a bold and beautiful statement

home exterior
View Gallery 12 Photos
home exterior
open concept floor plan
living room
decorative chair
outdoor living space
dining room fresco walls
coffee bar
wine bar
primary suite bedroom
bathroom vanity

by Vicki Martinez
photographs by Mark William

home builder becomes synonymous with homeowner for this Placitas abode

It took 30 years of building homes for clients—award-winning homes, at that— before Deb Short, owner of Vineyard Homes in Albuquerque, realized a dream. In January 2021, Short moved into the contemporary Southwestern-style home she built for herself.

Her dream home features a courtyard overlooking the Sandia Mountains in the Anasazi Trails neighborhood of Placitas. Overall, the design leans toward a more contemporary look and feel, yet, true to the area, Short incorporated several design features that are Southwestern-style signatures, including exposed beams, stuccoed walls and courtyard spaces. To put the “home” in this house, Short designed a bespoke color, Vineyard Pink, named after her company.

As the owner, Short says, the home represents the idea that anything is possible. “Building my own home was something I never thought would happen,” she says. But when the perfect opportunity presented itself, she took the plunge. “That’s what makes this home so important to me,” she says. “I finally did it!”

Creating Conversation Spaces
A walk through the entry leads to a warm sitting area that invites conversation and introduces Short’s decorating style, which she describes as comfortable, elegant and welcoming. Beyond the foyer, an open floor plan flows freely from a bistrostyle wine bar to the great room to the kitchen and dining area. Immediately, the gentle touches of well-planned design and finishes are apparent.

Throughout the home, porcelain tiles perfectly replicate wood floors, creating seamless transitions from room to room. A grand granite-topped island with seating beckons visitors to gather in the bright kitchen, lined with crisp white alder cabinets, capturing the clean and functional style Short desires.

Nooked away and separate from the kitchen is one of those well-planned features Short included in her own home: the coffee bar. The cabinets of the functional space spotlight Short’s Vineyard Pink and double as part of the larger pantry, providing out-of-sight storage space for crock pots and other cooking necessities.

Overall, the design leans toward a more contemporary look and feel, yet, true to the area, Short incorporated several design features that are Southwestern-style signatures, including exposed beams, stuccoed walls and courtyard spaces.

The wine bar is yet another area designed to invite conversation. It features custom-built cabinets finished with a specially mixed stain of light brown and gray. Individually placed porcelain tiles frame the bar’s backsplash in smoky gray, complementing the charcoal gray tones of the granite countertop. As with the kitchen island countertops and coffee bar, a whisper of blush completes the look.

The fireplace, a focal point of the great room, uses a unique fresco technique Short employed on various walls and surfaces throughout the home. The product involves mixing paint directly into the drywall joint compound. Every pass of the trowel applies both color and texture. “It’s an efficient way to plaster walls,” says Short, “because you don’t have to texturize then follow up with paint.”

In the nearby dining area, a trifecta of ornate pendant globes illuminates the space with a warm glow, dramatically displaying the unique color patterns, texture and dimension achieved with the luxurious wall treatment.

Defining Personal Space
A calm, elegant flow continues to Short’s personal space in the primary bedroom, which includes her creative workspace. A luxurious wallpaper, patterned with bold metallic gold and silver flowers, glimmers and gleams with ever-changing patterns as natural lighting shifts throughout the day. And a lovely corner sitting area it situated to take advantage of the light that streams in through the nearby window.

“There are times as a builder, working in a man’s world, that it’s easy to lose that sense of femininity,” says Short. “I don’t get dressed up; I go to work in jeans and boots. It’s nice to remind yourself that there is a feminine side to you, that you’re a woman.”

To this end, in any room, you’ll find a variety of pink tints and hues: blush, salmon, rosé and, of course, Vineyard Pink. From accent touches and decorative pillows to walls and various cabinetry throughout the home, pretty pinks are sophisticated and subtle, making a statement about the builder.

The primary bath is a luxurious place to escape and relax. The sleek soaking tub with its gently curved top sits in an arched alcove at the far end of the space. Double sinks sit below arabesque-inspired mirrors. A sparkling chandelier completes the luxe look.

Short’s color scheme and decorating detail carry from inside to a must-have outdoor patio, sheltered under a 16-foot-deep portal. The space is accessible from the great room through a large sliding door. The door, a favorite feature of Short’s grandchildren, is an incredible 16-foot wide, eight-foot-tall pocket door, creating a seamless indoor/outdoor space.

Short, always the home builder first, often invites potential clients to tour her home. “I have clients who want a modern style that isn’t too contemporary. And they don’t want a heavy Southwestern look; they want something lighter.”

Not only does Short’s home showcase that style, but it also exemplifies unique details designed from her unique perspective. “Vineyard Homes are very popular,” says Short, “because we always try to do something different, add those little touches designed by a woman builder.”

Through her accomplishment, Short hopes to strengthen and inspire other women to make their dreams come true, too. “It may take a lot of work and effort, but it’s possible,” she says. “That’s why the pink. It’s a statement that says anything is possible. That’s what the pink represents to me.”


Vineyard Homes

Home Designer (Draftsman)
Tomenstock Designs

Interior Designer
GMF Home Interiors

Builders Source Appliance Gallery

Bathroom & Kitchen Fixtures

Raks Building Supply, Inc.

Blinds/Window Coverings
I’m The Blind Lady

High Mountain Cabinets

Custom Painting
D.R.T. Painting

Custom Built-In Features
Innovative Wood Craft, Inc.

Villanueva Granite

Fireplace & Firepit
Mountain West Sales

Flooring/Kitchen Backsplash
Stonewood Flooring

ABQ Custom Flooring (installation)
Front Door/Interior Doors

Sliding Window Wall/Windows
Rugby Architectural Building Products

Travis Vigil Metal Art

Kitchen Hood
High Mountain Cabinets (surround)
Builders Source (hood)

Back to Earth Landscaping

The Raven (pendants & chandelier)
Hinkley (Exterior)

Wall Finish
Fresco Harmony