Welcome to our Santa Fe Redesign!
It’s been quite the adventure, moving to Santa Fe, NM and turning our house into a home – learning about Pueblo architecture and landscaping, making our furnishings and décor work (to make it feel like ours and also stay on budget) and envisioning, planning and executing new projects!
Our house hunting experience started a few months before we arrived, with many searches on Zillow and Realtor.com, but nothing prepared us for actually seeing the area – the topography (high desert) surrounded by several mountain ranges, no grass, completely different vegetation, and all of the houses as well as most of the commercial buildings are some shade of tan, designed to blend into the desert. So completely different from South Carolina, with its lush lawns, azalea bushes and trees everywhere…
But there is a beauty in the desert that calls to you – the brightest blue skies, and views that go on for miles (literally!) The summer flowers range from cactus blooms (expected) to Hollyhocks (unexpected, and literally growing from cracks in the sidewalks!) and even Trumpet Vines and Bougainvillea, which I have always considered to be tropical plants. The colors of the blooms are topped only by the sunrises and sunsets, which are extraordinary, and often take up 360 degrees of the sky!
It’s no wonder that the focus of the houses is often the view from the inside, looking out. This became one of the differences that we first noticed - there is really not a concept of “curb appeal” here, at least not in the southern sense. In many cases, you can’t even see the front door in a Pueblo home because there is a walled front courtyard between the home and the street, accessed by a decorative gate that might be carved wood or perhaps forged iron. No front porches with ferns and geraniums hanging from pots and rocking chairs inviting people to stop and stay a while (a disclaimer is necessary here – we had one of those amazing front porches on our home in SC, and in 20 years we rarely used it because in addition to lush lawns, azaleas, etc, that part of the country has high humidity and plenty of mosquitos!)
But we wanted to embrace the Pueblo style – we were in Santa Fe, after all – and we were enchanted!
The house hunt was extensive, and emotions ran from excitement to overwhelm with occasional bits of disbelief thrown in (we put in a full-price offer on one home, and the seller’s response was to take the property off the market!?) But we had a wonderful realtor, and the knowledge that God had a plan…so we kept at it, and after about 6 months found a house that worked for us.
Then the fun began – moving in, getting settled, and starting the list of projects to turn this house into our new home! The house and the process together have become our Santa Fe Redesign, and I’m excited to share the projects – the fun ones, the frustrating ones, the wins and the lessons learned, with plenty of before and after photos along the way
Columns of drying chili peppers are called Ristras, and can be found all over the southwest. Traditionally, when chilis were harvested each fall, they were hung to dry so they could then be ground into chili powder. Hanging ristras have become a symbol of hospitality, and while this bunch is only about 15" long, you can find them as long as 6-8 feet!
Read about Phase 1 of our Back Portal.
If you'd like to chat about a design idea for your home, please give us a call!