When a once competitive cowboy decided to trade in his ropes for a set of clubs, he and his family purchased this stunning vacation residence in Scottsdale’s prestigious DC Ranch golf community. Upon making the decision to renovate the home almost five years later, they called on interior designer Holly Ogden, who had become acquainted with the family when she fashioned the interiors of their primary residence on a large farm in Oregon. With a goal to spend Thanksgiving in their newly appointed retreat, the owners gave her four months to complete the job—and Ogden was definitely up to the challenge. “They had decided it was time to give the home some love,” Ogden says.
Originally constructed by the design/build team at Calvis Wyant, the stucco and stone house—built in the style of a ranch hacienda—nearly disappears into its surrounding desert landscape. Facing east toward the McDowell Mountain range, the house is set in the glow of the intense desert sun, yet the interiors remained heavy and dated. “This is a residence that is saturated with natural light 360 days a year,” Ogden says. “So it was a shame that it was so dark. The goal was to make it brighter and more youthful, sophisticated but laid-back for a young family of four.”
Once she had the green light and a fixed deadline, Ogden assembled her team, which included general contractor Andrew Werner, and mapped out the significant phases of the job, ultimately completing the renovation on time. “We wanted it to look as though it was originally built this way, that it not look remodeled,” says Werner. “Holly has a great understanding of construction, and having a good team made a lot of difference.”
Among the substantial modifications were replacing most of the home’s original travertine stone flooring with 8-inch hickory boards, gutting the powder room, and updating the kitchen with whitewashed cabinetry and new backsplash tiles and appliances. The team also simplified much of the home’s ornately detailed ironwork, including the front door’s Mexican-style grille, which Ogden removed to admit more light and allow for a cleaner look. Dark wall surfaces, some finished with Venetian plaster, were repainted in a custom-formulated parchment color that, together with comfortable furnishings and splashes of blue, orange and green, “brought the interiors to life,” Ogden says.
Working closely with the owners, Ogden channeled both their whimsical sensibilities and taste for old-world relics. To this end, the designer added flourishes of color, as seen in artist Lisa Neimeth’s custom ceramic plates displayed in the double-height living room’s built-in bookshelves. She also accessorized the room with unique artwork and one-of-a-kind antiques that include an old grain storage vessel from Africa. An antique French work table was put into the den and X-ray photographs of flora into the master bedroom. To add warmth, Ogden chose grass-cloth wallcoverings and translucent draperies made from Mexican cloth. Antique and organic rugs complement the cheerful palette.
Along the way, Ogden accommodated specific requests, such as a desire to find a place for a large antique cabinet on wheels—in the renovated powder room—and a necessity for a playful space where the owners’ two young daughters could work on their art. The finished “art room” features an easel and a menagerie of fabricated animal heads adorning the wall.
Ultimately, Ogden’s work proved so successful that her clients say they are now using the home far more frequently. “We’re very laid- back and family-centric,” says the lady of the house, “and Holly has given us the perfect informal setting that suits us now that we’ve come off the rodeo trail.”