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Trend Design Speak

Photo by Wendy McEahern Interior Design by Violante & Rochford Interiors


Casa Nova

Casa Nova Gallery is an invigorating mosaic of cultural and artistic confluence. It’s a welcoming space, where African textures, patterns, colors, and ancestral techniques converge. It duplicates the experience of a global marketplace and the engagement with crafters as they share their traditional gifts and enchanting heritage stories. What makes Casa Nova even more of a treasure is the gallery’s mission to help people in remote villages become more self-sustainable by creating access to their native crafts through cooperation, commerce, and culture as currency.

“I love the art and design of Africa,” says gallery owner Natalie Fitz-Gerald. “I want to highlight the village cooperatives while focusing on poverty alleviation.” The gallery works with 30 to 50 cooperatives, each of which supports 10 to 15 people from the artists’ villages. “The caliber of art, design, and innovation from Southern Africa, and elsewhere in the continent, is stunning,” Fitz-Gerald continues. “Many of the 20th century’s most notable artists, including Matisse and Picasso, were influenced by African art.”

Casa Nova’s foundational tenet and guiding principle, “The art of living and living with art,” ensures not only a wide variety of high caliber products, but ones that illuminate the intersection of life with art. Fitz-Gerald says, “The art extends well-beyond masks—it includes beadwork, textiles, wood crafting, basket weaving, ceramics, and so much more.” Nellie Joy Irakoze, a Burundi native and gallery manager since 2016, agrees. “We’re able to bring the African culture to life in such a way that we share the traditions with the art, all while we help build more sustainable communities.”

530 South Guadelupe | Santa Fe | 505-983-8558 | casanovagallery.com

Taos Lifestyle

Mary Domito is known by most people as “Mattress Mary.” She built a thriving mattress business from humble beginnings and has dedicated 25 years to helping customers get a good, healthy night’s sleep. As one of the most reputable purveyors in the business, she is sought after for her trustworthy kindness and experience. “I have deep knowledge of every mattress style and type made, from $200 to $150,000!” Dominto says. “I want people to make good decisions about something as important as what they sleep on, and I specialize in helping them achieve the sleep they want and need.”

Domito is excited that her talents and passion led to tremendous business growth. She is expanding her love of all things homeby offering quality furniture and accessories that reflect the unique aesthetic of her beloved Taos community. “I live in Taos and built a successful business that’s always been based on friendship and trust,” she says. “Now I’m proud to introduce my friends and customers to my ‘Double-M/Taos Brand®.’ I’m able to provide the best quality and value in a range of beautiful home furnishings and accessories.”

Her private-label Double-M / Taos Brand® includes mattresses and pillows, toppers, comforters, and sheet-sets, all personally-curated for superb comfort, quality, and value. Each mattress is hand-crafted and made in America in a fourth-generation, family-owned U.S. factory. They’re even backed by a 120-night, risk-free sleep-guarantee and a 20-year warranty. “I’m grateful to bring these beautiful new Double-M/Taos Brand® sleep products and accessories to my customers,” Domito says. “It brings joy to offer comfort, style, and quality, reflective of my years of service and dedication to my community!”

710-C Paseo Del Pueblo Sur | Taos | 575-758-5885 | taoslifestyle.com

Sleep & Dream

Design is seen and especially felt through craftsmanship details when it comes to modern luxurious beds. Sleep & Dream’s owner Sharon Scott applies decades of mattress research to select, then offer, high-end mattresses made from natural ingredients that include cashmere, organic cotton, Shetland wool, hemp, horsetail hair, goose and duck down, alpaca, and silk.

Mattresses made from organic and eco-friendly materials bestow many slumber benefits. “These materials make an incredible difference in your quality of sleep,” Scott says. Organic and natural materials are more breathable compared to most of the foams typically used in mattress construction. For instance, when wool is used for a mattress cover, it has natural moisture-wicking and cooling properties. Breathability lends itself to sustained temperature, which is crucial for a good night’s rest.

