Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Most Beautiful Homes of San Antonio 2007

I know San Antonio is surrounded by acres of multi-million dollar McMansions, but these cookie cutter developments just don't float my boat. I've always harbored a soft spot for older homes with character. Maybe I've watched too many British dramas on PBS or have a secret crush on Bob Villa from "This Old House"?

Antonia's home with the charming turret and green roof

One of the great things about this town is that it has an abundance of historic homes. This isn't the disposable So Cal culture I grew up in, where yesterdays relics are regularly bulldozed in the name of "progress". Aaaand, since the holiday house parties are in full swing, I've been fortunate to receive several invitations to actually visit these gems and see what they look like on the inside.

Antonia y sus admiradoras

First off is Antonia CastaƱeda's house. She heads a wonderful women's group called MALCS and is one of the brave souls helping to revitalize the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

It was such a pleasure to see the loving attention to detail displayed throughout Antonia's home.

Everywhere one's gaze fell, there was a beautiful figurine or gorgeous vignette.

I especially loved the modern steel shelves in her traditional kitchen. It gave the whole room a chic and edgy vibe.

Aren't these Mexican tin folk hearts flanking "Que Bonito Amor" ("A Beautiful Love") just precious? And the bathroom terracotta tortoise was also a charming touch.

Later that week, I got to visit the home of Roberta Hassle, a business woman and arts patron who sits on the board of the Martinez Street Women's Center.

Roberta's cool Frida Kahlo nestled among the branches

I love Roberta's Frida glass ornament and her eclectic mix of furniture, especially the divine mid-century dining room ensemble.

Hassle's awesome art collection was an inspiration as well. My New Year's Resolution will be to get more of our artwork properly framed.

This woman has an excellent use of color throughout her home. I luvit!

My final soiree in San Anto for 2007 was at Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark's lovely Woodlawn home. She was kind enough to chat with me a bit after the party about San Antonio gastronomy. Now I know where to get the best torillas. ;-) Plus, I got to explore Ellen's lush courtyard and garden.

A bewitching moonlight walk led me to the glowing embers of a bonfire...

...and a twinkling fairy shrine. Pure magic, from deep in the heart of Tejas.

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