An amenity-packed horse property combines laid-back luxury with Western ways.
By Katherine Adomaitis | Photography by Julianne Palmer
In the morning, the owners of this rustic-meets-refined ranch can wander down a stone hallway that leads to stables and enjoy some pre-breakfast horseback riding in an adjacent arena. After lunch, laps in an indoor pool or a workout in the gym can fill part of the afternoon. And if they need to look sharp for an evening spent entertaining friends in their bowling alley or checking their aim in the shooting range, there’s a beauty salon for a quick shampoo and blowout.
“This is a place where you really never have to leave home,” says Phoenix Home & Garden award-winning architect Mark Candelaria. The expansive abode that quite literally has it all was designed for a couple with grown children, as well as their menagerie of dogs, cats and, of course, horses.
“The owners are horse breeders,” says builder and fellow Masters of the Southwest winner John Schultz, “and they have a large facility in North Scottsdale. They wanted to live near their ranch, so they decided to develop the five-acre parcel next door.” The arena was built first, followed by stables for the owners’ personal steeds. Construction of the two-bedroom main house was underway when the couple added attached guest quarters and the recreation facility, which includes not only the pool, bowling alley and shooting range but also a massage space and an indoor racquetball court, bringing the home’s footprint to 20,000 square feet. With the addition of the arena and stables, the under-roof square footage more than triples.
Candelaria kept the architecture of the compound simple, blending a mix of ranch style with European underpinnings, and siting the house so it takes in views of Four Peaks. The exterior’s mortar-washed stone walls and mud-set tile roofs speak of Mediterranean origins, but the sweeping wraparound porches have decidedly Western Territorial roots. Brick headers, French doors and grilles on clerestory windows also detail the exterior. A sliding glass wall opens the indoor pool to myriad outdoor seating options.
Inside, the setting is gracious yet animal-friendly. “The homeowners were very involved with the decor,” says interior designer Isabel Dellinger Candelaria. “They wanted it light and bright, with a touch of formality—but it also needed to be a place where their dogs and cats would be welcome.”
Against a backdrop of reclaimed beam ceilings, white oak flooring and Venetian-plastered walls, Dellinger Candelaria worked with a palette of cream, brown and blue, incorporating many furnishings and accessories that the owners brought with them from their previous Scottsdale residence, then adding in a few new elements to make the furniture plan work. In the two-story great room, a pair of reupholstered leather sofas flank the limestone-clad fireplace, while four cushy armchairs—updated with a botanical print—create a conversation grouping. The dining area’s simple trestle table is surrounded by benches rather than chairs, lending the space an informal ambiance.
“This is a place where you really never have to leave home.”
—Mark Candelaria, architect
The kitchen, with its dual islands, capacious butler’s pantry and pass-through window to the enclosed dining porch, is highlighted by a brick veneer ceiling and custom shaker-style cabinetry. A series of mismatched glass pendant lights adds sparkle and visual interest above the outermost island, the organic wood hue of which contrasts beautifully with the room’s white-on-white color scheme.
For the master bath, the wife requested a glamorous approach, and the Candelarias didn’t disappoint. The room features such luxurious touches as a groin-vaulted ceiling in the walk-in shower, the lavish use of tile, a free-standing tub in a windowed niche and several crystal chandeliers.
While the home’s interiors capture a sense of casual elegance found in European villas, the exterior celebrates the Southwest lifestyle.
“This project was largely about the horses,” explains landscape designer Jeff Berghoff, “and that drove much of the design.” The auto court, approached through a monumental stone archway, had to be large enough for trucks and horse trailers to maneuver with ease, while greenery needed to be nontoxic to animals. Plant-free zones were established around the stables and arenas, lest the horses chomp away the gardens.
While Berghoff kept much of the grounds in their natural state—thanks to the salvaging and replanting of some 50 native trees—he added formalized plant arrangements closer to the house. Shrubs, trees and flowers are set in gravel beds that run alongside patios and surround turf-covered areas designed for entertaining. A dog run gives the pooches a safe place to exercise and play, while a small citrus grove flourishes far away from the equine members of the family. Berghoff explains, “Horses eat citrus leaves like candy.”
With so much to do, the owners truly could stay put in their house for weeks on end—and a walk-in cooler in the kitchen means that stocking up at Costco for an extended stay is not a problem. And when they’re not spending time with their horses or entertaining friends and family in the many indoor activity zones, the couple like to relax in their private observatory, where telescopes and binoculars allow them to see the universe outside their own little slice of heaven.
Architect: Mark Candelaria, Candelaria Design. Builder: John Schultz, Schultz Development. Interior Designer: Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, Earth and Images. Landscape Designer: Jeff Berghoff, Berghoff Design Group.
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