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1 6 J U N E / J U L Y


FROM THE EDITOR The last school bell has rung, which officially signals the start of summer! Around here, outdoor living requires finding ways to stay comfortable in the heat of a Central Texas summer, as well as beautifying and maintaining our landscapes in a conservative way and creating perfect retreats for all ages, even the family dog. This issue brings examples from families and pros who accomplished all of the above. Turning a 1980s house, riddled with ‘decorative’ accents from floor to ceiling, into a warm and contemporary home for a blended family was a challenge that Jobe Corral Architects accepted and achieved. Outside, landscape designer David Mahler used natural materials throughout the extensive backyard renovation that includes a multi-level deck, pool area and surrounding native plantings. Another type of blended family settled down in Boerne, but this time it was three generations on a multi-house property, complete with a man-made pond as the centerpiece. Dynamic Custom Homes built the main house now occupied by mom and dad, along with two smaller homes where the kids and grandkids live. Pristine Pools handled the landscaping which includes the pond and backyard pool and living areas. It’s quite an impressive set-up, and is even self-sustaining with a water capture system large enough to serve the entire property inside and out. Designer Maureen Stevens was brought in to design the interiors of a newto-Austin family’s home. She focused on every little detail, creating eye-catching vignettes as you move from room to room. At first glance it feels lush and luxurious, but rustic elements are tucked in here and there for balance. Two features are sure to inspire your next outdoor project. A. Gruppo Architects designed and built the perfect lakeside deck for leisurely sipping cocktails or cannonballing off the edge. And The Lookout Development Group concepted and researched a Texas Living Fence ™ complete with plant selections sorted and staged for a number of landscaping designs. Finally, for a weekend road trip, there’s Dripping Springs. Watering holes — the kind to cool off in and the other kind for sampling from numerous distilleries, breweries and wineries — and fun events throughout the summer can all be found in this ‘Gateway to the Hill Country.’ Here’s to a wonderful summer,

Trisha Doucette

On The Cover: Jobe Corral Architects undertook a massive renovation, with parents and kids living in the house, that resulted in a family home that is functional, comfortable, timeless and visually interesting thanks to a unique combination of material choices. Page 20




AUGUSTA & COMPANY This new store in Boerne offers a collection of home furnishings, clothing and accessories for both. Housed in a beautifully renovated historic home on Main Street, with each piece carefully selected by Tina Cappello who has an eye for everything fabulous, just being inside is an inspiring treat. A soon-to-open wine bar will be another luxurious addition. 830.248.1779 BATTLE FOR TEXAS: THE EXPERIENCE SM This fascinating exhibit goes beyond the Battle of the Alamo. Chronological displays guide you through the early Texas settlers’ lives, explaining how the fight for independence began decades before the climactic battle which you actually experience through multi-media re-enactments. Artifacts include Davy Crockett’s Long Knife, Santa Anna’s uniform and sword, and over 250 more pieces. Stop here before heading next door to the Alamo. KATIE KIME Katie designs her own fabrics, uses them in furniture, accessories, pillows, clothing, etc., and showcases it all in her new store in Austin. In complete contrast but complementary to her colorful creations, she carries clear Lucite Bar Carts that are perfect for rolling outside for patio entertaining. You can even order a custom Lucite Kitchen Island! BULLFIGHT The latest project from Shawn Cirkiel is Bullfight, a neighborhood restaurant inspired by Spain. Executive Chef Ryan Shields has modernized Spanish classics — cured meats and Spanish cheeses, olives, nuts and dates served Spanish-style in paper cones, and classics like seafood paella. All pair well with the Spanish-driven cocktail menu and wine list. KAMMOK Headquartered in Austin since 2011, Kammok’s first product, The Roo, is a lightweight, breathable hammock perfect for camping, music festivals or lounging anywhere. Even better, it’s roomy enough for two! You’ll also find gear for just about every climate your adventures take you to.

2016 | VOL. 11 | NO. 3 Publisher Louis Doucette Editor Trisha Doucette Contributing Editors Celia Vrnak, Factory Builder Stores Kayvon Leath, Austin NARI Martha Bizzell, NARI San Antonio Contributing Writers Claudia Alarcon, Julie Catalano, Mauri Elbel, Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen, Angela Rabke Photography Tre Dunham, Lauren Logan, Chris Mendiola, Andrew Nance, David Rangel, Casey Woods Architectural Publicist Diane Purcell – Advertising Sales Sandy Weatherford, Gerry Lair, Janis Maxymof, Janet Sandbach Business Manager Vicki Schroder Design and Production Tim Shaw – The Shaw Creative Printing and Direct Mail SmithPrint Phone 512.385.4663, Austin - 210.410.0014, San Antonio Address 10036 Saxet Drive / Boerne, Texas 78006 Email Website

Urban Home Magazine Austin-San Antonio is published by Big City Publications, 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 2016 by Urban Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

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June / July 2016



20 Fit For A Family Photography by Casey Woods

featured homes

28 Hill Country Hideaway Photography by Chris Mendiola


34 The Design Is In The Details Photography by Lauren Logan


58 The Best Of The Bar

departments Why This Space Works 44 Bella Villa Design Studio



Commercial Design 46 Sukeban, (Translated Perfectly) Outdoor Design 50 Decked Out Landscape Design 52 The Texas Living FenceTM Food Design 60 Curry Around The World


Fabulous Finds 62 Dripping Springs Contributing Editors 40 Celia Vrnak, Factory Builder Stores 51 Kayvon Leath, Austin NARI Martha Bizzell, NARI San Antonio

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When Matthew Dussling and Michelle Adams got married, they instantly became a family of six and needed a home that would comfortably accommodate all of them while providing them with the lifestyle they were seeking.






utting it all together was a little bit of a logistical challenge,” recalls Dussling of the process of relocating Adams and her three children to Austin to join him and his daughter, and finding a home that would work for their newly expanded family. Armed with a clear vision of what they wanted and the right architects, they were able to reshape an existing home on a spectacular double lot to fit their family which includes four children, now ranging in age between 8 and 16. “We wanted a house that served three purposes,” Dussling explains. “One, we wanted to be close to downtown. Two, we wanted privacy. And three, we wanted large open spaces where we could all be comfortable, whether it is just Michelle and I or six or seven or eight of us hanging out and spending time together.” It’s evident they got everything they wanted and more with the help of Jobe Corral Architects, which transformed a previously dark, disjointed and dated 1980’s Westlake house into an open, warm and contemporary home. Situated on a creek on a spacious private lot just over an acre, a home once riddled with distracting geometry and 45-degree angles is now defined by clean lines, sunlight-filled open spaces and an innovative use of unique materials. “They really liked their location and they loved the lot,” says project architect Ada I. Corral, AIA. “But everything in the home was very broken up and it wasn’t taking advantage of the site at all. The home had very small rooms, tiny windows, it lacked natural light and had no view to their beautiful yard which is one thing they really loved about the house. Plus they didn’t have enough bedrooms for the kids.”

Dussling says the question soon became: “How do you take a house that is compartmentalized and create an open space where we can all hang out?” The solution required a complete interior and exterior renovation which included the addition of a detached garage, conversion of old garage to living space, extensive front and backyard landscaping, a new outdoor kitchen and screened porch, fire pit and pool resurfacing. The family moved into the house in September 2012 and Corral began working on the initial phases of the project until she and Camille Urban Jobe, AIA, merged their companies in 2014. As one of their first collaborations under their new firm, the redesign included opening up the existing layout, taking advantage of beautiful backyard views and cleaning up the 1980’s floor plan by creating a stronger, more fluid connection between interior spaces and minimizing vertical changes throughout the home. “At the firm we talk a lot about finding opportunities for interesting design –– about making something interesting out of a challenge,” says Corral. “We needed to design a space that worked for all of them without making huge rooms, and at the same time give them different areas of the house they could retreat to.” An addition took the previously 3,820-square-foot home to 4,340-square-feet (plus a 520-square-foot garage) by incorporating an extra bedroom, a playroom and an office. Most of the walls of the interior living areas were demolished and reconfigured to have straight lines and the bathroom between the great room and the kitchen was eliminated to expand and connect the spaces. The previously sunken living room had a huge stone fireplace at the end which blocked the view to the URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO




outdoors so it was removed and replaced with an oversized window which brings in enviable backyard views. The family lived in the home throughout the staggered construction phases, giving them a first-hand look at the transformation process. “The biggest task that we have with these massive renovation projects is not adding things but removing things,” says Jobe. “It is constantly editing out the distraction and the mess that comes with 80’s architecture and paring down the space.” For example, the living room had angled walls, a sunken floor and an octagonal recess in the ceiling. “Every time you had one of these strange geometric forms, they were covered with layers of trim and materials and detailing and decorative elements,” Jobe says. “We had to strip all of that out. Part of that was leveling out the floors and evening out the ceiling.” Now white walls and cabinetry create a neutral palette while visual interest is created with conventional materials like steel and wood used in slightly unconventional ways to provide richness and texture. Timeless elements include concrete countertops in the kitchen, steel detailing on the book shelves and wine glass racks, and the use of shou sugi ban (burned wood) throughout the home’s interiors. The walnut ceiling detail in the sitting area ties into the walnut floors that flow throughout the house. The

