Yours, Mine and Ours
Two families get a fresh start with a rebuilt home designed for their blended lifestyle.
By Nancy Erdmann | Photography by Dino Tonn
After deciding to get married and combine households, Gini O’Malley and Dan Quigley knew they would have to find a home that would function well for all members of the family. “We have nine children between us, all of whom are out on their own,” says Gini. While their new place would mostly be occupied by just the two of them, they hoped their kids would be visiting often. The couple realized their best option was to sell Dan’s home and rework and enlarge Gini’s existing house.
Situated near the base of Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, the 1980s-built home was dated by its discordant Tuscan-colored interior walls, a sunken living room and a closed floor plan. “It was a real mix of styles,” Dan recalls. But its 1.25-acre lot, large swimming pool, lush setting and mountain views were difficult to replicate and were elements neither homeowner was willing to give up. “We wanted to create a new place for our families that was relaxed and not too fussy, and this was the perfect location.”
Although the newlyweds weren’t exactly sure what they wanted their home to look like, they gathered magazine clippings and images from the internet to narrow down their preferences. “Our vision kind of unfolded this way, and when our architect Mark Candelaria came on board, he was able to identify it as an authentic Santa Barbara style with a Transitional twist,” Gini recalls.
High on their list of must-haves were a shared his-and-hers office, separate closets, a big pantry and a large, open kitchen with lots of storage. “I took the essence of the previous structure and reorganized the spaces, opened them up to the outdoors and gave the inside and outside a more sophisticated look,” Candelaria explains. Even though the homeowners are essentially empty nesters, they ended up increasing the size of their residence. The Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award-winning architect added 2,500 square feet, which allowed him to build on a large great room and patios, bringing the total square footage to 6,500.
The single-story, five-bedroom residence has four full and two half baths and is divided into several smaller rooms and a few open spaces. “Gini and Dan wanted to follow the format they had in the original house: living room, dining room, kitchen—which we opened to the great room as they were separated before—an office, and then the bedroom wing with the master on one end and the children’s rooms arranged around a new lounge space,” Candelaria describes.
To complete the home and give it a stylish and inviting look, Dan and Gini decided to have Candelaria’s wife, interior designer Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, join the team. “Mark and Isabel have great synergy, and it became clear over time that the two of them working together with us was a really smart way to get things done efficiently,” notes Gini.
Dellinger Candelaria spent a good part of the next year working with the couple on the furnishings. “Gini and Dan wanted to use as much of their existing furniture as possible, so that provided a great base for us to start,” she says, remarking that the couple not only have easy-going personalities but similar tastes in design, as well. “About a third of the furnishings were mine, another third were Gini’s, and we bought the rest,” Dan adds. “It worked out surprisingly well.”
“We used distressed red brick as pavers and incorporated furnishings with comfort as a priority.”
—Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, interior designer
A simple color palette throughout allowed vivid hues—especially Gini’s favorite, red—to come into play through the furniture, accessories and art. “Black and white served as the base to balance a strong use of other shades,” explains Dellinger Candelaria. “In the great room, for instance, we brought in Dan’s existing rusty-red occasional chairs but added a rich saddle-brown leather sectional, so there’s just a wonderful, livable earthy vibe.”
Textiles and surface materials bring an unexpected element of fun to many areas. “The drapery fabric in the great room is a print of animals on a paprika-colored background, and in the master bath, we added red pom-pom trim to white fabric printed with black bunnies,” says the designer. Graphic black-and-white room rugs and patterned tile floors add drama and pizazz. “The whole house is spirited, playful, bright and happy.”
The children’s area also was a big driver in the design, notes Dellinger Candelaria. “The house includes a kid’s lounge that connects to four guest bedrooms. One has double bunks, which is really a lot of fun.” Last year, Dan’s daughter along with several friends were in town for the Phoenix Open golf tournament and stayed in the bunk room. “There were six of them in there, and they had a blast,” Dan remembers. Gini also loves the bunk beds. “They just feel so jolly,” she remarks. “I always say, the more the merrier.”
The landscape, which also received a complete renovation, is divided into several distinct zones, including an entry courtyard, an herb garden patio, a backyard dining area and a fireplace lounge. “We used distressed red brick as pavers and incorporated furnishings with comfort as a priority,” Dellinger Candelaria points out. Around the pool, which was resurfaced and replumbed, plush seating covered in bold black-and-white striped outdoor fabric creates continuity between the interiors and exteriors. “We also incorporated raised planters for greenery and fresh herbs in the front patio off the kitchen and great room,” she adds.
It’s been three years since the couple moved in, and both agree it’s a feel-good home ideal for big family gatherings and entertaining. “I’m happy when I get up in the morning, and I’m happy to come home at night. This house has good energy,” says Gini. “It has the best kitchen for cooking, great indoor/outdoor living and wonderful views. We feel as though we’re living in a boutique hotel.”
Architect: Mark Candelaria, Candelaria Design Associates. Builder: Steve Watson, True Performance Construction. Interior Designer: Isabel Dellinger Candelaria, Earth and Images.
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