Jon Vesely is succinct about what he calls the “big picture theory” behind the design of the stunning Silverleaf home he shares with his wife, Barb, and their two young children, Joshua and Jordyn. “We wanted the house to be very family-friendly,” he says. “We spend a lot of time together, so we needed spaces inside and out that would allow us to do that easily while accommodating others as well.”
To begin, the architectural assignment went to Gary Wyant, from whose design-build firm the Veselys purchased the lot and who crafted plans for a two-level ranch hacienda. “It’s a style that’s authentic to the Southwest and fits in with the community’s design standards,” he explains. Patterned after historic ranch homes with an elongated floor plan, the house features traditional details and materials, including native DC Ranch cobblestone and exposed Douglas fir trusses and beams.
Inside, significant vistas of the Silverleaf golf course and the striking McDowell Mountains beyond vie for attention with an open-plan great room that is the heart of the home. “It’s a casual, comfortable space, a family setting that’s not too formal and is perfect for entertaining,” says interior designer Lissa Lee Hickman, whose task it was to meld the Veselys’ desire to incorporate a touch of casual California style with the inherent architecture.
Working closely with the couple, who often accompanied her on trips to design studios and showrooms throughout Arizona, Hickman complemented elements such as walnut floors and rough-sawn beams with a neutral color palette and then added layers of texture and tone via fabrics, accessories and artwork. In the great room, for instance, casual seating areas feature a combination of materials—leather, linen, silk, sisal and wood—in earth tones that reflect some of the local desert surroundings. That connection is furthered thanks to the installation of a series of retractable floor-to-ceiling pocket doors that open onto a protected outdoor living room, where family and friends often gather around a fireplace or between dips in the pool. “The walls just seem to disappear, and it becomes one big open space,” says Wyant. “Capturing the views and staying away from compartmentalized design were our major goals,” adds project manager Scott Edwards, who oversaw the build along with on-site superintendent Ed DiBona.
Another natural gathering place is the kitchen, where Hickman extended the light color scheme, further utilizing soft creamy tones, and then added contrast through a mix of materials. “I didn’t want it all to be so matchy-matchy,” she explains. “Working with different materials, like copper for the stove hood, and wood and granite for the countertops, created dimension and gave the room a real custom feel.” Counter stools ensure participation while cooking is under way, and a cozy breakfast nook enables family time during casual meals. For more formal occasions, a separate dining room is warm and inviting, with key pieces including a solid alder wood table and hutch and chairs upholstered in a linen- cotton blend. Russet draperies add a sweep of color.
After their first year in the house, minus some summer vacation time spent at a lake in Wisconsin, the Veselys are quite content with the lifestyle that their family-friendly home affords them. “We’re in the middle of a fairly large metropolitan area with a park out front, mountain ranges out back and steps from everything everybody wants to do in Scottsdale,” Jon says. “It’s the perfect home for us.”