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For The Home

Timeless Residence

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: January, 2012, Page 76
Photos by Karen Shell

With its Moorish-inspired tiled fountain, the entry courtyard is emblematic of Spanish Hacienda-style design. Colorful flowers are in contrast with the fountain’s green and yellow tiles and its golden bubbler jar. A fire pit in the background invites conversation.


An Arizona Residence Takes Its Cues From Old-Time Haciendas of Southern Spain


With its smooth white stucco exterior and plentiful ornamental iron accents, this distinctive home is much like one might have encountered in long-ago Andalusia, in the south of Spain, notes architectural designer Clay Scrivner.

Scrivner says the Paradise Valley residence is Spanish Hacienda in style and has the recognizable appearance of a dwelling that reaches as far back as the 13th century. Moorish-influenced, “The home’s courtyards, ironwork and fountains are definitely inspirations from my visits to Andalusia,” he remarks.

Like Scrivner, the homeowner, too, was charmed by what she had observed in her travels to the region—so much so that she and her husband decided to build a hacienda of their own. “I had accumulated three binders of details on the Spanish architecture, interiors, furniture and landscape,” she recalls.

She, along with Scrivner, builder Dan Madison, interior designers Kim Barnum and Teresa Nelson, and landscape designer Mike Karmo put their creative heads together to deliver the best details of Hacienda style, including arches, nichos and tilework inside and out, and copious outdoor spaces.

Posed as if at prayer in a tiled nicho, a stone angel overlooks a bed of flowers.
It is the courtyard that expresses the essence of hacienda living, whether in Old Spain or in current-day Arizona, Scrivner indicates. “A well-thought-out design permits outdoor living year-round,” he says. The aura of Spain is immediately evident in the entry courtyard, where the trickling water of a star-shaped fountain has a calming effect. With tilework designed by Scrivner, the water feature has Moorish-Spanish origins.

In fact, Nelson notes, “Every room opens to a courtyard.” The effect is that “there is no place you can go that is a dead end,” she says. Within this open, expansive atmosphere—marked often by dramatic Spanish-inspired beams—Nelson and Barnum filled rooms with select new furnishings and a container-load of antiques the client had obtained in Europe. “I had been on a trip to Provence five years ago to buy for another house I did not build,” the homeowner explains. In this house, every piece was used.

The marriage of multiple courtyards and patios to indoor spaces is as she envisioned when planning the residence. “I chose this style of home to meld with the Arizona landscape,” she says. “I wanted a true Andalusian.” And that is exactly what she got.

This two-way fireplace warms those on both sides of the entry courtyard wall.

A carved-stone birdhouse has the look of a granary in northern Spain, which typically bears a cross, says designer Clay Scrivner.
Under a stone surround, these gates were based on examples of old iron entrances Clay Scrivner saw during trips to Spain. Beyond, curlicued ironwork adds a pretty overlay to glass insets in arched front doors.


A gleaming wood table, and wood-framed chairs covered in a hand-embroidered fabric create a sophisticated ambience in the dining room. The wood chandelier has a silver-leaf finish. French doors open to a courtyard patio.
Ceiling beams and corbels in the great room lend Spanish flavor, while an antique stone fireplace adds European flair. Furnishings—a mix of new and antique—reflect understated elegance and a sense of timelessness, like the home itself, say the interior designers. The homeowner applauds the team’s skill at incorporating pieces she already had and for re-covering most of the seating. “The fabrics they chose were perfect.” Doors on both sides open to portales.


The homeowner, a gourmet cook, wanted a kitchen “that works” and that invites with Old World ambience. Elements such as its beamed ceiling, deep-set window, wrought-iron chandelier, upper cabinets with glass doors, and backsplash of hand-painted Mexican clay tile deliver the look and feel she desired. The large marble-topped island is a well-used “workplace,” she says, and a setting for casual dining. Like the rest of the house, the kitchen is “brand-new but looks old—it makes you feel good,” notes builder Dan Madison.
The lacy ornamental ironwork found on a gate and lanterns lends this intimate bistro-style patio Spanish appeal.


An outsize carved representation of St. Francis of Assisi graces the powder room door; other religious art hangs on upholstered walls and sits on the sink’s countertop. The sink and counter were made from an old corner horse trough. Under the ornate mirror, the wainscoting is composed of hand-glazed clay tiles.
A stained-glass door with a whimsical depiction of a pig gives the butler’s pantry the air of a French charcuterie.

Clockwise from top left: Wood paneling and beams add warmth to the office/library, where a wildlife theme is seen on fireplace tiles, cushions and collectibles. •  Situated off the great room, this dining patio is furnished with beauty and the weather in mind. Chairs wear slipcovers made of a weather-resistant fabric. The interior designers found the table, made from old floor boards, in France. • Arched doors open to a covered portal and frame a view of the pool and mountain beyond. • The homeowner says that the Arizona Inn in Tucson provided inspiration for the design of this guest house and its portal.

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