Downsize to High-rise

Luxury lifestyle at The Broadway

At some point in our lives, most of us have to make the decision to downsize. Cathy and Rick Hood are no exception. The couple have lived in a number of large houses during their marriage. Their last was a 6,000-square-foot home in Alamo Heights. When their daughter, Alexandra, graduated and moved away to college, they wondered what to do with all that space. They’d driven past The Broadway, the luxury high-rise located on the corner of Hildebrand and Broadway, while it was under construction. When the building was completed, they took a tour and liked what they saw.
“So we downsized!” Cathy exclaims. “Life here is fabulous!”

At home in the sky
High-rise living was a new experience for the couple. They have two homes in Florida, a bay home and a beach home. Cathy says that she told Rick if they were moving into a condominium, she had to live high enough to see the sky. “God’s canvas is the sky,” she says. “I love waking to see endless vistas.”
The couple have lived on the 17th floor for a year. Their condo faces north and east, so they have beautiful views of San Antonio Country Club and the University of the Incarnate Word. Cathy enjoys the lifestyle at The Broadway. “I love the service here,” she says. “The ease of living is wonderful. When we want to travel, we just shut the door and go; we never have to worry about home security. There is a beautiful fitness center here, so I don’t have to leave to go to a gym. And I love the outdoor heated pool.”

The location is one of the biggest pleasures of living in her new home. “Rick manages Mercedes Benz of San Antonio, so his office is just minutes from here,” she says. “I can take our dog for a walk on the golf course and walk to church from here. I’m close to the San Antonio River, where I like to paddleboard. We’re near great restaurants. Pretty much everything we need and enjoy is only minutes away.” How did she transition from 6,000 square feet to a bit more than 2,000 square feet? “I chose the furniture I knew would blend into our new home,” she says. “I recovered our sofa and chairs with more neutral shades because I thought that would make the living room look more spacious. As a designer, I knew I had to focus on scaling the furniture to fit the rooms. Because I have two other homes with great storage, I didn’t have to sacrifice any of the furnishings I treasured in our Alamo Heights home that wouldn’t fit here. I just packed and shipped those items to another house.” Cathy picked the apartment based on the kitchen. “It has a great view and an island,” she says. “It also has more storage. It’s the perfect size for a woman who has downsized but loves to cook. I like the way the glass backsplash looks, and the granite countertops are great. The gas cooktop was a must-have, as were the 10-foot ceilings.”

Cathy found Restoration Hardware to be a good source for the few items she needed. The silk draperies were sourced there, as was the chandelier over the dining table. “I added the crystal bling,” Cathy says. “I must have my bling.” The dining table seats six and is quite heavy. It serves several purposes: seating for dinner, a desk for large projects and as a crafts table. “When you live in a small space, most things must serve more than one purpose,” Cathy says.
The drop leaf table by the window is a French antique reproduction. The Hoods open it up when they need more dinner seating. The candlesticks came from a French altar. Two large bookcases flank the widescreen television, which sits on a specially cut travertine slab. It served as an outdoor sideboard in the previous home’s patio. The bookcases came from Restoration Hardware. “When the bookcases arrived, I wasn’t happy with the color. It was just too dark,” Cathy says. “So I sanded them down right here in the apartment and antiqued them. There was black dust everywhere for days.”

A glass door opens onto the patio, furnished with a table, chairs and two bottle brush trees. “I use this as an outdoor room. I love this view of the golf course,” Cathy comments. “It’s a pleasant place to sit, and it’s safe for our dog, Oliver.”

Hallway gallery
The entry hall is decorated with a small chest that is an exact reproduction of a bombé chest found at the Vanderbilt mansion. Above it hangs a Ralph Lauren reproduction mirror Cathy found at Louis Shanks Fine Home Furnishings. The hallway serves as an art gallery, displaying two McKinney Hall antique lithographs and a mixed media by Mary Hong of Grayton Beach, Florida. The lithograph of a flamingo is an antique. Cathy’s office is where she hides her “art junk” in a French antique reproduction armoire. The chandelier is of wood and crystal and came from Restoration Hardware. The room is furnished with a small partners desk and two French side chairs. “The theme for this room is antique white with silver blue,” Cathy says. “It’s very calming and versatile. That’s necessary because when my daughter comes home from college, we turn this into a spare bedroom.” The bath and closet associated with this room belong to Rick. “He was nice enough to turn the master bath over to me, so we designed a bath and closet just for him,” Cathy says. The closet has high/low clothing rods to accommodate his wardrobe, and a favorite small dresser fits perfectly into one end of the space. Framed Hood and Escade family crests are hung on the bathroom walls.
Cathy put her do-it-yourself skills to work installing glass shelving in a small alcove by the coat closet. Since they hang their coats in other closets, she also installed shelves here, too. “We’ve made the best use of all the storage space we have,” she says.

Sweet master suite
The master bedroom is furnished with antiques from Fireside Antiques in Baton Rouge. The French provincial oak buffet dates from 1780; Cathy uses it as a dresser. The bookshelves take up one wall and date from the late 1800s. The French reproduction chandelier hangs over the king-size bed, whose linen headboard is an antique reproduction. “I enjoy this room so much because it faces north,” Cathy says. “It’s never hot, and we never get a glare from the glass. And the view of Incarnate Word is wonderful, especially when the trees are lit for Christmas.” The master bath is entirely done in marble, from the floors to the tub and the shower. “We have a great rain shower here, and the soaking tub is wonderful,” says Cathy. “And for a claustrophobe like me, the window is a treat. I love having a sky view in here.” The master closet was remodeled to accommodate double-hung rods and a pair of bookshelves for storage. “I have all the room I need to store my clothes here,” she says.

Downsizing a dream
“Living here is a dream,” sighs Cathy. “I do miss gardening and a few other things that a large house offers. But I’m happy to trade that for concierge and valet service, the workout center and the beautiful pool area. The staff works so hard to be sure that we all know our neighbors and that we are always satisfied with our lifestyle here at The Broadway. I know Rick and I made the right move.”

By Robyn Barnes
Photography by Al Rendon

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