This Stunning North Scottsdale Penthouse Has Retractable Walls and a “Secret Bar”
A retired Scottsdale couple trade their traditional French-eclectic style for a contemporary glass box in the sky.
By Lauren Tyda | Photography by Kevin Brost
Perched on the 12th floor of a North Scottsdale high rise, a glass-enclosed penthouse offers commanding views of the Valley. Clouds lumber on the horizon, faint and feathery, as they make their way across the McDowell Mountains and over the verdant desert fairways.
Owners Wayne and Penny Mailloux enjoy these comely vistas each day from their three private terraces—first watching the sunrises on their east-facing entertaining veranda and then enjoying sunset views over dinner on the western dining patio. “We can literally watch the days go by,” Penny laughs.
The goal was to create an open, airy interior that disappears into the outdoor expanse. “We wanted to maximize the views,” Wayne explains. “And we wanted to create a space where we could entertain and socialize.”
Working with Optima Kierland architect and developer David Hovey Jr., the couple combined five penthouses into a single 6,854 square-foot manse. “This home is unique in that it encompasses one-third of the level, wrapping around the east, north and west and offering sweeping views of the mountains and golf course,” Hovey says. “Every residence in the building offers a private terrace, so you can imagine that combining five units created expansive outdoor space.”
The dwelling required all custom materials and finishes. “Timing became very important,” Hovey notes. “Installation of some items required a crane.” The lofty penthouse ceilings also needed to be shortened by 6 inches for uniformity and to accommodate can lights. “To me, that is one of the single most important changes we made,” says Susie Biers Harrington, the interior designer recruited by the Maillouxs. “The lighting is everything in their unit.”
To outfit their new digs, the couple decided to trade their traditional French-eclectic style for a more modern aesthetic. “We wanted it to be timeless, welcoming and comfortable,” Wayne explains. “Something that felt like home.” They began by ditching the furniture that once occupied their former Desert Mountain home, allowing Biers to work her magic. “The inspiration was a mix of New York apartment and Southwest vibe,” recalls the designer. “We used a soft neutral palette and let the art bring in color.”
Wayne, a retired executive for PepsiCo, and Penny, a former teacher, acquired a cosmopolitan design sensibility after residing in various parts of the world, from Montreal and London to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Connecticut. Their artworks reflect this sense of wanderlust—sculptures from Zimbabwe; oil paintings from Scotland; modern pieces from Belgium; and objets d’art from England. Biers worked with the couple to blend their existing collection with some new pieces. “It was a collaborative effort—some of theirs, some of ours,” Biers recalls. “It is an incredible pairing of our resources with their lifetime of collecting new and modern pieces.”
“It was an incredible experience. Wayne and Penny were fearless. I think our paths and desires were completely aligned. We all found our North Star.”
—Susie biers harrington, interior designer
Biers opted for a hushed color palette to keep the abode warm and inviting. Soft hues of dark purple, gray, turquoise and blush pink can be found throughout, accented by pops of gold in places such as the dining room table, crystal chandeliers and kitchen faucets.
Contemporary elements blend with nods to the couple’s traditional style, including European stone tiles on the floors. “All the materials in this home are custom and sourced from around the world, including Europe, Asia and Africa,” Hovey says. And to continue the interior’s connection to the outside, automatic sliding glass doors retract, allowing breezes to flow through the kitchen and dining room.
But the real pièce de résistance is the east-facing bar area, which features a baby grand piano and a hidden collection of fine liquors that rises and retracts electronically into the cabinetry. “We were lunching and shopping in Chicago and happened upon a motorized bar—we knew we had to have it,” Biers recalls. The designer worked with Hovey’s team and recruited a local cabinet company to custom build the “secret bar.”
“We placed it strategically in a corner so that guests have both a view of the bottles when raised and a view of the city when lowered,” Biers explains. “Sitting there is truly a James Bond moment.” Next to the bar is the aforementioned entertaining patio, which features a 9-foot custom concrete fire pit and table. A large oculus pours sunlight into the covered seating area, allowing the couple to catch rays throughout the day.
With everything finally in its place, the Maillouxs are now content with their new “suite in the sky”—not to mention eager to invite their nine grandkids to enjoy the amenities and, of course, those handsome views.
“It was fun to change things up a bit,” Penny says. “Your taste evolves over your lifetime, and this is much cleaner and more modern.” Biers echoes the sentiment: “It was an incredible experience. Wayne and Penny were fearless. I think our paths and desires were completely aligned. We all found our North Star.”
Architect: David Hovey Jr., Optima Inc. Interior designer: Susie Biers Harrington, The Suzanne Biers Company.
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