Soaring glass walls, deeply cantilevered overhangs and a dramatic stone accents mark the design of a gracious luxury home residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, which was honored with a 2021 Gold Nugget Grand Award by PCBC, the West Coast’s largest homebuilding trade show.
“It was an absolute honor to design a modern dream home and interiors for our clients,” says architect Erik Peterson, founder of PHX Architecture, who worked on the home with his firm’s creative director, Stuart Jon Traynor. “This Gold Nugget is a testament to the creativity and teamwork that made this home such an incredible project.”
While the abode’s effortless blending of architecture and nature garnered praise, the path to the prestigious honor was marked by two mountains and a grand piano. “When we walked the desert lot with the homeowners, we saw that the property looks right at Camelback Mountain in the distance one way and Pinnacle Peak the other,” Traynor explains of the modern interior design.
Besides our art, the grand piano was the only thing we brought with us from our previous house,” the wife says, “and we wanted it to be a focal point in the great room.
While the luxury home’s orientation and banks of window walls focus on the jaw-dropping vistas, another consideration of its layout was the couple’s grand piano, an instrument the husband plays regularly as a hobby. “Besides our art, the grand piano was the only thing we brought with us from our previous house,” the wife says, “and we wanted it to be a focal point in the great room. But it’s a concert grand piano, which is about 9 feet long. It’s hard to wrap your head around how big that is.”
The couple ran into Peterson at a holiday concert at Phoenix Symphony Hall and had him take a look at the grandeur of the concert grand piano there, which held center stage.
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As a result, the core of the 7,500-square-foot dwelling is a voluminous living room with modern interior design, with glass on either side for mountain views and enough space for not only seating but also for the grand piano to shine in the spotlight of this luxury home. The owners’ suite was placed to one side of the living room, while the kitchen, dining room, theater, game room and guest quarters flank the other side.
According to Traynor, strategic materials and numerous details lend drama to the structure, which was built by Platinum Companies. “A stone-clad architectural wall bisects the house, inside and out,” he notes. “The stone complements the roof’s copper fascia, and together they stitch the house into the natural desert landscape.” Traynor also points out that PHX Architecture varied the roof heights, which signal the volumes’ uses—tallest, for example, in the living room and lower in the bedrooms—keeping the design from looking monolithic.
In the living room, a wood-clad with modern interior design extends from inside to out, providing a natural touch indoors as well as for the deep overhangs that shade the pool patio. The rugged stone wall of the luxury home is pierced by a fireplace that warms the living room and a glass wine cabinet, which serves the dining room. An angled kitchen island, which can seat 10, was contrived specifically for the husband, who enjoys cooking and entertaining.
“It was designed so that the guests won’t be on the same side as the refrigerator-sink-cooktop triangle,” the wife says, “but we can still be by our guests while cooking.”
Interior designer with a modern flair Holly Wright played off the uplifting architecture and natural materials to conceptualize cool-hued, comfortable rooms that are casual enough for everyday living yet functional enough for entertaining in this luxury home. “The homeowners didn’t want a stark look,” Wright explains. “They wanted some warmth in the lighting and furnishings.”
In addition to incorporating such surface materials as concrete-hued plaster for accent walls and porcelain tile flooring, Wright designed a three-sided sectional to balance the living room’s volume. “One of the sections faces the piano,” she describes, “another is situated for the views, and the remaining one is toward the fireplace.”
The modern interior designer included many special touches throughout the house and paid close attention to lighting, ensuring that the interior looks as good by night as it does by day. A framed piece of silk art in the living room slides up to reveal a TV. In a hallway behind the kitchen, the wall above the wet bar is fitted with undulating wood panels, backlit for special effect, while the bar’s onyx countertop is underlit for a soft glow in the luxury home.
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The dining room’s light fixture features 86 pendants, hung at different heights to give an effect of motion. In the master bedroom, the custom bed features a built-in headboard with reflected light and backlighting.
Outdoors, desert gardens by landscape designer Marvin Lunt link the home to its setting. A mean feature of the back patio is a sunken fire pit next to a negative-edge pool. “The pool’s triangular shape points right at Camelback Mountain,” PHX Architecture’s Traynor notes. “If you sit on the benches surrounding the fire pit, you’re at eye level with the water and the scenery.”
If you sit on the benches surrounding the fire pit, you’re at eye level with the water and the scenery.
Recently completed, the luxury home with modern interior design hit the right note with the owners. “When we were installing the furniture,” recalls Wright, “the husband sat at the grand piano and played beautiful music for us. It was like our own private concert. I knew then that this house was right for them.”