When homeowners Lindsey and Levy Erdos dove into designing the interiors of their brand-new house in Scottsdale, Arizona, they quickly realized they needed help. Between its scale, their two toddlers and Levy’s busy medical practice, they just couldn’t go it alone. “The interior architecture had already been completed when I came on,” says designer Britany Simon, who was recommended to the couple by the daughter of a previous client. “But they wanted to make the design personal and contemporary, so we added more current finishes, statement lighting and changed the cabinetry and hardware.
The house is traditional Arizona–stucco, brick and a Spanish-style gate–but you don’t have to emulate that on the inside.”While a contemporary interior was the goal, Simon also knew that “going too modern could feel disjointed,” she explains. “There needs to be balance with the architecture.” The couple already had ideas about what they wanted–like a dream wine cellar–but most of all they were looking for something different. “New house, new look, fresh start,” says Lindsey, a former intensive care unit nurse and now full-time mom. “We didn’t want anything super ashy that would be out of style in five years. Our goal was modern yet comfortable.”
Working with project manager Ginny Rogers, Simon began developing a cohesive and personalized scheme for the home, creating plenty of space for the couple to host friends and family while also adding a gym and a playroom. “They were pretty hands-off and trusting of us,” recalls Simon. “First, we met and played with fabrics and such to establish the design direction, then we had a few more meetings to sign o on things like the custom pieces.” She also devised a neutral base palette that let her bring rich earth tones into the main living spaces and subdued grays and off whites into the bedrooms.
Driving the overall design was the first piece they chose–a striking blue-and-white rug to ground the living room. “I like to focus on the biggest, boldest pieces and go from there,” says Simon. “We knew we could nudge them into color and pattern, but that rug was as geometric as they would go.” Cognac-leather chairs and a pair of solid white sofas (one of the few purchases prior to Simon’s arrival) add contrast. Simon carried the living room’s palette into the adjacent kitchen and breakfast nook, where she opted for black-painted dining chairs. “Black stands the test of time and it’s easy to mix with different metals,” Simon observes. “It’s a little edgy, too, and we wanted to make some bolder choices.”
Those bold moves continue in the dining room, where Simon hung a modernist bronze chandelier above a 17th-century style table in a weathered-black finish, surrounded by contemporary wing chairs. “They make such a big statement when you walk in the house,” says Lindsey. The room also features a custom tile-and-glass wine cellar. “Levy and I got engaged in Napa Valley, so wine has a special place in our relationship. We were never able to collect before, so it’s been fun filling it up with about 200 bottles!”
Another custom addition is a brick-clad game room, which includes a kitchenette and bar and is anchored by an industrial-style pool table. “It’s masculine and funky,” Simon says of the space. “The room is our fun escape at night, and it feels like we’re actually in a bar and not our home,” notes Lindsey. Adding a touch of sparkle is the pendant fixture, which has gold-leaf shades. “It helps bounce the light around,” Simon adds.
And while the designer’s lighting choices were key decisions throughout the home, she let natural light inspire the master bedroom. “We love how serene and calming it feels,” says Lindsey. The room’s hazy gray palette is complemented by the abstract landscapes Simon found through Leftbank Art. The designer also created a gallery wall of family portraits in the passage that leads to the room. “I always like to include family photos. There, it’s not showy but more personal–a memory wall.”
Outside, the couple took advantage of the view, creating multiple outdoor areas for lounging and entertaining around the pool, including a fire pit and trellised entertaining space. “It’s a family friendly neighborhood, but this house is more secluded than their previous one. They’re away from all the hubbub,” says Simon. “We still say how amazing this house is for us and our family,” adds Lindsey. “We did it right and made it perfect.”