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RESPECTFUL RENOVATIONS Design Details End of Summer Essentials: Outdoor Escape, Boerne Day Tripping, Paletas

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From the Editors There comes a time in everyone’s life when the home we love no longer meets our needs. Or let’s face it — sometimes we just want something shiny and new without moving from our established neighborhood or favorite community. In this issue we feature two recently remodeled homes and one newly built to solve this exact dilemma. However, an important and respectful design consideration in each of these three projects was how to expand each home’s footprint while staying true to the character of their neighborhood. When homeowner and architect Jed Duhon decided that his Highland Park home needed additional square footage, the only way to go was up. Meticulous planning, careful use of sustainable and commercial products, and re-use of existing materials resulted in a spacious family home that matches the neighbor’s prevailing architecture. Another family found a lot that provided the privacy they desired in the peaceful Zilker neighborhood they loved. They embarked on a plan to create a ranch style home of mid-century design that was true to the architectural style of neighboring houses, but with a few contemporary twists added in. With the team of Stuart Sampley Architect, Redbud Custom Homes and DRM Design Group, every detail from design, craftsmanship and landscaping concerns was addressed in this home that fits seamlessly into a long favorite Austin neighborhood. In San Antonio’s Castle Hills neighborhood, a couple who loved their house just not their house layout undertook a massive renovation in stages that spanned a couple of years. Julie Bradshaw Designs and Cross Construction teamed together again to breathe new life into this 1967 home. The outcome is a fresh balance of contemporary and traditional with high-end finishes to accommodate both homeowners’ design aesthetics and meet their needs now and long into their retirement. Historic renovations abound between Austin and San Antonio, with so many treasured buildings being repurposed for new uses. The owners of Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden took the original boiler house, one of the last remaining structures from the original Pearl Brewery, and turned it into a contemporary hot spot with a nod to its San Antonio origins. If you haven’t been to Boerne lately, you’re in for a treat. Even us locals love to play tourists for a day, and certainly know what a gem we’ve got. Between shopping, wining, dining, art walking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors, historic Boerne is just down the road no matter where you are in Central Texas and promises to provide whatever your agenda holds. Paletas are Mexico’s answer to the popsicle, only much better. These wonderful treats, flavored with fresh fruits and other natural ingredients, are popping up everywhere from Farmers’ Markets to the cute, iconic El Paraiso bicycle carts cruising around San Antonio. Whether you prefer traditional fruits like strawberry and mango, Americanized versions like cookies and cream or bold flavors like pineapple and chile, you’ll be hooked at first bite….if you’re not already! Try making your own with recipe ideas provided. We hope you’re inspired by the projects in this issue and find time to enjoy these end-of-summer essentials! Please share this issue with a friend and be encouraged to recycle.

Trisha Doucette & Leslie Woods, editors

P.S. Find us on Facebook at:

On The Cover: Designed to be kid- and parent-friendly, 1,300-square-feet were added as a second story during this Austin renovation, incorporating smart, conscious material selections and clean lines that reflect the homeowners’ preferences for modern design. Page 22. Scan to view more features of this home.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

2013 | VOL. 8 | NO. 4 Publisher Louis Doucette Editors Trisha Doucette and Leslie Woods Contributing Editors Cathy Coneway – ABOR Catrina Kendrick – Catrina’s Ranch Interiors John Martin – Austin NARI Justin Bravo – NARI San Antonio Karen Matuszewski – By Design, Real Estate Services & Custom Home Consulting Contributing Writers Claudia Alarcon, Sharla Bell, Jackie Benton, Julie Catalano Mauri Elbel, Sue-Ella Mueller, Dana W. Todd Strategic Media Placement Diane Purcell Advertising Sales Sandy Weatherford Gerry Lair Photography Andrea Calo, Leigh Christian, Coles Hairston, William Herrera Shane Kyle, Scott Martin, Thomas McConnell, Jennifer Siu-Rivera, Julie Soefer, Patrick Wong Design and Production Tim Shaw – The Shaw Creative Printing and Direct Mail SmithPrint Phone 512.385.4663, Austin - 210.410.0014, San Antonio Fax 830.981.8887 Business Office 4714 Cambridge / Sugar Land, Texas 77479 Sales Office 10036 Saxet Drive / Boerne, Texas 78006 Email Website Urban Home Magazine Austin-San Antonio is published by Big City Magazines of Austin, LLC. Advertising rates available upon request. All rights reserved by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent from publisher. Every effort is made to assure accuracy of the information contained herein. However, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Advertising is subject to errors, omissions and or other changes without notice. Mention of any product or service does not constitute endorsement from Urban Home Magazine. The information contained in this publication is deemed reliable from third party sources, but not guaranteed. Urban Home Magazine does not act as an agent for any of the advertisers in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified remodeling, home furnishings or home improvement firm based on your own selection criteria. Urban Home Magazine, does not act as an agent for any of the realtors or builders in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified realtor to assist you in your new home purchase. Urban Home Magazine will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. All real estate advertising in Urban Home Magazine, is subject to the Fair Housing Act that states “We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.”

© Copyright 2013 by Urban Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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cover 22 Planned For Perfection Photography by Coles Hairston and Patrick Wong

featured homes


30 Everything Old is New Again Photography by Jennifer Siu-Rivera 36 Mid-Century Reinvented Photography by Patrick Wong

trends 44 Restaurant Boiling Hot Design 68 Outdoor Open House 74 Food Summer On A Stick




48 50 52 60

Bright Ideas Elegance For The Ages Weighing in Efficiency Why This Space Works, Designer Spotlight: Lori Caldwell 64 Drawing Closer to Parade Time!

departments fabulous finds 78 Destination: Boerne essentials 66 New Products: Indoor 67 New Products: Outdoor



contributing editors 57 Cathy Coneway, ABOR 58 Catrina Kendrick, Catrina’s Ranch Interiors 59 John Martin, Austin NARI & Justin Bravo, NARI San Antonio 82 Advertiser Index

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Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

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Perfection By Dana W. Todd Photography by Coles Hairston and Patrick Wong

Coles Hairston

When architect Jed Duhon and his partner decided a whole house renovation was the best way to achieve their dream home, they went into the process with a solid plan that paved the way for a successful result.

Coles Hairston


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Wings By Mauri Elbel


Photography by Thomas McConnell

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Patrick Wong

Coles Hairston

T Coles Hairston


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

hey had lived in their 1951 single story ranch-style house in the established Highland Park area in central Austin for a decade, realizing it no longer fit their growing family’s needs. A steeply sloped backyard limited expansion options, but the existing threebedroom, two-bathroom home no longer was viable for two kids and all their toys. The additions made by other families who lived there in the past created a mishmash of styles that no longer suited the neighborhood’s prevailing architecture. Since Duhon designs homes for a living, he knows the importance of matching how a family lives with a home’s layout. He organized the drawings of the renovated house around a list of four goals the family needed: 1) more space, 2) a better layout, 3) sustainability for energy savings, and 4) a better fit with other renovated homes in the neighborhood.

Room to Breathe Anyone who has lived with children knows the expansiveness of their toy boxes and how toys spill out into the main living areas no matter how hard parents try to contain them. To address this issue and the lack of space for guests in the small house, Duhon needed to add square footage. Because the backyard is steeply sloped, adding square footage to the existing first floor was ruled out in favor of a 1,300-square-foot second story addition containing a master suite, a study and a guest bedroom and bathroom. The new second floor addition covers about 80 percent of the original home’s main floor. “Adding square footage over an existing structure creates many challenges,” says builder Royce Flournoy of Texas Construction Company. “The project required us to keep focus that the structural components of the building aligned to the

existing foundation and that additional foundation work was executed to support loads created above. As with most remodel projects, the existing structure was not in compliance with the current building code, so it was important to allocate the proper resources to correct any issues with the existing structure before adding the second floor.” Even though the first floor was taken down to the studs for a total renovation, Duhon managed to maintain some of the house’s history by reusing materials. Duhon designed the new stairs, for example, using red oak to match the main level’s existing red oak flooring. The stairway design matches the linear feel of the Asian-inspired furnishings, although it wasn’t an easy part of the construction process. Duhon says the space to construct the stairs was so tight the framer had to mock up the framing in the field to ensure it met building codes as Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Coles Hairston

experience. Impervious to both high and low temperatures, this natural stone is resistant to damage and has a uniform grey color. Reworking the rooms and the flow of the home gave Duhon an opportunity to rework the entire house to reflect the clean lines of modern design he enjoys. Asian-influenced furniture plays a supporting role in the new modern scene, providing a Zen feeling with its unfussy lines. The major colorways in the house are so serene that even when punctuated with a burst of red, they remain effortless and calming to the environment.

