“To say that the clients had a vision for this project would be an understatement,” interior designer Caroline DeCesare says of the Bali-inspired home conceived and built by Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes in Scottsdale. “The owners came loaded with concept portfolios filled with images that they’d compiled to make this house unique and amazing.” Those ideas became the basis for a contemporary-desert style—influenced by modern resorts in Indonesia—with indoor-outdoor living spaces suitable for entertaining and a lush tropical feel both inside and out. And, on this acre-plus lot in an established, family-oriented, front-porch kind of neighborhood, it also had to be “kid-friendly, inviting and fun for friends of the couple’s grade-school son.” says residential designer Gary Wyant.
The team at Calvis Wyant spent about eight months going through the images and honing ideas with the clients before breaking ground. “They’re very artistic,” says builder Tony Calvis. “Their fingerprints are all over the design work.” What they really wanted from the architecture, says Wyant, was an airy floor plan “with plenty of glass that opened up to the outdoor spaces.” In the great room, for example, pocket doors slide back into the wall, and the space unfolds onto the patio and pool area, ideal for entertaining. To reduce sun exposure to the house from the east and west (the rear faces east), 4-foot-wide metal overhangs provide shade as well as transitional space for seating areas.
Architecturally, the design is a measured balance of solid and void: The weight of the rectangular structure is offset by the pool, and the patio hardscape is broken up by small reflecting ponds right off the great room and adjacent to the master bedroom. It’s a design element that’s particularly impressive because, as project manager Scott Edwards points out, “The tolerance of space is very tight. It was not easy to pull off.” But they did, and the reflecting ponds bring in a tropical feel that can be admired from several vantage points. Plus, says Edwards, “Their son likes to play in them.”
For the interiors, DeCesare focused on clean lines and natural materials, taking care not to make the house too museum-like. “The limestone floors, the dark-stained wood and the kitchen’s Calacatta marble range hood surround all keep the connection with nature and prevent the house from feeling too cold,” she says. “We also wanted to capture the essence of this fun-loving family, so we threw in funky lighting and pops of color and texture.” Think tropical shades, such as brown-gray nubby seating on a rich cocoa rug; warm sandy-toned stone flooring; and lime green ottomans and dining chairs, of which DeCesare says, “It’s an easy switch to change those small pieces to the color du jour,” if the client wants to update the palette in a few years. In addition, the movement of the patterns found on the natural materials—the organic flow of the marble and the wavy lines in the flooring—soften the hard linear elements.
In the master bedroom, which DeCesare describes as the owners’ “personal retreat,” sheer beige draperies with subtle monochromatic stripes allow privacy when closed around the room’s glass corner. Especially serene is the master bathroom, where a rectangular tub is the focal point, and just beyond it, outside the large window, is a screen of green timber bamboo that will grow to become a 30-foot-tall solid hedge.
Now, with a modern dream house that maintains a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, the residents can entertain friends and family in a number of different ways, from the bar area that opens onto the front of the house to the backyard’s fire pit, grill and bocce ball court. Says DeCesare: “It’s a virtual resort.”