This estate is a beautiful expression of ranch hacienda-style architecture. Designed by acclaimed architect John Sather of Swaback Partners, it was built with the highest quality materials and workmanship, and every room reflects extraordinary attention to detail. Nestled on six acres on the side of the McDowell Mountains – and backing onto a nature preserve – the property is truly a mountainside sanctuary that offers both privacy and an organic connection to the Sonoran Desert.
The entrance speaks volumes about what’s inside. The imposing arched front door with seeded-glass panels was custom crafted of reclaimed materials by La Puerta of Santa Fe, and the two-story entryway features a commanding chandelier fabricated by the trade-only designer Paul Ferrante. The hardwood floors in the house are made of distressed hickory, and they perfectly compliment the artisanal plasterwork on the walls. Imported from Italy, the Albertini windows and glass-paneled doors, with their rich burnt-pine finish, are another strong design element. Tucson-based Taber & Co. made the bespoke in-wall mesquite cabinets in the living room, and the custom interior doors are also solid mesquite.
Attention to detail is found throughout. The twin custom granite sinks in the kitchen feature integrated drain boards chiseled into the countertop – no dish racks needed. To reduce back strain when rolling dough, chopping vegetables, or doing other prep work, the center island was set at an above-standard 42” height. Electric outlets throughout the house were faux painted to match the surrounding walls and backsplashes. The three decorative panels on each interior door were deliberately sized so that the door lever is perfectly centered on the door rail. And the massive living room fireplace surround was entirely assembled from book-matched marble slabs, to stunning effect.
Many of the rooms are worthy of special mention. Befitting a movie producer who wants to experience films in the best possible way, the 10-seat tiered theater is equipped with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems designed by Shen Milsom & Wilke, a world-class engineering firm. Next to the theater on the lower level is a 2,000-bottle wine cellar, whose rustic stone walls help maintain ideal temperature and humidity levels for long-term storage. Also on the “play” level is a game room that can accommodate all sorts of toys, which currently include a pool table, juke box, Skee-Ball alley, Harley-themed pinball machine and poker table.
The spacious Primary Suite was designed to achieve just the right balance between privacy and togetherness. The suite has a common bedroom but completely separate dual bathrooms and dual closets. The suite also includes a room for luggage storage and a private patio with a fireplace and whirlpool.
Located in a stand-alone structure a little further up the mountain, the Spa is another noteworthy space. On one side is a fully equipped exercise room with wall-to-wall French doors and transom windows that wash the room with light and offer lovely views of a desert garden. On the other side is an intimate massage room with an exquisite domed mosaic ceiling.
How many homes have an ADA-compliant bedroom suite? This one does. All of the light switches are set at ADA height, the bathroom vanity is ADA accessible, and there are grab bars at the commode and in the shower. A commercial-grade elevator serves all three floors and is also ADA-compliant.
The exterior spaces are equally impressive. Berghoff Design Group did the landscaping, which features a virtual arboretum of mature, thriving ironwood, palo verde, mesquite, and Texas ebony trees, all native to the Desert Southwest. These trees form a natural canopy and add to the overall sense of privacy which characterizes this property. The fountains are genuine antiques, and an inviting bougainvillea-lined walkway made from reclaimed stone leads to the main entrance.
The pool deck has been the center of numerous successful fundraisers and memorable events. When the setting sun casts its magical glow on the McDowell Mountains, it’s hard not to be in a special frame of mind.
Before moving to Arizona, the owners had lived in a 60-story condo in Manhattan. The apartment was contemporary in style, with white walls, blond wood floors and black lacquer accents – a long way from the ranch hacienda look. As the owners began to view life in NYC from a glass-half-empty perspective – as their daughter was about to enter middle school – Scottsdale was at the top of their list of possible destinations. They knew the area well, having vacationed at the Phoenician Resort for many years. With its modern infrastructure, sunny and dry climate, high-end shops, good restaurants and even a branch of the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale seemed like the idea choice.
When the owners moved here, they fully embraced Spanish-Style architecture. It was fun to work with a completely different set of materials and colors, and they really got into the project, which took more than three years to complete. In the end, they had realized their vision. It will always be their dream house.
See the full GALLERY HERE.