Su Casa Southwest Homes Winter 2021 Digital Edition

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Southwest Homes

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VOL.27 NO.1 WINTER 2021



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Southwest Homes



Daniel Nadelbach

inspiration ideas resources


38 Preservation with Personality

A historic Santa Fe home gets a makeover, both updating and preserving a beautiful Territorial style adobe treasure. The interior is a knockout combination of style and antiquity.

48 Naturally Modern in Corrales On the brink of moving, a couple decide to keep their Corrales location after all, but rebuild their entire home from the ground up. A modernist’s dream with room to wander.

Courtesy Hatch Chile Store


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Amadeus Leitner


On the cover: A historic home, built room by room over more than a century, gets remodeled with a perfectly aged look. Read more on page 38. Photograph by Daniel Nadelbach.

18 Inside Su Casa 22 Life+Style Southwest Famed Applegate Estate salon gets an update. Landscape professionals give advice on winter garden care; products to warm you, body and soul; hearth and fireplace options to choose from.

34 Design Studio



Designers cast a bright light on the benefits of mirrors; those in the know lend advice on choosing and maintaining the right rug.

58 Vida Buena Reconnect with the pleasure of browsing locally owned shops; keep an eye out for winter’s cutest and hardiest little bird, the dark-eyed junco; plan your next trip to Taos with our guide on memorable places to stay.

61 Su Cocina Vegetarian and vegan food truly can be comfort food, as The Acre restaurant’s Chef Shawn Weed ably demonstrates. Learn how to understand the finer points of a wine label from resident expert James Selby.

76 Su Libro 80 Adios A Santa Fe artist’s courtyard exudes a multi-cultural sort of zen.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Courtesy Sukhmani Home

Does your home feed your soul? It should. And your dog’s soul, too.

Southwest Homes

inspiration ideas resources

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Whether you’re buying your dream home or building it, Waterstone Mortgage has all the tools you need to achieve your homeownership dreams.

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Hom e Bu il de rs As s o c iation of Ce nt ra l Ne w Mexico B oa r d of Dire c tors

President: Kevin Patton First Vice President: Mackenzie Bishop Second Vice President: Jenice Eades Immediate Past President: Mike Fietz Associate Vice President: Antionete Whittaker Secretary/Treasurer: Jason Balthrop Associate-at-Large: Diane Huerta Education Committee, Chair: Danielle Fleming Parade Committee, Chair: Paul Wymer Production Builders Council, Chair: Carey Plant Membership Committee, Chair: Mikayla Padilla Sales & Marketing Council, Chair: Wade Messenger Green Build Council: Melinda Bowen Custom Builders Council: Scott Schiabor Builder at Large: Tonya Buxton Advisory Members: Jack Eichorn, Jim Rogers Jr. Honorary Members: Dr. Susan Bogus Halter Hom e Bu il de rs As s o c iation of Ce nt ra l Ne w Mexico St a f f

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Inside Su Casa

Welcome to the Winter Issue of Su Casa


ur winter edition centers around two remodeled homes, one rebuilt from the studs and one completely torn down and rebuilt from scratch— fitting metaphors for the new beginning we all need as we close out 2020 and look forward to 2021. This issue of Su Casa Magazine offers ways to infuse warmth and light into your home and your life, and by extension, into your new year. Professionals provide tips on winter landscape maintenance, brightening your rooms with light-reflecting mirrors, and the selection and care of rugs. So, you can get outside on sunny winter days and enjoy some fresh air, and maybe espy some dark-eyed junco birds, while prepping your garden for spring. Later, warm yourself by the fire with some craft cocoa (and your copy of Su Casa). We’ve provided hearth tools, two books perfectly suited for some quality armchair time, and luxurious sources of warmth, for both the home and the soul. As a salve for that cabin fever, we reconnect with the in-person shopping experience with a review of some locally owned treasures and a tour of Taos’ eclectic lodging options for your next road trip. For foodies, there is a delicious, belly-warming recipe from a vegetarian restaurant that specializes in comfort food, and a wine expert lays out a lesson on reading wine labels for a more confident winebuying experience. It’s all proof that there’s a plentitude of ways to enjoy even the darkest days of winter. We’re all anxious for 2020 to be over. It’s been a tumultuous year. But there is so much for which to be grateful and to look forward to. Let’s make 2021 a better year, starting with this notion— let’s inject optimism into everything we do. With best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,

William P. Lang

Right: The built and the natural intermingle in this modern Corrales courtyard. Read more on page 48.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Amadeus Leitner


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Life+Style Southwest

photograph by Amadeus Leitner

Historic Flair

Though thought to have been built as early as the 1700s, the earliest date of record for Santa Fe’s historic De La Peña house is 1845. Now known as the Applegate Estate, after artist Frank Applegate’s purchase of the property in 1925, the six-bedroom home has seen some famous faces– writer Mary Austin, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, and photographer Ansel Adams all socialized in this salon. French & French Interiors had the opportunity to update the home’s interior and focused on celebrating its origins. Matt French hand painted the kiva fireplace for a modern take on an ancient design. “We wanted to do an updated Santa Fe vibe, honoring the history of the space,” says Heather French. French & French Interiors,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021


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Life+Style Southwest

by Ben Ikenson

Winter Landscape Maintenance keeping the garden healthy for a beautiful spring

For many New Mexicans winter is a time of holidays, home-cooked feasts, and toasty fires glowing in the hearth – a cozy season of indoor retreat. For gardening enthusiasts, however, it may be a restless interruption of outdoor joys. But it shouldn’t be. “One of the delights of living in New Mexico is that we can actually enjoy winter outside,” says Linda Churchill, co-founder of design-build landscape company Green Forward and longtime head gardener for the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. “We do get cold temperatures, but the cold is rarely so bitter for so long that we cannot venture out to enjoy the crisp air and crystal blue skies of our enchanted winter land.” According to Churchill, winter is an ideal time to ensure your garden arrives at spring’s doorstep ready to thrive. Her top suggestion– watering. “Particularly after a long, warm autumn such as we’ve had this year, it’s important to keep enough moisture in the soil for the roots of your plants that will continue to grow through early winter,” says Churchill. “This is especially important for plants planted within the past year, since their root systems are still small and have less of an underground network to support them.” Noting that New Mexicans should be conscientious about water usage in our desert climate, Churchill suggests watering once weekly in early November, then once every 10 to 14 days in late November and 24

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Top: Winter is a good time to prune woody plants. Above: Leave fallen pine needles on the ground through winter, as a protective mulch.

Courtesy Yellowstone Landscape

“One of the delights of living in New Mexico is that we can actually enjoy winter outside.” — Linda Churchill, co-founder of Green Forward

Above: Though snow brings moisture, it’s not enough to rely on for winter watering. Right: Even in winter there are ways to enjoy and care for your garden.

December; modified as necessary based on the plants, their location and the weather. But, she says, “when you do water, soak deeply so the water can penetrate to the roots.” Continue watering regularly through the winter, thoroughly soaking root systems every two to four weeks, “unless we have a heavy, wet snow around the time you’d water,” Churchill advises. “But don’t depend on snowfall to provide enough moisture.” Also, to avoid overwatering while the ground is frozen, “wait until the soil thaws enough for water to penetrate.” Fertilizing is another important consideration, and Churchill suggests having a soil test to determine the correct balance of beneficial minerals needed; though without one, there are some good general dry fertilizer products available (Yum Yum; Kelp Meal). Late winter is often an ideal time for pruning most woody plants. Churchill recommends taking advantage of gardening classes offered by your county’s extension services and master gardening programs, or by the Botanical Gardens in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, either in person or online. Another important consideration during the winter months is debris accumulation. “Mother nature created falling leaves with the intent of improving soils and retaining moisture,” explains Beth Adams, an Albuquerque site manager for Yellowstone Landscape who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. “A blanket of leaves or pine needles SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


