Urban Home Austin-San Antonio

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From the Editors As we prepare to ring in the New Year, those inspiring lists of resolutions made last year that seemed so attainable in our fresh states of mind with our motivation levels sky rocketing now come back around to haunt us. So instead of trying to lose weight, exercise more and learn Spanish, we’ve each decided to focus on realistic, and really fun, things to do around our homes. Here are our suggestions and personal goals: 1. Eat dinner at the dining room table. Sure, there are many evenings when everyone’s schedules allow for a family dinner that is usually unmemorable as everyone rushes off to their next task. But to really relax and savor an extra half hour or so in the evening where creative conversation can occur over a delicious meal on matching plates (or even the good china) is totally possible with a little planning and discipline. It’s worth it! 2. Entertain more. There are so many talented home cooks and foodies out there, not to mention the abundance and quality of ingredients available in our area. Start a cooking club that rotates from home to home. The host/hostess can prepare the entire meal, or courses can be divided according to theme and assigned to guests. Or find a local cooking school to take a class with friends and learn a new cuisine or technique. The goal is to enjoy your passion for cooking and to make time to stay in touch with friends. For those with children, it’s a great way to expand their palettes and socialize as well. 3. Keep things tidy. It is really not necessary to wake up ten minutes earlier just to make the bed. It takes one or two minutes at most. And while this resolution might also fall under the typical category of getting organized, it’s really just a matter of putting things away immediately — easier said than done — but totally possible, with a little discipline and a few minutes each day. An uncluttered desk and kitchen counter brings so much happiness! This resolution may be more difficult if you have children. In fact, this idea has been brewing all year in an attempt to break my children of the bad habits I have allowed them to form. 4. Plant a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your yard. We have a grapefruit tree that my son and I started from a seed. Years later, this tree is so prolific during late fall that no one leaves our home with taking home some grapefruit. We push them on everyone we know. It has been a fun family activity to go out and pick our bountiful harvest. This year I plan to add a vegetable garden to my backyard “orchard.” While these simple steps may not be life changing, they will make a significant difference in that they will make us slow down, find a few common activities and enjoy each other’s company just a little bit more. Because before we know it, we’ll be ringing in 2014. Inside this issue, you’ll find three grand yet family-inspired homes along with design ideas to bring your vacations home with you, and new holiday foods and products to try. Until next year, may your holiday season be merry and blessed, and may 2013 bring good health and prosperity. We look forward to sharing with you the best that Central Texas has to offer in the New Year. Please share this issue with a friend and be encouraged to recycle.

Trisha Doucette & Leslie Woods, editors

P.S. Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/urbanhomemags If you have wonderful finds that our readers would enjoy, let us know on Facebook. On The Cover: Bold pops of color and incredible attention to detail, combined with consistent architectural elements and a wonderful use of space, make this family home by Greenwood Custom Homes fun and contemporary while maintaining traditional roots. Page 22.

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Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Don’t Move,

with J Angelo Design Build

2012 | VOL. 7 | NO. 6 Publisher Louis Doucette Editors Trisha Doucette and Leslie Woods Contributing Editors Leonard Guerrero – ABOR David Davison – Austin NARI Justin Bravo – NARI San Antonio Karen Matuszewski – By Design, Real Estate Services & Custom Home Consulting Chris Pearson – Service Tech AV 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 Casey Dunn, Bibb Gault, Coles Hairston 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

2012 Coty Award-Winner • Contractor of the Year • Best Residential Exterior Specialty

2012 Tour of Remodel ed Homes Award-Winner • Best Overall Remodel (Also won in 2011) • Best Outdoor • Best Addition 106 Lacey Oak San Antonio, Texas 78230 210.882.6263

w w w. j a n g e l o d e s i g n b u i l d . c o m

Email louisd@urbanhomemagazine.com Website www.urbanhomemagazine.com 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.”

Mike and Tiffany Greenwood have remodeled, designed and built exclusive luxury and custom homes in San Antonio and the surrounding areas for nearly 10 years. Their homes are acclaimed by the Greater San Antonio Builders Association with awards at the 2008 Parade of Homes, the 2011 Parade of Homes in Champions Ridge and most recently at the 2012 Parade of Homes at The Dominion. Greenwood Custom Homes are renowned for attention to detail, architectural touches, and expansive spaces.

© Copyright 2012 by Urban Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

A premier builder of custom homes and construction for the distinguishing homeowner.

210.849.6300 www.greenwoodcustomhomes.com

December 2012 / January 2013

Contents cover 22 The Divine In The Details Photography by Bibb Gault

featured homes 30 Rustic Retreat Photography by Coles Hairston 40 Modern Family Photography by Casey Dunn


trends 48 Design Palette Earth 70 Outdoor Fire and Nice 74 Food Holiday Traditions



38 Beyond The Ordinary 46 2600 Modern 60 Why This Space Works, Designer Spotlight: Debbie Baxter 63 Understanding Estate 64 Hostess Gifts 68 Luxury On The Rails

departments fabulous finds 78 Destination:Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail



essentials 67 New Products: Metallics contributing editors 56 David Davison, Austin NARI & Justin Bravo, NARI San Antonio 58 Karen Matuszewski , By Design - Custom Home Consulting 81 Leonard Guerrero, ABOR 82 Advertiser Index





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The Divine in the Details By Sharla Bell | Photography by Bibb Gault

So how does one design and build a significantly sprawling residence, one that must be completely livable for the family who will call it home, but also must stand up to the overwhelming scrutiny that comes with being a Parade Home? Known for their attention to detail as well as building expansive spaces, Mike and Tiffany Greenwood of Greenwood Custom Homes have a very simple answer: One thoughtful decision at a time.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



n the case of the home the Greenwoods built for the 2012 Parade of Homes in The Aragon at The Dominion, an incredible attention to detail combined with wonderful use of space makes for a home that “wowed” Parade-goers, and more importantly, makes the mom (and the rest of the family) who lives in said home quite happy. When defining the style of the home, Mike explains, “The exterior is a blend of Italian and Spanish styling, which is the most familiar architecture to San Antonio and seemed most fitting for the terrain and area.” The homeowners desired a courtyard, which fit nicely within the chosen style of home, and the lot proved large enough to accommodate that wish. While both Greenwoods were determined to build a stylish home with nice features, it was also important that the home “still be a place you can put your feet up and relax — not that mom would necessarily allow that!” In that spirit, the interior is a “livable mash up of contemporary fun and traditional wood and stone,” adds Tiffany. And that fun is most obviously seen in the bright hues of color that pop everywhere against a background of creamy white and rich wood. When asked about the dashes of teal and coral that are seen throughout the house, Tiffany explains, “The homeowner has great taste! She loves light and bright colors, her favorites being blues and oranges. We made it flow throughout the house by carrying one color from each room onto the next.” By deftly layering the color this way, the bright colors never consume a space, but instead exude the feeling of casual sophistication. When choosing a color palette for your home, Tiffany recommends finding one color that you really love and building from that, and she emphasizes the importance of using samples of color to see how they work in the space with the natural lighting. Another design element that adds sophistication and a sense of fun: the arabesque shape that is used as a motif throughout the home. From the handmade, custom ceramic tile backsplash in the kitchen to the hand cut, routed and polished pieces of marble for the arabesque archways in the master bath, to the tiniest details on the light fixtures in the master closet, this shape, which Tiffany says “feels like original San Antonio,” provides a unifying theme in such a spacious home. It became an entertaining challenge to find all of the many ways that the Greenwoods and the homeowners found to incorporate this at once ancient and modern shape into the design choices within the home. Both the color choices and arabesque shape come together most clearly in the family’s living spaces. Centered on a magnificent kitchen, the living area includes a formal dining and living area adjoining. Just behind the kitchen, a more casual family room with two sitting areas and a wet bar, and a breakfast banquet are nestled between the kitchen and family room. An oversized, natural tumbled stone is used for


the flooring throughout the main living space, with tall, rich walnut wood cabinets dominating the central kitchen. Tiffany coupled this gorgeous wood with “a stunning, creamy white quartzite for the oversized kitchen island. If you look closely, you can see all the little crystals.” For the backsplash, the curves in the arabesque tile were not enough; the backsplash itself is curved, “to play off the turret in the formal dining room,” explains Tiffany. The breakfast banquet, a favorite space of Mike’s, came about as a solution to the problem of where to put the breakfast table so as not to impede traffic flow within the family living space. “With two small tables, the family can come and go from many paths without running into each other, which is a common disadvantage for banquets. By doing this, we were able to keep a comfortable café ambiance while staying functional,” adds Mike. The formal dining room, housed inside the home’s turret, is Tiffany’s favorite space. So very many exquisite details come together in this room, it is easy to see why a designer would urbanhomemagazine.com

enjoy it. The juxtaposition of the exposed brick with the crystal chandelier, the beautiful wood flooring reflecting the bright orange leather of the chairs, the now-familiar arabesque pattern on the panel drapes leading the eye up to an exposed rafter ceiling, all make for a beautiful and inviting space. The iron strapping, found in many old European houses, is used for structural support for the exposed rafters. “Rather than hide the iron detail, we decided to make it pretty and expose it as an added layer of detail for the home,” explains Tiffany, who believes it is all about the experience: “When you sit at the round table, you can see the beautiful view of the hills and watch the sunset.” Not far from the main kitchen is a truly brilliant idea the Greenwoods call the “flex kitchen.” “The flex kitchen is kind of our thing,” explains Tiffany, “We unveiled the first one at the 2008 Parade of Homes. People loved it and have been requesting one ever since.” Equal parts utility room, craft room and secondary kitchen space, “it’s a usable space for the way Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


that we modernly live. Most rooms used alone are usually too small to accommodate each function, but with the combined space, families can gather to work on school or family projects, and the mess of every day living can stay out of sight. The creamy white cabinets are oversized for useful storage. While searching for a backsplash for this room, the homeowner found a tiny sample of this chocolate brown Walker Zanger tile. Immediately, we fell in love with it! We love the contrast that it gives to the white cabinets. The counter tops are a dark brown marble around the perimeter, with a soft white stone on the island.” Also completely stunning, the master bath is a work of both function and art. Open and airy, the team used a light marble on the walls and floor, with a bluish arabesque accent tile, again by Walker Zanger. “The lights and fixtures are the jewelry of the room, adding lots of sparkle and shine to the space,” adds Tiffany. From the master bath, you walk into the dreamy closet with a mixture of painted and stained furniture-grade cabinetry, walnut on his side, maple on her side. An important element throughout the home is the careful choice of lighting in each room, which Tiffany emphasizes as 28

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

extremely important to finishing a space. “When choosing lighting for a home, find the foyer or dining room light first and branch out from there. Lights are often too small for the spaces they are in, so don’t be afraid to go too big. And keep hunting for the perfect light for a space — it can make a significant difference in the end result.” The lighting in this home came from a variety of places, including Turney Lighting and Milton Lighting, and Tiffany insists that it is the homeowner’s great taste that made these choices easy! Clearly, it is the little details that make this home come together. Even the ceiling stencils tell a story. Not only are the bathroom ceilings stenciled in the recurring arabesque pattern, but the formal living area, this writer’s favorite space in the house, has a beautiful scrolling pattern stenciled on the ceiling. When asked, Tiffany laughs a bit, and explains that the stencil work on the living room ceiling comes directly from Greenwood’s logo — it just happen to fit the character of the room — and the home — perfectly. v DESIGN-BUILD TEAM Greenwood Custom Homes 210.723.7233 | Greenwoodcustomhomes.com urbanhomemagazine.com

Rustic Retreat By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Coles Hairston

