Inside an Interior Designer’s Stunning Bali-Inspired Lakeside Retreat
Wendy Black Rodgers’ Scottsdale home embodies the carefree culture of Bali and the natural beauty of its lakeside surroundings.
By Carly Scholl | Photography by Austin Larue Baker
Picture this: the reflection of mango-colored clouds on serene water as the sun rises, the sound of waves lapping at the shore, the smell of freshly roasted coffee on a balmy morning breeze. It isn’t a scene from some far-flung tropical resort but rather a regular morning for Wendy Black Rodgers at her McCormick Ranch home.
“When we moved in, we had just returned from a trip to Bali,” recalls Rodgers, interior designer and Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award winner. “I had fallen in love with the tropical, casual feel evoked by the mountains, the ocean, the views and the kind, thoughtful people we met. I knew this breezy, natural style would be perfect for our new house on the lake—our ‘Casa de Lago’.”
Initially a spec home with plenty of 1970s-era flourishes—including multiple sunken living areas—this property wasn’t originally intended as the new Rodgers residence, until one day when the designer realized the lake, mountain and golf course views just couldn’t be beat. “The lot was also much smaller, and we knew it would be easier to maintain than our previous home,” she says. “The downside was that the property had deferred maintenance and needed lots of work.”
With the help of her husband and his architecture degree, the couple took the house down to the slab and began building a Bali-inspired abode that maximized its stunning natural surroundings. “We had a clean slate, so we thought about how to make this home comfortable and the embodiment of easy living,” Rodgers says. “We selected the most durable and low-maintenance surfaces, and I wanted to have the lake, golf course, palm trees and mountains as the prevailing focal points. That meant lots of window walls, all operable to the lake side, and a modern tropical feel to the interiors.
“I love the design process,” she continues. “Every home must be comfortable, durable, beautiful and cohesive—those are the givens. It’s then that you infuse personality. In my own homes, I try to let the architecture speak for the interior design. I love to mix patterns, colors and styles, but I mostly look for the unique, interesting and bold when I am starting a design.”
Using the natural surroundings as her design compass, Rodgers suffused the home with touches of tropical playfulness while maintaining a standard of sophistication throughout. Expertly mixed materials, including rattan, ocean-blue labradorite, natural stone and mother-of-pearl, root the home in nature, while gold-leaf accents, graphic wallpapers and modern lines show Rodgers’ adept ability to blend design styles.
“My homes and my projects are always eclectic,” she notes. “Also, I have certain pieces of furniture that will always move with me, and they somehow feel at home no matter where we live. I think if you love something, you can always make it fit.”
Whether they’re sipping coffee with the sunrise, hosting their large family in the spacious kitchen, or enjoying the lake from their pontoon boat, the Jolly Rodgers, the couple is soaking up the lakeside lifestyle at Casa de Lago. “I can’t imagine not living on water from now on,” the designer says. “I love walking in the front door and seeing all the way through to the lake. It gives me a quiet serenity to see the water and feel so at home.”
“I love to mix patterns, colors and styles, but I mostly look for the unique, interesting and bold when I am starting a design.”
—Wendy Black Rodgers, homeowner and interior designer
Builder: PHK Custom Home Builders, Anthem, phkcustomhomebuilders.com. Interior designer: Wendy Black Rodgers, Wendy Black Rodgers Interiors, Scottsdale, wbrint.com. Landscape design: Berghoff Design Group, Phoenix, berghoffdesign.com.
BACK PATIO—Patio furniture: centuryfurniture.com. Round chairs: crateandbarrel.com. Vintage daybed: Craig Pearson, Pearson & Company, Scottsdale, pearsonandcompany.com. Coffee table: On The Veranda, Phoenix, ontheveranda.com. Outdoor dining chairs: lloydflanders.com.
KITCHEN—Cabinets: TMC Interior Woodworks, Phoenix, (602) 448-4646. Counters (leathered ‘Taj Mahal’ and polished ‘Mystic Pearl’): Cactus Stone and Tile, Scottsdale, cactustile.com. Countertop fabrication: Stockett Tile & Granite Company, Phoenix, stockett.com. Plumbing fixtures: Clyde Hardware, Phoenix, clydehardware.com. Floor tile (Saramago limestone): Desert Pro Design, Phoenix, desertprodesign.com.
ENTRY—Gilded table: Holler & Saunders, Nogales, hollersaunders.com.
POWDER ROOM—Wallpaper: fornasetti.com.
MASTER SUITE—Bed (custom): wbrint.com. Area rug: puntocarpet.com. Cabinets: TMC Interior Woodworks, (602) 448-4646. Stone fabrication and custom sinks: stockett.com. Plumbing: clydehardware.com. Mother-of-pearl tile headboard wall: Reeves Paperhanging, Scottsdale, reevespaperhanging. His-and-hers closets: classyclosets.com.
DINING ROOM—Table and sofa tables: rh.com. Dining chairs (custom): wbrint.com. Tall antique candlesticks: hollersaunders.com. Light pendants: madegoods.com. Jars on table and ammonites: Indus Design Imports, Mesa, indusdesign.com.