kitchen, complete with an expansive sinker cypress island large enough to seat all six family members, creates an ideal everyday gathering spot for mealtimes without interrupting the function and flow of the space. “The day of the photo shoot, we brought dinner over for the family and we had all of this food at the island and we were watching all of them sitting and talking and eating and laughing,” says Corral. “It was really great to see how they get to do this on a daily basis, which was the whole point of this house.” For larger dinners, charcoal painted paneling and charcoal wallpaper with gold embellishments wrap an intimate, elegant dining room that houses a 10-seat custom black walnut and steel frame dining table designed by Bryan Jobe of Jobe Fabrications. Halfway through construction, in the middle of an unusually cold winter, the couple decided they wanted a fireplace so the architects added a ventless fireplace which became a stunning focal point in the home, recalling elements found on the exterior and interior such as stucco, steel and Shou Sugi Ban. “It gives them the functionality they wanted without interrupting the views and provides visual interest as well,” says Corral. The home’s original exterior mimicked what was inside URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO


with an outdated 80’s look that distracted from rather than enhanced the beautiful surroundings. The exterior was given a facelift with natural, honest materials such as stucco, ipe, steel and flatwork consisting of large irregular limestone pieces dry set without mortar. A three-level deck consists of a top level extending directly from the living and sitting area, a middle area for dining and a lower area for outdoor cooking and poolside entertaining. Jobe Corral Architects recruited local landscape designer and ecologist David Mahler of Environmental Survey Consulting to create a native design that was clean and modern but also looked like it was part of the creek and the surrounding environment. The deck and interior of the pool was resurfaced to create softer curves, giving it a more natural presence enhanced by Mahler’s use of large limestone terraces and native plantings. Whether inside or outside, the home provides a relaxing refuge for a busy family of six. “It is very calming,” Jobe says. “And I think in a family of six 26


when you have all that going on and you are coming and going at so many times with so many different activities, this really says something. It’s like a welcoming home base.” From their centrally-located home, getting downtown is a breeze and the kids can walk to and from their schools. Each person has a bedroom where they can retreat to, but the communal spaces are now large enough for everyone to gather together for a conversation, meal or movie night. “At the end of the day, this is a comfortable place for all of us,” Dussling says. “Michelle and I both travel a lot so on the weekends we just wanted a retreat. It’s definitely that.” v ARCHITECT Jobe Corral Architects 512.499.1591 | BUILDER Woodeye Construction and Design 512.494.4294 |

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In the heart of the Hill Country just north of Boerne, an idyllic five-acre estate now serves as a relaxing refuge for three generations.


wo 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1,350-square-foot homes flank a picturesque pond which sits before the sprawling 4,500-square-foot 5-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom main house that spans the pond’s width. “To me, what makes this property exceptional is the layout of these homes with the two guesthouses out front and the main house with this huge pond fully stocked with catfish, bass and perch,” says Josh Maas, owner of Dynamic Custom Homes, which 28


designed and built the residential project in 2011. “Out here you are on your own little private ranch so you’ve got the city amenities of downtown Boerne just five minutes away with the privacy of being on five acres in the Hill Country. The guest houses act as a buffer which makes a nice little private surrounding.” Equipped with a four-car garage and fully enclosed by an eight-foot fence with three automatic wrought iron entry gates, the property was initially designed for Maas’ business partner.

The objectives of the design-build were twofold: to create the ideal Hill Country home and to construct two additional smaller homes which would be used as a guest house and an office. “He had a clear vision for exactly what he wanted,” recalls Maas of the original homeowner’s design goals. “We were actually building another house in Cordillera Ranch, and a lot of what is seen in this house mirrors the design of that house.” A year ago, the property was sold to a close-knit family

consisting of a couple; their grown daughter, her husband and child; and their grown son who occupy each of the three houses. “This property is a great place for all of them to stay and raise their families together,” says Maas who is currently building a 1,500-square-foot addition on one of the houses. A well on the property features a five-ring storage tank which fully supports the water used for the landscaping, pool, pond and three homes. This self-sustaining feature, combined with the fact URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO






that each self-sufficient home has a separate septic tank, results in zero water and sewer bills for the homeowners, Maas says. The homes hone a ranch-meets-Hill Country feel with full mason exteriors comprised of a mixture of white and Lueders limestone and gabled metal roofs. Covered patios feature Douglas fir columns and one-by-six tongue and groove pine ceilings, creating relaxing shaded areas to soak in country vistas and gaze out on the large fishing pond and whirling windmill. 32


Exterior materials extend inside, creating a rustic charm throughout the interiors with a stone fireplace, bar area and kitchen archway and exposed fir beams striped across vaulted ceilings. Creamy-colored tumbled Versailles-pattern travertine floors are laid throughout the common areas while bedroom floors are hand-scraped hickory. An upward glance reveals some of the main home’s more eccentric features such as reclaimed barn wood ceilings in the

bedroom, white waffle ceilings in the master suite, antique rusted tin ceilings in the game room and a multicolor pheasant feather ceiling above the kitchen island. “The owners wanted a unique and fun effect in each room while maintaining an elegant custom feel,” says Maas. “The different ceiling treatments highlight the individual personality of each room.” A creamy, taupe palette and widespread use of wood

cabinetry, doors and paneling creates a neutral backdrop which allows the ceilings and eye-catching granites and marbles to stand out. While most of the main home veers toward a more masculine look, softer touches can be seen in areas like the elegant, light-filled master bathroom, featuring a hand-cut tile garden tub and high-end granite countertops. The kitchen features chef-grade Viking® appliances paneled in knotty alder, a custom travertine farmhouse sink, a bold glass tile backsplash and Venetian gold granite countertops. The game room, with its cut-stone backsplash and bar and reclaimed barn wood wainscoting, houses eclectic country-inspired finds such as saddle barstools, an oversized elk horn chandelier and a refinished shuffleboard table set atop old wine barrels with a copper sink, wine refrigerator and keg sitting behind the bar. The houses also feature superior home automation controlled through the Vantage™ system and a fully-wired entertainment system with speakers throughout. Dynamic Custom Homes orchestrated everything from exterior and interior design to construction, bringing Pristine Pools on board to design the landscaping, pond and pool. The 9,000-square-foot, fully stocked pond lined with rocks and limestone is perfect for fishing or simple enjoyment while the backyard infinity edge pool boasts a heating capability, waterfalls, deck jets, bubblers, underwater remote-controlled speakers and color-changing LED lights. Maas says the upper area is perfect for splashing and swimming while the lower level of the pool is set up for relaxing with a beachfront entry, built-in bar stools and a Baja shelf with umbrella holders. Poolside entertaining is made as convenient as possible with a 650-square-foot outdoor pool pavilion complete with a full bathroom and full summer kitchen, which features chef-grade appliances including a Viking® grill, refrigerator, ice maker, sink and keg-o-rater. “It has the works,” says Maas. “It is perfect for outdoor entertaining.” v DESIGN-BUILD Dynamic Custom Homes 210.488.7755 | POOL Pristine Pools 210.623.0505 / 512.276.2404 | URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO






Like the old song says, little things mean a lot. Award-winning designer Maureen Stevens of Austin deftly brought those lyrics to life at a home in the capital city’s tony Tarrytown section. At first glance, artfully placed vignettes might seem like mere footnotes to a lovely design story. But look closer: There’s more than meets the eye.