Tucked within the Hill Country Preserves about 15 miles outside of downtown Austin sits a distinctive farmhouse-inspired home that is as rustic as it is elegant; comfortable as it is charming.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



he 6,100-square-foot, two-story residence nestled in West Austin’s Spanish Oaks neighborhood is every bit as unique as architect John Hathaway describes: an Old World rustic Texas Hill Country retreat. “The clients’ vision was to create something that had a lot of warmth, something that felt comfortable and homey,” says Hathaway, principal architect at Vanguard Studio, Inc. “They like that feeling of a Texas farmhouse, but they really liked the idea of having a friendly, warm place where people could instantly feel at home.” To put desires into words is one thing; to convey them through design is another. But the architect-builder-design trio met the challenge at hand by using elements found within the home’s natural environment and taking a departure from neighboring styles. “We took very natural elements you find around here and prominently displayed them in this house — we used a lot of stone and wood on the outside as well as the inside,” he says. “A typical Texas Hill Country house would have lighter stone, but we put a little twist on this with a darker stone to add an Old World feeling to it. It is a hybrid between Texas Hill Country style and Old World. And I think it is an interesting mix.” Perched on the edge of the gated community’s 4.5 acre fishing lake, this home exudes the feel of a Texas farmhouse with the added custom touches that make it suiting for luxurious living. “They wanted a home where they could live comfortably in casual elegance,” says builder John Siemering of Siemering Homes. “These are not pretentious people; they are very grounded. They didn’t want a look-at-me home; they wanted more of a pioneer-style look.” The dark stone seen throughout the house is a mocha-colored sandstone which takes on an irregular shape once it is quarried out of the ground. The clients loved the color but didn’t like the shape so a mason hand-worked each and every stone to make them rectangular. Rather than hauling the leftovers to the landfill, the remaining shards of mocha sandstone were recycled in the home’s landscaping to line the dry creeks weaving throughout the property, creating further cohesion between the house and its surroundings. Since the back of the house faces the lake, a strong visual appeal was needed from all angles. The front and the back of the home are almost identical, boasting charming red-framed windows and half a dozen porches that provide a welcoming vibe from various vantage points. A sprawling outdoor living and grilling area gives way to incredible views of the clients’ oak tree-covered property and picturesque lake just beyond. The 75-foot lap pool built for the clients’ two teenagers who competitively swim forms a serene segue between the two. While this home was constructed in 2010, it was built in a way that flawlessly blends it into the natural setting. “This house is very much tucked away in between all these oak trees which also gives off that feeling that it has been here a long time,” Hathaway says. “It has a lot of natural features we have done our best to take advantage of.” Design details were purposely chosen to give the home a timeless quality.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


“The idea was for this home to feel like it had been here a long, long time,” says interior designer Kelli Siemering. “I chose a color integrated stucco because it gives the house an older appeal that you could never achieve with painted stucco. It was important to me that all the architectural elements of this house, even down to the exterior lighting I chose — the pioneer-style lanterns rather than ordinary outdoor lights — all fit cohesively within the time period of a very old farmhouse.” While obvious attention has been paid to the outside of the home, the real heart of this house is the main living room. Its oversized doors — three sets of knotty alder wood-framed doors in the front and an 18-foot sliding unit in the back — were designed to open from both ends to bring the outside inside. Anchored by a two-story, floor-to-ceiling massive stone fireplace that had to be outfitted with two pipes in its chimney to handle the volume of heat and smoke resulting from a wood-burning fire in the 60inch wide space, the room further conveys a connection to the 34

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

A hammered copper soaking tub takes center stage amidst a vaulted wood beam ceiling and a standing stone wall.


outdoors. The home is undeniably masculine, dominated by its grand scale and dark color palette coming from sizable timbers, dark wood and stone, and mesquite floors throughout the house. “The home has a lot of mass — it is a very masculine home,” says John Siemering. “All the trusses are hand-made and pegged on site the old-fashioned way.” Yet there is a careful balance at play that prevents the home from being too rough. To soften the masculine look, interior design elements that felt rustic yet refined were chosen. The living room remains comfortable and cozy, offering up a certain warmth. “This is a busy, busy family, and the whole idea was to make them a space that was their place to be comfortable together,” says Kelli Siemering. “I chose elements that were pretty and appealing to the eye but also felt like they’d been around for a long, long time. I chose fabrics that were soft to the touch, and created a place where the family can curl up and watch movies or read by the fireplace.” urbanhomemagazine.com

Transitioning from the living area, the kitchen serves as a visual testament of the custom touches poured into this house. Each of the kitchen floor’s tiles was hand made, creating a herring bone pattern that mimics the custom-designed table attached to the honed granite island. The hand-picked tiles in the backsplash are a blend of rusts, creams and muted forest greens while the side splashes consist of stone tiles from Turkey which have been tumbled and polished with copper upholstery nails to provide depth. A coppersmith was commissioned to create a vent hood which remains the focal point of the kitchen. “We went through hours and hours of back and forth getting the perfect finish on the vent hood,” she says. “We wanted it to have a patina that made it look like it had been around for a long time. We didn’t want it to look perfect and shiny and brand new.” Impressive designs and custom touches can be seen throughout Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


www.dawnhearn.com Dawn F. Hearn, ASID 512.930.0250 Texas Registered Interior Designer #9501

• New Construction • Remodeling • Furnishings

Luxurious fabrics and accessories add softness in an otherwise masculine home.

the house transitioning from room to room. The master bathroom, defined by vaulted wood beam ceilings, features a hammered copper tub Kelli Siemering found before the slab was ever poured. The soaking tub sits against a standing stone wall that serves as both a candle holder and dividing shower wall. The balcony above the great room provides a point of communication between the rest of the house, and a sprawling game room and study for the clients’ teenage children. A rubberfloored exercise room sits opposite the master on the first floor as to not disturb the rest of the family during early morning workouts. But what stands out most about this home is the stark departure from the neighboring Tuscan and Mediterranean styles — it’s a rustic retreat from the norm. “This home is really a far reach from every other house in that neighborhood,” says Kelli Siemering. “This house feels like it fits. It just blends so perfectly into its surroundings. I really love this home, and I hope the clients love it as much as I do.” v ARCHITECT Vanguard Studio, Inc. 512.918.8312 | Vanguardstudio.com BUILDER/DESIgNER John Siemering Homes 512.416.6500 | Jsiemeringhomes.com


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


• Accessories • Consultation • Space Planning


BEYOND THE ORDINARY One design firm creates works of art in clients’ kitchens and bathrooms By Sue-Ella Mueller | Photography by Joe Webb

There’s an old saying that goes “if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.” For the majority of people, work is work. But for those that happen to be lucky enough to work at N House Design & Build, every work day is an adventure! urbanhomemagazine.com


’ve been building things all my life. I started out doing furniture, but I really enjoyed building cabinets and designing kitchens and bathrooms with unique granite finishes,” says Robertson. “When we started the company, we made the decision we wanted to build furniture grade cabinetry and not something you’d find in the local hardware store. Designing and building is what we love to do here.” N House Design & Build specializes in custom cabinetry in a more contemporary style with clean lines and modern finishes. In addition, the firm has come to be known for their unique countertops which are fabricated in-house and of solid surface materials. But Robertson says what they do best is taking an ordinary kitchen or bathroom and turning it into the extraordinary, without having to involve a lot of people. “We wanted to put everything under one roof for our customers. They can come to us and work through the majority of the process of designing and building their kitchen or bathroom from start to finish. We meet with our clients and listen to their wants, needs and ideas, and take it from there. We design, build and install everything, and are able to eliminate multiple steps and contractors for our clients, saving them time and money,” he says. “Our clients bring us an empty canvas. They know they want a work of art and they know the colors they want to use on it, but just aren’t really sure what they want the final piece to look like. We help them create the masterpiece, or the space, they are dreaming of.” It’s not unusual to hear Robertson speak in terms of art where his work is concerned. In fact, he sees so much beauty in the granite he uses for his clients that he opened a 5,000-squarefoot art gallery dedicated to the stone. In the gallery are massive slabs of breathtaking granite hanging on the walls and illuminated with soft lights allowing clients to see the swirls, colors and textures of different types of stone that is available for their own home. “The stone comes from all over — Brazil, India, Italy — and we’ve brought in just about every type of solid material you can imagine, from quartz to marble to travertine. We also work with different finishes on the granite, so instead of a high sheen, we’ll add a textured finish like a leather or a honed finish,” says Robertson. “We fabricate all of our own countertops and backsplashes creating unique designs for our clients that they won’t see anywhere else.” N House Design & Build is so focused on crafting distinctive, exclusive rooms that Robertson says more often than not each kitchen or bathroom includes a signature piece by the designers. Cabinets include standard features such as solid wood dovetail drawers and full extension soft close guides and doors. “N House Design & Build is not your average kitchen and design store. We go beyond what the big box stores offer and deliver individually tailored designs of custom-made contemporary cabinetry and unique surfaces,” says Robertson. “We’ve brought the craftsmanship back creating a well-planned modern space giving each home a richer, more contemporary feel.” v N House Design & Build 210.650.3233 | Nhousedb.com


modern family

By Dana W. Todd | Photography by Casey Dunn

When the Reynolds family built their home less than a year ago in a small, mature community in West Austin, they had one advantage that overrode any challenges thrown their way. Greg Reynolds is a builder, and as such, he already speaks the language of residential design and construction. A blank palette with infinite possibilities may scare some, but for Reynolds and his dynamic design team, it was a let’s-see-what-we-cando project. A steeply sloped lot, materials search and homeowner’s restrictions never stood in his way as he oversaw the construction of the new 6,442-squarefoot house his family of five now calls home.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



s a builder raised in a homebuilding family, Greg Reynolds has moved several times. His new home is somewhat of a departure from the more traditional homes in which he has lived. “This house is a more open plan than the Reynolds’ past traditional homes,” says architect Jim LaRue. “They shed themselves of unnecessary spaces.” As an industry veteran, Reynolds knew who he wanted on his team. He chose James D. LaRue Architects in Austin because of the firm’s reputation for contemporary design and JEI Design as the interior design firm. “I have been attracted to Jim’s architecture for a while,” Reynolds says. “It is a softer, warmer contemporary style. We have gotten more progressive each time, moving toward contemporary design. This house is a different lifestyle for us. We’re not hard-core contemporary people, but we like clean, simple, classic lines that can handle the test of time. It’s a simple house, but it’s not always easy to be simple.” The living, dining and kitchen spaces merge into one open room on the main floor of the home, which is housed on the


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

second level along with the main entrance and master suite. Sweeping Hill Country views from all rooms on the main level connect the openness inside with the openness outdoors. An “upside down” house, the three kids’ bedrooms, a guest room, four bathrooms, and a poolside entertaining space with a large living room and kitchen banquette make up the lower level below the street. With a steeply, but evenly, sloping lot, Reynolds found it necessary to cut two ledges into the stony hillside to accommodate the first level of the house. The addition of terraced landscaping provides flat, grassy areas for a yard around the T-shaped house. “It’s a tough home site because it’s so steep,” Reynolds says. “We worked with the hillside and tucked the secondary bedrooms underneath. I was thinking about resale.” Working with challenging elevations requires a larger-than-usual budget, but the end result in this case has the homeowners feeling as if they are sitting in a tree house overlooking the hills. The architects working on the project, Jim LaRue and Rez Lankerani, both of James D. LaRue Architects in Austin, sited the house to capture an eastern exposure overlooking the hills,


important in Austin’s ultra hot summer climate. Most of the home’s main rooms have windows on both sides of the house since it was designed one room wide — long and thin to protect the great views in those spaces. “The house mimics the hills beyond and becomes part of the landscape,” says LaRue. “It is the best solution for this site. Site elevation is important because so much of the roofline is visible from the street. The contemporary style doesn’t have the constraint of geometry and is easier to marry into the site.” Despite homeowner association restrictions, Reynolds exercised creativity to achieve the look to which he aspired. Although exterior materials were limited, Reynolds worked with the design team to use native Lueders limestone in an atypical smoothly applied finish in an unusual application — as a wall veneer on the home itself and not just as paving material. On the inside, the house is all about flexibility for family. Designed for an active family of five, with entertaining and resale value in mind, the house’s features are practical and modern. Two large walk-in closets, for example, may one day become an elevator for another family’s needs. Reynolds roughed in an


elevator shaft which he says can be converted in a future $20,000 changeover. For today, the closets are more important to contain clothing and maintain the home’s uncluttered feel. “There was some deliberation about the TV wall in the living area,” says interior designer Julie Evans of JEI Design in Austin. “The family wanted a TV, but there is a wooden panel that can pop over the space if someone decides to cover it up later.” Overall, there is a sense of openness, yet functionality. You won’t find nonsensical nooks and crannies in this house. In designing the rooms, Evans brought the clean, unfussy lines of the exterior architecture inside and mixed materials to tone down the contemporary feel and up the comfort vibe. Contemporary homes that are a little “lighter” or “softer” in their design approach are more livable, less stark and cold, and friendlier, she says. She mixed clean, white sofas and glass walls with dark mesquite flooring. Formal dining chairs dressed down by navy corduroy balance sleek quartzite and Caesarstone® countertops. Combining rustic and contemporary elements increases the individuality of the home and creates a transitional feel between the traditional and modern aesthetics.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


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

In addition to materials, size is important to create the transitional, comfortable ambiance. “We gave a lot of thought to scale,” says Evans. “The scale is comfortable. The furnishings are not too small, and the size of the tile is right. Basically, the architecture is so strong, that everything I put into it needed to blend.” LaRue and his team of architects are known for their sustainable designs. In this case, they included a “green” factor almost passively as they do in many of their homes. Local materials, such as indigenous limestone and USAmanufactured windows, pervade the home. A sophisticated insulation system, thicker 2x6 framing throughout the structure, Energy Star® grade appliances, and a four-star rating by Austin’s Green Building Program put the house on the leading edge of sustainability. An environmentally friendly design, clean lines, comfort in furnishings and materials, and sensible room arrangements all add up to a house that lives the way its family wants to live, minus the stuffy traditionalism and accompanying clutter. “We are trying on a whole new wardrobe,” says Reynolds. v ARCHITECT James D. LaRue Architects 512.347.1688 | Larue-architects.com BUILDER Reynolds Custom Homes 512.306.0001 | Renoldshomes.com DESIGNER JEI Design, Inc. 512.330.9179 | Julieevans.net 44