Sleep & Dream takes pride in showcasing highly-coveted brands such as Hastens, Vispring, and Posh & Lavish to ensure the best and healthiest night’s slumber. Sleep & Dream’s unmatched superior bed systems have been constructed by companies known for decades for crafting bed products made from only the finest materials, ensuring the ultimate in support, comfort, and rest. Scott is honored to educate designer and personal clientele about benefits of two-sided mattresses, and why some of Sleep & Dream’s brands promise a 30-year warranty. She says, “Santa Fe is the City Different, so Sleep & Dream is the perfect place to bring such special brands made from natural materials not available anywhere else.”

510 W Cordova Rd | Santa Fe | 505-988-9195 | mysleepanddream.com

The Rugman of Santa Fe

Rugs may become a central design feature of any room. Color, texture, pattern, size, and, above all, quality make a difference when it comes to enlivening the aesthetics of a space. One of the most reliable and knowledgeable resources offering top notch service for personal and professional rug-seeking clients is the Rugman of Santa Fe. Ercan Nalkiran, the Rugman’s owner, has been buying, selling, cleaning, repairing, and appraising quality rugs locally for over 20 years.

Nalkiran’s heritage as a Macedonian Turk informs and inspires his love of exotic handmade textiles. His rugs originate from Turkey, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Balkans, and Iran. Hands-on buying trips ensure clients get the latest and most sought-after selection of kilim rugs and beautiful cuvals (old Turkish saddlebags). Nalkiran’s expertise ensures clients know exactly who’s made their chosen rugs, how they’re made, the quality of their dyes and materials, and that they are ethically crafted.

“Working with each client’s tastes, budgets, and styles is one of the most rewarding services we provide,” Nalkiran says. “No space is the same. Rugs are a room’s centerpiece. They make a statement. To serve each customer, to find the perfect rug, we look at the quality of the wool, quality of dyes, tightness of the knots, knot count, colors, size, and styles.” Nalkiran is excited to be in his new space, with an expanded showroom that highlights the beautiful rug selection. “We invite people to come in for a visit or for a cup of Turkish tea.”

130 Lincoln Ave | Santa Fe | 505-988-2393 | therugmanofsantafe.com

Wallflower Southwest Urban

Cathy Semrod, owner of Wallflower, feels alive when her hands are in soil. “When I’m in my garden, I lose all sense of time,” she says. “I love digging in dirt and seeing what’s there. I enjoy creating a safe haven for new plants, nurturing them. I go outside to admire them. I feel as if I’m part of something greater when I’m outside and connected to nature’s rhythm. I want others to feel this joy.”

These were the seeds that planted Wallflower, a Southwestern-style urban boutique filled with beautiful garden, home, and outdoor lifestyle accessories—a curated artisanal home and dream garden.

You might picture some of life’s memories about to unfold: Specialty picnic baskets meant for a park or campsite adventure; colorful hammocks waiting to be set up between two shady trees, lulling you into an afternoon nap; exclusive high-quality candles ready to be lit and glow on a dinner party table; earthen pots meant to be full of dirt; lush green plants of your choosing; and colorful fresh cut flowers waiting to stand in a perfect vase. Semrod even sells games like backgammon, checkers, and bocce, for long afternoons played with children, spouses, and friends.

Semrod is living her longtime dream of owning a shop where she’s able to seamlessly connect interior living spaces with the outside world—a place “grounded in New Mexican artistry, and ancient wisdom, while blending it with metropolitan sophistication,” she says. “Our surrounding natural beauty is a call to action. It beckons us to appreciate our time on earth. It asks us to see and nurture our environment, and enjoy it, in style and comfort.”

