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Back Issues
2012 - Summer Issue
Casas Bonitas
Feature Home
Article: Jessica Muncrief
Photos: Bill Faulkner
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When Hank and Amparo Hernandez decided to build their dream home in 2010, they turned to a team of professionals to bring their vision to fruition. Charles Gaddy, Bates Gaddy and Richard Reid of Gaddy Homes; Associate Architect Chad North, designer Lori McCuaig, landscape artist Sally Homan and Joe Beechler of Paradise Pools were all instrumental. "Amparo and Hank made the planning process so easy, because they knew what they wanted," says Chad. Indeed, after raising three children and living in military housing for years, they had an idea of what type of home they wanted for the next stage of their lives.


CGN Designs
Chad North

Interior Designer:
LMC Design Group
Lori McCuaig

Home Builder:
Gaddy Homes
Richard Reid

Sallie Homan

Pool & Spa:
Paradise Pools
Joe Beechler

Builders Source

Bathroom Fixtures:
Ferguson Enterprises

Bathroom Tile:
Gaddy Homes

Cabinetrs & Woodwork:
A-1 Kitchens by Sierra
Sergio Villarreal

Cristian Gandara

Doors - Entry:
Artistic Entryways

Doors - Interior:
Rawson Builders

Doors - Exterior:
Pella Windows & Doors

Driveway & Walkway:
ELP Construction

Exterior Finish:
Miguel Herrera

Emser Tile

Mor Sheet Metal

Lighting & Ceiling Fans:
Designers Mart

Karin Linder

Outdoor Kitchen:
Gaddy Homes

Wall Surfaces:
Ventura Nevarez

Pella Windows & Doors

Window Treatments:
Southwest Décor
"We thought at first we wanted a very formal home, but we quickly decided that we were past that," remembers Hank. "We just wanted a place to relax and socialize and not be confined by walls; to celebrate and have family gatherings and just enjoy each other's company." In addition to family get-togethers, Hank's position as CEO of Las Palmas Medical Center means they also entertain frequently. "I saw this home as an opportunity to bring the best medical professionals to El Paso. When we're recruiting physicians and medical professionals from other cities, they only know the borderland they see in the news. This home is an opportunity to sell them on the great lifestyle you can have in El Paso." A trip to Italy solidified their design and décor direction, so Lori got busy discussing conceptual design with the rest of the team. "We selected the interior and exterior finishes and colors, and all the tile throughout the house," she says. Wish list in hand, they were able to create just what the Hernandezes ordered––a modern home with old-world charm.

"The house is a mix of Italian and Spanish revival, an architectural movement started by Wallace Neff in California that has since spread throughout the United States," notes Chad. The columns and archways in the entryway set the design tone. Throughout the home there are custom carved, knotty alder woodwork and rough-cut travertine stone tiles that simulate that old world feeling. "We brought in muralist Karin Linder from New York who hand painted all the wall and ceiling designs," says Lori. Karin's delicate and detailed work can be found in several rooms, truly solidifying the Tuscan-inspired décor. The Hernandezes also enjoy an appreciation of art. Their collection, which is scattered throughout the home, includes works by Hal Marcus, Rosario Ponte, Francisco Romero and Mauricio Mora. "About 99 percent of our pieces are from local artists, from either here or Juárez," says Hank.

True to the homeowners' desire for unconfined space perfect for socializing, the hub of the home is a large open area featuring a living room as well as a formal dining room. Wooden beams span the vaulted ceiling and lots of windows let in an abundance of natural light. Behind a set of double doors is every entertainer's dream kitchen. It is decked out with sleek, high end appliances including warming drawers and two refrigerators—one for food and one for beverages. A true centerpiece of the home's style, an enormous granite island sits beneath a huge wooden beam from which hangs an iron and crystal chandelier.

Branching out from the central living area are the master bedroom and three other guest rooms, each with everything an overnight houseguest could hope for. Hank explains, "The whole home is designed to allow for maximum privacy for us and for our guests. We all meet in the middle, and eat and talk and, when it's time for bed, we each go in our own direction. Each bedroom has an on-suite bathroom and is completely private." The master has breathtaking views, a plush seating area, and custom-made drapery. The bathroom is tiled in Italian Carrara marble and it boasts an infinity edge bathtub that is filled with water falling from the ceiling. The marble steam shower is an exact replica of one Hank enjoyed in a suite at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

Other amenities perfect for both entertaining and spending relaxing weekends at home abound. Conveniently adjacent to the dining area is a large bar with a magnificent marble countertop with carved, rope edging. Fully stocked with snacks and drinks, the bar often serves as a hotel mini-bar for the lucky guests staying in the nearby bedroom. There is also a beautiful stone wine cellar with room for more than 100 bottles of the Italian and California varietals Hank and Amparo enjoy. Hank also admits to spending quite a bit of his downtime in the media room. With leather recliners, a full hi-definition screening system and a THX certified sound system that rivals any commercial theater, it's easy to see why the room is the go-to spot in the house for watching everything from sports to movies.

In addition to the technology and amenities, this home also fits the modern half of the vision in that it is very eco-friendly. A lot of the brick used in construction was reclaimed. "Not only is it good in terms of conservation, but it also creates that historical aesthetic we were looking for," notes Hank. The windows and doors are all energy efficient and the landscaping was done with water conservation in mind. In addition, there are no less than five separate HVAC systems, which negates the need to heat or cool rooms that aren't in use.

In showcasing the El Paso lifestyle, Hank was quick to note the importance of highlighting the abundance of opportunity for outdoor living and activities. Thus, no matter what door you step out of in this home, there is something special. The front exterior is a testament to the beauty of the natural desert vegetation. The kitchen windows look out onto a formal Italian garden complete with herb plot and stone fountain. The dining area opens onto a putting green on which many a guest has been challenged to an impromptu contest. The patio area off of the living room has a fireplace and a television on which Hank and friends recently watched the NBA finals. The master bedroom opens onto an expansive patio that leads to a glorious set of stone stairs that Amparo calls her version of the Spanish Steps. The coup de grace, however, is of course the pool area. "It's a smaller pool," Hank admits. "We wanted something less high maintenance." Despite its size, this pool is pretty impressive with a beach entry, a floating table, in-pool seating, a waterfall and an elevated spa with 360-degree spillover and views. As pool designer Joe notes, "For a smaller pool, it really packs a big punch." Rounding out the flagstone deck are an outdoor living area and a covered kitchen and dining area with all the appliances one would expect inside, including a dishwasher.

From inside to outside, it is safe to say that this team effort is a success. "It's a team process that we adhere to," notes Richard of Gaddy Homes. "There was a lot of interaction between ourselves, Hank and Amparo, and all the other participants, and I think the result is something that we can all be proud of." It is certainly true that this team of experts did a fantastic job meeting their clients' visions and showcasing the true beauty of living in the borderland. ///
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