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We've all been spending more time in our homes and investing time and energy into creating our own personal paradise in our yards. Find a wealth of ideas in the stories linked to this page as well as some great local companies that can either find you the new home of your dreams or help make the one you have even happier.

Home Tour | A European-style Family Compound in the Mesilla Valley

Every now and again a home comes on the market with a certain je ne sais quoi that is hard to describe but easy to recognize — you know it when you see it. Such is the case with this elegant European-style family compound in the heart of the Mesilla Valley. Snow Road runs long, flat, and quiet, a perennial favorite of cyclists. As you head away from town, new developments and old homes give way to pecan orchards and alfalfa and onion fields. Just past Apodaca Road you find the entrance to the property. An Old-World sensibility and stillness surround you the moment you turn down the long gravel drive. Dignified rows of pampas grass and Italian cypress stand guard, serving as orderly escorts to the main house. As you park, the scale of the property is not immediately apparent. The understated entryway is in a curved and shaded nook, itself a nice spot for reading the paper with a steaming cup of coffee. When you step inside, what is immediately apparent is that this home was designed not as a showpiece, but built to be an oasis in the desert where a family can thrive. The solid construction of the home was meticulously planned, and even that was a family affair. According to listing agent Duane Jokinen, “The home was built to the specifications of Ernst and Winifred Lucks, who had moved here from Germany. Their son Bernd oversaw the construction of the home, which began in 1998.” How solid is this home? According to the homeowner, “This home is German engineering at its finest, with two-foot-thick exterior walls that moderate the temperature year-round.” Solar panels add to the home’s efficiency. Since purchasing the property, the homeowners added on a library, another bedroom, and doubled the three-car garage to a six-car garage. Originally on 20 acres, the 10,000-square-foot home now sits on 2.5 secluded park-like acres, and is adjacent to well-tended and long-established pecan orchards. The vegetation surrounding the home is a mix of deciduous trees (including a proudly maintained eucalyptus), a massive saguaro cactus, and native and…
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