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Ferrari of Austin Passion and innovation. They are at the heart of every vehicle that bears the Prancing Horse emblem and are the driving force behind everything we do at Ferrari of Austin. Indulging the requests of our clients is always our highest priority. Whether you are new to the Ferrari family or a devoted enthusiast, the team at Ferrari of Austin shares your appreciation for exceptional performance – on the road and on the track. We invite you to experience the latest innovations from Maranello, born out of an unparalleled racing heritage. Among our products sure to increase your heart rate is the revolutionary FF. Featured above, the FF is the first production Ferrari to offer a four-wheel drive system and includes Ferrari’s exclusive 7-Year Genuine Maintenance Program.

For more information, contact your authorized Ferrari dealer: Ferrari of Austin 4108 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 Telephone: +512.380.0231 ©2014 Ferrari North America, Inc. All rights reserved.

207 West 4th Street, Austin TX 78701




we create austin architecture


new home


Receive $10,000 in upgrades when you buy a new home at Santa Rita Ranch before October 31. HIGHLAND HOMES

IMAGINE A MAGICAL PLACE where discovery, learning and technology are at the forefront of everyday life. That’s Santa Rita Ranch. Nestled in a rare setting of natural Hill Country beauty, just minutes north of Austin, our master-planned community is designed for families who thrive on adventure, the outdoors and education. CASTLEROCK

Take a tour


Meet our builders




101 Norcia Loop | Liberty Hill, Texas 78642


Mon-Sat 10am-6pm | Sun 12pm-6pm


Prices, specifications and details are subject to change without notice. Homes within Santa Rita Ranch are constructed and sold by builders not affiliated with Santa Rita Ranch or Mariner Development. 10/14

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Krystle Copulos mccarly Krystle Copulos McCarley has been a real estate broker for the last 10 years, specializing in condo living in Central Austin. As a top producing agent in the downtown real estate market, Krystle utilizes her extensive market knowledge, stays on top of real estate trends, and continues to broaden her client relationships. She strives to actively listen and respond to the needs of her clients as if she was dealing with her own personal transaction. Her ability to empathize with her clients shines through as a result of personal experience by wearing the buyer’s, seller’s, and investor’s hat. As a Real Estate Broker with several years of experience in the downtown market, Krystle is well connected, educated and creative. Contact her today to discuss your real estate needs. | (512) 659-9329 |


OCT-NOV features casa


Inside Casa Dragones


Let’s Talk About Modern Architecture in Zilker

Accomplished writer and architecture connoisseur Ingrid Spencer takes us on a journey through the evolution of local Modern Architecture and shares some exciting things to come!

Design dynamo Rachel Horn brought La Casa Dragones back to life with an injection of style and rustic charm. Join VETTA on this photo journey to San Miguel de Allende.



I Spy Style Classy and crisp looks for gentlemen with 007 style status.



Start your Engines

Discover a whole new experience in racing and a cool new place for local speed aficionados.


VETTA Tastemakers (Part II)

We bring you some of the most interesting and talented individuals in the city in the second chapter of our tripartite editorial series.

Shot of the stables at Casa Dragones, courtesy of designer Rachel Horn.




64 44

26 Letter from the Publisher 28 APPUNTI


34 36

‘La Galleria’


Let’s get Cooking!


Invest in your own little piece of the Austin Real Estate Market



Designing your Home Office



Wrapping up (and eating) the Future



Create a Space for Fitness



editor’s picks

Finding True Home



52 The Family that Plays Outside Together 54 62 72

TRENDS: Gold Standard



TRENDS: Go with the Grain Obsessed with Glamour

76 A Work of Art 84 TRENDS: For the Love of Pearl 94 Windblown 105 111 114

Journey of a Progressive Composer


An Elephant Story

The Big Picture

Uncorking a Great Wine Tasting Party

119 marketplace

MORE VETTA ONLINE... Access for exclusive online content and make sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news, events, participate in our fabulous giveaways and more!

STA FF Publisher Publication Manager Art Director Director of New Business Development Assistant to the Editor Web & Social Media Director

Coral Talavera Andres Mattei Alana Ortiz Lisa Chappell Miller Carolina Rios Soto June M. Leal

E D I TO R I A L Editor-In-Chief Fashion & Features Editor Body Editor Photographer Fashion Stylist Contributors


Born in the Texas hill country with a rich musical heritage on both sides of her family, music is definitely in the blood for Amanda Mora. Her lineage goes back to the late 1800’s, when Amanda’s great, great, grandmother, “Mama Jo”, taught her children to play instruments and formed The Pharr Family Orchestra; Austin’s first orchestra which played at nearly every civic gathering in Austin. Read the whole story online.

Coral Talavera Olga Maria Czarkowski Kim Anthony Tania Quintanilla, TQ Photo Graham Cumberbatch Dawn Hearn Andrew Long Kaitlyn Moise Rachel Madorski Chad Goldwasser Ingrid Spencer


This gorgeous shot was courtesy of Bercy Chen Studio: Architecture + Construction. The home was featured in the 2013 Austin Modern Homes Tour and the photo was taken by James Leasure.



Sneak a peek at our latest parties, events and more cool happenings in and out of Austin. We will be hosting our INTERIORS Issue launch party shortly. See us online for more details, party coverage and lots of fun stuff.

SPONSOR SHIP / DONATION R E QUE ST S Andres Mattei POSTAL ADDR E SS PO Box 2711 Georgetown, TX 78627 FOR ADV E RTISE ME NT INQUIR IE S (512) 887-8008 WE BSITE AND SOC IAL ME DIA VETTA is also on Google+


VETTA Media is proud to announce the launch of, an online community for fashionistas in Central Texas. Fashion designers, stylists, bloggers and shopaholics join our fun and trendy blogazine for more insider tips on how to rock the Austin fashion scene!



VETTA Magazine cares about the environment. Our printers are Tri-Certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). We print using soy based ink and eco-friendly raw materials. SFI-00916










Ballet Dancer & Instructor, Wine Enthusiast and Contributor for EXPLORE

Writer, Architecture Connoisseur, Curator and Contributor for CASA

Interior Designer and Contributor for WORK

Real Estate Expert, Motivational Speaker and Contributor for MONEY

Kaitlyn is a Houston native that graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts then trained with Ballet Austin and later taught at the Butler Community School. Recently she moved to New York to purse a dance/acting career. When she’s not dancing she’s missing Texas, margaritas, her friends, and most of all her family.

Ingrid is a California native who spent eight years in New York City serving as managing editor of Contract Design and Architectural Record. Ingrid relocated to Austin in 2004, and has remained a Contributing Editor. She is also co-director of the Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show installation series, and serves as curator for Modern Home Tours, LLC. Her writing has also appeared in other reputable publications.





Personal and Business Coach at Ultra Life Coach and Permanent Contributor for MIND

Counselor, Relationship Therapist and Contributor for AMORE

Assistant to the Publisher and Contributor for VETTAMAGAZINE.COM

Web and Social Media Director and Contributor for VETTAMAGAZINE.COM

Rachel Madorsky, LCSW is a psychotherapist and relationship expert. With over 18 years of experience in the field, her love for her work and the Austin community keeps growing with each client she serves. Rachel’s therapy practice focuses on empowering individuals and couples to have more love, more joy and more peace in their relationships and in their lives.

Coming from the border of Mexico and the US, we could say Caro has the best of both worlds. A Marketing and Graphic Design student at St. Edwards University, this bilingual dynamo serves as direct assistant to our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. She’s a very diligent, positive and energetic part of our team, always ready to take on anything coming her way.

Hailing from the small town of Pearsall, Texas, June is an enthusiastic PR graduate from Texas State University. With a double minor in fashion merchandising and Japanese, June is a lover of international fashion. Her dream is to some day be able to work overseas in the fashion industry in either Japan or South Korea.

Andrew Long is an accelerator, creator, and writer. His strategic life coach practice assists clients, in the shortest amount of time, to broaden and deepen their business, relationship, and personal life outcomes.

Recently named one of Austin’s top 15 interior designers, Dawn Hearn has been practicing interior design in Austin since 1993. A licensed interior designer in the state of Texas and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Dawn’s work has been recognized both locally and nationally. She has earned the Design Excellence Award for the ASID Austin Chapter.

During his career as a realtor in Austin, Chad has founded names in the business such as Goldwasser Real Estate and Pure Gold Realty. Not only an accomplished real estate agent, Chad is also recognized as a dynamic, experienced, and sought-after public speaker that motivates and enriches lives through his talks about attitude, leadership, and personal growth.

join us!

If you’d like to write for VETTA Magazine, contact our Editor through email. There are lots of editorial opportunities in print, as well as online, for you to share your work with our thousands of readers. For career / internship opportunities, please contact us ( to find out more about how to join our growing team.


letter from the publisher

Lost in Space


his issue is devoted to amazing spaces and the incredible talents behind them. Whether it is by highlighting breathtaking custom homes, exploring new horizons in modern architecture, designing efficient work spaces or teaching our readers how to cleverly dedicate space to one’s fitness, we have brought together some of the best aspects of elite living and the rooms where it all takes place. This is a testament to the incredible talent in Austin in the fields of Architecture, Interior Design, Styling, Construction and Real Estate, as well as a showcase for some extraordinary international projects. I want to thank the wonderful group of contributors we had for the issue, especially Mr. James Leasure, Producer of the Modern Homes Tours (whom I am so proud to call my friend). Jamie, you are an asset to this publication. Also, thanks to the incredible Ingrid Spencer. You have effortlessly planted an even bigger seed of love for Austin and its architectural charm in the heart of this out-oftowner. With your knowledge, the nostalgia in your words and the depth of your perspective, I know readers will feel like VETTA is holding a little piece of their hearts. Thank you for that.

Photo by Tania Quintanilla.

A snap of a good friend’s mood board. “Inspiration is everywhere. It’s just sometimes hidden”, she always says.

Lastly, this particular edition has been extraordinarily exciting and close to my heart, not only because it provided access to some of the most amazing stories from in and out of Austin (some of which sadly we could not accommodate in the magazine), but because it was my chance to give my amazing teammate, Lisa, the opportunity to really work within her element. Passionate about interior design, she gives me great inspiration and is basically the reason behind not only this Great Interiors issue, but also our brand new magazine, VETTA Homes, launching in 2015. In the deepest gratitude for all the extraordinary work you put into VETTA and the beautiful friendship you have given me, this one’s for you, Goose…


One of the homes featured in the Austin Modern Homes Tour. Shot by James Leasure.





Shot of the the OFH Team, representatives from Henley Homes and Santa Rita Ranch, with the Coffey Family at the groundbreaking ceremony.



ongratulations to the Coffey Family in this exciting new chapter in their lives! We are thrilled to announce that Operation FINALLY HOME has just awarded Marine veteran SSgt. Ray Coffey, his lovely wife and three children a brand new custom-built home in Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hill, Texas. Construction began in August and the home is being built by Henley Homes. As the official media sponsor in Austin, VETTA is thrilled to partner with Southern Living Magazine to bring readers across America a glimpse of this wonderful project. Operation FINALLY HOME was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization with the mission to provide Americans the ability to honor and thank wounded soldiers, disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen with their own homes, built at no cost to them. Operation FINALLY HOME has provided over 135 homes in 26 states (40 of those in Texas) by bringing together corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers across the United States. VETTA was very excited to meet the Operation FINALLY HOME team at a recent Round Rock Express Game on August 15, 2014 for the surprise

announcement to the Coffey family, as well as the site groundbreaking event at Santa Rita Ranch the following day. This state-of-the art community, located just 30 minutes north of Austin, has graciously donated the lot where the trades will construct the approximately 2700 sq feet home for the soldier and his family. SSgt. Coffey was injured in 2 deployments in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Achievement Medal and the Bronze Star. His medical needs and treatment continue to date. Gary and Lana Henley of Henley Homes are leading the home build on behalf of Operation FINALLY HOME. In 2013, Henley Homes was awarded the Southern Living Builder of the Year Award and their second Southern Living Building Hope award for their work with Silverton Custom Homes on another Operation FINALLY HOME project in Jonestown, Texas for SPC Augustine Pena. VETTA’s own Lisa Chappell Miller also worked on the Pena project. “Since I’ve been through this process previously, I understand how important it is to

Dan Wallrath and SSgt. Ryan Coffey at the Round Rock Express Game.


let those who call Austin home know how they can help make this project a success and this house a home,” stated Chappell Miller. “The building community provides the beautiful structure by donating materials and labor, but it is an empty structure without many of the details that make a house a home. Through the generosity of local businesses and Austinites, we will be able to help furnish the interior of the house.” In addition to media coverage, VETTA and VETTA Homes magazines will be donating a sizable portion of their ad revenue to Operation FINALLY HOME for the Coffey project. Our readers can watch the homes’ progress on Facebook and see the completed project in April 2015 issue of VETTA Homes Magazine. VETTA Magazine alongside Operation FINALLY HOME wishes to thank some of their generous initial sponsors and donors, such as Ed and Elizabeth Horne, BMC West, Moore Supply, Lighting INC, CASA Mechanical, Cabinets Deluxe, Pacific Shore Stones, and Sherwin Williams. As this project progresses, we will keep adding to this list! Thank you for your service, SSgt. Coffey! - The VETTA Team







All Proceeds Benefit LifeWorks

appunti Reese Witherspoon in Wild.


Last year’s Film & Food Party.


Matthew Weiner, this year’s “Outstanding Television Writer” Award winner.


Come mingle with the stars at AFF 2014.