Coles Hairston

Coles Hairston

Patrick Wong

well as the design aesthetic on the original drawings. Despite the tight fit, the end result echoed the calm, quiet feel of the home’s other elements. The kitchen received a practical facelift, with finishes designed to hide kids’ crumbs such as the large, grey porcelain tile flooring that Duhon says mimics the look of concrete. He specified lava rock from southern Italy for the countertops called “Pietra Lavica,” which is a material unique in his architectural

Green Inside and Out By adding natural stone as the kitchen’s finishing materials, Duhon contributed to the home’s sustainability. In addition to the kitchen, the living room and master bathroom use natural stone materials – “Nova Blue” limestone from Portugal in the living room and “Pietra Serena” grey Italian sandstone flooring and black “New Guinea” marble countertops in the bathroom. By reusing the home’s existing red oak flooring from the 1950s, Duhon made the most sustainable choice of all by keeping materials out of the local landfill. Plus, as he says, something that has already lasted more than 60 years is bound to last a little longer. “I was conscious of the chosen materials,” Duhon says, selecting low-VOC paint, little carpeting and stones to keep the interior air naturally friendly. A rainwater collection system gathers condensate runoff from the air conditioning unit to recycle. Sustainable features are not limited to the interior, however. Duhon wrapped the house in a liquid applied membrane called Wall Guardian®, typically used in commercial applications, to ensure the house can breathe yet is well sealed. It is rated superior to the conventional weatherization wrap applied on most residences. Replacing all the old windows with new double-glazed Low E windows positively affected the monthly energy bill, especially on the back side of the house which faces westward and receives the hot afternoon sun. These thermally broken insulated windows maximize U-value and therefore energy efficiency. Spray foam insulation better fills the gaps and has the highest R value – about two times the amount of traditional blown fiberglass insulation. On the flat roof, which is a nod to Modernist architecture, the reflective roofing material is light-colored instead of the traditional dark shingles that absorb the sun’s heat, which helps keep energy bills low. Installation of solar panels cut energy costs by one-third and is expected to provide the family with a return on its investment within seven years. LED lighting throughout the house is not the only high-tech opportunity to control energy costs. An iPhone app that ties into a Lutron® system controls the home’s lighting and tracks real-time energy usage. Blending with the World To ensure he did not overpower the street during the renovation which added a full story of height to the house, Duhon broke up the visual lines of the front of the house with balconies and a mix of materials, including the limestone and vertical board and batten siding used in the building of the original structure. The choice of the siding, local limestone veneer and a low-sloped roof reflect the predominant architectural style of the neighborhood. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Patrick Wong

“Remaining within the style and context of Balcones Drive was an important design consideration,” says Duhon. The design reused appropriate materials, added complementary new materials, and met the challenge of matching a growing home to a growing neighborhood with an eclectic range of architectural styles. “Jed’s approach was the most cohesive I’ve worked with,” says Flournoy. Even though it was the team’s first project together, they created a harmonious collaborative approach, according to Flournoy, on an interesting project using a variety of residential and commercial products. “Jed designed with a very concise use of space,” says Flournoy. “The plans were well thought out and laid out, which improved the flow of the house.” “I always say to put your desires and wishes into the house’s design, and someone else will love it, too,” Duhon says. v See this house at 4706 Balcones Drive on the 27th Annual AIA Austin Homes Tour, November 2-3.

ARCHITECT Steinbomer, Bramwell & Vrazel Architects 512.479.0022 | BUILDER Texas Construction Company 512.451.8050 | 28

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Patrick Wong

AWARD-WINNING INTERIOR DESIGN custom homes • lofts spec homes • commercial Stephanie J. Villavicencio, ASID Texas Registered Interior Designer



NEW AGAIN By Sue-Ella Mueller | Photography by Jennifer Siu-Rivera

“The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson 30

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


ith a young family and a business near downtown San Antonio, Mark and Janice Penner knew exactly what they wanted in their new home: something spacious with a large lot and within close proximity to work. They found the perfect home in the older and wellestablished suburb of Castle Hills. “We walked up to the front door and we knew it was our house,” says Mark. That was in 1996. As it is for most, over a course of almost two decades, the couple’s needs and ideas of perfection changed. “The house was built in 1967 and it was built like a rock. We’ve always loved our home; we actually plan to live there forever, but it needed updating.”

The couple decided to start small and brought in Julie Bradshaw and Crystal Romero of Bradshaw Designs, an interior design company servicing the San Antonio area for more than 20 years. “We’ve worked with the Penners on their home over the past three years. We started with smaller projects; we helped them with their furnishings in their living room, the paint, lighting, TV cabinets — just minimal construction,” says Bradshaw, owner of Bradshaw Designs. “And then we moved to their master bathroom and closet. That was a complete democonstruction where we scrapped everything, we moved walls. It’s a totally new bathroom now. Where it once was very dark and narrow, it’s now open and bright.” Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Adds Romero, “It was originally very pink, with pink wallpaper and pink tile. It just didn’t reflect their personality. They wanted a wow factor like the bathrooms they’d seen while staying in New York hotels. Now they have Calacatta marble floors and walls, and modern plumbing fixtures with warm polished nickel hardware. It looks awesome. It’s just beautiful.” With the living room, master bathroom, one guest bathroom and a powder bath done, the Penners were eager to move on to their next project. “It was so easy to have Julie and Crystal come back. They knew us and they had become part of our life. And the contracror they introduced us to, Craig Scott, is amazing,” says Janice. Cross Construction and Bradshaw Designs teamed up six years ago. And while each business remains separate, the owners and their employees have established solid working relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Together, they have renovated some incredible projects with the Penner’s home just one among many. “They know we have skilled tradesmen and we know what the designers want and expect. It makes our collaborative efforts on a house move seamlessly and more quickly,” says Craig Scott, owner of Cross Construction. Now comfortable with both Bradshaw Designs and Cross Construction of San Antonio, the couple was ready to take on their biggest renovation yet. “I wanted to open everything up and make the kitchen a real part of the house. Everyone congregated in the kitchen and we never really used the rest of this huge house,” explains Janice. The 1960s kitchen was more of a service kitchen and was closed off from the rest of the house with a connecting door to the dining room. “We gutted every space from the dining room to the kitchen, stripping it down to the studs,” says Scott. “It sounds major, but we do that every day. We don’t look at a space and say we have to stay within these perimeters. We figure out what we can do with the space if we were to move this here and that there. We envision the possibilities and create space that works for everyone and for their daily living.” With the designers’ help, the Penners made the decision to do away with the little used dining room and instead make it a part of the kitchen. “There was also a small wet bar with a column right in the middle of the floor plan that cut off all the views. It was actually a structural support for the living room. The living room is the only room in the house with high ceilings; it has 40 x 40 feet of clear open space that goes up to a point and the load transfers down to the corners like a tent. So we needed to keep the column for structural purposes, but with the designers’ insight, we dressed it up,” says Scott. Down to the concrete slab and the stud walls, Scott and his

crew dug in to move plumbing and rewire electricity in order to bring the old home up to code. “We moved the entire kitchen over 15 feet to the left, relocating into what used to be the dining room,” he says. “We had to move four walls, removing two of them completely. With the walls gone, it opened up the kitchen to the living room.” Now with the plumbing in place, the designers took over. “Janice likes a more modern look and Mark favors a traditional look, so we tried to blend the two styles. We kept the wood floors but added a whitewash gray stain to them. The hardwood floors leaned more toward the traditional, but we brought in a modern, large island in the middle of the kitchen with a white, Calacatta honed-marble top and waterfall edge,” says lead designer on the project, Crystal Romero. “The perimeter countertops are a taupe Calacatta marble and the backsplash 3 x 6 stone tiles are made of the same marble as the island. The contrast looks great.” New, custom-built cabinetry was installed with the latest in technology for easy pull-out and one-touch closing. “We’re particular about our cabinets. We want to use every nook and cranny and not end up with wasted space. Along with the cabinet storage space, we designed two banks of pull-out drawers in the island. You can house almost everything in there — pots, pans, Pyrex®,” says Bradshaw. The kitchen has a number of built-in features as well. “We love building in appliances,” says Scott. “We like paneled appliances that blend in with the rest of the cabinetry and are virtually hidden. We installed a built-in coffee maker, a pull-out spice rack, a microwave drawer in the island and a paneled refrigerator and dishwasher. There’s LED lighting and plug strips under the upper cabinets, along with an intentionally placed air switch for the garbage disposal. Attention to the finer details such as these lends itself to an overall cleaner design. The custom-built vent, however, is stainless steel, offering what Romero says is a play on matte and shiny. “Throughout Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


the kitchen we used stainless and polished [materials] from the custom-made apron-front sink to the stainless steel appliances. If everything had been polished, it would’ve been too shiny. We toned it down with stainless,” she says. With the extra space the Penners had from losing the dining room, Bradshaw and Romero designed a new butler’s pantry and a larger laundry room for the couple. “There is lots of space now behind their kitchen. The Penners have a second refrigerator in the pantry and have plenty of shelving for large catering trays. They also have counter space where they can stage food in there, and we gave them a mirror backsplash. It’s very nice,” says Bradshaw. “And their laundry room is spectacular! There’s clothes storage with mirrored doors and lots of drawers.” In a little over 12 weeks, the renovation was complete and the Penners were gifted with what they call their “dream house.” Both Mark and Janice say they now spend more time cooking in their new kitchen. And, as their contractor, Scott, points out, “They have a brand new space and didn’t have to move to get a unique and stylish home. They get to enjoy the beauty of an older neighborhood with large acreage lots and without a 45-minute commute to downtown.” 34

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

The Penners couldn’t agree more. As they move into retirement, they’ll soon have more time to enjoy their “new, old home” and as the Emerson quote implies, the tune is only that much sweeter. v DESIGNER Bradshaw Designs 210.219.3052 | BUILDER Cross Construction of San Antonio 210.979.6500 |

Photo by Andrea Calo


Reinvented By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Patrick Wong

Tucked in the peaceful and picturesque Zilker neighborhood sits a 3,200-square-foot mid-century abode that pays homage to the architectural style of its 1970’s neighbors while honing in on the impeccable level of craftsmanship today’s modern design affords. 36

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



ne of the main goals of this project was to maintain the character of the neighborhood,” said builder Michael Alwan, owner of Redbud Custom Homes. “It was modeled out of the mid-century homes very prevalent in this neighborhood, pulling from a lot of those ranch-style ideas while modernizing them.” This trendy enclave just a stone’s throw from downtown Austin brims with quaint, rolling streets lined with ranch-style houses. The owners of this new construction home completed less than a year ago actually occupied one of them until they fell in love with a private lot just around the corner. Alwan says that

when his clients saw the lot, sheltered on three sides with only one neighbor to the left, they were instantly sold. The design of this four bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home, containing a two-car carport and dog trot with a garage and an air-conditioned workshop that extends from behind, remains clean and modern yet extremely livable for its occupants: a family with two young girls. A blend of raw exterior materials and ample glass throughout keeps this steel and limestone home in tune with this natureloving area of Austin, its numerous Fleetwood windows giving way to uninterrupted outdoor views. From the hot rolled steel Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


accent walls wrapping the home’s exterior to the sprawling 900-square-foot rooftop deck made of massaranduba, a sustainably derived wood that is naturally insect-resistant, the house is a stunning reinvention of mid-century design. “It was an impressive project to work on, but there were some very difficult features in that house,” said Alwan. “There are not a lot of skilled craftsman in town who could have executed the project the way our guys executed it. It looks like a very simple house but it was so difficult, from a labor and craftsmanship standpoint, to create.” The third-generation builder says the biggest burden of contemporary design is also its biggest asset –– its success hinging on proper execution. But he also credits this home’s ability to fit into its surroundings to the level of detail and care poured into the landscape design. The homeowners called on DRM Design Group to help visualize and determine the best layout for the property while keeping it true to the neighborhood’s existing style and architecture. While safety and privacy were a concern, the homeowners wanted their home to seem welcoming rather than appear closed-off from the neighbors. “So the solution we came up with was to elevate the lawn several feet and create a concrete wall that was just below eye level with a deep planting area in front of the wall,” says Derek McCall, DRM Design Group owner/designer. “Neighbors could still see over the wall, but it would be a deterrent to anyone unwelcome.” Due to the steep slope toward the back of the property, there was a lack of flat area for the clients’ children to play, spurring the decision to design the front yard as the primary play space. The saltwater pool was designed with an endless pool system so the client could use the pool for both recreation and exercise. The outdoor kitchen integrates the same limestone materials used on the house facade, remaining in close proximity to the interior kitchen yet out of the way of surrounding views. The entire home boasts crisp, clean lines throughout its interior and exterior. On the front and sides of the home, custom honed white limestone carries a level line that wraps perfectly around the home. A raw steel open joint rain screen in the back of the 42

