Di Lusso is evolving, much like a fine piece of art, with the next phase now being unveiled. But instead of one artist, or designer, Di Lusso is the collaboration of several designers working together to create a masterpiece. Architect, interior designer, builder and villa owner collaborate, each providing their perspective. The developer and engineers initially conceive and lay out homesites, streetscape, open space, and amenities. Then architect, builder and interior designer merge ideas to complement the developer’s concept. Finally, the future owner provides the custom details that make the villa an extension of their lives… and the masterpiece comes to life! This article is the first in a series of Cordillera Ranch Living features that will chronicle the progress of a Di Lusso Villa construction. Through the eyes of architect, builder and owner, we’ll start you with the philosophy and artistic approach behind the Di Lusso II land plan and new architecture, and then in future issues will highlight the construction processes and details that bring these uniquely designed masterpieces to life.
Identifying the Big Shapes
“Di Lusso II will continue the amenities and comforts found in Di Lusso I, but will also incorporate new designs to complement the topography,” reveals Roy Braswell of Braswell Architecture who was engaged for the design of the Di Lusso II villas. “Old world design including gabled roofs, courtyards and outdoor galleries; authentic imported materials; and a continuance of clean, timeless, authentic lines allow the blending of living in the old world with the functionality of today’s,” says Braswell.
Braswell has designed some of the San Antonio area’s most prestigious homes. “We’re excited to be involved with Cordillera Ranch and Di Lusso. Tuscany and the Texas Hill Country have a lot of visual similarities and we’re happy to complement the existing villa floor plans with our creations,” comments Braswell. “These new designs required that ‘form follow function’ due to the terracing of the hillside. However, we never lost sight of the underlying need to maximize views and golf course-frontage opportunities. It was also important that attractive structures be viewed from the golf course and surrounding areas,” he adds. “Our designs seamlessly incorporate the existing architectural elements, materials and streetscape that have made Di Lusso so popular.”
Gabe Garcia leads Pasadera Builders, the exclusive builder of the Di Lusso villas. “Braswell Architecture enabled us to maintain the architectural integrity created in Di Lusso I, utilize the views to their maximum potential and design spectacular floor plans, ,” explains Garcia. “In addition, we incorporated unique elements that added to ambiance and privacy, but not the bottom line. I ultimately look at costs. Braswell added tremendous value without increasing expense.
“The main living areas enjoy the exterior views and an indoor/outdoor living experience. Interior spaces are uniquely designed to fit the lifestyle of each villa resident,” adds Garcia. “In designing the first Di Lusso II villa for Todd Hughes, we incorporated all the design requests special to Mr. Hughes, like his desire to live both inside and outside concurrently.”
Garcia further explains, “It was important to Mr. Hughes that spaces for guests were made to feel at home versus just visiting. Also, paramount is a functional kitchen that speaks of the resident and not to feign architectural details. Braswell is a master at ‘authentic.’ He shies away from contrived. Mr. Hughes asked for timeless style, so we created a plan that meets that requirement.”
“As an Interior Designer I collaborate with Pasadera Builders and Braswell Architecture to suit the client’s needs,” says Nicole Roberts Winmill of NR Interiors. “Then, I suggest the necessary changes to personalize the home and ensure the architecture will be consistent with the overall desired aesthetics.
“It’s important I be involved in the design from the very start. This enables me to customize the home to meet client needs, from space requirements to unique design elements that complement their lifestyle,” Winmill adds. “Interior design doesn’t start with decorating and furnishings.” “Once we’ve refined the bones of the home, I select all interior and exterior finishes. I document all selections in highly detailed specifications and drawings so that Pasadera Builders can price the home accurately for the client before construction begins,” continues Winmill. “This service brings peace of mind to the homeowner, knowing exactly what the expected costs will be. It is our goal to make the design and construction of a new custom home a pleasurable and enjoyable experience providing exceptional results and value.”
From Dream to Reality
Todd Hughes fell in love with Di Lusso and the lifestyle it offers. “I’ve followed the progress since becoming a property owner/member a few years ago,” says Hughes. “The ‘lock-and-leave’ concept, along with close proximity to The Clubs, made great sense for my hectic schedule. Seeing previously built villas also gives me a great level of comfort with the construction process and finished product.” Eager to start, Hughes contracted with Pasadera Builders. “In visiting with David Hill, Gabe Garcia, and Nicole Roberts Winmill, I was able to get very comfortable with timeframes, design, selections and the great value of Di Lusso,” declares Hughes. “Everyone has worked to present a unique product that fits my lifestyle and provides the design I desired. Being involved with the selection of materials and finishes allowed the design team to make adjustments and enabled me to work within a budget to create the greatest value possible. “I’m anxiously awaiting construction,” Hughes concludes, “and I look forward to following the progress!”
You can follow the progress of the Hughes Villa as we chronicle its design and construction in upcoming editions of Cordillera Ranch Living. Also, go to cordilleraranch.com and click on “Villas” to learn more about Di Lusso and keep informed about upcoming special events for Di Lusso II.
Roy Braswell earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in Architecture from UTSA in 1986. He began his career working under Bill Hablinski of Hablinski and Associates in San Antonio where he was involved in the drafting and designs of custom residential, multi-family and commercial projects.
In 1991, he became a Registered Texas Architect (License #13612) and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Later that year, Braswell founded the six person firm known as Braswell Architecture, Inc. and has since successfully designed hundreds of homes and buildings. In 1993, he became a Registered Interior Designer (#503). He is also skilled in wood carpentry and well known for his artistic renderings and sketches.
NICOLE ROBERTS WINMILL
Nicole Roberts Winmill received her Bachelor’s in Interior Design from Texas State University with high honors. She then led an award-winning design team for a nationally recognized design-build company specializing in luxury home design and also gained experience as a Construction Project Manager for a luxury home builder.
Over the last 15 years, Roberts Winmill has created beautifully unique homes and offices for clients in San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas. Her work has been recognized through local, regional and national design awards. She has an overriding philosophical belief that a beautiful life can begin with a beautiful home. Her greatest reward is the overjoyed client who is in love with their new home.