If ever there were a home that seemed to be part of the landscape, it’s the one interior designer Divya Debra Barter and architect Eric Brandt devised for Sherry and Randall Reed in Sedona. The low-lying modernist structure—clad with light brown and reddish sandstone and khaki-colored stucco—looks as if it were crafted from the iconic rock formations that surround it. “This house is organic,” Barter says. “It has a seamless connection to its site.”
The location proved to be the ideal vacation retreat for Barter and Brandt’s clients, a couple with three grown children and a primary residence in Dallas. “We have such fast-paced, high-stress lives,” Randall says. “We needed a sanctuary where we could truly slow down.” Frequent visits to the desert convinced the Reeds that Sedona was the perfect place to do just that. “We love nature and hiking, mountain biking and golfing,” Sherry says. “Those things attracted us to the area.” Once they settled on Sedona, the couple spent time searching for just the right lot. Property in the area is limited, Randall points out, but they were able to find a site that borders a national forest with beautiful pristine trails.
Equally inspired by Sedona’s landscape, Brandt mimicked not only its sculptural quality but also its composition in the Reeds’ home design, which features three bedrooms, five bathrooms, a guest casita and a large pool area. “Portions of the house are formed with a sandstone from northern Arizona,” Brandt says. “It’s the colors you see in the landscape, and it has moss rock features, so there’s sort of a molded appearance as opposed to the sharp edges you get from quarried stone.” Applying the sandstone was an effort that required true artistry. “It had to be very precise and look very natural at the same time,” says Rick Morris, who, with his brother, Randy Morris, managed the building process. “There needed to be uniformity but also a certain randomness.”
Brandt offset the sandstone with smooth stucco walls as well as glass ones and then punctuated the structure with a roof made of rusty corrugated steel that follows the slope of the land. “The clients liked the idea of a house that was organic, but they also wanted it to be as open and airy as possible,” he says. Stone replace columns pierce the roof to give the look and feeling of being held in place, satisfying the grounded quality the homeowners desired. Like the architect, Barter outfitted the rooms with a palette that takes its cues from the setting. “The colors are soft and come directly from the desert,” she says. “There’s gold, red, brown, beige and ivory.” The ceiling and beams are a warm taupe-colored Douglas fir, while the travertine floors are a creamy beige. In the kitchen, Barter chose cherry cabinetry and granite counters in tones that pay tribute to Sedona’s dynamic red rock buttes. The master bathroom, meanwhile, shows off a fresh combination of off-white and silvery gray. “It’s a sanctuary within a sanctuary,” Barter says. “The shower and tub areas are covered in travertine slabs. It’s as if you’re inside this big beautiful block of stone.”
Barter worked with the same palette for the furniture and fabrics and introduced more layers of rich texture. “Sherry and Randall wanted their children to feel very comfortable here,” she says. “So, I used natural fabrics like linen, cotton and silk. They’re very soft to the touch.” The interior designer countered that softness with artful pieces that display bold forms, such as the eye-catching coffee table in the living room. “It is by Mimi London, and it’s a rugged slab of walnut with acrylic legs,” she says. On top of it rests a large pale green onyx bowl—“a thing of beauty,” Barter comments—that adds intrigue.
As nature-driven as the residence is, it also cleverly incorporates technologies such as smart home keypads, motorized living room doors and LED lighting controlled through a smartphone. “Mechanically, this house uses the best digital technology for operations and is near net-zero in terms of energy effciency,” Barter says. “However, the stonework makes it look like an Anasazi ruin.”
Together, all of the home’s polarizing components amount to a design that allows the owners to appreciate the residence and the outdoors at once. Sherry enjoys relaxing in a Womb chair in a sitting area of the master suite that has three glass walls, while Randall’s favorite spot is the wide-open space on the roof deck. “There are fire pits and an outdoor movie theater,” he says. “We curl up with a blanket there under the stars.” That satisfying connection to nature is just what the design team was after in making the perfect vacation home for the Reeds. “It was important for it to be an organic site-specific design, but it doesn’t try to impose any style on top of that,” Brandt says. “The views and the serenity of this place are the main focus.”