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This issue of Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico captures the many possibilities we might choose to tackle while upgrading the look, use, and aesthetic joy of our homes. Any time we engage in a home project—even a purely cosmetic one—there’s a risk. We’re changing something we know to something we believe will be better. But the kicker is, we don’t really know until the investment has been made. Like any enterprise, you’ve got to take a leap of faith to reap the rewards. This is precisely why using established designers and builders can help to mitigate your risk. While this new build or redesign may be your first effort, it’s probably not theirs. Rely on these professional guides!

In one house in this issue, the homeowners took a major plunge, knocking down walls and reconfiguring the entire home to meet their current needs. Lately, I’ve been considering taking the same plunge with regard to a family home that was excellent in the early ’60s, but needs help to function in this century. I’m inspired by the risk this family took—and gratified to see the amazing results.

Other risks are far less scary. It’s amazing how far little things can go to make dramatic changes. A few cans of paint can completely transform a room. Beautiful pillows with appropriate color fabrics can be added to bring in a sense of design, a splash of color, and a cushion for comfort. (A restaurateur friend pointed out to me that pillows also absorb sound beautifully when you need to subdue a noisy environment.)

Other less risky options include reupholstering furniture, which adds new fabric, pattern, and color to a room. Cabinets can be re-faced, for a fresh feel at a fraction of the cost. And finally, a well-designed powder room with a punchy design goes a long way in making a design statement at minimal expense.

Homes make such good canvases. as homeowners (and artists) we can create residences that fit our desires.

Bruce Adams, Publisher