Vibrant Contemporary

The Story Behind the Pictures


Uncluttered, simple, and contemporary. That’s what the clients wanted and our challenge was two fold: first to acknowledge their fondness for vibrant colors while providing an understated architectural backdrop and secondly to begin our work after the house had already been framed.

With no prior experience building a home, the clients had told the architect to design just the shell of the 6,000 square foot house and leave all architectural detailing until a later time. Thus the plans were devoid of architectural details and lighting, and we were faced with a voluminous entry, dining, and great room with 23 foot high ceilings. Additionally, huge expanses of glass throughout the home presented a myriad of sound, light, heat, and glare issues, and a kitchen and five bathrooms were still waiting to be designed in spaces that were already framed in.

The clients, a couple and their pre-teen daughter, wanted the great room to be the heart of the home, containing most of the dining, seating, and entertainment functions in one large space. By converting an unwanted formal dining room space, with it’s soaring ceilings, into a library, and by creating a loft above it, we added both intimacy and function. Next, the Arizona interior designers tackled the great room sound and window issues by installing an acoustical ceiling and full-height motorized, solar window shades that disappear into channels in the ceiling. Then came the acoustically and artistically designed entertainment unit, and, finally, the furnishings with their bursts of color.

With five bathrooms, we had a terrific time designing innovative ways to bring individuality, color and function into the already framed spaces by using creative cabinetry along with a variety of ceramic and glass tiles. Meanwhile, the kitchen and its adjoining banquette took shape with sleek, two color cabinetry and a focal-point glass tile mosaic. The master suite, done in more soothing colors than in the rest of the home, fulfilled the client’s desire for a spa-like retreat, a place of serenity for them. The biggest challenge in the master bath was that the toilet/shower area didn’t have a door, so we designed an exterior sliding door with scale and presence rather than resort to an unappealing pocket door.

In the end, the house exceeded the client’s expectations even though it took two years to build and finish it.