Thanks to Beth Sitzler of the Las Cruces Bulletin for this great article written about Picacho Mountain Residents Bob & Mary Talamini and their amazing custom home built by Wayne & Kiki Suggs of Classic New Mexico Homes.
Built for an artist, by artists
After moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico, Houston-transplants Bob and Mary Talamini decided to explore their new city and ended up on the doorsteps of a custom home built by Wayne and Kiki Suggs of Classic New Mexico Homes.
Since that first encounter with the builders who specialize in pueblo style design, the Talaminis fell in love with the duo’s style and waited three years for them to construct their very own home in Picacho Mountain.
“We went to dinner and one thing led to another and we had plans drawn and redrawn,” Bob Talamini said.
Coming to Las Cruces, New Mexico for its slower pace and enjoyable weather, the Talaminis chose their Picacho Mountain lot for its unobstructed view of the Organ Mountains and city lights.
Completed in December 2009, the design of the home took several months to finalize.
“We changed the design several times,” Mary Talamini said, explaining that they decided to add a casita to the property to offer guests more privacy.
What they ended up with was a pueblo style home, fitting to the Southwest desert surroundings – a big change from their previous Tuscan home.
Mary Talamini, an artist, said the Suggs put a lot of thought into every detail of the home – from the rustic elements to the turquoise trim, which is supposed to keep out evil spirits.
The stained concrete pathway, a material used through out the home, brings visitors to the front door. Inside, Saltillo tile, reclaimed wildfire pine beams, vigas and corbels and a multitude of nichos are sprinkled throughout the home.
Mary Talamini said her favorite room in this Pueblo style custom home is her art studio, which was designed around artist Virginia Maria Romero’s piece “Mary Walks in Harmony.” A stone swirl known as a sipapu, or “circle of life,” decorates the floor.
A see-through fireplace joins the studio to the dining room and kitchen, Mary Talamini’s second favorite area.
“We wanted a really big island for storage and to maybe have breakfast there,” she said.
The Talaminis had another local artist in mind when they designed their kitchen – the red and green pots created by Russell Mott inspired the room’s color scheme. Knotty alder cabinets created by Greg Duff, red dragon granite countertops and a Talavera tile backsplash complete the space.
Suggs said the dining room was designed to flow seamlessly into the kitchen and capture the surrounding view. “It’s an extension of the kitchen,” Mary Talamini said.
The living room, which features wood vigas on the 14-foot ceiling, includes a kiva fireplace and a large picture window.
Away from the kitchen and half bathroom – which has a one-of-a-kind mosaic tile nicho designed by Cindy Duff – are the home’s private areas, including Bob Talamini’s office, an exercise room and master suit.
The master bedroom also features a kiva fireplace, per fect to curl up next to on those cold winter nights, Mary Talamini said. A small sitting area is nestled next to the window while a door to the patio leads to a hot tub.
The master bathroom features Talavera tile counter tops, the pattern of which is repeated around the room.
The bathroom’s showstopper, however, is the claw-foot tub, which is elegantly placed against a window so the soaker can enjoy the breath-taking view of the Organ Mountains.
The living space continues to the large patio, which features a kiva fireplace and an outdoor kitchen, complete with a sink, grill, refrigerator, bar and table, as well as a flower and butterfly mosaic countertop also created by Cindy Duff.
“We will spend a lot more time on the patio in the summer time,” Bob Talamini said. “It gives the house a bigger feeling.”
Next to the outdoor kitchen is the entrance to the casita. Perfect for out-of-town guests, the casita contains a small bedroom with a sitting area as well as a three-fourths bath, which features the same color scheme as the kitchen.
Keeping with their green subdivision, Picacho Mountain, the backyard features xeriscaping, such as natural rock and arroyos as well as synthetic grass.
A flagstone pathway leads around the house to a little home garden. The pathway continues to a private courtyard, which includes a Lady of Guadalupe statue.
“Mary said in a conversation that she liked the Lady of Guadalupe and Wayne built it for her,” Bob Talamini said.
It was this dedication and attention to detail that the Talaminis said make their home special. “There was a lot of thought put into it,” Mary Talamini said. “Whenever you need a plug or a light, one is there.”
After eight months of construction, the Talaminis not only ended up with a Pueblo style home custom designed to fit their lifestyle, but two new friends as well. “It was our blessing that we met them,” Bob Talamini said. “We’ve had completely different experiences with other builders. They built the house like it was their house.”