The HGTV House & Me
You know those phone calls you get where you think you are being punked? That was the call I received from Christine of Cosentino and the follow up email. Cosentino the makers of Silestone (countertops, floors, walls and mosaics had call to inform me that I was one of five winers (out of 35,000 entries) to win a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico to see this yearʼs HGTV House of the year. No, I did not win the house (DARN!) but I was going to be given a full tour of the house by HGTVʼs Planner Jack Thomasson. Five couples/pairs were flown to Santa Fe and stayed at the Inn and Spa at Loretto a few blocks from the Plaza. We were also given a $500.00 American Express gift card for meals and incidentals.
So on a rainy Friday morning we headed to LaGuardia to catch a 6 am flight to Dallas and begin our journey. Not having flown since 2001 I have to admit to a wee bit of trepidation but the security staff at LaGuardia was pleasant and we were through security in minutes.
After a layover and a transfer at DFW we caught a small commuter jet to Santa Fe and touched down at around noon, local time. Check in was not until 4 and they would call us when our rooms were ready, so we asked for a lunch recommendation and Juliete at the front desk suggested Guadeloupe's Cafe and so do I. The food was fresh and yummy. We dined with a couple we flew in from Dallas with. Stephanie and Matthew from Pennsylvania (another winning couple). Then off to wander the area in 60 MPH winds. A tad breezy. We did get a call that our room was ready and we had a nice size room on the 3rd floor. It even had a pseudo fireplace and a nice size terrace which you could sit and dine on. HGTV and Cosentino had a welcome reception for everyone and the Innʼs bartender mixed some mean Margaritas. We got to meet the rest of the group plus the Cosentinoʼs charming and very tall (6ʼ5”) marketing director Lorenzo and his assistant Larani. We also met the lovely April and Teri from HGTVʼs marketing and the very personable Jack Thomasson (who refused, with a smirk, to reveal 2011ʼs house location).
(our room & its view)
After breakfast on Saturday we all met for the hour long drive along the Turquoise Trail to the Sandia Park location to see the 2010 HGTV home. It is located in a still under development gated community and sits on three acres overlooking the desert and mountains; absolutely breath taking. To see it online and to see it in person really are two different things. Upon walking through the glass door you enter to see a small seating area in front of a turquoise art tiled gas fire place which is where Jack greeted and welcomed us and introduced the home.
(entry way seating area)
(Lorenzo from Silestone, April from HGTV, Jack the Planner, Stephanie from PA)
We started our tour in the dining room which has a full glass wall looking out to the motorcourt/patio with a view at least 100 miles away to the snow capped mountains and ski slopes. He even took the time to explain the reason for the lighting fixture being as high as it was so it would not obstruct the view.
(dining room with view - notice the light fixture is in line with the top of the door)
(side wall in dining room)
Then across the foyer to see the “media room” with its large Panasonic flat screen TV and cork covered walls (nice soundproofing touch). It has a master control for the entertainment unit that can also control the rest of the homeʼs sound (the house is fully wired and has in-ceiling speakers). The unit the TV and dvd player sit upon was loaded with blue ray dvdʼs. In the center of the room was a large (too large) multilayered light wood table with books and tchotchkes and on either side of the table are chaise lounges with a couch along the back wall with hollywood set lights on either side. The room, though warm, was a bit too crowded for itʼs size. In this case less would have been more.
(entertainment / media room)
Then off to the Jack & Jill kidʼs room. One for a boy and one for a girl with a shared bathroom area. The girlʼs room was lavender with two canopy twin beds with a small dresser between them. Truthfully, I have to second guess the choice of artwork in this room for a little girl. I think the charcoal drawings would be a little scary to a young child. The large southwest tin mirror was a nice accent piece over the second dresser. The room is trying to straddle the age range from a young girl to a teen (a large range to stretch). Off of this room is one of two laundry rooms in the house (again something I question). The through the shared bathroom and storage area with itʼs colorful rubber duckies to a dream come true room for a little boy. Filled to the brim with Toy Story toys, a cowboy hat upon the bed and a basket full of wooden blocks. I felt like a kid in that room and if not for the toys on the bed might have jumped on it.