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


512.443.3200 www.bellavillads.com

Foursquare Builders


2600 Modern By Sue-Ella Mueller


n a planet with more than 7 billion people, exclusivity is hard to come by. In terms of property, it’s almost impossible. As one of the last prime pieces of significant acreage on Lake Travis near Austin is now being offered, it’s something to consider. But the neighborhood known as 2600 will not be for everyone. In fact, it will only be for four homeowners. This unique property features multi-acre home sites with two large estates already completed and two more designed and ready to be built, offering an exclusivity that most can only dream of. It’s an approach that is unique to 2600, and one that’s central to the vision for the community. “People in the Austin area have been driving by this property with its beautiful green open pasture for years, wondering who lived there and why it hadn’t been subdivided. Now, there’s finally an opportunity to own it,” says Wes Wigginton,

managing director of Foursquare Builders. Foursquare Builders has been commissioned as developer, and is the only builder for the 2600 private estate project. “There’s just under 50 acres of land that’s being developed into four home sites. Each one of the four estates has deep-water frontage on Lake Travis with private docks. This type of property is hard to come by.” Just a twenty minute drive from downtown Austin, the gated community is located along Ranch Road 620 and is just north of the Lakeway community. “Each of the four properties has 10 or more acres and is positioned so that there is a feeling of privacy. Life on Lake Travis is even closer – accessible at any time from your own private dock on the property. Owners enjoy instant, year-round opportunities for boating, waterskiing, fishing, swimming, jet skiing, sailing, and dockside access to a variety of restaurants, parks, and entertainment venues that surround the lake.” says Wigginton. “It’s a rural feel in a cosmopolitan area.” Wigginton’s relationship with this property began more than 15 years ago when the current owner was in the beginning stages of property shopping. “We were tasked by the client to find a large, Lake Travis waterfront property for their new home. We were instrumental in negotiating the purchase,” says Wigginton. THE BLUFF HOUSE


“We were later brought on board to complete the first house – the Lake House and then were sought out again when the owner was ready to build the Bluff House. Through the years, the owner has put a great deal of trust and confidence in our understanding of modern design and uncompromising attention to details and quality construction.” Once again, Foursquare Builders is working with the current owner to develop and promote both the Lake House and the Bluff House as well as the yet to be built High House and Meadow House. “We have built a team which includes Burton Baldridge Architects and Austin Fine Properties to design and sell the special story which is called 2600.” All four homes feature contemporary designs, with each distinct from the others in style, layout and features. “Our mission is to offer a home you are thrilled to live in, and neighboring homes you are thrilled to share the property with.” Wigginton says. While the designs may look uncomplicated with their clean edges and open spaces, Wigginton says the modern-style is anything but simple. “The end result of the home appears to be very simplistic, but that’s just not the case,” he says. “There’s not a lot of trim, crown molding or heavy textured walls to hide

the beauty of the architecture. You have to create a seamless transition between materials and it’s a very challenging endeavor to pull off. It takes a lot of thought and attention to detail. But that’s what we are known for. You walk through one of our homes and you can’t explain it, but it just feels good.” All four 2600 estates can be customized to meet the needs of the next homeowner. “We’ve assembled a great team for this project,” says Wigginton. “We are able to ensure the buyers that their home will get built on time and on budget. There’s peace of mind knowing that you are making an investment with people who have been in the home building and designing field, delivering very high end homes on a consistent basis for more than 30 years.” v ARCHITECT Baldridge Architects 512.441.1700 | Baldridge-architects.com BUILDER Foursquare Builders 512.944.4520 | Foursquarebuilders.com | 2600modern.com REALTOR Austin Fine Properties 512.731.8884 | Austinfineproperties.com


design n Trends

C i n q u e T e rr e

PA L E T T E E A RT H 2013 Color Forecasts and Collections

From bright yet cooling water and lush landscape, to earthy and organic rugged terrains, to all shades in between, paint companies strive to find unexpected combinations that create harmony in a world saturated by contrasting colors of nature. Dovetail SW7018

Glidden®, Pratt & Lambert® and Sherwin-Williams® announce their 2013 Color Forecasts, all

Extra White SW7006

Independent Gold SW6401

Poolhouse SW7603

Spiced Cider SW7702

From the Sherwin-Williams® 2013 Color Collection

Dawn Hearn, ASID, NARI, CAPS Dawn Hearn Interior Design

highlighting phenomenon in our natural world.

Six local designers take inspiration from their favorite vacation destinations, not only from the colors and architecture of various locations, but from the memories that each evoked, and explain how the colors of nature are used to create impact and balance in a living space. Glidden.com | Prattandlambert.com | Sherwin-williams.com

Why the Cinque Terre inspires me: My first trip to Italy was planned for the week following the tragedies on 9/11, and there were some second thoughts about even taking the trip. I am so glad we did! It was quite a change coming from the chaos, fear and sadness in the U.S. at that time and getting transported to this idyllic setting. It is the most beautiful and charming place I have ever visited. These five small villages clinging to the rugged coast in the Italian Riviera are an example of strength and community spirit during adversity. In October 2011, they were pummeled with extensive flooding and massive mudslides, and are currently rebuilding Monterosso and Vernazza, the two towns that were most devastated, and the trails that link the five towns together. They have worked tirelessly to restore their homes and businesses, and all towns are now open again for visitors. Why these colors inspire me: I love the contrast of the structured, brightly colored homes nestled into the rugged hills and coastline. The warm, faded exteriors bleached out by the coastal sunlight, and the cool,



shadowy streets between the tall buildings make an interesting visual combination. How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: For a bright, cheerful interior, I would paint the walls Independent Gold and the trim in Extra White. The color Dovetail could be present in some upholstered furniture or weathered, washed case goods. I would use the Poolhouse and Spiced Cider in the accents: pillows, rugs, art and accessories. For a richer, more subdued interior, I would paint the walls Poolhouse. The Dovetail would be a great color for upholstered pieces and a concrete or modern tile floor. Independent Gold could be used in additional upholstery or a painted piece. I would use the Extra White and the Spiced Cider as accent pops of color. Dawn Hearn Interior Design 512.930.0250 | Dawnhearn.com Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Unusual Gray SW7059

Silver Strand SW7057

Safari SW7697

Roycroft Suede SW2842

Poolhouse SW7603

S a n m i g u e l d e all e n d e

Apricot Ice 48YR 50 372

From the Sherwin-Williams® 2013 Collection

Why these colors inspire me: Cancun has the most spectacular colored ocean — so blue it almost looks fake — and the myriad shades of blue and green from bright and clear to soft and pale are a refreshing addition to any room in the house. 50

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Red Red Rose 90RR 18 450

Still Waters 90GG 28 133

Vienna Lake 10BG 72 057

From the Glidden® 2013 Color Collection

Julie Bradshaw, ASID, NKBA Bradshaw Designs Why Cancun inspires me: Refreshing, relaxing, uplifting, serene and beautiful describe the charm of Cancun. Cancun has always held a special place in my heart because my husband and I have been vacationing there since our honeymoon over twenty years ago. My in-laws purchased one of the first condos in Cancun just as it was beginning development into a tourist resort. Back then there was mostly sand, surf and sun on the island of Cancun. Much has changed over the years, and Cancun has grown into a booming tourist destination in a relatively short period of time, but the sparkling clear blue water and picturesque, pristine beaches remain just as beautiful today as they ever were.

Bongo Jazz 28YR 29 561

Stephanie Villavicencio, RID, ASID Bella Villa Design Studio

How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: There are many ways to incorporate these colors in each room of your house. Kitchen cabinets would look fabulous painted a soft gray/green like Unusual Gray to show off Carrara Marble countertops and backsplash. The gray/green cabinets provide an unexpected touch of elegance rather than the more traditional white. Bedroom walls painted in Silver Strand bring a touch of soft ocean color to the room and work well with cream/taupe gauzy bedding. Add a seashell framed mirror or crushed shell chandelier for the finishing touch. Library bookcases painted Roycroft Suede with Safari on the walls create a cozy reading nook reminiscent of sandy beaches. Bath cabinets painted Poolhouse add a refreshing yet subdued blue tone that could be paired with pebble tile floors in the shower and crema marfil marble on the vanity countertops. Bradshaw designs 210.824.1535 | Bradshawdesignsusa.com urbanhomemagazine.com

Why San Miguel de Allende inspires me: I love all the colors in San Miguel de Allende. It’s not that far away but you feel like you are in another world. Vibrant colors combine with interesting doors and architectural features, and surround you as you walk down the streets. The main colors on the buildings are warm tones of terra cotta, red, yellow and pink. The air and light in the town seem to magnify the beauty of the colors and textures. Bougainvillea grows abundantly in brilliant shades of hot pink and red, and lush green foliage provides a beautiful backdrop. Ironwork in many different designs accents the windows and balconies. There are gorgeous colors in light fixtures, tile, artwork and accessories as well. Just thinking about San Miguel inspires me, particularly when I am working with colors and textures. Why these colors inspire me: The warmth and combination of many colors is exciting and reminds me of San Miguel de Allende. The terra cottas and reds make people feel good and beautiful. Combining the warm urbanhomemagazine.com

colors with contrasting colors such as the turquoise really makes them pop. They also bring back fond memories of my beautiful and colorful friend and mentor. She taught me how to use brilliant colors, and inspired me to be the designer I am today. How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: I would layer these colors depending on the composition and features of the room using the lighter terra cotta on the main walls, the darker pomegranate color for an accent wall and the light blue for the ceiling. Or you could put the darker pomegranate color on the bottom and the lighter color above on the walls. The turquoise/aqua, along with yellow, would work well as accent colors in the room in accessories such as pillows, vases or art. Pillows in interesting patterns with all the colors would really tie everything together. Bella villa design studio 512.443.3200 | Bellavillads.com Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


H awa i i

G lac i e r n at i o n al par k

Tripoli Sand 13-27

Midsummer Gale 26-17

Steel Wool 33-14

Swiss Coffee 33-5

Timeless Gray 29-23

Indigo Night 90BB 09 186


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Sapling 50YY 51 519

Light Lime 88YY 81 230

Laura Britt, ASID, RID, BPN Laura Britt Design

Courtney Balsam, IIDA, RID Baxter Design Group

Why these colors inspire me: Nature always has a way of creating unique color combinations in a way that makes complete sense. Here, the gradual variations of sunset colors blend together to create a calm, serene palette. The hues are different enough to invoke variety while still maintaining a fairly tonal scheme.

Capri Pants 50GG 43 213

From the Glidden® 2013 Color Collection

From the Pratt & Lambert® 2013 Color Collection

Why Glacier National Park inspires me: Every August we head to Montana to escape the extreme Texas heat. There, we are able to truly appreciate the beauty of nature. The immaculate state of Glacier National Park is awe-inspiring and has always been a source of inspiration for me. The park at dusk is a moving experience and really makes me realize the magnitude nature plays in design.

Black Magic 46RB 06 074

How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: These tones work really well in a bedroom where soothing colors create a tranquil space. The use of Timeless Gray provides a soft backdrop for deeper, more pigmented colors to stand out. The mix of dusty grey, green and blues serves as secondary colors that add interest while maintaining a sense of tonality. I love the idea of using a more crisp color for bedding. Swiss Coffee has just a hint of color but still keeps the feel of the linens fresh. Finally, I like to add a little of the unexpected to a finished room to add personality. Tripoli Sand is a soft golden color that would be a great accent to add just a pop of color. Baxter Design Group 210.828.4696 | Baxterdesigngroup.com urbanhomemagazine.com

Why Hawaii inspires me: Hawaii is the most beautiful place I’ve ever had the pleasure and privilege to visit. Just looking at this photo brings your soul a sense of calmness and peace. Imagine being there in person! It’s absolutely invigorating to take in the vibrant colors, fresh air, cool water and calm ocean breezes. Hawaii is known for its stunning natural beauty, and for very good reason. You cannot help but feel rejuvenated, refreshed and restored after spending time in this idyllic setting. Why these colors inspire me: Cool, calming blues and greens taken from nature are a wonderful way to bring serenity and peacefulness into your home. Personally, being surrounded by these colors not only provides tranquility but evokes the wonderful memories of time spent in Hawaii, surrounded by constant beauty. Who wouldn’t love that?


