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This Home Took Its Design Cues from a Stunning Collection of Art

Left: Interior designer Amy Klosterman sourced a live-edge acacia table for the dining room. “The beauty of this is the craftsmanship of the woodwork and the vivid peacock blue-and-green colors of the chair’s fabric.” Right: In the home office, a custom rug complements an iconic cocktail table by French artist Yves Klein, inventor of a shade of blue that he later patented as International Klein Blue in 1960. The functional abstract art piece features the original pigment.

A creative collaboration inspires a captivating oasis.

By Lauren Tyda | Photography by Eric Kruk

In this dynamic desert abode, each vignette is a confection of texture, color and sculptural beauty. Surrounded by picture windows that frame the desert landscape, the peaceful respite reflects a delicate balance between artistry, design and nature. 

The homeowners, a pair of accounting professionals with a passion for art—wanted a contemporary, light-filled space to showcase their extensive collection. “It was a departure from their previous home, which was more traditional,” says Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award-winning interior designer Amy Klosterman. “Handmade and distinctively unique pieces had priority, with the new furnishings and finishes serving as the supporting actors.” 

To achieve this, Klosterman worked closely with the couple’s art consultant, gallery owner and fellow Master of the Southwest Lisa Sette. “Our design was driven by some of their existing favorite pieces, such as the bold, golden ochre-yellow piece by Arizona artist Mayme Kratz in the great room,” explains Klosterman.  “Other artworks were added throughout the design process.”

Subdued neutral hues allow the masterworks to serve as the exclamation points, with surprising chromatic leaps in the materials.  “We used black, cream and walnut as a base palette and then saturated color accents in fabrics, rugs and wallcoverings,” Klosterman remarks.

Sette’s creative direction ensured that the art seamlessly melded with design, creating a visually captivating and emotionally resonant narrative. “Many of the artworks reference nature, science and philosophy, which was a natural fit for these clients,” says Sette, citing the couple’s background in the local arts and culture organizations. “We selected artists such as James Turrell, Mayme Kratz, Kim Cridler, Beverly Penn, Karl Blossfeldt, Alan Bur Johnson, Laura Spalding Best and Xawery Wolski, all of whom allude to the ephemeral quality of the natural world in their pieces.”

In addition to their personal treasures, the home also needed to accommodate the thrills and spills of the owners’ three toddler grandchildren and two golden retrievers. “We incorporated performance fabrics and leathers,” says the designer.

“We mixed linear and organic elements. I really like symmetry and simple shapes that are placed together in a graphic way.”

—Amy Klosterman, interior designer

1. The Yves Klein cocktail table adds a splash of color to the home office. “That, along with the Eames chairs and custom rug, really showcases the collaboration of art and design in this home,” Klosterman explains. The natural woven wallcovering between the bookcases was inspired by menswear patterns, which the designer says added a masculine feel to the space. 2. Patio furniture in the courtyard’s seating area complements a custom butterfly installation by local artist Laura Spalding Best. The art features the same blue hue found in the adjacent dining room’s chair fabric. “The butterflies are painted with boat paint, so they’re pretty indestructible,” says one of the owners. 3. Inspiration for a floating wood wall sculpture came from Klosterman’s love of bold, graphic elements. The modern shapes appealed to her as a representation of two gently connected forms. 4. For the dining room/bar, Klosterman added zhuzh with an earthy washed-black paint; a dimensional marble tile backsplash; a translucent pendant balloon light fixture; and brass accents. “Two of the walls in that room are windows, so it could handle a dramatic color palette,” she says. 5. The inner courtyard is an visual delight, with its floating rock sculpture by artist Woods Davy over the fountain, colorful art pieces, suspended lights and multiple seating areas. “It’s an artful adventure as you approach the front door,” Klosterman remarks.

“When a family has children and pets, we also like to have multiple avenues through the living area to make it functional—and also more approachable—for the fast-moving little bodies.” Flexibility was a key theme, with movable furniture designed to allow for spontaneous transformations—“perfect for fort-making Friday nights,” Klosterman notes.

Klosterman designed several architectural details, including a modern hearth in the great room with a heatless steam fireplace. “You can put your hand over the ‘flame,’ and it won’t burn,” says the husband. “It produces no heat whatsoever, so we can use it all year.”

Even the powder room is a wink to contemporary art. “We custom colored vinyl wall panels that look and feel like canvas, which allowed two of the walls to become immersive abstract art pieces,” Klosterman remarks.

For the kitchen, Klosterman and her design team specified dual cascading islands and a floating walnut eating counter to allow space for movement and interactive cooking with guests. “We chose the warm wood to balance the blacks and whites and also tie in with their pet’s colors,” she laughs, referencing the eating counter’s similarity to the rust-hued mane of the couple’s pups. “This is surprisingly common. Many pet owners love furnishings that hide pet hair or complement the colors of their beloved furry friends.”

The design extends into the outdoor realm, with the dining room leading to a front patio courtyard adorned with a vibrant art collection, including a radiant blue installation by Laura Spalding Best of hand-painted butterflies—which Klosterman used as a reference point for selecting peacock-hued fabrics for the lounge and dining chairs—and a graphic columnar sculpture by Pard Morrison.

