Design Dreams Come True in this Paradise Valley Home


Desert Idyll in Paradise Valley

In the hands of a dream design team, a hillside house in Paradise Valley meets a couple's every need.

Cream Stone Exterior Mediterranean Style with Lantern Lights

On a hillside in Paradise Valley, architect Mark Candelaria melded European and Southwestern influences to create a bespoke home for longtime Phoenix-area residents. Custom iron lanterns from Sun Lighting and antique pots with Mediterranean plantings flank a glazed entry from Sonoran Doors.

Geometric Space Ceiling Foyer With Metal Chandelier Sitting Bench and Arched Door

The foyer, which is crowned by a wood ceiling designed by Candelaria, features a settee from Bennett Galleries and Company in Knoxville, Tennessee, and sconces from Julie Neill Designs in New Orleans. Closer to home, interior designer Donna Vallone sourced the Paul Ferrante pendant from John Brooks Incorporated and the gilded mirror from Scottsdale Marketplace.

Reclaimed Beam Coffered Ceiling Open Plan Living Room with Chandelier and Antique Chair

“The living room is warm and inviting, with carefully scaled proportions,” Vallone says. The space’s A. Rudin sofa and armchairs are upholstered with a Larsen fabric; the side chair features a chinoiserie print by Clarence House. Custom pieces include the Formations coffee table from Dean-Warren and the woven carpet from Azadi Fine Rugs.

Skylight Coffered Ceiling Kitchen with Green Stools and Seating Area

The homeowners wanted maximum natural light in the kitchen, a request Candelaria met with a skylight from Kalwall and an expansive window from Riviera Bronze in Ventura, California. The cabinetry is by Desert Cove Woodworks, with marble countertops from Arizona Tile and a zinc island top from Grayleaf Studio. The French oak floors are from The Floor Collection Design.

High Arched Ceiling Dining Room with Descending Chandelier and Grayscale Aesthetic

The homeowners wanted maximum natural light in the kitchen, a request Candelaria met with a skylight from Kalwall and an expansive window from Riviera Bronze in Ventura, California. The cabinetry is by Desert Cove Woodworks, with marble countertops from Arizona Tile and a zinc island top from Grayleaf Studio. The French oak floors are from The Floor Collection Design.

Retractable Window With Bar View Outdoor Room

A retractable Riviera Bronze window connects the bar to the loggia, which is laid with antique tiles from Exquisite Surfaces. A trio of bistro-style barstools by Beaufurn adjoins the bar, which is fitted with an Herbeau faucet from Clyde Hardware.

Outdoor Room with Reclaimed Ceiling, Mountain Views, Fireplace, and Outdoor Furniture

“The outdoor entertaining area maximizes views and is designed for casual gatherings and everyday living,” Vallone says. A custom iron fixture from Sun Lighting hangs above a suite of Sutherland furniture upholstered in Perennials fabric. The rug is from The Floor Collection Design, and the Sunbrella fabric draperies were made by Awnings by Design.

Gold Brass Chandelier Neutral Master Bedroom with Mountain View and Open Glass Doors

The master bedroom features a Hickory White bed upholstered in velvet from Arabel Fabrics in Miami. The linens are Barbacci; the draperies are made with Holly Hunt’s Great Plains fabric. A Visual Comfort & Co. lamp rests on a Niermann Weeks nightstand, and French doors by Kolbe Windows & Doors open the room to the golf course views. A Julie Neill Designs chandelier crowns the space.

Veined Marble Master Bathroom with Large Soaking Tub, Large Mirror and Off White Cabinets

The team designed his and hers bathrooms for the couple; hers, with a glamorous feel, is “one of the most wonderful feminine spaces we’ve ever done,” Vallone says. The alcove vanity is by Desert Cove Woodworks and features Waterworks marble, a Kallista faucet and an antique mirror. A Kate Spade stool stands by a Hydro Systems soaking tub with an Herbeau filler. The sheers are from Designers Guild.