hen Stevens was contacted by a couple in California eager to move into their newly purchased home in Texas, she wasn’t surprised. “A lot of my clients are from California,” she says, crediting Austin’s housing boom with the influx. The young homeowners are truly a product of the digital age, basically buying the home remotely and contacting Stevens after seeing her portfolio page on Houzz, the robust online platform covering home design and architecture featuring countless thousands of articles, photos and designers. Beginning with an email introduction, Stevens and her clients had their first in-person meeting over coffee, which took URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO




place when they had been in the house for only a short time. “Their very busy, active lives included tennis, golf, cooking, entertaining friends and family, and their beloved dog,” says Stevens. Love of the outdoors, a laid back philosophy, and the need for a soothing home environment formed the design foundation for the entryway, living and dining area, stairs and master bedroom in the 2,900-square-foot home. The descriptors that the homeowners wanted their space to evoke, says Stevens, were “inviting, relaxing, comfortable, airy and light.” Nowhere is that more evident than in



the master bedroom, where serenity is paramount after hectic workdays. Using heavenly colors like Sherwin Williams® TideWater paint and Milliken™ Delicate Frame patterned carpeting in Muslin, the second floor haven appears to float among the clouds. Just like when getting dressed, adding the details is the final step. “Accessories really make the space pop, and they kind of meld into the overall design,” says Stevens. “If it’s comfortable, calm and serene, then I want the accessories to be the same.” None of which means boring or bland. An eye-catching wooden hand is raised over a jewelry box on the dresser, ready to store and display rings in a charming mix of form and function. Conical wooden sculptures from Objets LTD lend a whimsical bit of movement, wobbling gently when touched. The bedside dog bookends from Objets LTD are a nod to their precious pooch. “It’s those subtle touches that you don’t see right away, but it completes the design,” says Stevens. A perfect example is the carpet’s geometric pattern — something the couple was not initially sold on, thinking that it might be too much for the room. “I reassured them that once it’s all done and everything melds together it would look just right.” And it did, lending more depth and interest to the space than a solid carpet. “Most people are used to having all solids or all plain and that’s it. I had fun choosing patterns or items that they initially thought would not work. It’s not the designer’s job to force the client to agree with you, but to give them new ways to think.” The stairs and landing feature carpeting by Helios, with an antelope design from their Skins collection. An animal-style print was a bolder move, says Stevens, “but because it’s in that warm brown it’s not too out there.” A complementary wallpaper pattern was added — Rosey Posey Trellis by Anna Spiro from Sydney Harbour Paint in Vintage Linen. Without any renovation or restoration hurdles to overcome, Stevens was free to focus on a modern rustic design throughout (“Modern but not too modern, with a rustic feel,” she says), continuing a calming palette downstairs. Nature’s colors of blues and browns are punctuated by spots of warm woods and ever-present elements of nature. The soft blues of the dining room chairs echo the bedroom’s hues with wooden sculptures accenting the tabletop. The living room presented a challenge, says Stevens, in terms of doing double duty. “It had to be comfortable but it also had to be a formal receiving place.” The solution was two floating conversation areas — a casual one centered around the television, and the more formal one with a fireplace focus. The mantel features a display of woven and beaded tribal jewelry from Objets LTD in Austin. Designed as a decorative element, “you could also wear them,” she says. Fabric is another detail that Stevens considers essential.

Pillows and throws in velvet, cashmere and faux fur add another layer to the overall design, and can be used sparingly or liberally, depending on taste. “Even in a muted palette, just the play of different textures gives the space life.” The home’s entryway sets the stage for what’s to come, putting together various natural elements like woven baskets, branches and greenery repeated throughout the house. Terrariums from Restoration Hardware were filled and arranged by a local florist, a leather pouf from Morocco resides under the entry table, and the abstract painting over the upholstered bench was done by a friend. Stevens offers tips on how to best accessorize new or existing décor. First, “don’t limit yourself to just what is thought of as décor.” Jewelry, rocks, dinnerware and area rugs as wall hangings can all be used in pleasing arrangements without buying anything extra. Next, use the rule of three, which extends to groupings in any odd numbers, and use varying heights to grouped objects, to avoid matchy-matchy symmetry. Finally, even when working with a designer, use cherished objects such as family heirlooms, vintage photographs and treasured gifts to imbue your space with things that tell your unique story. “Whatever a client loves or likes, we’ll find a way to incorporate it. Design is not just about the space, it’s about the people who are going to be living in it.” Along with, of course, “those little things. They do mean a lot.” v DESIGNER Maureen Stevens 512.364.4835 | URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO




An outdoor space isn’t just about coming up with a layout to fit the property; it should also match your way of living. Much like the interior of a home, an outdoor kitchen is the entertaining hub of the backyard; it’s where family members and guests congregate. Modern outdoor kitchens offer more than simply a grill and table. And with so many options and styles available, planning an outdoor kitchen can quickly become overwhelming. Here are the key components to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen. THE COOKING STATION

an eye on them. Be sure to include shade over or near the grill. A Texas summer is hot enough as it is, combine that with direct sunlight and heat from a grill, and you’ll dread using the kitchen during the day. Consider adding a warming drawer to your grill station to keep freshly cooked items hot or toast buns. Last, but not least, ventilation is the number one overlooked element when designing and outdoor kitchen. Don’t assume because you’re outside of the main house, you have proper ventilation. If there’s a covering over your outdoor kitchen, it will collect smoke and grease, which could damage the cover material as well as your air quality. Including the proper ventilation unit will direct the dirty air elsewhere and help keep the area cool. PREP AREA Sinks eliminate the need to hustle in and out of the house to wash your hands, dishes or clean surface areas. Be sure to investigate local city codes regarding proper plumbing and drainage requirements. A bar sink is ideal as it gets the job done without taking up too much counter space — you can never have too much counter space. Storage doors and drawers with organizing accessories such as a paper towel holder and utensil compartments will help keep your workspace in order. REFRIGERATION Enjoying the outdoors is best accomplished with a cold drink

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times — think safety first. Avoid flammable construction materials such as wood around the cooking area. If you can’t avoid these materials, make sure there is proper insulation around the cooking elements, such as a grill insulation jacket, as well as ventilation to prevent overheating. Gas safety vents can prevent disaster in the case of a gas leak. Gas shut-off valves should be readily accessible, but not behind or too close to the grill. If you have kiddos, place the grill within sight of the swimming pool or other play areas so you can keep 40


in hand and an under-counter refrigerator means you won’t have to trek in and out of the house for it. It will also enable you to store condiments conveniently nearby. Refrigeration drawers are a great way to organize refrigerated items. If your outdoor kitchen plan includes a bar, a beer dispenser unit will ensure your guests are always served cold, crisp brew. SHELTER Weather is an unpredictable beast and shouldn’t determine when you can and can’t use your outdoor kitchen. You can block the sun or rain by installing a pergola or pavilion over your kitchen. Solid roofed structures will help keep heat in; installing heaters along the roofline is an efficient way to keep your outdoor kitchen comfortable during the colder winter months. If you just want a place to cool off, wood arbors or thatched roofs are a less expensive solution and can be outfitted with a misting system. LIGHTING The blazing Texas sun means a majority of outdoor cooking will be done after dark. Your outdoor kitchen should have bright task lighting directly above the area where you will be cooking and preparing food, such as Par-20 halogen bulbs. Ceiling fans with lighting kits are a great way to help keep the mosquitoes at bay. If the outdoor kitchen is covered by a slotted arbor, the installed lighting system should be rated for a wet location. For outdoor kitchens with a solid roof overhead, lighting rated for a damp location is acceptable. ELECTRICAL Don’t forget to install a few electrical outlets for small appliances like a margarita machine, Magic Bullet®, phones or tablets. You may need to ramp the amount of electrical if you’re planning to install an entertainment system with speakers and/or a TV. LAYOUT

The placement of your outdoor kitchen should be adjacent to the outdoor dining area as well as the rear door of the house. The layout should offer ample room to move and work within your outdoor kitchen. In an efficient kitchen layout, the refrigerator, grill and sink should form three points of a triangle, with no leg of the triangle measuring more than 10’ feet, and free of obstructions such as cabinets or an island.

The most common outdoor kitchen design is an island layout, which clusters the grill and all appliances in one central unit. It is cost-effective and great for creating an entertaining hub. Consider raising one side of the countertop to separate the cooking and socializing areas. Straight line kitchens are similar to an indoor “kitchenette” or galley kitchen as it is installed against a wall. It’s ideal for smaller, more budget-friendly spaces where only one cook will work at a time. Keep in mind, if the kitchen will be against the wall of the house, you’ll have to choose non-combustible materials to protect the siding. It’s best to consult a professional in this case. If you’re planning a larger, freestanding kitchen with a full suite of appliances, sink and bar area, a U-shape layout may be best for you. This design mimics most indoor kitchens, allowing you to cook and engage with your guests simultaneously. WORTH THE SPLURGE Not all grills are created equal. Grills with non-magnetic or a 300 series grade of steel are ideal — they’re more durable and resistant to corrosion. And they typically come with a lifetime or extended warranty on parts. If picturesque grill-marks on your steak are important, splurge for a grill with a sear burner. Modern grills offer a suite of accessories to enhance your grill. Refrigeration products should be UL approved for outdoor use. This is also known as “Outdoor Rated.” UL or Underwriters Laboratories, is an independent organization which tests and rates products based on quality and safety. Outdoor-rated refrigerators have the capacity to maintain a steady internal temperature despite the fluctuating outdoor temperatures. They also have weather proof electrical components, ensuring your refrigerator won’t electrocute you or short out during a rain storm. Non-porous, natural countertop materials are worth the extra money. Manufactured surfaces, such as Silestone®, are easily affected by UV rays, which will weaken the material and cause discoloration. Granite is an ideal choice as unlike Lueder’s stone, concrete or limestone, it’s stain resistant, cleans easily and has no grout lines. INSTALLATION & CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE Construction timing will vary depending on the size and intricacy of the project. If you’re working with a contractor, they’ll typically need about 10 days for equipment and materials to be delivered. The average grill stand or island will take four to five days to construct, after which the counter top can be measured and ordered. Counter fabrication and installation typically adds another four to five days. Once the counters are in, appliances can be installed. Any electrical or plumbing needs are usually done in unison with the grill stand construction. Building an outdoor kitchen, like indoor kitchen remodeling, requires a great deal of planning and consideration. Stop by your local Factory Builder Stores showroom to discuss the best options for your outdoor kitchen with our experienced and friendly staff. v FACTORY BUILDER STORES Austin: 512.834.1442 | San Antonio: 210.349.9333 URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO


