stylistic pinot noir, capturing what’s unique in off-the-beaten-path vineyards planted in climatically challenging locations. Matt and Sara Licklider, owners of LIOCO Wine Company, source old-vine pinot noir from the vineyards in Anderson Valley, 100 miles north of San Francisco. Defined by marine influences, fog, winds, and cool temperatures, the sites are carved from a pitch amid towering redwood groves. LIOCO La Selva (Spanish for “the forest”) ($40) shows high-toned notes, heft, Italian plum, and huckleberry. We’re talking small production: just 500 cases. Luckily for New Mexico Sara went to college in Santa Fe, so she sees to it we’re well supplied. Morgan Winery’s Double L Vineyard Pinot Noir ($65) comes from a single vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands near Monterey Bay. Cold, deep water and strong winds keep temperatures down, lengthen the growing season, and thicken grape skins, all of which fosters intense flavors of cherry, blackberry, and tea. The Pacific Ocean is visible from the Hirsch Vineyards on the windswept rainforest of Sonoma Coast. Vines planted by David Hirsch in 1980 on difficult to access slopes of folded mountains a mile from the San Andreas Fault are literally at the

Above: The Santa Lucia Highlands produce Double L Vineyard’s grapes, which are used in Morgan Winery’s pinot noir.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Erik Castro

Left: David Hirsch, founder of Hirsch Vineyards, is featured in Jon Bonné’s book The New California Wine (2013).

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.




Jan. 25-26-27


Fri. 1-7 Sat. 10-7 Sun. 11-4

El Paso Convention Center

Improve the Value of Your Home!

Shop for Innovative Products, Ideas & Services to Update the Inside & Outside of Your Home at HUGE Savings!

KIDS Featuring F R E E! a Pet Expo! 16 & under Pets Welcome! with signed waiver by Pet Parent

Celebrity Guest TLC’s ‘Trading Spaces’ Carpenter

Joanie Sprague Affordable Home Fix-Ups & ‘How To’ Demos Sat. Noon & 2pm!


Adults $7.75 • 16 & Under FREE Discount admission coupons on show website

Vida Buena

room for everyone making your home a pet-friendly palace


esigning a home is all about taking into account how we live, and for many homeowners, “we” includes our four-legged family members. Carlos Garcia, owner of ICON Custom Home Builder, has been building homes in El Paso for over 15 years. He says pet-friendly features have been requested more and more in the past couple years, and most dog owners want at least a dog door and a dog run in the yard. His best tip for pet owners? “Plan ahead. Whether you’re going to keep pets in a specific area or give them the full run of the house, plan for their needs as you’re designing the home.” Here are some tips for getting it right.

1. Having the right material underfoot can go a long way in reducing frustration with your beloved pet. Claws can do damage, and some flooring options like hardwood are more susceptible to scratching and staining. Garcia often recommends tile for easy maintenance. Then again, slippage can also be an issue, particularly for older pets. Bottom line, before you install, consult with a flooring expert. 2. Many pet owners are building feeding stations right into their cabinetry. Consider a tilt-out bin for bulk storage of dry food and slide out drawers low to the ground with inset bowls that can’t be tipped over. 3. Any seasoned pet owner knows that fur gets everywhere. Whether you’re picking out a sofa, curtains, or a bedspread, choose your fabrics wisely. Some materials, like velvet, are magnets for pet hair. Delicates such as chenille and silk are just begging to get ripped. Opt for durability and colors that match your pet’s fur. 42

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

by Jessica Salopek

4. Just as we humans need our own spaces, dogs and cats enjoy their own “rooms” too. Creating an alcove for beds and crates not only makes your pet feel special, but saves space and keeps walkways clear. Look for tucked-away spots like under cabinetry or beneath window seats where Fluffy can curl up in cozy comfort. “We’ve even done a little dog house area under a staircase,” Garcia notes. 5. Garcia says that pet showers are the latest

must-have for animal-obsessed homeowners, and mud and laundry rooms are ideal spots for at-home spas. “We offer the option of a utility sink or a doggie shower, and the shower is getting pretty popular,” he says. Dirt, grime, and hair wash right down the drain before being tracked into the house—no tub scrubbing required. Added bonus: these convenient wash stations are great for rinsing muddy boots, wringing out mops, or even hosing off a messy kid.


A stylish doggie door mimics the design of the rest of this El Paso home.

Jesse Ramirez

ICON Custom Home Builder

A low curb, hand-held fixtures, and fun paw print tiles create an ideal dog bathing station.

PLACE YOUR VALENTINE’S ORDER NOW! 7040 North Mesa Ste. E, El Paso, TX (915) 584-5205 1491 N. Lee Trevino Ste. E, El Paso, TX (915) 591-1500

Bill Faulkner

2750 Mall Dr. Ste. 240 Las Cruces, NM (575) 532-9449



Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

the color of culture El Paso shines in Patrick Gabaldon’s paintings


atrick Gabaldon has made it his mission to celebrate the colors of our region. A fourth generation El Pasoan, Gabaldon creates art in the Sun City that makes him happy, and that he hopes will do the same for others. “It’s hard for me to paint in dull shades when each sunset and sunrise bursts with life and color,” Gabaldon says. “I’ve made a conscious decision to paint what brings me joy. The color seems to follow that emotional intent. I hope that others can take a minute to look at my work and feel some warmth and joy—even if for a moment.” Gabaldon was born and raised in El Paso, but a four-year sojourn to San Antonio gave him a new appreciation for his hometown. He notes, “I’m not sure I would have fallen back in love with my city if I hadn’t been away for those years.” His art is vibrant and rich with color, with themes from cityscapes to simple things in the environment. “I follow the mantra of painting what you see,” Gabaldon explains. “It sounds simple but there is so much beauty here that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I love every prickly pear I see and want to paint them all.” Through time, Gabaldon has always made sure to sustain a creative outlet. “I’ve been doodling and sketching my whole life and spent my younger years playing in bands,” he says. Unfortunately, he lost room for his drum set, but a wine and paint night in 2012


