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The right tools to find the right remodeler. Visit or call 1.800.611.NARI (6274) for a trustworthy contractor in your area.


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Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

Remodeling? We offer the best of both worlds. DESIGNER

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Media Rooms




contents february 2012


18 Polished Palace By Megan Guthrie

Tom and Susan Cassidy brought back the glamour to their historic Armory Park Neighborhood home.

22 Renovating Wright By Debby Larsen

Ed Allen’s 1950s home in Harold Bell Wright Neighborhood shines with his dedication for details.

26 Transitional Treasure By Debby Larsen

Mary Alexander’s love of old houses shows in the complete facelift of her gem in the West University Neighborhood.


30 Bring Back the Bloom


By Judith Ratliff

Cathy and Bob Morrison’s garden captures an early 20th century look that rivals the beauty of their home.

Departments 10


16 34 36

The Pros Who Know: Home Decorator Fabrics and Accents Marianna Leonardi opened her new venture — a fabric and design studio — just a year ago. The Pros Who Know: California Design/ Studio C Nancy Farina celebrates more than 30 years in the furniture and interior design business.

38 41

Events & More What’s going on in Tucson on the home and garden scene. From NARI The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers tips for homeowners.



Regional Artisan: Steel the One Jon Watson is passionate about his art in steel. Plant Profile: Walk on the Wild Side Wildflowers blanket the desert floor with color in the spring. Garden Calendar A to-do list for Tucson gardeners this month. ABOUT THE COVER The front porch of a historic home in the Armory Park Neighborhood. Photo by Thomas Veneklasen.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / febr uary 2012

sophisticated southwest

interior design • remodel design

lindA roBinson stACeY WolFF

letter from the editor

Home is Where the History is Although Arizona is a young state, it still has a lot of history. This month, as we celebrate the centennial of our statehood, we visited several of Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods, including Armory Park in the heart of downtown; West University, originally known as one of Tucson’s first suburbs; and Harold Bell Wright, named after a popular novelist of the early 1900s who lived here until 1935. The three homes we visited in these various neighborhoods had one thing in common: dedicated owners who have lovingly restored them to bring back the charm of days gone by. As you peek out your window, you may notice that your garden is still waiting to spring back, but in a few weeks the much-needed winter rains we received will result in dormant wildflower seeds coming alive and blanketing the desert floor with swathes of color. The plant profile on page 34 will tell you more. Our artisan this month is Jon Watson, a metal artist whose work ranges from garden art to fashion accessories. Lastly, our Pros Who Know are Nancy Farina of California Design Center/Studio C Interiors, who is celebrating 30 years of success for her furniture and design studio; and Marianna Leonardi, who has reopened the former Home Decorator Fabrics, located in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood.

Editor Debby Larsen at a recent garden shoot. Photo by Robin Stancliff Photography.

Debby Larsen, Editor

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the pros who know

A Line on Design PhotograPhy by Thomas Veneklasen


arianna Leonardi is celebrating the one-year anniversary of her store, Home Decorator Fabrics and Accents. After years in the finance industry, she was looking for a change, and purchased the former Home Decorator Fabrics business from Carolyn Goebel, who owned the shop at its current location for 32 years. Retaining former manager Maggie Conners, an interior designer with 25 years experience, has helped Leonardi to jump right into such a creative business. Delighted to be part of the home fabric and décor scene, Leonardi and her staff members have given the old digs a brand-new look, as well as added a specialty boutique with home accessories. Conners, on-site seamstress Stacy McMahan and Leonardi bring clients a wealth of ideas for home enhancement. Design ideas you can use: •  Purples and greens are popular current color choices. •  Approach design by surrounding yourself with colors and textures that make you feel good. •  Customize your environment with small changes in fabrics and detailing. •  Custom-made slipcovers and draperies offer an easy and affordable solution to redecorating. •  Ikat (a tie-dye type technique) designs are a popular fashion in fabrics. •  Add new life to outdoor furniture by recovering cushions with bright Sunbrella fabrics, which are easy to clean and retain their colors.

home Decorator Fabrics and accents 2532 e. 6th st. (520) 327-2824 10

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

CloCkWIse FRom ToP leFT Ikat designs in blue tones on display; owner marianna leonardi and interior designer maggie Conners; selections of the hundreds of bolts of fabric in the showroom; a vignette of upholstery options.

