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For The Home

Arcadia Cottage

Author: Terri Blicharz
Issue: November, 2012, Page 110
Photos by Art Holeman

Accented with polished-nickel hardware, the white cabinetry of the open kitchen was designed to look like something out of the 1950s. Classic Carrara marble countertops blend effortlessly with the crisp-white subway tile of the backsplash. The criss-cross motif on the chandelier is repeated on the backs of French bistro-style bar stools.

A Light-Filled Ranch Home Charms With Quiet Elegance

Although it has the look and feel of a home with a rich, storied past—and was many years in the planning—this charming cottage-style home in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood is barely a year old.

Situated on an olive tree-lined lot of just over one-half acre, the tumbled-brick residence, with its enchanting “swoop” roof gable and accompanying barn-style garage, was designed by architect Mark Candelaria and his project manager, Vivian Ayala. The house was built by the homeowner, Ben Heglie, who acted as general contractor, and the interiors were designed and furnished by Ben and his wife, Whitney, who has studied interior design.

Because the Heglies are a young couple with two small children, the dwelling had to be devised so that it can easily “bend and flex” as the household’s needs change over time. It was designed to accommodate a growing family, according to Candelaria.  “For example, the current playroom can easily be transformed into an additional bedroom when the children are older,” he states.

The home’s signature design feature is its split floor plan expressed in a winged H shape. “The last house we built was in the Spanish Colonial style, which tends to be very dark inside,” says Whitney. “We realized after living in it for a while that we actually prefer homes that are brighter.” Structuring the house in the shape of an H, with the adults’ master suite on one side and the kids’ bedrooms and play area on the other, thins the mass and creates more surface area for windows, allowing optimal natural light to enter the home, according to Candelaria.

Other distinguishing features of the residence are its size and scale. “We didn’t build an overwhelmingly large house,” the architect explains. “Compared to other homes in the area that can exceed 8,000 square feet, this one makes for a relatively small footprint at 4,500 square feet.” The rooflines were also kept low to blend with those of surrounding residences.

The end result of the meticulous attention to detail is, in Candelaria’s words, “A vessel of living that is comfortable, homey, simple, but also elegant and timeless. It will hold its beauty for a long time.”

A winding brick pathway bedecked with seasonal flowers and herbs leads to the home’s entry, while a “swoop” gable, an inviting front courtyard, and pale-blue shutters on tumbled-brick walls add to the charm of this Phoenix home. Decorative copper cupolas atop its shake roof provide a finishing touch.

Homeowners Whitney and Ben Heglie declare the cozy den, with its pitched ceiling sporting a 100-plus-year-old beam, their favorite room. The brick fireplace was painted white to help lighten the room from the heavy wood beam’s visual weight. A pair of iron tables with glass tops, purchased in an antiques shop in Paris, serves as a coffee table.
The breakfast nook is anchored by a wood farm table with matching benches and a pair of wingback chairs covered in ivory linen. Flooring here and throughout the main living areas is engineered French oak with a weathered patina.

Photos - Clock-wise from top left: The front courtyard, with its iron furniture and plumply cushioned seating, is the site of many cozy fireside evenings, the homeowners note.  Actually fashioned from concrete, the surround of the brick fireplace has the look of cantera. Flooring is composed of pavered bricks. •  The great room, which is open to the kitchen and the adjacent dining room, is done in a blue-and-white palette with camel-color accents. Taking center stage in front of a custom bookcase wall are facing sofas covered in a denim fabric the homeowners describe as “bulletproof.” French doors with overhead transoms maximize views and provide access to the front courtyard. The drapery fabric is an ikat print; the rug is sisal. • The master bedroom’s classic black wood sleigh bed is piled high with linens and pillows. An antique trunk on a custom stand, a gift from Ben Heglie’s mother, serves as a nightstand. The painting of a woman on the wall of the bathroom beyond was the first piece of art purchased from artist and family friend Bradford Brenner. • Designed to resemble a carriage house, complete with a covered porch that serves as a dining patio, this wood-clad structure is actually a three-car garage.

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