“Take photos. Keep a journal. What worked and what didn’t?” — Beth Adams, Yellowstone Landscape

can be effective mulch through winter, insulating against the cold, then slowly decomposing to better support our native soil.” However, this natural debris accumulation can also harbor overwintering pests and disease and is often less than favorable when it amasses over fabric, which inhibits natural decomposition. “If you elect to remove the leafy debris accumulation, contributing it to a healthy compost pile may be the ticket for active gardeners,” says Adams. Another constructive winter activity, Adams suggests, is to reflect, ponder and imagine. “Take photos. Keep a journal. What worked and what didn’t? How do you want to utilize your outdoor space?” The possibilities are countless, Adams offers. “Theme gardening might include a Shakespearean collection of plants, or heirloom apple trees. Children’s gardening can be rewarding. Do you want to attract hummingbirds and butterflies? Need room for a horseshoe pit or spaces to entertain? Natural privacy screens? Ambient sound from a water feature? Lighting, fragrance, color, sculpture, art display – all can be significant considerations in your plans.” “Above all,” says Adams, “Have fun with it!”

resources Green Forward Yellowstone Landscape

Life+Style Southwest

by Jessa Cast

Warmth in Winter

Delightful ways to defrost

Courtesy RH

Temperatures have dropped, days are short, and Jack Frost is taptap-tapping at the window in an attempt to chill our bones. Just as wintry weather is a part of the season, so are its toasty antidotes. Whether it’s to warm the room or warm the soul, there are charming ways to ward off that winter chill. Snuggling in front of the fireplace is a classic way to thaw out, but we also love these options, at turns elegant, cuddly, and artisanal.

Courtesy Hatch Chile Store

RH Vintage Velvet Drapery

Hatch Chile Store Traditional Sandia Ristra

There are products that provide warmth, and then there are those that really bring the heat. Hand-made Hatch Chile ristras, in that iconic hot red color, come in six lengths, from six inches to three feet. They may be “treated” to preserve color and shine (and are not then edible). But untreated ristras are the ultimate winter food-décor combo, as they can be used at any time to make your favorite red chile sauce, a true winter staple. Prices vary, Hatch Chile Store,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Courtesy Hive & Home

Hive & Home Hand Poured Candle

Nothing warms a space visually like a candle. Scented or unscented, a steady little flame flickering away infuses a room with a sense of comfort and peace. These 100% soy wax candles are poured upon order, into hand-carved, rustic wood bowls. Individual characteristics in the wood ensure each bowl is one of a kind, and it can be repurposed, or you can buy a candle refill kit. There are a variety of sizes, but we favor this long, six-wick version. $49.99, Hive & Home,

Not only do heavy curtains help trap heat in a room and keep the cold from seeping past the windows, but the luster of heavy velvet lends a room that luxurious ambiance. Woven by a family-owned company that has specialized in velvet for two centuries, these velvet draperies imbue vintage opulence. Available lined or unlined, in thirteen rich colors and a variety of sizes, there’s a perfect option for any home. Prices vary, RH,

Kakawa Chocolates Chocolate Elixirs

Natural Body Comfort Rice/Flaxseed Heating Pad Set

Let warmth seep into cold bones with a microwaveable (or freezable, in summer) set of rice and flaxseed heating pads. Handmade in a variety of fabric patterns and colors, this gift set includes a neck wrap to warm the neck and shoulders, an eye pillow, and a general use heating pad. A spritz of scented essential oil adds an extra bit of ahhhhhhhhh. Each pad can be purchased separately as well. $59.95, Natural Body Comfort,

Courtesy Natural Body Comfort

Garnet Hill Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® Washable Blanket

Wool blankets are a ubiquitous winter classic, known for wicking, warmth and durability. Made in Oregon, these Pendleton blankets come in Twin, Queen and King sizes and a handsome selection of colors and patterns. The best part? They’re machine washable. Use one as a throw blanket or layer one under your comforter. Pendleton is known for quality, so while these are as decorative as they are useful, they will also last a lifetime. $169-299, Garnet Hill,

Garnet Hill

Courtesy Kakawa Chocolates

Santa Fe’s Kakawa Chocolates offers an enticing array of artisanal hot cocoa-type drinks called Elixirs. Enjoy a belly-warming cup of crafted liquid chocolate while sitting by the fireplace. A variety of regional flavors are available– the barely sweetened but spicy Mesoamerican flavors, the sweeter and more floral Historic European flavors, and the modern flavor bases of the Contemporary line of elixirs including delicacies such as chai and coconut hibiscus. These gourmet nectars are great for kids, can be tippled for adults, and make fantastic host or holiday gifts. $14.99, Kakawa Chocolates,



Life+Style Southwest

by Catherine Adams

A Winter Flame

Courtesy The Firebird

The Hearth is Where the Heart Is

Going back to the earliest forms of houses, the hearth has always been the nucleus of the home. It’s the spot from which heat and light emanate, a safe and welcoming gathering point. It evokes a primal sentiment in people, drawing them to its warmth and to each other. “Anthropologically, fireplaces have been the center of the home since the beginning of time,” agrees Jim Lyle, owner of Mountain West Sales in Albuquerque. “We have a deep connection to them.” There’s no end to the types of fireplaces available. There are wall hung, see-through, bricked-in and standalone versions—contemporary, ornate, traditional and regional. In New Mexico the regional is best represented by the kiva. “The kiva is still very popular,” Lyle says. “There’s nothing like it in terms of a regional fireplace. It has represented authentic New Mexico style for hundreds of years. But kivas are harder to make energy efficient.” So, Mountain West Sales offers a prefabricated kiva of modular masonry that utilizes gas, reducing costs while preserving the look and functionality.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Left: Free-standing fireplaces are a unique option in homes without built-in fireplaces.

Courtesy The Firebird

Turning up the Heat An efficient fuel source is indeed a consideration today. Modern fireplaces and stoves run on wood, electricity, pellets, or the universal favorite, gas. “Many people are converting wood fireplaces into gas,” says David

Above: Gas fireplaces can be just as ambient as woodburning fires, without all the hassle of sweeping up ash.

. Hearth tools can be as decorative as they are useful. This wood stacker, made by The Iron Anvil, certainly does both.

Courtesy Mountain West Sales

Courtesy The Iron Anvil

Instead of a mantel, this fireplace has a built-in bench for warming up fireside.

Courtesy Mountain West Sales

“...fireplaces have been the center of the home since the beginning of time.” — Jim Lyle, owner of Mountain West Sales

Fireplaces can be custom made to suit any home, and draw architectural interest.



Courtesy The Iron Anvil

Life+Style Southwest

“Many people are converting wood fireplaces into gas.” — David Rentfrow,

Courtesy Mountain West Sales

owner of The Firebird

Above, top: Not just attractive, fireplace screens protect rugs and furnishings from flying embers. Above: Floor-to-ceiling stone and a thick wood mantel give this fireplace a timeless presence.

A more traditionally styled fireplace, or woodburning “stove”, lends rustic charm as well as warmth.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Courtesy The Firebird


Rentfrow, owner of The Firebird in Santa Fe. A drafty woodburning fireplace is easily transformed into an efficient heat source with a gas insert. “And when it comes time to replace an old woodburning stove, they switch it out with a gas one. A sealed stove or fireplace that runs on gas is about 85 percent efficient. A sealed wood insert is about 75 percent efficient.” Those percentages drop to around 30 percent when a fireplace insert is unsealed, or open. An old, open, woodburning fireplace is around 10 percent efficient. The Matter of Ambiance There’s nothing like the sound and smell of an open, piñon or cedar fire crackling. “The truth is, people want the fireplace but not all the work,” Lyle says, referring to the chore of cleaning out the ashes after a wood fire. “You can do a lot of things with gas you can’t do with wood. You can’t inset an eight-foot-wide woodburning fireplace into a wall.” Plus, with all the different log inserts available you can customize the flame to your satisfaction. Another way to add ambiance to the hearth is through accompanying accoutrements like grates, screens, mantels, and surrounds. Enter blacksmith Jeremy Hedrick, co-owner of The Iron Anvil in Albuquerque. He practices the waning tradition of old world blacksmithing where everything is handcrafted from iron that’s heated, hammered, forged and shaped into signature works of art. “We’re keeping real blacksmithing alive,” Hedrick says. “People are tired of low quality, mass produced products.” Even people with artificial fireplaces order his screens, log racks, and tool sets, preferring their authentic look to those sold in stores. “People buy them because they want to stand them on the hearth like sculpture.” Whether it’s gas- or wood-fueled, the hearth is an inviting place to gather, to absorb warmth, and to watch the flames dance. No matter the size or style of a home, there’s a fireplace option for everyone.


resources Mountain West Sales The Firebird The Iron Anvil




Design Studio

by Catherine Adams

Reflections of Light Courtesy Howard Elliott

Artful mirrors chase away winter gloom

Outsized, freestanding mirrors can serve as the centerpiece to a room.

