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Dear to an Architect’s Heart | Candelaria Design Home in Arcadia, Arizona

photography courtesy of CANDELARIA DESIGN

Candelaria Design

This home represents the values of Candelaria Design—combining collaboration and passion to bring a dream home design to life.

Scottsdale-based custom architecture firm Candelaria Design, founded in 1999 by award-winning architect Mark Candelaria, was built on the principle that home design needs to be a collaborative process. The Candelaria Design team works closely with each client and vendor from start to finish to ensure the final product fully encompasses what a dream home should be. The Spiekerman home, a traditional ranch-style home in highly-desired Arcadia, Arizona, was no exception.

Even with the firm’s dedication to personal customer service, Meredith Thomson, Director of Architecture Design and Production at Candelaria Design and lead architect on this project, had an even closer connection to this project than most. The Spiekerman home was designed for Thomson’s best friend’s sister, a connection she has had since high school. 

Thomson is an Arizona native, she has lived in other states throughout the years but in the end, made the move back to Arizona. She says projects like this one are a great example of why she moved back home—being able to work with clients in a place near and dear to her heart.

Candelaria Design

“Each project is always so different because the client also has a different idea of what a home is. This house is special to me because people I consider close and dear friends will raise a family there, and have family holidays and parties there, which means the world to me,” Thomson says. “That the house is truly a home with many beautiful memories already being made.” 

We asked Thomson what the process is like when it comes to balancing client’s requests and the vision that Candelaria Design has in mind. Her response was simple—listening first and advising second. As with all working relationships, Thomson says, “communication is key, and it’s important I really work hard at pulling out of the client what is important to them.” 

“Each project is always so different because the client also has a different idea of what a home is. This house is special to me because people I consider close and dear friends will raise a family there, and have family holidays and parties there, which means the world to me,” Thomson says. “That the house is truly a home with many beautiful memories already being made.”

Candelaria Design

We asked Thomson what the process is like when it comes to balancing client’s requests and the vision that Candelaria Design has in mind. Her response was simple—listening first and advising second. As with all working relationships, Thomson says, “communication is key, and it’s important I really work hard at pulling out of the client what is important to them.” 

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She emphasized that when clients hire the Candelaria Design team, it’s because they trust the team’s ability to apply their knowledge of flow, light, scale and overall design to bring the vision to life. 

Candelaria Design

And most importantly, Thomson says that when it comes to beginning a project for a luxe residential home, and for this home specifically, the most important thing is how it functions for the family. 

“It is important to listen to the client and understand what is critical to them. For this house, it was flow that was important for their family,” she says. “There are spaces for community and spaces for each of them independently. Size and scale relating to each were thought out so they never felt too far away from each other.”

Candelaria Design

This speaks greatly to Candelaria Design’s mission of keeping every project a collaborative process between the team and homeowner. Thomson says a huge factor to the success of this project was due to another important collaboration, that with Rick Stark, contractor with Starion Custom Residences. 

This collaboration led to a finished project in 2019, filled with modern features that are complemented by the natural light shining in throughout the house and the breathtaking views that surround the property. The Spiekerman residence’s modern farmhouse style coupled with the dark accents that can be found throughout its 5,091 square footage, brings a cozy ambiance despite the rather large size. Every detail from floor to vaulted ceiling brings together all of the elements that truly make a house a home.

Candelaria Design

The Spiekerman home also has a couple of what some might now call “unique” features that happen to be Thomson’s favorite aspects of the home—the dining room and butler’s bar. Not many newer homes have formal dining rooms anymore, but Thomson loves the way the Spiekerman dining room turned out, “it welcomes you in and connects so well with the rest of the house.” 

The dining room opens to the front courtyard fireplace, a very popular feature in the Arcadia, Arizona area, and has the butler’s bar right off of it, which then leads back into the kitchen.

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Adding to the uniqueness of the Spiekerman home, this project initially started as a remodel. The family fell in love with the original ranch home, but it was soon determined that there was too much demolition required to make the upgrades needed to modernize it. 

Candelaria Design

Thanks to the expertise and dedication of the Candelaria Design team, they were able to keep the basic footprint of the house, but started with a clean slate and ended up with a house that this family will love for a lifetime.

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