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Above: El Paso artist Patrick Gabaldon is surrounded by his artwork, which he says is inspired and influenced by comics, trading cards, video games, and of course, his hometown.

Left: In an acrylic and spray paint on canvas piece titled Prickly Bloom, Gabaldon depicts the area’s prickly pear cacti in vibrant colors.

Above: In Stanton Street Car (acrylic on canvas), a streetcar glides against the El Paso sunset, reflecting the city’s growing environment.

set him on a path to painting. Merging his influences—comics, trading cards, and video games—to his painting style on canvas was a challenge at first. However, he notes that today, “Most can tell my work apart from others and know a Gabaldon when they see it. I’ve been lucky enough to have people of the region embrace my take on the desert landscape. That’s all I really want—to share my unique voice and be me.” Gabaldon’s work can be found throughout the city at local establishments like Savage Goods on Oregon Street, the Art and Framing Gallery on North Mesa, City Hall, and even in the attorney lounge in the Federal Court House. His art also garnered nationwide attention when his sketch of Congressman Beto O’Rourke was made into a pair of community Rocketbuster boots that have traveled to different people to wear at different rallies. “It’s been an incredible honor. Nevena Christi and her team did such an amazing job on the boots, and it’s been incredible to see them travel all over the country and state,” Gabaldon says. “There is something so amazing about fellow El Pasoans getting together to help another local El Pasoan. It was so cool to have my art be a small part of the community outpouring of support for Beto. My wife Monica was the first to wear them. I wish they could fit me but I’m not sure I have the attitude to pull ’em off.”

contributors Patrick Gabaldon Art SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


live calendar


January through March



Join conductor Bohuslav Rattay and famed cellist Zuill Bailey for a night of classical music this season. In collaboration with the El Paso Pro Musica Chamber Music Festival, the concert will feature music from Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major and Dvorřák’s Cello Concerto in B minor. For insights on the evening’s show, EPSO will host an informative Opening Notes seminar at 6:30 pm in the Philanthropy Theatre.

Based on the hit Disney movie, the stage production of Newsies tells the story of newsboy Jack Kelly and his charismatic group of young newsies. When publishing titans threaten his job, Jack rallies fellow newsies from all over New York City to strike. Featuring a Tony Award–winning score by legendary composers Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, this is one show you won’t want to miss!


Known for kickstarting the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and more, The Second City Touring Company has built a legacy as one of the best regarded comedy troupes in the United States. Join their next generation of comedians at the Rio Grande Theatre for a performance that includes original sketches and songs, as well as hilarious improv.

Courtesy Spencer Theater


From songs like “Paper Rosie” to “Farewell Party,” Gene Watson’s tunes have been favorites of classic country fans for years. During his long career, Watson has achieved five number one hits, 23 top tens, and over 50 charted singles. Don’t miss your chance to catch the country crooner live for one night at the Spencer Theater.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2019

Hailing from Los Angeles, Black Market Trust combines traditional pop and jazz vocals with the upbeat, energetic sounds of guitarist Django Reinhardt. The band, which consists of five world-class musicians, will perform materials from The Great American Songbook, infused with exotic sounds of gypsy jazz for a show that’s completely unique.

Courtesy Spencer Theater

Tim Schmidt



Murphy’s Legacy, a traveling entertainment group, pays homage to traditional Irish dance and culture in a fresh, new way. Featuring more than 20 dancers and musicians from shows like Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Celtic Woman, the performance comes to life with Irish folklore, riveting jigs, and memorable ballads.

David Becker-WireImage


For the last 14 years, Bill Maher has kept fans entertained with comedic, political shows such as Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher, which have earned him a whopping 38 Emmy nominations. As the executive producer behind the HBO series VICE and the documentary Religulous, Maher is hailed as one of the best political comedians of our time. Catch him at the Plaza Theatre this March!

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Fan favorites in the Sun City, Chicago makes their way back to El Paso by popular demand. The iconic band rose to fame in the ’70s thanks to its unique blend of rock and jazzy horns. Head to the historic Plaza Theatre this February and join the band for a night full of hits including “Saturday in the Park,” “If You Leave Me Now,” and “25 or 6 to 4.” THE WIZARD OF OZ MARCH 10, 1 pm AND 7 pm SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO

The timeless story of Dorothy and her Emerald City adventure comes to life this winter at The Spencer Theater. Celebrating the 1939 movie classic, the show includes stellar performances, special effects that will blow you away, and original songs like “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”



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A major Broadway success, The Illusionists is a spectacular show full of mind-blowing magic and exciting talent performed by five of the most accomplished illusionists in the world. This season, The Illusionists promises a thrilling show complete with acts called “The Daredevil,” “The Grand Illusionist,” and “The Trickster.”

Courtesy Spencer Theater