go big, go home

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by Patricia L. Garcia
photographs by Rudy Torres

An El Paso builder’s third home, a transitional-style retreat has brought his family closer

The saying is “go big or go home,” but Edgar and Maribel Garcia decided to do both. At a generous 5,060 square feet, their new abode is almost 2,000 square feet bigger than their previous residence. The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house includes a 543-square-foot casita, an attached three-car garage, and a separate six-car garage. A 10-foot-tall door greets guests, while a massive foyer with a soaring 16-foot ceiling is the first impression of the home’s interior.

“I wanted this house to live big,” says Edgar, owner of Bella Vista Homes. “I wanted something impressive, especially when I take a client here so they can see what we can do. But ultimately, it’s a very comfortable home. It’s spacious, but everyone can stay connected, too.”

Since 2001, Edgar and Maribel, a designer for Bella Vista, have created custom houses for clients throughout El Paso and its surrounding area. With this home, the couple wanted to showcase the workmanship that their business is known for while also creating an inviting space suitable for their family.

On the inside, the transitional-style house is a celebration of stone. So much Cantera stone was used, in fact, that Edgar jokes that he created a shortage in the city. Cream- and coffee-colored Cantera is found throughout the home, from the columns in the theater, to the patio, to a fireplace surround and an accent wall in the family room. A dark color scheme contrasted with beige tempers the liberal use of stone, as does the incorporation of texture, such as the wave-like surface on the foyer’s sand-colored stone accent wall and the black cultured stone with white marbling surrounding the jetted tub in the master bathroom.

The fixtures and furnishings, which come from 8 Designs Furnishings and Lighting, show an appreciation for eclectic, rustic, and shabby chic styles, enhancing the coziness of the home. Run by Edgar’s business partner, Grisel Ortega, 8 Designs was created after clients requested to buy the furniture in Bella Vista’s model homes.

While the finished residence is effortlessly elegant and welcoming, it has been a decade in the making. Edgar purchased the Horizon City lot about 10 years ago, though he didn’t yet have the means to include everything he desired. Two houses later—each progressively bigger and more sophisticated as his homebuilding career also progressed—Edgar says this is the one that best encapsulates what he envisioned when he first purchased the land near Eastlake High School.

“I wanted this house to live big. I wanted something impressive, especially if I can take a client here so they can see what Bella Vista Homes can do.”

—Edgar Garcia

Edgar, who loves to cook, built himself an expansive outdoor kitchen with Bull stainless steel appliances, a sink, and an L-shaped island with granite countertops for dining and entertaining. For Maribel, who adores a neat home, the spacious laundry room is the sanctuary where she can relax and organize. And for the couple’s three kids—Melissa, Denise, and Michael Andrew—the days of sharing one bathroom are long gone, as they now have generously sized bedrooms with tray ceilings and en-suite bathrooms featuring ornate tilework. There’s another upside to fully separate spaces, says Denise with a laugh: “We don’t fight or bicker as much anymore.” The family’s English-American bulldog, Mollie, and poodle, Coco, have a fenced-in pet space with grass, a dedicated area to play or to sleep away an afternoon.

What surprises Edgar and Maribel most are the spaces that have brought the family together, like the home theater. “I always thought, ‘Why build a home theater?’” Edgar says. “I don’t like going to the movies, but I go in there, watch a movie, and just forget about everything. I can come home and be comfortable.” Even Edgar’s parents, who used to visit for just five or 10 minutes at a time, have extended their stays now that they have access to the bean bags and comfy leather seats that fill the little theater. There, the three generations have gathered for immersive experiences enjoying movies, Netflix shows, and even National Geographic documentaries—something that didn’t happen in previous homes.

“If you just have the big house, but you can’t enjoy it, what’s the point?”

 —Maribel Garcia

Having just moved in this December, the family hasn’t yet been able to enjoy the glistening pool and spa, though Denise was so excited about the pool she christened it by doing her own “polar bear plunge.” However, the covered patio, outfitted with the outdoor kitchen and an outdoor living room with a gas fireplace, has already become a favorite entertaining spot. Edgar says indoors-outdoor living is easy because the large glass doors and windows open straight onto the patio, further increasing the home’s livable spaces.

Because of its size, Edgar and Maribel made conscious choices to ensure the home would be efficient and easy to maintain. “You want to be able to live smart as well,” Edgar says. “This home was built with energy efficiency in mind.” Using spray foam, energy- and water-efficient appliances and fixtures, and smart home products to control the heating and cooling systems, Edgar built an Energy Star–certified home. Outside, artificial turf in the front yard gives the landscaping a lush appearance, yet requires no trimming or watering.

Having lived at their previous address for almost 14 years, Maribel says it’s taking time to get used to this one. Their last home was where her children grew up and cherished memories were made. Though she’s still adjusting, Maribel appreciates how the new space has transformed her family’s routine.

For one thing, she’s seen a change in her husband, saying his workaholic tendencies are lessening. Now, Edgar takes more breaks from his home office. Maribel will spy him looking out the patio’s glass windows, and in a blink he’s spending time outside or working on the pool. Simply put, Edgar is truly content in this new dwelling, which is just what Maribel has always wanted for her family home. “If you just have the big house, but you can’t enjoy it,” she asks, “what’s the point?”

 

resources

Builder
Bella Vista Custom Homes
bellavistacustomhomes.com

Appliances
Morrison Supply Company, LLC

Plumbing Fixtures
Ferguson Enterprises
MR Direct

Audio Visual
​El Paso Audio Video by Design, LLC

Countertops
​Stone City Rocks

Doors
​Doors & Millwork, LLC
The Iron Snail Inc.

Fireplace
El Paso Fireplaces
elpasofireplaces.com

Furniture and Lighting
8 Designs
8-designsep.com

Gates
MTZ Ironworks

Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry
​D&S Custom Cabinets

Pool
Southwest Legacy Pools and Spas

Tile & Stonework
Interceramic
Piedras Mundiales

Windows
Franklin Building Materials