Mirrors started out as a utilitarian way to see and groom ourselves, hanging above bathroom sinks, full length upon bedroom walls, or in entryways for that quick doublecheck before leaving the house. “Today, mirrors are a designer’s best friend,” says Patti Stivers of Stivers & Smith Interiors in Santa Fe. “It is astounding how the addition of mirrors can transform a space and there’s a myriad of ways that mirrors can be used.” Mirrors enliven a space by redirecting light and inviting you in. They can move you, literally, through their powers of reflection, enticing you to meander through the house. But how and where mirrors are used makes all the difference and deserves thoughtful consideration. Their reflective powers are wasted when merely echoing a white wall or the tangled cords behind a television.

Courtesy Uttermost

Placement is key


A smaller mirror in a wide, shimmery frame casts a warm glow..

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

“You don’t just stick a mirror on the wall to fill an empty space,” says Dana Stringer of Dana Stringer Interiors in Albuquerque. “It’s important to consider what the mirror is reflecting. Especially when there’s a million-dollar view outside!” A mirror can also serve as a focal point, drawing the eye to itself, establishing a sense of order. “Sometimes I

Courtesy Howard Elliott

A large mirror with a delicate frame opens up the corner of a room.

“Sometimes I stand a huge mirror right on the floor where it takes center stage.” — Catherine Gammon stand a huge mirror right on the floor where it takes center stage,” says Catherine Gammon of Catherine’s Custom Interiors in Santa Fe. In an open floor plan, this can delineate a distinction. “By reflecting the living room furniture, it visually reinforces that this room is the living room.” Mirrors can also reflect personal and regional styles by the nature of their frames—a driftwood frame for the beach house, a barnwood frame for the ranch house, a Victorian frame for the country house, a minimalistic frame for the penthouse. Territorial and Southwestern styles are popular around New Mexico, so Artesanos Imports Co. of Santa Fe features mirrors framed in copper, pewter, tile and tin. “All of our mirrors are handmade and oneof-a-kind,” says Fernando Gomez, who now owns Artesanos, the family business. “We can also customize a mirror if you see one you like but it’s the wrong size. If you couple a mirror with a matching light fixture, like in the bathroom, it changes the whole room. It’s a costeffective way to make a big difference.”

Brightening up winter

Mirrors can brighten up the winter months by infusing shorter days with more light, especially

Courtesy Patti Stivers

A matter of style

when candles, lamps, and fireplaces, flicker and glow within their reflection. Should cabin fever start to set in, mirrors can lend a sense of depth to small spaces. People even say they add energy. “In Feng Shui we use mirrors as they embody the element of water, which is formless and takes the shape of the container it is in, and they invite energy into your space,” Stivers says. When someone asked her, as an interior designer, what element she’d like to be in a room, she said: “An old, beautiful, vintage mirror hung in a fabulous place that has been taking in and reflecting everything in that space for many years—oh, what stories I could tell!”

Above: A multi-panel mirror breaks up the reflection, adding visual interest.

resources Artesanos Imports Co. Catherine’s Custom Interiors Dana Stringer Interiors Stivers & Smith Interiors



Design Studio

by Molly Therese Bell

All About Rugs

Versatility and warmth for the floor or the wall

For many people, flooring is the single most impactful element of a room’s design. Beautiful floors can be elevated—or less-than-beautiful floors disguised—with a rug. Rugs add texture, color, and warmth to a home. They define pathways, anchor furnishings, delineate zones, and when thoughtfully chosen, can be the cohesive component that ties the décor together. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an area rug.

Above: Harmonize a room by tying colors or patterns of décor to the rug.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Courtesy The Rugman of Santa Fe

Right: Designed by Erbil Tezcan, this colorful woolsilk-blend rug was handmade in Nepal..

Selecting a Rug Aside from obvious factors—your style, budget, the scale of your room—you might also consider the rug’s textile and construction methods: do you prefer a plush pile or a flat-weave rug? Durability and ease of care matter as well (especially if you have kids and/or pets). Ercan Nalkiran, owner of The Rugman of Santa Fe, carries a variety of rugs, both old and new, from around the world. In knotted rugs, as with Turkish or Persian rugs, KPI, or knots per square inch, is key. “The density of knots is reflected in the durability of a rug,” Nalkiran advises. “The tighter the knots, the stronger and more long-lasting the rug”. For most people the range of options and considerations when buying a rug is overwhelming.

Rugs add texture, color, and warmth to a home.

Rugs come in a limitless variety of colors, textures, and patterns. Change the look of an entire room just by adding a rug.

The more you know, the better your choice. Turning to a professional for guidance can make the selection process easier.

Proper Rug Care Once you’ve invested in a rug, how do you make it last? Michael Rose, owner of One World Rug Care in Albuquerque, says there’s no need to clean a rug too frequently. “Unless there’s an accident—dog urine, for example—it’s only necessary to clean a rug every three to five years,” he says. However, Rose does suggest that rugs should be professionally dusted annually. “Professional dusting is a process that gently loosens and removes abrasive grit found deep in the rug’s fibers,” he says. “The process can leave the rug looking as though it’s been thoroughly cleaned.” According to Rose, “rug dusting also gives us the opportunity to rotate the rug for more even wear, and to mitigate the risk of moth infestation.” Rose recommends investing in the finest wool rug you can afford. Why wool? If cared for properly, wool will maintain a good appearance for generations. It has exceptional resilience in high-traffic areas and is naturally

One World Rug Care

Rugs as Heirlooms Rugs aren’t just utilitarian; they can be collectible investments. A fine handcrafted rug is a work of art in its own right and can be as lovely on a wall as on a floor. For generations, Navajo weavers have woven cultural heritage and vivid New Mexico landscapes into their rugs. Carl Buckland, Navajo rug collector and dealer, encourages everyone to visit one of the various New Mexico trading posts to better understand the context and significance of these extraordinary artifacts. “I look at Navajo Rugs very much as an unmatched artform, rather than as a craft,” Buckland says. These regional treasures, both valuable and beautiful, can be enjoyed and handed down for generations.

soil-resistant. Additionally, it has superb insulating qualities and is luxuriously soft and warm underfoot. No matter what type of rug you choose, be sure to use a rug pad that is compatible with both the rug and the flooring below. With proper care, your rug investment may be enjoyed for many years to come.

resources Carl Buckland One World Rug Care The Rugman of Santa Fe SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Preservation with Personality stewarding a historic home for the future


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

by Jessa Cast

photographs by Daniel Nadelbach


he first thing one notices upon entering this newly remodeled, historic Santa Fe home is that it doesn’t look newly remodeled. Fresh and bright, yes. Clean and well maintained, certainly. But the ambiance is that of a painstakingly preserved, centuryold home with unspoiled details, from bricks to vigas. That most of those details are indeed brand new is a well-executed trick carried out by the professionals who were hired to do exactly that. The couple that bought it had been searching for a truly Santa Fean home, but homes were selling as quickly as they were listed. They experienced a case of Murphy’s Law when, while traveling overseas, they got the call about this home. Not willing to risk losing it, they bought it, sight unseen. When they arrived a week later, it was apparent “we’d taken a leap of faith, not knowing what we were going to see.” They could grasp its potential and were willing to make the necessary updates but would soon learn just how much work it needed.

