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For The Home

Architectural Integrity

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: January, 2007, Page 20
With the look of an old homestead cottage, the guest house is one of three structures being built at the Phoenix Home & Garden Idea House.  
Raised in Texas, architect Daniel Eastburn recalls taking one look at the future site of the Phoenix Home & Garden Idea House in Prescott and feeling right at home. “I thought the views were awesome. It reminded me of Texas, with the juniper trees, a rolling landscape, and that cowboy thing going on at Talking Rock.”

That easy-going “cowboy thing,” as Eastburn describes it, sums up this residential community’s casual, ranchlike environment. Talking Rock is the bucolic backdrop against which Eastburn, principal of Design Barbarians Architects, conceived the three separate living quarters of our Idea House.

Now well under construction are a primary residence with an outdoor cowboy-style kitchen, a guest house, and a barnlike garage with an upstairs bunkhouse. Noting his Texas roots, Eastburn says, “Most ranches I’ve been to have a main house, a bunkhouse, and a cook house—which was an outdoor cowboy kitchen back in older days.”

“Older days,” in fact, are what inspired Phoenix Home & Garden to head for the high country and construct a home with a hand-hewn, built-over-time quality—one that abounds in such natural materials as stone, metal and wood. The setting will be a showcase of the best of old-time craftsmanship and also the best of what is new.

Eastburn’s design comes with a history, albeit a made-up one. In this Movieland-style yarn, “our” great-grandparents settled on a high-country parcel in the late 1890s and built a small ranch-house homestead—the log and fieldstone guest cottage of today. A barn for horses with bunks for hired hands up above was the next addition. The larger main home was erected in 1920, at the height of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. The hallmark of the period was a rebirth of the fine craftsmanship of former times.

Our made-up tale coincides with current-day reality as America experiences a resurgence of interest in Arts & Crafts style. When the main house is completed, it will reflect an Arts & Crafts feel both inside and out, and have wonderful interiors that meld Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Lodge and other relevant historic styles. And, as they pay homage to history, the other structures, too, will be brimming with modern-day niceties. “Each of the three buildings is an idea house in itself,” Eastburn points out. “And each takes on a character of its own.”

We agree, and come next spring look forward to welcoming visitors to our completed vision. Hollywood never had it so good.
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