How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: I see a room that is grounded by a bold blue wall color, like Indigo Night, the deepest part of the ocean in the photo shown here. Black Magic is also a beautifully deep color, reminiscent of the deep ocean waters. For a color this dark, you can use it for other accents such as niches or furniture finishes. The more shallow reefs are such a beautiful turquoise accent color. You can bring this color in as an accent wall and accessories theme, such as pillows to soften the space, using Capri Pants. For other accessories and natural plant life in the room, I would look to the lime color in the trees. Sapling and Light Lime can be used in foliage accents or accessories. I’d add touches made of natural materials such as rattan or seagrass to give the room a beachy feel and texture. Laura Britt Design 512.458.8963 | Laurabrittdesign.com Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


G ra n d C ay ma n Isla n ds

Midnight Sun 8-13

Golden Laughter 11-8

Cerise Delight 2-14

Blue Comfort 23-11

Chalk Gray 11-32

From The Pratt & Lambert® 2013 Collection

Laura Burton, Allied Member ASID Laura Burton Interiors

Why Grand Cayman inspires me: This photo of Grand Cayman’s beautiful underwater world reminds me of a special vacation spent snorkeling and scuba diving with my family. Known for its exquisite beaches with crystal clear water and coral sand, this island provided the perfect backdrop to experience the beauty and colors of nature together with my loved ones. Experiencing the vibrant colors and interesting sea life up close is one of my most vivid memories from this trip. Why these colors inspire me: I am constantly amazed by God’s versatile color palette and artistic expression through nature. I have a sense of awe each time I wander through a natural stone slab yard with clients and discover the unique patterns and colors that are quarried from the earth! In the same way, when I look at this image I am reminded of the mysterious world of color that lies beneath the sea. I am inspired by the creativity that exists all around us! 54

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

How I would incorporate these colors into an interior space: This image is about color, but I would start with a fresh and neutral foundation, so as not to overwhelm the senses. My personal design style is expressed primarily through texture and shape, and I use color selectively for impact. For this space I envision simplicity, with large windows to let sky blue become a subtle color in the scheme. I would use light wood floors for warmth, pale gray paint such as Chalk Gray for the walls, and various shades of crisp white on upholstery. The pops of tangerine and blue would be introduced in pillows and in slight touches on an accent chair and rug. The magenta would be a finishing dapple of color, appearing only in small areas such as fresh cut flowers on a pale weathered wood coffee table. v Laura burton interiors 512.322.9888 | Lauraburtoninteriors.com urbanhomemagazine.com


Successful Projects from Conception to Completion

Elegant Ranch Designs at Affordable Prices



oo often homeowners initiate the remodeling process by contacting construction companies to visit their home and provide a bid on their project. The construction companies will provide homeowners with a bid based on this initial conversation and meeting. As each new construction company enters the space, they bring new ideas, and as a result, the homeowners’ concept for the project itself starts to evolve. This way of requesting a quote for a remodeling David Davison, project results in multiple bids from President, Austin NARI multiple companies, all providing a broad range of pricing. The result is due to the ever-evolving homeowner concept. Each one of the construction companies based their bids on an unclear and incomplete conception of the project. To ensure homeowners are receiving multiple bids that accurately reflect a common concept, the National Association Justin Bravo, of the Remodeling Industry recommends President, NARI San Antonio having a clearly designed space before receiving bids for construction. Using a NARI designer or remodeler to design and lay out a room prior to the bidding process will allow homeowners to accurately compare numbers between various construction companies, along with having fewer change orders due to the lack of decision making after construction commences. Homeowners should expect to pay a designer or remodeler for quality design work. For the initial investment, homeowners often will receive multiple floor plans, construction documents, material specifications, and other drawings to accurately depict the overall design. An industry average for design work is five to eight percent of the final project’s cost, so remodeling a small bathroom might cost a homeowner an average of $1,500 to design. Whether the designer/remodeler provides the construction services or another construction company is hired, having a complete design with all decisions made prior to construction will ensure accurate bids and less confusion from conception to completion. v To find a professional remodeler in Austin or San Antonio, visit Austinnari.org or Remodelsanantonio.org.

Ranch Interiors

When Imagination Matters . . .


512.577.9297 www.straightlevel.biz

If you can dream it, we can build it! 31300 IH-10 West (exit 543 across from Toyota) • Boerne, Texas 78006 830.755.6355 • 210.535.3070 • www.CatrinasRanchInteriors.com


I want



By Karen Matuszewski, By Design – Custom Home Consulting


ou’ve decided you want to build a new home. One designed just for you! As a custom home “concierge,” I work with clients just like you every day that want to build their dream home, but don’t want to put their life on hold to do it. During the process with each client, there comes a moment (or moments) when something they never knew existed now HAS to be part of their new home and I hear them shout out with delight, “I want THAT!” Some clients come with a list of THAT’S, some discover them along the way, and many do a combination both. Whatever THAT item is for you, is your personal definition of luxury. THAT could be something as simple as kitchen drawers that light up when you open them so you can see the contents without digging around in the dark for the lemon zester you know is in there. THAT could be the stainless steel coffee-espressocappuccino maker built into the wall of your new study so you can have your morning coffee along with your 6am conference call to London. Or THAT could be the 131 inch wide, Black Diamond projection screen with the theater seats that shake, rattle and roll along with the movie! THAT may be something you already own. For one client it was a collection of hand-painted tiles she had gathered from her trips to Europe. She only had about 20 tiles, but each of them was a memory and together they formed the perfect backsplash behind the cooktop in her new home. THAT can also be a special place in your new home or remodel project. A Zen garden is a wonderful retreat to a faraway place, right in your own backyard. If photography is your hobby, or you want it to be, incorporating a dark room would be a great use of a small space. For the organization lover, there is nothing as satisfying as a well-organized pantry where you can see and reach Grandma’s turkey platter, your pasta machine and the ingredients for tonight’s dinner without needing scaffolding! How about a master closet that feels like you are shopping in a boutique? From clear front shoe drawers to valet rods and pull down racks, picking your “look” for the day can have you feeling like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” Thinking about building a new home or starting a remodel project, and don’t have any good entries for your THAT list? Follow me on Pinterest or Houzz.com and you will have a list as long as your arm! v Until next time, have a question about the home building process that you would like answered? Call or email me, and you might find the next Custom Home Advice column written especially for you! 512.917.2653, Karen@CustomAustinHomes.com.

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Dream Home

Using the services of a professional to help assemble your new home team can save you time, money and frustration. Karen and Rob Matuszewski are custom home consultants who have been helping clients build new homes for 10 years. They have earned numerous designations in home construction from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and can provide references and credentials. Call us today for your complimentary consultation. Services include: Lifestyle Analysis • Community Selection • Lot Evaluation Builder Interviews • Architect Interviews • Plan Design Assistance Project Financing Options

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By Design Custom Home Consulting Karen & Rob Matuszewski

Karen@CustomAustinHomes.com • 512-917-2653 Rob@CustomAustinHomes.com • 512-695-6498 www.customaustinhomes.com Follow us on Houzz.com!

Just last year Debbie Baxter was tasked with the challenge of revamping a Mid-Century home once owned by her close family friends’ parents into a modern dwelling that would suit their grown-up lifestyle nearly half a century later. Combining her signature flair with her seasoned ability to merge comfort and practicality, Baxter transformed an outdated one-story house into an inviting space that now breathes a sense of excitement into the lives of its new owners. While a departure from the more traditional style her clients were used to, the 2011 San Antonio remodel created a picture-perfect space for a couple with four grown children and seven granddaughters who often fill it. Baxter sat down with us to share some of the design details behind this modern makeover.

works WHY THIS


This project has obvious significance since it was undertaken for one of your closest friends. What were the main goals driving this design? DB: I’ve always been involved in the design of this couple’s homes and offices, but it was always a very traditional style so this was a total design departure from what they were used to. It was an enormous change in their living style. They had to recalibrate their lives to go from a very traditional two-story cottage style where they had raised their four children to a one-story Mid-Century Modern on a large lot. My friend had only lived here for one year before going to college and getting married, but when her mother passed away and it came time to sell it, she just couldn’t let go of the property. The main goal throughout the design was to keep the bones of the home. We wanted to change as little as possible to the structure but to update what was there. The only wall we removed was the one separating the dining and living areas from the kitchen. Previously, the kitchen was totally closed off, and removing the wall really created a sense of openness.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Designer Spotlight: Debbie Baxter of Baxter Design Group By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Casey Dunn



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Understanding Estate collections

picking a rug — it’s my first priority in a design. Then we found that vintage sectional and had it reupholstered in stone gray velveteen. We also found a vintage dining table, but we paired it with some reproduction chairs we had reupholstered in a very hip aqua fabric with a circular pattern. The white high gloss lacquered kitchen was our canvas to work from, and we kept the original white terrazzo floors. This enabled us to bring out the bold colors of the rug in eye-catching ways — like the fun citrus-colored backsplash and the functional, chic chartreuse bar in the kitchen.

By Bonny Osterhage

What was the biggest challenge in recreating this space? DB: The biggest challenge was the fact that this family had accumulated over 40 years of possessions, from Persian antique rugs, and English and French antique furniture to traditional oil paintings of family members, and crystal chandeliers. Those furnishings did not at all play into the architecture of the space so the real challenge at hand was to come to grips with detaching from all those items and starting over. They were able to give a lot of those pieces to their children who are building their own lives now, they donated others, and they also had an estate sale. They started a whole new and fresh approach to living as “senior citizens.” Were you able to reuse any of the original elements in the redesign? DB: As a whole, I would say this home is very green. We reused a lot in this redesign. Most of the furnishings you see are repurposed. Those are the original draperies we had cleaned and then repaired and resized. Even though we had to replace the doors and windows because they were almost 50 years old, the new steel windows and doors fit right back into the original openings.

What was your source of inspiration for this design? DB: If you look just over the fireplace, you will see a painting hanging there. That painting was done by my client’s mother, and it was an original to this house. We loved it, and it became our inspiration for the entire design and color scheme. I think my favorite thing about this new space is the fact that we were able to find mostly vintage era furnishings from the 1960s, which was when the house was built. And we found vintage pieces of really fine quality; for example, the dining room chandelier is a vintage French chandelier from the same time period. Speaking of color, how were you able to create this wellbalanced space using such a bold and vibrant palette? DB: White walls, white flooring and lots of glass required a strong color commitment to bring the interiors into focus. We started with the rug because the space needed a “wow” factor to anchor the furniture. I tend to work from the ground up and I always start by 62

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

You mentioned these clients have a big family — with some young members. Did you select your materials and furnishings to accommodate their lifestyle? DB: Everything in this house is kid-proof because there are seven young granddaughters and more grandchildren to come. These homeowners are very active grandparents and it is not their style to micromanage — they are very relaxed. For example, we found the pair of vintage swivel chairs right here in San Antonio and had them reupholstered in tangerine indoor/outdoor fabric. Now the granddaughters can sit in them after they swim in the pool just outside the sliding glass doors. The octagonal coffee table was formerly brown stained wood that we found at a random vintage store and had it re-lacquered in white. We put white quartz on top so it is virtually indestructible. Why does this space work? DB: As two very modern-minded people past the age of 60, I knew they needed something to keep them inspired, active and loving every moment of life. And that is what this home has done. It has given a new lease on life to people who have raised their children and are of retirement age. It has a certain level of excitement. They were just so thrilled with everything that happened here. It totally works — for this family, and from a design standpoint. It works really, really well. And I am so inspired. v BAXTER DESIGN GROUP 210.828.4696 | Baxterdesigngroup.com urbanhomemagazine.com

While the term “estate jewelry” can bring to mind images of costly diamond and ruby encrusted pieces, the truth is that “estate” simply means “preowned.” It can range from inexpensive costume jewelry in a thrift shop to priceless gems found in an exclusive auction house.


trictly speaking, estate jewelry is anything that has been previously owned,” explains Mary Peñaloza, owner of C. Aaron Peñaloza Jewelers. “You can find it anywhere from a local flea market to a Park Avenue atelier.” Another misconception when it comes to estate jewelry is that, the older the piece, the higher the value. While any item more than 100 years old qualifies as an antique, it is still usually less expensive than a brand new piece. “Generally speaking, estate jewelry can cost 20 percent to 50 percent less than a new piece,” says Peñaloza. “It’s a great value because, again, it is preowned.” Know Your Eras People who are simply looking for unique and interesting items, or items from a specific era, may not be too concerned with whether the preowned piece is of any value. In fact, Peñaloza points out that most people who collect period jewelry (jewelry that is less than 100 years old) do so because they love the piece, not because they hope to make a profit. “It’s more like collecting art,” she explains. But even if profit is not a factor, the serious buyer or collector will want to make sure that the piece is the real thing. Each era has some basic characteristics that define it, such as the delicacy and filigree work of the Edwardian era or the geometric patterns and bright colors of the Art Deco period. Unless a buyer has done extensive research, however, the average person may not be knowledgeable enough to recognize whether or not the piece is authentic and priced fairly. That is why Peñaloza recommends dealing only with those people or companies that have a proven reputation in the estate field. v C. Aaron Peñaloza Jewelers 210.822.4044 | Penaloza.com