AUST IN F IL M FES T IVAL 12th Annual Film & Food Fundraising Party

The Awards Luncheon, Presented by AKR Foundation

Wednesday, October 22 7pm – 10pm The Driskill Hotel - 604 Brazos Street

Saturday, October 25 12:15pm - 2:15pm The Austin Club - 110 E 9th Street

Kick of the Festival with one of Austin’s best parties of the year: the 12th annual Film & Food Fundraising Party, an evening dedicated to honoring Austin as both a nationally recognized thriving film industry and renowned culinary hotspot. Hosted by True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga, the event will be held in the Driskill Hoteland will include a silent auction with the very best in luxury items, trips, and experiences. Proceeds will benefit Austin Film Festival’s On Story® Project. The On Story Project shares 20 years of wonderful experiences and knowledge from screenwriters such as Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, and Vince Gilligan, just to name a few.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend AFF’s Awards Luncheon, where you can dine with panelists, awardees, and hear inspiring speeches from this year’s honorees and winners, including Matthew Weiner and Jim Sheridan. Weiner, the creator, Executive Producer, writer and director of Mad Men is the 2014 recipient of the “Outstanding Television Writer” Award. Nominated for 11 Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and recent winner of the WGA Award for Best Episodic, Weiner is a pivotal piece of the Festival’s star-studded 2014 lineup. He will be joined by distinguished Screenwriter honoree, Jim Sheridan, six-time Academy Award nominee, best known

Shot of The Imitation Game.

for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Field and In America. (Exclusively for Conference or Producers Badge holders).

The Film Party Saturday, October 25 | 7pm The Austonian Club – 200 Congress Avenue

Get out your pearls and suits! The Film Party will bring together the film world’s legends and rising stars for a night of cocktails, decadent Texas fare, and shoulder rubbing with the industry’s brightest names, poised on the 55th Floor of The Austonian Club against the Austin skyline. Proceeds will support Austin Film Festival and its booming year-round programs like On Story® and the Young Filmmakers Program. If you’d like to make a weekend of it, find out about AFF’s Weekend Packages, with badge and hotel discounts. Fabulous VIPs at last year’s events. All photos courtesy of AFF.


On the Screen This year’s AFF marquee selections will feature Wild, Escobar: Paradise Lost, The Imitation Game, The Sound and the Fury, The Homesman, Black and White, Big Hero 6, Red Army, and the World Premieres of Gravitas Venture’s 21 Years: Richard Linklater, Bravo’s upcoming series A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, and Amplify’s Dawn Patrol. AFF’s Film Competition Program boasts 15 World Premieres, with titles hailing from more than 20 countries.


game on!

oin VETTA, along with some of the most fabulous guests in Central Texas for ‘Boots & Pearls: The Best Party in Texas’, as we watch the University of Texas Polo Team take on Texas A&M. The Victory Cup is an annual polo match that is being hosted on Saturday, October 25th at Two Wishes Ranch, a breathtaking polo facility that is conveniently located 30 minutes south of Austin in Lockhart, TX. Enjoy a gorgeous day of green grass, majestic horses, beautiful people and heart pounding polo! In its tenth year, this event isn’t just a polo match; it’s a networking and social destination drawing thousands from Texas and beyond. This kid friendly, pet friendly event is a chance to see awesome classic cars or enjoy a picnic lunch. As event organizer, former NY State Senator Greg Ball, stated, “the Victory Cup is all about meeting great people, respecting the sport, the horses, the players, and having a great time!” Gates open for the action packed day at 1PM with a car show featuring some of the most expensive and exotic cars from around the world. For “Polo Fans in Training,” the children’s playground will feature fun and activities to keep the youngsters busy until the first “Chukker.” Fashionistas are encouraged to participate in the fashion show that features the trendiest looks from the Austin, TX fashion corridor. Greg has recruited some of the best talent to co-host this year’s event including polo enthusiast Ronda Underkofler. A Wyoming native and former beauty queen, Ronda has always had a passion for horses. Meanwhile, the VIP tent will feature local farm-to-table foods from premium Austin restaurants and attendees over the age of 21 will be able to indulge in the finest libations.

Photo courtesy of

For the main event, two of the biggest Texas rivals, The University of Texas and Texas A&M, will do battle with one goal in mind: to be crowned the 2014 Victory Cup champions! Both teams include dedicated college players with a common mission: to bring the love of the game to a wider audience, and bring cultures together in a celebration of both their common bonds and their diversity. Ball, the founder of The Victory Cup, originally started the event as a political fundraiser that was hosted during his time in public office. Now that Greg is returning to the private sector, The Victory Cup lives on as a private, for profit event. “This is my tenth year of hosting an annual polo match! The Victory Cup has become known as ‘The Best Party of The Summer,’ and for good reason! I am very excited to now expand the match to Austin. I’m looking forward to some awesome polo and meeting tons of awesome people,” said Greg Ball. Tickets for the 2014 Texas Victory Cup start at only $80 for general admission and $150 for VIP admission and can be purchased by visiting:

FULL TILT will deliver fashion thrills


et ready for a night of High-speed fashion with producer and local superstar designer Linda Asaf at the Full Tilt Fashion Show, next Saturday, November 1st at Blu at the W Hotel. A stylish pit stop for your F1 weekend schedule, Full Tilt will deliver high-style spectacle to some huge VIPs in town. Doors open at 6pm and the runway kicks off at 7:30pm. The 2014 show will be the best yet featuring Byron Lars, Project Runway’s Daniel Esquivel, Designer to the Stars, Midi Soliz with her debut line, Black Cross, Full Tilt Producer & Designer, Linda Asaf and more. Tickets are on sale now. Find out more:


Holly Mills-Gardner and VIPs having fun at last year’s event. Both photos by Davep Photography. top:

One of Linda Asaf’s designs on the runway. Photo by Matthew Danser.







etsey Johnson didn’t just put on a runway show; she used her appearance at NYFW to make a powerful statement. With her Prenup collection, the seventy-two-year-old designer shook things up with her celebration of brides, marriage and freedom. Betsey’s new compilation was festive, sexy, full of life, with splashes of rainbow and elements of classic monochrome. The collection was beautifully adorned with see-thru outfits, lace, vinyl, plastic and tulle. The gowns were floral embroidered, and the lingerie tops were fluffy, complemented by attention-grabbing accessories and with shoes from the Betsey Blue Collection. Betsey, who is a contestant on the new season of Dancing with the Stars, did not disappoint us with her fun and flirty show. She also did her traditional runway cartwheel and splits at the end of her presentation, alongside one of her two lovely granddaughters. Backstage, VETTA found Betsey with a glass of champagne, all smiles and in full celebration mode. She called her show: “A celebration of freedom in marriage.” She told us: “Prenup is a collection inspired by the whole world of straight brides, gay brides, transgender marriages, everybody getting married. Finally, freedom!” For her grand finale, Betsey was carried away by one of her models while they kissed passionately. As Betsey would say: XOXO!



Our Fashion Editor, Olga Maria, with Nigel Barker and Miss J Alexander.


Custo Men’s Fashion.

rom ColombiaModa to New York Fashion Week, VETTA continued to follow the hot trail of acclaimed fashion designer, Custo Barcelona. With his SS’15 collection, Skin, he seduced the star-studded audience at Lincoln Center with yet another spectacular runway. Before the show, I shared with special guests, such as Miss “J” Alexander and Nigel Barker from American Next Top Model, as well as Henry Santos, Dascha Polanco and James Goldstein. True to form, Custo Barcelona delivered a high-impact, visually rich collection, with juxtaposing textiles, prints and contemporary colors, within his undisputed signature style. With Skin, the hip design house showcased sensual, fun and transparent looks accentuating the power of the female form. Custo introduced uniquely textured appliqués and geometric cut outs and the predominant colors for his SS’15 collection were intrinsically fresh and sweet. Accessories included woven-patterned sandals, boxed-heeled booties, handbags, and sunglasses. Meanwhile, the men’s collection evoked a crafty masculine vibe. Looseknit fitting trousers, light artisanal linen jackets, t-shirts and sweats were paired smoothly with vibrant duffel bags. Footwear ranged from brogues to sneakers and looks were paired with cross-body bags and sunglasses. Refreshing, contemporary and simply Custo, SS’15 by Custo Barcelona neatly revealed hidden treasures, layering elegantly and uncovering the skin. Read all the juicy details and the photo gallery online (


Betsey Johnson brings free love to the runway.

BACKSTAGE WITH VENEXIANA Designs from Puerto Rico’s own Luis Antonio and Stella Nolasco in their MBFW debut.



s some of you may have noticed, at VETTA, we are all about diversity, so it is very refreshing to attend international shows and events with such cosmopolitan panache as NY Fashion Week. It’s an impressive display of countries, but also of intermingling generations working to mold worldwide trends. Some of the most highly anticipated appearances are from Asian and Latino designers. Renowned designers, such as Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, once again impressed their audience with elegant and timeless designs, and I spotted la creme de la creme of the elite fashion industry, Anna Wintour, as well as many huge celebrities. There were also high expectations of Asian designers, such as Jason Wu or Vera Wang. However, the newer generation brought to the runway a sense of entitlement, passion and glamour, letting their roots shine through with their creations. From Puerto Rico, we met with designer Luis Antonio, who made his debut at NYFW, making a huge splash with attendees and the media with his Maritime collection. He told VETTA: “I picked each fabric myself. I even designed the shoes which have ropes wrapped around the legs. I was inspired by the beautiful Caribbean sea.” Another shining star was Puerto Rican avant-garde designer, Stella Nolasco, with edgy, modern and sexy garments. Even Whoopi Goldberg seemed to enjoy Nolasco’s SS’15 runway as she sat front row pointing at different designs to her plus one, granddaughter Jerzey Dean. Meanwhile, the new generation of Asian fashion houses took the runway by storm. Lie Sangbong impressed with a dreamy presentation full of flowers, butterflies and beautiful patterns all over. The Korean native told VETTA that he found his inspiration in poetry, culture, architecture and the natural landscapes. His collection brought some of his culture into the runway, incorporating some traditional couture. Other noteworthy newbies included Zhuliang Li from Shanghai with his brand, Oudifu, and Taoray Wang. As new designers made their debut, other Asian designers celebrated their victory in the fashion industry. Concept Korea celebrated their tenth anniversary showcasing at MBFW. Lastly, Malaysian designer, Zang Toi celebrated his 25th anniversary and was even surprised with a cake. Beautiful shows, incredible fashion and the world uniting to create an amazing spectacle: I gotta say I love my job as a Fashion Editor. 


n the spirit of keeping Backstage with Kati Stern. things international, we also met backstage with the lovely Kati Stern, renowned fashion designer behind the Venexiana fashion house. She told VETTA about her fabulous new collection, “I tried to create something special and appealing for the European market as well as the US market”. This time around, her garments showcased beautifully embellished fabrics, seductive silhouettes and a sophisticated color palette, evoking romance and glamour with her designs. Born and educated in Europe, Kati Stern is not only an acclaimed fashion designer; she is also a professional architect, a classically trained pianist and a passionate flamenco dancer. “Because I am also an architect, symmetry is very much in my design, and of course, it’s summer, so I brought in some very beautiful colors.” Launched in 2003 by designer Stern, Venexiana can be found at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and other leading retailers around the world. One of Venexiana’s dreamy garments.

Venexiana SS’15 Collection on the runway.


editor’s picks



Some clients buy art because they love to collect from a particular artist. Some buy pieces to complement a specific space. Some just buy what speaks to them. Whatever criteria you prefer, here are some recommended gems found around Austin...





4 1. ‘Wonder/Wander VIII’ by Karina Hean (Monoprint Collage; 21”x15”). Available at Gallery Shoal Creek ( 2. ‘Try to Understand What’s Below (Part 1)’ by Jason Middlebrook
 (Acrylic and ink on paper; 41” x 30”). Available at Lora Reynolds Gallery ( 3. ‘Lithograph II, Volume IV’ by internationally renowned artist Joan Miro (1893-1983) (Color Lithograph; 10”x13”). Available at Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery ( 4. ‘The Gypsy Lair #2’ by Brad Ellis (Encaustic, Oil Stick and Collage on Canvas; 60” x 48”). Available at Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery (


5. ‘Cleaved Sphere with Cylinders’ by Truman Marquez (Oil on Linen; 100” x 100”). Available at Truman Marquez Studios (



6. ‘Comfortable Place’ by Milt Kobayashi (Oil on Linen; 20” x 20”). Available at Gallery Shoal Creek ( 7. ‘Marilyn’ by Peter Max. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery (

editor’s picks



Let’s get cooking! Get inspired with these nifty finds to spark your culinary genius…

3 2

4 5

7 6



1. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Octagonal Hanging Pot Rack ($199; | 2. Stonewall Kitchen Dulce de Leche Sauce ($7; | 3. 3-piece Shiny Copper Flatware Set ($26; | 4. Bento pillow by emma at home ($135; | 5. Alessi Espresso Coffee Maker ($193; | 6. Norm Kettle Teapot ($60; | 7. Krenit Bowl ($50; | 8. 3-piece Metal Trivet Set ($20; | 9. Mauviel M’héritage Copper & Stainless Steel Heater with Candle for Mini Saucepan ($90; | 10. Mr. & Mrs. Muse Salt & Pepper Shakers by Jonathan Adler ($48;



The Action Beyond the Track CARNIVAL at BLU at the W FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31 9pm-4am FULL TILT Fashion Show Saturday, November 1 6pm

Brought to you by

BLU at the W Race Party Saturday, November 1 9pm-4am



money invest in your own little piece of the


Photographs by James Leasure for the Austin Modern Home Tours.



hen I was 23 years old, I decided to invest in real estate, opening up a whole new world of opportunity. Even for a skilled salesman and an aggressive chaser of opportunity, this would be no small undertaking, but it was definitely the start of something I’m still passionate about almost 15 years later. At 24, I bought my first investment property and quickly found that it was a phenomenal generator of both wealth and passive income. I’ve learned firsthand that owning property is one of the best ways to build a nest egg that is solid. If done right, it allows investors of any level to accumulate a great cash flow and have other people build equity for them. Since my first experience with this type of venture, the project has really grown into an impressive portfolio. In my mid twenties, what was I looking for? A newer property, in a good area that wasn’t too expensive… of course, easier said than done. I looked at 35 properties in the $150-250K, since more people rent these. My advice to you is to find an agent to aid in your search, which can be overwhelming. Today even more so, since the Austin market is in incredible shape. Whether you are buying or selling, here’s a little glimpse of Austin, by the numbers: AF T ER A RECO RD M O N T H of home sales in June, we saw a slight dip in sales in July (down 3%) over last year’s sales in the same month, which is natural, since last July we had one of the biggest sales months we have ever experienced. In fact, it was the first time we had seen a dip in sales since May of 2011. In July of 2014, almost 3,000 houses were sold and our median home price increased 9% over last year to $250K. The average price rose 7% to almost $320K. Also, the Austin-area monthly housing inventory rose to 3 months (a 2-month increase over where we were last year). When we mention inventory, keep in mind that a scenario with 1 to 4 months of inventory is a seller’s market, which is our case in most areas.