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

house furthers the natural appeal, its weathered patina playing beautifully against the crisp white limestone. Bedecked in walnut head-to-toe –– from the ceilings that wrap the home’s exterior soffits and continues into the mudroom, kitchen and powder room down to the floors throughout the main section of the house –– provides a sense of warmth to the home’s otherwise modern feel. “Collaboration is crucial in high end homes. We were able to take the homeowners’ love for contemporary design and guide selections that created warm and inviting spaces in what could have been something significantly more austere,” Alwan said. “The raw steel is probably my pride and joy –– it was originally designed to be fiber cement material, and we brought the idea of steel in as an alternative.” Stretching across the home’s living area is an interior cabinet made of waxed steel and wood spanning 44 feet long and 8 feet tall. It serves as the central focal point of the living area and divides the public and private spaces while providing much needed storage. The kitchen’s simplicity, a minimalist design of white Caesarstone® countertops, professional stainless steel appliances and Dornbracht plumbing fixtures, creates a pleasant contrast to the rich walnut floors and ceilings. Numerous green features were incorporated into this new home, including LED lights, spray foam insulation, a greywater collection system, a two-stage HVAC system for high efficiency, dual flush toilets and insulated thermally broken storefront windows. While there are increased costs associated with higherquality materials and labor, Alwan says better built homes stand the test of time and make up for steeper prices in the long run. “We were awarded the project because of our understanding of sustainability and the product choices that accompany sustainability,” Alwan says. “For the homeowners, it became a return on investment –– spending more to build the correct building envelope for our climate, which in turn means you spend less on air conditioning costs.” But the real beauty of this home is found in the attention to details, both big and small, and the effort made to marry them flawlessly into the surrounding area. From the substantial rooftop deck that provides stellar views of Austin’s iconic downtown green spaces to the shampoo nook outfitted in penny tiles in the girls’ bathroom, every corner of this home breathes a new life into mid-century design. v BUILDER Redbud Custom Homes 512.788.3646 | LANDSCAPE designer DRM Design Group 918.359.1166 | ARCHITECT Stuart Sampley Architect 512.771.8856 |


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Hot Design By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Shane Kyle, the CEGroup

Walking into Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden is a bit like stepping back in time. One of the three original structures still standing on the Pearl Brewery campus, this revived 1896 building once powered the Pearl Brewery. It’s a place where historical renovation meets thoughtful design — entering its recently refurbished doors gives way to an engaging space that glows with an energy as hot as its original boilers once did.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


pitomizing an adaptive reuse, the design concept originated with Jerry Lasco, founder and CEO of Lasco Enterprises, the parent company of Boiler House. From the beginning, Lasco wanted to preserve as much of the original architecture as possible while creating a functional modern-day space suiting for his San Antonio restaurant. “We had never done anything like this before,” says Lasco. “It was attractive for us to pursue a historical renovation. We knew it would be challenging, but we also thought it would be well worth it.” It seems Lasco was right about both of those things. Painstaking efforts were taken to preserve as much of the original structure as possible and those endeavors were accompanied by myriad challenges. But the end result is a true design feat: A vibrant and energetic restaurant that has retained its old Texas soul thanks to the unyielding desire to honor the past. These efforts also resulted in a BEST Award from the Downtown Alliance San Antonio for Adaptive UseCommercial Project. Today’s 6,000-square-foot Texas grill and wine garden captures the feel of the original boiler house while incorporating modern day Texas flair through innovative design that successfully marries urban and industrial. “Before, it was very utilitarian; it was a very mechanical space,” says Frank Valadez, president/owner of SA Partnership Architects. “Now, it is a space that is alive with lots of textures and buzzes with the ambiance of a bar/restaurant.” Because they needed to create enough space to accommodate 350 people, only two of the three original coal-powered boilers could be retained. The lower bar area circles the Boiler House’s open kitchen housed in the remains of the two original boilers. The unobstructed view grants guests a glimpse of the kitchen’s focal point –– a six-foot grill responsible for the delicious fare which pairs perfectly with the design. “The seed on what direction we wanted to take culinarily came from the boilers themselves –– the fact that they used fire to generate power made us decide that we would grill everything,” says Lasco. “Veggies, meat, seafood, everything is grilled. It is a very simple preparation done in a very elegant manner and it produces fantastic flavors very true to Texas and San Antonio.”

Photo by Scott Martin

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Photo by Julie Soefer

The two boilers also give the illusion that they are supporting the mezzanine, an intimate and elegant space that looms above the more casual downstairs area. The original ceiling was reinforced and the ductwork’s skeleton was left in place, providing a rustic look that conjures up images of what the place might have looked like a century ago. The mezzanine view lets diners see the “ghost” of the breeching duct that once carried smoke from the boilers out to the smokestack, adding to the restaurant’s industrial feel and giving off an iconic San Antonio vibe. The second level also features an outdoor space overlooking The Pearl and contains two private dining spaces: The Camelot Room and The Aquarium. The Camelot Room is surrounded by a continuous braided chain curtain while the Aquarium is a glassed-in private area that juts out over the floor giving guests a bird’s eye view of the bustling going-ons below. Some of those sights include repurposed materials. Everything that’s removed from buildings at The Pearl is salvaged and stored for possible reuse and repurposing. When projects are being developed, the items in the warehouse are available to be “shopped” for use. Boiler House’s downstairs bar features wood from the floor of the building that housed the brewery’s fire engine, and the hostess stands were created from an old Falstaff beer crate. The base of the Camelot table is an old birdbath and the Aquarium table rests on two old jacks from the warehouse. The boiler that was removed from the space was placed in storage, as were the parts of the other boilers that were removed to open up the kitchen area, so those pieces may adorn future developments at The Pearl. But it really doesn’t matter where you sit at Boiler House –– each space was designed to be enticing in its own unique way. “When I design restaurants, I make it my main goal to make sure there isn’t a bad seat in the house,” says Valadez. “I want to make sure there will be visual connections everywhere.” As the principal architect, Valadez says he tried his best to ensure those important visual connections were made throughout the space –– from the choices in lighting to thinking 46

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Photo by Julie Soefer

through how people will flow throughout the restaurant. He not only strives to make sure everything functions operationally, but also from an entertaining standpoint. Looking down and across the restaurant from the mezzanine to the private dining spaces that keep guests connected to the action that surrounds, it is evident Valadez has succeeded. But there were several obstacles that stood in his way throughout the construction process. With a developer who was extremely interested in preserving the original structure and an architect who strived to meet and exceed those expectations, the entire project was riddled with challenges and creativity from beginning to end, Lasco and Valadez concur. And there were some surprises, too. For example, after the decision had been made to build a mezzanine, Lasco says the builders discovered the soil couldn’t support its weight. Nearly a dozen new steel support poles had to be dug 35 feet into the earth, but when water was encountered during the drilling process, additional steps were required to encase the poles in concrete and dry out the holes. “With an old building like that, you never know what you are getting into,” says Lasco. “But we are very happy with it. I believe we were successful in capturing the feel of the old boiler house while making it completely functional as a modern day restaurant.” Viewing the Boiler House today, it seems well worth the struggles. The space is a beautiful marriage of old and new. Historic and chic. Enticing and functional. “I think what I love most about this space is that people can come in here dressed up to the nines or wearing shorts and feel good either way,” says Valadez. “There is not an atmosphere that you belong or do not belong. This space is inviting. It’s engaging. It wants you to explore every part of it.” v RESTAURANT The Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden 210.354.4644 | ARCHITECT SA Partnership 210.227.2282 |

We’ve got great glass 512-388-9400 1609 Chisholm Trail #100, Round Rock

Bright Ideas: Innovations in LED Lighting


By Jackie Benton

arsh. Cold. Unnatural. Once thought only suitable for outdoor landscaping projects and office building interiors, designers are now finding new developments in LED lighting that are giving their clients more options than just energy and cost savings. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, now afford a whole host of design options, making this longlasting, energy-efficient and sustainable technology a perfect choice when creating a warm and inviting ambiance that is even better than old-fashioned incandescent lighting. In a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” scenario, it’s difficult to tell who the bigger influencers are when it comes to LED applications: technology advances in the LED/SemiConductor Industry, or the imaginative ways in which creatives utilize LED lighting in their designs. “We are certainly seeing more LED lighting design than ever before,” says Bob Contos, General Manager of Lights Fantastic. “There’s a trend towards more sophisticated uses of lighting today, from health care facilities to art establishments. The most innovative interior designers are using this technology to create