the pros who know

Seek the Unique PhotograPhy by Thomas Veneklasen


pon moving to Tucson in the late 1970s, Nancy Farina couldn’t find the right furnishings for her new home. In 1979, she decided to start her own business, California Design Center, located at Wilmot and Speedway. As founder and CEO, Farina expanded the specialty furniture store over the following 30 years. She eventually relocated to the Fort Lowell Furniture District, adding even more handcrafted furniture and a team of interior designers to assist customers. The final move came in 2006, building a new store in Oro Valley. Now known as California Design Center/Studio C Interiors, the 20,000-square-foot showroom offers clients unique furnishings and accessories. Sustainable and environmentally conscious goods are offered, as well as exclusive lines of products. The works of many local artists are displayed throughout the store. Tips and Trends: •  It’s important to have an overall plan when starting any interior design projects. •  The plan should include finding pieces that fit together and are the proper scale for the size of the room. •  Large armoires are being replaced with “media chests,” which feature drop-down drawer fronts to hide electronics and accommodate wall-mounted flat-screen televisions. •  After years of darker wood-toned furniture, there has been a return to lighter and grayer driftwood shades. •  “Antiqued” finishes in wood furnishings are back in style. •  Recycled and repurposed materials are popular.

California Design Center/studio C Interiors 11085 n. oracle Road, oro Valley (520) 742-3737 12

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

CloCkWIse FRom ToP leFT nancy Farina, founder and Ceo, photo by kera Parker; handcarved dining pieces by Jason scott; artwork by Jay scott; acrylic painting by Greg kyle.

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regional artisan

Steel the One By Megan guthrie photos courtesy of jon watson

We all have passions. for local sculptor Jon Watson, nothing sparks his interest quite like ... steel.

“Cattails,” 84 x 22 inches, steel.



Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

“As a kid I can remember thinking I’d like to be a blacksmith someday. I guess I always wanted to be different,” Watson says with a chuckle. His business card reads: “The Metal Gardener.” Although the products of his Tucson-based business are all handcrafted from metal, he also incorporates design elements inspired by nature.

“I’m very inspired by nature and don’t like staying within the lines. I once asked a friend of mine who is a musician, ‘Do you hear music all the time?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah. I hear it all the time.’ It’s the same thing for me. I see designs constantly in my head and if I don’t put them out there, I’ll lose them.” Watson finds the best way to describe himself is by first stating what he isn’t. “I don’t want to be inclusive or in that bubble where I look and think like everybody else. I’m someone who likes to follow the beat of my own drum.” Given that Watson arrives for an interview riding a motorcycle that he custom built, and sporting a braided beard that he’s grown for five years, it’s clear that he walks what he talks. His distinct appearance mirrors the philosophy behind his two companies: The Metal Gardener, a hand-crafted metal art company and a handmade accessory line co-founded with his wife Mary Spencer called WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear; and a collection of handcrafted sconces, furniture and gates. Authenticity is paramount to Watson, which is why he personally creates each piece of art. “Watto is a random nickname friends have called me for years. I thought, why not go by that name for the accessory line? I’ll get custom orders and clients will say, ‘I want a Watto!’ It’s fun to meet a new client, see what their needs are, and find my own unique way of developing it.” The artist has always thrived on individuality. “My dad was a Methodist preacher and my mom was a nurse by profession. When we were little and in church, my mom would try to keep us quiet by doodling things and my brothers Fred and David and I would try to copy her designs. Since then, I’ve drawn anything and everything.” In 1986, Watson enrolled in the Art Institute of Atlanta, completing an associate’s degree in visual communications. After graduating he worked for Vanity Fair Intimates, where he met his future wife

LeFt “Desi gates,” 6 x 10 feet, steel. aBoVe Portrait of artist jon watson. BeLow LeFt “shrooms,” 24 x 6 inches, steel. BeLow samples of custom buckles on leather belts.

Mary — a graphic design temp. After 17 years spent working as a graphic designer, Watson was ready for a change. That came in 2000, when Mary received a job offer with a product development company based in Arizona. “I got stagnant sitting in front of a computer all day. I always wanted to do metal work and decided to finally do it. I stopped by a local welding shop called Industrial Welder Repair and asked the owner — Mike Kightlinger — ‘Do I need to go to school to learn how to weld properly?’ He said, ‘No, welding is easy. I can teach you how to do it.” Watson accepted his offer and worked as his apprentice. For two years Watson learned the art of welding. By 2007 he began making sconces and selling them at local art outlets and grocery store parking lots in Arizona. That’s where he met Medicine Man Art Gallery owner Mark Sublette. “Mark just happened to stop by the local art show one day and liked my stuff. He then called me to do some sconces for his house. I worked for a year at his property making all sorts of things like fences and entry doors. Mark basically pitch-started The Metal Gardener business and from that point on it’s been word of mouth. I don’t know how people find me, but they find me and I get to do cool art!” What’s next for Watson? “I’m thinking now that I might want to pursue creating more public art. It’s just a bigger deal in scale.”

