An Arizona Abode’s Update Is In Sync With Its Setting


transitional exterior pool and sitting...

Years after completing a couple's hacienda-inspired Scottsdale abode, designer Danielle Wallinger returns to update the look with new pieces and a lighter palette.

transitional entry neutral palette

An antique door from Spain was retrofitted for the entryway, where a Cantera-stone inset was created from Grand Canyon onyx. A bronze Frederic Remington sculpture rests on a hand-carved console from Mexico.

transitional living room neutral palette

To establish distinct seating areas in the living room, Wallinger arranged a pair of S. R. Drost Custom Furniture sofas back to back. The two modular arrow tables, which were manufactured by Bjorling & Grant, are her own design. Pillows made with Romo and Kravet fabrics from Town add extra texture and pattern.

transitional neutral kitchen brown cabientry

The timeless design of the existing kitchen, with its hand-chiseled alder cabinets and backsplash tiles painted by a local artist, remained intact. The hand-carved stone sink from South America was originally a watering trough. "We added a 3-inch granite divider and drains to accommodate modern needs," Wallinger notes.

transitional living room brown accents...

The guest casita living room features a curved- back sofa by S. R. Drost Custom Furniture upholstered in Kravet stripe and Great Plains linen velvet from John Brooks Incorporated. The leather-and-iron CB2 side chair and the woven felted wool Surya rug contribute to the overall effect.

transitional neutral office brown accents...

Originally a patio, an outdoor space was enclosed with generous windows to create an office for the wife. "The color palette was inspired by the surrounding desert," notes Wallinger, who modified the frames of the existing chairs and updated them with Pollack fabric from Egg & Dart in Denver. The fabric on the pillows is by Kravet.

transitional exterior

No changes were made to the exterior of the house, where the cobblestone driveway has an inlaid terra-cotta border. The stucco-and-stone structure is composed of native materials, and all the metalwork, including the upper-level railing, was fashioned from reclaimed metal sourced globally.

transitional outdoor sitting area gray...

The outdoor entertaining space, which looks out to the McDowell Mountains, is furnished with an assemblage of teak pieces from Century Furniture, which Wallinger cushioned with both solid and striped fabrics. The coffee table is from the homeowners’ collection, and the fireplace is composed of carved Cantera stone with a slate mosaic inset. table is from the homeowners’ collection, and the fireplace is composed of carved Cantera stone with a slate mosaic inset.

transitional neutral bedroom gray bed

For the dramatic master bedroom, Venetian plaster walls by Legendary Fine Finishes complement walls made of flashed adobe bricks. "They're pretty unique and not seen very often," notes Wallinger. A Regina Andrew Design bedside lamp rests on a nightstand next to a bed with linens from The Linen Tree. A finishing touch comes in the form of a two-tiered iron-and-crystal droplet chandelier by Currey & Company.

Nearly 20 years into the new century, myriad design trends have already come and gone: sleigh beds and armoires, and a preponderance of brown–spurred by an embrace of Tuscan style–as well as layers of pillows and throws in deep russets and emeralds. “The style used to be way more opulent with layers of rich colors,” recalls designer Danielle Wallinger, who in 2005 filled a Scottsdale, Arizona, residence–the second home of an Oklahoma couple–with brown leather sofas and an array of jewel-toned accessories.

More than a decade later, the homeowners of the DC Ranch domicile were ready for a change. “Everything looked old and dark,” says the wife, who worked with Wallinger on the home’s first go around. “The original finishes still looked good, but we wanted a lighter, brighter ambience.” In fact, it was the Venetian plaster, onyx and other rich materials that first engaged the couple who spied the house while driving around on a rainy day looking for architectural styles they liked. “The curb appeal was fantastic, and the inside was even better,” says the wife. “It had more custom features than we would have had if we built on our own. We weren’t planning to buy but we decided we had to have it.”

The owners turned to Wallinger early on, asking her to start by weighing in on the original interior architecture. Working with general contractor Rick Padilla of Padilla Signature Builder, the designer had a hand in the reclaimed Amish barnwood beams and the metal railings fashioned from antique pieces. “The materials in the floor are laid out to mirror the ceiling beams, and we used reclaimed artifacts like the pillars in the living room to impart an authenticity not commonly found in new construction,” Wallinger boasts. “It feels like it has been there for hundreds of years.”

The old-world elegance also provided the perfect backdrop for shifting design motifs. With the brown phase in the rearview mirror, the current iteration takes a lively turn with warm-toned neutrals more in sync with the surroundings. “The windows are so large, the landscape becomes part of the space, so the interiors needed to be a harmonious continuation,” says Wallinger, who repurposed many of the existing pieces. In the living room, for example, back-to-back sofas once topped with brown leather and wide wale corduroy gave way to lighter more refined charcoal-gray leather and plush velvet pillows.

Flanking the oversize couches are new wood cabinets with woven grass-cloth insets and adequate scale to stand up to 18-foot ceilings. On one side of the room, a co ee table crafted from a slab of acacia and distinguished by mitered corners and waterfall legs serves as a streamlined counterpart to the reupholstered tufted ottomans. On the other, Wallinger designed four arrow-shaped tables in varying wood shades that can be combined to form an array of patterns. “They are based on a timeless Navajo design,” she says.

Dominated by stone walls, the dining room also mandated statement pieces like the existing tabletop that responds to the layout of the ceiling beams. To update the space, the exposed backs of the six side chairs were wrapped with upholstery in a neutral snakeskin pattern. There and elsewhere, texture is a key layer with furniture and fabrics selected to stand up to the highly textured walls and doors.

In the master bedroom, for example, the original headboard was recovered in a warm gray fabric that emulates silk to provide a strong counterpoint to the ashed adobe wall. Wallinger also introduced a plush area rug to further soften the coarse adobe. Mercury-glass lamps atop the refinished side tables add bling, and the sparkle continues with a pair of new chandeliers composed of delicate crystal droplets. “They add just the right amount of romance to the otherwise masculine space,” she says.

Appreciative of her repeat opportunity, Wallinger says, “It’s wonderful for a designer to still have an intimate relationship with the owners of a home you helped build from the ground up. To be part of a home’s progression as it ages and changes is really something special.”