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Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald Creates Refined Design with an All-Star Team

Larry Fitzgerald's luxury Paradise Valley home

Pear Blossom Photography

A dream team of design talents creates an elegant retreat for NFL star and Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald.

In the shadow of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, sits a piece of the French countryside. A winding gravel driveway through clipped hedges, stretches of velvety lawn and beds filled with white roses leads to a cobblestone motor court, where you are embraced by the gracious entrance of a home with stone-clad walls, brick detailing and a slate roof. One might feel as though you have arrived at un petit chateau.

owner's suite luxury Paradise Valley home

Laura Moss Photography

The French-inspired residence was designed for NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has spent 17 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

Although located thousands of miles from France, the home is replete with the defining characteristics one would expect of a French manor home. To start, the owner is considered nobility in his field.

The French-inspired residence was designed for NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has spent 17 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald’s career receptions of 1,432 holds the record for the most by any player with a single team, and he is second, all-time in receptions and yardage in NFL history.

Pulling from his success on the field, Fitzgerald put together an all-star team to create the home, including architects Mark Candelaria and Meredith Thomson of Candelaria Design, landscape architect Jeff Berghoff of Berghoff Design and interior designer and homeowner’s representative Sara Doto of Longcross Partners.


Paradise Valley luxury home office

Laura Moss Photography

Candelaria recalls that “Mr. Fitzgerald wanted a classic French-inspired house using authentic materials. He was clear that he wanted a warm, inviting house for family and friends, as well as a place that was private, where he could escape and relax from his public life.”

“We understood that Mr. Fitzgerald wanted a house that was well tailored with clean lines filled with light and connected to the outdoors.”

The main house was positioned to maximize the vistas from each room. “We staked out the house and determined proper window heights to capture the views,” says Candelaria of his Arizona Cardinals client. While maintaining the views. The floor plan evolved with a natural uninterrupted flow as you move through the house anchored by a great room with access to shaded patios for outdoor living, privacy for a master suite wing, library and guest quarters.

Dining room in Larry Fitzgerald's AZ home

Laura Moss Photography

Fitzgerald also asked that the dining room not be an afterthought, but rather a celebratory space. The architects responded with a pavilion-like setting off the great room, featuring walls of steels framed doors on three sides and a ceiling detailed with brick barrel vaults, reclaimed beams, and stone walls matching the exterior façade to create a feeling of indoor-outdoor living.

The materials used on the home accentuate the classic forms of the architecture. Thomson explained that this was accomplished by “hand-chiseled reclaimed Dalle de Bourgogne from France for the stone on the exterior walls with limestone detail and columns.”

luxury master closet Paradise Valley home

Pear Blossom Photography

Thomson goes on to say, “herringbone-patterned brick on the chimney masses and outbuildings, copper chimney pots, gutters and downspouts, and steel-framed windows and doors add to the homes authenticity.”

Inside, Candeleria, Thompson and Doto sourced French limestone flooring for their Arizona Cardinals client using a centuries-old finish and fireplace mantles from hand-selected blocks of limestone from a quarry in Bourgogne. They also choose Parquet and chevron wood flooring, all hand-made with white French oak and hand finished in the way of the Old-World masters. Reclaimed beam ceilings create a serene backdrop for the airy interior.



Werner Segarra Photography

As a centerpiece of the great room, a kitchen, pantry and butler’s pantry designed by Christopher Peacock melds warm quarter-sawn white oak and a cool white cabinetry finish with marble countertops. Peacock’s extraordinary work continues through to the master closet and bathroom.

The interior furniture and details were integrated into the overall design plan. As Doto explains “Mr. Fitzgerald requested a palette of blue, grey and whites for his home, using custom-made furniture that would fit his frame but remain comfortable for family and friends. His wish was to create a soothing and comfortable setting, with transitional to modern pieces with clean lines that create inviting areas for conversation and lingering.”

Contemporary art and simple accessories add finishing touches without fuss or clutter.
Doto strongly emphasizes “Mark, Meredith and I shared and collaborated on the exteriors and interiors down to the last door handle to stay cohesive. That’s the secret to success for the client.”

“From the moment you arrive on this property, you feel like you’re in Europe,” says Candelaria. “It’s very much a peaceful retreat, a sanctuary.”

Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald's Paradise Valley home

Pear Blossom Photography

Outdoors, landscape architect Berghoff took inspiration from Fitzgerald’s childhood in Minnesota, using wide sweeps of lawn to frame the home, as well as trees and shrubs at the property’s perimeter to provide privacy and underscore the mountain vistas. Fountains, French pots abundant with seasonal flowers, climbing bougainvillea, lavender and a knot garden are strategically placed and perfectly aligned with the overall vision Fitzgerald wanted to achieve.

As a final touch, the architects and designer abandoned the idea of a traditional poolside ramada, instead creating a fanciful steel structure with dormers, cupola and lacy pillars that provides post-swim shade and a spot to gather around a brick fireplace during the cooler months.

“From the moment you arrive on this property, you feel like you’re in Europe,” says Candelaria. “It’s very much a peaceful retreat, a sanctuary.”

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