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For The Home

Magnificently Modern

Author: Maria Matson
Issue: November, 2008, Page 194
Photography  by Dominique Vorillon

A simple desert plant palette complements the clean Modernist lines of this Arcadia-area home. Architect C.P. Drewett says the exterior color palette lightens the residence’s sculptural forms. “We also painted it in the springtime,” Drewett adds. “It’s a time of such rejuvenation, and every time I’m involved in a color palette during spring, it reflects that spirit.”
Cool vibes characterize a
kid-friendly suburban “loft”


The time was right to build their dream home, so Trinity and Brad Roberts made a list of what they wanted, gathered clippings of what they liked, and got the project rolling. Two pregnancies and two births later, it was done. Now the couple and their four young boys are living the dream in a Phoenix house described by architect C.P. Drewett as a suburban loft.

“We’ve always wanted to live in a loft,” says Brad. “We wanted the house to be Contemporary but homey. We wanted a cozy home that’s cool.”

And cool it is. Vast spaces, soaring ceilings, windows galore and stride-stopping views of Camelback Mountain steal the show at first. Then, gradually, details such as exposed-truss ceilings, water walls, a poolside water-and-fire feature, and comfortable organic interiors capture the attention. 

“Trinity and Brad are Modernists at heart,” Drewett says. “The house harnesses Mid-century Modern flavor with a good desert presence. A lot of Modernist architecture in the Valley is dark and takes itself seriously. I wanted this to be more like them—youthful, fun and free-spirited.”

Unusual in the Phoenix area, and perhaps even more so for a loft-inspired design, the house, which was built by Sonora West Development Inc., has both a main level—with kitchen, game room, master bedroom, and living and dining spaces—plus a below-grade level, or “basement,” as the homeowners call it.

A line of clay vessels maintains tight formation as it “marches” from the outside in. Porcelain tile flooring used both indoors and out seamlessly ushers visitors through the glass entry, setting the tone for the home’s indoor/outdoor sensibility.
The basement was Brad’s idea, Trinity says. “It’s funny because in the South, where we’re from, basements are a whole different world—that’s where the monsters live.” Ogre-free, cozy and cooler than upstairs in the summer, the lower level is a family favorite, with an entertainment area, guest room and bedrooms for the boys: Jake, Gage, Slade and Cruise.

Once complete, the house was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that Trinity liked it just the way it was and waited several months before enlisting the help of an interior designer.
 
“I was so happy with the architecture that I probably would have just one couch,” she jokes. “I decorated the boys’ rooms downstairs, but I knew I was in over my head upstairs.” With more than 8,000 square feet of livable space, nobody can blame her for feeling a little intimidated.

Enter interior designer Sharon Fannin, who recalls there was just a living room sofa and a table in each of the two dining areas when she first saw the house. “It was pretty much a blank canvas,” she says. “It was livable but not designed. The house is architecturally fabulous. It’s innovative, it’s edgy and it’s expansive, so my goal was to achieve a good human scale while still letting the architecture do its thing.”

Up-to-the-minute wallcoverings, interesting fabrics, textural rugs and the organic, exotic furnishings and accessories Trinity prefers lend a human touch and help soften the interior’s hard surfaces. With four active boys in residence, materials were chosen for comfort and durability.
 
“I so needed Sharon,” Trinity says. “Sharon made it more like home, and inviting. She made it more than a cool space.”


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