Time is celebrated here, as are the signs of wear it leaves in its path– a faded slab of wood flooring, a door that’s beautifully out of square. First, they brought in Douglas Maahs, owner of DMC/D Maahs Construction, his Senior Project Manager, David Paul, interior designer Catherine Gammon of Catherine’s Custom Interiors, and Melissa and Scott Coleman of La Puerta Originals, Inc, a trio of companies with experience collaborating together. Their charge was to remodel the home while preserving its roots. “The [homeownIron door handles and bolts tie in to the overall antiqued quality of this home. Mixed woods, brick floors, and lots of natural light feel welcoming.



The sunny, comfortable casita exhibits Gammon’s deft mix of patterns and colors.

“We want it to feel like this place has just aged beautifully.” — Douglas Maahs, Owner of DMC/D Maahs Construction

Below: Now gas-burning, the fireplace box is original to the home. Thick, rounded adobe walls feel simultaneously substantial and cozy.


Above: A monochromatic base of cream colors offsets the ruddy highlights in the bricks, rug, hood, and backsplash.

ers] were adamant about keeping it historically correct,” says Paul. As with many historic homes in New Mexico, this one was built room by room over many decades. The original two rooms are thought to have originated in the 1870s. The late 1920s brought a kitchen and bathroom addition, and it grew in the following decades. While on the historic register, this Territorial style home, with adobe walls, a flat roof and brick coping, certainly wasn’t in the best condition. “There were floor joists not connected to anything, just sitting in the dirt,” says Paul. The more they looked, the more they discovered. “In a building this age, hidden conditions are just everywhere. You don’t know what you’re going to run into when you open it up,” says Maahs. The remodel would be extensive. “No surface in that structure was untouched.” Floors were rebuilt, spaces reallocated, the electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and roof were completely replaced, and new ceilings installed. Additionally, expanding a couple of walls required obtaining approval from the Historic District Review Board, which took several iterations. Truly, this was a labor of love, as it would have been

A large painting of Geronimo holds court over the dining room.



“One of my goals when I work is to leave all the imperfections that we can from the old, so that we are acknowledging its provenance.” — Catherine Gammon, Owner of Catherine’s Custom Interiors

Above: Doors covered in a woven textile hide a full-length mirror in the casita. Right: A gas fireplace warms the master bedroom, which gained six feet of length in the remodel.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

The clawfoot tub and vintage-look fixtures make taking a bath here feel like a step back in time.

simpler and less expensive to just build a new home from scratch. The team did a beautiful job of making the new version of the home look, well…..not new. Now a two-bedroom, 2,755-square-foot home with a separate casita and roomy double garage, everything has an aged feeling to it. “That’s what we hope for,” says Gammon, “to acknowledge the architecture and the history.” The mix of materials, natural light, and the layout produce a space that feels inviting, invigorated, but palpably mellow and comfortable. As repeat visitors to Morocco, the homeowners hoped to spice their home with a blend of both Santa Fe and Marrakesh influence. So, Gammon doled out patterns, textures, and colors for a distinctive and multi-ethnic flavor. Handmade rugs and vignettes of bright pillows pop against American Clay walls, Tabarka tile, and wood and brick floors. Every room bears larger-than-life artwork, including an intensely gazing Geronimo in the dining room and a very tongue-in-cheek painting of a hitchhiking cow in the guest room.

Left: A sculpture of ravens greets visitors upon arrival to the casita.



Above: Stone walls give this formerly sloped yard more defined topography. Right: A rattan umbrella provides dappled shade.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Most of the doors, all of the cabinetry, and even some of the furnishings are made of timeworn wood, from La Puerta Originals. “We take reclaimed wood and antique material and make new product out of it, something truly authentic and timeless,” says Melissa Coleman. For the courtyard, or terracita, La Puerta crafted a wood and metal, double-layer gate that echoes those seen in Marrakesh and looks like it could have been shipped here one hundred years ago. These venerable elements, adjacent to classically rounded adobe walls, really cement that aged effect. Time is celebrated here, as are the signs of wear it leaves in its path—a faded slab of wood flooring, a door that’s beautifully out of square. “One of my goals when I work is to leave all the imperfections that we can from the old, so that we are acknowledging its provenance,” says Gammon, who refers to the variety of rooms here as “levels of history”. Suffice it to say, the goal has been achieved—a

The attractive ironwork in this gate is not just decorative; it allows the residents and their dogs to enjoy visibility beyond their yard without sacrificing security.



Their charge was to remodel the home while preserving its roots.

historic home, reinvigorated and modernized though it is, is preserved. “Our motto as a remodeler has always been ‘make it look like it never happened’,” says Maahs. “We want it to feel like this place has just aged beautifully.” The entire team is happy with the outcome, not least of all, the homeowners. Now they’re elated at making that leap of faith, buying the property without the benefit of seeing it in person first. It’s exactly what they wanted. Plus, on any given morning, coffee in hand, they can step outside and admire the not-solittle lagniappe that came with the property……the oldest apricot tree in Santa Fe, massive enough to fit a table and chairs underneath, standing witness to it all.

Above: Outdoor spaces feel room-like with layered décor in muted hues.

The oldest apricot tree in Santa Fe is so immense the homeowners could host a tea party beneath its branches.


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resources Remodeler/Contractor DMC/D Maahs Construction Interior Designer Catherine’s Custom Interiors Appliances Builders Source Appliance Gallery Audio/Visual System, Smart Home System Santa Fe Home Tech Cabinetry, Gates, Doors, Range Hood La Puerta Originals Countertops Counter Intelligence Custom Painting Pamela Platt Studio Fixtures, Sinks, Tub Santa Fe by Design Landscaping Green Forward DryStone Joe The French Gardener Lighting Firefly Lighting Metal Work Santa Fe Metal Visions Tile Flooring & Backsplash Statements in Tile/Lighting/Kitchens/ Flooring Wall Finishes American Clay Kathy Brennan/Applicator Wood Flooring McAdams & Sons

Showroom Open! M-F | 8a - 5p Thank you for keeping it Local New Mexico!

3700 Rutledge Rd NE, Suite A | Albuquerque, NM 87109 | 505.938.3125 | SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Naturally Modern in Corrales for love of location a couple tears it all down and rebuilds from scratch


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

by Ben Ikenson photographs by Amadeus Leitner


ften with contemporary architecture, the spaces produced can feel impersonal, cold, sterile, museumlike. Such is not the case with Lisa and Todd Kruger’s new home, a palatial, contemporary masterpiece set on nearly two lush acres with stately, 120-year-old cottonwood trees in the idyllic community of Corrales, near the banks of the Rio Grande. “I think we did a nice job of contrasting the beautiful natural surroundings with a modern but very warm and welcoming home,” says Lisa, who, along with her husband, was closely involved in the design and materials selection processes. “And we feel blessed to be able to enjoy our beautiful surroundings in the home of our dreams.”

“We wanted something more modern and open.” — Todd Kruger

Clerestory windows help “float” the ceiling. With the sliding doors open, the living room and backyard become a unified, flowing space.