Periods of Antique and Estate Jewelry Georgian 1790-1831: Characterized by nature themes including leaves, trees, flowers and animals. Used silver, gold and lead for setting gemstones and glass. Victorian 1831-1905: Characterized by sentimental motifs including hearts, flowers, clasped hands, lockets and brooches. Intricate detail, black enamel, jet, garnets and seed pearls commonly used. Art Nouveau 1895-1905: Characterized by floating and sensual themes including flowers and butterflies. Elongated lines, feminine and fanciful themes, soft colors and lovely translucent enamels. Edwardian 1901-1915: Characterized by light and lacy touches. Delicate filigree worked in platinum with diamonds, pearls, amethyst and sapphire. Art Deco 1920-1935: Characterized by sharp lines, geometric patterns, bright color contrasts, coral, jade, onyx and amber. Long necklaces and stacks of bracelets are prevalent. Retro 1940-1950: Inspired by Hollywood; colorful and bold with rose gold, scrolls and bows, and large stones including aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, rubies and diamonds. Post Retro 1950-1969: Very diverse with past themes mixed with new designs and reproductions of antique styles. Yellow and white gold, diamonds and sapphires featured heavily. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Delysia Chocolatier

Hill Country Lavender

La Patisserie

Brieger Pottery

hostess gifts

Sensational (and Local!) all year long By Jackie Benton

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

Jingle bells and taco shells – it’s holiday time again! Time to don that gay apparel (or iron a crease in your favorite pair of jeans) and make merry with friends, neighbors and relations as we count down the days of December and look forward to the promise of the New Year. No one enjoys the holidays more than Central Texans, and it’s a sure bet that holiday par ty invitations will abound at this time of year. Show a little Lone Star Love to your host and hostess with something that’s more than just flowers and wine this season. Urban Home Magazine presents these eight sensational hostess gift suggestions from the Central Texas area to help you express your thanks in a way that’s sure to please all year long.

Hot Stuff! Jalapeno Popper Cookers: $25-$35 BBQ Outfitters 6715 Ranch Road 620 North Austin, TX 78732 877. 274.7455 | Bbqoutfitters.com Not only does the Chile Grill Jalapeno Cooker by Chile Grill do the job right, it’s just dang cute to look at. Purchase the Chile Grill cooker in the shape of the state of Texas that lets you cook 20 poppers at a time, and let the fun begin. Versatile enough to use either in the oven or on the grill, your hostess will love being able to easily make these appetizer favorites at home. The easy preparation consists of simply cutting the stem end from the jalapeno pepper, coring the pepper and removing the seeds, stuffing the hollowed pepper with cheese, wrapping the outside of the pepper with bacon and then placing in the popper cooker. (If that’s too simple for your hostess, BBQ Outfitters offers a matching cookbook with more recipes available for purchase as well). If you really want 64

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

to spice things up for your hostess, check out BBQ Outfitter’s selection of John Henry’s Spices and Seasonings, or special hardwood cutting boards, both made in Texas. A Taste for the Exotic Humble House Foods Sampler Pack of Four Delectable Spreads: $20 Saturday – Pearl Brewery Farmers Market Sunday – The Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market San Antonio, Texas 210. 541.8844 | Humblehousefoods.com San Antonio residents have long attested to the culinary genius of Luis Morales and his company, Humble House Foods. Now, you can share that genius with your hostess. Morales’ latest offering for the holidays is a sampler pack of four of his popular spreads, destined to be loved by both fearless kitchen divas as well as newbies learning the ropes. “These spreads are versatile enough that they are great for someone with a lot of experience, and very easy for someone who doesn’t know how to cook and doesn’t have time to learn,” says Morales. Beautifully packurbanhomemagazine.com

aged in a pretty orange organza bag, there’s something tantalizing here for every taste bud: the Tapenade spread’s original Italian recipe with capers and Kalamata olives gives it a salty and briny taste, the Roasted Tomato spread features tomatoes loving roasted overnight as well as sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic for added flavor, the Cilantro Pesto consists of fresh cilantro, white cheddar and sweet pecans, while the original Pesto spread’s fresh, hand-picked basil is combined with nuts and cheese, sure to make it everyone’s favorite. Stop by the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market on Saturday or The Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market on Sunday during December to meet Morales in person and pick up your gifts, or order online. Sweet Addiction Delysia Chocolatier Nine-piece Box of Truffles: $20-$27 Austin, Texas 512. 413.4701 | Delysia.com More than just chocolate, confections by Delysia are as beautiful to present as they are to taste. Chocolatier Nicole Patel has perfected her craft to allow you to bring a little bit of chocolate ambrosia for your hostess to delight in. While Delysia offers a wide array of chocolate confections, of special note are her specialty truffle boxes, with more than sixty flavors available. Her special just-for-the-holidays nine-piece truffle box features three mint, three eggnog and three gingerbread truffles, all perfectly packaged. But, don’t forget year-round favorites, such as the Texas wine truffle collection, featuring three Merlot, three Cabernet Sauvignon and three Port truffles, all flavored using Texas-made wines, or The Latin Collection, featuring a nine-piece truffle collection of zesty spiciness using cayenne, habañero and jalapeño peppers. (And advance notice for those of you who are always on the prowl for something new — check back with Delysia’s website in mid-January, when the nine-piece Valentines boxes of raspberry, dark chocolate and Champagne flavored truffles become available.) Mon Dieu! Such Macarons! La Patisserie by Luxe Sweets Six Beautifully Packaged Macarons of Your Choice: $12 602 West Annie Street Austin, Texas 78704 512. 912.0033 | Lpaustin.com We know what you’re thinking: you’ll just dart into La Patisserie for a hostess gift of their acclaimed macarons, heralded by The Austin Chronicle as the perfect gift in their Foodie Gift Guide issue. Sure — tell yourself that, and then try, just try to leave with the one thing you had in mind when you walked in the door. We’ll bet you can’t, because we’ve tried ourselves, and found it impossible. In addition to the special gift-packaged, six seaurbanhomemagazine.com

sonal macarons for only $12 in your choice of pecan pie, pear spice, cranberry, champagne and peppermint, take your pick of other baked delights, including palmiers, eclairs and croissants, all in a variety of yearround and seasonal favorite flavors. And, if your hostess is observing a gluten-free diet, no worries — La Patisserie offers a wide array of gluten-free goodies, including pecan brownies and oatmeal cookies. Want something special? Call ahead, and see what the bakery can prepare for you ahead of time to pick up on your way. Fa La La La La Fromage! Antonelli’s Cheese Shop 4220 Duval Steet Austin, TX 78751 512.531.9610 | Antonellischeese.com When walking into Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, try to resist the urge to twist your head so much trying to see all the wonderful delicacies that this little shop tucked away in Hyde Park has to offer that you end up with whiplash. Cheesemongers and owners John and Kendall Antonelli have seen to it that their little shop has not only hundreds of cheeses available on a “taste before you buy” basis, there’s also a charcuterie selection and a host of other specialty food items, such as craft beer, boutique wines and classic vermouths, as well as chocolates and other artisanal foods that may easily be paired with select cheeses. You’ll find a wide array of hostess gifts in a variety of price ranges from which to choose. Don’t know where to begin? Kendall Antonelli suggests thinking of combining items, such as a nice cheese board, a Laguiole cheese knife, and a good hunk of cheese, or a cheese and chocolate basket with three cheeses accompanied by three paired chocolates. Speaking of pairings, you can’t go wrong with a quality cheese (like Coupole) combined with a sparkling wine — Antonelli’s has everything from Prosecco to Champagne. And don’t forget to check out their limited production seasonal cheeses, such as Rush Creek Reserve. Check back often — there’s always old favorites, and new discoveries to be made. O’er the Fields We Go…. Want to get your gift-giving on, but don’t like the mall? These favorite Texas destinations are sure to put you in the holiday spirit when you take Santa (and yourself ) on a sleigh ride out of town, and enjoy the scenery along the way. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Eat Mo’ Pie! Royers Round Top Café Pies: $29.95 105 Main Street Round Top, Tx 78954 979-249-3611 | Royersroundtopcafe.com

new products

metallics 1

Pies, pies and more pies. Bud Royer and family do it up right at Royers Round Top Café, where they bring their message of “Peace Love Pie” to pie lovers the world over — literally. Pies from Royers Cafe have shipped all over the world (those with loved ones serving in the military should check out their “Operation: Desert Pies” special), bringing comfort and a little taste of home to those who love and need it most. Recently returned from his Pies to Sandy mission this Thanksgiving (Royers Cafe drove to shelters in the New York/New Jersey area, bringing along enough Royers pies to feed 5,000 as well as donated cash cards), Bud is back and doing what he does best: creating the best pies ever. Choose from seven different pies, including Coconut Chess, Buttermilk, Butterscotch Chip, Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut, Buttermilk Delight, Pecan Pie and the ever-popular Chocolate Chip Pie. Or, if you’re convinced your hostess is not a “pie person,” order the Cafe’s Sinnamon Ring — guaranteed to please as a late night snack or early morning breakfast. Sure, Royers has a website that allows you to send your pie directly to your hostess’ doorstep (or yours, for that matter), but the drive out to Round Top to pick up your pie is half the fun, with enjoying a fabulous meal at Royers Cafe being the other half. And don’t forget to leave some room for a slice of pie for dessert. Scents and Scentsability Hill Country Lavender Sample Bag with Four Hill Country Lavender Products: $24 P.O. Box 1266 Blanco, Tx 78606 830.833.2294 | Hillcountrylavender.com (Year-round location at Brieger Pottery) “Our sampler pack featuring four different lavender products of lotions and essential oils comes in a purple bag, so you don’t have to wrap it — it actually doubles as a sachet bag,” says owner Tasha Brieger. “These are extremely popular, not only as hostess gifts, but also as bridesmaid gifts.” Brieger also notes that Hill Country Lavender also has a lavender culinary set featuring lavender sugar and herb salts for $24, and there’s even travel sizes of many products available, so that you can customize your own little pack. “We sell sheer sachet bags, so making your own little set is a fun way to give your gift that 66

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personal touch,” says Brieger. “You could pick out five products and make up your own sets, and change it up depending on your hostess and her tastes.” Also available are lavenderscented hand soaps ($7) and soy candles ($12). “These could go in the bath or the kitchen — and who doesn’t like soap or candles?” she asks. Hill Country Lavender is only open during the lavender season, but all products are available on their website. Those who want to see Hill Country Lavender’s products in a store setting should visit Brieger Pottery located in the Blanco town square, owned by Tasha’s parents (see below). Finding Beauty in the Every Day Brieger Pottery Various Pottery Pieces: Prices Vary 408 4th Street Blanco, Tx 78606 830.833.2860 | Briegerpottery.com Nestled in the historic community of Blanco, Brieger Pottery offers the perfect day-trip getaway for those tired of shopping in the big city. Brieger Pottery is on the north side of the town square, next to the post office, and offers shoppers an ideal win-win situation: the opportunity to purchase beautiful pottery as gifts, and then a chance to explore Blanco and spend a relaxing afternoon and evening enjoying the holidays and time with loved ones. Brieger Pottery features a full line of handmade, functional stoneware pottery made by the Briegers, Jon and Jan, themselves. As an added bonus, Hill Country Lavender products by daughter Tasha, are also sold here (see above), and the store also carries other items made by local area artisans. The Briegers have been full-time potters since 1980, and the beautiful thing about each piece is that it is a handmade work of art in itself, but also functional. Inventory changes constantly, and picking out the right piece becomes a personal journey. Made of the same native Texas clay used by early Texas settlers, the Briegers stay with traditional designs, but give their creations a contemporary twist that has become their trademark design signature. v urbanhomemagazine.com

1. The Regal Bath is fully loaded with architectural merit. This new wave of bath modernism will inundate those living on the innovative edge. The double-walled bath is neatly tailored with a bowed top ledge and supportive bottom shanks. A fixture with this level of sophistication is more than notable, it is pure brilliance. Diamond Spas. 1.800.951.SPAS (7727), Diamondspas.com. 2. Using metallic on an existing furniture piece gives it a fresh look for today’s contemporary design. By silver leafing the carvings of this 1920’s piece and applying a gesso finish to the body, a current look is created. Segreto Finishes. 713.461.5210,Segretofinishes.com. 2

3. Houndstooth is living large — whether a classic woven in the Scottish lowlands as a coat or a fabulous silver-and-black mylar wallpaper. Pictured, Jackie-OH! Slate on Silver Mylar (RB4265). York Wallcoverings. 1.800.375.9675, Yorkwall.com.


