Written by Amy Smith
Villanueva Construction has been quite the buzz on social media lately. Customers are raving about their homes online and tweeting some pretty sweet accolades. We stopped in at one of Villanueva’s most recently built design homes to get a firsthand look at what all the buzz is about.
For starters, its excellent building. An eye for design that’s a cut above combined with their excellent customer service earns them their outstanding reputation as one of the Valley’s most sought after builders.
What a man can envision, he can create. Contemporary. Modern. High-quality craftsmanship. Roman flair. Whether it is a new, fresh fusion of contemporary and Roman that has signature Villanueva columns, or a made-to-order floating ceiling, you’ve got a special blend that is uniquely pleasing to the Villanueva client.
Is there a designer in the house? One hand goes up enthusiastically. Mario Trevino of Villanueva renown, gets visions for what his homes should look like and transfers them to hand drawn sketches. He then translates his ideas to his master craftsman builders on site. He trains them in the techniques and methods needed for his exact specifications of the final product. So it’s done right — every time.
Mario talks about his job as: “Interpreting your dream home into a ninety day process where I can create, fit, tweak, and most of all accommodate to any family living style. Here with me it’s all about you (the homebuyer). For there’s only one thing in mind and that’s about always knocking it out the park.”
The home we toured is no exception. In the process of taking your home’s design from the paper to the property, Villanueva uses only the best in materials and only the finest suppliers to procure them. Keeping in mind that it’s often 90 plus degrees in the Valley, the structure of each home is considered to maximize energy efficiency while still keeping the exterior looking amazing.
The elegant crystal chandeliers, pendant lighting and ceiling fans were all supplied by none other than Illuminations of McAllen, Tx.
Structurally, the homes are sound. They use a process of block and insulation with a cantera seal finish. Clay energy block stays cool with an effective barrier of 3″ structural thickness. The insulation is an energy efficient R15 that is blown in.
For this house, design styles were combined with the Villanueva customer in mind. They started with a Roman contemporary stone slate cantera facial front, then added platform modern steps. This grand walkway gives the feel of amazing open space as it leads you up to the custom double doors of the front entry.
The decorative, stamped concrete (to look like wood) is a custom blend of four different colors to get the exact right hue of the designer color palette specially selected for this home. At the entry, an eight-panel door (in plum mahogany custom finish) is inset with mirrored panes on the inside. The homeowner can see out but anyone on the outside can’t see in. The window panes of the doors also open for free air flow. The appearance of the entry way through the double doors at dusk or evening offers any visitor a warm welcome.
All of the exotic granite counter tops in the kitchen and baths were provided by Superior Granite-Marble.
During our tour, Mario purposely took us through the outdoor living space and the private, second entrance to the master suite. He showed us this entrance to explain the ease of living that this model of design provides for busy professionals such as nurses and doctors or those with outdoor occupations. They can head straight to the comfort of the master/bath and a change of clothes before entering the rest of the home.
The courtyard living space was designed also for the outdoor lifestyle that many Texas families enjoy. Mario has mastered his design edge for outdoor living accommodations. You want custom? No problem. What are your dreams for your patio? Villanueva can serve it up to order. You can practically hear the fajitas sizzling on the outdoor grill and Mama coming through the back door with fresh, hot tortillas.
Every square of gorgeous porcelain floor, mosaic, and tile was provided by none other than Materiales El Valle. Conveniently located in Donna, Edinburg and Palm View.
There is a limitless garage with the boundary wall removed to expand and enhance the outdoor living space even further. A stone built counter with a sink, barbeque, and space for food prep or serving trays makes the ideal outdoor kitchen. And there’s a separate half-bath tucked behind the entry wall for guest use during family gatherings.
Once inside the master bedroom, we find it to be sleek with clean lines and modern windows. There’s a full wall of built-ins for home theatre/entertainment and for media. A free-fall floating ceiling is a signature of Mario’s and we see this customized feature in variation throughout the house. This master bedroom is a full ensuite with a master bathroom/dressing area that is almost one-third the size of the master — very spacious.
The master bathroom has a spa-like feel. There is an overall richness to the cabinetry in the plum mahogany finish. And the vanity basins are works of art in themselves. They are a turquoise-marine blue with dazzling splashes of red and yellow with just a bit of subtle sparkle. The combination of all of these elements makes the basins pop with color. The vanity cabinets also have built-in towel shelves for practical spa-like display. You can imagine your towels folded or rolled up on these shelves for after-bath luxury.
One more special effect: the blue mosaic tile was inlaid running vertically for a “raining feel” that adds an extra relaxation quality to this lovely master bath.
In the practical sense, the toilet has its own room with a door for privacy which is completely separate from the bathing area. It’s totally cool not to have to bathe next to an open toilet. One can appreciate this separate toilet as a very nice feature of an upscale home as well as an emerging standard.
As we venture into the rest of the house, we find a separate laundry room, two more bedrooms, and another full bath in the west wing of the home. Beautiful tiles are artfully inlaid in the flooring and on the walls at certain places, adding to the luxurious look of the interior design. Having a full laundry room inside also gives this home a professional and upscale feel. Sometimes it’s the little details that count for big comfort.
Continuing to tour, we come to the dining room that flows into the kitchen. It is stunning. Again we have the floating, free-fall ceiling. Mosaic and tiles are used for visual presentation in the natural/neutral color palette. It is here we recognize that the layout of the house makes full use of the lot and wraps around the courtyard. The center point is the dining room where we find full access to the kitchen as well as additional access to the courtyard.
This open design shows that Mario knows and understands the family gathering aspect of life. He designs the spaces according to the needs of the family who entertains. And if you don’t entertain? The configuration simply flows well for the movement of any family or individual lifestyle.
The kitchen carries its own wow-factor with 15 foot ceilings and cabinetry. Custom tongue and groove ceilings (again in plum mahogany finish) give us even more confirmation of sturdy workmanship. The grandeur of the height of the cabinetry combines well with the glitz and bling of the crystal chandeliers and the glossy tile. There is a full pantry and plenty of space to imagine your selections of appliances. You get to add the personal touches to make this dream home your very own. Are you a side-by-side or a top-to-bottom refrigerator person?
This open floor plan encompasses the new family lifestyle. Grab the popcorn, the movie’s on. Mom’s still getting the butter topping from the kitchen? No problem, she can see the opening scene of the movie because of the open way the family space and the kitchen blend. There is incredible space yet continuity.
“Its that time of year again. Summer romance permeates the air and all is well. While the seasons will inevitably pass, our commitment stands firm; true quality and luxury incongruence with economical value. Start falling in love with your new home year round.”
And in the living/family room is yet another work of craftsman artistry – the built-in entertainment wall. Entertainment built-ins of extreme quality are the custom work of the new millennium house that the old-style craftsman buffets were to the 1920’s bungalows. They are still standing a century later. This is the quality you get with a Villanueva home. It’s got sparkle. It’s got shine. And underneath, it’s got solid, sturdy construction to ensure your family’s home will endure the test of time.
As Mario stated, “This is not your normal house.” And as we walked around, it was apparent that this was very well used space. Mario said, “Its 360 degrees all the way around. It’s modern, it’s urban, and you feel like you are in a loft somewhere in the big city.” We concurred. Like San Francisco, Manhattan, or Seattle. It is pretty awesome to be standing mid-valley and be transported to another time zone, even if it is just in your own dining room.