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2011 - Volume 2 Issue 2
Casas Bonitas
Feature Home
Article: Heather Parra
Photos: Bill Faulkner
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Alan and Frances Erickson, owners of Lone Star Investments, have been in the renovating business for 24 years. Their company purchases about 20 homes a year, improves and renovates them and resells them. Renovating houses is just one of the many businesses they own. But when they designed and built their own home, it was not just another job. It was a labor of love, and that can be seen in the intricate details that reflect their personalities and make their home so unique.


Paulo Enrique Martinez

Interior Designer:
Designs by L.L. Power
& Associates

Lynda Power

Home Builder/Remodeler:
Alan & Frances Erickson

Cabinetry & Bar Area:
A-1 Kitchens by Sierra
Sergio Villareal

Counter Tops:
Cristian Gandara

Corbels & Carved Woods:
Spirals by Design
Sid Williams

Doors & Windows:

Custom Made Doors:
Nicolas Cortinas

Decorative Ceilings:
Martin Llamas

Furnishings, Art & Accessories:
Designs by L.L. Power
& Associates


Delta Unlimited

Lighting & Ceiling Fans:
Designs by L.L. Power
& Associates


Murals & Wall Surfaces:
Caesar Lujan

Painting and Remodeling:
C Dixon Painting
and Remodeling


Paint on Glass Doors
Colors on Glass:
Juan Rodriguez

Tile Flooring,
Kitchen and Bath:
Emser Tile

Wood Floors and
Custom Stairs:
National Carpet
Juan Licon

Window Treatments:
Designs by L.L. Power
& Associates


Wrought Iron:
Elite Custom Iron
From the moment you enter the Erickson home, the dome ceiling and the grand staircase that spirals up to the second floor are just breathtaking. However, it is the details of this area that make it so special. It is the basket-weave tile on the front of each custom-made stair, the woodwork accents around the long windows and in the dome ceiling and especially the painted-glass door that leads to an office midway up the stairs that are really a feast for the eyes.

This attention to detail doesn't end at the entryway, it is carried throughout the home. The 5,400 square-foot Tuscan-style home took 18 months total to complete, and the couple continued to make design changes throughout the process to improve on the original design of the home and create their dream home. Throughout the entire 18 months, Frances says she was at the home site every day checking on progress, revising plans and sometimes even cooking for the crew.

"Dream building really does work," says Frances Erickson. "I've been cutting out pictures since I was a kid." Together, the Ericksons cut out pictures of things they wanted in their house and looked at so many different houses for ideas, then they sort of pieced them all together to create their home.

The five bedroom and five and a half bathroom home is an entertaining paradise because the Ericksons love to share and open their home to friends and family. "Frances' birthday is near Christmas and we have more than a hundred people over and she asks them to bring gifts for needy children and elderly instead of gifts for her," says Alan. This is just one example of the Ericksons' generous spirit and one reason they designed their home for entertaining.

The beautiful, state-of-the-art kitchen is where Frances loves to spend time cooking for the people that are important to her. It features beautiful design elements such as a gorgeous, thick granite countertop, a picturesque painting of an Italian village on tiles above her stove and a travertine-tiled barrel ceiling. In addition, it has lovely, dark cabinets that are also very practical by making use of every bit of space with every panel, nook and cranny opening up for storage space. The kitchen has other practical qualities such as two sinks, two ovens, pull-out refrigerated drawers in the island and a pot-filler faucet above the stove. All of the appliances are GE Monogram stainless steel appliances. In addition to the storage space in the kitchen, the home also has a large butler's pantry with an additional refrigerator and shelving for food and appliances.

Just off the kitchen is a small informal dining area that features one of the beautiful Tuscan murals that can be seen throughout the home. This area is round with a dome ceiling painted to look like the sky with lush grapevines cascading down from it. This and the other murals in the home were done by local muralist, Cesar Lujan.

A formal dining room and a bar are perfect for having guests over and can be seen from the second-story loft. Both the dining room and the living room have large windows looking out onto a curtained patio and the colorful backyard beyond that. Each room also has a unique fireplace that keeps them feeling cozy and comfortable.

The second floor of the house consists of Frances' craft room, the loft-sitting room, and the master bedroom and bathroom. Each room in the house features an outside door that leads to either a sitting area, a full balcony or a "Romeo and Juliet" balcony. Frances' craft room leads to an outdoor area on top of the garage that makes use of that space for outdoor dining, and makes a romantic getaway with a spiral staircase leading to the backyard. "We utilized every bit of space we could," said Frances.

The master bedroom and bathroom are as exquisitely detailed as the rest of the house. A grand fireplace with a granite mantle rests in a corner next to a large picture window with a view of the Franklin Mountains. Their balcony has a serene view of a neighbor's duck pond, where all kinds of birds can be seen stopping for a drink. The master bathroom has a beautiful boveda ceiling, his and hers sinks and walk-in closets, and ends with another gorgeous painted-glass door leading to the Jacuzzi room, which is tiled with brilliant onyx tiles.

Other well thought-out details that this house possesses are unique granite tile-work that is different in each bathroom, unique ceiling fans in every bedroom and a variety of intricate corbels, columns, chandeliers and sconces. To top it all off, every room has a different style of ceiling, including bovedas, tin ceilings, barrel ceilings, dome ceilings and more. Many of these details were contributed by Interior Designer Lynda Power of L.L. Power and Assoc., who helped the Ericksons throughout the whole process, purchasing furniture, artwork and lighting fixtures; designing spaces and acting as an overall project manager. According to Lynda Power, the most important part of her job is communication with the clients. "You really need to listen to the client to see what their vision is," says Power.

The Erickson's Upper Valley home is actually a downsize from their previous home, which was a 13,000 square-foot home that had been abandoned and they had fixed up. However, when the kids began to grow up and move out, it was just too much space and they began looking for the perfect lot for their new home. "We looked at every subdivision out there. We didn't want to be up on the mountain where it was windy and we wanted something peaceful with good setbacks," says Alan. "At the time, this was just a muddy field, but it was the best lot out there."

What was once a muddy field is now a spectacular dream home full of elements that reflect the Ericksons' personalities, as well as their vision and all of the hard work of those who contributed to it. ///
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