505 Cerrillos Rd. | Santa Fe | (505) 780-5626 | wallflowersantafe.com


DNCA Architects

Impactful architecture is about more than space or structure, it considers the deep connections we hold to our sense of place, our belonging, our form of experience within built environments. DNCA Architecture, a boutique multi-award-winning firm, has instilled these elements throughout every aspect of their company, including project approach and the way buildings function in greater surroundings. Buildings are modern light-filled spaces with “aesthetics grounded in simple human values, in the unique programmatic needs and constraints associated with each specific project, and in a deep appreciation for the methods of construction.”

Principal and founder Devendra Contractor applies a confluence of spiritual, logistical, structural, and environmental attributes when designing a project. “Much has been written about the spiritual nature of light, the mystical nature of what it represents,” Contractor says. “There’s a lot to be said regarding the nature of light in physics, in biology, in landscape, as something that nourishes and something from which we also seek sanctuary. Its importance is always balanced by the equal importance of shadow, shade, and respite. Light contributes to how we see form. The challenge in architecture is how to engage the human being within a contemporary, well-lit space in a way that’s not alienating or intimidating, in a way that brings joy through right to space.”

DNCA projects have included a spectrum of commercial and residential buildings and public and privates spaces, each with their own imprint of reciprocal visual engagement. Whether fine art galleries, museums, educational institutions, performing art centers, or medical facilities, DNCA strives to achieve simplicity and expression through its structures. “The objective is to create beautiful spaces that improve people’s lives,” Contractor says. “But there is a much larger objective, which is about human goodness and kindness, and how we interact with each other.” 

924-A Shoofly | Santa Fe | 505-255-4033 | dncaarchitect.com

Max Vasher Architects

One visit to Max Vasher’s stunning home studio reveals how uniquely talented and creative he is. It’s hard to know what’s more impressive: that his home is a true confluence of art, earth, and architecture—an organic, seamless blend of wood, brick, concrete, steel, glass—or that he built the entirety of his home himself. His home studio has a durable earthiness, a delicate artistry, an awakened aliveness, and a structured symmetry that flows throughout all spaces.

Vasher shares that his commercial and residential project design approach is most influenced by the ideas associated with Organic Architecture as originally outlined by Frank Lloyd Wright. “Organic Architecture is the ideal starting place to weave knowledge of sustainable design practices and the synthesis of site and structure,” he says. “There’s a pantheon of geometries seen in the natural world, rather than being restricted by the shapes of material products. Like a fractal, the principle of each design is reflected throughout its multitude of parts both micro and macro.”

Vasher’s design philosophy also incorporates an idea of elemental coherence, meaning that materials often not thought of as working together—such as concrete, glass, and wood—are intentionally used for both interior and exterior spaces to create structural and visual complements. He says, “The mission aspect to this design approach is simple: By creating an architectural experience that engages our senses and our surroundings, we elevate the contemporary human appreciation of art, architecture, and the environment as a whole.”

13 Martin Road | Placitas | 505-615-0696 | maxvasherarchitect.com


Christopher Thomson Ironworks

Glowing orange fire. Dark obstinate steel rods. Well-worn gloves protecting industrious hands. Hundreds of hammers, all sizes, weights, and shapes. An old barrel holding waiting water. Then, at last: sizzling smoke plumes, hot, freshly forged steal plunging into cool liquid.

The elements are alive in Christopher Thomson’s studio. There’s an earthiness. A continuum. A craftsmanship that only blacksmithing can conjure that’s both elegant and rugged. A visit to Thomson’s studio is as eye-opening as it is inspirational. He has a supportive team, including his wife of over 40 years, Susan, who’s also an artist and photographer, and several loyal employees who have worked beside him for years.

Thomson is a soulful visionary working with material from a deeply mysterious place. He forges stunning furniture, like tables and benches, as well as lamps and bedposts, custom home accents like racks, stair railings, fireplace grates, gates, and chandeliers, and his signature sculptural art, which graces homes, commercial properties, exhibitions, and public spaces. When asked about working with steel, Thomson says, “Serendipity guides the process. It’s when time, nature, place, and elements come together—where everything flows in and out.”