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Designer Spotlight: Bella Villa Design Studio By MAURI ELBEL | Photography by TRE DUNHAM

With awe-inspiring Hill Country-meets-lake vistas and sprawling terraces perfectly positioned to soak in the stunning scenery, this spectacular Lake Travis home is rife with spaces that are just as functional as they are visually impressive. Built by Jenkins Custom Homes with interiors designed by Bella Villa Design Studio, this spectacular second home marries Texas charm with contemporary elements and features. Whether alone or entertaining, this home serves as a vacation-like retreat for its owners and their guests.


ecause the home is located in a flood plain, the entire ground level consists of outdoor living spaces while the main living areas are located on the two levels above. The expansive ground-level terrace features a creamy travertine floor in a large Versailles pattern and grand fossil stone columns and arches that coordinate with the home’s exterior. The terrace remains well-ventilated thanks to the arches and window openings that constantly funnel natural breezes throughout the covered space while two massive Big Ass® Fans keep the area cool even on the hottest summer days. The outdoor kitchen features Magnacera granite countertops and stainless appliances that make prepping appetizers or grilling dinner within arm’s reach. Stephanie Villavicencio, manager of Bella Villa Design Studio, created multiple seating areas on the sizable terrace by expertly arranging outdoor furniture pieces designed to take in the views or provide cozy conversation areas around the fireplace and fire pit table. 44


“The homeowners liked the furniture and it was the right scale for this space,” says Villavicencio of the numerous all-weather wicker pieces with cozy taupe cushions from the Majorca Collection, ranging from a dining room table and chaise lounges to a sectional and chairs perfect for entertaining parties both large and intimate. One of the more unique features of the home can be found on the second level just outside of the exterior entrance to the master suite. Strategically located at the beginning of the master hallway, an outdoor dog shower provides a convenient place for the owners to wash their large dogs after a refreshing dip in the lake. The spacious shower, comprised of flat sliced pebble floors, integral color stucco walls and reclaimed barn wood, features an adjustable shower head with an extra-long cord that extends to reach all corners. The home’s well-designed outdoor spaces, ranging from contained areas such as the dog shower to open, sprawling spaces like the ground-level terrace, remain as sensible as they are beautiful. “It was rewarding to help turn the necessary flood plain area into functional and inviting outdoor entertaining areas that have become an integral part of this amazing home,” says Villavicencio. v BELLA VILLA DESIGN STUDIO 512.443.3200 |

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




Have you ever wondered what happens when a client declares that the inspiration for their space should be, “Tokyo Street, at the intersection of Kill Bill and Lost in Translation?” Look no further than Sukeban, a Sushi and Champagne Bar located in a corner of San Antonio’s Blue Star Arts Complex, to know the answer.




an Antonio entrepreneurs and restaurant owners Gerry and Mon Shirley wanted their third restaurant, a sushi bar, to stand out in a category that is typically defined by a sort of quiet Zen minimalism. With a perfect location that blends neighborhood foot traffic with destination diners, a unique concept, and a tight timeline to bring their idea to fruition, they enlisted San Antonio architect Rob Robbins of ryb studio to capture the concept in a unique design. The team first worked to bring the concept to life through a character and a story. ‘Sukeban’ is the Japanese word that defines a female juvenile delinquent, or ‘Boss Girl.’ The reference is edgy, subversive and youthful. A large anime-inspired mural by Holden William Dunlop captures the restaurant’s vibe and creates a narrative that starts with the introduction of Sukeban as a character.

Guests are introduced to Sukeban’s fierce presence as they glance to their left at the host’s stand, and can follow her story as she uses her killer yo-yo to battle the Sushi Samurai, who kills by slashing open champagne bottles with his saber and directing the corks at his enemies. The murals are alive with color, sexy graphics and dramatic plotlines. The plotline develops in a clockwise direction as you move through the space from the entry, through the restaurant and into the bar. Compositionally, faces and focal points are positioned to be on path with the circulation in the space, heightening the visual experience of moving through it. Walls without the mural are equally dramatic, featuring beautiful Japanese-style burnt wood siding (Shou Sugi Ban). Traditionally, cedar was burnt in Japan to increase the wood’s resistance to insects and fire, and treating wood in this manner creates a URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO


one-of-a-kind finish. Sukeban’s burnt wood walls are yellow pine finished with linseed oil, and instead of commissioning a mill for the costly work, owner Gerry Shirley took to his backyard and patiently did all of the burning himself, one piece at a time. Of course, the restaurant’s design goes far beyond the unique walls. Initially, the room was wide open so that you could see the entire space upon entry, but the program demanded that the space be able to operate as a restaurant/bar during food-service hours, and as a bar-only after food service was closed down. To create a sense of intimacy, enhance flow and encourage a sense of arrival and discovery, Robbins designed the sushi bar to be closed off after hours, giving a more intimate feel to the bar in its stand-alone state. However, access to the restrooms and both exit doors was still required. The solution was to ring the space in banquettes that are covered in virtually indestructible champagne-colored Xorel fabric by Carnegie. Red swan chairs add a pop of color against the concrete floor, which is finished in a Sherwin Williams matt epoxy. The center of the space is designed with back-to-back bars; the sushi bar on the restaurant side and the champagne bar on the bar side. This idea mirrors a unique aspect of the restaurant’s menu, which is the pairing of champagne with sushi — a surprising but delightful combination. In terms of space planning, it also creates a loop around the space that is efficient for seating, yet easy to navigate and spacious in its feel. The interjection of a soffit over the bar gives the loop a one-to-one height-to-width proportion



that makes it more intimate while appearing to be higher than the original wide-open space. Structural concrete columns and beams are painted an evocative red, creating an arch that frames the mural on the bar side. Lighting is another important piece of the programming for Sukeban. “We wanted a darker space, which actually means quite a lot of light fixtures. Lighting is one of those things that people can’t always point to — but they can feel. Good lighting makes you want to linger longer,” said Robbins. By using lamps at the bars instead of hanging lights, the feel is almost more residential than commercial, and is reminiscent of the bar scene in Lost in Translation. The illuminated shelf system for the bar was almost cut from the budget, but Robbins turned to local sources at Studio Autoforma to get it done at a far lower cost. To further the sense of intimacy, and to enhance the relationship between customer and chef, the sushi bars were lowered, giving customers more visual access to the work of the sushi chefs. The space feels authentic and true to the owner’s intent. The murals spark lively and colorful conversations at tables. The mix of old and new materials provides visual texture. “We let the stuff that is old look old, and the stuff that is new be new,” says Robbins. From the logo, which recalls subtitled Japanese films, to the employees, whose personal styles whisper of anime characters — all hats tip to Sukeban, the yo-yo wielding Boss Girl of this unique spot.