pleasant environments directly related to their clients’ needs.” The lighting industry is responding to this surge in popularity by offering more LED products from which designers may choose from, says Angela Ryan, LED Design Consultant for Lights Fantastic. “New fashions in LED lighting are including more decorative interior designs, as well as exterior fixtures with more functionality,” she says. “We’re finding more LED product offerings on the market than the typical recessed and under cabinet lighting consumers associate with when discussing LED.” Advances in LED technology, says Contos, are responsible for the new passion interior and landscape designers share for LED lighting, and is the reason behind why LED light design is booming in the industry. “The innovations available with LED lighting are changing the way light has been typically used,” explains Contos. “The fact is, this technology lends itself to the non-traditional application of light sources; and dovetails with new modernizations in fixture and product design, as well as current styles in residential design. There is a movement towards miniaturization, and using indirect lighting sources. We see designers apply lighting in ways we’ve never encountered before. Designers are moving away from standard practices and are selectively placing lighting only where needed, for example, and LED lighting lends itself to that, as well as giving a modern touch to traditional light fixtures such as chandeliers.” The advances seen with LED are not only changing the application for these lights, but changing the way designers utilize

them as well. “We’re seeing some sleek, very well-made fixtures, with a variety of different applications that can be used throughout the home,” explains Ryan. “EDGE LIGHTING is a company who has invented a linear system that can be embedded in walls, ceilings and floors allowing for minimal and indirect lighting solutions.” Contos acknowledges homeowners have been reluctant to use LEDs in their homes due to the lighting’s reputation for a harsh, glaring light. “Like anything new, consumers need some degree of education to consider how LED products can fulfill practical and aesthetically pleasing needs in their home.” Ryan also believes homeowners’ reluctance to use LED lighting in their home has to do with the dubious aesthetic qualities of the lights when they were first released on the market. “I think homeowners have a lack of knowledge about how far LED lighting has progressed,” she says. “They are accustomed to associating LED with electronics, or lights with a bright blue quality, so that they think LED emits an unpleasant color. The industry has perfected the color rendering, and is now using the advances in hospitals to help newborns with jaundice. We are utilizing LED lighting in so many ways for so many different purposes. It has advanced more technologically in the past two years than it has since being introduced more than 30 years ago.” Meanwhile, one thing that has only changed for the better is the main reason behind LED lighting’s original popularity, despite its early shortcomings. The return on investment for LED lighting is well documented, and as the bulb costs drop,

the return is becoming even more attractive to those who want to be energy efficient and cut back on energy costs. Typically, LED lighting can save users about 50 to 70 percent of the costs associated with using traditional incandescent bulb lighting. “Austin is ahead of the game when it comes to energy efficiency,” notes Ryan. “LED lighting is a very green product, and Austin has always been energy conscious. We have many customers come to us very interested in finding energy efficiency and cost savings for their homes. LED is the answer to obtain these features as well as a plethora of others.” “People concerned with the initial cost factor of LED lighting quickly see how the benefits clearly outweigh the initial investment,” agrees Contos. “LED lighting has a much longer life, greatly reduced energy costs, and the bulbs produce far less heat.” Educating customers on the value and beautiful design options LED lighting has to offer has been a service goal for Lights Fantastic, says Contos. “When you see their reaction as they come to understand the savings they’ll enjoy and the breadth of products available, they start to get excited about LED. It’s so new and the revolutions we’re seeing now are quite dynamic. We’re happy to be the professionals with the LED experience that homeowners can trust and visit to help them understand the wealth of products on the market, and find what best suits their needs.” v Lights Fantastic 512.452.9511 |

Elegance for the Ages By Jackie Benton

One of design’s mantras is that fashion will ultimately recycle — popular trends of yesteryear return anew — revitalized and ready for the next whirl of popularity. Yet, there are some timeless classics that have never truly gone out of style,


and have held up well over the decades, and even centuries.

ried and true, natural travertine, a type of limestone used in ancient construction, is enjoying a major resurgence as the stone of choice for both interior and exterior design in the homebuilding industry, according to Rich Fischer, general manager for QDI Stone. “Travertine goes back more than 4,000 years in the building industry,” says Fischer. “This was the decorative stone of choice used by the Egyptians for their monuments and works, as well as by the Romans for the Coliseum. Now man has started to make things that mimic natural stone, but we have found the 50

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

manufactured items lack the durability and quality of natural stone. Also, manufactured stone makers find it necessary to change their look and color choices every three to five years just to keep up with industry trends.” Those changes in the industry mean that today’s “new look” can become dramatically dated in just a few short years. “You can go into a house made with these manmade products and quickly determine what era that home was constructed,” Fischer explains. “Stamped concrete, for example, was the design darling a few years ago, but is not considered as such

now. There’s an emotional aspect to fashion, where certain features and colors go in and out very quickly, and with building design, you want to go with style and timeless quality over fashion.” Travertine can be found in a wide array of colors and finishes to fuel any interior designer’s imagination. Colors range from brilliant whites and creamy beiges to rich and luscious chocolate browns and even vivid reds and golds. “The lightest beiges and whites, and especially those with onyx deposits or even gold, are very prevalent. In the Austin market a limestone called ‘Freska’ which features very clean lines is especially popular,” says Fischer. The variety of finishes available for travertine are just as diverse, ranging from tumbled, cobbled, honed, polished, cross-cut, vein cut, acidwashed, hammered or saw cut. But no matter the color or finish, all travertine shares the ability to handle the punishing Texas summer sun in style. “In the direct sun of Arizona or Texas, you just can’t walk barefoot on concrete pavers,” says Fischer. “Those will get up to 196-degrees Fahrenheit, while travertine will get up to about 145-degrees. That’s the difference between burning your feet and not burning your feet. The concrete pavers also collect the heat and keep it until night-time, when it radiates out and makes your home do more work to keep cool. Natural travertine stone doesn’t collect BTUs, and as soon as it’s in the shade it returns to normal temperature.” Another consideration when using other building materials in outdoor design has to do with the stability and longevity of the products. “In Austin in particular, there’s a lot of Oklahoma stone used for outdoor design, which is random pieces of flagstone,” explains Fischer. “The problem with most flagstone materials is that it is not thermally dimensionally stable: it expands and contracts with the heat. Typically, the grout used with flagstone ends up cracking at some point. Travertine is dimensionally stable. It absorbs and releases heat without expanding and contracting, and a professionally installed travertine project looks good for a long time.” It is travertine’s timeless beauty and durability that make it such a great investment for homes and especially home improvement, according to Fischer. Unlike manufactured stone products, travertine’s properties make it easy to care for and naturally stain resistant. And the cost to purchase travertine has dramatically dropped over the years. “You get such a return on investment for installing travertine. While it’s considered an expensive look, there’s so much manufacturing going on in Turkey that the costs have come down quite a bit from ten years ago to something quite affordable and reasonable,” says Fischer. Fischer believes strongly that during these years of recession, the elegance of travertine, combined with its affordability and availability, has resulted in the uptick in its rediscovered popularity. “I call it the ‘Staycationing Effect,’” he says. During the recession, people don’t want to waste $5000 on a vacation that only yields some photos and souvenirs. Instead, they’re putting it into their backyards and creating resort-style homes using travertine to achieve that rich, luxurious look they can enjoy year-round.” v QDI STONE 512.832.0500 |

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


WEIGHING IN EFFICIENCY When renovating your kitchen, it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics

of the design. However, efficiency of the space should be your top priority. By Sue-Ella Mueller | Photography by William herrera

Imagine pulling into your neighborhood 10-minute lube shop for a quick oil change. You watch as the mechanic goes below deck to uncap and drain your oil, only to see him dashing back upstairs to grab a bottle of Penzoil® and run back downstairs. Not very efficient, huh? And, in all likelihood, not going to happen. The garage is set up like every other work station with the right tools and equipment within hand’s reach. As one kitchen



designer explains, this is exactly how homeowners should approach a kitchen remodel.

hen a client wants to remodel, they generally look for a contractor. However, the kitchen is different from the other rooms in the house,” says David Robertson of N House Design & Build, a turnkey remodeling firm serving the San Antonio area for more than 15 years. “The kitchen is a working space and most contractors don’t understand how it should be built and how it should flow. Most builders or architects will plug in boxes — refrigerator here, sink there, stove somewhere. They don’t consider the functions, only the aesthetics of placement.” 52

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

According to Robertson, good kitchen designers will take the time to speak with the homeowner about their lifestyle before putting pencil to paper. When speaking with a client, Robertson finds out how much time is spent actually cooking in the kitchen, how they are going to use the space and whether or not it is a family affair. “We want to plan out each area according to the task performed there. For example, keeping pots and pans as well as spatulas and ladles close to the range or cooktop and baking sheets, baking pans, spoons and knives by the prep area,” he



Kitchens built by N House design & build

says. “Always consider the job you will be doing at that station and surround yourself with the tools needed. You may need two of the same tools in two separate parts of the kitchen.” Robertson’s idea is that the easier it is to work in the kitchen, whether big or small, the more time a homeowner is likely to spend in and enjoy it. There are few key areas, Robertson feels homeowners sometimes overlook. Among the oft forgotten is lighting. “You may only be concerned about that three-pendant light fixture over the island or the chandelier above the kitchen table, but what about task lighting?” he questions. “There are so many lighting options with LED lighting today. LED tape is one of our most popular choices. It’s easy to install, can be used in tight, hard to reach spaces such as corners and doesn’t always require hardwiring, just plug and play. And, LEDs can be put on a dimmer to adjust from task to accent lighting with the slide of a dial.” When it comes to work surfaces, Robertson says both granite and quartz, popular choices for countertops, are extremely durable and easy to care for. While marble is one of his favorite choices, he cautions due to the porous nature of the material, it isn’t ideal for homes with small children. “If something acidic is spilled on the surface, like lemon juice, it can etch [dull] the stone,” he says. “There are products that prevent staining and you can hone or leather the marble to conceal etching, but I don’t recommend marble for everyone. It’s very dependent upon the lifestyle of the client.” Robertson, whose N House Design & Build firm fabricates a spectrum of various colors of quartz and has a large showroom dedicated to granite, says one of the most important things to consider regarding the work surface, is ensuring there is a minimum of eight square feet of dedicated prep area for small kitchens.