From there off to the dreamy master suite. Upon entering through double doors you have the bathroom and huge walk in / walk through closet area. The bathroom walls are tiled with Silestone mosaic in a pale off-white color that will catch the morning light through the large picture window. My guess is they will pick up the colors from the sunrise and sunset and change the room as the day progresses. The bathroom and sleeping area are integrated though sliding double frosted glass barn doors. A huge soaking tub sits along side of a glass walled steam shower that can fit 10 - yes we all fit in it. Opposite this is the double sink with an 8ʼ Silestone counter in a matching color to the walls. Behind the bathroom is a walk in/walk through closet to be envied.
(master bedroom sleep area and view through from bathroom)
(view from bathroom window) (hallway in master suite leading to sun room. you can see in the reflection the fireplace)
The hallway in the master suite is lined with framed mirrors which will again catch the light through all the windows and multiply it. The hallway and sitting area are separated from the sleeping area by both long woven curtains and a glass mosaic dual sided gas fireplace. The sitting/sun/morning room area is cute and a nice touch and is right next to the second laundry room.
From the master suite we then walked into the common / living room and kitchen area. What catches your eye immediately are the full windows leading out to the back patio / light through all the windows and multiply it. The hallway and sitting area are separated from the sleeping area by both long woven curtains and a glass mosaic dual sided gas fireplace. The sitting/sun/morning room area is cute and a nice touch and is right next to the second laundry room. From the master suite we then walked into the common / living room and kitchen area.
(common living area - the only room that would go unnoticed)
(view from common area to kitchen)
(Lorenzo playing with the touch on/off faucet while Jack and April look on)
Second thing that is the amazing glass mosaic wall. All the mosaics are done by a local female artist that employes and trains women in need (a great story that Jack told me). The kitchen has two Sub Zero refrigerators & freezers, 60” of cooking space (induction, gas and steamer), A Wolf oven, microwave draw and warming drawer. The kitchen area has an amazing center island with a beautiful black Silestone quartz material. The center island has a huge deep stainless sink with the touch on/touch off faucet and all the cabinet area is beneath in a well designed work/eat space (electrical outlets included). Behind the center island along the cooking wall is additional counter space done in the same black Silestone quartz. The color really draws the attention to the center island (one thing Lorenzo mentioned is that black does show fingerprints).
Behind the kitchen is a storage / pantry /recycling area. Next to the kitchen is the butlerʼs pantry with additional counter space, second stainless steel sink with the touch on/touch off faucet, two refrigerated drawers and a second dishwasher. This time the counters were in a Silestone pale quartz. Jack pointed out that he chose Silestone for its beauty, durability and anti - microbial properties. The lighter color really worked well with the paler colored cabinets that reached to the ceiling.
Outside the common area is the patio with another gas fire place with seating area and a dancing Kokopelli. and a wolf grill. If you follow a hopscotched patterned stone path you end up at the small playhouse which Alice would considered a small wonderland.
(dancing kokopelli and inside playhouse)
In the front of the house is the home office. A nice room that has three entrances. One from the interior of the house, one from the front of the house and one out to the motorcourt/patio. You can see your clients driving up to your door and welcome them into your office without letting them into your home. The only thing missing was a small fridge so you could offer your client a refreshing beverage without leaving your office area.
One of my favorite spots was the casita or guest house. The room has a full wall red, white and blue glass mosaic created by the same artist who made the other mosaics in the house (amazing work). Upon entering, the bathroom is right off the entrance and the shower which separates the bathroom from the bedroom is all glass so there is a continuous feel that opens up the small space. And outside this great space is a small patio with two chaise lounges in front of a double sided glass fireplace. Sit and sip a margarita as the sun sets over the Sandia mountains.
There is a three-car garage that came equipped with a mountain bike and two snowboards as well as a new GMC truck. We also learned installed on the roof are solar panels, so the house is off the grid for around 10 months a year.
Congrats to the winner Dr. Myra M. Lewis from New Orleans, LA. Enjoy the house.
I have included some photos from our visit to Madrid (pronounced MAH-drid - not like
the city in Spain) and our walk around Santa Fe.
Again thank you Cosentino.