While the exteriors of the Di Lusso Villas at Cordillera Ranch are designed to resemble a modernized Italian Tuscan village tucked away in the Texas Hill Country landscape, the interiors are up to the homeowners, whose tastes can range from traditional to contemporary. But instead of chasing the latest trendy look, many clients of Pasadera Builders are opting for “classical elegance,” a timeless look that focuses on quality finishes, detailed workmanship and luxurious living spaces.
By Dan R. Goddard :: Photography by Doug Gaidry with DG Digital Imaging
“By definition, this style uses more painted elements with profiles a bit more ornate yet classic and modern,” Gabriel R. Garcia, Partner at Pasadera Builders, says. “Not all clients are interested in chasing what is hot and trending today locally. Each client has a very specific style that we try to incorporate throughout the house that is contemporaneous and unique according to the client’s taste.”
Homeowners Martha and Frank Steele say the key to the classically elegant style is the finishes, specifically the custom doors, cabinets and windows displayed in their home. “We think the elements that create this design are those that have very comfortable semi-formal appeal,” Martha says. “The look is timeless and never dated nor stuffy. The feeling is elegant not pretentious. Most importantly, it’s not a short-trend chaser.”
The Steeles worked with Pasadera’s sub-contractors, cabinet builder, painters, door contractor, lighting supplier, electrician, iron railing/gate contractor, trim carpenter, garage door contractor, tile and slab suppliers to provide the custom details. “We communicated our ideas with Gabe and his team made the ideas our reality,” Martha says. “For example, the custom cabinetry and trim work were designs based on our pictures. We are still excited about their creations.”
Garcia says the Steele’s villa is one of the builder’s larger villas in DiLusso but includes the same quality, character and finish that can be found in any of the Pasadera homes both inside and outside of the DiLusso community. “These homes are built for a resident looking to simplify their life without compromising their established lifestyle,” Garcia says. The Di Lusso Villas are a “lock-and-leave” community providing landscape maintenance, architectural lighting and remote access to security and HVAC systems for each villa in the secure, gated enclave. The residences are presented in eight base plans with customization available. “Nothing makes my job more enjoyable than working with clients that are engaged in the entire building process,” Garcia says. “When a client is truly interested in the process, as the Steeles were, it ensures that the communication flow is strong. That is the key to success.”
Designed by Kirk Thomas of KL Designs from Denver, Colorado, Garcia says, “The basis of the house was a collaboration between the architect and the builder that allowed for the best interior floorplan while taking advantage of the natural topography of the Hill Country and the golf course view. The Steele’s requests developed a great floorplan into an excellent floorplan specifically for their lifestyle.”
The Steeles were impressed with the original Pasadera Builder’s design for their lot, but they wanted to make it their own. “Through a collaborative effort we accomplished our goal of customizing that original plan,” Martha says. “Gabe listened carefully and discussed details so we were comfortable in our decision-making.” Some of those changes included flipping the front of the garage to face west instead of south, the indoor stairwell from a spiral to a front-to-back stair, removing gallery walls in the main living areas to open the living space, removing the kitchen office to enlarge the pantry and create a wine bar, and enlarging the master bedroom by incorporating the space designed for a balcony.
“To maximize the beautiful Hill Country views to the north and east, we wanted large dramatic windows in our stairwell and master bedroom,” Martha says. “Gabe worked with us on window design and he found Marvin Windows would custom-build windows to the dimensions we wanted.” Pasadera Builders takes the uniqueness to the next level by making custom doors a standard in the villas; making this community truly a one-of-a-kind. “Gabe and his door contractor created double doors for our master bedroom entry. We showed them a picture of antique doors we liked and they replicated those doors out of reclaimed wood from an old church,” Martha adds.
Along with a custom-designed TV cabinet, the great room has an 18-foot-tall vaulted ceiling with custom-finished fir beams also used in the kitchen, master bedroom, guest bedroom, stairwell and media room. The custom-designed stone mantle is topped by 12 feet of stone cladding with a flat pediment top. The powder room has a custom-built vanity and water-jetted marble rug of Thassos and Carrara marbles. The kitchen has an oversized island and features custom-designed trim and plaster on the kitchen range vent hood.
Appliances include a Wolf® range, Thermador® refrigerator/freezer and Bosch® dishwasher. Plumbing fixtures are by Newport Brass®, Rohl® and Toto®. The marble slabs are antiqued, honed and polished. Handmade Italian, quartz, marble and subway tiles were selected for custom-designed backsplashes and tub/shower surrounds.
“Collaborating with Gabe, we were able to incorporate the custom features we wanted in our courtyard and terrace,” Martha says. “In the courtyard, we only changed the walkway to a winding trail from the gate to the front door. The terrace was more intricate. The grill base cabinets have reclaimed wood doors and shelves and a chocolate marble countertop complemented by an arabesque tile backsplash with plaster-covered vent hood.” The lower tier of the terrace has a fountain, splash area for the fountain and room for seating. The front entry gate, iron stair railing and terrace railing are custom designed as well as the wood garage doors.
The team at Pasadera understands that there are many determining factors that make a house feel like a home; Garcia extolls the virtues of excellent lighting to each client. “Without the capability to fine-tune lighting, we feel that we are just leaving an opportunity to have a great home on the table. It has to be seen to appreciate the difference between great and excellent.” Light fixtures are by Aidan Gray®, Bevolo®, Niermann Weeks, Vaughn, Urban Electric and Visual Comfort®. “The Di Lusso Technology Package allowed us to fine-tune the lighting to create the perfect visual atmosphere that accentuates the fine finishes selected by the Steeles,” Garcia says.
Garcia placed architecturally correct windows strategically to allow the sun to move light through the home. “So, throughout the day, the interior mood changes with the movement of the sun,” Garcia says. “Variety is the spice of life. Like the sun’s lighting moving through the house, different variables also determine what makes you comfortable on a day-to-day basis.”
Garcia concludes, “Houses built by Pasadera Builders are built as a team. Using the skilled minds of the subcontractors, supervisors and the suppliers make it possible for these dreams to come to life. Ultimately, Pasadera gives the credit to the homeowners for giving us the opportunity to create these beautiful homes, much like Martha Steele did.”
830.336.3540 :: www.pasaderabuilders.com