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For The Home

Continental Divide

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: February, 2005, Page 141
Photos by Christiaan Blok

From its rustic beamed ceiling to its hickory flooring and needlepoint rug, the master bedroom of this Paradise Valley home entices with European country inn appeal. Chairs in the conversation grouping are upholstered in a combination of leather and cloth.

Old World charm meets American savvy in a gracious Valley home

A surprise to eyes more used to brown mountains and cactus, this lush, green estate lies behind a high metal gate and down a long cobbled drive.
 It is a touch of continental charm in the heart of Paradise Valley, and might just as easily be set in a forest of England or a village in France. A couple and their two young sons call this enchanting place home.
 Situated on nearly 3 acres, the stone-clad residence has the look of having been cared for over many centuries. But its genesis is rooted in 20th-century Americana. “This home actually was a typical older Ranch house,” the wife says. “It had been expanded two times, and the rooms were very chopped up. We had lived here eight years when we decided to remodel.”
What was intended to be a small renovation project outgrew its original goal, and “the house was almost completely rebuilt,” she reports. Bringing the couple’s desire for a European-style country house to reality were architect Mark Tate, builder Dan Madison, landscape designer Jeff Berghoff, and the Wiseman & Gale Interiors team of Sue Calvin and Holly Ogden.
“The house really reflects the taste of the homeowners,” says Tate. “They wanted a sort of rustic country farmhouse, and they both wanted it to be calm, quiet and comfortable—the kind of place for kids and big dogs.”
This luxurious tiled master bath steam shower
is built for two.
The homeowners say the design team captured that vision perfectly, creating a residence that reflects their laid-back lifestyle. “My husband doesn’t get out of blue jeans,” the lady of the house laughingly says. “But while we’re casual people,” she notes, “I do like elegance. So, you could have a cookout at our house, but also a wedding.”
Entertaining and everyday living take place in main spaces that appear as if they had been added on by multiple generations. Mortar-washing the stone on some interior walls added to this timeless quality, says builder Madison, crediting Calvin with the idea. Beamed ceilings, including trestle beams, also speak of olden times. Most of the beams were made to look old, the builder says. “We had them re-sawn and hand-hewn and distressed.” The impressive-looking high ceilings actually came into being after much of the renovation had been completed, he states. In this project’s fluid process, he notes, “As we started remodeling, we saw opportunities to make things better.”
Such also was the case in their consideration of the interiors, say designers Calvin and Ogden. The two kept the personalities and needs of the couple and their children firmly in mind as they fashioned a sophisticated yet entirely livable design scheme. “They didn’t want a McMansion. They use their house,” says Ogden. “Kids play. Dogs run around.”
The result of the designers’ efforts are rooms characterized by homeyness and warmth. Furnishings are a mix of antiques and custom pieces, and are European or Europe-inspired. Artwork, which is plentiful, often is boldly abstract in theme, and in interesting contrast with more traditional trappings.
Calvin notes that contemporary art “cuts the heaviness” of a traditional design scheme and also is in tune with the young ages of the homeowners. Such a work, in red and black, by artist Ryan Hale, dominates a wall of the dining room. The Persian carpet here is red, and a lion pattern on the backs of custom reproduction George III dining room chairs also is red. 
The homeowner’s penchant for horseback riding influenced the home’s color scheme, which includes reds and greens common to hunt clubs, and touches of mustard and black. “These are  colors that I feel comfortable with and don’t tire of,” she says.
The center island of the large walk-in closet  is fitted with drawers. Flooring is of jade-green quartzite.
Her love of riding is evident in a room-size walk-in closet in the revamped master suite. Here, a leather saddle and riding boots take on the look of decorative pieces, and clothing worn in horse shows vies for attention with dressy togs. The wardrobe is kept tucked neatly behind doors. She jokes of this mega-closet: “When you live with all boys, you need a room of your own.”
The storage space is but one detail in a make-over that is abundant with fine details. In the cozy master bedroom, for example, a white Carrara marble fireplace—a new addition—“looks like it has been here since the 1600s,” Calvin says. Nearby, the large and luxurious bath contains his-and-hers marble-topped vanities (hers in white, his in green). A roomy two-way glass-enclosed steam shower has a tiled bench and dual controls.
Yet, it is not only the adults who have been pampered in this renovation. In the children’s wing of the house, with its neat-looking bedrooms and baths, a separate recreation room stands ready for the teen-age years. “It will be great for when they have friends over,” their mom predicts.
The children’s growing-up years also figured in how exterior spaces would be designed, says Berghoff, whose firm did the master plan for the property’s parklike landscape. The boys’ dad, he remembers, kept increasing the size of the backyard lawn area so that there would be enough room to play football with the youngsters and run with the dogs. He also requested that a lengthy path be incorporated into the landscape. “He wanted the boys to be able to use scooters or skateboards on the property,” says Berghoff.
Behind metal gates and down a cobbled drive, on a broad swath of green lawn, and not far from cactus and brown mountains, is a true family home.

The Bather, an abstract painting by artist Sherri Belassen, adds a contemporary note to the traditional flavor of the master bath, which includes a green marble tub surround. Interior designers Sue Calvin and Holly Ogden incorporated several of the homeowners’ cherished pieces, such as the leather wing chair shown here, into the residence’s design scheme. The rug is needlepoint.

A black marble fireplace, designed by Sue Calvin and Holly Ogden, is an elegant focal point on one end of the living room. It is flanked by colorful wing chairs and a pair of English-style chests.
A leather shelter sofa completes the cozy
seating arrangement. At the other end of the room is a grand piano, over which hangs a painting by Sarkis Mangasaryan.

Photos - Clock-wise from top left: Diagonally tiled wainscoting and brick flooring lend charm in the guest bath.  • Tile wainscoting and flooring meet in the pool bath, where framed soldier prints stand guard. • A large abstract painting by Ryan Hale is in interesting juxtaposition with the more traditional furnishings of the dining room. The designers imbued the rich-in-reds setting with an English royal theme, using the symbolic lion on the backs of the chairs. The long custom dining table has a metal stretcher base. The carpet is Persian. • A farmhouse-style bed in the guest room is dressed in cream-color  linens. A grouping of botanicals hangs nearby.
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