“Our houses really take the shape of our clients,” architect Mark Candelaria says of the projects his firm designs. That statement couldn’t be truer for a couple whose home he recently completed in Paradise Valley. The husband and wife, longtime Valley of the Sun residents, were looking to downsize and build a new home that matched their current phase of life. They spent years looking for the right lot when they came across the perfect one, situated on a hillside overlooking a private golf course and within walking distance of the neighborhood’s clubhouse. Best of all, the site offered idyllic southerly exposures and extraordinary views of Camelback Mountain.

The couple had developed a definite idea of what they wanted for their new home. In particular, they desired a residence that met their needs as grandparents, golfers and avid cooks. “They were wonderful clients,” Candelaria says. “They jumped right into the process and made their wishes clear.” In addition to satisfying the homeowners’ requests, the architect and his colleague, Jeff Kramer, recognized the importance of the mountain view, something they strove to capture through nearly every window in the house. The couple happily followed Candelaria’s lead in pulling together the 6,000-square-foot layout. “Over the course of a few meetings, Mark formulated a floor plan using puzzle-like pieces,” the wife says. “It was fun!” 

That enthusiasm bubbled throughout the course of the project, which took two and a half years and reunited Candelaria with builder John Schultz, interior designer Donna Vallone and landscape architect Jeff Berghoff. As some of the most prominent Scottsdale firms, they had all worked with each other at one point or another, making this design plan particularly synergetic. 

The resulting house, which Candelaria describes as “indoor-outdoor contemporary—but warm and cozy,” works exactly to the couple’s needs. It is built around the kitchen, which is as comfortable for two as it is for 10. A hub of the house, the space is outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment and was designed to be a welcoming place for both cooking and casual dining. A sizeable table and island take center stage, illuminated from above by a large skylight. “It was added to bring in natural light, because the patio to the south cuts out a lot,” Candelaria notes. Connected to the kitchen via a butler’s pantry is the more formal dining room, which features a distinctive cross-vaulted ceiling. “There are six surfaces to a room, yet the ceiling is often overlooked,” the architect points out. “This room is heaven.” 

When it came to the interior design, the homeowners trusted their instincts and knew Vallone, whom they had met through mutual friends, was the right choice. “I love going outside the box, and the fact that Donna can do it so easily made us a perfect match,” the wife says. Likewise, the interior designer, who worked closely with associate Niki Saulino, relished the opportunity “to collaborate with clients who like a little eclecticism,” she says. “This house is upbeat.” Historical elements such as Canadian reclaimed-wood beams and French limestone floors mix with contemporary components like the glass wine cabinets that border the dining room, altogether creating a style Vallone considers transitional.

Playful elements, such as the chinoiserie tiger print on a living room chair and a Hunt Slonem bunny painting, add personality and inject a youthful feel for younger visitors. In a garden-themed guest room designed with the couple’s granddaughters in mind, a cheerful floral fabric melds with colorful paintings of little birds. “Everything felt serendipitous,” Vallone says. 

The serendipity continues outside, where the owners gave Berghoff—whom they have worked with before—free reign to devise a lush Mediterranean-style landscape that provided plenty of greenery while respecting the surrounding environment. “It’s a phenomenal lot,” Berghoff says. “We created a garden feel with the lawn and its rose beds, jasmine and lavender while restoring the adjacent desert to its full glory to meet the constraints of the area.” The most verdant spaces abut the house, with terraces leading to a fire pit and to hidden areas like vegetable and cutting gardens. “Jeff mixed European and Southwestern concepts, and the result is beautiful,” the wife says. An indoor potting shed offers year-round puttering, and the landscape architect, who often joined in design meetings with Vallone, played off the residence’s rustic stone exterior by sourcing olive pots from France as well as a few new pieces that lend a sense of authenticity. 

Yet perhaps the most authentic part of the project is the satisfaction the owners have living in the residence. Whether the couple are welcoming family members, cooking in their new kitchen or wrapping up a round on the fairway, they feel right at home thanks to their design team. “Mark was so creative and bursting with amazing ideas, and Jeff was one of the most methodical and brightest people we had ever met,” the wife says. “They were an architectural dream come true.” 

Maile Pingel