When contemplating surface and prep areas, one of the questions Robertson and his team is most often asked is about the proper length of overhangs for a high and low bar. “There is no right or wrong answer. It’s up to the layout of the area and how it will be used. If you plan on using bar stools, we recommend eight inches minimum at a 42” high bar using 30” bar stools and a 10” minimum at a 36” counter height bar using 24” bar stools,” he says. Robertson also cautions that when considering today’s popular massive overhang (one that pushes past 12”), more than likely it will require a corbel or other supporting system underneath which may disrupt the look you are going for. Another popular kitchen renovation is the installation of an apron sink. However, this, too, comes with a set of issues. “Before replacing your old sink with this option, understand what will need to be done. If you have a top or under counter sink, your cabinet will have to be rebuilt to hold the apron sink. It’s not as easy as just cutting down the front of the cabinet,” says Robertson. “The lower doors will have to be replaced with shorter doors and make sure you have the cabinet built with a strong enough deck to support the sink’s weight. I definitely recommend hiring a professional cabinet shop.” Approaching a kitchen renovation can be fun and exciting — picking tile, choosing paint colors, deciding on new cabinet doors. But look within the big picture and take care of the small details as well. With your arsenal of kitchen tools and equipment strategically placed in each work zone, your kitchen will flow like a well-oiled machine! v N House Design & Build 210.384.2588 | Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Audino Construction, Inc.

Austin Impressions, Inc.

Austin Impressions, Inc.




11th Annual

Tour of Remodeled Homes

Explore the Possibilities This year’s tour features ten fabulous remodeled homes

ents, a 1980’s remodel to repair flood damage while updating

throughout the Greater Austin Area, showcasing some of Austin

with natural materials, a historical renovation that received an

NARI’s most talented remodelers. This tour allows visitors to

Austin Energy Green Building 5 Star Certification, a whole-house

check out the latest possibilities in remodeling. Projects include a

remodel of a 70’s era ranch-style home, a cottage that tripled in

state-of-the-art kitchen designed for entertaining, a remodel/ad-

size and incorporates reclaimed flooring and designer finishes,

dition utilizing sleek, contemporary materials, an energy saving

a dream kitchen remodel that overcame structural issues while

renovation focused on bringing in natural light, a 1940’s bun-

adding luxurious materials, and a 1969 home that received a

galow that doubled in size to include areas for the kids and par-

complete renovation both structurally and aesthetically.

Greenbelt Homes, LLC

Premier Partners Homes

Realty Restoration




CG&S Design-Build

CG&S Design-Build

Clark Richardson Architects




Austin NARI, your Central Texas chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, has been servicing Austin and a surrounding five county area for over 25 years. NARI is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to the remodeling industry. NARI brings together the best in the

October 19 & 20, 2013 12:00pm to 6:00pm

remodeling industry. Joining a trade association with other professionals in the field is a very powerful way to get your job

LOCATION: Greater Austin Area

done right and on time. TICKETS: Available October 1, 2013 Pre-purchases are $20, and are available at Breed & Co., TreeHouse, Inc. or through Tickets are available at all Tour Homes on the days of the event for $25. Ticket Locations:

718 W. 29th St., Austin 3663 Bee Cave Rd., Austin

Straight and Level Construction Company, Inc. 512.577.9297

4477 S. Lamar Blvd #600, Austin For additional information on the 2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes and AUSTIN NARI: call 512.997.6274, email or visit our website at

Saturday, November 2 & Sunday, November 3 10am to 6pm The 27th Annual AIA Homes Tour is a showcase of great design by Central Texas architects. This year’s self-guided tour includes 11 new and newly renovated homes in Austin. The homes range in style from traditional to contemporary, all with innovative design elements to delight and inspire tour attendees.


Available at Zinger Hardware, Mockingbird Domestics, or directly from AIA Austin, beginning September 1. $30 in advance | $35 weekend of tour

512.452.4332 or

Alter Studio

27th Annual Austin AIA Tour


Home Renovation

on Demand

By Cathy Coneway, Chairman, Austin Board of REALTORS®


tarting a remodeling project doesn’t mean you have to remodel your schedule, too. If you have the inspiration but don’t have the time to tackle DIY home improvements, don’t worry — there’s a home improvement project that fits every schedule. One Day — Single day home improvement projects are quick changes that don’t require much planning or setup. Interestingly enough, these are also some of the projects that can make the biggest visual changes to a space, such as installing ceiling fan controls or light dimming switches throughout a house, replacing light fixtures, drawer pulls or bathroom faucets, or painting a single room. One Weekend — Home improvement stores now offer equipment rentals and installation kits that allow homeowners to complete projects in a weekend that were once reserved only for professionals. For example, you could stain your backyard deck, paint two to three rooms, insulate your attic, overhaul your flower beds, install a glass tile backsplash in your kitchen, resurface your garage floor, install wainscoting in your dining room or re-caulk your house. One Week — If you’ve taken a week off to tackle a timeintensive home improvement project, it’s important to spend the week prior planning and purchasing the materials you need so that your new space can be back to normal by the following Monday. Projects such as repainting an entire house, retiling your kitchen floor, remodeling a guest bathroom, building shelves in your garage, or refinishing kitchen cabinets can all be done in a week. One Month — For those handier with a hammer, building a deck, installing new kitchen countertops, tiling your floors, or remodeling a master bath can all be done over a month’s time without making your house unlivable during reconstruction. If your schedule doesn’t allow for long breaks to work on these kinds of projects, those above can also be completed little by little over longer periods of time. No matter how much time you have for home improvement, you can make the most of it by planning out what you want the finished project to look like, scheduling what you plan to complete each day and thinking about any daily tasks will be affected by working on the project. What remodeling projects do you want to complete in your home? v


Renovation and

Remodeling By Catrina Kendrick, Catrina’s Ranch Interiors


ost of us have been renovating our abodes most of our lives. Back in the day, people established their residences and that is where they lived and raised their families, sometimes for generations. These structures were added on to and remodeled to fit the times. Modern conveniences like electricity, indoor plumbing, and the miracle of central air conditioning and heating became standard additions. This was a huge step forward, but a baby step if you look at the technology today. It made me realize that life is but a series of remodeling and renovation! My husband is from England. When I tell him that I am renovating an old building or home, he will ask me, “Darling, how old did you say it is?” When I tell him that it is over seventy five years old, etc., he rolls his eyes and laughs out loud! In England there are buildings and homes that are nine hundred years old and still occupied. Can you even imagine the amount of constant renovation going on there? People work hard to be able to own their own homes. We often buy what we call “Starter Homes” which in Texas are “Fix ‘er Uppers.” Fortunately, most of the modern conveniences are not something that we have to worry about, although when we bought the old Loft Restaurant in Boerne, Texas in 2004, for Catrina’s Ranch Interiors, the plumbing, electrical wiring, roof, insulation, air and heat and windows all had to be renovated! And when the inspectors told me that it would have to be “abated” for asbestos as well, I almost lost my mind! Twenty thousand dollars later, I now have an asbestos free building, safe to inhabit. My point is, before you bite off more than you can chew, hire a good inspector to evaluate the situation and give you a detailed list of what is wrong. Take that list to a good remodeler who can give you an honest estimate. Just be ready to spend a little extra because you never know what is hidden behind that wall you are tearing out. In conclusion, remodeling takes a realistic budget and professionals that you can rely on. It also takes people with vision and imagination, who will listen to your needs. They also need to have the fortitude and courage to tell you when your ideas are unrealistic. Many of the contractors that we deal with on a daily basis fall into this category. Some of them are cute, too! v To design your “Fix’er Upper” or family estate, call 830.755.6355 or visit


DO-IT-YOURSELF… OR NOT? Take this quiz and find out!


o-it-yourself (DIY) jobs are a popular trend in the home improvement industry. However, you should know that this is a trend with a few potential problems. Before you decide to DIY, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends taking this quiz: 1. Do you enjoy physical work? 2. Do you have reliable work habits: once john martin, President, Austin NARI the project is started, will it get finished? 3. Do you have all the tools needed and the skills required to do the job? 4. Do you have the time to complete the project? Double or triple the time estimated. 5. Are you prepared to handle the kind of stress this project will create if unfinished for a period of time? 6. Have you gotten the installation instructions from the manufacturer to determine Justin Bravo, President, if this is a project you want to undertake? NARI San Antonio 7. Is this a job you can do completely by yourself or will you need assistance? Do you have access to a skilled labor pool? 8. Are you aware of local building codes and permit requirements? 9. What will you do if the project goes awry? Most contractors are wary about taking on a botched DIY job. 10. Is it safe for you to do this project? Your health and safety should be the primary concern. Never enter into a DIY project that would jeopardize either. 11. Will you be able to obtain the materials you need? Who will be your source of supply? Will they deliver? 12. Are you attempting to DIY for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at all of your costs including materials, your time and the tools you need to purchase? If you are new to the DIY game, you may also want to look at the cost to correct any mistakes you may make. Will it still be a cost-saving venture? 13. If you are trying DIY for the satisfaction of a job well done, can you ensure that the job will be “well done?” Will you be able to afford to redo any unsatisfactory work? If you answered “Yes” to eight or more of these questions, you might attempt a DIY project. But before you run for the nearest hardware store, revisit those questions you marked “No” and carefully consider the potential problems you will face. Hiring a professional might still be your best choice. NARI suggests that you be prepared and take your time in selecting a home improvement partner and reminds consumers that such a project can be one of the most important investments that a homeowner can make. This quiz is not meant to scare you away from DIY projects — they can be extremely rewarding and fun if you are prepared and have the proper skills. However, you need to be aware that home improvement can be hazardous to your wallet and, more importantly, to your health. v

To find a professional remodeler in Austin or San Antonio, visit: or

Integrity • Trust • Peace of Mind

Are you looking to improve the look, feel, flow and

functionality of your home? Interested in increasing

your home’s investment value? Do you need advice on

sustainable, environmentally friendly building practices? Do you need help deciding where to start?

Contact us today for your remodeling and building projects! We are a full service design and build firm.


works WHY THIS



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Designer Spotlight: Lori Caldwell By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Leigh Christian

San Antonio-based designer Lori Caldwell believes decorating a home is a personal and intimate experience. As a designer with projects speckled throughout Texas, she strives to develop communicative relationships with each of her clients. This, she says, is key to creating successful designs consistent with her clients’ visions and lifestyles. And, as evidenced by this stunning home located in Boerne’s Village Green that speaks to the interests and passions of its owners, it seems her philosophy works.

