Arizona Architects Share Their Phoenix Hit List


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Cavin and Claire Costello

Architects and Founders, The Ranch Mine

There was a time during the housing bubble when few would have leapt at the opportunity to pursue a dream career in construction and architecture, but Cavin and Claire Costello took a risk that paid off when they launched their Phoenix architecture firm in 2010. Named for their admiration of the past ranchers and miners who paved the way for modern Arizonians, The Ranch Mine has since become known for its renovations and construction of new residences that capitalize indoor-outdoor living. Cavin, a registered architect, handles the design, documentation and site visits of the firm’s projects, while Claire juggles the business aspect and interior and landscape specifications. As their underlying approach, the couple aim to connect each design with its surrounds and rely on area experts. “Because our architecture is less about style and more about crafting a space specific to the homeowner and the neighborhood, we have to be very flexible and use a large variety of vendors in the valley,” Cavin says. The duo recently sat down with Luxe to divulge their list of what’s inspiring them in their hometown paradise of Phoenix.

9 a.m. Start the morning at Luci’s at the Orchard. Enjoy an egg sandwich with coffee and a juice–a must.

10 a.m. Go for a walk on the Murphy Bridle Path, a 2.5-mile tree-lined path bordering Central Avenue. Along the way, bask in the beauty of the old estates lining the street.

11 a.m. Frank Lloyd Wright has a number of buildings in Arizona, one of which is the First Christian Church. Go here to view the impressive architecture, which includes local stone; stained glass from France, Belgium and Italy; and a red square tile with Wright’s signature noting the building is true to his original design.

12 p.m. Head to Windsor for a porkwich, and then pop into Churn next door for an ice cream cookie sandwich. The locations make it easy to appease both sweet and savory cravings.

1 p.m. Shop the home accessories and gifts at For the People, which offers a mix of fun and modern local and international items.

One of our favorite lines there is Finell, with its gorgeous handbags and serveware.

2 p.m. After all that eye candy, stop at Changing Hands Bookstore to feed the brain. There are so many used books to explore, and the space is anchored by old chandeliers and fireplaces.

3 p.m. The Melrose District is the best place to look for antique furniture. Say hello to owner Ryan Durkin at Modern Manor and ask about the latest additions to the store; then, stop by Red Modern Furniture for one last shopping trip before dinner.

6 p.m. Grab a table at St. Francis, where the setting is raw and intimate; the play of materials creates a unique feel. You’ll have a hard time choosing an entree, but don’t worry–you can’t go wrong.

8 p.m. Wrap up the day in the corner booth at Central Wine. Treat yourself to a three-offering flight, and be sure to leave with a bottle of your favorite.