Thanks to its setting on an 18-hole championship golf course and the surrounding McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Silverleaf is one of Scottsdale’s most coveted neighborhoods, boasting enviable views from any vantage point. But few are more iconic than that from the lot upon which a Colorado couple built their family vacation abode.
“It’s one of only three homes on the sixth fairway with due southwest orientation,” notes general contractor Anthony Salcito Jr. “It’s really the best lot in Silverleaf.” With its stunning vistas of the golf course, valley and mountains, the property was indeed so special that the couple decided to buy it, despite the house not being to their taste. “The existing house was sitting too low on the site and aligned in the wrong direction,” Anthony recalls. “The more elevated you are, the more you capture the views, so in order to do that, the whole house needed to be realigned.” In a bold move, the couple decided to tear down the house, bringing on Anthony, his designer wife Rebecca Salcito, architect Erik Peterson and landscape architect Jeff Berghoff to construct their getaway from the ground up. “This is one of the most special lots in Silverleaf, almost as good as being on the ocean,” Peterson says. “You have to know a lot is worth it when someone purchases a home and tears it down.”
“Capturing views of the valley, desert and spectacular Scottsdale sunsets from virtually every room in the house was our top priority,” says the husband. Though the couple are technically empty nesters, their adult daughters frequently return home for visits, so they sought an expansive gathering place for the whole family to seek refuge from the cold Colorado winters. They also wanted ample space for entertaining their friends, many of whom share the couple’s passion for golf.
Peterson drew upon the current trends in Los Angeles (he has a satellite office in Beverly Hills), conceiving a modern Mediterranean-style dwelling, mixing old- and new-world materials—think a limestone exterior, Douglas-fir beams, steel windows and tile roofs. “We had to fight to be allowed to do this style in Silverleaf, which was new and unprecedented at the time, and now everyone in the community wants it,” Peterson laughs. Of course, there’s something else everyone wants—those desert views. And Peterson brought them in spades. The width and orientation of the lot enabled him to give most of the spaces—even the exercise room—key sight lines west, capturing views of both the golf course and those famous Arizona sunsets. “If you don’t like to work out then this room will change that,” he remarks.
“We wanted it to feel like a resort,” notes Rebecca. To this end, Peterson chose towering steel windows that either pocket away or slide open, enabling the walls to virtually disappear, creating a seamless transition outside. There—set off by Berghoff’s landscaping—large, covered patios with a multitude of seating areas, cabanas, fire pits and a dazzling infinity pool bring that resort feel to life. Completing the vibe is a sprawling outdoor bar made of onyx, backlit to create a dramatic focal point. “It’s the biggest bar we’ve ever put in a home,” Rebecca observes.
For the interiors, however, the designer chose a more understated look. With plenty of stone and wall treatments peppered throughout for texture (a Kyle Bunting hide wallcovering on the stairwell and a shield-like metallic kitchen backsplash, for example), Rebecca opted for crisp white walls and a neutral palette. Working with Cheryl Lucas, a designer who works for the homeowners, she created a warm relaxed vibe, echoing the desert surroundings. The soft tones also serve as the perfect backdrop to the owners’ art collection. “They love bright, colorful art and I didn’t want anything to compete with that,” Rebecca explains.
While the decision to tear down and build anew may have been a risk, the house is decidedly worthy of its prominent location. “It is pretty fabulous when a project of this scope comes together so well,” says the husband. And the neighborhood locals agree. “It’s definitely one of the favorite homes on the golf course,” Rebecca says. “All the golfers comment on it. It’s spectacular.”
In the light-filled entry of this Silverleaf home, designer Rebecca Salcito selected a hide wall treatment by Kyle Bunting to provide textural contrast to the open-glass stair rail. The custom hair-on-hide rug from Atlanta-based Moattar adds a pop of color.