4. The Solitaire rectangular bowl by Global Views incorporates an understated metallic finish married with a pop of vibrant gold, making it a perfect statement piece in any room. Available through Dawn Hearn Interior Design. 512.930.0250, Dawnhearn.com.



5. The Kate cuff in gold, silver or gunmetal metallic python is timeless, and can pull any ensemble together on their own, or look great thrown in with your other wrist goodies. So light you hardly know it’s there... until people stop and ask where you found that killer cuff. Presmer. 713.213.2722, Presmer.com. 6. Beaded ornaments from Guatemala nestle comfortably in a Mercury Glass bowl from Tonala. Cosas carries a varied selection of Mercury Glass, from large vessels and candle holders to vases and ornaments, all in bold colors and smooth, fluid designs. Cosas. 830.249.1500, Cosasonline.com.


7. The Lotus cocktail table with traditional lines and styling in a polished stainless finish makes a contemporary statement in any room. Bernhardt Furniture, Bernhardt.com.



Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy of Patrick Henry Creative Promotions

Luxury on the Rails


s there any image more luxurious than that of a deliciously private, beautifully elegant train car from days gone by? Good company, fine dining, sleepers, every detail attended to — gone with the wind, right? Not as long as Houston businessman Patrick Henry is around. With two meticulously restored private train cars, Henry has resurrected the glory days of train travel by turning them into a 21st century haven for special events, meetings, sporting excursions, romantic getaways, even the ultimate tailgating party. A train buff since he was two, the affable Henry is to the manner born. “My dad worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for 41 years,” he says. “I grew up riding trains.” As an homage, the dome/ observation car is named the Warren R. Henry. The sleeper car is named for his mother Evelyn Henry, who celebrated her 95th birthday on board on a tailor-made excursion. The cars — which can go anywhere Amtrak goes — travel across North America with the exception of New York (“Our dome car is too high for the tunnels there”). The most popular trips originate in the west — Seattle to Los Angeles, San Francisco to Chicago, and Los Angeles to Chicago and New Mexico are especially sought-after charters. As founder of Patrick Henry Creative Promotions (phcp.com), Henry says he initially bought the 1950s cars in 2005 “for personal use, a great way to entertain clients, rent them out on a selective basis.” But word soon spread, and everyone from celebrities to executives to newlyweds wanted to be on board. He estimates he’s done about 40 charters in all, including fans heading for the NCAA Final Four, the Rose Bowl, baseball games in Chicago and St. Louis, board meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, a group 68

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of mayors promoting train travel for their region, and a private charter for Barry Manilow. Henry raves about “outstanding” executive chef Felix Mukolu, who prepares delectable entrees of sea bass, lobster and beef tenderloin, and luscious desserts on board from scratch. Guests are served by two stewards. For the past five years, “we’ve traveled to the Kentucky Derby, a wonderful trip from Chicago to Louisville,” he says, which includes an elegant dinner on the way back to Chicago. Day trips accommodate up to 24 guests; overnighters sleep ten. Most trips are two to three days “but some have been as long as eight.” Naturally, such luxury has prices to match: Charters begin at $8,500 a day. For stationary services — where cars are parked to host an event — prices start at $3,000 for up to 12 dinner guests, and $3,500 for receptions of up to 25. The cars “spend six months of the year in Kansas City and Chicago, and six months in Houston,” says Henry. The holidays are especially festive. “We did a great New Year’s Eve party last year from San Antonio to Houston, watching the fireworks by the River Walk. Then the train departed for Houston and we had a New Year’s Day brunch on board.” Summer is another peak time. “We recommend booking two to three months in advance.” His favorite trip? The car named for his father is the place to be for spectacular views. “From San Francisco to Chicago, going through Lake Tahoe, the canyons of Utah, through Glenwood Springs and over the Rockies. It’s incredible.” All aboard! v

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OUTDOOR n Trends

Fire and Nice By Jackie Benton

Since the dawn of time, man has been in love with fire. Throughout the ages, fire kept us warm, cooked food, and even offered us protection. Gathering around the evening fire to talk, eat and relax has long been a tradition in many cultures around the world. Even today, our fascination with fire has not diminished, and in fact has resurged, as the use of fire in landscape design has brought about a new popularity. Especially here in Texas, with our love of outdoor living, touches of fire gather us together and imbue a backyard living space with classic, timeless beauty. 70

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hat Texas tradition of entertaining friends and family has definitely spurred the popularity of fire pits, says Jason Ratliff, General Manager of Homefield, the Outdoor Living Store in New Braunfels. “To me, when I think of fire in the backyard, I think immediately of fire pits. A fire pit is all about entertaining, where you sit around and talk. You can also use your fire pit all year long.” Typically set down a path away from the home, fire pits are versatile entertainment areas, and can be created in all shapes, from a variety of materials and in a wide array of sizes. The design and materials used can be as simple or intricate as the homeowner desires, and physically take up a relatively small footprint in the backyard’s overall landscape design to create a perfect area to host a large or intimate group of friends and family. No matter the size or design, fire pits literally offer the opportunity to gather around the fire for story-telling, laughter or even solace. While the majority of fire pits installed by Ratliff are wood burning, gas burning fire pits are becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners, in part, Andy Kalnasy, Service Manager of Austin’s BBQ Outfitters believes, because of the drought. “The Austin urban area has had a burn ban in effect, and you cannot burn a traditional wood fire during a burn ban. A gas fire pit is a controlled burn, with no sparks flying around, so it’s actually safer for the homeowner.” Dale Ponder, Owner of Cozy Outdoor Escapes, a family-owned and operated business in San Antonio, agrees, “Last summer with the drought was a good example of why these are great. They don’t put out a lot of heat, and they don’t have embers. In addition, gas-operated fire pits as well as gas-operated fireplaces can be operated in nearly any weather condition.” Of particular importance, notes Kalnasy, are the gas lines that supply the flickering flames of his creations. “We have to be specific about what kind of gas line is run: whether its propane or natural gas. We explain to our customers the difference between the two before we ever start. In the case of established homes, we measure to ensure that the existing gas line has the correct flow and pressure, and in the case of a new design, make sure it’s done right the first time.” Propane and natural gas lines require differently sized pipelines due to the differences in the composition of the gases. Natural gas is made of several gases that may include propane, butane, ethane and methane. While natural gas, in its raw state, contains propane, it is a hydrocarbon that is separated from other gases when processed, and this is the propane that is stored as a liquid and sold to propane dealers for consumer use. Natural gas can be stored as liquefied natural gas (LNG), urbanhomemagazine.com

compressed natural gas (CNG) and in an uncompressed form simply referred to as “natural gas.” Propane gas is sold in gallons but can easily be converted to cubic feet, which is how natural gas is measured. One cubic foot of propane contains 2,516 BTU, while one cubic foot of natural gas contains 1,030 BTU, meaning that propane contains 2.44 times, or more than twice the usable energy content per cubic foot than natural gas. When comparing costs of the two gases, it’s important to factor whether a business or residence is located within a certain distance of a natural gas main line, and the rate charged by the natural gas supplier. Kalnasy’s team begins by looking at the functionality of the fire pit, asking the customer where the desired location is, and then assessing the functionality, safety and cost. Determining whether a natural gas line is available, and then how far the fire pit will be from the main gas supply, is an important part of this assessment. Determining the kind of gas that will be used to fuel the fire pit is an essential part of the design, as it can ultimately save the customer money. Those who are renting or belong to a community that doesn’t allow the installation of a permanent fire pit need not feel left out, Ratliff says. A fire pit table offers the beauty and brilliance of a fire pit, and its portability allows it to move with its owner. Best of all, Ratliff notes, is that it can be enjoyed all year round. “It’s a flame fueled by Courtesy of Homefield a propane tank,” he says. “It’s not shooting sparks because it isn’t fueled by wood. If you’re in a no-fire zone, you can’t burn wood, whereas with a fire pit table, all you have to do is turn the propane on and off. These tables are ideal in neighborhoods where you have restrictions regarding outdoor fire.” Ratliff describes the fire pit tables as generally made of granite and measuring about four- or five-feet in diameter, while the center of a fire pit table is often composed of tempered glass which gives a nice, modern look to the table when the fire is unlit, and creates a beautiful ambience when lit. “What’s nice is that you can purchase a pre-manufactured fire pit table and take it home right away,” says Ratliff. “It’s a lot less expensive than a custom-built fire pit, and while it may not have the same aesthetic of a custom fire pit, it has the same functionality. You can place some nice outdoor furniture around it and enjoy the entertainment value.” Where fire pits encourage relaxed socializing, outdoor fireplaces pique commentary and add to the overall environment’s ambiance itself. More massive is structure, fireplaces are not only aesthetically pleasing, creating a view in an outdoor living space, but they also provide an element of privacy, or when needed, to block an unwanted view. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Ratiff says, “An outdoor fireplace can be incorporated into the patio or pool area — they are part of the actual living space — while a fire pit is set to the side, with its own area, away from a structure.” In addition to fire pits and outdoor fireplaces, tiki torches, sconces and fire bowls can also be added to the landscape design, offering an elegant touch to passageways, patios, pools or gardens. As the year progresses and the seasons change, patio heaters have surprisingly come a long way, and now provide more than just warmth on chilly nights — their designs add to the beauty of an evening spent under the night sky. Customers visiting the showroom at Cozy Outdoor Escapes will find a whole range of options to create their perfect

Courtesy of BBQ Outfitters

outdoor living paradise, featuring an amazing array of grills, hearths and all related accessories. Ponder notes that while the gas grill is still as popular as it ever was, the charcoal grill is making something of a comeback in outdoor living design. “We represent Primo Grill, Inc., the only ceramic grill made in the USA. It can be used as a pizza oven and can even be turned down to a low 100 degree range to smoke cheese!” Homefield is a high-end retailer offering a variety of outdoor living options. “There are so many applications for an outdoor space — are there plans for big entertainment functions or a small intimate space for friends and family? We help our clients understand where they want to take their backyard experience and build the structure to get them there.” Ratliff frequently takes his design cues from the natural landscape, as well as the existing home site, to 72

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create uniquely styled backyard living areas for his clients. Ponder also believes that when it comes to the great outdoors, getting up-close and personal is the secret to creating that perfect outdoor entertainment space for his customers. “It needs to be something that you enjoy using every day of the year, not just when the sun doesn’t bake you in the summer or it isn’t raining,” says Ponder. “The more comfortable you are. The more you will enjoy your investment.” Kalnasy finds the design work he does for his BBQ Outfitters customers can be divided into two categories: Wants and Needs, and with Kalnasy, the Needs will always come first. Kalnasy’s top priority is ensuring the new fire designs his company creates are, above all else, fully functional and safe. “There are a lot of

Courtesy of Homefield

aspects to consider when creating these spaces,” says Kalnasy. “I try to impress on our customers the options we have available. It’s their personal “staycation” that they can visit whenever they want — all they have to do is step outside. Their job is to tell me what they want. My job is to look at the form, the function and safety of the application.” v BBQ OUTFITTERS 512.347.1988 or 877.274.7455 | Bbqoutfitters.com COZY OUTDOOR ESCAPES 210.276.0734 | Cozyoutdoorescapes.com HOMEFIELD, THE OUTDOOR LIVING STORE 830.626.1971 | Homefieldliving.com urbanhomemagazine.com

Food n Design


TRADITIONS By Claudia Alarcon

Those of us living in Central Texas are a very lucky bunch. Because our area was once par t of Mexico, many of the traditions of this culture remain integrated seamlessly into our modern society. From Fiesta to Día de los Muertos, many Texans rejoice in these festive traditions rooted in ancient history.


erhaps none is as entrenched in our culture as the holiday tamalada. Tamaladas are traditional around the holidays in the Mexican-American community, when family members gather and large amounts of tamales are made at once. These informal gatherings serve as a kind of social glue, and a medium to pass traditions and stories from generation to generation. Traditionally, it was the women from the extended family who gathered in someone’s kitchen to take on the task of making the tamales, while the men lounged on the porch drinking beer, talking shop and watching the children play outside. Today, men also participate in tamale making, and people from all ethnic backgrounds are discovering and embracing this fun holiday tradition. In fact, many local chefs still remember making tamales with grandma as one of their first cooking experiences. According to Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark, PhD., a Professor of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio, these gatherings are meant to be fun, filled with music, laughter and lots of gossip. Clark has been hosting a famous tamalada in her home for the last 40 years, and is quite the expert on the subject. Every year, along with family members and close friends, she turns over 150 pounds of masa and fillings into dozens and dozens of tamales. To accomplish this daunting task, labor is divided amongst the group. Some are in charge of making the masa, others wash and dry the corn husks, while others busy themselves making the fillings. The tamales are made assembly line-style, and large steaming pots simmer on the stove for hours. Recipes are passed on from mother to daughter to granddaughter and so on, although some women literally take their recipes and secrets to their grave. In her book “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization,” co-authored with Carmen Tafolla, PhD., Clark describes her annual San Antonio tamaladas: “Everyone comes to help make tamales, to learn about them, eat them, sing, gossip, cry, dance, drink and to eat some more. We crown a Reina de los Tamales with the most elaborately regal hoja crown, made by Lisa Anaya’s aunt, and we dance and sing around the first olla de tamales.” 74