Ultimately, the restaurant opened its doors on time, just six months after design began. Robbins adds, “While there is artistry to design, there has to be efficiency in opening a business. It’s rare to find a client who is willing to go there with you, but when you’ve got someone who is burning their own wood, it’s very special. This is one of those things.” v SUKEBAN SUSHI 210.562.3231 DESIGN TEAM: Architecture and Interior Design — ryb studio Architect — Rob Robbins, RA, LEED AP Intern Architect and Renderings — J. Michael Berringer Mural Artist — Holden William Dunlop MEP Consultant — Rey Gutierrez, PE, LEED AP Graphic Design — Paul Sparks Lighting Consultant — Andrew Stevens Registered Accessibility Specialist — Julie Alexander RESOURCES: Banquettes — Alexander Perez, TX Luxury Interiors Banquette Fabric — Xorel®, Carnegie Epoxy Flooring — Sherwin Williams® Paint — Benjamin Moore® and Ralph Lauren® Signage and Illuminated Shelving Fabrication — Robert John Mezquiti, Studio Autoforma





Sometimes the simplest structures, when designed well, yield endless joy.


icknamed ‘Cannonball Run’ –– after the recommended method of entering the water –– this sleek Massaranduba deck is perched just above the clear, green ripples of the San Marcos River. Although wooden decks are a common sight dotting the banks of the spring-fed river, this one, designed and built by A. GRUPPO Architects, allows its users to engage with the water in a unique way, explains principal partner Andrew Nance. He says Cannonball Run is a simple composition of two forms: a rectangle, representing space, and a line, representing movement. “I love the simplicity of the forms and their relationship to each other with the pecan tree pinning it to the ground,” says Nance of the deck completed in 2013. “I think this visual and physical anchor is really important to the composition.” The deck, constructed out of



the durable Brazilian hardwood Massaranduba, facilitates water access to San Marcos resident Brett Baer’s riverfront property –– one of less than a dozen existing in the city’s limits. Baer, who runs a staging company in Los Angeles during the week, spends his weekends at home with his wife and daughter in San Marcos. With his time in LA being all about ‘work,’ his weekends spent with his family on their picturesque waterfront property are all about ‘play.’ The only thing missing from the Baer’s riverfront property was a way to access the river, located three and a half feet below the level of the bank, so they hired Nance for the job. “Brett’s vision of having a place to gather at the water’s edge was spot on,” says Nance who met Baer when their wives were in graduate school studying dance in Boulder, Colorado, and reconnected when both of their wives began

REMODELER’S ADVICE teaching in the dance program at Texas State University. “The deck is the center of activity on the weekends, and it is so enjoyable to have gatherings. It’s an absolute treat to see the Cannonball Run operate as intended –– with adults gathered around sipping their drinks while the kids run and jump into the river.” Nance’s personal experience floating the river and watching his own two young children enjoy the water inspired the design’s two central features: a conversation area where adults can stay dry, relax and watch over their children swimming below, and the cannonball run which encourages children to run, jump and splash into the river before climbing back out to do it all over again. Positioned near a natural drainage feature and wrapped around a mature pecan tree, the deck offers both visual and literal anchoring to the site. The ‘run’ resembles a fishing dock




our home is your refuge — a sanctuary that should be as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. People are remaining in their homes longer than ever before. The challenge is to design a home that will be open and usable throughout your and your family’s lifetime, regardless of changing capabilities. This concept is called “universal design.”

and cantilevers out over the shoreline from the bank without impeding the flow of water, explains Nance. Canoes and kayaks are easily launched from the natural drainage feature and an integrated storage bin hides the clutter of life jackets, paddles and snorkel gear with a ‘lid’ that is part of the deck’s surface. But ensuring the deck’s longevity in an ‘active flood plain’ posed some technical challenges, says Nance. The site, located in a 100 year flood plain, is characterized by expansive soils and flooding so a mat-foundation system allows the deck to ‘float’ in the soil while the natural buoyancy of the structure is counteracted with earth anchors enabling it to stay submerged to protect it from floating debris during a flood. Both strategies were put to the test in October 2013 just three months after construction, again in May 2015, and later in October 2015 where the deck was submerged in up to 15 feet of water for a 36-hour period. The A. GRUPPO-designed and -built structure was the only deck on the block to have survived the most recent flood. In fact, beyond losing the loungers and looking like it had been pressure washed, Nance says the deck survived with no adverse effects. “Each time it floods, all who have spent time around it call, text or ask ‘how’d the deck do?’” says Nance. “So far, so good.” v

WHERE DO YOU BEGIN? Step 1: Analyze your family’s unique needs. Do you have someone in your family who must sit while preparing meals in the kitchen or who may have balance problems stepping into a tub? Do you have small children who could help in meal preparation KAYVON LEATH, if they had a lower counter at which to work? Executive Director, Step 2: Decide how long you want to stay Austin NARI in the home. If you plan on keeping your home into your golden years, you may want to consider some accessible features, such as wider doorways or minimum thresholds on interior and exterior doorways for easy maneuvering. Replacing a bathtub and installing a walk-in shower is a popular trend right now. Step 3: If you are planning on selling MARTHA BIZZELL, your home in the near future, consider that Executive Director, 49 million Americans have a disability, with NARI San Antonio the number of elderly persons expected to reach an all-time high at the end of this decade and 84 percent of senior citizens prefer to remain in their home as they age. If you want to sell, universal features may help. Step 4: Talk to your remodeling professional about available options. There are a number of universal products available on the market that blend seamlessly with other popular products. There are also a variety of design ideas that can make the home easier to live in for everyone, including the new trend toward open living spaces and the great room. Step 5: Take a customized approach to match design to your family. Each family will have different challenges and anticipated needs. You may find that varying counter heights in the kitchen is a good idea for your family, while more floor space in the bath is not a viable option. The point of universal design is to make the home comfortable and convenient for its occupants throughout their lives. Your remodeling professional will be able to provide the best solution to meet your particular needs. v

ARCHITECT/BUILDER A. Gruppo Architects 512.557.2140 |

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


sumption, and to attract pollinators and birds - Provides privacy, wind and noise barrier; wind breaks can save up to 20 percent on heating bills during Texas winters - Shade trees strategically planted on the west and south sides can cut cooling costs up to 50 percent - A major component of long-term property values

The Texas Living Fence

By CLAUDIA ALARCON Photography and landscape palettes courtesy of THE LOOKOUT DEVELOPMENT GROUP

“Good fences make good neighbors” is an old adage made famous by Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall. But good fences do not have to be ugly fences. Here in Central Texas, a developer has come up with a sustainable fencing solution that will add long-lasting beauty to any backyard. “The ‘Texas Living Fence™’ is our creative solution to the common wooden plank privacy fence found in almost every community,” says William R. Hinckley, President of The Lookout Development Group. Unlike a wooden fence, the Living Fence gets better with age. “Wooden fences lean, warp, fade, block views and create a boring grid-like street scene. Organic fences look better with age and add seasonal colors to the neighborhood, while still providing privacy and security. Our Living Fence gives homeowners a chance to be creative and give their backyard a ‘personality,’ turning a monotonous stretch of wood into a living, beautiful conversation piece.” These fences are anchored by a decorative steel picket, followed by a variety of plants especially selected to fit the terrain, soil type, watering needs and customer’s preference and budget. The Lookout Development Group has commissioned a landscape architect to design a series of landscape palettes to assist clients in developing their specific design. Each has its 52


own benefits; some are easy and inexpensive to install, but may take time to mature and provide complete privacy. Others are more elaborate and higher in price, but can yield more immediate screening results. In The Lookout Development Group’s two newest communities, ClearWater Ranch in Liberty Hill and Esperanza in Boerne, Living Fences are the only type of fence allowed. At Austin’s Crystal Falls they are not required; however, residents have embraced them wholeheartedly. The admitted downside to a Living Fence is it will require varying degrees of watering and maintenance, depending on each design. Designs in the water-thrifty xeriscape palette need almost no maintenance or watering, while those with flowering plants will require more water and fertilizer. “It’s about finding the best organic palette that will work for the individual,” says Hinckley. “No two fences are exactly alike, and they can change with the season. Whether it’s a simple design with only jasmine, or a more elaborate xeriscape plan consisting of multiple vines, grasses and groundcovers, there is a palette for every level of budget and artistry.” SOME ADVANTAGES OF LIVING FENCES INCLUDE: - Seasonal variations ranging from spring flowers to autumn foliage - Fruit production for household con-

The cost of installing a Living Fence may be higher at first glance in relation to the standard cedar fences found in most subdivisions. A typical, top-capped cedar fence costs about $18 per linear foot, compared to a decorative steel picket fence at $25. This initial investment pays for itself quickly, since the cedar fence will require maintenance and is likely to need replacing every 10 years. The steel pickets require no ongoing maintenance or replacement, and the landscaping component can be accomplished for as little as $500 for the minimal palette and up to of $3,000 for more elaborate options. The Lookout Development Group also uses the Living Fences to revolutionize the way they utilize landscape water while naturally beautifying their communities. “The next step is providing a smarter, economical way to maintain our landscaping,” says Hinckley. “At Esperanza, we’ve laid miles of purple pipe for transporting inexpensive, reclaimed water to every home in our community strictly for landscaping. As a developer in Texas, I am very aware of the current water crisis and I believe reusing water to irrigate lawns and landscape is the right thing to do. It’s about going the extra mile to make our communities economically beautiful. Our homeowners are going to save a ton of money and have verdant, grassy lawns without being embarrassed for watering during times of drought. Plus we are going to save 240 million gallons of potable water each year through the use of reclaimed irrigation water for landscaping. That’s equivalent to 364 Olympic-sized swimming pools! Esperanza residents can ‘Think purple and keep it green.’” Keep reading for suggested landscape layouts and plant selections. THE LOOKOUT DEVELOPMENT GROUP 512.260.2066 |

Autumn Sage

Xeriscape Palette Viburnum

Evergreen Climbing Vines CF Creeping Fig EI English Ivy IT Ivy Treebine MG Mustang Grape GB Greenbriar

