Welcome Homes: A Look at Our 2019 Home Tour
How we choose the homes for the tour each year.
By John Roark
Saturday, Nov. 9 marked Phoenix Home & Garden’s 26th annual Home Tour. We could not have asked for a more perfect day as 700+ attendees visited five stellar homes in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arcadia and Paradise Valley. A VIP ticket package offered an optional upgrade that started with brunch at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa and concluded with a private party at a sixth house, hosted by architect Mark Candelaria and his wife, interior designer Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, who led the design team for the Santa Barbara-style remodel, which was built for entertaining and more than lived up to its potential.
Throughout the day, I was asked how we choose the houses that end up on the roster of this much-anticipated event. (Many of our guests plan their vacations specifically around this tour; I had the opportunity to chat with folks who had flown in from New York, Chicago, Nebraska, New Mexico, California and Oregon). As I am the individual who scouts potential homes and secures their placement on the line-up, I am happy to provide a peek behind the curtain.
The search is a yearlong process. During any given month, our staff visits numerous residences to consider for publication. Some abodes are perfect fits for print; others we like to keep an eye on; some we might decline for any number of reasons. I always scout with a dual intention. First, would the house bring inspiration to our readers, and second, might it possibly figure into a home-tour scenario? For the latter, in addition to
the perfect balance of superlative architecture, interior design and landscape, I contemplate how hundreds of guests might flow through the interior and exterior, what the on-street traffic and parking conditions are, if there are any possible walking hazards, such as a steep driveway or plentiful stairs, or potential challenges with neighboring properties, etc. Once all the boxes have been successfully checked off on my mental list, it’s time to ask the question, which usually begins along the lines of, “Would you ever consider…”
Inquiring if someone is receptive to opening their doors to hundreds of complete strangers a big ask. Frequently—and this is also true when discussing with homeowners the possibility of having their sanctuary seen by more than 300,000 monthly Phoenix Home & Garden readers—the response is surprise. “Do you really think people would be interested in seeing our home?”
In most cases the driving reason people say yes is simple: to support the creative collective—architects, interior designers, builders and landscape professionals—who brought their dreams to life. Building a house is no small task. A great design team can become an extension of a family and often, during the process, lifelong friendships are formed. The Phoenix Home & Garden Home Tour is great exposure for these professionals and most homeowners are more than happy to support them in this way.
As delighted as I am to receive a yes, I also completely understand and fully respect the nos.
If you were a guest at our 2019 home tour, or if you’ve attended this event in the past, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you next year and beyond. If you’ve never been, we hope you’ll join us for our annual garden tour (Saturday, April 4, 2020) or next year’s home tour (Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020).
Click here to view the 2019 Phoenix Home & Garden Home Tour guide book and get a glimpse of all the residences on our tour this year.