In 2006, Todd, an unmarried real estate broker at the time, purchased the property and the 3,000-square-foot, traditional ranch style home that had been there since it was built in the 1950s. “Having been raised in Nebraska, he loved the grass and trees, so his first priority was cleaning up and redoing the yard,” says Lisa, who herself grew up on a sprawling cattle ranch in south central New Mexico. Lisa and Todd met in Albuquerque in 2010 and were married the following year. “After our son Preston was born in 2013, the 1950s closed-concept block home no longer met our needs and we started looking to move,” says Todd. “We wanted something more modern and open.” The couple found a place with beautiful views of the Sandia Mountains overlooking the Rio Grande in an upscale subdivision on Albuquerque’s West Side. They put their Corrales home on the market for just one day before deciding, “there was no place better for us than our current location, so we took it off the market.” The Krugers, who own a real estate investment company that specializes in flipping homes, consulted with a builder they’d worked with in the past SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The ceiling and wall maintain interesting profiles with inset and outset details that add dimension.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Sleek lines and symmetry make even the butler’s pantry a guest-worthy space.

on remodeling their Corrales home. “The place had been remodeled so many times in the past,” says Todd, “and he eventually helped us realize it would cost just as much to simply start over, from scratch.” So, in February of 2018, the old home was demolished and the next 13 months were devoted to the design and construction of a new home. Because the old home had been level with the irrigation ditch behind the property, the new homesite had to be built up four feet to avoid potential flooding, requiring more than 170 semi-truck loads of rock and dirt fill. With initial conceptual support by veteran architect Ron Montoya and his grandson Michael and general contracting by Andrew Tricarico, of Tricarico Builders, the Krugers were closely involved throughout the entire undertaking. “It was a very hands-on process for every detail, both seen and unseen,” says Lisa. “But perhaps one of the most memorable parts was having our church friends over during the framing stage to write Bible verses on the studs and slab.” Upon the project’s completion they had their dream home – a modern, 5,600 square-foot, solar-powered abode with three bedrooms, each en suite, a self-contained casita and a home gym with hot tub and sauna. Indeed, a resort-like retreat with plenty of open space, soaring ceilings and natural light, the home welcomes visitors with an expansive and luxurious covered outdoor living area overlooking the lush grounds and old cottonwood trees, an ideal setting for large parties or intimate gatherings. Inside, the home is divided into two wings that partially enclose a rear courtyard. One includes a spacious office and the casita – a guest quarters with its own kitchen and living room. The other wing includes the master suite which connects to the home gym and spa, a bedroom and adjoining playroom for the Kruger’s son, a semi-open living room with 18-foot ceiling, and a kitchen and dining area, with access to a concealed, fully-functional butler’s pantry. Throughout, the flooring consists of giant two-by-four-foot slabs of weathered-looking porcelain tile that extends through the entirety of the home, totaling some 8,000 square feet that seamlessly connect the outside with the inside. “My biggest concern when building was maximizing the beauty of the views and creating indoor-

The expansive yard beckons seated guests to go for a casual, conversational stroll.



Left: Minimal furnishings in the bedroom put the focus on restful enjoyment of the stunning views.

outdoor settings to actually extend the living spaces,” says Tricarico, who is also a personal friend of the Krugers. “In Todd and Lisa’s home, you see this with the wrap-around front outdoor living area as well as the fountain and garden in the courtyard.” The orientation of the home and the massive eight-by-ten-foot windows certainly do capitalize on the views of the property and the venerable cottonwoods, as does the ten-foothigh, multi-slide corner door system that opens to the spacious patio. “We knew we wanted large spaces for entertaining, inside and out, as well as lots of windows and skylights for natural light,” says Lisa. While the massive windows flood the home with sunlight and furnish commanding views outside, what warms the spaces within is a combination of materials and muted earth tones. All the ceilings and walls, for instance, are finished with a natural clay plaster, which provide a soft counterbalance to the interior’s clean geometry. In the kitchen, the countertops and island are comprised of leathered Taj Majal quartz; the dining area is adorned by a wall of decorative leaf-themed mosaic tilework; and throughout the home, matching walnut veneer built-in 52

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A sparkling chandelier dresses up the sleek, subdued bathroom.

Dual, lit vanity mirrors mounted at right angles double up on reflecting light. A tall window provides a serene view for bath time. Below: This home gym, awash in sunlight, provides ample space for a variety of workout options.

“...there was no place better for us than our current location.” — Todd Kruger



Concrete pads in mixed shapes make for easy passage while preserving space for live greenery.


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Whether entertaining or enjoying a night in alone, the Krugers have comfortable seating options in every area.

A fountain makes the casita feel as relaxing as it is elegant.



A spacious backyard allows the Krugers to entertain outdoors as comfortably as indoors, or both combined.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

closets, floating nightstands and vanities all bring a sleek-yet-rustic, almost Scandinavian, touch. The Krugers have been living in the place now for 18 months and couldn’t be more pleased. “It was all worth it,” says Lisa. “When we’re asked what we like best about [the home], we often answer ‘everything.’”

resources Builder/Contractor Tricarico Custom Build Architect Ron Montoya Design Inc. Appliances Builder’s Source Appliance Gallery Buffet Tile Floorscapes Cabinetry, Built-ins, Closets, Nightstands, Range Hood Ultimate Custom Cabinets Countertops El Desierto Granite & Marble Doors, Sliding Window Wall Santa Fe Door Fireplaces Mountain West Sales Fixtures, Sinks, Tub Ferguson Flooring Emser Tile Landscaping Steve Shelly Landscapes Tongue & Groove Patio Ceiling Wood Moulding Specialties Wall Finishes Solamente Natural Plaster Windows Andersen Windows/Chaparral Materials, Storefront Specialties & Glazing SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Michaela Hart

Left: Groups of items overlap, showing how separate products can accentuate one another. Courtesy Sarabande Home

Below: Prints and patterns are deftly intermingled.

Courtesy Sarabande Home

Shop Local, Shop the World Reconnect with the joys of shopping Shopping locally can mean popping out to a neighborhood store, day-tripping to nearby historic towns or even a retail therapy weekend at the other end of the state. It’s immensely satisfying to meet merchants personally, ask questions, and take treasures straight out to the car. Shopping locally equals instant gratification! At Albuquerque’s The Grey Heron, owner Kayla Miller says, “Our business is focused on interacting with our customers and local artists.” Her store inventory is decidedly European and coolly French country. Tabletop pieces by talented potter Sharon Caristo’s Birdsong Pottery offer smooth, neutral glazes and rounded shapes, blending perfectly with the sophisticated décor. Part of The Grey Heron’s customer experience is painting classes, using chalk paint techniques. Many of the tables, chairs, and side pieces are painted by the owner herself, in subdued grays, creams and matte black. Miller offers customers interior design advice, personal curbside sales as well as delivery. “We want customers to feel at home and uplifted, inspired when they come in,” she says. Also in Albuquerque, Nancy Klion’s Sarabande Home is on Rio Grande Boulevard. The towering cottonwoods and adobe compounds lining the street are an inviting prelude to Klion’s chic shop with a Mediterranean/Southwestern vibe. Flocks of French ceramic Guinea fowl peck among handwoven linens and sparkling crystal goblets. Wooden kitchen tools are piled in rustic baskets; whimsical toys and children’s clothes line one wall. Amid this historic neighborhood, Sarabande customers encounter the unique, the useful and the unexpected, all in one friendly place. 58

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“We want customers to feel at home and uplifted, inspired when they come in.” –– Kayla Miller, owner of The Grey Heron

Above and right: The Grey Heron’s interior and products are a bit French, a bit rustic, and entirely chic.

Courtesy The Grey Heron

Courtesy The Grey Heron

The Khalsa family, owners of Sukhmani Home (one store in Santa Fe and another in Albuquerque) travel to select the choicest textiles, furniture and artifacts from Asia, South America and Mexico. Sukhmani shoppers walk in to find, literally, continents at their fingertips. Hangings, velvet pillows, ornate mirrors, bronze statuary--the exotic display is breathtaking. Even the candles are special, using no animal products. As a companion feature to Sukhmani interior design services, purchases may be taken home “on approval.” Customers can see their purchases in place and return them if necessary, with no obligation. Array Home, not far from Santa Fe’s Plaza is a well-known shopping mecca. “Our merchandise is here to touch, examine, satisfy our need for tactile experiences,” says owner Tom Stark. The big, airy Array space holds tabletop and bath delights, fluffy towels, terry spa robes, greeting cards and stationery, kitchen textiles, piles of pillows, cocktail napkins, scented candles and more. Soft, handwoven scarves mound one table and the next is overflowing with luxurious soaps and lotions. The jewelry case, filled with handmade artisan jewelry, includes Peggy Lee Baker’s pieces, whose signature touch is glittering pave diamonds.