Shrubs & Ornamental Grasses PT Rosemary YH Yaupon Holly DYH Dwarf Yaupon Holly CE Cotoneaster PH Purple Fountain Grass MF Mexican Feather Grass PG Pampas Grass MG Muhly Grass DG Dwarf Pampas Grass AS Autumn Sage IR Iris SE Sedum SO Sotol SE Sensia ND Nandina YU Yucca

RY Red Yucca PP Prickly Pear Cactus GL Giant Liriope FF Foxtail Fern AG Asparagus Fern VB Viburnum SP Sago Palm SH Sacahuista WM Wax Myrtle DY Dwarf Yaupon


Mexican Feather Grass

PT Portulaca CL Creeping Lantana MH Mexican Heather VB Verbena


Drought Tolerant Low Maintenance Low Water Requirements



Less color Reduced plant selection Less plant material

Muhly Grass



Texas Sage

Hill Country Palette Coral Honeysuckle

Evergreen Climbing Vines

RV Red Wall Virginia Creeper CV Coral Vine PF Passion Flower CF Creeping Fig CH Coral Honeysuckle SL Scarlet Leatherflower Clematis IT Ivy Treebine HI Hibiscus

Shrubs & Ornamental Grasses AG Agarita AS Autumn Sage EP Esperanza TS Texas Sage SO Sotol AV Agave YU Yucca CE Cotoneaster TC Turk’s Cap PP Prickly Pear Cactus PB Plumbago MG Muhly Grass

SH Sacahuista CW Coneflower BD Blackfoot Daisy RM Rosemary SV Salvia RR Rock Rose LE Lamb’s Ear PF Purple Fountain Grass

Groundcovers LN Lantana AJ Asiatic Jasmine BV Butterfly Vine



Disease Resistant Drought Tolerant Low Maintenance “Hill Country” Character


Although drought tolerant, requires supplemental water and care to maintain aesthetic Not as lush or vibrant as tropical palettes


Prickly Pear Cactus 54



Flowering Palette Evergreen Climbing Vines RV Potato Vine XV Cross Vine SJ Star Jasmine PJ Pink Jasmine CJ Carolina Jessamine CR Climbing Rose BG Bougainvillea

Shrubs & Ornamental Grasses EP Esperanza RY Red Yucca CS Compact Sensia SV Salvia PB Plumbago CP Coral Plant MH Mexican Heather CP Crepe Myrtle TS Texas Sage

IR Iris AG Agapanthus TC Turk’s Cap IH Indian Hawthorne PG Pampas Grass MG Muhly Grass MF Mexican Feather Grass DG Dwarf Pampas Grass PF Purple Fountain Grass

Cross Vine


Groundcovers LN Lantana AJ Asiatic Jasmine BV Butterfly Vine


Seasonal color with lush/vibrant aesthetic


Requires more fertilizer, water and maintenance

Carolina Jessamine

Purple Fountain Grass




Desert Palette Evergreen Climbing Vines HH Hall’s Honeysuckle CH Cape Honeysuckle BG Bougainvillea LB Lady Banks Rose CC Cat’s Claw TV Trumpet Vine CJ Confederate Jasmine

Shrubs & Ornamental Grasses YU Yucca RY Red Yucca SO Sotol SE Sedum CT Cactus


AG Agave DY Dwarf Yaupon OC Ocotillo

Groundcovers PT Portulaca CL Creeping Lantana MH Mexican Heather VB Verbena



Drought tolerant Low maintenance Low water requirements Minimal fertilization


Less color Reduced plant selection

Trumpet Vine

Lady Banks Rose 56




of craft cocktails. I was 23 years old and at that time my sister was bartending in clubs. She was financially stable and seemed to be having fun. Working smarter was a good idea then, so I decided to follow her steps.


JL: I started bartending when I was 20 at an Indian restaurant while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, and was quickly promoted to Bar Manager. When asked to create a new drink menu to match the fresh, bold flavors found in Indian cuisine, I developed an obsession for artfully crafted cocktails and fine spirits. In the summer of 2011, after graduating Valedictorian of CU’s Leeds School of Business, I began work at The Bitter Bar, one of Colorado’s first cocktail bars, as Head Bartender. Then the opportunity to open a bar in Austin and take advantage of the burgeoning culinary scene arose, so I decided to move back to my hometown.

It’s no secret there’s been a resurgence in the world of libations. From artistic mixology to inventive bartending, the craft cocktails of today are elevated, subtle or complex and infinitely intriguing. Lucky for us, two of the best of the bar call Texas home. They are young, creative, accomplished and impacting the future of the bar industry. ZULCORALIS RODRIQUEZ: 29, FROM PUERTO RICO

The Esquire Tavern: Bartender at San Antonio’s historic and oldest bar on the Riverwalk. Bar Cred: Miss Speed Rack Texas 2015 (a bartending competition that raises funds for breast cancer research), Beverage Director Magazine’s Top 8 Women Bartender’s to Watch 2015, San Antonio Rivertini 2016 - 2nd place, BarSmarts Advanced Certified, Behind the Barrel Program. (Photos by Kody Melton) JUSTIN LAVENUE: 28, BORN IN AUSTIN, RAISED IN BOULDER

The Roosevelt Room: Mixologist and co-owner of the industrial chic cocktail bar in Austin’s warehouse district. Bar Cred: 2015 United States Bartender Guild’s & GQ’s Most Imaginative Bartender in North America (included Canadian competitors as well), Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition 2015 - Texas Regional Winner, ranked one of Food & Wine’s Top Mixologists of 2015, Eater Austin’s Bartender of the Year 2015, and Zagat Austin’s 30 under 30. (Photo by Julian Bajsel) UH: What drew you to the profession? ZR: After graduating from San Antonio College with a degree in Mortuary Sciences, I decided to focus more in the world 58


UH: What inspires your work? What influences your creativity? ZR: Honestly, my accomplishments are a reflection of my hard work and education. I feel that if I invest myself in the industry, it might inspire others to do the same, regardless of gender. I draw creativity from my heritage and my co-workers. I always tend to include something from where I came from in my cocktails, as well as following some leads and influences from bartenders I respect. JL: Simply put... anything and everything. I think that anything can be used to create a drink. An example of this is Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which I used to create my L’Etoile de la Nuit cocktail for the Texas regional competition. Other examples are memories, people, places, works of art, songs, books, etc. UH: What’s your personal favorite cocktail? ZR: I love boozy, bitter cocktails: Negroni, Old-Fashioned, Manhattan and Palmetto are personal favorites. JL: I honestly do not have one, as my favorite cocktail changes depending on the time of day, my mood, who I’m with, whether I am going to eat or have already eaten, and if I have any engagements scheduled for early the next morning. My personal favorite cocktail to make is a Daiquiri because it is extremely simple on paper (just rum, lime and sugar/simple syrup), but to make it perfectly is an amazingly difficult feat that we believe we have been able to attain at The Roosevelt Room. UH: What spirits deserve a place in the home bar? ZR: Mezcal, sotol, bitters and rum. Living in San Antonio, I have seen a growing interest in agave spirits and rums. Mezcal and sotol are exotic, sexy spirits from Mexico, and everyone wants to taste them. Our new summer menu at The Esquire Tavern includes a lot of rum cocktails, and people are interested in learning more about rums and its styles. In the bartending community, bitters are in!

JL: Sherry has been blowing up for the last two to three years as a cocktail ingredient, and rightfully so. It’s versatile due to its many styles — at least one of which will pair with most anything under the sun. It also provides an amazing nutty and/or raisiny finish to cocktails. UH: What do you like best about your job? ZR: I love interacting with guests, sharing my knowledge and inspiring other people. It really is worth knowing that the time, knowledge and education I invest in myself can be shared with fellow bartenders as well as with guests. It’s fun, dynamic and appreciated. JL: Short answer, everything. Long answer, bartending is one of the few professions where nearly every school of study is utilized on a daily basis. A bartender uses not only physical expertise to produce a cocktail, but must also understand the principles of economics, psychology, mathematics, hospitality, sociology, chemistry, biology, etc., in order to maximize their guests’ enjoyment of their time spent at their establishment. UH: What’s ahead? Any new projects in the works? ZR: I’m working on some cool ideas for a take-over series inspired by musicals. I have been participating in small competitions recently, just to get in the game. And I was accepted into Cane Camp this year! Cane Camp is held in Puerto Rico and provides educational beverage and cultural opportunities designed to inspire bartenders with the passion and flavor of the island. JL: We’ll be launching some exciting things at The Roosevelt Room in the next few weeks: A new drink menu which we are really excited about, a food program so guests will be able to enjoy both delicious drinks and elevated bar snacks, and a punchcard for our 53-drink classic cocktail menu. Our big project is renovating and transforming The Roosevelt Room into a larger concept called De Rigueur. I’m taking time off from competing, but will be judging. I’m also studying for my BAR Master Certification. UH: What do you like most about living in SA and Austin? ZR: San Antonio has grown tremendously over the past several years. It’s a mecca for music, food, cocktails, art and culture. But what I enjoy most about living and working in San Antonio is the people. Everyone’s heritage contributes to the lively and friendly society, and it draws people to visit and experience San Antonio. JL: Austin is the most exciting city in the U.S. right now. Its growth is bringing new talent and ideas from every part of the globe in nearly every industry. As a bar owner, it makes every shift exciting because I get to hear about all of the amazing things happening around the city from my guests. Also, the weather is a lot better here than in Colorado. I prefer six months of summer over six months of winter!

