East Meets Southwest in New Mexico Home

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This spacious adobe house perched on the top of a mountain out Santa Fe, New Mexico, is home to a retired couple with East Coast roots. The pair was seeking somewhere to host family members and friends that’s also comfortable and casual enough for only the two of them. Designer Karla Tewes utilized most of the couple’s existing bits, re-covering and trimming to help the East Coast–style pieces fit into this decidedly Southwestern home. By accenting with lighting and accessories created by local artisans, and choosing a rich color scheme based on the clients’ Persian rug collection, Tewes made a welcoming design that’s right at home in New Mexico.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A retired couple
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Size: 4,200 square feet; two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
That is interesting: The house sits 7,000 feet above sea level.

Tewes Design

The living room is set up to be visible directly from the home’s double front entry doors. An axis runs in the entry gates through a front courtyard and the way into the living room fireplace, immediately drawing the eye into the center of the space.

“There’s a grandness into the room, accentuated by high ceilings and wood beams,” states Tewes. “But there’s still warmth, which is comfortable and inviting.” The headboard and sconces in the living room were designed and handmade by local artisans.

Tewes Design

The clients have a sense of taste and their style and have designed a few of their houses. “The one consistent thread in their houses is they love color,” states Tewes. “We utilized an present collection of their Persian carpets so as to direct us in our color direction.”

Chair: custom in Kravet chenille; pillows: custom in Scalamandre and Brunschwig & Fils; coffee table: classic

The surrounding desert landscape was a huge source of inspiration. “There’s a clarity to the atmosphere up there that I have seldom seen elsewhere,” states Tewes. “The light is also quite unique in Santa Fe, and also you truly understand the expression ‘purple mountain’s majesty’ there, not to mention that the multicolored sunsets.”

Tewes Design

The faded brick ceiling mirrors the brick on the kitchen floor, making an unexpected sense of symmetry. A lot of the customer’s oriental rugs and a pair of bar stools create additional pattern and textural warmth. The custom Italian glass pendants provide an elegant counterpoint to the more rustic artisan cabinetry.

Tewes Design

Skylights, large windows and open door frames permit natural light to flow from room to room. A tiled ceiling, a brick flooring and exposed wood beams in the kitchen reflect the demanding nature of the desert out.

Countertops: Granite; backsplash: custom mosaic tile

Tewes Design

The kitchen is open to the living room, so the clients desired a quality that will make the kitchen feel exactly as welcoming as the living room. The small fireplace creates a unique focal point and also a sense of intimacy here.

Tewes Design

Tewes installed quite few recessed lights throughout the space, highlighting the home’s natural light. Floor lamps and sconces, table lamps offer lighting and decorative detail.

The master bedroom is easy and stylish. Tewes used Chang Mai fabric on pillows and custom curtains to tie the room together. The art above the master bed is a hand-painted piece Tewes.

Curtains: Schumacher Chang Mai Dragon

Tewes Design

Although the manner of the home is relatively straightforward, its rich design and subtle custom touches create a sense of richness and thickness. The custom headboard at the master bedroom is a perfect example — a closer look reveals the rich navy blue mohair.

Pillows: Christopher Hyland and Schumacher; table lamps: Carson & Co; Chair: habit in Christopher Hyland mohair

The couple had lived on the East Coast for a while, and their prior houses were decorated in a really distinct style. For Tewes, the challenge was figuring out how to use their bits in a Southwestern setting.

Tewes Design

The Persian rugs supplied a great foundation for your property’s style. With a couple of custom alterations to present furniture, Tewes carried the reds, reds and blues of those rugs through the home.

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