Award-winning Scottsdale architect Mark Candelaria designs a family home that said welcome from the drawing boards.
It isn’t that often that Mark Candelaria founder of Candelaria Design takes on a spec home, but the Scottsdale, Arizona architect—known for his gracious, estate-style residences—puts as much detail into those projects as he does when actual homeowners are his clients. Such was the case with a recently completed, 8,000-square-foot house in the much-coveted Arcadia area of Phoenix. While there were no initial inhabitants driving the design, Candelaria shaped the home based on the neighborhood, the lot and the views.
“Arcadia is very much a family-oriented neighborhood,” says Candelaria of the district that was once dotted with citrus orchards near the base of landmark Camelback Mountain. “It’s also a very social place, where the neighbors all know each other.” The lot—narrow and without much frontage to the street—proved another challenge to the architect, who is masterful in interpreting traditional and regional designs to fit modern living. “We wanted the house to have some presence on the street,” he explains, “yet also position it so it had mountain views to the northwest.”
An entry patio, warmed by a fireplace, faces the street and serves as an open invitation for Arcadia neighbors to stop by for a glass of wine.
Candelaria met the challenges by creating an octagonal entry tower from which the rest of the floorplan angles, placing most of the rooms of the two-story house in line with views of the mountain. For the exterior elevation, the architect employed steeply pitched roofs, dormer windows and metal cupolas to create what he calls a modern cottage look, detailed with smooth stucco, brick trim, steel windows and a simple post-and-beam front porch. An entry patio, warmed by a fireplace, faces the street and serves as an open invitation for Arcadia neighbors to stop by for a glass of wine.
Inside, an open great room, kitchen, informal dining and bar make up the heart of the home, while a separate dining room can accommodate adult dinner parties and holiday feasts. The master bedroom, bath and capacious closet—complete with illuminated display shelving—were placed upstairs. Oak flooring and reclaimed wood beams warm the interiors, while an abundance of windows flood the house with natural illumination and link indoors to out. Custom cabinetry with traditional influences provides a backdrop for the gourmet kitchen and the home’s bathrooms. The house became a home during the construction process, when a family with school-aged children purchased it. The new owners brought in Phoenix interior designer Erin Liston to help with the furnishings and finishing touches.
Working with deep-toned neutrals, Liston furnished the spaces with comfortable, lounge-worthy pieces in materials that could take the daily wear of family life. She was fearless with patterns and fabrics, mixing, for example, a graphic check print for dining armchairs with the room’s traditional area rug and lush, floral-print draperies. The master bath has a cloud-patterned wall covering paired with contemporary print draperies; bold stripes adorn a wall in one of the children’s bedrooms.
The house became a home during the construction process, when a family with school-aged children purchased it.
Liston also added numerous whimsical touches to the house, including an indoor slide for kids who are in too much of a rush to use the stairs between floors, a custom, double-decker couch in the TV room and swings in lieu of barstools for the outdoor bar.
The home’s outdoor spaces were also designed to be a draw for the occupants, with—in addition to the bar—several covered backyard patios, as well as a pool—graced with another child-friendly slide, this time into the deep end of the water. “You can’t just take a plan and plop it on a site,” says Candelaria of his approach to designing a spec home. “You have to have an idea about the prospective buyers and their needs, as well as the neighborhood. The site and the views also drive the house.”
Clearly, Candelaria’s approach was successful.