When Demosthenes Durano was growing up poor in the Phillippines, he developed a knack for building his own toys. As a youngster, he collected scraps of wood and tree branches to create a play world of slingshots, whittled spinning tops, and wooden scooters.
I just liked to do something with my hands, Durano recalls. The builders life might best be described as a classic American success story.
Those old wooden toys were lost when Durano made his way to the United States at the age of 18 in 1976. Back then, a grand total of $3 jingled in his pockets when the young man took his first job working as a migrant farm laborer in the asparagus fields and vineyards of California.
The man who went from the farm fields to a career in the Air Force has found his niche today as owner of Durano Construction, builder of custom homes. Durano has been selected as a Featured Home Builder in the 2002 Homes of Enchantment Parade. His latest project, on display during the Parade, is a rambling Northern Italian country-style home in North Albuquerque Acres. The $672,000 residence, already sold, is located at 9921 Oakland NE.
Durano, known to most folks as Dee or D.C., may make his living designing and building custom houses, but he takes great pains to ensure the dwellings feel more like long-established estates than brand new construction.
I wanted the feel of an older Italian farmhouse, he says of the Parade home, one of four that eventually will be tucked into a mini-compound behind a wrought iron and stucco wall, each on its own acre. I wanted it to look like a place that started out small and just kept going, something that was added on to over the generations.
That sense of longevity is achieved with massive archways, liberal use of stone, and several plastering techniques. Yet the home sparkles with the cohesiveness and efficiency of a modern dwelling. Following strict construction guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Energys Building America Program, the home models energy conservation, indoor air quality, durability, and the conservation of building materials and water.
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© Robert Reck
The grand room establishes the plush rustic theme of the house.