Kimberly A. Suta
Interestingly, Greg and Sue Maxwell are already residents of Cordillera Ranch and have lived here for eight years, after moving from Houston once Greg retired. Although they’ve thoroughly enjoyed their home, after building a ranch in Sisterdale, they realized their current home was just too big for their needs and required far too much maintenance. “We have several friends that live in Di Lusso and they basically said it’s a lock-and-leave and the perfect place to go for downsizing,” said Sue.
One key factor that swayed the Maxwells’ decision was the added security. Not only is there an extra gate that separates Di Lusso from the rest of Cordillera Ranch, but the smaller lots bring the neighbors closer, and everyone keeps an eye out. The neighborhood block parties are just a bonus.
“The fact that you can leave for long periods of time and know your house is being watched and taken care of gives you a real peace of mind,” she acknowledged.
Being “taken care of” is an understatement. Another exceptional perk of being a Di Lusso resident is the luxury of having your landscaping maintained, including mowing the yard.
The final impetus for Greg and Sue to take that leap came from interior designer, Barbara Burger of Studio Domain, who also owns a charming boutique shop on Main Street called Joli Boutique.
“She was chatting with us one day. She’s the one that got me thinking about downsizing and she pointed out that Di Lusso had the perfect view lot,” remembered Sue.
Barbara is also responsible for inspiring the design, both inside and outside of their new home. A few years ago, she introduced Sue to a home concept in California that fit the architectural style of Di Lusso.
“She always had in the back of her mind that this house would fit our lifestyle and she’s right. It was perfect for us. So, I met with Gabe Garcia at Pasadera Builders and said, ‘can you build it for us,’ and he said yes,” she shared.
As many Cordillera Ranch residents already know, Pasadera Builders is the sole and exclusive builder for Di Lusso. According to Sue, the home that Pasadera is currently building for them has several inspirations of that California home. Barbara calls it a European home with a touch of Texas.
“Greg is very Texan. He was born and raised in Texas, so it’s a nod to him,” explained Sue. “There’s a lot of natural, organic colors but with eclectic finishes, like polished brass in the kitchen and polished nickel in the bedroom. We also have a double-sided fireplace. We entertain a lot, so the common spaces are going to be very large. It’s just going to be a fun house!”
Although the options regarding materials are specified to the parameters set by the Di Lusso guidelines, the team drew outside the lines as much as they could to create the look they wanted. They decided to go with a mirrored white rock that will create an aesthetic that looks like old plaster. They also picked a roof tile that looks “old.”
The home will be the first to feature elliptical arch steel doors, which is a softer arch than what you’re used to seeing, sometimes referred to as Santa Barbara arches.
“We’re pushing the boundaries with Gabe a bit, but I can’t say enough about him. Over the years, Greg and I have built a multitude of homes and Gabe is the first to say yes to everything. He’ll reply ’I’ll figure out how to do it,’” said Sue.
For example, Sue fell in love with a flush window to counter look in the kitchen, but since their window won’t be a steel window, the mechanics of installing a traditional window directly on top of the counter is much more complicated. Then came the, “I’ll figure it out how to do it.”
Unlike previous builders, Gabe has been there every step of the way and will continue to do so, from design to construction, which is about to begin. During this process, Sue has met with Gabe once a week to discuss challenges and solutions.
“I also love Meredith — I think she’s just precious. She does a really good job helping to keep him organized,” added Sue.
Meredith Windham, who is the Client Relations Manager for Pasadera Builders, explained that when working with a new homeowner they begin the building process by looking at both the base plans as well as the previous modified floor plans.
“We use the previous versions more as a starting point. All Villas are customized to make the home uniquely yours. All this comes from the help of Kirk Thomas, who is the architect for all the Villas,” said Meredith.
Meredith explained that the specs for Di Lusso homes range from 2,500 to 5,500 square feet and depend upon the lot the owners have chosen as well as the kind of lifestyle they have.
“The trends I’m noticing right now are social entertainment elements, such as “Cheers” style social bars, sports themed bars, and even wine tasting rooms. Not just the cliché digital media room. The common theme of these rooms is the promotion of human-to-human interaction. More people, less screens is always better. I think our clients tend to be on the go or retired, so they want to have the party in-home when they can,” Meredith shared.
The Maxwells’ outdoor living space will include the southern tradition of having a screened porch with fans to keep it cool in the Texas heat, as well as heaters for those cool days.
As for materials, Meredith claims that homeowners’ tastes span the gamut these days and just depend upon their personal styles.
In the end, the Maxwells and the Pasadera team aim to build a home that will stand the test of time.
“I think it will be a classic home,” smiled Sue. “In 20 years, when people walk through it, they won’t look at it and think it needs to be redone. That’s what Barbara must mean by timeless.”