However, do not be fooled by all the talk of multiple offers and homes selling the first day on the market. This is happening in a lot of areas, but there are also some areas and price ranges that are experiencing more challenging times. In the $500K-$1M range, there is over 6 months of inventory (which makes it a buyers market) and it is crucial to price and stage perfectly in this range. Lastly, the $1M and over range has over 12 months of inventory. If you’re considering investing at this higher price point, consider all these factors in order to make the best informed decision. I didn’t need to worry as much about my properties sitting on the market, because mine were in a much more active price spectrum. Out of those 35 properties I analyzed, I narrowed them to 4 that looked like the best deals. I looked at age and condition (which are not necessarily correlated, depending on the quality of construction), location, rental rates and time on the market. I did some simple math to know which would make the most sense financially (short and log term) and finally put in offers for the best 3 listings. Voila! I ended up with my first investment property. Once I bought it (on a 15 year note), I cleaned it up quickly, rented it out immediately, and experienced good cash flow for 10 years, never more than a month without a renter. At the 10-year mark when my renter left, I cleaned it up again, then put it on the market and sold it for a great profit without putting any of my own money into the equity. After I had done it once, I quickly got into it and started looking for the next opportunity.   Wanting to dabble in this journey? It is a great time to buy real estate in Austin, as we are continuing to have steady growth and we will continue to watch our market expand. The Austin market is fueled by a strong job market and constant economic growth and interest rates are low (still hovering from 3.5-4.5%). We are fortunate to be in one of the greatest cities in America. Now take control of the conditions, use this knowledge and write your own real estate investment story.







designing your


Shot of Austin’s own Designer and Stylist, Maureen Stevens’ chic home office.


s more of us have the opportunity to work from home, the need for designing an efficient and supportive work space in the home is necessary for success. A well-designed plan can offer you a comfortable, productive, and rewarding place to work. Here are some key elements to consider when planning for a home office. L O C AT I O N Do you require a quiet and secluded room to do your best work? Perhaps a spare bedroom, away from the main living areas, will suit you. Do you need to keep an eye on kids while working? If so, you can set up your office in a large room, with separate areas dedicated to your office and your children’s space. Whatever your needs, be sure to select the best area of the home to support your work and family activities. KEEP IT CLEAN If you have clients come to your home office, consider having the office near the front of your home, or consider setting up a separate entrance to your office from outside. If your office is in the back of the house, clients may have to walk past scenes from your real life... and real life can be messy at times. Picture your office through the client’s eyes. As the clients walk in, what does they see? Are there children’s toys on the floor? Are the living areas cluttered or messy? Are dirty dishes stacked


in the kitchen? Whatever your client sees will create an impression, either positive or negative. Successful home offices are clean, client-friendly, and convey the impression of a professional place of business. O R G A N I Z AT I O N A N D L AY O U T Think through what your daily needs will be and make sure you create space for each task. Do you need bookcases for reference materials or storage for office supplies? Will you need additional seating and surfaces for client or vendor meetings? There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find something you need, especially during a meeting with clients or an important phone call. Invest time into getting everything organized. Retail stores like The Container Store offer a lot of wonderful solutions. If you need help, a professional organizer can assist you in getting everything set up. LIGHTING Daylight is good light for working.If you can put your office in an area with lots of natural light, that is best. If your room has no windows, or you do a lot of your work in the evening, you will need to plan for adequate artificial lighting. A combination of general overhead lighting and dedicated task lighting is needed. Consider placing the overhead lighting on a dimmer and finding an adjustable lamp for your desk so that you can control the quantity of light. Beware of glare as it can be fatiguing to the eye. Computer screens in front of a strong light source, like a

Hilton Austin Event Chairs:

Honorary Chairs:

Director & Emcee:

Katie Jaffe & Venus Strawn

Andra & Joe Liemandt

Sabrina Barker-Truscott

To reserve your table visit:


window, or lighting directly above the computer can cause glare on your screen. Anti-glare filters can be used to reduce glare and reflections, making computer screens easier to see.


White Eames Chair, available at Design Within Reach.

top right: Home office designed by Jane Callhone of Homebound Design. bottom:


Private residential project by Glam Spaces, NY.

EQUIPMENT AND FURNITURE Invest in quality equipment. A wireless hub will give you the flexibility to work in different locations of the home and print remotely. Consider creating a relationship with a local company that can provide quick response to any problems that may arise with your technology and equipment. Also, invest in an ergonomic chair, since it is important for our chair to your chair to encourage movement to keep your oxygen and blood flowing. The more adjustable features, the better. You will be able to create the best fit for you if you can adjust the height, armrest, back, and headrest on the chair. Additionally, pick the correct desk for the type of work that you do. Do you need a lot of storage for items around you? Do you need a lot of surface to spread out and write on? If you only do computer work, you may need to find a desk that is designed just for that. There are many configurations available in office furniture. An L-shaped

configuration can offer a space for a printer, scanner, or copier. SPECIAL C O N S I D E R AT I O N S Does your work require any special considerations in setting up a home office? Do you need to videoconference on a regular basis? You need to consider the backdrop and lighting so that you are seen in a professional, complimentary setting. Do you teleconference? If you office in a large room that echoes, you may need to add some rugs or draperies to improve the sound quality. Don’t hesitate to bring in professionals to help you address any special needs you have in your home office. TA X E S Once you have set up your home office, be sure to check with your CPA or a tax professional before claiming a deduction on it! There are some checklists available that can help determine if you are able to take advantage of this tax deduction. Some initial research and efforts in thinking through your home office needs will provide a space where you can feel good and be inspired to produce your best work.

Take JAK home with you!

Order the cookbook online or pick one up at JAK’s. Jack will be signing books in Oak Hill on October 28th, 5–7pm and Round Rock on November 5th, 5–7pm

Distributed by


wrapping up (and eating) the future BY CO RA L TA LAV E R A


’ve got two kids, a home office and my husband happens to be one of my favorite chefs in the world, so we probably eat at home more than anyone else I know. I’ve learned firsthand that no amount of planning, bulk purchases and eco-friendly tips can hide the fact that food-packaging waste is a substantial (and alarming) part of our daily rubbish. When I stop and think of the yogurt cups, the water bottles, the granola bar wrappers, the cracker boxes and the plastic bags, just to name a few, it’s plain to see that the buildup is actually pretty ridiculous. Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of trash (which comes to about 4.6 pounds per person a day). Less than one-quarter of it is recycled; the rest is incinerated or buried in landfills. Want to put it in perspective? Just think of the times a week you need to empty that cute little trashcan under the counter, multiply it by the number of people in Austin, which is almost at a million… and then multiply by 300, just to count the US.

Photos Courtesy of Tomorrow Machine.


To address the issue, a very interesting project by the name of Tomorrow Machine has sprouted out of Sweden. Their design studios, based in Stockholm & Paris, specialize in highly innovative package, product and food concepts. By creating biodegradable, fast dissolving and uber green packaging, they plan to change the industry forever. Tomorrow Machine’s aim is to improve the experience of mainstream consumers, by applying research, new technologies & intelligent material. Winner of the 2013 Dieline award for Sustainability, Tomorrow Machine wants to transform the process of disposing of our containers with some solutions that truly puzzle the mind. Designers Hannah Billqvist and Anna Glansén have a few inventions that fall under two novel approaches to sustainable packaging: food wrappers that can change shape to double as a dish or bowl, and packaging that’s meant to be composted or washed down the drain. Tomorrow Machine’s first invention was the Sustainable Expanding Bowl. A biodegradable, cellulose wrapper fits snugly around freeze-dried food. By pouring hot water into a spout, the food cooks instantly while the wrapper blossoms open

and morphs into a bowl. They are now working on their newer series, called This Too Shall Pass. The concept behind it is for packages to naturally decompose or to dissolve in water. The line has three foods: Basmati rice, olive oil, and a raspberry smoothie. The whole point to the project, Glansén says, is finding an alternative to plastic. “The good thing about plastic is that it does not react with other materials very easily,” she says. “But that is also the bad thing about plastic, because it means that it makes the natural decomposition process difficult.” In their effort to apply intelligent materials (and genius design!), they have taken into consideration combining substances that don’t react to each other. The olive oil, for example, comes in a waxcoated caramelized sugar container. But that couldn’t work with the smoothie, beacause water breaks down sugar. But the smoothie or fresh fruit juice could come in an agar seaweed gel container. Once it’s un-refrigerated, “the package will wither at the same speed as its contents.” However, getting all of this to market is a costly endeavor. Glansén predicts that we’ll see this type of packaging on shelves in five or so years. For now, there is one of Tomorrow Machine’s inventions that will actually go on sale fairly soon. Microgarden is a tiny, paper greenhouse that uses agar seaweed to grow micro-greens and herbs. Infarm, a small German company that builds micro-gardening solutions for homes and businesses, will carry it online. Although it may seem that these inventions are a fascinating glimpse into the packaging future, designers have admitted their inspiration is drawn from things as old as time: the peels and shells of fruits and eggs. Today, the only reason people don’t eat orange peels, for instance, is because they’re sour and unpalatable. Tomorrow Machine’s waxy packages are too bland to eat right now. But that doesn’t mean a tasty peel (or wrapper, or shell) could be too far off. Less trash, less dishes to do and edible wrappers, sign me (and my kids) up for that!


Create a space for




t’s not mandatory to have a single room in your house that is devoted to exercise, although it can be helpful to have a central location for fitness equipment. First, you need to decide where you want to set up your home gym. The spare bedroom, office, or even a back porch or patio, are all great spaces for exercise. And if you don’t have a spare room, a small area in your home (like the office) that can double as your workout space will do. Before deciding which room or space you will designate for your gym gear, consider the following: I S T H E R E C A R P E T ? Carpet can easily stain. So you may want to consider investing in a high-end vacuum or try choosing a room with a hard floor, tile or simply use a portable mat for padding. I S T H E R O O M W E L L V E N T I L AT E D ? Good ventilation is a must when it comes to exercising. A hot, muggy room will more than likely be uncomfortable and make you less motivated to workout at home. To help boost your energy level during your workouts, the experts recommend ensuring your space has lots of natural light coming in from windows or doors. They also recommend bringing in plants to help boost oxygen levels in the room. Bamboo palms, spider plants and ferns are the top foliage for their indoor air purification powers. It’s essential you select an area that allows you to breath and move with ease. IS THE AREA CLEAR OF CLUTTER? Try to remove all gadgets, gizmos, papers, or other items that might use up unnecessary space and divert your attention away from your workout. Mirrors are also a useful way to add the illusion of more space, which may help you feel less cramped in a tight workout quarter.


HOME GYM EQUIPMENT R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S Hooray! You’ve chosen your home gym space, now you’ll need to fill it with essential equipment. You don’t need a great deal of equipment or bulky machines to make your home gym an effective place to exercise. In fact, some of the most ideal equipment is actually quite small and inexpensive. Here are the essential tools all of which could easily be purchased for under $300: J U M P R O P E is an ideal method of burning calories in a short burst of time. Jump ropes are affordable, portable and quick. It’s also great calorie-burner. Did you know you’d have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you’d burn jumping rope? It definitely makes a perfect piece to add to your home gym. E X E R C I S E B I K E S are a popular choice. Beginners can easily manage moderate activity on a stationary bike and the more experienced can easily increase the intensity to achieve a solid workout. It’s great for burning calories and joint friendly. According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly riding a stationary bike helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It’s cardio benefits have been proven to add years to ones’ life. E X E R C I S E B A L L S can be a beneficial way to help improve muscle tone and balance. They are excellent for abdominal work because they support the spine and isolate the stomach muscles. A stability ball reportedly works the abs more than crunches or sit-ups. Great for all skill levels, but not recommended for people seeking muscular strength and Central Nervous System (CNS) improvements because they can be unstable. Studies have proven that swinging a K E T T L E B E L L for 10 minutes burns nearly as many calories as running on a treadmill for the same duration of time. It’s proven to strengthen your back, legs and glutes as well as boost physical endurance. It helps strengthen your arms and pecs, but also works your core, heart, and lungs. According to Laura Alton a certified trainer and Russian kettlebells instructor, kettlebells offset the center of gravity. That means the body has to work harder to maintain balance and as a result


it works many different muscle groups. It’s a great way to get the heart rate up too! Buying a complete set of DUMBBELLS OR BARBELLS is a relatively inexpensive way of building a sound home gym, and will allow you to organize your living space efficiently, compared to bulkier machines on the market. Dumbbells also give you a greater range of motion in comparison to barbells or machines. They are much smaller than large home gym machines and much cheaper. The luxury of free weights is you can start off with 1 or 2 sets and move up to higher weight as you become stronger. Dumbbells are extremely versatile as well. R E S I S T A N C E B A N D S are great for those who want to exercise at home, or who like to take their workouts along when they travel. The GoFit Ultimate ProGym is a home gym winner! It’s the perfect on the go anywhere, train anytime home gym that comes complete with its own personal trainer on DVD. There are many benefits to exercising with bands, including versatility, convenience, safety and effectiveness. You can obtain 7 levels of resistance by creating different combinations of the tube strengths. P LY O - B O X . Jumping on boxes are a fun and helpful way to build power and quickness. Boxes are also great for squatting, for bench dips, and for other non-jumping exercises. Plyo-boxes vary in prices ($50- $400), size and structure. If you’re handy, you may want to build your own wooden box or hire a friend. Another option is visiting your local hardware store and purchasing an irrigation box. Working out on your own isn’t for everybody. Unfortunately, some people buy equipment and it becomes their home gym becomes an unlikely dust collector. But for those who are selfmotivated, disciplined and under a time crunch a home gym can be a great investment. If you elect to build a home gym, try adding a new piece of exercise equipment every few months to keep your routine fresh and exciting!

