On a visit to Arizona about a decade ago, interior designer Holly Freres and her mother, Jane Freres, drove up to the Silverleaf Club for lunch. “It took my breath away, it was just so beautiful,” Jane says, recalling the European look of reclaimed doors and windows alongside lush potted plants. “I said, ‘Someday I’m going to be a member here.’ ”
It might have seemed like a one-off remark at the time, but Jane eventually made good on her statement. True to her word, she tracked down the clubhouse architect, Don Ziebell, enlisting him along with general contractor Anthony Salcito Jr. to work with Holly and her lead designer, Zelda Boatright, in creating a Silverleaf residence of her own.
When Jane and her husband, Rob, told Holly they wanted this vacation abode to feel like a destination different from their modern home in Oregon’s wine country, Holly knew exactly what they meant—and not only because she designed that residence, too. Jane is a retired interior designer herself, so she has a well-developed style with which Holly is very familiar. “She tends to gravitate toward things that are a little bit more on the glamorous side,” Holly says. To create a space distinct from their Northwest abode, the designer opted for a more organic look to fit with the desert surrounds. She describes the result as “natural, layered, neutral and quiet but classic.”
As evidenced by those reclaimed windows and doors that first caught Jane’s attention, Ziebell makes an effort to incorporate antique components into his designs. “I grew up in the D.C. area and always lived in homes that were from the 1700s and 1800s,” he says. “I’ve got a strong sense of history and a passion for using materials that last over time.” For the Freres abode, he turned to his own company, Antiquities, which ships in architectural materials from France. Ziebell and Holly sourced several French limestone fireplaces, a stone sink and reclaimed beams as well as outdoor stone elements installed by landscape designer Jeff Berghoff. The combination—along with the green and white flora Berghoff planted—lends authenticity to a style Ziebell calls “rural Mediterranean.”
“It was all about the charm,” Salcito says in regards to the material choices and thoughtful details. Those selections, such as the foundational pick of limestone flooring, set the tone for the interiors. “It’s such a classic European stone that it was easy to build off of,” Holly says. In the great room, for instance, the designer complemented it with high-back linen armchairs and antique French doors, creating a traditional sensibility. The primary bedroom echoes that feel with its elegantly curved upholstered bed frame and scalloped drum pendant.
Since the kitchen is visible from many angles, Holly ensured it was not only functional for entertaining (including family get-togethers with a host of grandchildren) but also beautiful. Rift-sawn white oak cabinetry showcases burnished brass hardware, and cooktop dials are integrated directly into the island’s quartzite countertop for a sleek look. “These are fun, modern details introduced into an otherwise European-style design,” Salcito notes. “It’s very sophisticated.”
Lighting was another area where Holly nudged her parents to go a little more contemporary. In the entry, she chose a pair of long sconces made of bronze, etched glass and horsehair. The primary bath’s sconces hang from looped leather cords strung with jade stones reminiscent of a necklace—a nod to Jane’s new jewelry business. Elsewhere the designer selected cleaner variations of traditional forms, such as the loggia’s lanterns.
“I call it my happy place,” Jane says of their desert destination. She and Rob enjoy watching sunsets from the loggia off their bedroom, and when the clay-tile roof glows in the evening light, it almost feels like the Tuscan countryside.