Zulcoralis shares her latest recipe called Black:Guayaba; a velvety, bittersweet rum cocktail that portrays her Puerto Rican heritage (available on The Esquire Tavern’s summer menu). BLACK:GUAYABA 1.5 oz. Ron Del Barrilito 3 Star Rum .5 oz. Fernet-Vallet .5 oz. Guava Nectar .5 oz. Honey .25 oz. Lime Juice Pinch of Salt Shake all ingredients with ice, double strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel. Justin shares his award-winning cocktail, The Poet’s Muse, which won him the title of Most Imaginative Bartender in North America. It’s a best-seller at The Roosevelt Room. THE POET’S MUSE 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin .75 oz. Poet’s Cordial .75 oz. Citrus Blend 2 dashes Umami Tincture COURTESY OF GQ Hard shake ingredients over a large ice cube, strain into a coupe, drop in ice cube and garnish with a lime peel rosette. To make the above ingredients: Poet’s Cordial 1 L. Pistachio Milk (one part unsalted pistachio meat, two parts water, blended and strained) 800 ml. Wildflower Honey 2 Cinnamon Sticks 4 Star Anise Pods 1 Vanilla Bean 2 tbsp. Matcha Green Tea Powder Combine ingredients, rest for three days, finely strain and bottle. Citrus Blend 15 parts Fresh Lime Juice 1 part Yuzu Concentrate Mix well and bottle. Umami Tincture 30 Shiitake Mushrooms (chopped) 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 6 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin 1 tbsp. Himalayan Salt Sauté mushrooms in butter for 10 minutes, add Bombay Sapphire Gin and salt and steep for another 10 minutes, strain off mushrooms and freeze to let fats coagulate, strain off fats and bottle. v URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO




Around The World


Although the exact definition of curry is broad, renowned food historian Alan Davidson wrote in the Oxford Companion to Food that curry “denotes various kinds of dish in numerous different parts of the world; but all are savoury and all are spiced.” Although the term ‘curry’ isn’t used in India, the British adopted it to categorize a number of different Indian dishes they discovered upon colonizing the subcontinent — Davidson says that curry comes from the Tamil word kari, or spiced sauce.


he Portuguese are credited with popularizing curry Bangladeshi immigrants whose restaurants created British-Asian after colonizing the Indian west coast; there is a recipe dishes in the 1970s to suit Western tastes, such as chicken tikka for kari in a 17th Century Portuguese cookbook. The masala and the Birmingham Balti. The Brits even host a National first curry recipe in English was published by Hannah Glasse in Curry Week during which fans vote for the U.K.’s curry capital, 1747, but the recipes are much older. Scientists believe they may curry pub of the year, favorite restaurant and best signature dish. have found evidence of a 4,000-year-old ‘proto-curry’ from the Although spices and herbs vary widely by region and style, Indus Valley civilization of India. Anthropologists found traces curries are usually similarly prepared. “Every culture and region of cooked ginger and turmeric (which are has their own ingredients and procedures, still key ingredients in Indian curries) in but all stem from each other,” says San human teeth and in a cooking pot from the Antonio chef John Philpot of Hot Joy, the ancient town of Farmana, west of Delhi. playful Southtown restaurant. “When I They believe the remains date between 2500 make curries I try using natural sweetness BC and 2200 BC, making this the earliest like bananas and apples to add another note recorded use of either spice to be identified of flavor. We always have a curry on the in the area and curry the oldest continuously menu in some fashion, either traditional, prepared cuisine known in human history. or sometimes we will add or do something Curry dishes based on the original Indian silly to make it ‘Hot Joy-ish,’” he says. styles, as well as European versions of the Some of Philpot’s creations include Thai recipes, exist throughout Southeast Asia, red curry with sunchokes and beef tendon, East Africa, South Africa and Caribbean and black curry mole carnitas served on islands like Jamaica and Trinidad and Malaysian flatbread. “If I had to pick, Tobago. The United Kingdom has adopted I would say Indian-style curries are my curry as a national dish, thanks to a large favorite, just because of the depth of flavor population of Indian, Pakistani and and ingredients used.” BLACK CURRY MOLE CHICKEN WINGS, HOT JOY 60


Indian curries come in many variations, but all feature a complex, carefully layered blend of dry spices and fresh aromatics. The most popular Indian curries are tikka masala, a creamy tomato and yogurt sauce; vindaloo, a spicy, sour gravy made with vinegar and fresh and dried chiles; and rogan josh, made from browned onions, shallots, garlic, dried chiles, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. In Austin, the most impressive selection of Indian curries is at Asiana, a neighborhood restaurant that specializes in authentic regional cuisine of the subcontinent. While the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. are of Punjabi origin, Asiana’s menu includes dishes from various parts of India as well as Indo-Chinese recipes. Owners Pandiyan Kaliyamoorthy and Loganathan Appavu hail from the southern state of Tamil Naru, where curries rely on fresh herbs, are lighter on the dry spice and are often hot and spicy. They also distinguish themselves by the use of coconut and fenugreek seed and leaves, which are known as methi. Asiana serves delicious southern curries like Hyderabadi-style lamb curry made with a paste of fresh jalapeños and cilantro, and Chettinad-style chicken masala. Other specialties here include khorma, a creamy stew made with onions and nut paste, and kadai murg, a spicy dish of chicken cooked with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. Southeast Asian curries are a whole other ballgame. “Thai curries are mostly coconut milk based, although there are also many that are stock based,” says Jam Sanitchat, Chef/Owner of Austin’s Thai Fresh, a quaint café that dishes some of the best Thai cuisine in the city. “Thai curries are thicker than Vietnamese curry. Thai and Malaysian curries are similar, especially if you go to southern Thailand. Malaysian curries resemble Indian curries, with more dried spices in the ingredients.” Thailand’s most popular curries are yellow, red, green, panang, massaman (or Muslim-style), jungle curry and khao soi (a yellow curry from northern Thailand and Laos that is thickened with tomatoes and served on soft or crispy egg noodles). They are normally soupy, made with different combinations of aromatics like garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, Thai lime leaves, cilantro, basil, Thai chiles and shrimp paste, seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice. Yellow and massaman curries are generally mild, while jungle and green curries are fiery hot. “Most common curries have more or less the same ingredients and recipes. It’s more of a preference than anything else,” says Sanitchat. “Some like their curries with more dried spices; some make their red and green curries with no dried spices. Some like to make their curries spicier, others not so much. Old recipes for Panang curry also have peanuts in the paste, although my mom never made it that way,” she says. On the other hand, Chef Philpot likes to use nut butters in his curry recipes. Southeast Asian curries may contain almost any meat, along with vegetables like squash, onion, potato and eggplant. “Heavier meat like beef, goat and lamb go well with curries with dried spices, like massaman and yellow curries. Panang with beef is definitely my favorite,” says Sanitchat. Of course, Muslims will not add pork to their curry. Made from a paste of dried chiles, cloves, nutmeg, cumin and aromatics (lemongrass, galangal and shrimp paste), massaman curry includes whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns, and is

served with or on potatoes. In true Hot Joy style, Chef Philpot has served this curry with tater tots, fries and baked potatoes. As you see, curry is in the eye of the beholder. v HOT JOY, SAN ANTONIO 210.368.9324 | ASIANA INDIAN CUISINE, AUSTIN 512.445.3435 | THAI FRESH COFFEE BAR & RESTAURANT, AUSTIN 512.494.6436 |


A short list of countries where curry, in its many variations, is enjoyed. This is a short list of countries where curry, in its many variations, is enjoyed. Nepal: Masu is a common dish that consists of curried chicken or mutton in a thick gravy, served with rice. Sri Lanka: Common curries are white (based on coconut milk), red (with a large amount of chiles) and black (with dark roasted spices). Indonesia: Rendang is the most famous dish and is considered a ‘dry’ curry, which means the sauce is simmered down to evaporate most of the liquid. Malaysia: Malaysian curries resemble Indian-style stews and contain turmeric, coconut milk, shallots, ginger, shrimp paste, chiles and garlic. Burma: Burmese chicken curry is a Punjabi-style chicken dish, without tomatoes or peppers. Philippines: Dinuguan, also known as black curry, is made with pork meat (including innards) and thickened with pork blood, seasoned with vinegar, chiles, garlic and onion. Japanese curry: Invented in 1912 and also known as battleship curry, it is made from a stock, usually pork, thickened with ketchup and bulldog sauce and seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, ginger, curry powder and white pepper. It includes meat, onions, potatoes and carrots. The Japanese also use curry as an ingredient for other dishes such as katsu kare (curry on a breaded pork chop) and yaki kare, curry that is baked with a raw egg. Ethiopia: Wat is a version of Indian-style curry and can be based on any vegetables or meat except pork. URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO







About 25 miles west of Austin lies an idyllic small town (pop. 1,870) that proud residents call the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. And it’s got a picturesque name to match: Dripping Springs, a perfect summer destination to cool off at nearby parks, sip locally handcrafted adult beverages and enjoy unique lodging, boutique shopping, and a true Texas dance hall. No wonder it’s known as the Wedding Capital of Texas®. We can’t think of a better place to start happily ever after.