All photos courtesy of Lorna Jane, a unique apparel brand designed to empower every woman and to inspire an active lifestyle (





here is a house, and then, there is your home. A big difference spans between the two. Your home is the place where you feel comfortable and complete. It reflects who you are and provides a daily springboard for you to venture out into the world with clarity and enthusiasm. When life wears you down or serves up an unexpected hard knock, your home is the place of refuge and solace to return to for grounding and nurturing. Creating a physical personal space you feel both empowered in and can rely on, is important for your wellbeing. Look around. Does your home have all the aforementioned qualities? Notice how and if your home fosters relaxation and rejuvenation. If it doesn’t, what changes are necessary so it can serve and reflect who you are?

Your home is the place where you feel comfortable and complete. It reflects who you are and provides a daily springboard for you to venture out into the world with clarity and enthusiasm.


The person you were in your 20s is different from today. Back then you were probably living in an apartment and you viewed it as such. You didn’t know how to make a home fit your unique needs. Life was coming at you too fast and just trying to fit in was your focus. You have changed. Today creating a home is something that comes easier to you. Yes it took some practice, but eventually you keyed in on the things that make you happy. Certain colors inspire or sooth. You have opened up and remodeled your kitchen so you can entertain. Your master bathroom has a skylight so the light can pour in each morning. The duvet is perfectly weighted and you have multiple sets of sheets to match your mood. The art on the wall inspires. You now have a favorite chair to curl up in and read (sometimes you just choose to gaze out

the full length window.) Flowers are always within sight. You consciously made these changes to create a home that you feel whole and embraced by. If by chance your home still happens to be more of a house, get out a piece of paper and begin to jot down what would make it comfortable for you. What kind of change would reflect who you are today? Look at Pinterest and magazines for ideas. You might ask a great friend to help assist you or perhaps hire an interior designer or architect. In either case be sure you fully express what excites and soothes you. Be discerning with the choices presented using your intuition as a guide. In the end you’ll know best. Go take action.

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR OT HE R HOME , T HE ON E WITHOUT AN AD D R E S S, WHIC H GOE S WIT H YOU WHE R E V E R YOU GO? That home is you. By now it has become an unwitting mishmash of clutter and collection of unresolved memories, fears, regrets, disappointments, and other people’s emotional baggage (feel free to insert family member’s names here.) Throw in some bad habits, old patterns, self-defeating behaviors, and you’ve unconsciously designed some ill fitted rooms. In your mind’s eye, walk through your home of being and take an assessment. Just like your physical home, does it need to be spruced up with a proverbial fresh coat of paint or a complete remodel? If you are like most, it is probably the latter. We rarely make this assessment because it never seems convenient. We are so focused keeping up with the hectic lives we’ve created. (continued on page 118)


the family that plays outside together B Y RACH EL MA DO RSKY, L CSW


id you know that the more we play as a family together, the less we worry, and the smarter, more prosperous and happier we become? It’s true and these benefits increase exponentially when we play outside. How is that possible? When we worry, we over-focus on mental constructs and negativity. One of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein is this: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” But honestly, how many of us do try to solve our problems by thinking about them (over and over)? Let’s face it. It’s easy to be serious. T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F P L AY Playing is an activity that actually increases intelligence by exercising a part of the brain that allows new information to come in. When we play, our minds become less rigid, increasing our chances of looking at the world (and our problems) from different perspectives, including a more optimistic point of view. Add family and nature to the equation and the benefits increase. ƒƒ Time spent outside physiologically reduces anxiety.  ƒƒ Spending time in nature increases our appreciation for all living things.  ƒƒ Fresh air improves our health and brain function. ƒƒ Nature provides new information and stimuli for our senses. ƒƒ Playing outdoors develops our imagination, problemsolving skills and creativity.  …and the list goes on. Playing outside could be the secret solution to many of our personal and professional challenges. Who better to share playtime with than the most important people in your life? Your family. Not only do family activities promote better communication, but enjoying unstructured time together increases the pleasure, understanding and overall satisfaction in your family’s relationships. P L AY I N G TA K E S P R A C T I C E , SO FOLLOW THE FUN For children, playing is natural. For many of us adults, playing takes practice. What if we could re-learn how to play like we did when we were children, when we followed our impulses of what felt fun? What if we engaged in a give and take with our kids, our partners and ourselves that was silly and easy, with very few rules and lots of laughter and letting go? Author and



“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Bernard Shaw clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison writes, “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” I suggest we replace the word “Children” with “Humans” and add it to our daily life. When we let go of structure, we allow ourselves to experience a sense of freedom. What happens when we play as a family together outside? We connect. We laugh. We rekindle the spark of feeling alive! When we play, we relax. When we relax we become more curious and comfortable being our genuine self. From that easygoing, authentic place, we can truly connect, let go, give, receive, laugh and enjoy. Nature calms. Enjoying the outdoors can be a time to unplug from our devices and let in the beauty and power of the natural world around us. When we allocate time in our schedule for outdoor fun with our family, we create opportunities to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. IT’S LIKE RIDING A BIKE Need inspiration for something to do? Go for a swim, take a walk, play ‘duck duck goose’, act like a child, run around in a circle, make up a game, throw a ball, hug a tree, smell the roses, catch a Frisbee, role play with kids - let them act like the parents and you act like the children, play charades, count the clouds, look at the stars, dance outside, play in the dirt, make a bunch of mistakes, make it fun for YOU. BE in the moment and lay on the grass, tell a story together where everyone says a sentence and each person starts their turn with the words Yes, And... Even 15 minutes of outside playtime together can make a difference. If you’ve got a whole Saturday afternoon - go for it. E V E RY B O DY W I N S In addition to the countless benefits of playing outside with family is the prize of Belonging. We all need to feel loved, worthy and that we belong. Playing outside, being our authentic, silly, complicated, imperfect, funny, true self, with the ones we love reminds us what’s really important, that we matter to each other and that we belong.



Lustrous, radiant and indisputably glamorous, GOLD can instantly add a special kind of shimmer to any room, outfit or project. This stunning metallic tone has recently reemerged in interior design, appearing not only in decorative objects and picture frames, but also in large-scale furnishings and wall treatments. From rich upholstery, to intricate wallpaper, magnificent window treatments and eye-catching accessories, gold is back to make bold statements and insert glamorous grandeur to projects of any style.

Unexpectedly paired with burnt orange and light blue, gold and cream complete the cool retro vibe, with the help of some stylish and nostalgic shapes.

Gold Pinch Bowl ($15;

Metallic Porcelain Zebra Dish by Jonathan Adler ($32;

Modern Gold Porcelain Lidded Temple Jar ($413; Melchior Myrrh and Benzoin Scented Candle by Cire Trudon ($98;


Gilded Hollywood Regency Floor Screen ($1,590;

- In one of the most glamorous powder rooms ever designed, gold is combined with cobalt blue to create a contrasting, visually heavy and highly sophisticated space. Photographed by Roy Campana Photography in Bentonville, AR. left

Gold Leafed Iron Asterisk ($113;

Moroccan Leather Pouf ($215;

- Inspiration from the amazing blog of interior designer and stylist Paloma Contreras ( right

Embroidered Metallic Bull’s-Eye Pillow Cover ($44; Cream, Oyster & Gold Pillows (Prism and Blades) by Judy Ross Textiles ($215;

Set of six Traditional Golden Vasses in Porcelain by Two’s Company ($375;




CASA DRAGONES VETTA is proud to bring you the amazing work of renowned Austin-based interior designer Rachel Horn. She travelled to San Miguel de Allende to present us with a little piece of Mexico’s gorgeous culture and history, La Casa Dragones. photos courtesy of casa dragones tequila


t the epicenter of Mexico’s silver trade in the late 1700s, San Miguel was home to the Dragones, an elite cavalry led by General Ignacio Allende, responsible for one of the movements that eventually led to the Independence of Mexico. La Casa Dragones still stands on a narrow cobbled street and serves as the spiritual house for the eponymous ultra exclusive sipping tequila.

Once past the iron gates, along the trellised stone corridor of the house, visitors can feel the passion that once again exists in this astonishing dwelling. The owners offer private tours, making it a must-see spot in the culturally rich city. A visit to Casa Dragones and its historic 17th century stables now transformed into an elegant private home, is a truly unique and memorable experience. Here’s just a little taste… this page:

A harmonious blend of brick, wood, iron and flora sets a romantic scene in the cortyard. right:


The table is set for some glamorous entertaining!

“It was an honor to design Casa Dragones because of its historical significance and because San Miguel is my hometown. This project was so cool because it wasn’t just about creating the design. It was about bringing such an important building back to life. The fact that Casa Dragones is my favorite tequila was an awesome perk.” - Rachel Horn, Designer


Interior shot of one of the guest suites, furnished with authentic pieces and some very interesting historic design elements.

Traditional prints and amazing colors come alive in this very vibrant room, designed by Rachel Horn.


SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE is a pristine colonial town founded in the 1600s, nestled between the mountains in the heart of Mexico. Recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 4th Best City in the World by Travel + Leisure, and number one city in Mexico by CondĂŠ Nast Traveler, the elegance of this town is truly unprecedented.


Description of photo.


Old world design meets masterful modernity at the bar, fully stocked with Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila. below (left):

A space to lounge and relax in the residence courtyard. below (right):

Alternate view of the formal dining area.


From international restaurants to high-end boutique venues and bars, since its debut in 2009, Casa Dragones Joven Sipping Tequila has become the beloved tequila of the culinary industry, earning praise from connoisseurs, top chefs and sommeliers in Mexico and the U.S. This ultra chic spirit is uniquely smooth, with a refined character and softer finish. And because it’s a sipping tequila, Casa Dragones is meant to be savored slowly, one sip at a time. CHEERS!




Nature reclaims its place in the living space through clever design and stylish finds, ranging from reclaimed wood, to sleek teak, to playful pine and even driftwood.

2 1


5 4



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1. Oscar de la Renta Kent Teak Serving Bowl ($395; | 2. Live Edge Docking Station by Docksmith ( | 3. Wooden Sandals by Mizutori ($170; | 4. Elkmont Mirror by Currey & Company ($910; | 5. Carved Wood Side Table ($199; | 6. Old Wood Print ($250; | 7. Darby Wood Table by Arteriors ($550; | 8. Wood and Metal Nesting Tables by Endever, Austin ( 9. Driftwood Side Table ($399;



I SPY STYLE photographer: Tania Quintanilla photography assistant: Rudy Arocha model: Trevor Burchett (The Campbell Agency) wardrobe: Graham Cumberbatch hair: Robert Grimes makeup: Clarissa Luna Special thanks to Taylor Blair for lending us this incredible toy (his 1960 MGA 1600).




Glen plaid suit by League of Rebels ($860; Design Lab). Navy check button down by Lanvin ($400; By George). Charcoal overcoat by Lardini ($1,210; By George).


Sunglasses by Starling ($65; Design Lab). Camel sweater by APC ($220; By George). Navy peacoat by Officine Generale ($1,175; By George). Scarf by Dries Van Noten ($335; By George). Olive chinos by APC ($250; By George). Belt by Orciani ($176; By George). Porter leather duffle ($265; Service Menswear).


Wool herringbone pant by APC ($310: By George). Check wool blazer by Gant ($550; Service Menswear). Pocket silk by Timo Cosma ($75; Capra Cavelli). Watch by Shinola ($750; By George). Sunglasses by Retrosuperfuture ($195; Service Menswear). White polo by Robert Barakett ($125; Capra & Cavelli).


Navy sweater by Sebastien James ($198; Capra & Cavelli). Check shirt by Sebastien James ($198; Capra & Cavelli). Black sport coat by Plectrum Ben Sherman ($295; Service Menswear).


Navy tux by Paul Betenly ($695; Capra & Cavelli). Light grey button down by APC ($210; By George). Charcoal overcoat by Lardini ($1,210; By George).


Tan polo by Robert Barakett ($125; Capra & Caveli). Grey suit by Hugo Boss ($795; Capra & Caveli). Pocket square by Geoff Nichols ($55; Capra & Caveli). Grey sweater by Gant Rugger ($175; Service Menswear).





Glamorous Living room showcasing the Suzanna Sofa from bottom: Private residential project by Marcia Giovanelli in Atlanta, GA.

Lush Floral Area Rug (


Liz Taylor, The Hoffman Archive.



hen I die, I hope the waiting room in heaven is furnished with an ornate tufted settee, a collage of vases with lush peonies and a chandelier with thousands of cascading translucent glass drops. It’s not uncommon to find me drooling over the pages of Elle Decor, contemplating impossible to find artwork, intricate mirrors and heavily bejeweled pieces of furniture, all reminiscent of Hollywood’s golden days of glamour. Even if you’re not ready to admit it, at some point, we’ve all secretly obsessed over a lavish piece of tapestry, a succulent strand of pearls or a decadent Egyptian cotton duvet over a sea of down. Needless to say, I’ve had seasons when I’ve been severely obsessed with glamour. DEFINING ‘GLAMOUR’ To set the stage for glamour, a specific tone needs be established. There must always be an unambiguous notion of elegance present, an undisputed air of sophistication. Something is glamorous when it looks and feels special. Inspiration can germinate from something as simple as an ad in a magazine or a snapshot from an old movie. By definition, glamorous things have an air of allure, romance and excitement, and glamorous spaces are comprised of objects that are smart and beautiful. Glamorous rooms, by definition, are stylish, handsome and bold. Glamorous stands out. Glamorous pulls you in. It’s desirable and feels almost unattainable. Just to entertain the cliché, think Liz Taylor; think Marilyn Monroe. Nowadays, I find myself easily inspired by women like Marion Cotillard.

