Looking for a space that would be elegant enough to accommodate large family gatherings yet still possess the relaxed feel they desired for daily living, a couple with three young children commissioned builder Anthony J. Salcito Jr. to bring their dream house to life in Scottsdale’s exclusive Silverleaf community. “It’s like our own little world out here,” says the husband of the resulting home—a Spanish Colonial gem with striking views of the nearby McDowell Mountains.
Along with a highly skilled team of players—including architect Dale Gardon and designers Rebecca Salcito and Renee O’Donnell—Anthony fashioned a sophisticated retreat that complements the natural beauty of the home’s surrounding area. “Dale and I have worked together for almost 20 years,” Anthony says, “and as an architect that was involved in the master planning of the home’s community, he was the logical fit for this particular project.”
A predominantly stucco structure with nearly every inch of the interiors covered in Venetian plaster, the house is graced with many well-thought-out features. “We used carved stone elements for the front porch and door surround and incorporated two distinct brick and stone towers that add variety to an otherwise dominant one-story profile,” Gardon says. Inside, Anthony added intrigue with his specialty millwork and trim details, incorporating an inset paneled ceiling and crown molding in the living room and solid Douglas fir beams to accent the vaulted 14-foot-high ceiling in the dining room. “The three-step painted-wash treatment in the living room is a special one that we had to hire a finisher to do,” Anthony says, “however, all the alder woodwork and massive beams we did in-house.”
On the furnishings side, Rebecca and O’Donnell executed the owners’ wishes for a comfortable yet sophisticated home. “The clients stressed that they wanted a house that was both beautiful and livable,” O’Donnell explains. So, the designers went with a muted palette of cream, tan and beige in a mix of linens and silks and brought in furnishings and lighting that recall classic French lines. “We were looking for pieces that had a very casual elegance to them,” Rebecca says. “We also strived to keep the materials very consistent throughout.” Playful accents and patterns are introduced in the family room’s rug and draperies, as well as in muted sage cabinetry in the kitchen and a burst of color in the children’s wing. The master bedroom offers a slightly more opulent feel with silver-leaf side tables, a crystal-beaded chandelier and sumptuous fabrics.
Throughout the home, the eye is drawn to the rear exterior. Here, the house envelops the pool area and backyard on three sides, creating privacy and intimacy, yet it is open at one end to capture the beautiful vistas.
“We paid special attention to ensure that the interior and exterior really flow,” Rebecca says. “No matter where you are in the home, you see courtyards, water features and even the outdoor fireplace.” The kitchen and family room extend onto a covered outdoor seating space and dining area, where terra-cotta floor tiles and architectural details such as carved stone columns and arched openings create a warm and gracious atmosphere. To accent the exterior spaces, landscape designer Jeff Berghoff, along with project manager Jeremy McVicars, incorporated a harmonizing blend of lush desert and horticultural plantings. “The goal was to create a landscape that would complement the surrounding native desert,” he says.
“The whole idea of this house was that we could entertain and that the kids could enjoy themselves,” the husband says. Through careful planning, thoughtful choices and a strong design team, this was a concept that was certainly achieved in a beautiful way.