Brad Leavitt has built his fair share of classic stucco homes, so the prospect of working on a craftsman-style residence in Scottsdale was a welcome change. “It enabled us to utilize materials that are used less often in Arizona, like lapped and batten siding and roofing materials other than Spanish tile,” says Leavitt, noting that the neighborhood was not subject to the Mediterranean design guidelines prevalent in nearby communities.
It was that opportunity to step out of the old-world box and fashion something with a fresh, coastal feel that also attracted the homeowners, a young couple seeking a departure from the monotony of their previous Tucson home. “We came from a community where all the houses were stucco and tan, and you couldn’t have grass in the front yard,” says the wife. “Here there are tree-lined streets, a variety of houses and a very different feel.
“Finding a local architect schooled in the basic tenets of craftsman design, however, was not easy. “We lived in the Scottsdale area and many of the architects had never done siding,” says the wife.
Enter residential designer Cory Black, who specializes in craftsman-style bungalows and brought with him an understanding of exposed rafter tails, corbels, open eaves and other architecturally appropriate details. “Gable rooflines are crucial to support this style of architecture. The grid pattern in the windows is very specific to the look, and a large front porch is essential,” says Black, who complemented the crisp siding with colonial fieldstone in a light mortar wash befitting the authentic gray and white color scheme.
Inside, at the homeowners’ request, the open floor plan is noticeably devoid of a living room. “Our last house had a living/dining area combo, and other than holiday time, we walked right past them,” says the wife. Instead, a great room that brings everyone together–incorporating the dining room, breakfast nook, living area and kitchen–better suits their family-oriented lifestyle. “I don’t want adults in one room and kids in another,” she adds. “With the nook nearby at holiday gatherings, we can ft everybody in one room.” She also requested age-appropriate play and hangout areas for her five girls, who range in age from 11 months to 15 years. A custom indoor playhouse answers the call for the younger members, while the older girls use the nearby dance studio.
When interior designer Dawn Terry arrived on the scene, the layout was set, but the materials that would connect the interiors to the prevailing architecture were yet to be determined. “We knew we wanted a hefty wood trim budget if we were going to make everything inside an extension of what was happening outside,” says Terry, who took one look at the soaring entry and knew the staircase wall needed full-height wood panels. “Anytime you have a house with such tall ceilings, wood trim is the most dynamic and cost-effective way to anchor a space.
“The dramatic millwork continues in the great room, where deep coffers and rectangular panels above the painted brick fireplace mitigate the tall ceiling. “Ceilings that high also mandate substantially sized furnishings so they don’t look miniature,” says the designer, who paired two distinct sofas in shades of gray and beige with leather armchairs and a round woven rattan coffee table. “I prefer the seating possibilities of two big sofas over a sectional,” she adds. The subtle palette carries over to the dining area, where a wood farmhouse table standsÂ up to the rigors of active family life and the overflow nook with a built-in banquette is distinguished by pale green leaf-patterned wallpaper.
In the adjacent kitchen, reclaimed-wood beams, recessed cabinets and carved elements on the island establish a warm, intimate feel, and the millwork is once again the star. “The interior trim and millwork all come together to make this a beautifully detailed home,” says Leavitt. “We carefully vetted the craftsmen involved and these details really carry the feel and intent of the home.
“When it came to secondary spaces, like the music room and master suite, Terry zoned in on the owner’s feminine personal style with the introduction of blush tones. (“I’m a girly girl,” the wife admits.) The site of piano recitals features whisper-pink hues on the throw pillows that rest on the linen-covered armchairs and the rug. In the master bedroom, the rosy loveseat that nestles at the end of the upholstered bed kicked everything of. “I added dark nightstands and metal-framed chairs to balance things out,” says Terry, noting that the flowery wallpaper in the powder room down the hall further punctuates the feminine leanings.
As for the husband’s place amidst all the frilly undertones, his wife says, “With five girls, he’s learned to deal with it, but he loves to cook so he got to select all the appliances–and there was no question he got to pick the TV.”