THE BASIC ELEMENTS Applied to home décor, there is a very distinct approach to design, and there are some gorgeous staples present in all of my favorite rooms. For instance, ever since I was a young girl, I have always found mirrored furniture to be synonymous with glamorous spaces. I’ll never forget flipping through my mom’s interior design magazines and seeing a mirrored credenza for the first time. I was instantly in love. The shape and proportions of each authentic mirrored piece will tell a lot about its story and its maker, but the reflective, almost magical quality of a mirror provides unmatched depth and undeniable refinement. The same principles apply to grand mirrors with heavy frames. In general, glistening materials and reflective finishes add a special kind of light to a room, a new dimension of energy and pizzazz. It’s the same concept as when we wear diamonds, sequined pieces or a tie made from a shimmery fabric. The eye is immediately drawn; attention instantly gravitates towards it. Other choice design elements for me include rich, elegant geometric patterns (maybe on lush pillows and roomy area rugs) and fabrics with delicate floral prints (perfect to dress up windows and grand dining room tables). Although I’m not a fan of overly feminine design, I’ve found about a million ways to spruce up a room using intricate patterns and bold treatments (that won’t send hubby running for the hills). Apply those gorgeous graphic elements to a substantial serving platter, add a bar tray and a stylish carafe… I’m home.

Shot of luxurious bar tray, courtesy of Marcia Giovanelli. Suzanna Sofa ($5,600; London Cushion in Ivory & Grey ($250;



Eclectic glamour in this space designed by Louis Faye, shot by Mariam Whitman. bottom:

Glamorous bedroom design, provided by

Saloon designed by Marcia Giovanelli, Shot by John Corgee.

Although textbook glamour calls for white porcelain, rich silks in blues and reds, deep velvets in greens, purples, and gold, there is room for dark greys and - one of my favorites trends - touches of black. Neutral linens or refined weathered woods with gilded details are particularly attractive (evoking European character), while deep greys in rich tweeds and wools combined with deep woods can also make for a great pairing. Meanwhile, classical, traditional and transitional styling can be glamorous, but certain restraint must be exercised. Without moderation, I trust someone like me can easily get carried away and go way over the top, completely defeating the nature of this particular style. Hence, ‘glamorous’ has repeatedly been defined as tailored & classic, dealing more with quality than quantity. Moreover, although some will debate over such thing as a ‘casual approach to glamour’, I’m an old-fashioned girl who believes at least a hint of formality must be conveyed. Glamorous spaced are essentially related to a finer lifestyle, somewhat luxurious. It doesn’t need to be prohibitively expensive, but design must make an effort to be remotely classic and timeless. Lastly, I adore spaces that look lived in.


K E E P I N G I T C L E A N. KEEPING IT FRESH. Glamorous rooms need to be clean and tidy. With carefully curated vignettes and refined accessories, no amount of clutter is acceptable and glass and metals should be nothing but perfectly polished. All of the room’s elements and trimmings are evidently edited to a particular taste. Also, there is no need to have everything in the home on display all at one time. Most stylists like to create opportunities to rotate collections, or pull out certain types of accessories seasonally. It is recommended to add, shift and rotate color palettes and objects. ‘ G L A M O R O U S ’ G E T S A J O LT For me it’s inevitable to gravitate towards refined, attractive pieces when I’m browsing online or flipping through design books. Remember, glamorous spaces and objects have always made me swoon since I was a kid. However, fifteen years later, I find myself mixing up new, eclectic versions of that classy textbook glamour I sought out in luxe magazines, anxiously waiting for a chance to mix Starck Ghost chairs with heavy, dramatic curtains and flashy floral rugs. I can hardly wait to see the contrast of a voluminous glass chandelier over my polished concrete floors, or to start playing with combinations of sumptuous wallpaper to offset some unexpected counterparts in furniture and lighting. It is wildly interesting to see the work of novel designers worldwide, playing with trends, mixing divergent styles and producing highly intriguing combinations. Learning about how rooms are crafted around carefully selected vintage pieces and interesting estate finds continues to fascinate me, especially when the end result is as glamorous as the home I dreamed of growing up.

Top by BCBG ($205; Julian Gold). Jacket by Rodika Zanian ($730; Julian Gold). Fur stole by Thakoon ($990; By George).




photographer: Tania Quintanilla photo assistant: Rudy Arocha model: Hanna Pults (The Campbell Agency) wardrobe: Graham Cumberbatch hair: Robert Grimes makeup: Laura Martinez


Necklace by Auden ($490; Valentine’s Too). Dress by Suno ($895; By George).


Bracelet by Diane Cotton ($480; Valentine’s Too). Jacket by Maiyet ($1750; By George). Faux fur by Nanoo ($1400; Valentine’s Too). White jumpsuit by Sea ($495; Valentine’s Too).


Gold pebble ring by Gurhan ($3,850; Sam L. Majors Jewelers). Hammered gold ring ($1,475), granulated ring ($1,850), gold and garnet ring ($3,225), Hammered gold cuff ($12,150) all by Elizabeth Locke (Sam L. Majors Jewelers). Coat by Schumacher ($860; Julian Gold). Dress by Lanvin ($2,745; By George).


Dress by Suno ($575; By George). Pants by Suno ($650; By George). Boots by Balenciaga ($795; By George). Disc necklace by Gurhan ($1595; Sam L. Majors Jewelers). Amulet ring by Gurhan ($725; Sam L. Majors Jewelers). Gold and ruby hoops by Gurhan ($4,080; Sam L. Majors Jewelers). Teal Venetian glass intaglio ring by Elizabeth Locke ($2925; Sam L. Majors Jewelers).


Hooded tunic by Baja East ($1,495; By George).


Bracelet by Eddie Borgo ($400; Valentine’s Too). Sweater by Givenchy ($1690; By George). Leather jacket by Michael Kors ($590; Julian gold). Necklace by Gerard Yosca ($265; Valentine’s Too). Leather jacket by MichaelKors ($590; Julian Gold). Tights by Hale Bob ($110; Julian Gold).



Babylon Ring by Tory Burch ($88;

Faux Pearl Necklace by Adia Kibur ($50;

Gold Metro Watch by Kate Spade (

Mini V Pearl & Crystal Ring by Vita Fede ($225;

For the Love of

l r a e P

Station Bracelet by Ralph Lauren ($58;

ELEGANT. TIMELESS. POWERFUL. The pearl is a symbol for overcoming adversity through radiant transcendence. Its singular origin has made it an icon for sacred power since ancient times, and it has an inherent connection with feminine generative power. As symbols of the hard-won goal of spiritual striving, it’s only natural for us to want to bring pearls into a new context. Take a closer look at these yummy finds, as these are not your grandmother’s pearls…

Bahina 18K Gold and Venetian Glass Earrings ($1,560;

Dorado Cream Pearls Earrings ($270;

Babylon Mesh Bracelet by Tori Burch ($325;

Triple Pearl Ring by Delfina Delettrez ($2,110;


Pearl and Calcedony Drop Earrings ($345;

Nuit Mechanical Ring ($485; Ippolita Mosaic Drop Earrings ($2,125;

casa L E T ’ S TA L K A B O U T



oming to Austin from New York City in 2004, I was already used to the idea that a neighborhood could be a little planet unto itself, and appreciated the idea that even a four-block area can have a distinct personality. I was happy to find that Austin identifies in a similar way, and its eclectic residential architecture plays a large part of that defining character. Clarksville, Bouldin, Travis Heights, French Place, West Lake Hills, Tarrytown, Rosedale—they all have architectural personalities. If you know Austin you can hear ‘Hyde Park’ and picture craftsman houses on tree-lined streets, or conjure stone-clad mid century modern ranch houses in your mind when you hear ‘Rollingwood.’ I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last nine years in the Zilker neighborhood just a mile south of downtown, which has a wonderful assortment of housing styles, including several designed by A.D. Stenger in the 1950s. Stenger’s work is reminiscent of California developer Joseph Eichler’s—with low, peaked-roof ranch houses, angular lines, exposed beams, and clerestory windows.


As Austin grows, with some 110 people moving here per day, Zilker is evolving. It’s been bittersweet to see some of the old buildings and businesses disappear, as well as my neighbors with the peacocks and chickens in their front yard. Still, I embrace most of the changes, especially when they mean more walkability. MODERN GOES ON TOUR My knowledge about Austin’s neighborhoods started with personal exploration in the midst of Zilker, but in 2008 my education became more in depth. I’d been writing about architecture for years when Krisstina Wise, entrepreneur and owner of the GoodLife Team realty firm, came to me to talk about starting a modern house tour. She didn’t want it to be a realty tour, but a way to show architecturally significant Austin houses to inspire and inform people across the city. “I was seeing a bunch of great modern houses in various parts of the city, but I was also noticing a lot of resistance to modern,” she says. “To me it seemed like people weren’t understanding modern. They saw it as cold and unlivable, and thought of modern houses

as ruining the character of their neighborhoods. I knew that wasn’t the case, and I wanted to create a tour that would show the best of modern, so people could see how well modern houses can be designed, incorporating energy saving techniques, natural light, and local materials like stone.” Krisstina asked me to curate the tour, and the Modern Home Tour Austin was born. That first year we had about 400 people attend, and in 2014 there were 2,500. James Leasure, who produces the tour in Austin, and after co-founding a company called Modern Home Tours, LLC, has gone on to produce successful modern tours in more than 25 cities across the country and Canada (many of which I’ve curated), agrees. “Each region defines ‘modern’ differently,” he says, “but Austin has a wider range of modern applications than most other cities.” R E N O VA T I O N R X After 15 years writing about other people’s house projects, I finally got the opportunity to experience my own, in Zilker. In 2012 my husband Todd and I decided it was time to take our little 1,100-squarefoot house (with 300-square-foot converted garage) to the next level. We chose Burton Baldridge Architects for the job. I had known and admired Burton’s work from back in my New York days at Architectural Record magazine, and we had become

friends since my move to Austin, but I never dreamed he would take on a renovation project as small as my little house. He did. And with project designer Brian Bedrosian and Garrett Boon of Five Stones Construction as builder, he transformed my house from a small, inefficiently laid out 1955 rambler into a mini modern masterpiece, complete with a backyard we never want to leave, and a front courtyard that incorporates our giant heritage oak tree (and my seven-year-old son Dash’s swing!) into our living space with the swoosh of a sliding glass door. We loved the house when we bought it in 2005, but became frustrated with the flow of spaces, including the garage, which was separate from the house, and had been poorly converted to a storage and laundry room. Also, we longed to be outside but there was no good access to the spaces, and they were unshaded and uncomfortable. Burton, Brian, and Garrett realized the potential of the house and the outdoor space around it, and renovated it in such a way that it feels united, voluminous, harmonious, and alive. “I always loved your house and wanted to respect it,” says Burton about the unassuming street profile and angled roof that remained similar to what was there before. Unassuming but refined, as the new design adds a modern, Jetsonlike feel, with steel beams supporting an extended canopy over the courtyard,

Photo by James Leasure.


Photographs by Casey Dunn.

“Regardless of the time it took to complete our project (almost two years), this house has changed our lives for the better and given me new perspective on the value of the work of architects and contractors—that merging of art, craft, science, and physical making that results in a beautiful house.“ – Ingrid Spencer

and a dark gray standing-seam metal roof that folds down to clad the south side of the house. It looks effortless, but the engineering is complicated. “The roof in several locations is supported by a double or compound cantilever,” says Brian. “Besides being really cool, it changes how you perceive the roof—gives it less physical weight and opens up the space to what is beyond.” Inside, strategically placed windows frame views and bring in natural light, including a skylight that creates an ever-changing light show against the bedroom wall. There’s also a straight view from the front of the house all the way down the hall out to the pool—a view of flowing water that dapples and dances in a reflection above on the white overhang right outside the back door. ARCHITECTS MAKE A MARK Speaking of beautiful houses, did I mention that Zilker is evolving and changing? Baldridge Architects is one of a whole list of accomplished designers adding value


and beauty to the neighborhood with their work. I’ve just finished almost two years of design and construction on my own house, and now I’m watching in awe as at least four houses in a three-block radius are in the midst of construction. My neighbors Adam and Traci Reiser are building an uber sustainable modern tower across the street from me, made of what I thought were concrete blocks. According to their architect Gordon Wittenburg, who is also a professor and the director of graduate studies at Rice University’s School of Architecture in Houston, they’re actually a wood product—a hollow block filled with concrete.” The house will be innovative and gorgeous (and hopefully on the Modern Home Tour in Austin in February of 2015). Other architects with projects complete or on the boards nearby include Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Dick Clark + Associates, FAB Architecture, Thoughtbarn, Jay Hargrave Architecture, CG&S Design Build, KRDB, McKinney York Architects, Studio D+Form, Moore Tate, and Stuart Sampley Architect.

S T UA RT S A M P L E Y I N Z I L K E R Stuart Sampley may live in Bouldin, but he spends a whole lot of time in Zilker. He has at least five houses completed or in construction in the neighborhood, and his thoughtful designs, efficient processes and timetables continue to attract Zilker dwellers. While each house he designs is completely unique, they all fit their context, and he has a deep appreciation of the location, character, and history of Zilker. “The topography in Zilker is different than any other neighborhood,” he says. “It’s its own little corridor. And historically the houses are diverse and eclectic, which mimics the people who live here. I prefer design rooted in history, and then streamlined.” DEXTER RESIDENCE “I grew up in a modern house, and I like the culture and the people who live in Zilker. Stuart understood that,” says Joi Jones of why she moved to the neighborhood with her family and chose Stuart Sampley to design her 3,200-square-foot house. “The design of the house is rooted in mid century modern principles,” says Stuart, “but taller.” He’s speaking of the flat roof coupled with some surprisingly high ceiling heights, from nine to 11 feet in some places. The house’s one-story façade hides its size, leaving lofty interior spaces bathed in natural light and a sheltered backyard courtyard undetectable from the street. “I love the way the house is oriented away from the street,” says Joi. “We spend a lot of time outside enjoying our covered patio.” The house was awarded a 5-star rating by Austin Energy’s Green Building program.