Please provide a little background about this project and share with us the clients’ goals for this spectacular kitchen/living/dining space. LC: This project, collaborated with plan designer Ed Urbanek and builder CKC Custom Homes, was a new construction home that took about a year to build and another six to eight months to furnish. The clients wanted to achieve an open feel with flowing spaces where they could live comfortably while taking advantage of all the great views. The main goal was to pull the outside in. The plans were actually drawn to fit the lot, and the clients’ vision all along was to bring that feeling of being outside to the inside of the house. This is why we incorporated all of the rock in the interior, we brought the pine ceilings from the outside to the inside and we created the beautiful built-in wall for the conversation room from alder wood.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


I love the lighting in this space — both the daylighting and your interior lighting selections. How do they work together to keep this space open and inviting? LC: We met with a lighting designer from Lighting Inc. who helped us light the spaces properly. The homeowner and I selected all the fixtures from more unique designer lines. Most of the fixtures are from Visual Comfort. This space is sophisticated and contemporary but not untouchable or uncomfortable. What finishes helped to achieve this balanced feel? LC: We used natural materials and tried to keep our selections more organic. For example, we used lots of textures with stone, both smooth and rough, and lots of wood, granite and marble. We kept the palette neutral so we could pop in color later. The background remains very neutral with light walls and dark floors. But there are different textures that come from the leather and the fabric and the wood. We pulled in numerous glass elements, from the windows and the candlesticks on the tables to the solid glass dining fixture and the crushed glass backsplash. The clients wanted something unique for their countertop, so I chose stainless steel. It is shiny in color, but not high gloss. Its matte look provides more of an industrial look. This space strikes a great balance between masculine and feminine without being too heavy on either one — please tell us how you kept it neutral. LC: We kept the background neutral with contrasting light and dark on the finishes. We used a more masculine feel in selections and we kept the furnishings more feminine. We gravitated toward grays and browns with lots of texture change, and we popped 62

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

in color with pillows and art. For example, we used the more masculine darker leathers and gray velvets, but we pulled in pops of blue and orange and some fun patterns to make it more feminine. The rug in the dining room is definitely more feminine. But to me, the overall design is slightly more masculine. What are your favorite elements of this space? LC: Honestly, I love all of it. I really like the way it all came together — I love the wall in the conversation room, the stainless steel, the way the backsplash in the kitchen looks. That’s the thing about design — it’s not just one thing. It’s all the little details that work together that make design so great. You mentioned that you like to design homes that fit your clients’ personalities. How did you accomplish that in this space? LC: Along with making a home look great, I always personalize it to fit my clients. These clients own a ranch and take people out on hunts. They are very interested in the outdoors. If you knew these homeowners, you would know this home totally fits their personalities. In your opinion, what makes this space really work? LC: Ed Urbanek really captured the vision of the homeowners. I just helped bring it all together with color, texture and materials. It’s a transitional design, but it has more of an organic, earthy base. This is a little more modern in style, yet it fits into the landscape. It will always be a project very close to my heart. v Lori Caldwell Designs 210.408.2870 |

Drawing Closer to Parade Time! Silverton Custom Homes to Build in the 2014 Parade of Homes By Mauri Elbel | Photography courtesy of Silverton Custom Homes


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


our, beautiful Hill Country homes will be available for walk-through viewing during the 59th Annual Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin Parade of Homes™ scheduled for the spring of 2014. The tour will take place in a unique location — one of the seven surrounding hilltops that comprise the famous Willie Nelson’s private 688-acre Luck Ranch off Pace Bend Road. Called Tierra Vista, the small, gated community will allow residents to enjoy all the best Texas has to offer in stunning views and encounters with nature and wildlife. A site with such dramatic lake and Pedernales River views is a place where potential homeowners will be delighted to also discover the high quality of home builders who have been chosen to participate in building the Parade homes on tour this year. We’d like to introduce you to one of them: Silverton Custom Homes. Learn about Silverton Custom Homes Silverton’s claim to fame is its long ties in the community working with esteemed Austin-area architects and building quality custom homes for 20 years. “We have a lot of repeat customers and a seasoned, experienced staff,” says Mike Grimm of Silverton Custom Homes. “There is creativity in our design process. It doesn’t matter the style of house chosen — Modern, Tuscan, Contemporary, Mediterranean or Hill Country — we build all types of homes at all price points.” In its long history in Austin, Silverton has built hundreds of custom homes and is a member of the prestigious Southern Living Custom Builder Program. Only about 100 builders are able to become members of this exclusive group, vetted by the Southern Living organization each year through on-site house visits, homeowner recommendations, customer service and financial stability. According to Southern Living, it selects home builders such as Silverton because of their commitments to great architecture. Grimm says the main goal of the Silverton method is to take the mystery out of the custom home building process. By working with a network of well-respected architects, checking

engineering plans off-site by a third party for quality assurance, providing unique sketches and computer drawings for each home and its specific lot, and bringing an in-house design and selection center opportunity to homeowners, Silverton breaks down each step of the process. This methodology ensures the process is not over burdensome or daunting for homeowners, whether they are novices or have gone through the process before. Silverton says having an in-house design center, where homeowners can make all selections including tile, flooring materials, window coverings, lighting, furniture and mirrors, brings together the entire team of people who pull a custom home project from the drawing board to reality. “Homeowners know all details up front, including green features, final price, lot size and its special characteristics,” Grimm says. “Our selection center enables homeowners to learn about the latest trends and products from countertops to textiles and art. On-site designers pull everything together for the homeowner, making the process easy and eliminating running around town or shopping extensive sites to find the accessories that make the home work.” In addition to a process that puts homeowners at ease, Silverton Custom Homes has won several accolades and awards that show its commitment to quality. Southern Living named Silverton 2013 Custom Builder of the Year, and the company also was awarded Best Custom Home by the HBA of Greater Austin in 2011 and 2012. Silverton built the fivebedroom, five-bathroom 2013 Southern Living showcase home in Waterford on Lake Travis and helped raise money for two worthwhile charities: Ronald McDonald House and Operation Finally Home. Silverton Custom Homes also takes special pride in its designation as a Certified Green Professional (CGP)™, a designation by the National Association of Home Builders given to companies that incorporate green building principles into homes without driving up the cost of construction. Homeowners who tour a Parade home built by Silverton Custom Homes are assured of a sustainable product that is good for the earth and easy on the wallet when it comes to paying energy bills. Upcoming Parade of Homes Stories In the next issue, we will introduce you to another home builder who will participate in the Parade of Homes and bring you more information from the HBA of Greater Austin as Parade details develop. v Silverton Custom Homes 512.267.3777 | Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



new products


1. The TESORO Collection of finishes offers a fresh palette to re-imagine your spaces as you always dreamed they could be. Inspired by rich textures and intriguing color contrasts discovered at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair, TESORO is imported from Italy exclusively for California Closets. California Closets. Austin: 512.441.6061, San Antonio: 210.829.1991,


2. Weitzner and Visual Magnetics masterfully collaborate, blending the beauty and sophistication of Weitzner creations with the functionality and versatility that Magnetism offers. Magnets can be placed on the elegant linen surface and are easily changed or removed leaving a pristine and unmarked backdrop. Weitzner Limited. 888.609.5551, 3. Designed from reclaimed Douglas Fir and eco-friendly materials, the Sierra Platform Bed Frame (exclusive to The Clean Bedroom) can help you transform your bedroom by incorporating a contemporary green spin on an ageless and traditional design. With its unique beauty and non-toxic finish, the Sierra, in either a platform or box-spring version, offers the environmentallyconscious buyer many features: Eco-friendly materials/ finish; sustainability; distinct beauty and ageless design. It’s also made in the USA. The Clean Bedroom. 512.476.1919,



4. Whether you’re taken by its beauty, or enthralled with its history, Reclaimed DesignWorks’ vintage wine barrel wood collection will enhance the uniqueness of your project. Authentic wine barrels are painstakingly disassembled and milled into three distinctive finished materials. Reclaimed DesignWorks, LLC. 800.243.4030 x3,


5. AuraLast® is JELD-WEN’s proprietary water-based wood protection process. Unlike traditional chemical dip-treatments that only coat a thin layer on the wood’s surface, AuraLast delivers virtually 100 percent surfaceto-core protection. JELD-WEN wood windows, patio doors and door frames with AuraLast Wood can protect you from the expense, damage and inconvenience of decaying wood. Professionally installed at ASAP Windows and Siding. 512.288.8354,



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


new products

Outdoor 1. There is room for two in this ergonomic swing designed to put your body into a completely neutral posture. So put a long cool sip of something icy in the drink holder, lean back and lounge in your favorite outdoor space! LandArt Garden Center. 512.264.2622,


2. The WaterDog® senses your dog’s approach, and dispenses a cool, gentle stream of fresh drinking water, then turns off when they leave. Providing quality water enables your dog to avoid heat stroke, reduce stress, and maintain health and wellbeing. Use coupon code Urbanhome for $5.00 off when ordering. Water Dog Pet Fountain. 1.800.635.3001, 2

3. The now famous water feature – Aqualens – was designed by Allison Armour in 1999, as the centerpiece of a show garden at the 2000 Chelsea Flower Show. Part water feature and part artwork, this lovely fountain makes a fantastic addition to any garden, big or small, urban or rural. It works throughout the year, including freezing conditions. Allison Armour. 805.450.6422,


4. Snake Eyes Yard Dice™ are built of solid wood and are made to last for years with branded pips and a rich finish. Six dice and a draw string jute bag allow for easy transport, fun and versatile yard games. Snake Eyes Yard Dice and packaging are all natural and handmade in Minnesota. Snake Eyes Yard Dice. 952.484.2776, 5. Made from 100% recycled copper, the Diego Bar & Prep sink from Native Trails is self-rimmed and can be dropped in or undermounted. The simple radiance of the hand-hammered copper makes this sink a beautiful addition to your outdoor entertaining area. It’s available in antique, brushed nickel or natural finishes. Native Trails,



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


outdoor n Trends


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Open House By Sharla Bell | Photography by Thomas McConnell

When your house is situated such that Lake Travis is your backyard, you tend to want to make that amazing view — of sparkling water amongst some of Texas’ most glorious rolling hills — the focal point … of everything. “To create a lakeside retreat centered around this beautiful vista for a large extended family to enjoy” — this was the task set before David and Catherine Wilkes of David Wilkes Builders.


ith a vision imagined for this second home by the Houston-based owners and conceived by Joel Mozersky of One.Eleven.Design, the Wilkes team brought about primarily aesthetic changes, leaving the bones of the house alone. The original home and outdoor space was set in a palette of earth tones, and the new owners wanted a lighter, more modern Mediterranean feel to the new spaces. Wilkes added the outdoor kitchen and the pool as well as “changed the finishes to create a much more contemporary look. This included new paint, stain, countertops, outdoor electrical fixtures and appliances.”