Vida Buena

Courtesy Sukhmani Home

Sukhmani Home textiles and artifacts are sourced from the owners’ travels to far-flung places.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

Courtesy Array Home

Every treasure is carefully chosen to fit the Array customer’s expectation of high esthetics and exceptional quality. New Mexico stores are packed with merchandise and customer service is at an all-time high. Curbside sales, appointments, and virtual store tours help customers stay safe. No waiting, no mistakes, no freight to pay. From local crafts, to exotic furniture, textiles, art, and tabletop dÊcor, there has never been more to choose from. In New Mexico, the world is yours to shop.

Courtesy Array Home

Artisan-crafted kitchenware in an array of beautiful woods makes for an inviting display.

resources Array Home Sarabande Home Sukhmani Home The Grey Heron Candle holders and hurricanes come in a variety of sizes, sure to suit all kinds of tastes.



TRANSFORMING THE HOME Fine Cabinetry • Renovations

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Making your life a little brighter.

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Bright Ideas, Inc. SHOWROOM HOURS Monday thru Friday – 9am-5pm Saturday 10am-2pm 62

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Located at 121 Eubank Blvd NE • Albuquerque, NM 87123

505-296-4393 •

Su Cocina

by Jessa Cast

Comfort Food

a chef makes vegetarian food everyone enjoys

Chef Shawn Weed built the restaurant tables himself.

Courtesy The Acre

One doesn’t need to be a vegetarian to thoroughly enjoy vegetarian meals. Eating a few meatless meals per week would go a long way to lower our carbon footprint and our cholesterol. But carnivores’ acceptance of vegetarian dishes as the main course, and eating meat less frequently, has been a slow revolution. Chef Shawn Weed, owner of The Acre restaurant in Albuquerque, aims to encourage meat-eaters to enjoy a plant-based diet more often……and with more enjoyment. “My whole life vegetarian dining was inaccessible [to meat eaters],” says Weed, describing the disconnect between what carnivores think vegetarian food is (boring veggies, lacking meat) and just how satisfying it can really be. He saw an opportunity to bridge that gap. Why couldn’t vegetarian food appeal to and satisfy everyone? It just needed to be more inviting, especially for folks not seeking a solely plant-based diet. The answer? Good old-fashioned, belly-warming comfort food. Thus, The Acre was born; a restaurant with an entirely plant-based menu, much of it vegan, that strives to entice and gratify all types of eaters, discriminating foodies included. “It’s ‘feel good’ kind of food,” says Weed. The Acre’s menu consists largely of locally sourced ingredients, from greens to green chile. Almost everything is made from scratch, right down to the pickles and salad dressings. There are core menu items, like the ever-popular pancakes, and seasonal offerings, like the toppings for those tasty pancakes.

Diners enjoy an array of vegetarian and vegan comfort food.



Of course, New Mexican cuisine has a place here, with the Breakfast Burrito, blue corn Enchiladas, and the Papa Quesadilla with house-made salsa. Riffs on meat include the Comfort Dog made with marinated braised carrots, the beet, black bean and quinoa Acre Burger, and the crowd-pleasing Cauliflower Wings, complete with traditional wing sauces. Mac and Cheese, perhaps the ultimate comfort food, is one of their best sellers. “Mac and cheese makes everyone’s inner eight-year-old happy,” says Weed, smiling broadly. Since opening in 2017, The Acre has surveyed diners on satisfaction, feedback, and yes, dietary group. Early on, most patrons were strict herbivores, but that’s evolved. As proof that his mission is working, Weed confirms that at last count, 55-60% of his guests were not vegetarians. But they definitely are repeat diners. He has so many regulars, in fact, that he’s fostered a community of guests that greets by name. That sense of community extends to his suppliers, from farmers to bakers to wine distributors. “I got into this business to be part of a community,” he says. That community has shown its love, loud and strong. In 2018 he won in several categories for The Alibi’s Best of Burque and is continuously covered in numerous publications. Most recently, Weed’s extensive, affordable, and totally vegan wine list won the 2020 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. He offers takeout Family Meals for dinners at home, and, never idle, periodically hosts themed, multi-course dining experiences, with or without a wine flight, great for date night. At the heart of his enterprise is what’s best for our health. “I want normal people to eat better,” says Weed. “We should all eat a little greener, a little healthier.”

Butternut Squash, Pinon, and Garlic Cream

Courtesy The Acre

Su Cocina

1 lb of your favorite pasta 2 cups heavy cream (substitute 3 cups oatmilk to make it vegan) ½ cup chardonnay (or vegetable broth if you prefer it alcohol-free) 1 lb cubed butternut squash, roasted 2 oz crumbled blue cheese 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese 3 tsp olive oil 3 cloves of garlic, minced ¼ tsp white pepper ¼ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp Chimayo red chile powder Salt to taste 2 oz Piñon nuts

The Acre Winter Pasta Method Heat a large pot of water to boil the pasta. Follow the directions on the pasta package for timing. While the water is heating for the pasta, heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat. Add the oil and let heat for about 1 minute. Add the roasted butternut squash to the oil and stir so that it does not stick. Add the dry spices to the butternut squash. Stir and cook over medium high, until the squash is heated through. Add the piñon and garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently, reducing heat if it starts to brown. Transfer the squash and garlic from the pan to a bowl. In the same pan used to cook the squash, add the wine to the pan. Be careful as it will splatter. With a wooden spoon, roughly stir the pan, getting all of the spicy bits up off the pan and into the wine. After the wine has come to a boil and reduced by half, add the cream. Heat to boil, then reduce to medium-low. Add the blue cheese and parmesan a little at a time, and whisk as it slowly melts into the cream sauce. If making this dish vegan, add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast instead of the cheeses and keep reducing your sauce until it thickens. When the sauce is nice and thick, reduce the temperature to low, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta when it finishes, then toss the sauce into it, stirring it thoroughly. Top with the butternut squash and piñon mixture and serve hot. Enjoy with some great vegetables and crusty bread. 64

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SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT: | 505.459.1590 | 112 Amherst Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM | 1703 Lena Street, Santa Fe, NM




by James Selby

How to Read a Wine Label Labels are the calling cards of wine. Here are some ABCs in decoding them.

Courtesy Bill Easton

Courtesy Bill Easton

Courtesy Miner Family Winery

AVA (USA), AOC (France), DO (Spain), DOC (Italy, Portugal), QbA or QmP (Germany) are acronyms for each country’s regulatory bureaus, designating climatic and geographic region, as well as quality. Each country has different standards for what’s required. In the United States, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau regulates what goes in a bottle and on the label. Along with a producer name the grape variety is listed, such as chardonnay, merlot, or pinot noir, and 75% of the wine contained must be from that grape; the remainder may be other varieties. Wines using a state name (Oregon or California) or county (Santa Barbara or Sonoma) are allowed if 75% of the grapes come from the named state or county. The balance may be from elsewhere. If an American Viticultural Area (AVA) is listed, it’s held to a higher standard, guaranteeing 85% of the grapes are grown within the specified region. Napa Valley itself is an AVA; within it exist 16 nested AVAs, like Yountville, Mt. Veeder, or Stags Leap District, further refining where the grapes are sourced. “Estate bottled” means the winery grew 100% of the grapes on land it owns or controls,

Different countries have different standards and methods of labeling their wines.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2021

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.

Courtesy Bill Easton

The seemingly cryptic details on a wine bottle label actually define everything from the varietal to the viticultural standard.

and the wine was produced on its premises. This also implies integrity of farming. Grapes in a “single vineyard” wine come wholly from that vineyard. Not every term is an indication of quality. “Reserve” on an American label is not defined, whereas in Spain, “Reserva” certifies strict aging requirements, with a minimum of four years. A “proprietary” wine like “Opus One,” “Insignia,” or “Oracle,” is a fanciful brand name of a winery’s prestigious offering and may be priced accordingly. Keeping a few of these designations in mind will change your next wine shopping trip from a guessing game based on pretty labels to a more knowledgeable, and more satisfying, purchasing experience.