Thomson’s been a blacksmith since junior high school. To remain inspired by, and connected to the fire spirit of earth, he makes solo treks to the region’s stunning deserts and kayaks its vast canyon rivers. There he immerses himself in the rhythmic wildness of time, transported, he says, “by light, vastness, and geologic time made visible—marvelously random, while revealing the character of their material—expanding my ideas of organic beauty and rightness of form.”

29 Metzger Dr. | San Jose, New Mexico | (505) 470-3140 | christopherthomsonironworks.com


DMC Design & Renovation

Douglas Mahhs, owner of DMC—a premier restoration company in Santa Fe—loves that design can be both beautiful and intelligent. He receives tremendous joy in creating finished spaces that feel as if every style, color, and textural element belongs, and seamlessly becomes part of a unified aesthetic. “I appreciate looks that are clean, inviting, warm, and welcoming,” he says “Especially when styles and materials are integrated in practical ways.”

Since 1997, Mahhs and his skilled team have provided full-service contracting throughout every stage of renovation, from planning and design to remodeling and installation. Projects start with a free preliminary on-site or showroom visit to discuss concepts. Once a project’s budget, parameters, and timelines are established, the DMC team begins design work and material selection—including finishes and functionality. To help the designs come alive, DMC then develops a 3D-rendering so  clients can visualize a space and fine-tune details to catch potential construction challenges before installation starts.

It’s a source of pride for Mahhs that DMC is also the exclusive New Mexico LEICHT representative. LEICHT, a German-based producer of kitchen and bathroom cabinets and storage solutions, offers stunning quality based on the principles of ergonomics, beauty, and functionality. Finished projects are showroom caliber. “We’re thrilled to offer clients this level of craftsmanship. LEICHT products are the best of what design and function have to offer,” Mahhs says.

1570 Pacheco St Suite C1 | Santa Fe | 505-992-8382 | dmahhsconstruction.com


Seth Anderson Artist Designer Builder

When artist, designer, and builder Seth Anderson is asked where his inspiration comes from, his answer is simple: “The Line.” He started doodling in school, drawing continuous ink pen lines as a way to freely roam and connect with deep creative expression. The drawing process itself became a revelatory bridge between Anderson’s subconscious and the resulting art that was ultimately expressed.

When looking at the clean symmetric interiors and exteriors of the stunning homes Anderson’s designed and built, including his own, elements of The Line are central, including how sightlines converge with the sky, surrounding landscape, vast windows, and each other—as well as how structures connect, integrate, and complement one another through form, light, and angles.

Anderson’s visions for blending design, art and architecture are as continuous as lines themselves. Each project is steeped in the concept of the art of building, and the building of art. Every form has process, structure, and they overlap with his understanding of DNA, the environment, and abstraction. In fact, the finished projects themselves become the manifestation of how these elements combine to push boundaries, provide calm, and offer backdrops of aesthetic cohesion.

As a contractor, Anderson has a keen understanding of how materials can be used to realize the conceptual building and landscape vision for his clients, and how to integrate artistry with application. “Work I’m doing now blends everything I’ve ever done,” he says. “There’s no separation for me as an artist, a builder, or designer. My expression is a journey of passion, interest, and a desire to always learn. To push boundaries. To examine light, structure, textures, and color, and find dynamic ways to juxtapose them against the beautiful yet elegant simplicity of lines.”

7514 MALLARD WAY, UNIT 3 | Santa Fe | 505-467-8738 | sethandersonstudio.com

Siskin Valls Interior Design

Although Paul Siskin of Siskin Valls Interior Design is ranked among the country’s top 100 interior designers by New York, House Beautiful, and New York Home magazines, his aesthetic is steeped in his clients’ personalities, dreams, and inspirations. “I primarily work in residential settings,” Siskin says. “Even after 37 years of being a designer, each project brings new ideas, since every client is different. Some want high involvement, while others, especially those I’ve worked with for years, trust a vision.”