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In her humorous account of her raucous parties, she explains that although she likes using the traditional Mexican utensils like molcajetes and ollas, she has come to rely on modern technology to expedite the process. Aside from using blenders, electric mixers and other modern appliances, she has developed what she considers her most famous and time-saving technique of all: using her top-loading washing machine to wash and soak the corn husks. However, she stresses that the point of the tamalada is the fun, not the efficiency, and advises that everyone should develop their own special family rituals and traditions. In the Mexican Interior, however, tamaladas are not a common occurrence. Sure, tamales are consumed over the holidays, but they are rarely made at home since there are so many specialized, professional tamaleros who sell their wares year-round in famous brick-and-mortar stores and on popular street corners. Tamales are usually served during Las Posadas, an important holiday tradition of Catholic origin that is also alive and well across the United States. Celebrated each evening from December 16 to 24, las posadas re-enact Mary and Joseph’s arduous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter. In Spanish, the word posada means “lodging.” “Posadas are a wonderful family tradition,” says renowned chef Iliana de la Vega, a Mexico City native who is a chef-instructor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), San Antonio, where she is a Mexican/Latin Cuisines Specialist. She is also co-owner of the acclaimed El Naranjo restaurant in Austin alongside her husband, Ernesto Torrealba. “I love the significance of asking for shelter. Of course, there are variations, and many people skip this part altogether and just throw a party. But it is still a time for sharing and friendship,” says the chef. One of her favorite posada traditions are the piñatas filled with seasonal fruit (tiny jicamas, tangerines, sweet limes and sugarcane sticks), unshelled peanuts, and colación, impossibly hard candies painted in pastel colors, which she describes as “horrible.” Chef de la Vega also loves the shimmering of sparklers, and a nice hot cup of traditional ponche de frutas, spiked with brandy or rum to warm urbanhomemagazine.com

up the body and soul. In Oaxaca, where she had her original restaurant, they celebrate the Night of the Radishes on December 23, when thousands flock to the city’s main plaza to admire spectacular sculptures and holiday scenes carved entirely out of the crunchy root vegetables. All over Mexico, the main celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. Tables are laden with indispensible dishes such as piquant shrimp consommé, roast turkey with picadillo stuffing, roast pork leg in adobo, glazed ham, bacalao a la Vizcaina (a traditional salt cod dish with Spanish roots) and mole con romeritos, a dish that is unfortunately difficult to reproduce here since romeritos — a fleshy, mild-flavored herb that resembles rosemary in appearance — is hard to find. “This is the one dish I miss most, because it’s almost impossible to reproduce here,” says Chef de la Vega. “But I always make bacalao, which I love. I especially love it the next day, when its flavor is even more delicious after reheating, tucked inside a hot, fresh bolillo.” Indeed, it is likely that this humble Christmas Day treat is how Mexicans all over the world are able to transport themselves to the holidays of their childhood. v “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization” Copyright 2011 by Ellen Riojas Clark and Carmen Tafolla. Published by Wings Press, 210.271.7805, Wingspress.com Chef Iliana de la Vega | El Naranjo 512.474.2776 | Elnaranjo-restaurant.com


Courtesy of Chef Iliana de laVega, © 2012 1 pound Guayabas (guavas) 1/3 cup Raisins 4 pieces Sugar Cane, peeled and cut into two inch sticks ½ pound Prunes ½ pound Tejocotes, (crabapples) 2 Cinnamon Sticks 1 cup Sugar, or to taste ¾ cup Rum or Brandy In a large, heavy stockpot, place the fruits, sugar, cinnamon and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for one hour. Serve very hot in mugs, and add a shot of rum or brandy. Serves six. Serving dishes available at Cosasonline.com. urbanhomemagazine.com


Courtesy of Chef Iliana de laVega, © 2012 2 pounds Salted Cod 1 Chile Ancho 2 pounds Tomatoes, roughly chopped ½ cup Olive Oil 1 Onion, large, chopped 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped 2 Bay Leaves ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced 1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced ½ cup Almonds, blanched ½ cup Olives 4 tbsp. Raisins 2 tbsp. Capers 2 tbsp. Parsley, chopped 1 pound New Potatoes, cooked 1 can Chiles güeros o chiles largos, en vinagre Black pepper, to taste Place the salted cod in a shallow bowl and cover with cold water for at least for 12 hours. Change the water three or four times but be careful not to pour the water because the salt will remain on the fish. It is best to remove the fish with a slotted spoon, discard the water, and then cover the fish with fresh water. After 12 hours, place the fish in a pot, cover it with water and bring it to boil. When cooked, drain it and discard the fish bones and skin, if any. Clean the chile with a damp cloth, discarding the stem and seeds. Dry-roast the chile for few seconds in a skillet then soak in hot water for ten minutes. Transfer the chile to a blender and process with enough water. Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven. Cook the onion for three minutes, add the garlic for one minute, add the tomatoes and the chile puree for six minutes or until it changes color, and then add the cod, bay leaves, cinnamon, black pepper, bell peppers, chopped almonds, raisins and capers. Cook for 15 minutes, covered, then add the cooked potatoes and leave it covered for 10 more minutes before checking for salt and pepper. You can add the chiles gueros to the dish, or you can serve them separately. Garnish with the parsley. Serves six. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


les, which makes a very good masa, and follow the directions. Melt the lard. Using a large mixer, mix masa, salt, baking soda and broth, adding lard one cup at a time. Continue beating for 10 minutes or so, until a ½ teaspoon of the masa floats in a cup of cold water (if it floats, you can be sure the tamales will be tender and light). Beat until fluffy and semi-shiny. Masa should be of a stiff consistency but spreadable. Shucks/Hojas 6 pounds Hojas/Corn Shucks Hot water to cover



30 Cornhusks 6 ounces Lard 1 pound Masa Harina for tamales 8 ounces Sugar 1 tsp. Canela (Mexican cinnamon), powdered 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract Red food coloring (drops), as needed ½ cup Black Raisins ½ cup Pecans, roughly chopped

Meat Filling 6 pounds Pork Butt 1 Onion 6 Garlic Cloves, peeled 3 tsp. Salt 6 Peppercorns Water to cover 8 Chile Anchos (dry) 1 tbsp. Comino Seeds

Courtesy of Chef Iliana de laVega

Soak the cornhusks in hot water until soft. Remove and drain in a colander. Dissolve the sugar and cinnamon in 1 ½ cups of water, add vanilla and food coloring. Strain and mix into the sifted masa harina. Add more water, if needed. Let it rest, covered with a moist towel for 20 minutes. Whip the lard in a standing mixer until fluffy. Mix in the baking powder. At low speed, mix the reconstituted masa in small batches into the lard. Keep beating until the dough is smooth, almost like a cake batter, adding water, if needed. Place two to three tablespoons of masa in the center of a cornhusk. Add raisins and pecans, and enclose the tamal, folding the sides together and then both ends to the center. Tie with threads of cornhusks, if desired. Prepare a steamer or a tamalera with water under the steam rack, cover with a few cornhusks, and bring the water to a full boil. Place the tamales on top of the cornhusks in a criss-cross pattern to allow the steam to circulate. Cover with a couple of kitchen towels and close with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam the tamales for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the tamales are cooked completely. To know if the tamales are cooked through, unwrap one and if it comes away easily from the husk, it is ready. Turn off the heat, close the steamer and let the tamales rest for five minutes before serving. Makes 18 tamales. Serve hot with atole, ponche or hot Mexican chocolate. 76

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

From “Tamales, Comadres and the Meaning of Civilization”

Making the meat filling Cut the meat into large squares and put it into a large pot with the onion, garlic, salt and peppercorns. Barely cover the meat with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer the meat until it is tender — about an hour or so. Set the meat aside to cool off in the broth. Strain the meat, reserving the broth, and chop meat roughly. Cover chiles and comino seeds with water and bring to a boil. Let them stand until chiles are soft and water cools. When they are cool enough to handle, slit them open and remove the seeds and veins. Using a molcajete or blender, grind/blend them along with the comino into a paste. Melt the lard, add the chile paste and sauté for about three minutes, stirring all the time. Add the meat, continuing to cook until the flavors meld. Add some of the broth and let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes over a medium flame. Filling should not be watery. Add salt as necessary. Masa 6 pounds Masa from Molino or 4 pounds MASECA, follow directions 1 pound Lard 6 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Baking Soda Broth

Preparing the hojas/corn shucks Hojas are corn husks that are dry and papery but usually are clean of silks, trimmed and flattened, ready for use when you buy a good brand. To soften them for use, pour plenty of very hot water over them and them leave them to soak for several hours. If you have a top loader washing machine, clean the machine well using vinegar, rinse, and you can soak the hojas/ shucks there. DO NOT agitate, but only use the spin cycle. You can soak them twice, filling washer with hot water. Shake them well to get rid of excess water and pat them dry with a towel. Making the tamales Using a tablespoon or a knife, spread a thin coating of the masa over the broadest part of the shuck, allowing for turning down about two inches at the pointed top. Spread the dough about three inches wide and three and a half inches long. Spoon some filling down the middle of the dough (about one tablespoon). Fold the sides of the shucks together firmly. Fold up the empty, two-inch section of the hoja, forming a tightly closed “bottom” and leaving the top open. Cooking the tamales Fill the bottom of a large soup pot or a tamales steamer with water up to the level indicated and bring to a boil. Put either a molcajete or a bowl at the bottom of the steamer and fill in with left over hojas. Stack the tamales upright, with the folded down part at the bottom. Pack firmly but not tightly. Cover the tamales with more corn shucks. Cover the top of the steamer with a dishcloth or thick cloth. Cover the steamer with a tightly fitting lid. Cook tamales for about 2 ½ to 3 hours over a medium flame. Keep water in a teapot simmering so that you can refill the steamer when necessary. To test the tamales for doneness, remove one from the center and one from the side of the steamer. Tamales are done when you open the hoja and the masa peels away easily from the hojas, and the tamal is completely smooth. Makes six dozen tamales.

Tamales Costeños

Making the masa If you get your masa from a molino, ask for masa for tamales or masa quebradita. If you use MASECA, get the one for tamaurbanhomemagazine.com

Courtesy of Claudia Alarcon Masa 4 cups Masa Harina I teaspoon Salt 1 cup Vegetable Shortening or Lard 2 cups Shrimp Broth (see Shrimp Filling) urbanhomemagazine.com

Making the masa In a large bowl, beat shortening or lard until very soft and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the masa harina with the salt. Add the warm shrimp broth slowly. Add the shortening and mix well until the desired consistency is reached. Cover masa with a damp cloth or kitchen towel and set aside. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Shrimp Filling 1 pound Medium Shrimp, with shells 4 Chile Anchos (dry) 4 Garlic Cloves, minced ¼ tsp. Dry Oregano 1 White Onion, medium, chopped 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil 6 Tomatoes, peeled and chopped 1 tsp. Salt, or to taste 3 Jalapeño Chiles, cut in strips 2 pounds Banana Leaves, cut into 9 x 7 inch pieces Making the shrimp filling Wash shrimp, put them in a saucepan, cover with two cups of water and cook until done, about five to eight minutes. Peel and set aside. Save shells and cooking liquid and blend/grind together until shells are finely ground. Strain this broth and set aside for masa. In a large frying pan, sauté the garlic, onion, jalapeños and tomatoes in a little oil. Separately, soak the ancho chiles in enough warm water to cover them, let sit for about five minutes and blend to form a paste. Add this paste to the vegetable mixture. Season with the oregano and salt, to taste. Cook until liquid evaporates slightly and sauce begins to thicken. Cut the shrimp in halves and add to the sauce. Remove from heat. Making the tamales Wash the banana leaves well. Roast their glossy side over a stove burner until their color changes slightly and they become pliable. With the back of a spoon or with your fingers, spread about one large tablespoon of masa in the center of the dull side of the leaf, to cover an area about four x three inches, and no more than ¼ inch thick. Place about a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the masa and fold the tamal to close. Tie bundle if desired. Repeat until all masa and filling are used. Stack in a steamer lined with banana leaves, cover with more banana leaves and a damp towel, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until done. Makes 20-25 tamales. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Kerr County Courthouse

You Can’t Miss It

12 2012


ll C


The three towns we’ve spotlighted here are only the beginning. The 2012 Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail includes 11 towns in all — listed here in alphabetical order — each with its own unique holiday activities. Call ahead or check the websites for all events, dates and times, and map the best route so that you don’t miss a thing.



Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail

Johnson City

By Julie Catalano

‘Tis the season to shine,


and while big cities can

Kerrvilletexascvb.com 800.221.7958, 830.792.3535 Like many towns on the Lighting Trail, Kerrville’s festivities kicked off with a traditional November holiday parade, festival and a “flip the switch” moment when the town — in this case the Kerr County Courthouse — lights up in the first of many holiday celebrations. More than 100,000 lights illuminate the courthouse and the entire downtown area. The popular Point Indoor Theatre in nearby Ingram (seven miles) will present “Dashing Thru the Snow,” a Christmas comedy set in the fictional town of Tinsel with a cast of eccentric characters, on December 1, 7 and 8. The Cailloux Theater on Main Street features Symphony of the Hills’ “Christmas Through the Ages” concert on December 6, and “White Christmas in the Hills” on December 8 showcases Kerrville dancers alongside the San Antonio Performing Arts Ballet. The town will also show off its new City Hall which connects to Peterson Plaza and the old Shriner department store that’s “been around

lay claim to bright lights year round, these Hill Country towns move to center stage from now until the New Year. Decked out in their holiday finest, they brilliantly combine an old-fashioned, small town Christmas with dazzling displays for a truly magical experience. We can’t say for sure, but with these countless guiding lights, Santa probably won’t need any help finding his way to Central Texas. Just don’t tell Rudolph.


Blanco County Courthouse

Johnson City Lbjcountry.com 830.868.7684 They don’t call it the Lights courthouse got the group Spectacular for nothing, fired up to decorate their own. and it’s been going strong “The Garden Club was our since 1991. National cover- first sponsor and they loaned age by the New York Times us $1000 to buy lights.” Now and Southern Living (who scores of volunteers help year dubbed it “the centerpiece” of round. “It’s a lot of work,” says the Lighting Trail) brings up- Stell, “but great camaraderie.” wards of 60,000 people every There are hayrides, carriage year to see 100,000 twinkling rides, a food court and the free lights on the Blanco County “Living Story of Christmas” Courthouse alone, and an- on December 7-8 and 14-15 other million at Pedernales (children are welcome to pet Electric Co-op’s lighted for- the animals afterwards). With est. Rhonda Stell, chair, has more than two decades’ worth been there from day one, and of memories, her favorite is “a remembers when the idea local gentleman they called a was first planted by the Gar- curmudgeon because he was den Club who just wanted always so negative. When the to “pretty up” the town a bit. lights went on that first year, A trip to Marshall’s lighted he had tears in his eyes.”

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Hit the Trail:


since the 20’s,” says Charlie McIlvain, new executive director of the Kerrville CVB. “They’re redeveloping it into a highend retail space called Shriner Goods.”

Marble Falls Marblefalls.org, 800.759.8178, 830.693.4449 There’s only one word for it: Enchanting. Marble Falls’ famed Walkway of Lights in Lakeside Park has been dazzling visitors since 1991 with two million of the tiny twinklers on display from 6-10pm through January 1. Bill Rives, executive director, Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and CVB, says he “can’t even begin to guess how many thousands of family Christmas card pictures have been taken” against the backdrop of a tunnel of white lights and shoreline sculptures ranging from the whimsical to the unusual. A resident since 1983, Rives remembers the first time he attended as a volunteer and was “blown away” by the diversity of visitors who traveled to the Hill Country to see the sights — and the lights. “I figured it was just people from around here.” When a group said they had come from Saskatchewan, Rives remembers replying, “That’s north of Dallas, right?” The now-savvy businessman says the event “generates a couple thousand overnight stays for us.” Main Street connects the park with the historic downtown, “and a lot of the stores will be staying open. Last year we had 30,000 visitors from all 50 states and a couple dozen countries. It is a ton of fun.” v

Bandera, Banderabusinessassociation.com, 830.796.3616 The Cowboy Capital of the World stays true to form with a Cowboy Christmas parade on December 8, followed by the Cowboy Capital Campfire on the Medina River. Singing in the Saddle on December 15 lets you bring your own horse or rent one from the Longhorn Saloon for caroling on Main Street. Blanco, Blancochamber.com, 830.833.5101 Creating an authentic hometown experience, Blanco hosts its Christmas Market Day on the square, on December 8, along with a parade and Evening on the Square. Boerne, Dickensonmain.com 888.842.8080, 830.249.7277 The restored Hauptstrasse (Main Street) is a treasury of gift shops, galleries and restaurants amidst a galaxy of shimmering white lights. Burnet, Burnetchamber.org, 512.756.4297 Visit Bethlehem in Burnet as Washington Street is transformed into what life might have been like in that ancient village. December 7-9 and 14-16, only. Dripping Springs Cityofdrippingsprings.com, 512.858.4725 Christmas on Mercer Street in the downtown historic district features 70 vendors, live entertainment and great food on December 1. Fredericksburg, Visitfredericksburgtx.org 888.997.3600, 830.997.6523 Historic Main Street is ablaze with thousands of lights, and Marketplatz is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink and 26-foot Christmas Pyramid. Llano, Llanotx.com, 325.247.4158, ext. 204 “Starry, Starry Nights” opens daily in Badu Park from 6-9pm through December 31 on the banks of the Llano River. Wimberley Texashillcountryreservations.com, 512.847.3909 This charming town features the Emily Ann Theatre and Gardens’ Trail of Lights through December 31, along with a Hanukkah Celebration on December 8, and Las Posada on December 16.

Marble falls’ walkway of lights


For more info on the Texas Hill Country Regional Lighting Trail: Tex-fest.com/regional/index.htm, 830.997.8515. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Hardy Plants

for the Hill Country

Smart Homes: The Home of the Future

By Leonard Guerrero, Chairman, Austin Board of REALTORS®




Landscape Designs and Consultations www.floresflowers.com • info@floresflowers.com

LIVE on Thursday Night

Austin’s hottest call-in talk show, He Said – She Said Radio ‘Gettin’ It Done @ Home’ is now primetime Thursday night! Join us from 7 to 9pm every Thursday night on TALK Radio 96.3 FM & 1370 AM

Brought to you by:

Lighting Inc.

Established 1959


MORTGAGE COMPANY An Equal Housing Lender - NMLS# 3274

WEEK IN REVIEW – Current events were never this much fun in school! Hear He Said’s colorful commentary on Sports and Around the World. Take a look into the She Said mind for Entertainment, Lifestyle and the always Austin popular, Keepin’ It Weird! BISTROS & BARS – Have a favorite neighborhood restaurant you love? Submit your favorite restaurant, trailer, hole in the wall or bar happy hour, and if we have them on the show, you get a $25 gift certificate. Post your favorites on our Facebook page and tell us (1) what you love about them, and (2) why you think we should pick them to be on the show OR call the show and tell us live! “Which One Was No. 1” - Tune in each week and play along with our in-studio guests as we guess which song was the No. 1 song from the 1950’s to today - every year has it’s big hit. Test your music memory with us!

Call in numbers are

512.390.1370 or TOLL FREE


MARS vs. VENUS GAME SHOW – Alex Tribec move over! We’re gettin’ our game on with the fun, multiple choice game show where YOU call in and play with the host. If your side wins, you get a $25 gift certificate to the featured ‘Bistros & Bars’ restaurant. GETTIN’ IT DONE @ HOME – Have a product you want to know more about? A project that’s got you puzzled? Looking to create a Man Cave or She Den? Each week we invite guests who are knowledgeable in home-related subjects and anything else you tell us you want to hear about.

he latest technological advancements aren’t on your cell phone, your laptop or your tablet; they’re in your home. Luxury design is no longer about extravagant rooms or over-the-top amenities — it’s all about making life easier, more convenient and more efficient. Enter the “Smart Home” — homes with built-in computer technology that allow you to monitor your security system, turn on and off lights, manage appliances and energy consumption, and open and lock doors from anywhere using your phone, tablet or computer. Once a luxury for the wealthy, the advent of mobile technology has made home automation more affordable for the average homeowner. While the price tag for full-blown, fully-integrated Smart Home systems can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to install, many home automation products can be purchased from major home improvement retailers at affordable prices. Whether you purchase an entire system or individual devices, you can outfit your home with as little or as much automation as you choose. You can also use your Smart Home system to save money on energy bills. Utility companies such as Reliant Energy are rolling out programs where you can monitor your home’s energy consumption throughout the day. You can even make your home safer with ease. Many home security companies now offer apps, which allow you to monitor your security feed or safely see who is at the front door. So what’s in the future for the “home of the future”? Experts say that if it’s powered by electricity, it will eventually be automated, creating a network in which all the devices in your home can communicate with one another, from your refrigerator to your garage door. In fact, Microsoft published a white paper earlier this year on HomeOS, a computer operating system designed solely for your home to use. From now on, expect Smart Home features to only expand to more parts of your home. According to IMS Research, the global Smart Home device market will more than quadruple in the next five years. Big name companies including Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast® and Lowe’s® have already jumped on board with affordable automation plans and more are expected to follow. The home of the future is here. What do you plan to automate in your home? v

A DV E RT I S E R I N D E X Architects



C. Reese Design, Inc. www.c-reesedesign.com 512.291.5717

Foursquare Builders www.foursquarebuilders.com 512.944.4520

Countertop Valet www.countertopvalet.com 1.888.50.VALET


Greenwood Custom Homes www.greenwoodcustomhomes.com 210.723.7233

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery www.ferguson.com Austin: 512.445.5140 San Antonio: 210.344.3013

Austin NARI www.austinnari.org 512.997.NARI

NARI San Antonio www.remodelsanantonio.org 210.348.6274


Service Tech Audio Visual www.servicetechav.com Austin: 512.456.2800 San Antonio: 210.858.5257


Schroeder Flooring & Carpet Specialists www.schroedercarpet.com 512.462.1551


California Closets of the Texas Hill Country Austin: 512.441.6061 www.californiaclosets.com/austin San Antonio: 210.829.1991 www.californiaclosets.com/san-antonio


Trim-A-Slab www.trim-a-slab.com 512.943.7655


Texas Casual Cottages by Trendmaker www.texascasualcottages.com 979.278.3015


Case Handyman & Remodeling www.austin.caseremodeling.com 512.300.2273 CG&S Design-Build www.cgsdb.com 512.444.1580 David Wilkes Builders www.davidwilkesbuilders.com 512.328.9888 Dylan Martin Homes & Remodeling www.dylanmartinhomes.com 512.692.9212 J Angelo Design Build www.jangelodesignbuild.com 210.882.6263 N House Design & Build www.nhousedb.com 210.650.3233

By Design Custom Home Consulting www.customaustinhomes.com 512.917.2653

Realty Restoration www.realtyrestoration.com 512.454.1661


Straight and Level Construction Company, Inc. www.straight-level.biz 512.577.9297

Christopher Voss – 4th Generation Craftsman, Inc. www.christophervoss.com 210.843.4332


Catrina’s at the Ranch www.catrinasranchinteriors.com 830.755.6355 / 210.535.3070

IKEA www.ikea.com / www.planyourkitchen.com


Anchor Ventana www.ventanaman.com 512.388.9400


QDI Stone www.qdistone.com 512.832.0500


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Bella Villa Design www.bellavillads.com 512.443.3200

Dawn Hearn Interior Design www.dawnhearn.com 512.930.0250 Nine Design Group www.ninedesigngroup.com 630.715.8875 Panache Interiors www.panacheinteriors.com 512.452.7773

KitchenCraft® Cabinetry www.kitchencraftaustin.com 512.302.3700 Morrison Supply Company www.morsco.com 512.928.1110


Manuel Flores www.floresflowers.com

Pearson Landscape Services www.pearsonlandscape.com 512.386.5900


BBQ Outfitters www.bbqoutfitters.com 512.347.1988 / 877.274.7455 Cozy Outdoor Escapes www.cozyoutdoorescapes.com 210.276.0734 Equinox Louvered Roof www.equinoxtexas.com 210.548.3015 HomeField www.homefieldliving.com 830.626.1971

Dylan Martin H O M E S & R E M O DELI NG

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.


Liquid Assets www.liquidassets-pools.com Austin: 512.444.5444 San Antonio: 210.680.7665


Austin Board of Realtors www.austinhomesearch.com Phyllis Browning Company www.phyllisbrowning.com 210.824.7878

WINDOW COVERINGS & AWNINGS Texas Sun & Shade www.txsunandshade.com 512.402.0990



512.692.9212 O | 512.350.1088 C

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