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


To emphasize and maximize the view of the lake, the new negative edge pool gives the illusion of the pool disappearing into the lake. The beautiful stacked stone façade and fountain jets that spray arcs of water elevate the pool to a water feature, and as the sun sets, the pool comes alive with light, 70

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

inviting guests to enjoy the summer nights as well as the long summer days. A favorite feature of David’s, both levels of the home are rife with doors that open up on the back of the house, making the most of both the entertaining area and the views. And once

outside, the abundant furniture offers lots of seating. According to Catherine, designer Mozersky “did a fantastic job combining cool, light linen fabrics with rich teak furniture, creating a cool, comfortable space to make the most of the lovely Lake Travis landscape.” And simple, effortless touches like Mediterraneaninspired planters bring the deck and outdoor living spaces to life. A “super tight schedule” made this project a bit of a challenge. The family had planned several large family functions that were to take place in their new space, and so the team had a hard and fast deadline to keep. “Luckily, the family was great to work with and we have a good system in place to work with our out of town clients.” 72

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Breathtaking views are best enjoyed in a breathtaking space. David and Catherine Wilkes delivered a stunning outdoor space — one that will be adored by the many at any large family function — or by a few on a quiet evening away from the hustle and bustle of the city. v BUILDER David Wilkes Builders 512.328.9888 | DESIGNER Joel Mozersky: One.Eleven.Design 512.913.3732 |


The largest direct travertine and limestone supplier to America. 2020 Rutland #B • Austin, TX 78758 512.832.0500 •

Food n Design

summer on a stick

By Claudia Alarcon Photography courtesy of El Paraiso

When summer temperatures rise to the almost unbearable, Central Texans are lucky to have access to paletas, Mexico’s answer to mass-produced frozen treats. What distinguishes these traditional treats from the ubiquitous artificially flavored, artificially colored ones is the use of fresh fruits and natural ingredients. Paletas come in two main styles: paletas de leche, or milk frozen pops, where fruit is blended with milk or cream, and paletas de agua, or water pops, for which the fruit is just pureed with water and a little sugar.


here are a couple of stories regarding the origin of paletas and their popularity in the U.S. One dates back to 1964, when a family of ice cream makers from the small city of Tocumbo, Michoacán, moved to the United States seeking a better life. They saved their hard-earned money and returned to Mexico to grow their ice cream business, eventually industrializing paleta making. Another story claims that another native of Tocumbo, Agustín Andrade, traveled to Mexico City in 1932 where he worked at a paletería and eventually opened his own business, “La Michoacana.” Later he returned to Tocumbo, where many people, mostly agricultural workers, saw in his success a new opportunity for prosperity. The rest is history. Today, family-owned paleterias abound in pretty much every state of the Union. 74

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

El Paraiso One of these paleterias is San Antonio’s own El Paraiso. Opened in March of 1984 by José de Jesús and María Elena Flores, El Paraiso claims the title of the original paleta company in San Antonio and has become a summer staple for young and old alike. “My mom and dad are originally from Mexico,” says Maggie Flores, daughter of El Paraiso’s founders. “They experimented with flavors they remembered from their childhood growing up in Mexico, with influences from Guadalajara, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. But they perfected the recipes in Chicago, so there are some American influences, too.” Today, the 25 flavors of paletas at El Paraiso run from traditional Mexican like vanilla with raisins, horchata and tamarind, to American flavors like

cappuccino and cheesecake. There are other interesting flavors available, which reflect the Mexican’s love for all things tangy, spicy and a little savory: you can get pineapple, mango or tamarind with chile, and yes, even a pickle paleta. “The most popular flavor is strawberry cream,” says Maggie, “followed by lime, then a tie between coconut and chocolate, and then watermelon. Cookies and cream is the most popular amongst kids. The best thing about our paletas is that we use simple, healthy, natural products. We use real cane sugar, Borden®’s milk, and fresh fruit, with nothing artificial.” Aside from providing healthy, delicious treats, the Flores family is doing something more important: preserving the traditions of their home country and adapting them to the tastes and culture of their new home. Mom & Pops Meanwhile, a similar story unfolded in Austin, when Manuel and Laura Flores (no relation to the Flores’ from San Antonio) wanted to introduce their children to the beloved frozen treats they enjoyed during childhood. But sadly, what they found was full of artificial coloring and chemicals, and a far cry from the fresh fruit paletas they remembered. That day, with no other option in sight, they decided to make their own. Manuel and Laura started testing out flavors in their kitchen using only fresh, natural and organic ingredients, and soon realized their creations were actually very good. Encouraged by friends and family, Manuel and Laura launched their frozen pop company in the summer of 2008, which they called “PopSoCools.” They changed the name of their company to “Mom & Pops” in the spring of 2011. Unlike El Paraiso, Mom & Pops doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Back in 2008, they started selling at Austin’s farmers’ markets and at select events, and from there they earned a huge following. Today, happy Austinites look for Mom & Pops at the Barton Creek, Downtown and Cedar Park farmers’ markets on Saturdays and at Mueller, Lone Star and Quarry (San Antonio) on Sundays. Their growing popularity has led them to local stores like Live Oak Market, The Natural Gardener, People’s Pharmacy on N. Lamar, Fresh Plus at Anderson Lane, Monument Cafe Market in Georgetown, and of course Wheatsville Co-op, which has invited them to be part of their new south store which opens in August on S. Lamar Blvd. “Now, people who live south won’t have to travel too far to enjoy our delicious paletas,” says Manuel. Lately, there have been some exciting developments for Mom & Pops. “We are one of the vendors at the Circuit of the Americas for all races. We had a blast at Formula 1! We are also part of the Austin 360 Amphitheatre during all concerts. People really appreciate that we have something healthy for them to enjoy.” While they started with classic flavors, Manuel and Laura have pushed the envelope to create really unique, Austintatious flavors like pineapple basil, hibiscus mint and watermelon agave. A popular favorite is El Cucuy, made with cucumbers, fresh squeezed lime juice, filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice sugar, chile powder and sea salt. They continually develop new flavors, largely based on seasonality. Some of their latest include Lemony Lavender, Groovy Uva (grapes, blueberries and organic grape juice with no added sugar), Abuelo’s Chocolate (“I called it abuelo because we must also give credit to our grandfather cooks,” says Manuel), and Mijito, a play on words on mojito featuring fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh mint and organic evaporated cane juice sugar. “We would like to thank the people of Austin for five wonderful years enjoying our delicious, all-natural paletas,” says Manuel. “We hope to continue serving the people of Austin and San Antonio for many years to come.” v El Paraiso Ice Cream 210.737.8101 | Mom & Pops 512.775.1353 |

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Hibiscus Mint (Jamaica con Menta)

Pineapple Ginger (Pina con Jengibre)

Ingredients 2 ounces dried hibiscus flowers (about 1 1/2 loose cups) 2 quarts water 2 cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, packed

Ingredients 1 fresh pineapple, trimmed, cored and cut into cubes 1 ¼ cups non-sweetened pineapple juice 1 ¼ cups water ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and diced ¾ cup organic evaporated cane juice sugar

Preparation To prepare hibiscus tea, in a 5-quart pot, bring water to a boil. Add hibiscus flowers and sugar. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Turn off heat and cover. Let hibiscus tea cool for at least one hour, preferably four to eight hours if you have time. Strain hibiscus tea through a medium-mesh strainer into a 2-quart pitcher. Put two cups of the strained hibiscus tea into a blender jar. Add fresh mint and blend on high for 10 seconds. Strain hibiscus-mint mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove solids. Add hibiscus-mint blend and lime juice to pitcher with hibiscus tea. Stir to combine. Pour liquid into pop molds (paper cups or any container suitable for freezing will do) and allow at least six hours for freezing, inserting the sticks after approximately two hours. If you can’t wait, pour blend over ice and enjoy as a refreshing agua fresca.

Preparation In a blender jar, add pineapple juice, water and fresh ginger. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Strain liquid through a mediummesh strainer into a 2-quart container. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add pineapple. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture on high for 30 seconds. Taste, and if you desire more ginger, add more directly to the mixture and blend for 15 more seconds. Pour liquid into pop molds (paper cups or any container suitable for freezing will do) and allow at least six hours for freezing, inserting the sticks after approximately two hours.

Courtesy of Mom & Pops

Courtesy of Mom & Pops

Lemony Lavender (Lavanda con Limón Amarillo) Courtesy of Mom & Pops

Ingredients ½ cup culinary lavender 3 cups water 1 ½ cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, packed Preparation To prepare lavender tea, in a 5-quart pot, bring water to a boil. Add lavender and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and cover. Let lavender tea cool for at least one hour, preferably four to eight hours if you have time. Strain lavender tea through a medium-mesh strainer into a 2-quart pitcher. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to pitcher with lavender tea. Stir to combine. Pour liquid into pop molds (paper cups or any container suitable for freezing will do) and allow at least six hours for freezing, inserting the sticks after approximately two hours. If you can’t wait, pour blend over ice and enjoy as a refreshing agua fresca.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas By Fany Gerson Ten Speed Press, 2011

Cookbook author and Mexico City native Fany Gerson wrote this follow-up to her James Beard nominated cookbook My Sweet Mexico based on recipes from her popular Brooklynbased paleteria “La Newyorkina” (a playful homage to the most popular paleteria name in Mexico, La Michoacana). Gerson features traditional and modern paletas, as well as raspados (shaved ice), granizados (granita) and aguas frescas. From classics like watermelon, strawberry, pineapple with chile, and coconut, to her own creations like blackberry-yogurt, lime pie, mezcal-orange, and avocado, all recipes are easy to follow and beautifully illustrated. We mouthwateringly recommend this book to all DIY cooks and paleta lovers.

a statement “ Make without saying a word.

