back to top
Homepage / Interior Design  / A Pair of Aesthetes Builds the Perfect Home for Their Art Collection

A Pair of Aesthetes Builds the Perfect Home for Their Art Collection

An expansive art collection inspires a couple’s latest homebuilding adventure.

By Carly Scholl | Photography by Scott Sandler

Perched at the zenith of the Silverleaf neighborhood in North Scottsdale and surrounded by spectacular Valley views, an inviting abode is a study in place—both inside and out. From sophisticated landscaping replete with native species to subtle Southwestern architectural details, the home is a celebration of the desert and of the homeowners’ histories.

“My wife was born in Casa Grande, and I am a fourth-generation Arizonan,” explains the husband. “My mother and her eight sisters used to buy baskets from the local Native American population on their ranch in Liberty. We have been gradually collecting mostly indigenous art, including paintings, photographs, pots and baskets, for the entirety of our 58 years of marriage. We started with small and less expensive things, since that was all we could afford, and have gradually been able to broaden our reach to more significant items.”

Self-admitted serial homebuilders—“I think we’re up to eight now,” the wife remarks—the couple had a clear concept of how their next abode would serve them and their impressive collection. 

Having previously spent a few years in a different enclave in Silverleaf, the pair looked to new heights for their next dwelling. “We decided to see if we could move up the mountain and gain a view,” notes the husband. “We wanted a single-level house that had lots of wall space for our art. Plus it had to be functional and have an easy flow from area to area. Over the years, our personal styles in home layout and decor have evolved, but we always gravitate toward interiors that are relatively light, clean, not overcrowded and not overstuffed. For us, functionality is the most important element of a home.”

Architect Gary Wyant and project manager Scott Edwards, who had built the couple’s last house, helmed the new home build. “The couple’s initial vision was a place for casual living and entertaining, paired with a strong emphasis on creating the right space to display their beautiful art pieces,” says Wyant. “We made a few minor plan changes during construction but for the most part the vision stayed consistent from beginning to end.” 

More traditional Southwestern elements, such as thick wood ceiling beams, rustic carved doors and white plaster walls, serve as a subtle homage to the region but allow for more contemporary touches to add an in-the-now feel to the house.

1. Displayed in an illuminated glass-front cabinet are just a few examples of the Native American pottery collected by the homeowners over the last several decades. 2. A striking painting by Comanche artist Nocona Burgess hangs in a hallway inside the couple’s home. 3. “We spent quite a bit of time reviewing the placement of the paintings, particularly in the great room and hallways, so that we could install the proper fixtures to light each piece perfectly, while still giving the couple flexibility if they were to change their collection over time,” explains project manager Scott Edwards. 4. Built-in shelving provides the perfect placement for Native American baskets and pottery. Though the furnishings, including the low-slung sofa and acrylic side table, are modern in form, a traditional indigenous textile adds depth, warmth and history. 5. “The two large paintings in our great room are by Robert Bird Robinson and John Nieto,” says the husband. “The Robinson piece was the first significant art piece we ever bought, and the second was our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other.” The neutral shades of the space provide a clean setting for the artworks to pop, though the emotive reds and oranges in the paintings are echoed in a pair of decorative throw pillows.

“The wife was always on the lookout for some eclectic pieces she could mix in during construction, including the repurposed antique doors we were able to creatively work into the entry between the foyer and the great room,” Edwards recalls. “These pieces added an element of fun and color to the spaces, and we always love the challenge of marrying the old with the new.”

Clean-lined furnishings, airy textiles and minimalistic light fixtures help create a soft atmosphere where the couple can enjoy their art, the view and the simple joys of desert living. “The husband and wife wanted clean, timeless interiors that served as a backdrop to their incredible collection of art,” says interior designer Jamie Hedstrom. “The hard surfaces of the home are dark, rich woods contrasted with high-gloss whites. We chose understated, quiet finishes that wouldn’t compete with the gallerylike quality of the home.” 

As thoughtful and serene as the interiors are, the property’s exteriors are just as stunning. “The home’s architecture had a dramatic influence on the front and backyards,” says Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award-winning landscape architect Donna Winters. “The landscape resembles the clean and ordered look that occurs within the house.” Ironwood and olive trees are a nod to the quiet Mediterranean inspiration of the home, while stately cactus species, including cardon and Mexican fence post, provide a minimalist and low-maintenance touch. “The great joy is in blending the home with its surrounding environment. The goal is to make the exteriors feel as natural as the interiors.”

“The owners wanted clean, timeless interiors that served as a backdrop to their incredible collection of art.”

—Jamie Hedstrom, interior designer

1. Photographs by Ashley Browning bring a contemporary edge to the couple’s art collection. 2. In the master bedroom, Hedstrom kept the upholstery and textiles neutral to allow the views outside to make the biggest impact. More traditional elements, including the four-poster bed and brick hearth in the fireplace, ground the room in timelessness. 3. Mature olive trees provide a touch of Mediterranean essence to the exteriors, while cheerful golden barrel cacti soften the hardscaping.
1. Displayed in an illuminated glass-front cabinet are just a few examples of the Native American pottery collected by the homeowners over the last several decades. 2. Nearly camouflaged into the landscape, the home feels tucked away into the desert. “The challenge of the project was to make it look like we were never there,” says landscape architect Donna Winters. “We harvested natural rock from onsite so there was no difference between the property and the surrounding  undisturbed areas.” 3. “Initially the kitchen was going to be more traditional,” recalls interior designer Jamie Hedstrom. “But a few months into the process, the wife happened upon an image of a more contemporary design that really inspired her. My favorite element in the home is the marble range wall elevation. When we decided to push the design more modern, we knew the stone selection needed to make a statement.” 4. His-and-hers vanities in the bathroom flank the stunning soaking tub, which rests beneath a window with mountain views. 5. A vivid painting by contemporary Taos artist Dan Vigil adds some canine cuteness to the home. 6. A lap pool was a “must-have” for the homeowners, who can enjoy the breathtaking view from nearly any spot in the backyard.

Architect: Gary Wyant, Calvis Wyant, Scottsdale, Project manager: Scott Edwards, Interior designer: Jamie Hedstrom, Wiseman and Gale Interiors LLC, Scottsdale, Landscape architect: Donna Winters, Enchanted Garden Landscape, Phoenix,

Striped chairs (fabric by and sofa:

Bar stools:


Sign up for the Phoenix Home & Garden Newsletter

Stay up to date with everything Phoenix Home & Garden!

Our newsletter subscribers will have early access to things like:

  • Upcoming Events & Pre-Sales
  • Special Promotions
  • Exclusive Giveaways!