B A R T O N B LV D. Also employing a mid century modernist ethos and receiving a 5-star rating is the Barton Blvd. Residence. In true Stuart Sampley spirit, the house takes its cues from the neighborhood with an updated spin. A restrained palette of stone, steel, and walnut grace the simple volumes of this house, which, like the Dexter St. Residence, has a one-story façade hiding generous space oriented to the back. Perched above the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, the back volume is clad in milled steel that will patinate over time. The interior spaces are also uncomplicated and generous, with a sculpted, walnut-and steel-clad divider separating the hallway and private spaces from the public area.

clockwise from left bottom: Interior shot by Atelier Wong Photography.

Exterior Shot by Andrea Calo. Modern Kitchen (above) and Living room, shot by Atelier Wong Photography.


BIGGER AND CHEAPER IS NOT BETTER Plain spoken as he is, Stuart says his houses are not all modern; in fact some are very traditional. But he’s adamant that whatever the design philosophy, the context and scale must be considered. He’s not a fan of what he calls “parasite additions”—giant, obvious additions that often dwarf the original houses—and renovations that take up entire lots with bulky volumes inconsiderate of proper orientation, context, and thoughtful design. “A lot of builders in Austin value the work that architects do, but some do not,” he says. “They’re not protecting scale and historic precedence. You can’t break the rules well until you know them.” Burton has a similar take on what’s right, and what’s wrong with the evolving housing stock of Zilker. “I love adventurous but rationally conceived custom architecture where people really consider their enjoyment of the house more than the potential resale value

“A lot of builders in Austin value the work that architects do, but some do not. They’re not protecting scale and historic precedence. You can’t break the rules well until you know them.” – Stuart Sampley


“We really shoot for a residential experience for all the restaurants we design,” – Michael Hsu predicted by realtors,” he says. “An unassuming low slung modernism runs strong in Zilker and I love its homes (new and renovated) that respect this tradition. Sadly, what I see all too often in all of Austin’s neighborhoods is a generic contemporary architecture—homogenous structures programmed by realtor statistics, and shaped by the form-determinant ordinances.” DOWNTOWN COMES TO ZILKER [SHAKE SHACK] Luckily for all of us in Zilker, a developer with vision, Greystar, selected two thoughtful architecture firms for the massive Lamar Union on Treadwell and S Lamar, Boka Powell as executive architect and master planner, with Michael Hsu Office of Architecture as collaborating design


architect. While the development replaces beloved Zilker businesses such as Hennig’s Heart of Texas Music (where I bought my son’s ukulele years ago!) and Big Bertha’s Bargain Basement vintage shop, with 443 modern rental apartments and over 80,000 square feet of ground floor restaurants, retail, and parking, I am not afraid. In fact, I am thrilled. With the Alamo Drafthouse and the Highball lounge anchoring the project, and four new restaurants including the Michael Hsu-designed Shake Shack, and Cantine, Lamar Union promises to be a walkable, welldesigned destination for the neighborhood. Eric Van Hyfte, senior associate with Boka Powell, showed me the bike paths that run all around the development, as well as the ground floor apartments on the South side, which have doors that open to the street, making them look

© Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

and feel more like modern townhomes than traditional apartments. “We really want Lamar Union to be a model for residential infill mixed-use,” he says. Michael Hsu, who worked with Boka Powell on many of the design details, agrees. “This project used some real programming best practices,” he says. “The developer was a real partner in making sure that the clients are appropriate to the neighborhood first, then allowing them to express their individuality.” Michael is helping that effort, bringing his expertise in restaurant design to Shake Shack and Cantine, the new restaurant by Emmett and Lisa Fox of Asti and Fino fame, their own identities. Michael, who is also designing a house in the area, says he’s proud to be bringing density to Zilker, and has come

to have a real affinity for the area. “It’s hard to find another place in Austin like it,” he says. Still he cautions against the provincial mindset that is still prevalent in Austin. “It goes back to the old estate mentality,” he says. “But we’ll keep trying to convince those people that with responsible design a variety of levels of development can enhance their neighborhoods.” Many of us in Zilker welcome the new growth and the changes in the neighborhood (while still holding the memory dear of its history and evolution), and look forward to the completion of Lamar Union. When you see a person pulling a little cart down Treadwell St. to pick up some milk from Lamar Union’s new grocery store, River City Market, say hello. It’s probably me.




photography: Tania Quintanilla | photo assistant: Rudy Arocha model: Taylor Lovelace (The Campbell Agency) | wardrobe stylist: Graham Cumberbatch wardrobe assistant: Kathryn Garza | hair stylist: Ted Sabol-Williams makeup artist: Clarissa Luna


Red orange shirt by Chanel ($295; Archive Vintage). Bib necklace by Shlomit ($69; Co-Star). Circle blocks necklace by Shlomit ($58; Co-Star).


Hot Magenta jacket by A-K-R-I-S Punto ($1,490). Flossy Crop Pullover by Avelon ($331; Kick Pleat). Flesh Leia Blouse by Acne Studios ($440; Kick Pleat). Gaucho pants by Rachel Comey ( $430; Kick Pleat). Black Essie oxfords by Robert Clergerie ($615; Kick Pleat).


White button up by Theory ($215; Julian Gold). Lavender dress by Oscar de la Renta ($2,390; Julian Gold). Forest green Gaby coat by Samuji ($644; Kick Pleat). Black and white purse by Inzi ($105; Co-Star). Gold cuff by Valentino ($67; Julian Gold). Metallic green belt (stylist’s own). Boots by Rachel Comey ($452; Kick Pleat). Earrings by Shlomit ($54; Co-Star). Sunglasses by Super ($268; Co-Star).


Leopard print moto jacket by Ralph Lauren ($3,995). Sky blue shirt by Robert Rodriguez ($345; Julian Gold). Fuchsia pants by Escada ($650; Julian Gold). Pinky rings by Kelly Wearstler ($76 each; Girl Next Door).


Blue dress by Robert Rodriguez ($575; Julian Gold). Dayana top by Joie ($218; Girl Next Door). Shoes by See By Chloe ($320; Co-Star). Gold link bracelet by Rachel Zoe ($423; Co-Star). Gold and pastel bracelet by Shlomit ($77; Co-Star). Pearl bracelet ($40; Costar). Gold cutout cuff by Kelly Wearstler ($194; Costar). Sunglasses by Super ($268; Costar).


Beta sweater by Acne Studios ($240; Kick Pleat). Silk pleated skirt by Creatures of Comfort ($457; Kick Pleat). Boots by Rachel Comey ($452; Kick Pleat). Bag by Marc Jacobs ($198; Julian Gold).


Green leaf pants by St.John ($695; Julian Gold). Grey shirt with pink shoulders by Piazza Sempione ($690; Julian Gold). Kenzi Wrap watch by Nikon ($150; Costar).


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Start your Engines


ell an out-of-towner you’re from Texas. He or she will more than likely think up an image of a cowboy on a horse. In life, as in legend, the horse is central to what defines Texas as a state, and before it was a state, as it’s own Republic. However, since Austin scored one of the greatest coups in sports history with the completion of the Circuit of the Americas and the attendant United States Grad Prix, “horsepower” has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, every year, hundreds of thousands of race fans make the trip to Austin, and a collage of businesses catering to these fans is quietly becoming established, while at the same time making race-car culture a year ‘round draw for some. Austin has undoubtedly become a speed-lovin’ city. As Varun Idnani, UT grad and founder of the Longhorn Racing Academy, explained, “there has always been a strong sports car community here in Austin and enthusiasts have been finding ways to share their enjoyment for decades. From tours through the hill country to parking-lot based driving skills competitions called autocross, Austin has always provided an outlet for guys (and gals) with petrol in their blood.” However, Irdani and his partner James Leasure saw an opportunity to provide a more focused service to Austin gearheads, and have partnered with Harris Hill Road, in San Marcos, to get curious drivers behind the wheel of a high-performance sports car on Harris Hill Road’s 1.8 mile race track. Just 20 minutes south of Austin, the venue offers supercar driving experiences (starting at just $199), including classroom instruction and 5 laps of in-car, high-performance driving. “Our clients can make reservations online (, which is super convenient, or purchase gift cards” explained Irdani. Although drivers must be 18 or older to drive, High Speed ride-alongs are available for car enthusiasts ages 12 and up. “It’s nothing like driving in your neighborhood, or even on the toll way with its 80 mph speed limit,” explains Leasure. “For one thing, you’re driving a dream car. A Porsche, or a Corvette or Nissan’s GT-R, known in racing circles as ‘Godzilla.’

Photos courtesy of Longhorn Racing Academy.


Photos courtesy of Longhorn Racing Academy.

Maybe even a Ferrari. Whatever you choose, you’re choosing a machine that feels alive in your hands… without speed limits. Speed aficionados don’t need to worry too much; it’s incredibly safe. Before you even get in the car, you get an overview of high-performance driving basics (Leasure refuses to call it a “Crash course”) and we provide an instructor in your right hand seat to help you implement your in-class lessons on the track.” VETTA Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief had an incredibly fun time at the Longhorn Racing Academy behind the wheel of a Corvette Stingray, a must for anyone looking for an out-of-of-the-ordinary outing with their co-workers, or seeking a fun, adrenaline-filled escape. The isolated setting, the no-nonsense approach to racing and their incredibly knowledgeable team, create a safe and captivating atmosphere. While the fun-loving spirit of the track team members makes it the perfect alternative to every day stress, the opportunity to test these amazing cars makes it all too appealing. We must warn you, not only is it fun, but also highly addictive. What’s next for Longhorn Racing Academy? Big things, according to Idnani & Leasure. Next year, the team will be exploring the idea of crafting motorsport experiencebased travel packages to far-flung locations like the YAS Marina Formula One track in Dubai, and the legendary Nurburgring in Germany. The goal, says Leasure, is to bring people who love cars, and people who love driving cars, to places that they have only dreamed about, as part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For anyone in Texas looking to trade the stallions at the stables for 640 horses under the hood, Longhorn Racing Academy is sheer paradise.



The Journey of a



n a city revered for its musical roots, one particular Austin composer, Nathan Felix, found himself in a bit of a challenge to both: teach himself how to compose for orchestra and somehow let the world know that classical music is not dead, but rather much alive. IN THE WORKS Today, Felix has a documentary titled “The Curse & The Symphony,” which chronicles the process of recording his first symphony, “The Curse The Cross & The Lion.” The documentary is being featured in festivals throughout the US, including the Catalina Film Festival in Avalon, CA, Docuwest International in Denver, CO and Chagrin Documentary Fest in Celeveland, OH. His second symphony, “Neon Heaven,” currently in the recording process with the Round Rock Symphony and Texas Choral Consort, will be performed in Austin, TX and Denmark in 2015. B L A S T F R O M T H E PA S T Rewind ten years, and you’ll find Felix as a travelling musician in a punk rock band. Hopping in-and-out of a van, improvised showers, back-to-back shows and generous hospitality was all that Felix’s mind could compute. That was until a very interesting 30-hr ride from Boston, MA to Austin, TX, filled with nothing but classical tunes and the typical band member quarrel- something snapped. Back to the motherland, but this time with an absolutely bizarre task in mind, to compose classical music. And, if you’ve ever been around Felix you can instantly sense that somewhat odd tenacity, underneath all of the incessant joking and questioning of the norm. Not knowing where to begin and having only the knowledge of improvised punk

rock bands, Felix set out to learn music through the instruments (and the people playing them). Unfortunately for Felix, the musicians were not so on-board with his plan to absorb their musical knowledge, so they sent him straight to the books. In the course of five years, his band The Noise Revival Orchestra, evolved into orchestral based and included everything from strings to brass, alternating over 100 different local Austin musicians. TNRO performed locally with artists like MGMT and Dead Confederate, and toured Europe and Asia in 2012/2013 (with an upcoming tour of Taiwan and Japan in Oct. 2014). Felix completed and recorded his first symphony in 2012, which gained exposure in Bulgaria. He was invited to compose and participate in a composer forum in the summer of 2013. He has been writing for orchestra, film and commissioned works since. COMMUNITY I N V O LV E M E N T Being that Felix’s main goal is to bring awareness to the importance of classical music, and just organic music in general, he sets out to build that impression on local youth. Felix speaks in campuses in the Austin area that might be losing, or at risk of losing art programs. He provides a detailed experience, step-bystep encouragement on how to succeed at pursuing dreams through mentoring and gives students the opportunity to participate in his music productions. Felix also served as the Austin Ambassador in Shanghai, where he met with key members of the Chinese government to discuss how to bridge the gap in our communities through music and art programs. This is a continuing effort that will take trajectory through several countries. To be part of Nathan Felix’s journey, visit

“In hindsight, after travelling in a van like sardines and connecting our portable A/C to the outside electricity conductor of escrowed homes, I would have never seen myself travelling the world and sharing my journey with others,” said Felix. “But with the ever-changing evolution of technology today, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”



Once more, VETTA brings together some of the best talents and most interesting individuals in the great city of Austin. These top-notch designers and producers shared some very exciting projects happening in the ATX and the fabulous trends behind their work. Here’s the second round of Tastemakers, some of the staples in the style and potential of this amazing city.