Let one of our window covering experts inspire you to make your own statement. Our new showroom has a fantastic selection of blinds, solar control window film, automated shades, plantation shutters, custom draperies and much more. As always, we provide professional estimates and installation at no charge.


PHONE 512.608.0302 12918 SHOPS PARKWAY, SUITE 700


512 608 0302



Hill Country Galleria

HWY 71




HWY 71 shops at the galleria

We are located at the intersections of Bee Caves Rd/Hwy 71/Hwy 620 at the Shops at the Galleria (across from the Hill Country Galleria) next door to Faraday’s Kitchen Store.

Fabulous n Finds


Boerne By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy of Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Dienger Building

Rod Run

By Julie Catalano

By Julie Catalano

First, the name. It’s pronounced “Bernie” as in “Weekend at..” A mere two days isn’t enough in a little town (pop. 10,884) that’s big on shopping, historic structures, festivals and outdoor fun. This erstwhile bedroom community is now giving nearby (30 miles) San Antonio a run for its money with upscale boutiques, fine wining and dining, a thriving arts scene and its own natural “river walk.” No more bad ‘burb’ jokes about a proud, first-class small town destination. In other words, at 164 years old, little Boerne is all grown up. 78

Cibolo Trails

Happy Trails

Boerne on foot is a fascinating glimpse of the old and the new. The Historic Walking tour is a popular draw, illustrating the town’s colorful history as a German settlement founded in 1849 by the Free Thinkers, inspired by a radical writer named Ludwig Börne. Although the German-Jewish journalist didn’t live to see the town eventually named for him, Texas seemed a natural destination for the intellectu-

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

als who brought their customs, culture, music, and a quest for freedom and lively debate to a rugged, primitive and often violent land. The settlers persevered, their legacy evident in unique and often lovingly restored buildings. Wendy Little, director of marketing at the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), created the map for the walking tour that features the delicate pen and ink drawings of Colonel Bettie Edmonds and

Main Plaza

points out some favorites: “St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the old section, and St. Helena’s Episcopal. Adler-Bergmann Lumber is a really cool, old building, and of course the Kendall County Courthouse.” The CVB itself and the Visitors Center are housed in the historic Menger-KingsburyShumard House. Not content to rest on its storied past, the exciting Boerne Trails and River Road Park project provides more walking

Cibolo Nature Center

opportunities. Completed in 2012, “the two trail segments, the Cibolo Trail and the Currey Trail, combine for a total of 2.25 miles of new pedestrian walkways” says Paul Barwick, special projects director, City of Boerne. These rustic trails have been a hit: “It definitely makes for a more walkable downtown, helps to build local community, and brings all age St. Peter’s Catholic Church groups together from kids on their bikes to seniors.” Winding ramps lead to the water’s edge by the beautiful Ye Kendall Inn (home to many wedding celebrations including country superstars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert) to Boerne City Park and the Cibolo Nature Center (cibolo. org), then drive over to River Road Park where picnic tables await under cooling shade trees just steps from a busy thoroughfare, and friendly ducks take it all in stride.

The Creek

Park Drive is a treasure trove of shopping and dining that rivals just about anything in the big city. “And because this is Texas, it’s actually 1.1 miles,” says Wendy Little. Here’s where you’ll find Alley On Main, a perennial favorite filled with eclectic finds in home décor and women’s fashion. Celeste ( lures with sophisticated collections of clothing, accessories and gifts. Ella Blue ( is another chic boutique with ever-growing lines of women’s fashions, shoes and accessories. Las Finezas ( features elegant gifts in an elegant setting. For a real retro trip, pop into Flashback Funtiques (, complete with vintage jukeboxes, Coke® vending machines, antique signs and an ever-changing inventory. Serious shoppers need serious eats. Epicure (boerneepicure. com) is a gourmet market chock-full of delectable sweets, spices, staples, meats, cheeses, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian offerings, plus a deli with sumptuous ready-made sandwiches; and the Boerne Wine Company (, where racks of vintages or a sample from their unique self-service wine dispenser (by the sip, half or full glass) await in a stylish yet welcoming setting. If beer is more to your taste, try the award-

River Road Park By Julie Catalano

Bear Moon Bakery & Cafe

Shopping by the Mile

The Hill Country Mile, that is. Modeled after Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the stretch of South Main from Richter Avenue to Oak

winning Dodging Duck Brewhaus ( microbrewery and restaurant. For fine dining, The Creek ( offers incomparable ambiance and a first-class menu. The Cypress Grille ( serves up a satisfying lunch and luscious dinner entrees like Lobster Brie Portobello Lasagna. Bonus: The restaurant is right below Crescent Quarters, a New Orleans-inspired, pet friendly bed and breakfast with funky themed rooms like Art Deco and the French Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


moved the “intimidation factor” often inherent to art. “It’s a friendly gallery experience, helped by owners and artists who love to meet the public and talk about their work.” A must-see is the Texas Treasures Sculpture Garden, a perfect example of public art across from River Road Park. For more info, and

No Place Like...Where?

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” says Larry Woods, director of the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau, explaining that “no one could pronounce or spell our name correctly. We decided to have a little fun with that.” With the brand new Hill Country Mile and downtown development, their slogan became “Boerne: As Unique as Our Name.” Here are a few other things found only in (or near) Boerne. Remember, that’s Burn-knee. Carriage House Gallery of Artists

Key to the Hills Rod Run 830.755.8226, October 13-15, 2013 Start your engines at an annual event that brings about 500 pre-1949 hot rods, including coupes, sedans and roadsters, from all over to strut their stuff downtown. Free. Dickens on Main A magical trip back in time features strolling carolers, theater groups, artisans and a town decked out in its best Victorian small town charm. Parade theme this year is “Toy Land,” Saturday, December 6, 6pm. Free. Kendall County Fair, 830.249.2839, August 29-September 1, 2013 With a rodeo, livestock show, Queen’s contest and Saturday parade, this Labor Day tradition on the Kendall County Fairgrounds features food, entertainment and a carnival.

By Julie Catalano

Room. Don’t leave town without a stop at the Bear Moon Bakery & Cafe ( that has a pastry case you’ll want to crawl into. Get there early for the best selection.

Second Saturday Puts Art First

How good is the arts scene in Boerne? Good enough for Southwest Art Magazine to call it “the Santa Fe of the [Texas] Hill Country.” Well-deserved, according to Donald Darst, president of Boerne Professional Artists and partner in The Carriage House Gallery of Artists, one of the stops on the popular monthly Second Saturday Art & Wine Walk from 4-8pm. He cites “the diversity of art and the city’s support of public art” as reasons for the high praise, along with events like the annual spring Parade of Artists and the upcoming Texas Hill Country Invitational Art Show & Sale October 18-20, a premier show that drew more than 1,500 art lovers last year. Meanwhile, the monthly Walk — which includes COSAS, Highland House, J.R. Mooney and Texas Treasures Fine Art galleries — has re80

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Cascade Caverns, 830.755.8080 Fascinating rock formations and a cool 64 degrees year round, the caverns are a fun family outing and educational experience to boot. Hands-on Adventure Tours (ages 12 and up) help you channel your inner spelunker. The Cave Without a Name, 830.537.4212 Six major rooms, brilliant lighting, easy walkways and 66 degrees year round. Check out the Underground Sounds: Autumn Equinox concert on September 21 at 7pm. Enchanted Springs Ranch, 830.249.8222 Touted as an Old West theme park, this 86-acre working ranch on State Highway 46 is a popular special events location, movie location, and home to Longhorns, horses, buffalo, zebras and more. v For more information, 888.842.8080.,



Dawn F. Hearn, ASID, NARI, CAPS Texas Registered Interior Designer #9501

New Construction Remodeling Space Planning Consultation Furnishings Accessories 512.930.0250


AIA Austin 512.452.4332 AIA San Antonio 210.226.4979

Austin NARI 512.997.NARI HBA of Greater Austin 512.454.5588 NARI San Antonio 210.348.6274


Schroeder Carpet 512.462.1551


Magdalena House 210.561.0505


California Closets of the Texas Hill Country Austin: 512.441.6061 San Antonio: 210.829.1991


Copenhagen Contemporary Furniture & Accessories San Antonio: 210.545.4366 Austin: 512.451.1233 Scott + Cooner Austin: 512.480.0436 Dallas: 214.748.9838


Anchor Ventana 512.388.9400

ASAP Windows and Siding 512.288.8354


QDI Stone 512.832.0500


Foursquare Builders 512.944.4520 Silverton Custom Homes 512.267.3777


Austin Impressions, Inc. 512.215.2120

Trim-A-Slab 512.943.7655

Avenue B Development 512.638.1514


CG&S Design-Build 512.444.1580

N House Design & Build 210.384.2588 Swanx 512.809.6226


Centuries Ago 405.659.7576

Christopher Voss – 4th Generation Craftsman, Inc. 210.843.4332


Catrina’s Ranch Interiors 830.755.6355 / 210.535.3070


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

David Wilkes Builders 512.328.9888 Dylan Martin Homes & Remodeling 512.692.9212 Realty Restoration 512.454.1661


Bella Villa Design 512.443.3200

Dawn Hearn Interior Design 512.930.0250


Parrish and Company 512.835.0937


Pearson Landscape Services 512.386.5900


Lights Fantastic 512.452.9511


BBQ Outfitters 512.347.1988

Cozy Outdoor Escapes 210.276.0734 HomeField 830.626.1971


Artesian Pools 210.251.3211


Austin Board of Realtors Phyllis Browning Company 210.824.7878


Tierra Vista 512.267.3777


Austintatious Blinds and Shutters 512.608.0302 The Louver Shop Austin: 512.236.9706 San Antonio: 210.590.3956 Texas Sun & Shade 512.402.0990


At Dylan Martin Homes, quality construction doesn’t just refer to the finished product, but the process getting there. We pride ourselves on open communication and giving you, the homeowner, all the information and tools to bring you the end result you desire.


Urban Home Austin-San Antonio August/September 2013  

An upscale home and lifestyle magazine featuring, design, architecture, trends, food and travel.