Commuters driving on Sunrise from Kolb to Craycroft will see some of his community art. “They’re basically 16-inch boxes that are seven feet tall. The boxes sit on top of these mosaic pedestals created by Santa Theresa Tile Works. Solar panels sit atop each one. The sculptures are lit from the inside so when you drive past them at night it looks pretty cool.” The accessory line — everything from “blinged out necklaces” to belt buckles, key chains and money clips is selling well

also, with everyone from rockstars to bussinessmen as clients. “The best part about being an artist is having the freedom to be creative,” Watson concludes, “Which is good because I’m not going to be shackled.” HG Information is available at: Jon The Metal Gardener: www.themetalgarden. com; and at WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear: Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


Homes with a History

Polished Palace With a lineage dating back to territorial days and many stunning features, this oneof-a-kind home has become the gem of the downtown neighborhood. By Megan guthrie PhotograPhy By thoMas Veneklasen


Tom and Susan Cassidy bought the historic “Rubi House” in October 2004. According to the Cassidys, the charismatic structure had the “it factor.” “This is the prettiest house in town,” claims Tom, an established entertainment booking agent. Situated across from Armory Park, the house is zoned for both residential and commercial use. The appeal of owning a multiaFter functional, historical home is what initially brought the Cassidys to Tucson. “I’ve lived in Manhattan, downtown Chicago and Aspen, but we were searching for a specific type of building. We like houses on corners, historic homes, and we wanted to be able to open an art gallery downstairs and have our offices upstairs. The zoning capabilities made it the perfect fit.” Built in 1907 by former Missouri State Senator and local attorney Owen T. Rouse, the house didn’t earn its current moniker for years. “What makes the property so special is the history behind it. For example, Owen’s son Charles Oma Rouse was in the first graduating class at the University of Arizona,” Susan recalls. Prior to the Cassidys’ purchase, Justice of the Peace Pete Rubi owned the house, hence the way it’s now known. Although the house has gone through renovations, key aspects have remained intact — including the original hand-painted tiles, along with refurbished hardwood floors spanning the 3,600-square-foot property. Wanting to share the estate’s charm with the community, in September of 2011, the Cassidys listed the Rubi House with Realtor Bryan Durkin. Asking price: $1,895,000.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

aBoVe the fireplace surround consists of african mahogany and is accented with deco tiles.

elegant scroll-topped columns accentuate the lines of the expansive front porch. Delicately scrolled ironwork hints at the home’s Victorian heritage.

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


“We’re selling the house because we’d like to see the building become a restaurant or something that people can use. A place the community can enjoy and participate in,” Tom explains. “When our offices were in the Rubi House, people would often stop by asking to come in to see it,” says Susan. “There is not another home like this in town. It’s a historic treasure.” The house is equipped with many original items, including a tile mosaic of the city’s seal on the front porch. The remodeling process included updating the kitchen with modern appliances and installing a new electrical and AC system. Formerly, there was a private saloon, which the Cassidys renovated into a “Garden Room.” The one-time garage, located on the Northwest side of the home, was transformed into the “Carriage House” — a room featuring a gabled tin ceiling. Changes took place outside as well. The rounded front porch with stunning pillars is now encapsulated by an iron fence. “When we bought the home there was a cinder block wall around it. If you were standing across the street, you couldn’t see the place and we wanted to open everything up. Once we installed the iron fence, two men came over and said to me, ‘I’ve lived in this neighborhood my whole life and I’ve never seen this house.’ This is an amazing place. It’s too beautiful to be hidden.” Susan was intimately involved with the home’s redesign and tried to remain true to historical aspects. She incorporated the five colors from the property’s original tiles and repainted them aBoVe a rich jewel-tone paint palette is used throughout the home. leFt the house, once hidden by a cinder block wall, is now surrounded by a handcrafted iron fence.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

throughout the house to unite the overall color palette. “Everything she does is laid out beautifully and you can see from the colors that she has a good eye. I just made comments every now and then,” Tom jokes. “I once lived in San Francisco where there were Victorian homes called ‘Painted Ladies’ that were colorful and bright. I was inspired by them when painting the Rubi House. I also wanted the colors to match the original tiles and to fit in with the beauty of the desert landscape,” Susan notes. Other updates include the fireplace mantel that’s displayed in the foyer. The once key lime paint was removed, exposing rich African mahogany underneath. The white staircase also was refurbished, and each wall was retextured. “After 100 years, the walls were all different textures and needed to be fixed,” Tom explains. “Houses require constant care and upkeep. Upstairs lie three bedrooms. One is deemed “The Ballroom,” because it was used for elaborate parties in the early 1900s, while another room is connected to an outdoor balcony facing Armory Park. The Rubi House was the Cassidys’ initial purchase upon moving to Tucson, but now the couple currently owns several other historical homes in the Barrio District, along with two near the University of Arizona. In 2010 they opened a clothing/home goods/gift boutique called, Ooo! “Outside Of Ordinary” in Main Gate Square. Being near downtown and immersed in the history of the Old Pueblo has a special appeal for the Cassidys. “Everything that I buy for the store is classic and special. I’m drawn to items that will keep their value over the years. That’s also what I love about the Rubi House. The history behind it is unique and it cannot be duplicated.” HG

I once lived in San Francisco where there were Victorian homes called ‘Painted Ladies’ that were colorful and bright.

right a large paved patio surrounds the front and sides of the home. a courtyard fountain brims with colorful blooms.

