2550 Calle Tenebroso, Las Cruces, NM
About This Home
Family-friendly neighborhood 10 minutes from town, but feels like miles away. Pool, hot tub, and pool house provide ample entertainment and living space away from the main house. Mature pecan trees ensure privacy. Large workshop. Solid adobe construction, multiple kiva fireplaces, and Pella windows keep things cozy during the cold season. Maintaining their feeders will bring thousands of hummingbirds to your doorstep every year!
Ashley R. Parkey | 575-621-7992 (cell)
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | 575-541-9221
Come home to this classic Mesilla Valley estate if you are searching for an elusive quality that is both unique and extraordinary.
Imran Haider defines craftsmanship as finding the best way to create something by combining workmanship, or technical skill, with a “deep understanding of utility and aesthetics.” A master craftsperson will use technology when precision is required, but eschew it when a creation requires the dedicated hand of an artisan to bring forth the magnificence that others do not yet see.
The homeowners moved to Las Cruces from the other side of the world in the mid-1970s to accept a job offer at New Mexico State University (NMSU). As they crafted their home with help from local builder Bob Pattison, they “designed it to be added onto” — which they did, four times over 40 years! These weren’t mere additions, however. New spaces were thoughtful, seamless, and natural extensions of the living area.
Note the classic details as you begin your tour in the original part of the home, starting with the traditional kitchen. Neither large nor pretentious, this casual space includes spring-grass-green painted cupboards and a long bench just right for keeping the cook company but not getting underfoot. Move through to the dining room to find the first example of how earth tones of wood and Saltillo tile provide the backdrop for flashes of color. Throughout the house, hand-hewn Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine surround hand-crafted doors and windows, as well as stained glass created by Santa Fe-based artist Mike Bell when he was an NMSU graduate student.
Indeed, you’ll want to walk slowly through the house, and make sure to look up and to look down. This is where you discover some of the subtle and authentically crafted elements that permeate this home. Many rooms in the house have different types of traditional and traditionally constructed ceilings, each with a story. For example, some of the vigas are aspen, harvested in Cloudcroft. They were cut in spring when the sap was rising, which meant the bark was easily pulled off by hand — no machine work necessary.
Similarly, different styles of Saltillo tile flow through the property — intricate hand-painted tile brought from Dolores Hidalgo, México, square tiles from Ciudad Juárez with the occasional paw print from a wayward dog trotting across before it hardened, and tile stained and sealed with (clean) motor oil, giving it a deep, antique-style finish. The design and workmanship are timeless, connecting the past with the present.
The final stop in the more “formal” part of the home is the sunken living room (dug out by the homeowners themselves!). The living room and the dining room connect to a separate outer room via sets of French doors, which can be opened for more light and space or closed to keep the living room cozy. This curving outer room features huge plate glass windows looking toward the pool and the pecan trees. Spacious and welcoming, these rooms are discrete areas suitable for visitors and entertaining.
On the other side of the sunken living room is the “family” side of the house, with a separate office space, bedrooms, and a second living area. Similar to the more formal space, rooms on the family side have graceful curving walls, niches, and benches. Although the family space is not an open floor plan, the bedrooms create a half-circle around the family living area, creating a suite-like effect. In fact, the owners’ bedroom connects to the adjacent bedroom through the double closet — perfect for a family with a young child, which was what inspired this design element many years ago.
Another design element was the intentional placement of the pool house separate from the main house, creating a courtyard. The pool house features two full walls of removable sliding doors facing the raised hot tub and the pool, meaning parents can keep a close eye on the kids. Walls that open plus a large kiva fireplace (with colorful tile inlay created by the homeowner) give new meaning to the term indoor/outdoor living. Other practical elements include a custom sliding door storage unit to keep doors safe and out of the way and an outdoor hand-held shower between the pool and hot tub.
Another outdoor feature connects this house with a spectacular rhythm of nature. The homeowners tell the story of how, when they moved in, they discovered that the neighbors across the road maintained more than 70 hummingbird feeders. Over the decades, that house became a reliable stop for the birds when they were migrating or wanted an easy meal while in residence during the summer.
Those neighbors moved, and the homeowners took over the feeding, keeping fewer but larger feeders along the porch outside the front door and kitchen — five half-gallon feeders and two one-gallon feeders. During the peak of migration, the feeders need refilling every couple of days. According to the homeowner, “With the clouds of hovering hummingbirds and their buzzing wings, it resembles a swarm of bees!”
The homeowners have counted nine species at their feeders, and delight in this “amazing close-up experience” with the birds. Feeding the hummers has been a joyful duty that the homeowners hope the new owners will carry on: “We are happy to leave our feeders with the house and leave a detailed explanation of how we manage them!”
When asked whom they envision as the new owners of their home, the homeowners agree that they hope a family will fall in love with the location (just as they did) and find the home to be an ideal space that meets the needs of busy parents, active kids, and even extended family. The homeowners emphasize that, along with the beauty of the home and the surroundings, “The neighbors are lovely and welcoming.”
Listing agent Ashley Parkey agrees that craftsmanship makes this house stand out even in a market full of high-end properties. She calls the homeowners’ investment of time and effort in getting their home just right over the years “inspirational,” and especially admires “how they used techniques from long ago to create a modern living space that reflects southwestern architecture in true fashion and form — in particular how they incorporated elements that are a true expression of the Mesilla Valley.”
The character of this home is imbued with tradition and timelessness, craftsmanship and comfort, nature and good neighbors — and it’s only 10 minutes from town. Your best life in the Mesilla Valley is closer than you think.
Story by Elaine Stachera Simon
Photography Art Moreno
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com