Siskin says a gratifying aspect of interior design is the opportunity to share, discuss and co-create with clients. “I love it when a client shares pictures of rooms they like. It gives a clue to where they’d like to go and what’s inspiring them. Their homes are where they live, work, and entertain. It’s important that a room expresses the personality and needs of those who live in it. Each room should be history—not my history, but the history of those who occupy it. My work is not identifiable, meaning what should be apparent in the design is who they are. That’s important to me.”

Siskin is thrilled to bring decades of renowned urban design experience to Santa Fe with a keen understanding that the Southwest has its own artistic confluence and aesthetic flair. “Living here is a way of life,” he says. “There are no rules, people here are expressive, and I’m inspired by the gorgeous colors, textures, and the environment. Connecting with architects and other designers has been wonderful in building a foundation of a highly creative and collaborative community.”

P.O. Box 1212 | Santa Fe | 917-754-4524 | siskinvalls.com

Santa Fe by Design

Just walking into Santa Fe By Design’s showroom prompts you to rethink what’s possible for kitchens, bathrooms, and cabinetry. Gleaming aisles of gorgeous faucets, fixtures, tubs, sinks, and accessories spark the imagination. Whether you’re a contractor, designer, architect, or home decorating enthusiast, having Santa Fe By Design’s expert guidance ensures that a kitchen or bathroom of your dreams becomes a reality. With many details to consider, including plumbing functionality, budget, style, and project scope, it’s assuring that staff have decades of hands-on experience. Every step of the way you’ll have help in creation and management of complex kitchen and bathroom projects.

Santa Fe By Design’s owner Kathy Anne Fennema says, “It’s gratifying to help people with all-sized projects navigate technical details they may not have thought of. We work collaboratively with builders, designers, and homeowners so visions seamlessly come together.” Plumbing projects in particular pose all sorts of challenges if they aren’t thoroughly assessed, she points out. “Taking high-end fixtures, such as faucets or showers, and planning how they’ll function in a space as it’s designed or built, is critical. We don’t overlook a single detail.”

Being a woman-owned business and having longevity in the Santa Fe market are sources of pride for Fennema. “I enjoy connecting with people’s dreams about their spaces and being an important part of their home improvement and building projects. Our website offers extensive resources and interactive tools to help clients make informed decisions. For almost 20 years we’ve delivered unmatched service, innovation, and project expertise to assure every client throughout the process from thought to finish.”

1512 Pacheco St Suite D101 | Santa Fe | 505-988-4111 | santafebydesign.com

Violante & Rochford

If there’s one word to describe Michael Violante and Paul Rochford, of Violante and Rochford Interiors, perhaps it’s partnership. Connection and collaboration lie at the core of who they are as a personal and professional couple and permeate the unbelievably stunning interior commercial and residential spaces they create. This unique partnership (they’ve known each other for nearly 30 years, have been together for 15, and have been married for 8) offers a depth of cohesion. They’re familiar with each other’s design strengths: Paul’s relate to aesthetics and Michael’s reside in structure. 

From this cohesion, Violante and Rochford exquisitely partner light with texture, color with material, imagination with expression, classic with contemporary. As designers with deep community roots, they merge clients’ uncompromised dreams for extraordinary spaces with innovative trends, furniture, and imagination, to manifest a space’s unbridled potential. Violante and Rochford talents are apparent when clients relay how the finished spaces reflect the fullest expression of who they are. 

For Violante and Rochford, passion derives from a creativity only emergent from working in partnership with other builders, designers, architects, and clients. “Connection in collaboration is who we are. We are being invited into people’s homes and lives. There’s no greater honor, so we take our time getting to know the details about each and every person we work with,” Rochford says. Violante concurs: “Places are filled by the people who share them. Our greatest joy comes from imagining, then seeing, all the individual pieces so beautifully and cohesively come alive.”

401 Paseo de Peralta | Santa Fe | (505) 983-3912 | vrinteriors.com

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