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For The Home

Western Pueblo House

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: July, 2013, Page 54
Photos by Michael Woodall

Rounded stucco walls and a roofline studded with carved corbels echo Native American and Spanish influences at this home designed by architect Lee Hutchison. Set between vertical boulders and a low wall, the metal entry gate speaks to the American Indian tradition with a feathered shield design.

Enthusiastic Collectors Call a Western Pueblo Residence Home Sweet Home

When they retired, packed up the contents of their Illinois house and headed for Arizona, the owners of this engaging residence brought with them plenty of genuine Western trappings.

Born and raised in Kansas, they had been seriously collecting Western art for decades, and the man of the house had just as assiduously been acquiring historic Old West and Native American artifacts—actually since childhood. His wife calls him a “Western historian.” Giving a reason for what clearly became his passion, he explains, “Growing up on the Kansas/Oklahoma border was an immersion in Western and Indian culture.”

Hence, the multilevel Western Pueblo-style home the two built was designed to accommodate his copious collections—including Native American arrowheads, peace pipes and more, plus historic Western items; these are housed in a dedicated artifacts room and in specialty cabinets. His antique cars—one of which was once owned by legendary cowboy actor Tom Mix—are at home in an underground man cave/garage.

The residence also suits his wife’s request for softness, comfort, a feminine touch and a feeling of warmth. Joking, she admits, “I was really concerned that it might look like an extravagant bachelor’s pad.” This “pad” is actually family-friendly, with guest quarters and amenities that are inviting to adult children and four young grandchildren.  

Designed by architect Lee Hutchison, a Phoenix Home & Garden Master of the Southwest, the home was constructed by builder Jim Manship. Water features and the landscape were conceived by landscape designer Jeff Franklin.

A “cowboy closet,” designed by Billi Springer, displays a saddle, antique spurs, boots, hats
and more.
Influences that herald the West can be seen in design motifs indoors and out, as well as in art, furnishings, ceiling treatments and accessories. Such details as bullet casing ends used as clavos on a bookcase and an entry door with a speak-easy opening help reinforce the theme.

The home’s organic nature is expressed in its undulating walls and in materials such as copper trim, vigas and timbers from northern Arizona or Utah, and Autumn Blend flagstone, also from northern Arizona, the architect points out.

Interior designer Billi Springer came to the project when the house was already built and most furnishings and finishes had been determined. She added antiques, select furnishings and accessories to emphasize the “softness” the wife desired. The architecture was inspirational, notes the designer, “with lovely, sinuous lines. The entire house looks like an elegant piece of pottery.”

Inspiration also came from the homeowners themselves. “The couple takes great joy in collecting Western paraphernalia, such as items from the old 101 Ranch in Oklahoma. It was very exciting to see that kind of spirit, their respect for the West, and the extreme authenticity of everything they found,” Springer adds.

Respect, in turn, goes to those who made the residence a reality, concludes the lady of the house, “to true craftsmen who helped us realize our vision of a warm and comfortable Southwest home.” Adds her husband: “When I walk through my house, I smile a lot.”

Under a ceiling accented with vigas, the living room welcomes golf course and mountain views. Adjacent to the fireplace is a carved cabinet featuring a cowboy motif; a TV is concealed behind its double doors.

Designed for cooking, dining, entertaining and relaxing, the kitchen and adjacent hearth room boast box-beam ceilings with pressed-tin insets. Other distinctive features are an antique tile mural on the wall behind the stove, a built-in wood cabinet with a carved Western motif on its upper doors, and a fireplace with a mantle fashioned from a wooden ox yoke.
The circular breakfast room is the perfect place for a wagon wheel ceiling designed by architect Lee Hutchison, who incorporated light wells between its spokes. An iron chandelier suspended from the wheel’s center provides additional light, while a series of tall windows captures views of the desert and the mountains beyond.

A large painting of the Grand Canyon by Huertas Aguiar makes a strong statement in the dining room. Depicting a historic Pony Express horse, the sculpture on the buffet is by D. Michael Thomas. Above the custom dining table is a chandelier of glass and metal.
Brimming with Western charm, the sitting room of the guest quarters is gussied up with an overscaled wing chair and a leather-fringed ottoman embellished with clavos. The large painting is by Robert Winter. The six portraits of Native Americans are by Andre Kohn.

A replica of a Colt 45 serves as a handle on the door to the home office.
In the master bedroom, the headboard and footboard of the custom sleigh bed are upholstered in tooled leather, which also appears as insets on the nightstands. The painting is by Huertas Aguiar.

Photos - Clock-wise from top left: With its deep oval soaking tub set under etched-glass windows, the master bath has the feminine appeal desired by the lady of the house. Cabinetry here features carved florets; accessories have a Victorian feel. The corner chair is an antique. Yellow blooms from a palo verde tree outside appear in the window. • Walls with a leather-like finish are the backdrop for this dramatic powder room. The curving carved-wood vanity features representations of buffalo; the countertop and its freeform backsplash were created from a slab of onyx. • Clad in cut stone, a curved hallway niche is the backdrop for an arrangement of Native American peace pipes. • Since the man of the house is an ardent collector of Western and American Indian memorabilia and artifacts, it was important that his Arizona home have space for his acquisitions and cabinetry for displaying them. Hence, this artifacts room, where collections of Native American arrowheads and more fill shelves, cupboards and drawers.

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