Builder Anthony Salcito and designer Rebecca Salcito had the itch. After five years in their Scottsdale, Arizona, home, the couple was ready to build again. “We’ve lived in eight houses since we’ve been married, four of which we built from the ground up,” says Rebecca. “Anthony and I are exposed to the newest trends in design and construction on a daily basis, so it’s hard to see all these amazing new elements and not want to have them in our own home.”
The couple, who worked with architect and longtime friend Erik Peterson and landscape designer Jeff Berghoff on the plan for their new modern Mediterranean domicile, wanted to remain in their Silverleaf community. They found a large lot that was perfect, except for one aspect—five neighboring houses stood very close to the property line, which presented a challenge when it came to creating the private oasis the Salcitos desired. “That was easily the biggest trick,” says Berghoff. “How do we make it feel like they’re the only ones in the backyard with neighbors so close?”
Peterson understood exactly what the Salcitos wanted, due in no small part to their 16-year friendship. “We’ve worked on so many projects over the years,” says Anthony, “probably close to 100. So we really do know each other inside and out.” Collaborating with the builder, Peterson devised an architectural plan geared toward ultimate privacy. He designed the home on an axis so that the pool house on the back of the lot lined up perfectly with the foyer, making it a stunning focal point upon entry; the cabana also became a significant barrier between the adjacent homes. “We put the cabana on the back of the axis and designed it in a substantial enough size that the entire backyard is private,” Peterson says. He blocked out the remainder of the neighboring houses with the two-story portion of the home. From there, Berghoff layered mature vegetation, using full greenery to screen even more. All of this culminated in what Anthony calls “a hybrid courtyard.”
For the interiors, the couple brought in some beloved antiques from their former residence, and Rebecca blended them with the newest materials and finishes she’d discovered. “It’s amazing how, when you’re a designer, your tastes evolve because you’re constantly seeing new everything,” she says. “I feel like this house really reflects that.” The formal living room is a true example: A set of antique chairs and a 19th-century French mirror anchor half of the expansive room, which is separated into two seating arrangements grounded by one continuous rug to keep the space from being overwhelming. Modern lines on the other furnishings within both sections and modern art lend it a contemporary feel.
Breathtaking light fixtures by U.K. designer Eva Menz are scattered throughout, including the stunning pendant lighting in the kitchen and chandelier over the dining table. In lieu of traditional white marble, Rebecca chose Arabescato Carrara marble with bold veins in grays, charcoal and even purple to complement the white lacquered cabinetry and white oak flooring. “The kitchen was inspired by these beautiful European apartments I’d seen,” she says. The space opens to the dining area, which, like the rest of the home, has touches of formality, but with a contemporary approach. “We’re casual with the way we live,” says Rebecca. “Because we have an outside dining area, we eliminated the dining room. This may look like a formal dining room, but it’s our multipurpose table where we have breakfast and dinner.”
The dark and dramatic master bedroom, inspired by a rich navy blue silk wallcovering, is a complete departure from the light and bright master in their previous residence. “My last bedroom was pure white and with tons of light filtering through it, so I wanted something totally different,” says Rebecca. The bold black marble fireplace is, she notes, “so classic and timeless. It looked so perfect with the denim blue palette.”
While the Salcitos believe they’ll eventually have the urge to build again, it won’t be in the near future. “We built this house to stay in for a very long time,” says Rebecca. “I don’t see us moving anytime soon.”