Whether relaxing on a swing, lounging on river-rock-shaped ottomans, or enjoying the outdoor bed by a spa, the homeowners can revel in the fusion of art and nature. “We like to go outside at night, hang out with the dogs and just enjoy the space,” says the wife.

1. A sculptural wood pendant hovers over the breakfast area. Boldly patterned sheer drapery panels add softness. 2-3. A suspension bridge inspired the sliding barn doors that lead into the primary closet. “I’m from Massachusetts originally,” Klosterman says, “and am fascinated by looking up at suspension bridges. This is an abstract version of of the Zakim bridge in Boston, with its almost star-crossed lines.” 4. A neutral color palette in the primary bedroom allowed the design team to play with patterns in the wallpaper and drapery. 5. An outdoor sculpture by Kim Cridler is the main focal point in the primary bathroom. “Cridler crafts vessels out of steel rods, embellishing them with the unexpected—precious metals, jewels, beeswax and horse hair,” says Sette, who sourced artwork for the home. A crystal star light fixture suspended above the freestanding tub brings a touch of glamour.

Now that their dwelling is complete, the couple can embrace the  red neon words that flash on  an art installation by Alicia Eggert that greets guests as they walk through the door: “Never Being, Forever Becoming.” The mantra, said by the artist to be inspired by Plato’s writings, recognizes the dichotomy between the eternal and the ephemeral. At least for now, though, the duo can focus on just “being” and allow their home to be the “becoming” masterpiece that it is.

“Amy made it so we can really live in this house,” says the wife. “Every area is functional, but we can still appreciate the art. It is contemporary, yet still warm and comfortable.”

1. An art installation by Alan Bur Johnson in the game room is composed of individual transparent discs suspended on dissecting pins at differing lengths, creating an undulating, shimmering effect. “If you look closely, the transparencies have forms of butterfly wings,” says the owner. To move the piece from their old home into the new space required an intricate process of removal and reapplication by art consultant Lisa Sette. 2-3. A piece by artist Mayme Kratz was the springboard for the color palette in the great room, which features a custom hearth and facade clad in large-scale porcelain tile. The fireplace is electric and uses underlit water vapor that gives the illusion of real flames without producing any heat, which is grandchildren-friendly. 4. The interior design team added two cascading quartzite islands to the kitchen, along with a floating walnut eating counter to allow guests to engage, while giving the owners plenty of space to move between the induction cooktop, pizza oven, sinks, range and wine room. A colorful sculpture by artist Pard Morrison is visible into the courtyard. 5. In the primary bathroom, “We tried to layer shimmer in a subtly elegant way without being too flashy about it,” says Klosterman. “I think the crystal and brass; the wallpaper with the sheen; and the faux metallic leather on the bench just make you feel serene and spa-like.” The golden droplet wall art is a piece by artist Xawery Wolski.
SOURCES

Interior designer: Amy Klosterman, Allied ASID and Michelle Jefferson, ASID, AB Design Elements, Scottsdale, abdesignelements.com. Art curation and installation: Lisa Sette, Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix, lisasettegallery.com. Landscape design: Blooming Desert, Mesa, bloomingdesert.com.

OFFICE—Faux plant Botanical Elegance, Scottsdale, botanicalelegance.com. Rug: endlessknotrugs.com. Custom millwork: f1cabinets.us. Chairs (by Herman Miller): dwr.com.

GAME ROOM—Pin art installation (“Cadence”): by Alan Bur Johnson, Phoenix, lisasettegallery.com/artist/alan-bur-johnson. Coffee table ottoman: robertaschilling.com.

LIVING ROOM—Faux plant: botanicalelegance.com. Rug: David E. Adler Fine Rugs, Scottsdale, davideadler.com. Coffee table: Peter Thomas Designs, Scottsdale, peterthomasdesigns.com. Wood wall sculpture: abdesignelements.com and Paul Jeffrey, Paul Rene Furniture, Phoenix, paulrenefurniture.com. Ochre artwork (“If We Stay”): by Mayme Kratz, Phoenix,  lisasettegallery.com/artist/mayme-kratz.

DINING ROOM—Wall tile: artistictile.com. Shelving (custom): Patina Yard, Phoenix, patinayard.com. Cabinetry: F1 Cabinets & Furniture, Phoenix, f1cabinets.us. Chair fabric: sharris.com. Table (custom): indigenousbylarue.com.

COURTYARD—Fountain rock sculpture: by Woods Davy, woodsdavy.com. Colorful sculpture (“By the Way She Shines”): by Pard Morrison, pardmorrison.com. Patio furniture: bernhardt.com. Butterfly art (“Kaleidoscope”): by Laura Spalding Best, Phoenix, lauraspaldingbest.com.

KITCHEN—Countertops: Arizona Tile, Tempe, arizonatile.com. Cabinetry: f1cabinets.us.

PRIMARY BEDROOM—Barn doors: patinayard.com.

PRIMARY BATHROOM—Metal sculpture (“Fruition”): by Kim Cridler, Phoenix, lisasettegallery.com/artist/kim-cridler. Teardrop wall art (“Gotas Oro”): by Xawery Wolski, lisasettegallery.com/artist/xawery-wolski. Stained glass leaded window: Bob Berg, Chanikva Studio, Scottsdale, (480) 443-1668. Chandelier: (by Studio Bel Vetro): John Brooks, Scottsdale, johnbrooksinc.com.

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