VETTA TASTEMAKERS by coral talavera photographed by tania quintanilla


Sir Zoltan David An actual member of Hungarian royalty, Zoltan is one of the most talented (and definitely most interesting) jewelers in town. Alongside his lovely queen, Patti, he has clinched prestigious awards and has created breathtaking pieces for some of the finest customers in and out of Texas. Continuing to reinvent himself through his design and by exploring new materials and finishes, Zoltan has no intention of relinquishing his shimmering throne. hometown

“Budapest, Hungary”

“The trend of Original, Intelligent design, crafted in the highest tradition of classical goldsmithing, resulting in the fine art of jewelry” favorite trend

“I am inspired by several things: music, light (such as sunlight or moonlight reflecting on water), and Humans with their character of love, devotion, creative genius, freedom, personal responsibility, and an unending determination to pursue their dreams to victory.” biggest inspiration

biggest professional accomplishment

“Being awarded Jewelry

Designer of the Year… twice.” “My calling is to create beautiful forms with gems and precious metals that are personal symbols of love and success for individuals.” personal milestone

“Developing a new, strikingly beautiful and versatile, never before seen (patent pending) material for jewelry.” next big project


barbara morgan Filmmaker, documentarian, editor and producer; it seems like Barbara just can’t resist a good story. Barbara Morgan co-founded Austin Film Festival 21 years ago and has served as the sole Executive Director since ‘99. Her work has been featured across screens of all sizes in and out of Austin and she’ll be hosting the Festival with her team from October 23rd to the 30th. Join the AFF for another fabulous edition. hometown

“Philadelphia, PA”

“When Austin Film Festival started, we decided to focus on the screenwriter’s contribution to the filmmaking process. In film, oddly enough, the director, not the writer, is the person credited with the film’s creation. In television, a show’s creator is usually the writer and most often, the engine of the show. In the late 90’s we started seeing a lot of our film writers crossing into television and with the rise of cable TV and original programming, it became fertile ground at the Festival to start focusing on television writing in addition to film. Now, it seems like every festival out there is dipping their toe into television and Internet programming. Honestly, for both writer and filmmakers it is a great opportunity to break in and to have more power over their art and craft.” favorite trend

“As goofy as it sounds, my parents were/are my greatest inspiration. They encouraged my brother, sister, and me to pursue what we loved. Though we had a fairly traditional education, they exposed us to so much through their travels and interests and encouraged our explorations outside our immediate universes.” biggest inspiration

biggest professional accomplishment


this Festival going for 21 years!” “Realizing that the Festival had a tangible aspect to it was a bit of an epiphany. We are not just a once a year event. We taped the content from the very beginning, and finally realized that it had an audience beyond October. We now have a TV show called On Story on 121 PBS stations and a book series and podcast by the same name. The podcast reaches a worldwide audience that has been growing exponentially.” personal milestone

“Working with creative people constantly inspires me to develop another film. I am working on adapting a western and hopefully a children’s book I have recently fallen in love with.” next big project


michael hsu An advocate for simple, edited design, Michael is an accomplished architect, an amazing space designer and a true visionary. He is responsible for designing some of the most popular venues and eateries in Austin and is one of the most recognized names in local modern architecture. hometown

“I was born in Taipei, Taiwan but grew up in Houston.”

“That we’re learning how to be more urban and neighborhood focused in Austin, with its ups and downs.” favorite trend

“My Grandfather, one of the first licensed architects in my home country and my Mother, who found time to paint and be creative in challenging times.” biggest inspiration

“Building a talented team in my office that can nimbly jump from a delicately designed home to an enormous urban development downtown.” biggest professional accomplishment

Personal Milestone “Having two kids with my wife Kim. I thought I was prepared, but every day is an amazing new adventure.” “Projects I’m excited seeing come out of the ground are Lamar Union (big), and Uchi’s new concepts (small).” next big project


adam dunn & anna ogden Meet the incredible design duo behind Four Hands furniture, ready to present their incredible new collection to the world. VETTA is thrilled to have them as our Tastemakers. hometown

Adam: Born in Toledo, Ohio. Living in Austin, TX Anna: Rochelle, IL , now lives in Austin, TX favorite trend

“Right now, Rustic Modern: I love when a design makes two opposing viewpoints blend into something new and interesting. The clean and simple lines of modern design allow those character woods to shine without feeling heavy or dated.” anna “Dining benches and the urban movement” adam

biggest inspiration

“I’m crazy about antique furniture, and I think my biggest source of inspiration are the antique dealers themselves. We travel internationally most of the year sourcing new factories, going to trade and industry shows, adam


and it’s always the antique markets where I find the newest trends first.” anna “Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, Vogue. She edits the fashion industry and is a powerful influence with a highly respected portfolio that transcends decades! And she seems like a cool mom.” biggest professional accomplishment

“The first time one of my pieces was featured in a national design magazine. It was really an incredible moment.” anna “About every 6 months, the fruits of our labor come to life as we unveil our new collections at High Point market. Our merchandisers spend weeks transforming the 30,000 sq ft showroom and then VOILA! The lights are on, final touches are complete, and it’s SHOWTIME!” adam

personal milestone

“Taking a taxi from Charles De Gaulle Airport into Paris for the first time. It was night, adam

but I could still see the graffiti on the highway walls with the French countryside behind it. Driving into the city, I was blown away by how beautiful it was. It was the first time I really felt like I had ‘made it’ professionally. It’s forty-five minutes of my life I’ll never forget.” anna “Had my first baby this year - hands down, my BEST work ever! I’m the luckiest mommy in the world.” & anna “We have been working incredibly hard over the past year develop a new product line for Four Hands. We’ve tried to design a line that fits a modern lifestyle but still has a lot of style behind it. High Point market in October will be our next new collection debut. Also starting now, we are transitioning the “mood” of our showrooms from a cool industrial warehouse to a sun-drenched Parisian loft.” next big project for adam


THE BIG PICTURE with Luxury Real Estate Pro and Photographer TYE TRUITT from Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty BY ANDRES M AT T EI


f pictures are worth a thousand words, it’s only natural that they make a home look like a zillion bucks. Luxury real estate specialist Tye Truitt shares with VETTA his unique story, his refined perspective on high-end marketing and some of the amazing homes he’s had the privilege to represent.

HIS STORY Born in Dallas, and now a solid Austinite for over 11 years, Truitt is a true entrepreneur at heart. He started his first company, Texas Video Tours, immediately after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio, Television & Film. Utilizing the latest video technologies available, Texas Video Tours was on the leading edge of new marketing techniques used to showcase homes on the Internet. In 2008 Tye took a career detour to become general manager of a food distribution company covering Central Texas, and soon returned to his passion of Real Estate and photography in 2010, when he founded Extreme Air Shots LLC, a full service Real Estate marketing photography company serving all of Texas, specializing in the “Air Shot”. Now considered one of the leading architectural / landscape photographers in the industry, Tye’s photos have been showcased in worldwide, national and local luxury real estate publications that have helped sell hundreds of millions of dollars in properties. T H E VA L U E O F P H O T O G R A P H Y Tye not only knows how to hit the sweet spots of any property to close a sale; he also knows how to make buyers fall in love with it through top-notch images. “I can’t reiterate enough how much of a difference having quality photos makes when selling a house. Many people think that they can just take a few photos with their iPhone and that will accurately convey the true beauty and detail of the home to potential buyers. With 90% of homebuyers searching online during their home buying process, a seller may only have this one chance to make a great impression.” On average, the homes Tye photographs not only sell quicker, but for a higher price point.

Photo by Tania Quintanilla.


“People, especially international and out-ofstate buyers, were able to see the home’s proximity to lakes, golf courses, etc., while being emotionally committed through professional, gorgeous photos of the home. My startup company truly ‘raised the bar’ in real estate photography, and set the standard for today’s luxury home marketing.”

Photo of last year’s SXSW by Tye Truitt.


Masterfully juggling the art of photography and his work as an agent, Tye firmly believes that photos which have been meticulously edited to express an accurate, detailed and attractive representation of a home will not only bring in more serious potential buyers, but will also increase the online and social media traffic of the listing. “The world is watching the Austin real estate market, and photography is the first thing an out-of-state or international buyer sees.” AN ACE UP HIS SLEEVE Tye shared with us that he has overcome any obstacles to being the Photographer and the Realtor at the same time. It is quite obvious that his deep passion for both gives him the necessary drive to take excellent professional photos, while still performing as a top-notch real estate agent. “Not only does my showcase photography strengthen my relationship with my sellers and buyers, it allows me to have a much more intimate level in understanding the home”, he explained. “In fact, the reason I am in real estate is because of photography. I hold a Radio, Television and Film degree from the School of Communications at The University of Texas, along

with a business foundations degree. I have always been interested in film and photography, as well as entrepreneurship. This is how I began my real estate marketing and aerial photography company, Extreme Air Shots LLC, which catered to the luxury real estate market.” By raising a ‘top of the line’ camera atop a 68ft pneumatic mast Tye welded onto a truck, he is able to capture detailed, magazine-grade aerial photos of all types of properties. “Instead of a helicopter showing a little square with a bunch of land around it, I was able to show the details of a home that make it a luxury property, as well as its premium surroundings.” The Airshot, as it is now known, was a great way to get sellers to employ his other services, such as full interior photo shoots, high quality virtual tours, HD videos, and custom listing websites. These proprietary products have paved the way for today’s Austin real estate marketing. Ever since becoming a Realtor, Truitt has partnered with Margaret Parma, with over 36 years real estate experience, and they now only offer these exclusive services to their personal clients selling their homes.

Photo by Tye Truitt.

A S E RV I C E TO A C I T Y O F AU S T I N Starting Extreme Air Shots didn’t just lead to success with Austin’s booming housing market, but it also allowed Tye the opportunity to become SXSW’s official aerial photographer. For the past four years, he’s been contracted to photograph the headliner performances at Auditorium Shores, where bands such as Cheap Trick, Counting Crows, The Flaming Lips, The Strokes, and more performed. “We are able to capture extremely detailed and professional photos, while also including the great Austin skyline and crowd.” His SXSW photos have appeared in local, national, and worldwide print and online publications, such as Austin Visitors Guide, Huffington Post, and more. He also brings the truck to Sixth Street for a few nights during the heart of SXSW and takes photos of all the action.

in the pudding.” Tye explained that not only are these tools paramount to the sale of luxury properties, but also that his aerial system has incredible utility for lot evaluation, new construction, architectural projects, and more. “We can elevate our camera and show potential views from your ‘soon to be’ second floor balcony.”

TYE SELLS TEXAS – T O P P R O D U C I N G R E A LT O R Tye’s current company, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, is known for it’s excellent marketing capabilities, which showcase homes with stunning imagery. “Many of my top shots have been showcased in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times Online front page – simply unbeatable exposure for my clients homes! The proof of concept became apparent with 2 large acre ranches in Central Texas that had been on the market for many years. Within a month of taking our showcase photographs, both properties were sold. The proof was

Young, eager and excited for more distinctive projects, Tye is proud of his accomplishments, not only as a Top Producing Realtor within a global company, but as a mover and shaker in the Austin community. His inventions have opened many doors, but we think he’s just getting started. “I welcome the opportunity to earn your business, and I am honored and excited to be able to share my powerful and unique marketing tools with my exclusive real estate clients.” In a market of competition, growth and discerning clientele, Truitt not only has the vantage point to win, but is undoubtedly working towards the big picture.

Designing the truck and aerial photography system was certainly not an easy task, but Tye assured us it could not have been done without his mentor, professional photographer Taylor Klotz, who is now using their pneumatic mast systems to take aerial photographs of luxury homes in Florida. Together, they were able to create many different “rigs” with different height masts and cameras to best capture homes, ranches, concerts and other events.

“It is humbling to hear locals tell me that these are some of the best photos ever taken of Austin.”



uncorking a great wine tasting party



osting a wine tasting party for your friends is a super classy way to bid adieu to the hot days of summer and hello to fabulous fall. Here’s a guide on how to provide some divine entertainment without breaking the bank. G E T T I N G R E A DY You must decide if you want to throw a white wine, red wine, or mixed party. For the sake of this writer (who loves all wines) we’ll talk about mixing whites and reds for that special evening. You probably don’t want to overwhelm your guests (or your bank account), so keep your selections to three reds and three whites. For the whites, I recommend a pinot grigio, a sauvignon blanc, and a chardonnay. As for reds, go with a cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and maybe a nice dessert wine to end the evening. You can always stick with your familiar wine choices (after all, you already know you love them, so it does cut out a bit of guesswork), or head into your local wine store for some guidance. Feeling a little overwhelmed? Try downloading the Vivino Wine Scanner app, which allows you to scan the bottle and instantly retrieve user reviews, ratings, detailed descriptions and pricing. Regarding how many bottles you’ll need, typically you get one tasting for 8 to 10 guests per bottle. Now that you have your wines picked out, make sure you have everything you need for your guests to enjoy the evening. Keep in mind that there’s no need to have a new glass for every tasting. Keep it simple by just having two glasses per guest, and rinse in between tastings. Be sure to dry them well, though, because any water left in the glass can alter the taste. Lastly, make sure all the wines are chilled or at the appropriate temperature before guests arrive.


DY I W I N E G L A S S C H A R M S Cut up wine corks (paint them to add a touch of color) and write each guests’ initials on them; then thread a small wire hoop to attach them to the base of each wine glass. These also make the perfect party favors for your guests. U N C O R K A WA Y ! Now that everything is ready, let the tasting begin! The typical pour for a tasting is 2 ounces per person. Start with lighter-bodied wines, and work your way into the heavier-bodied ones. Make sure you give enough time for everybody to taste and enjoy each wine. You can also teach your guests how to properly taste the wine by following the four S’s: swirl, see, sniff, and sip. Hope you didn’t forget pairings for your wines: cured meats, olives and a cheese plate or board. Try adding a tasty brie when sipping your chardonnay or a nice ricotta or chèvre cheese for the pinot grigio. For the red wines, try some harder cheeses such as aged cheddar or Gouda. Have some cut up bread and crackers on hand to cleanse the palate between tastings too. If you are feeling really creative you can make a tasting card that lists all the wines. On the card you can include the name, type of wine, producer, year, and a short description. Have pens and notepads on hand if your guests want to jot down the wines they enjoyed. You can use a tasting card that allows your guests to judge each wine on categories such as appearance, aroma, body, taste, and finish. Which wines where the favorites? Whichever bottle wins the evening, will have surely warmed the hearts and souls of your friends. Salud!




t’s funny how I came across this little treasure. A friend and I met through a discussion of architecture and the work of a mutual client, but our conversation was so rich that we somehow shifted into talking about The Elephant Story, one of the most unique venues in the world. I now thank her for allowing me to learn about this gem hidden deep in the heart of Texas, and the fascinating ideas behind it. Out of Comfort (a small town south of Fredericksburg, just 90 miles from Downtown Austin) a marvelous story unfolds. It entails wildlife rescues, fun tales of men riding elephants during polo matches, villages of artisans producing exquisite goods, and, simply put, the most exotic and expensive coffee in the world. I’ll do my best to describe it… S P R E A D I N G A WA R E N E S S In an effort to promote elephant conservation in Asian countries (most notably Thailand), Ed and Joey Story created The Elephant Story. Their mission is to raise awareness of the plight of what has become an endangered species, due to the deforestation in Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Various conservation groups in these cities are focused on removing elephants from exploitation in the streets to return them to their natural habitat. In conjunction with this effort, net profits from The Elephant Story are directed to various Asian elephant support foundations. Meanwhile, The Elephant Story supports indigenous crafts and textile groups in Asian elephant countries by providing a market in the US for their goods. For instance, Lao Textiles, the silk textiles of Carol Cassidy, support fifty weavers in Laos and eighty survivors of the Cambodian war. Moreover, the photographic images of Carol Stevenson will be offered for sale to support her elephant conservation efforts.

