You, too, can be a Hobbit

 In Repairing the World, Travel

I find myself in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a much-needed R and R. This one is with three of my four sisters. We decided to meet in this lovely Southwestern city for several reasons. It was where I lived for about 12 years some years back, but it is also a lovely center for historic sites and an abundance of art and crafts. We have managed to come together in a special oasis created by a couple who have been my friends almost as long as my husband and I were married. They were, in fact, close friends of my late husband’s and mine from “back in the day.”

The environment they have created on this small piece of property is nothing short of perfection. The attention to detail is evident at every level. And these aren’t just “details.” This casita is like walking into a warm inviting gallery that is very much  a living space, if you can imagine such a thing. This place came about by a passionate vision, amazing creativity and plain old hard physical labor.

What Terry and Sheila found when this project began was a small two-bedroom, one-bath house in a good neighborhood close to all the art areas of Santa Fe. After raising the roof and beginning anew with vigas, that are so highly prized in this adobe culture, the house was more than doubled in square footage adding a luxurious master suite and a state-of-the-art kitchen and dining area.

Everywhere the visitor casts his or her gaze, there is an actual work of art, both within the house and on the surrounding grounds. At first, the visitor is drawn into this shangri-la by the resplendent colors and design of the yards. The colorful, lush gardens surrounding this home away from home are the creation of Sheila. She has the greenest thumb in history, not to mention an eye for how to create gracious outdoor space. Everywhere the visitor looks, he or she is greeted with a spray of colors from many native plants and flowers. Even the tastefully placed and chosen indoor plants bear the mark of Sheila’s eye for color and design.

It is aptly named Hobbit House as its lines demonstrate, by the gently rounded corners upon entering the gates, entryways and even the garage. Inside, the ceilings hugging the vigas, all of the walls and doorways, even the doors to the clothes and other closets bear the same graceful curved lines. Terry has skillfully constructed all of the doors, either with wood inlay patterns or stained glass.

On every wall, Terry has created a work of art – a hand-painted mural or has applied layers of paint in such a way that suggests delicate patterns of nature. The floors are all of the most smoothly interconnected, highly polished flagstone. The warm tingling in your toes is probably from the underlying, thermostatically controlled radiant heat under all the floors.

The most spectacular eye feast for me, however, are the granite and highly polished stone mosaics Terry has created in the showers and on the backsplash in the kitchen. It boggles the mind to figure out just how he was able to make such intricate and highly imaginative scenes. I showered with turtles and even a gecko! I am afraid I probably wasted too much water as i found myself studying the “story” that comprises the master shower.

Given the number of skylights throughout, the overall effect is of spaciousness and light. As if all of this was not already off the charts wonderful, the house is tastefully decorated with living plants and extras that are above and beyond the residents’ every desire. No skimpy towels in this place! The linens are all totally plush and in wondrous supply. Each of the three bedrooms is individually unique in design, including Terry-made dressers in a couple, and are each tastefully decorated and user-friendly.

All of the appliances are of superior quality even to the washer and dryer. You will wish you had equal quality of dishes and other utensils at your fingertips in your own homes. I’m sure I see Sheila’s attention to hospitality and detail in the guest basket overflowing with goodies on the shining granite island counter top. Pantry and cupboards are well-stocked with the basics needed to put together meals with the addition of some fresh supplies from any of the numerous nearby markets.

Once your meal is ready, you will dine on Terry’s personally constructed granite, resin and polished river stone dining table with a full view of the flagstone patio. Nestled in a corner beyond the deck, the three-tiered waterfall gurgles forth both visual sparkles and a soothing babble to add to your enjoyment. This water feature is a creation of their son, Michael.

How complete a “home” is this place? Think of something you wish you could find when you are staying in places on the road. You will probably find it here. I was amazed to even find a diffuser for the hair dryer, nail polish remover (don’t laugh!) and a handy little office nook with computer and printer for use of the guests. In fact, I am sitting at this very spot as I write this piece.

As you might imagine, Dear Reader, this Hobbit House is so much fun to be in that we found ourselves quite content to just hang out. Oh, we did make it to the Plaza a few times, took in some art galleries, and, of course, did some shopping, but it is such a feast for the eyes and so uplifting to the Spirit in this place that we were quite happy to sit and just drink it all in.

Regardless of how other guests might choose to enjoy this property, they will most certainly join the ranks of those of us whose only regret is that we had not discovered this high-desert hideaway much sooner. This work of art is well placed in the epicenter of southwestern style, Santa Fe. It should be a major attraction for its beauty and accommodations. Kudos to the creators! Look them up and see for yourself!

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