A visit to one of the most popular swimming holes in the state will take some planning, but it’s well worth it. About 14 miles north of Dripping Springs, the 232-acre preserve is part of the Travis County park system and a study in pure, unspoiled nature. No fishing, camping or biking is allowed in order to maintain its timeless TPWD quality and fragile ecosystem; hiking is permitted.


Limestone cliffs and the pool’s cave and grotto are a photographer’s dream. Open daily, 9:006:00, weather permitting; no entry after 5:30. Admission fees range from $15-$26 per vehicle; $5 if vehicle has anyone age 62+ or a (60%) disabled vet. Absolutely no pets are allowed here-not on leashes, in vehicles or anywhere. Tip: From May 15 through September 30, 2016, non-refundable morning/afternoon reservations are required to enter the preserve. Call ahead for daily updates about swimming conditions and weather advisories.


— rum, vodka, gin and whiskey — with a complimentary tasting. The ranch features cocktail classes, tasting room, gift shop, food truck and restaurant that celebrates the state’s German and Mexican heritage using locally sourced meats and cheeses. Also check out: San Luis Spirits,, 512.858.1199. Dripping Springs’ award-winning vodka and gin. Distillery tours on selected days (tickets, $10) includes tasting. PEDERNALES FALLS STATE PARK, JOHNSON CITY 830.868.7304


Just 13 miles west of Dripping Springs off US 290, this 5,211acre state park is a favorite spot to swim, hike, fish, camp and much more. The highlight here is the namesake falls, where the Pedernales River cascades over 300 million-year-old layered limestone slabs (no swimming, wading or tubing here due to strong currents). Best view is from the scenic overlook at the north end of the park. Birders might spot some of the more than 150 species in the park, including ravens, herons, quail, owls and wild turkeys. Open year-round, seven days a week. Admission is $6 a day, age 13 and older; age 12 and under are free. Camping fees apply. Call ahead for weather conditions (this is flash flood country) and road construction.

512.829.5323 | TEXMEXBEER.COM

Small batch Tex-Mex Beer™ is a popular new category of beer featured along with Vienna-style lager, jalapeño pilsner, India pale ale, prickly pear lager and premium black lager aged in Dulce Vida tequila barrels — brewed in Texas by Texans. Tasting room open Thursday-Sunday, free brewery tours. Also check out: The Barber Shop,, 512.829.4636. Former garage, gas station and barber shop serves craft beers from area breweries including its own Barber Shop label brewed one at a time. HAWK’S SHADOW ESTATE WINERY 512.587.9085, 866.551.9463 | HAWKSSHADOW.COM


Here are just a few of the cool wineries, craft breweries and distilleries where talented Texans are creating some very special spirits. Happy sipping! TREATY OAK DISTILLING 512.599.0335 | TREATYOAKDISTILLING.COM

Named after a 500-year-old oak tree where Stephen F. Austin signed a border agreement, Treaty Oak occupies a 30-acre ranch north of town. Tours on Friday-Sunday (tickets, $15) give a behind-the-scenes look at the process and award-winning spirits

The newest kid on the winery block, this hidden gem is fast making a name for itself in the scenic hills west of Dripping Springs. The tasting room can be booked online for private tastings featuring red, white and rosé wines. The Winemaker Experience includes a tour and barrel tasting (tickets, $25). The horse on their wine label is a photograph of the real Hawk’s Shadow, the family’s beloved quarter horse who passed in 2010. Open 12:00-6:00 Saturdays; other days by appointment. Also check out: Bell Springs Winery,, 512.643.7398. Tasting room, meat/cheese/olive plates, winery tour available (tickets, $20). Open daily. Their Sidecar Tasting Room (age 21+) in downtown Dripping Springs features wine, small plates, patio and live music. URBAN HOME AUSTIN – SAN ANTONIO



people’s choice awards for Heirloom, Cherry, Yellow, Red Slicer and Roma. At “the Triangle,” convergence of Hwy 290, RR12 and Mercer Street.



512.894.4400 | CAMPLUCY.COM


Luxury cottages and a stellar wedding and special event venue featuring a repurposed 1800s Amish barn, 18th century chapel, pavilion, gardens and Sacred Oaks ceremony site.

Premier wine and food event in the area, featuring more than 75 vendors showcasing local food, vineyards, breweries and distilleries (vodka, rum, gin, whiskey and this year — tequila!). Cooking demonstrations, Wine 101, grape stomping, live music, more. Dripping Springs Ranch Park & Event Center.



Set on 35 hilltop acres with lavender, olive and butterfly gardens, guests choose from two accommodations: cozy guesthouse for up to five, or Stella’s Vintage Airstream (up to three adults) for a night under the stars and views for miles.

Shopaholics get their fix the first Thursday of every month visiting the growing number of merchants on Mercer and Old Fitzhugh streets. Clothing, accessories, gifts, food, galleries and more. Sidewalk sales, live music.



An out-of-this-world wedding venue for up to 300 with three ceremony areas (indoor and outdoor), bridal party prep suites, spectacular Hill Country views, 7,000-square foot ballroom with three walls of windows, 25-foot cathedral ceilings and four grand chandeliers. No onsite lodging; hotel within walking distance with private pathway access. TOMATO ROUND-UP JULY 9, 10-1, 512.858.4725.


It is all about the tomato here: tasting tables, growing tips from Hays County Master Gardeners, Judges’ favorites and 64


A real-deal dance hall with top-notch bands and a familyfriendly vibe. Guitarist Jimmie Vaughn calls it “the best honky tonk in Texas.” Spacious dance floor, cold beer, wine, soft drinks and really cool air conditioning. Smoke-free. Cash only at the door; plastic accepted at the bar. For more info,






Christopher Voss Inc. Fourth Generation Iron Craftsman 210.843.4332

Cosentino Center Austin 512.386.7791

Artesian Pools 210.251.3211

Factory Builder Stores Austin: 512.834.1442 San Antonio: 210.349.9333

Liquid Assets Austin: 512.444.5444 San Antonio: 210.680.7665

Parrish and Company Round Rock: 512.835.0937 San Antonio: 830.980.9595 Downtown San Antonio: 210.255.1125

BMC Window Center Austin: 512.977.7440 San Antonio: 210.494.8889

DOORS Colonial Iron Doors 210.524.1062

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Broadway Bank 210.283.6642




Triton Stone Group Austin: 512.821.0020 San Antonio: 210.546.0980

GreenScapes Landscaping & Pools 512.263.3669




Guido Doors, Windows, Millwork 210.344.8321

Austintatious Blinds and Shutters 512.608.0302

TimberTown Austin 512.528.8112

Texas Sun & Shade 512.402.0990

CG&S Design-Build 512.444.1580 CROSS 210.826.7200 Realty Restoration 512.454.1661

INTERIOR DESIGN Bella Villa Design 512.443.3200 JEI Design, Inc. 512.330.9179 Panache Interiors 512.452.7773



Martel 800.609.1596


OUTDOOR LIVING Homefield 830.626.1971 Outside in Style NW Austin: 512.250.0000 SW Austin: 512.617.8888 San Antonio: 210.558.1818

Austin’s premier window covering Austi n ’ s pr emier w i n dow cov e r i n g boutique bouti q u e s h owc A sthe i n glatest th e l styles, Ate st st y le s , & trtechnology e n ds & showcasing trends tec h n o logy At th e 20 14 pA r A d e o f h o m es™

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Austintatious Blinds & Shutters Austintatious Blinds & Shutters 12918 Shops Parkway, Ste.ste. 700700 12918 shops parkway, Bee bee Caves, Texas 78738 caves, texas 78738

(Located at theatShops at theatGalleria) (Located the Shops the gallery)

Urban Home Austin-San Antonio June/July 2016  

Urban Home Austin-San Antonio June/July 2016

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