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For the Mystic Hills home, Don Woods used lots of glass to showcase up-close-and-personal red rock views. Stephanie also incorporated glass in the interior in the form of a glass tile backsplash in the kitchen and bar. Glass also enters into the equation in the washroom with a colorful glass washbasin and pedestal with a chiseled and sandblasted glass edge. Small one-inch by one-inch glass and travertine tiles make up the master shower. Stephanie also likes to incorporate exotic woods. The home’s flat panel front doors are carved from alder and open with fluid Helios bronze handles. A subtle strand of copper winds its way through the doors. The floors in the great room are also alder while the entertainment center, custom built by Sedona carpenter Caleb Burke, is made from macassar ebony from Africa. The ventilation grates are made from wood for a finished look while the incredibly modern table and chairs in the breakfast area – the tall, narrow-backed chairs have gold chenille seat covers and sit low to the ground, as does the round table – are made from ebonized ash.
The home includes an extraordinary array of textures and surfaces, from the Venetian plaster in the bedroom and the limestone vessel bowls in the master bathroom to the stormy granite countertops in the kitchen and the peacock slate floors in the laundry room. Textures continue in the bedroom with a wheat-colored Pollock fringe loop duvet, dark blue accent pillows trimmed with beads, and a chiseled pickled oak and fabric woven headboard.
Other contemporary elements include three moss rock fireplaces in the main house and one in the casita – the flecks of green add wonderful pops of color to the gray background. Sleek, 18-inch tall rectangular lights crafted from oil-rubbed bronze follow the curve of the wall up the stairwell and a round microsuede and linen light hangs above the breakfast table. In lieu of drapes, Stephanie used solar shades that recess into ceiling pockets when not in use. The home is outfitted with an elevator; gym; steam room; and Smart system that allows the homeowner to control air temperature, lighting, and music from any room in the house or even by computer while they are away. In part, Stephanie credits technology with the recent trend toward modernity.
“We live in a technology-influenced age,” she says. “Everything is becoming more streamlined, even our homes.”
With the recent completion of the home, how did the owners react the first time they walked into their contemporary castle with the stunning Southwest views? “They flipped,” says Stephanie. “They are big entertainers – there is combined indoor and outdoor seating for 21 – so they loved the bar and the media room. They were like kids in a candy store. When we’re working with someone who doesn’t have a clear idea of what they are looking for it allows us to create visions the homeowner didn’t know how to create. It’s a really exciting process.”
Carol and Larry [last name withheld to protect privacy] may be two of the most decisive homeowners on earth – when it came time to building their 6,500-sq.-ft. steel, concrete, and glass ultra-modern home in the mountains of northern Arizona, the couple approached their architect and builder with a four-inch binder of ideas and details. When the house was complete in 2003, 1-1/2 years after construction began, it was fully furnished and livable in two days; Carol and Larry designed the interior of the home and completed all of their shopping well before the home was finished, storing all their treasures in three storage units.
“We’ve always designed the interior of our homes,” says Carol, a retired advertising executive. “We’re definite about what we like and our taste is consistent. From the beginning, we were clear about what we wanted.”
Larry, a retired doctor, agrees with Carol – something they do quite often (Carol admits it’s “uncanny”). “We want our homes to be about our taste and not someone else’s.”