Vida Buena

by Rachel Lorenz

Courtesy Hotel Luna Mystica

Taos Your Way Four exceptional lodging options in the soul of the Southwest

Courtesy Hotel Luna Mystica

With its majestic landscapes, artistic heritage, access to outdoor adventure and laid-back vibe, Taos draws visitors from around New Mexico and the world. But the most memorable trips to Taos start with extraordinary accommodations. Whether funky, homey, historic or upscale, here are a few places that will make your stay unforgettable.

Above: The interiors of the trailers are cozy and sweetly bohemian. Above, top: When viewed collectively, the Hotel Luna Mystica trailers impart the feeling of a stylized neighborhood.


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Nature and nostalgia at Hotel Luna Mystica Twenty-two renovated vintage trailers, situated eight miles from the heart of Taos and surrounded by 360-degree views of the mesa, make up Hotel Luna Mystica. It’s a unique lodging experience that allows visitors to detach from their day-to-day and immerse themselves in the beauty of Taos, says Patrick Nechvatal, general manager and co-owner of the hotel and campground. Guests also get to experience the nostalgia that comes with staying in a hip, mid-century Airstream or Spartan. Each travel trailer features a deck, climate control, bed, bathroom, and a kitchenette complete with coffee roasted by Nechvatal. Start the day watching the sun rise over the Taos mountains and end it at a campfire under the stars. And in between, whether it’s fly fishing, hot air ballooning or taking a dip in a hot spring, there’s plenty of adventure to be had in northern New Mexico.

Courtesy Taos Inn Courtesy Taos Inn

Left: Historic Taos Inn has seen its share of famous writers and artists. Above: The Taos Inn lobby is affectionately nicknamed “the living room of Taos”.

Antiquity and art in Historic Taos Inn Taos’ past — particularly its history as an art destination — is tangible at the Historic Taos Inn. “Staying at the Taos Inn is a step back in time,” says Front Desk Agent Janaý Hair. What is now the lobby was once an open-air plaza and a central well ringed by family homes dating back to the 1800s. The buildings were bought by Taos residents “Doc” and Helen Martin and rented to the writers and artists that flocked to the area at the beginning of the twentieth century. Helen Martin, an artist herself, had the plaza enclosed and the buildings turned into a hotel which opened in 1936. Nicknamed “the living room of Taos,” the boutique inn offers a restaurant, bar and giant kiva fireplace that runs all day in the winter. They have a tradition of displaying art throughout the hotel. Some pieces are featured as part of a partnership with Taos

Courtesy Taos Lodging

Calming casitas from Taos Lodging If a home away from home is your bliss, a casita in Taos Lodging will provide the comfort you crave with the Taos feeling you fancy. Originally built by the Garcia family in the 1940s, the eight little houses with wooden floors and adobe walls are a nod to the culture of Taos. A reminder of who and what the town is, says Celina McFadden, office manager and caretaker of Taos Lodging. Located just off Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos’ main street, guests can explore nearby shops, art galleries and museums. But when ready to get away from the hustle and bustle, it’s just a short walk back to the peaceful, tree-dotted, manicured lawns of the property. “It lowers your blood pressure, staying here,” McFadden says of the quiet compound.

Above: Taos Lodging hosts guests in any of their eight casitas, each one different.



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1:20 PM

The spa at El Monte Sagrado has an organic, almost other-wordly ambiance; a unique place to unwind.








Courtesy El Monte Sagrado


Center for the Arts. Others are the work of local artists. Copies of Helen Martin’s own art can even be found hanging in some of the guest rooms. Four diamond fun at El Monte Sagrado For General Manager Matthew Troche, it’s the details of El Monte Sagrado that continue to astound– the elaborate iron work; the 90-pound citrine crystal hanging in the main entry; the opulent bar, elegant restaurant and extensive wine cellar that promise an extraordinary experience for one’s palate. With 84 guest rooms on 13 acres, the resort offers a variety of luxury lodging options from rooms with private balconies and fireplaces to 1,100-square-foot, globalthemed suites. A natural freshwater system, complete with turtles, koi fish and migratory birds, runs through the lush property. Guests can find rejuvenation with a facial or hot stone massage at the resort’s award-winning, eco-conscious spa. Or soak dreamily under kumquat and banana trees in the salt-water pool and hot tub. Not far from the ski valley and just a quick shuttle ride away from downtown, those vacationing with El Monte Sagrado are well 70

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Courtesy El Monte Sagrado

Above: El Monte Sagrado offers rooms, suites, and casitas for lodging options.

situated for an entertaining visit. “If you’re not coming to Taos to relax or have fun,” Troche says, “then you’ve missed what Taos is all about.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


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Enchanting elegance

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Listing price: $1,100,000 Contact: Lisa Spina, 505-718-4980/505-515-1719 The Maez Group,


"No project too big, No project too small"

This .5-acre property in the West Highlands at High Desert has mountain views to die for. A spacious 4,850 square foot floorplan includes four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, two living areas, and a home theater. Outfitted with hardwood floors, lofty ceilings, and plenty of natural light, the home radiates comfort and elegance. Anchored by a visually stunning backsplash, the kitchen boasts an outsized island with bar seating, quartz countertops, commercial-grade appliances, and wine chiller. The owner’s suite invites you to relax with a private sitting area and a spa-style bathroom, including dual sinks, a freestanding tub, a glass-surround walk-in shower, and closet complete with washer and dryer. The three guest rooms all have en suite bathrooms. For entertaining, the home theater includes bar seating and a wet bar, making this home a delight for residents and guests alike.





Congratulations I’m the Blind Lady, Albuquerque’s only Congratulations

Hunter Douglas Albuquerque’s only Gallery Dealer!Gallery!




Just Winging Through

by Amy Gross

dark-eyed juncos

the original snow birds

Before I became a birder, I used to mark the change of seasons by the appearance of leaves on bare trees in the spring or watching the leaves turn color in autumn. These days, I rely on birds at my feeders to herald seasonal change. In October, just as the temperatures start to drop, a familiar visitor appears in my yard. At first it’s just a couple dark-eyed juncos; then suddenly there are dozens. My heart swells to see these jaunty, sprightly birds enjoying the provisions from my feeders throughout the winter. Dark-eyed juncos are little but astonishingly hardy birds, spending their breeding months way up in Canada and Alaska, and then coming down to hole up in Northern New Mexico during the winter where it’s “warmer.” (Think about that when it’s 10 degrees outside.) Though we see different varieties of juncos here (Oregon, grayheaded, pink-sided, and slate-colored are the most common), in this one deviation from typical birding etiquette, it’s perfectly acceptable to lump them all into that “darkeyed junco” subspecies if you spot one. Juncos will eagerly come to and camp out at feeders. Do them a favor by investing in a good-quality, high-fat seed blend, which they’ll eat from feeders or by foraging for 74

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The dark-eyed junco is one of the most diverse feeder birds in North America. Juncos of all plumages appreciate winter feeders stocked with seeds, millet, or suet.

dropped seed on the ground beneath the feeders. They’re also big fans of suet; stock up on cylinders, cakes, and spreadable suet to help juncos and other winter birds pack on the calories that will sustain them throughout the coldest months of the year. Just keep in mind: juncos will come in numbers, so be prepared to feed a crowd! You’ll get used to seeing your junco friends doing their thing, scratching in the snow for food, and flocking in big, social groups. Then one day you’ll notice that you’re seeing only a handful, and then, none. And it’s then that you’ll realize with a catch that spring is just around the corner. Amy Gross is a birder and the organizer of Santa Fe Birdbrains, a Northern New Mexico–based Meetup group.

on the market

UPGRADE YOUR MASTER WITH INTERIOR PLASTER. Corrales equestrian dream Situated on 1.26 acres in a quiet area at the south end of Corrales, this gorgeous estate is a single-owner home. Nestled among the trees and verdant lawns, wonderful mountain views abound. The four-bedroom, three-bath home includes a roomy master suite with a see-through fireplace and jetted tub. In the great room, high, wood slat ceilings are finished with traditional New Mexican vigas. The whole home is bright and airy, with creamy colors and skylights to amplify the light. For the equestrian, there are three horse stalls, a well-lit tack room, horse wash station, and riding arena, steps from the Bosque Trail.

