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Spanish-Colonial Meets Moroccan in an Arizona home

Author: Susan Regan
Issue: May, 2011, Page 82
Photography by LUCA TROVATO

This Moroccan-inspired courtyard was created during an extensive remodel.

A family home undergoes a transformation that takes it from livable to living large

It all started with the flooring.
Several years after purchasing her Paradise Valley, Arizona, home, Jamie Hormel decided to replace the flagstone floors. “Once we started, it just seemed that there were more and more things to be changed or updated,” she recalls. The simple project turned into a yearlong renovation that transformed the residence into a home that suits the needs and personalities of Hormel and her family perfectly.

A team of professionals, including architect Jon Poetzl, interior designer Wendy Black Rodgers, builder Jeff Wincek and landscape architect Chad Robert, was enlisted to bring the project to fruition. In addition to replacing existing flooring with hand-scraped walnut and antiqued French limestone, rooms were enlarged, areas were repurposed, and the landscape was revamped. “In the end, almost everything in the house would be touched,” says Rodgers.

The walls of this wine lounge were painted blue—the homeowner’s favorite color—and showcase a collection of frames that interior designer Wendy Black Rodgers fitted with mirrors. The recessed ceiling was painted to resemble mosaic tilework.
One of the biggest changes involved the kitchen. Originally long and narrow, the room was expanded on two sides to create an open multifunctional space. It is zoned to accommodate family and friends, as well as professional chefs—a bonus for Hormel’s partner, acclaimed chef and restaurateur Christopher Gross. “We love the fact that now the kitchen is big enough to be the real hub of the home,” Hormel comments. Durable fabrics and materials were used here to withstand daily wear and tear. A retractable skylight and a pocketing window that opens to a covered patio emphasize the outdoors. The residence also boasts an outdoor barbecue area, a guest house and in-laws’ quarters with full kitchens, and a kitchenette in the master closet.

Rooms repurposed to make better use of space include the too-small dining room, which was turned into a colorful and whimsical Moroccan wine lounge with adjoining courtyard. In addition, the living room became a dining room spacious enough to host large family gatherings.

The expanded kitchen is zoned to accommodate casual cooking and meals prepared by professional chefs. Pairs of custom iron chandeliers hang over the island and trestle-style table, which is topped with a single slab of Labradorite granite and equipped with outlets for plugging in laptop computers. Wingback chairs are upholstered in durable outdoor velvet fabric. The retractable skylight allows fresh air to fill the room.
Rodgers incorporated repeating elements throughout to unify the remodel. For example, a quatrefoil motif is found on tile and woodwork in several rooms and inspired the shape of outdoor water features, while shades of blue appear on upholstered pieces, cabinetry and even walls.

The designer describes the finished project as “Spanish Colonial meets Moroccan,” adding that the home reflects its owner’s refinement and fun personality. “Jamie is classical and traditional but likes drama and an eclectic piece here and there.”

Hormel says she and her family love the remodeled home. “In the morning, we often gather in the media room for coffee and the news. Now, as friends flow in and out, we have so many interesting places to gather. We are even entertaining much more at home.”

“It’s a happy house,” observes Rodgers. “It’s fun, comfortable and made to be used. And, every bit of it gets lived in.”


Cabinetry: Alder cabinets feature a custom finish and glaze. The furniture-style island and a pair of wall-hung cabinets flanking the limestone range hood are a custom shade of blue with a glazed finish. Wendy Black Rodgers explains that the blue cabinetry is a “nice contrast to the dark wood.”

Countertops: The main countertops are honed Iceberg White quartz, while the island is topped in walnut.

Flooring: 12"-, 16"- and 20"-square limestone tiles cover the floors. The stone was given an antiqued finish in France.

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