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This Idyllic Paradise Valley Home is the Perfect Setting for Family Memories

Durability and creative design create an inviting family sanctuary.

By Marilyn Hawkes | Photography by Nick Sorenson

After searching for a remodel project in 2019, Jeni and Mike Robison bought a 1,500-square-foot ranch-style home in Paradise Valley. Jeni, an interior designer, and Mike, a landscape architect, envisioned a functional family space for raising their two young boys. “I designed the home using existing walls and plumbing, but when the demo plan came back, we had two small walls left,” Jeni says. “To our surprise, we were building a new home.” Over two phases, they constructed a stunning 6,500-square-foot house, starting with the essential areas — the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms — and later adding a game room, guest suite and exercise room. The resulting style is a blend of transitional elements, incorporating modern farmhouse, contemporary and traditional aesthetics. “I have designed so many of my clients’ dream homes,” she states. “It was exiting to finally design my own.”

Designed as a central area for easy access from the family bedrooms, the office/art room incorporates playful elements suitable for arts, crafts and nightly homework sessions. Jeni added playful touches, including a portrait of a bespectacled bulldog, a faux zebra rug and light fixtures resembling stars. A deep blue paint adds a dash of sophistication, while white accessories provide contrast. “With all the white walls in the rest of the house, I wanted this space to have a darker atmosphere,” she explains. 

Continuing the interplay of light and dark, the kitchen showcases a custom black hood and range with eye-catching brass accents against white inset cabinetry and nickel hardware. “Mixing metals is the new trend, and, when proportionately placed, they can blend harmoniously within a room or throughout the entire house,” Jeni says. The designer selected a richly veined marble backsplash adorned with beveled white marble subway tile and opted for durable quartz countertops for practicality, given her young family’s needs. Adding another layer of visual interest, she extended the cabinets on either side of the range. 

Natural light spills into the entryway through a floor-to-ceiling glass and metal door. The designer painted the board and batten paneling a crisp white and accented with custom-made art in striking blue and green hues. “Overall, I wanted a modern farm look, but I do not like all-white walls,” she says. “I like the contrast of light and dark and the playfulness of the pieces.” The nook sports a simple console and custom ottoman to complement but not compete with the colorful artwork. 

The game/family room showcases a neutral palette, shiplap walls and dormer ceilings— hallmarks of modern farmhouse design. This informal space serves as a hub for family activities, providing ample room for the kids to spread out and “make a mess.” Jeni selected a comfortable sectional that provides plenty of room for TV viewing and video gaming, plus a bar/kitchenette stocked with snacks and drinks. Upstairs, a loft designed for sleepovers and a place for the kids to do homework and hang out adds versatility. “Our main goal was for our boys to love being home,” she expresses.

After a futile search for a canopy bed that fit the room’s scale, Jeni commissioned a custom metalsmith and an upholsterer to bring her vision to life. She wanted a dark accent wall behind the bed, which she achieved by installing three panels of faux shagreen wallpaper, bordered by wood trim with edges painted to match the fabric. For color, she introduced navy and deep green pillows and a white fabric footboard and headboard complemented by a white channeled bench. A fireplace surround of remnant marble gives the room an intimate feel, along with a cozy reading area flooded with natural light. 

In the snug powder room, Jeni artfully combined textures and materials to add depth and dimension. Anchoring the space with an antique mirrored vanity, she chose black beveled subway tile wainscotting and a porcelain penny-round backsplash with metal trim. “I fell in love with the tile,” she confesses. Originally painted white, the walls were later adorned with dimensional wallpaper for added visual intrigue. A cantilevered black mirror, quartz countertop and black wall-mounted fixtures complete the eclectic look.

Rather than opting for typical baby decor, Jeni designed a room that would grow with their youngest son, Lynden. A wood platform tent bed serves as a cozy hideaway, which can be draped with blankets or covered in festive café string lights. The white wood trim surrounding the bed creates the illusion of a built-in structure, pulling the space together. A reading area dotted with blue- and-white pillows doubles as a play space, with ledged shelves above to keep books in place. 


Interior designer: Jeni Robison, Dettaglio Interiors, Scottsdale,
OFFICE—Chair: Ottoman: National Contract Furnishings, Phoenix, Cabinet: Lamps: Art work: Bungalow Furniture & Accessories, Scottsdale, Rug: Light fixtures:
KITCHEN—Stove: Cabinets: Goodall Custom Cabinetry & Millwork, Glendale, Hardware: Countertops and backsplash: Arizona Tile, Tempe, Subway tile: The Stone Collection, Phoenix,
ENTRY—Console: Candlesticks: Mirror, lamp and chandelier: Ottoman (custom):
GAME ROOM—Sofa: Coffee table: Lamp: End table: Kitchenette light fixtures: Cabinet with antique door: Antiquities Imports, Scottsdale,
MASTER BEDROOM—Headboard and footboard (custom): Mirror: Bench: Lamps: Nightstands: Fireplace materials: Chair: Table and rug: Lamp: Bedding (custom): Designers Workroom, Tempe,
POWDER ROOM—Cabinet with mirrored doors: Tile: Wallpaper: Lighting: Faucets:
LYNDEN’S ROOM—Tent bed: Pillows (custom): Bedding:


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