this one's for us

Shane Woods’s Santa Fe home is remodeled by his family, for his family

Shane and Deb Woods and their sons Ashton, 5, and Braden, 2 1/2, are the kind of loving, tight-knit young family who’d probably be happy anywhere—in a bungalow, a cabin, or even a yurt—as long as they were together. But for the last half year, their familial coziness has enjoyed the luxury of sprawl in a splendid home with acreage bordering on Atalaya Mountain in Santa Fe. And that has its pleasures, too.

“Every morning I wake up and have my coffee watching the sun rise on the Jemez Mountains, and I pinch myself that I really live here,” says Shane, whose family-run business, Woods Design Builders, has been building and remodeling high-end homes in Santa Fe since the 1970s. “In such a short time this place has become a comfortable safe haven for our family.”

Despite their prowess at building new homes, Shane, brother Rob (who runs the business side of the company), and mom and designer Sharon, who founded the company, admit their preference for taking existing homes and renovating them to their own personal taste. Such was the case here.

“The previous owners had no children, but we could see the house’s potential immediately,” Shane explains. “We bought it the day it came on the market, paid full price, no contingencies.”

And then they gutted it.

The comprehensive remodel, which included the addition of 2,500 square feet of space in all directions—including up—took about a year, during which time the family lived in their old house and an interim rental.

According to Shane, Deb and Sharon took “an extra passion” in expanding the contours of this home. “It’s very proportionalized, and it’s very warm,” he says with a measure of pride at the lustrous results that earned Woods Design Builders a Best Craftsmanship Award in the 2016 Santa Fe Parade of Homes. Both he and Deb marvel at the extra effort made by every Woods employee, especially when it came to the woodwork.

“The wood flooring is a white oak with a custom finish,” Shane says. “We wanted to go very light with the cabinets; Deb likes things neutral, more gray tones.”

Deb, an anesthesiologist, agrees she finds the monochromatic palette soothing, especially after a stressful and grueling 70-hour work week. Coming home to soft, mother-of-pearl tones, high ceilings, airy rooms, and of course her healthy family safely ensconced inside their clamshell is Deb’s daily joy and a boon to her spirit.

“You can’t help but lose yourself in the beauty of the place. Some days I just want to lock myself in and never leave,” she only half-jokes.

The 5,500-square-foot, multilevel residence is sited on about five acres to capture the Jemez Mountains, thanks to well-placed new windows throughout. Shane points out the fun places where the family cuddles to watch a movie in a big pile-on or spreads out on the floor to play a board game.

“We come together, and then we go our separate ways and have our own space,” he says. The children’s suite, for example, is located on the top floor and comprises a playroom, the boys’ bedroom suites, and a nanny nook—a design element often found in Woods homes—perfect for reading or napping in the afternoon sun.

Before joining the family business Shane was a partner in two restaurants in California where he received a lot of wine training. Thus the custom, well-stocked wine room is “his” space—though he’s quick to note that “wine is about sharing.”

The entry of the house was repositioned to make it more emphatically the entry. The formal living room (known as the “No-No Room” to the kids) was a new addition entirely. The new house evolved organically around the old house, making use of antique and reclaimed materials: a hearth room with an antique European mantel, the dining room with reclaimed terra-cotta from Spain and France, and a lovely antique French fountain, purchased at a local consignment shop, that marks the front door.

Though currently claimed by Deb, an office was designed for when the kids start bringing homework home and everyone can work in the same space together. The expansive kitchen, too, with yards of counter space, is as functional as it is exquisitely crafted.

Tucked into niches and frames throughout the home are antique doors from Mexico, which Shane says are harder and harder to come by. Much of their art collection was bought at charitable events benefiting the National Dance Institute and the Cancer Foundation. (Deb’s mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor, and Shane’s sister-in-law, who lost her brother to leukemia, spearheads the annual fundraising event.)

The master suite, located a few steps down a curving stairwell, is spacious and private. A romantic Romeo and Juliet balcony off the master bedroom captures breathtaking vistas, while the expansive bathroom features hand-stenciled Tabarka tile and a deep porcelain soaking tub.

Outside there are portales and gardens, a trampoline area, and a sizable lawn of faux grass (“it’s high-end synthetic grass, not Astroturf!” Shane and Deb joke) where Shane, who coaches his son’s soccer team, and Ashton can practice their drills, and the kids can run around with abandon with their big floppy dog.

After a year of constant decision-making, living in temporary housing, worrying about the thousands of little details that go into a home renovation of this scope, and even enduring two long weekends of hosting thousands of visitors during the Parade of Homes, the Woods family is finally settled in. Though the move was personal, Shane notes that, as a builder, the entire process was eye-opening.

“Going through a big remodel like this makes me feel more empathy for my clients,” he says. “Everybody has a budget, no matter what. You’re reminded about keeping to the construction schedule, how important that is. And then there’s job cleanliness; I wouldn’t want to come home and find trash on the job site.”

Deb is currently transitioning to a part-time schedule so she can spend more time with her family while the kids are growing up. Everyone is very pleased about that. It’s not lost on her that after spending so much time planning and building her new residence, she’s finally able to spend more time enjoying the home she wishes she could lock herself in and never leave.

Who could blame her?


Woods Design Builders

Builders Source Appliance Gallery

Cabinetry & Wine Room
Santa Fe Custom Works

Kitchen & Bath Sinks, Fixtures, Tub
Santa Fe By Design

Chamisa Landscaping

Allbright & Lockwood
Violante & Rochford Interiors

Kitchen & Bath Tile
& Bathroom Counters

Statements In Tile/Lighting/