Placing Trust In Their Builder Helped These Homeowners Create Their Dream House by Melissa St. Aude The Las Cruces Bulletin
For Barbara and Irv Ross, having a new home built was as stress-free as a lazy summer afternoon watching quail and roadrunners scurry across their back patio. And their home , 5025 Silver King, fits them and their lifestyle perfectly – even their dogs and cats match the home ’s décor and color scheme of earth tones and sunset hues.
“It’s very functional in terms of where things are located,” Irv said. “It’s the type of home that’s comfortable and integrates into the environment.”
The Rosses had their home built two years ago when they escaped from the cold, snowy winters of Nebraska and moved to warmer, sunnier Las Cruces. Both retired from the education field and they visited Las Cruces and interviewed several builders before meeting Pat and Mario Bellestri of Soledad Canyon Earth Builders.
“We came across Pat and Mario, and we fell in love with them,” Barbara said. “We were attracted to their building style and knew they would build us a quality house. We were still living in Nebraska as our house was being built. When having a home built long distance, it’s important to be comfortable with the builder – you have to have that trust. With Mario and Pat, we were very comfortable.”
Like other houses built by Soledad Canyon Earth Builders, 5025 Silver King was built using the rammed-earth technique – an ancient construction method in which walls are framed then filled with a soil mixture. The result is a home with thick walls – usually about 18 inches thick. Combined with energy-efficient doors and windows, the homes block out more outside noise than most homes.
Builder Mario Bellestri of Soledad Canyon Earth Builders said that the method is less labor intensive, and the technique produces a more solid, energy efficient home .
“We were sold on the concept as soon as read about it,” Barbara said. “It just seemed like this method produces a better constructed house.”
The unique appeal of 5025 Silver King is evident from the outside. The home is situated on a quiet desert lot surrounded by native landscaping, unobstructed views of the Organ Mountains and abundant wildlife.
Created to be an oasis, the back yard leads to the open desert so the home is often visited by native wildlife – quail, roadrunners, rabbits, coyotes and other animals, which Barbara and Irv say is one of their favorite aspects of the house.
“The view and the wildlife are what make this home special,” Irv said.
The home is designed in a Southwestern style with thick walls, deep-set niches and a coved ceiling in the dining room.
“We love the parts of the house that are traditional and old Southwest,” Barbara said.
Wooden accents – vigas, beams, corbels, wood-trimmed windows and doors and a cedar-lined ceiling in the living room – add to the Southwestern character.
“This house has many things that make it special, and the ceiling is one of those things,” Irv said. “To look at it, it’s massive, yet it gives you a feeling of comfort. It’s big but cozy.”
In designing the home , the couple knew they wanted a large master suite, and the one Bellestri created for them did not disappoint. With sweeping views of the back yard and the Organs, the spacious room features hardwood flooring and a separate sitting area framed by wooden columns and corbels. A set of Sombrafe Collection twig shutters cover the windows while a soft, leather armchair provides the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the view.
“Mario came up with the idea of a sitting room framed by corbels and beams,” Barbara said. “We wanted a nice, big master suite.”
The home is designed around the views, and with large windows in each room, finding a spot to enjoy wildlife watching is not a problem.
“I love the way the floor plan flows,” Barbara said. “It doesn’t feel cut up like a lot of other houses.”
Other special touches are found throughout the house – a multi-hued onyx countertop in the guest bathroom, chiseled-edged granite countertops in the kitchen and stained glass accents above several doors.
When moving from Nebraska to Las Cruces, the Rosses did encounter one problem – their old furniture simply was not suitable for their new home .
“It just clashed with the Southwestern theme,” Barbara said.
The solution ? Although they did bring a few antique family pieces along with them, the couple had new Southwestern furniture custom made for their new home – everything from the bed to the dressers and the dining room set.
“That was really the fun part – buying all new furniture,” Barbara said. “And the result is a fantastic house that we simply love.”