Photo courtesy of The Elephant Story.

Welcome to The Elephant Story, one of the most unique venues in the world. This gem hidden deep in the heart of Texas hold a fascinating story, with wildlife rescues, tales of men riding elephants, villages of artisans and the most expensive coffee in the world.

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE COFFEE IN THE WORLD Through their involvement with the conservation of wildlife, the duo has become involved with the ultra-exclusive Black Ivory Coffee brand. The product is known (and has been featured in CNN, The Huffington Post and other worldwide outlets) as the most exotic and expensive coffee in the world. Exclusive to five star hotels in Thailand and the Maldives, Black Ivory Coffee is available at The Elephant Story, the only location in the western hemisphere to serve it. The in-store service experience is $50 for 14oz, which will serve 4 demitasse cups of Black Ivory Coffee. One packet of coffee beans is $40 (which makes 400ml of coffee) and is only sold in the store or by phone order (not available online).


Ed and Joey Story. Elephant polo match in Thailand.

Ten years in the making, Black Ivory Coffee is created through a process in which coffee beans are naturally refined by Thai elephants at the Golden Elephant Triangle Foundation ( in Chiang Saen, northern Thailand. It begins with selecting the best Thai Arabica beans that have been picked from an altitude as high as 1500 meters. Once deposited by the elephants, the individual beans are handpicked by the Mahouts and their wives, and then sun-dried and roasted. It’s a highly unusual process, but with extensive scientific exploration behind it. In contrast to carnivores, herbivores such as elephants use much more fermentation for digestion. Fermentation is desirable in coffee as it helps to impart the fruit from the coffee pulp into the bean. Meanwhile, research by Dr. Marcone at the University of Guelph indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein. Since protein is one of the main factors responsible for bitterness


in coffee, less protein means almost no bitterness. The result is one of the most exquisite taste experiences for coffee lovers worldwide. Meanwhile, the amazing composition of green coffee beans make it so that the shell of the bean acts as a protective barrier to the coffee oils that are inside. No caffeine enters the elephant’s system, since sufficient heat is necessary in order to extract the caffeine from the bean. This is why coffee is roasted at roughly 200˚C and brewed at 93˚C. As part of nature’s perfect design, the skin and pulp of the coffee bean add further security for the elephant. Independent veterinarians and researchers have completed blood tests on the animals to confirm that the process represents no harm to them and professionals are always on-site during production. Production takes place at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation headquarters. Blake Dinkin, founder of

Black Ivory Coffee, chose this foundation after doing research on approximately 35 elephant sanctuaries and parks in Indonesia, Laos and Thailand. The organization met the highest criteria regarding the conditions in which the elephants are kept, the presence of an on-site veterinarian, their approach to elephant conservation and very pragmatic, thoughtful leadership by John Roberts who is the Executive Director of the foundation. To further their mission of animal preservation, Black Ivory Coffee contributes 8% of their sales to help fund a specialist elephant veterinarian to provide free care to all the elephants of Thailand through GTAEF. Additional funds are also used to purchase medicine as well as to build a new laboratory. Production of Black Ivory Coffee also provides a valuable income generation opportunity for the wives of the Mahouts to help cover health expenses, school fees, food, and clothing.

The Elephant Story in Comfort, TX.

Approximately 10,000 beans are picked for each kilogram of roasted coffee; thus, 33 kilograms of coffee cherries are required to produce just one kilogram of Black Ivory Coffee. During the entire process, elephants are completely unaffected by the caffeine. In fact, the animals consume the beans naturally. Black Ivory Coffee uses 100% Thai Arabica beans, which contain approximately 1% caffeine (in contrast, Robusta beans contain double that amount). It was reported that in 2012, 50kg of coffee were available with supply increasing, but factors including the availability of high quality coffee cherries, the appetite of the elephants, the number of beans destroyed through chewing of the beans, the ability of the mahouts and their wives to pick the beans by hand (10,000 beans equal one kg of Black Ivory Coffee) all have an impact on supply. Due to the limited supply, Black Ivory Coffee is only available at The Elephant Story and select five-star hotels around the world.

ELEPHANT POLO Sounds very fun; it’s definitely on my bucket list. The World Elephant Polo Association (WEPA) was formed in 1982 at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, in the Chitwan National Park in southwest Nepal. The first games were played on a grass airfield in Meghauly, located on the edge of the National Park. The co-founders, James Manclark, a Scottish landowner and former Olympic toboggan racer, and Jim Edwards, owner of Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge and Chairman of the Tiger Mountain Group, came up with the idea in a bar in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where they were members of the Cresta Club. The original elephant polo matches took place in India around the turn of the 20th century by the members of the Maharaja’s Harem (Zenena) to keep them busy. WEPA is the first paramount organization in modern times to host and create elephant polo as a game

with organized competitions. The game is played with a standard polo ball. The sticks are made of bamboo and have a standard polo mallet on the end. The length of the stick depends on the size of the elephant but range from 74 inches to 100 inches, up to twice the length of a horse polo mallet. Fascinated with its history and driven by their love of elephants, Ed and Joey Story have made The Elephants Story the only elephant polo store in the world, carrying jerseys and game gear for these fun matches, while also sharing this captivating story. A T R U LY C H A R M I N G P L A C E With incredible images of elephants and faraway cities adorning its walls, The Elephant Story is chockfull not only of in interesting stories, but also distinctive character. It’s a quaint venue with a ton of charm, definitely worth a Sunday drive.


Finding True Home (continued from page 75) We spend so much energy responding to everyone else’s vying attention we often neglect ourselves. Our go-to excuse is usually throwing our hands up in to the air and casting off any perceived difficulty with ‘that’s life.’ A reframe is in order here. How about instead, ‘this is my life as I know it to be right now.’ What happens next is up to you. You can either choose to make a change or keep the ‘same old, same old’. Every so often you get the sense it could be different, and it can be. You realize you might be living someone else’s life, or at the very least, you notice your interior does not translate to frequent joyful experiences and outcomes. You might not be able to readily admit or realize this just yet. Maybe you thought it would be too difficult to shift, or perhaps even too painful. People make changes when they want to or have to. Remember, we want our life to be filled with creative choices, not reactive ones. When the pain of shifting is less than the pain of staying where you are, you’ll shift. There is no need to let it come to that because you are missing out on all the wonder experiences and opportunities awaiting you. ‘As is’ is no longer a viable option for you. The clock is ticking. If you really want to create a powerful shift, elicit feedback from the people around you who know you best. They have front row seats in your life and have been aware of who you are for a long time. This type of focused 360 review is frequently done in the business world. Essentially, an executive is open to feedback–– how they are, interact, and respond to others and situations around them. Similarly, you could do the same. Ask people you trust, including your spouse, family member, friend, or co-worker for direct feedback. You are looking to discover your blind spots. Sometimes just a little awareness and attention will be the necessary catalyst to change. Just like the apartment you had in your 20s no longer serves you, there are parts of you that need updating too, because let’s face it, you are not 20-something any more. Our needs in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond change as we age. How and where we live, relationships, our type of friends, financial needs, passions, and health are organic and ever changing. Noticing what is old and out of date is paramount to your happiness. The key is to get down to your essentials. Determine what needs to be cleaned out or merely updated. Notice what the reoccurring drifts and blocks are that prevent your creation and experiencing of flow. Indentify them, pinpoint the origins, notice repeating patterns, and then make concrete steps to shift. After you remodel your ‘interior home’, you will feel lighter, refreshed, and have a new kick in your step. Joy emanates from the inside out. And when you are tuckered out at the end of the day from all the fun you are having, curl up in that comfy chair and gaze out the window with a smile…you are truly home.


auto FERRARI OF AUSTIN 4108 N. Lamar Blvd Austin, TX (512) 380-0231 THE LONGHORN RACING ACADEMY 2840 Harris Hill Rd San Marcos, TX (512) 983-4976

eat + drink DISTRICT KITCHEN + COCKTAILS 5900 W Slaughter Lane D500 Austin, TX (512) 351-8436 WE OLIVE 12800 Hill Country Blvd G-130 Bee Cave, TX (512) 382-6517 MULBERRY 360 Nueces St Austin, TX (512) 320-0297 SUPER NATURAL FOODS UPSTAIRS ON TRINITY 607 Trinity St Austin, TX (512) 358-4824

body + beauty RESTORA PLASTIC SURGERY 901 W 38th St 401 Austin, TX (512) 371-8817 SALON U 1603 RR 620 N #300 Lakeway, TX (512) 266-4010

DAMRON & FLETCHER SALON 9801 Anderson Mill Rd Austin, TX (512) 331-7100 THE ORIGINAL WORM RAE COSMETICS 237 W 2nd St Austin, TX (512) 320-8732 MASSAGE HARMONY Lamar (512) 358-9300 Bee Caves (512) 306-0900 Anderson Lane (512) 276-2481

casa KRYSTLE COPULOS McCARLEY PLATINUM REALTY 360 Nueces St 40 Austin, TX (512) 477-0360 DAWN HEARN INTERIOR DESIGN 7301 Burnet Rd 102 Austin, TX (512) 930-0250 DICK CLARK + ASSOCIATES 207 W 4th St Austin, TX (512) 472-4980 ENDEVER FURNITURE Austin, TX / Orlando, FL (512) 573-8603 MICHAEL HSU OFFICE OF ARCHITECTURE 4910 Burnet Rd Austin, TX (512) 706-4303 CCB DESIGN Austin, TX (512) 626-0492 JACQUELYN FOREMAN COLDWELL BANKER UNITED REALTORS 907 RR 620 South Suite 202 Lakeway, TX (512) 554-8298

CHAD GOLDWASSER PURE GOLD REALTY 1410 W 6th St Austin, TX (512) 467-4053 LESLIE GOSSETT THE GOSSETT GROUP, KW REALTY 1611 W. 5th Street #100 Austin, TX (512) 942-7267

mind / amore



RACHEL MADORSKY 2700 Bee Caves Rd Austin, TX (512) 415-2896

estilo CAPRA & CAVELLI 3500 Jefferson St Austin, TX (512) 450-1919 LEAGUE OF REBELS (844) 810-1916 BY GEORGE 524 N Lamar Blvd Austin, TX (512) 472-5951 GIRL NEXT DOOR 250 W 2nd St Austin, TX (512) 322-0501 SAM L MAJORS JEWELRY 2727 Exposition Blvd Austin, TX (512) 473-0078 ARCHIVE VINTAGE 1708 S Congress Austin, TX (214) 546-0284 LANGFORD MARKET 249 W 2nd St Austin, TX (512) 482-8500

ZOLTAN DAVID 12901 Hill Country Blvd D1-120 Austin, TX (512) 372-8888 DESIGN LAB 6550 Comanche Trail Austin, TX (512) 382-6643 JULIAN GOLD 1214 W 6th St 110 Austin, TX (512) 473-2493 SERVICE MENSWEAR 1400 S Congress Ave Austin, TX (512) 447-7600 ZINK COLLECTION 1601 W 38th St 11 Austin, TX (512) 502-5836 VALENTINE’S TOO 3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy Austin, TX (512) 347-9488 YOUNG & FABULOUS 12821 Hill Country Blvd Bee Cave, TX (512) 263-1117 KICK PLEAT 918 W 12th St Austin, TX (512) 445-4500 CO-STAR 1708 S Congress Ave Austin, TX (512) 912-7970 SIKARA & CO 417 W 2nd St Austin, TX (512) 476-1298

professional services CROMA COMMUNICATIONS Georgetown, TX (512) 819-1683 DREAMS IN HILLS PR (917) 727-1418


Ferrari of Austin Sporty, elegant, versatile: that’s the Ferrari California. Since the 1950’s, in fact, this particular model has been the Prancing Horse’s finest embodiment of all three characteristics. Now, however, the new California T adds a radical innovation to that honourable tradition whilst still retaining the model’s highly renowned versatility. The T in its moniker refers, of course, to the development of a new 8-cylinder turbo engine that combines reduced emissions and fuel consumption with exeptional performance underscored by blistering pick-up due to zero turbo lag and a torque curve that adapts to suit each gear change. Equally, the retractable hard top transforms the California T from a chic coupé into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds. A refined semi-aniline leather-trimmed cabin also offers the modualr spaces of the signature 2+2 configuration and underscores the car’s extraordinary versatility. Ferrari of Austin invites you to discover the mystic of the Prancing Horse.

For more information, contact your authorized Ferrari dealer: Ferrari of Austin 4108 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 Telephone: +512.380.0231 ©2014 Ferrari North America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Profile for VETTA Magazine

VETTA October/November 2014  

Chockfull of great architecture, amazing design, international stories, art and more, VETTA has set a new standard with the INTERIORS Issue....

VETTA October/November 2014  

Chockfull of great architecture, amazing design, international stories, art and more, VETTA has set a new standard with the INTERIORS Issue....