Call for a FREE estimate. 505.275.7874 |

Extra dinary N  L A W D • B

Listing price: $1,100,000 Contact: Evan Schuster, 505-238-6428 Keller Williams/Schuster Team

©corrie photography

Homes & Remodels

D M. R | ..

Su Casa Ad May 2015 1/6pg.indd 1

5/14/15 3:28 PM



Su Libro

nourishing the soul

Choose beautiful materials, like grainy woods, and then make a practice of appreciating them when inhabiting their spaces.

home should be a place that feeds the soul of all inhabitants, even the four-legged ones

Home for the Soul: Sustainable and Thoughtful Decorating and Design, by Sara Bird and Dan Duchars, Ryland Peters & Small, hardcover, $26.

Did you know that your home is alive; that it comes to life with the personality that you put into it? In Home for the Soul: Sustainable and Thoughtful Decorating and Design, The CONTENTed Nest’s Sara Bird and Dan Duchars write about the importance of a natural home and praise shabby chic style by telling readers how to create beauty from the past. From color to texture, Bird and Duchars showcase how to create a cozy feel that’s natural and chic; homey and stylish; loving and gorgeous. Ever hear of the slow food movement? Consider this book your intro to the slow home design movement that you never knew you needed. “The awareness and sensation of being at home should be comforting and reassuring. Home provides us with a familiar backdrop, allowing us to step back from our busy lives,” Bird writes. “It’s also a place where we can engage with mindful approaches to


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Dan Duchars © Ryland Peters & Small 2020

Keep an eye out for quality antiques and build a deeply curated look over time.

Dan Duchars © Ryland Peters & Small 2020

boost our sense of wellbeing. We can design our homes to improve our quality of life and sense of wellbeing. There’s a whole spectrum of possibilities and choices.” Full of gorgeous examples of natural homes with soul, the book also contains examples of how to craft your own decorative items from broken or old objects, like chairs that have seen better days or empty glass bottles. Though a boho aesthetic is celebrated throughout the book, the authors showcase how to bring a natural feel into any style, from Victorian apartment homes with clawfoot tubs and interior doors with etched glass windows to full-blown modern homes with stark, clean lines. The theme of the book may be about making a natural home and finding a way to repurpose things to make them whole again, but even further, the book is a reminder to live better; to live simply, yet fully; to live mindfully; to slow down and smell the roses or whatever plant of your choice nourishes your soul. And, as the world around us undergoes vastly different changes, maybe it’s time to truly enjoy our homes and to make it into a comforting refuge that’s sustainable, nourishing and beautiful, rather than the place where we simply rest our heads at night. —Patricia L. Garcia

Above: Break from the norm and use spaces in new ways—stair treads and landings make for wonderful places to display art.

James Gardiner © CICO Books 2020

Su Libro

Cool Dogs, Cool Homes: Living in Style with Your Dog, by Geraldine James, CICO Books, hardcover, $26.

At one point in my 20s, I had four dogs at the same time. They were wonderful, fun, spunky and not exactly worried about their hair getting into every nook and cranny of the house. I could never imagine a home with dogs that was pristine or somewhat nice (I didn’t buy decorative pillows for the sofa well until after life with all four pups and I often stacked chairs on the sofa to keep them off – only to come home and find

Left: This contemporary home is as comfortable for its canine residents as for its humans. Here, Bonnie and Bess relax on soft surfaces.

evidence of their dog naps around said chairs). But the dog owners featured in Cool Dogs, Cool Homes: Living in Style with Your Dog, by Geraldine James show that it’s entirely possible to have a house with dogs that can be clean, even stylish! The trick, it seems, is to create a home that lives the way you – and your dog – do. And to let go of the idea of a perfectly clean home. “The company of a dog also far outweighs any inconvenience or mess they bring with them—Eddie is the heartbeat of my home, and without him the cool interior would seem meaningless,” one featured owner said about their maximalist home and their rescued terrier. While the magnificent backdrops, such as the historic manor that dates to the 13th Century with a grand staircase and garden, the dogs are the true characters of the book. Many of the dogs featured are rescue dogs, now living the good life not only through their luxe surroundings, but by the love and attention they receive. The owners speak about their four-legged friends as family members and, as such, deserve a space where they can feel safe, roam freely and grow. All the dogs are standouts, but a spunky five pack of Smith, Ronnie, Rita, Ruby and Lenny stand out. All were rescued from neglectful circumstances. They now live in a bohemian-decorated home, lounging on sofas or close to the many fireplaces. Like these lucky dogs, many of the pups in the book came from rescues, showing how life can have a happy ending, even for those with not-so-great starts. Ultimately, this book goes to the dogs. What Cool Dogs, Cool Homes teaches us is that we should take it easy. Like dogs, our homes should be a welcoming place that we look forward to getting to no matter what kind of day we’ve had. —Patricia L. Garcia

James Gardiner © CICO Books 2020

Below: Hardy, an Orange Belton setter, looks quite regal lounging in this stately room.

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S SU U C CA AS SA A W W II N NT TE ER R 2021 2021

Winter 2021 Advertisers American Clay...................................................................................3 Array Home....................................................................................70 BBVA.....................................................................................16 Bell Bank Mortgage.........................................................................4 BMD / Marvin Windows..................................................................15 Bright Ideas, Inc. dba The lamp Shop...........................................62 California Closets............................................................................. 2 Catherine’s Custom Interiors.........................................................57 Champion Truss, Inc.....................................................................72 DMC/D Maahs Construction....................................................62 Diego Handcrafted Homes............................................................75 Dream Home Design Center..........................................................21 Hermanson Construction, Inc........................................................14 Homes by Joe Boyden.....................................................................6 I’m the Blind Lady, LLC...............................................................73 JCH / Joseph Custom Homes...........................................................57 John Mark Custom Homes............................................................79 Keller Williams Realty....................................................................20 Kirtland Federal Credit Union................................inside back cover La Puerta Originals.........................................................................23 Las Ventanas Homes.......................................................................13 Lee-sure Pools, Inc...........................................................................33 Luz Energy Corporation................................................................26 Mountain West Sales......................................................................27 Panorama Homes...............................................................back cover Paramount Custom Cabinets.........................................................70 Pella Window & Door.......................................................................1 PWKI LLC.......................................................................................5 Reliance Construction, Inc.....................................inside front cover ReMax Select....................................................................................7 Rio Grande Credit Union.................................................................9 Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union........................................11 Santa Fe Door.................................................................................67 Sierra Pacific Windows...................................................................19 Steve Shelly Landscapes..................................................................64 Stonewood Flooring, LLC..............................................................47 Sukhmani Home.............................................................................65 Tesuque Stucco Co......................................................................... 75 The Amish Connection..................................................................47 The Iron Anvil................................................................................65 Tricarico Builders LLC....................................................................71 Twlight Homes................................................................................73 United Stoneworks.........................................................................71 Vineyard Homes, LLC....................................................................77 Waterstone Mortgage.....................................................................12 Western Building Supply................................................................17 Wholesale Timber and Viga...........................................................75 William Cervantes Enterprises, Inc...............................................67 York Septic Systems........................................................................79 SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



photograph by Daniel Nadelbach

Evening Repose


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When a Santa Fe artist remodeled his garage into a studio, it seemed only right to also beautify the adjacent patio. Interior designer Gilda Meyer-Niehof, of Jadu Designs, had an aesthetic inspiration suited to his space. The duo sought a mix of Moroccan, East Indian, and New Mexican styles. “I had just come back from Morocco and I wanted to create a Moroccan vibe in this courtyard,” says Meyer-Niehof. While the fountain and archway echo Morocco, the seating areas recall New Mexico, and the wood doors, sourced from Sukhmani Home, hail from East India. The result is a colorful, multi-ethnic gem in the City Different. “We have such a rich cultural mix here,” says Meyer-Niehof. “That’s what Santa Fe is all about.” Jadu Designs, IG@jadudesigns



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