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Sleek Simplicity

Architect C.P. Drewett describes the design of this home, with its spacious rooms and window walls, as midcentury, “but updated, with a sophisticated, urban vibe.” Just beyond the front door is a glass-enclosed “wine wall,” which connects the great room and kitchen. “The metal art helps balance the transition between living areas in the open plan. Defining peripheral points in a space causes the eye to see the whole area,” says interior designer Tony Sutton.

Modern and elegant with organic  touches, a Scottsdale abode is designed for laid-back living.

By Ben Ikenson | Photography by Scott Sandler

It’s no surprise that Chip Spellman and his 17-year-old daughter, Kate, make plenty of use out of the kitchen in their new Paradise Valley digs. The room’s centerpiece—a handmade, translucent quartz waterfall-edge island counter illuminated from below with sheet LED lighting—makes for a popular conversation piece.

“I like to entertain, and people just naturally gravitate toward the island, especially at night when it’s lit from below,” says Chip. “It definitely delivers the wow factor.”

A Phoenix native who runs a family-owned lumber and plywood distribution company, Chip had a good idea of what his new abode should be like. “We wanted clean lines, no clutter and lots of open space,” he says.

1. A focal point of the home is the kitchen island. It is handcrafted of large pieces of translucent quartz that were reconstituted into a slab. Illuminated from below with sheet LED lighting, the island “delivers the wow factor,” says homeowner Chip Spellman. The textured backsplash, as well as the statement-making range hood, is made of stainless steel. 2. The homeowner’s springer spaniel, Rocket, relaxes on the plush area rug in the living room, which is dominated by an oversized contemporary sectional in a muted hue. Large windows wrap around a partial wall, allowing natural light to pour in while providing privacy from nearby neighbors. 3. Contemporary art fills the home. In the dining room, a pair of translucent blue glass figures glow with natural light in front of the seamless corner window. Decorative lighting serves as abstract sculpture. The painting is by Scottsdale painter Brent Foreman.

Architect C.P. Drewett did not disappoint. He notes, “The house has strong midcentury DNA, but it is a little more updated, with a sophisticated, urban vibe inside.”

Drewett designed the graceful 5,800-square-foot contemporary home, which includes a swimming pool, guest casita and five-car garage. It’s just one of four houses the architect completed on a 4-acre development that had been the site of an old school building. “All of the homes were focused toward a singular cul-de-sac, so they each had pie-shaped lots and much of the design emanated from this,” Drewett explains. As such, he had to be very strategic about where to put rooms in each of the homes. To ensure that the master bedroom in the Spellmans’ house didn’t overlook the neighbor’s garage, he designed a feature wall on the outside of the property to provide privacy and maximize southern exposure. The project was a success, he says, because “there was a remarkable amount of collaboration between the design team and the homeowner from the get-go, which ultimately created this amazing sense of cohesion when it was all finished.”

Builder Rich Brock turned Drewett’s design concepts into three-dimensional reality. “The home is very warm, modern and organic, with lots of stone accents,” he says. “And the sandblasted granite on the exterior looks fantastic—luxurious but also very natural.”

With its clean lines, low profile and large expanses of glass, the home takes its cue from midcentury modern design. It is one of four houses built by Drewett that sit on the former site of a school building in Paradise Valley.

“The house has strong midcentury DNA, but it is a little more updated, with a sophisticated, urban vibe inside.”

—C.P. Drewett, architect

In addition to stone, the residence also features plenty of rolled cold steel, I-beams and large glass panels. “The materials used and the quality of construction are such that this house will last for many generations to come,” notes Brock. And, together with the more natural components, the structure cuts a sleek profile against the Sonoran Desert backdrop—in fact, it was oriented to provide optimal views of both Camelback and Mummy mountains in the distance.

As if competing with the panoramic vistas furnished by plenty of windows, the interior is itself spectacular, a geometry of clean lines, airy rooms suffused in natural light, and plenty of inviting, open spaces.

“We were involved from the beginning blueprint stage, designing the interior architectural elements, such as the fireplace, kitchen and finishes throughout,” says interior designer Tony Sutton, a Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award winner. “A year before the home was even constructed, we started working on the cosmetic architectural details and finishes.

“Chip requested a clean and simple design that is more masculine, so the secret to making it warm and inviting was to include natural and organic elements in the process, whether in fixed materials or furniture and accessories,” he continues.

Capitalizing on the home’s inherent visceral appeal, Sutton’s associate, interior designer Maria Zambrano, elaborates: “The house has beautiful vertical lines emphasized by floor-to-ceiling windows. The neutral color palette allows every pop of color and change of texture to become a focal point. The details of the design were in the materials selected. The inside/outside stone selection, the lighted kitchen island and the stainless steel backsplash, with its three-dimensional scale, are a few examples of such details.”

Indeed, the efficacy of the team’s design strategy is evident in the ever-popular gathering space of the kitchen where “the subtle wood tones and white lacquer cabinets set the stage, and the island is a showstopper,” says fellow interior designer Jelena Martic, who also worked on the project. “Subtle touches of color are added through the accessories, bringing everything together into perfect balance.”

The master suite features masculine touches throughout, including a minimalist design in the master bath, a dark stone vanity with a trough sink, and wallcoverings in mottled shades of deep gray and black.

The harmony between the minimalist architectural style and the design flourishes is apparent upon first stepping into the home. A glass wall of wine storage connects the welcoming great room, which is accented in basalt walls and a commanding, monolithic fireplace, to the kitchen. Further inside, the masculine master bedroom is adorned with handcrafted wallcoverings featuring textured brushstrokes and gold accents that play perfectly off the furnishings.

The outdoor areas are similarly imbued with a sense of detail and efficiency. “Our biggest priority was to create spaces that are functional and comfortable for the owner, who, in this case, likes to entertain guests,” says landscape designer Dennis Cannedy. In the backyard, Cannedy added a rectangular swimming pool adorned with a series of fountains, a jacuzzi and a sound system. The pool is neatly bordered by a 6-inch-wide strip of grass embedded within a beautiful silver travertine deck. Surrounding the lawn are multiple seating areas, an outdoor dining room that seats 12, fire pits and a bocce court, making the landscape suitable for both intimate gatherings and large soirees. The front yard features an orderly array of succulents and other plants—a welcoming sight for the Spellmans after a long day.

1. An imposing cantilevered roof with a metal-clad fascia shelters the pivoting glass entry door. Landscape designer Dennis Cannedy added pots and beds filled with native plants to soften the angles of the house and create a welcoming atmosphere. 2. The backyard, which is centered around the swimming pool, was designed for entertaining. It features multiple seating and conversation zones, an outdoor dining room that seats 12, fire pits and a bocce court. Blue accents on the pool tile and pillows carry into the home’s interiors and artwork. 3. In the bedroom, sumptuous fabrics and bronze metal accents bring texture, warmth and richness to the space, making it a relaxing retreat.

Chip, along with Kate, helped in putting some of the finishing touches in place. “One of the highlights,” he says, “was getting to work with my daughter on some of the interior design elements before the home was finished. And, of course, getting to enjoy the place together before she goes off to college.”

Architect: C.P. Drewett, Drewett Works. Builder: Rich Brock, BedBrock Developers LLC. Interior Designers: Tony Sutton, Maria Zambrano and Jelena Martic, Est Est Inc. Landscape Designer: Dennis Cannedy, Sunset Landscaping & Pools LLC.

For more information, see Sources.


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