Armory Park Neighborhood Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this lush 30-block area is an eclectic mix of architectural styles including Queen Anne, Mission, Spanish Colonial, Greek Revival, Victorian and California Bungalow. Most homes in the area were built in the early 1900s. The neighborhood is named for the Military Plaza where the Armory was located prior to its relocation to Fort Lowell in 1873. n

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


Homes with a History

Renovating Wright A mid-century adobe home has been given a loving facelift by its dedicated homeowner. By Debby Larsen PhotogrAPhy By amy HaskeLL


When Ed Allen was looking for his next home, he scoured Tucson’s historic neighborhoods. He found just the right place to remodel on the eastside, in Harold Bell Wright Estates subdivision. Once considered as occupying the rural edge of Tucson, this neighborhood is best known for its gently meandering streets and lofty ranch-style homes on large lots covering several acres, surrounded by native desert landscape. Born and raised in Tucson, Ed was drawn to the older home, which was reminscent of his childhood abode. “I saw the potential right away, but it was the neighborhood that I bought. I love the natural desert and this subdivision is the epitome of a water-wise, xeriscape-style landscape. In his eyes, the burnt adobe home, built in 1957, was a diamond in the rough, existing in the same condition it had for its previous owners over the decades. The home still sported original harvest gold kitchen fixtures, outdated pink bath tile and fixtures, and pine paneling. Undaunted, Ed’s goal was to bring the home into the 21st century for visual appeal, comfort and energy efficiency. His design philosophy has always maintained that the kitchen is the center of the home. With this in mind, he began the task of taking down walls and creating an open floor plan.

LeFT Large desert lots are characteristic of the Harold bell Wright neighborhood. abOVe Homeowner ed allen replaced an oversized brick fireplace with an updated version, accented with original artwork by Pam Haskell.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

It’s amazing how just paying attention to little details had a great overall effect.

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


Original seven-foot ceilings were brought down and replaced with 12-foot insulated ceilings, then topped with a new roof. This also allowed for updated wiring and more energy-efficient lighting. Large beams stained with a mellow dark satin finish provided the finishing touch. Ed notes that by adding extra insulation in all walls of the house, outside noise was greatly diminished. “It’s amazing how just paying attention to little details had a great overall effect.” The once choppy floor plan of the tiny dining room and narrow galley kitchen were the first of many hurdles to overcome. As often found in the ’50s, large brick fireplaces with planter boxes were built as a design focus of the room. This one, however, was visually and physically overpowering for the space it occupied. It was removed and replaced with a freestanding version aligned with the north wall. Flooring became the next obstacle to tackle. Carpet and


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

linoleum were removed. The original foundation was evened off with a top coat of concrete, which was then acid washed, stained and sealed. “It was very labor intensive work, but the finished look is worth it,” he notes. The kitchen detailing was the real focus of the home’s facelift. Ed smiles as he points out the many features he has included. “A real cook would love this design,” he quips. “Since I’m not a cook, I just love to look at it! It has all the bells and whistles.” He is especially proud of the honed soapstone island counter. “You don’t find this very often. Just look at that patina. It reminds me of my high school chemistry lab counters. Nothing was able to destroy those!” The original countertops went to a good home, “to someone who really wanted them for a retro-kitchen remodel.” The double-decked cherry cabinetry was accented with glass and lighting. A gas stove, pull-out drawers, and roll-out pantries round out the list of upgrades.

After the main part of the house was complete, Ed moved on to finish the rest with the same attention to detail. The master bedroom and bath were completely redesigned to make a more efficient use of space. “In many cases, I borrowed space from one area to give to another. I added storage wherever I could squeeze it in.” When discussing the project Ed admits, “I didn’t do this alone. I enlisted the help of two friends, who have a real eye for design. High school friend Pam Haskell and her daughter Amy Haskell were part of the design team all the way along. I give a lot of credit to that dynamic duo.” Ed reconnected with Pam when he answered her ad several years ago about a remodeling project — renovating her assisted living facility, El Rancho Encanto, named in honor of her late father, John Hardy of El Rancho Market fame. When asked about future projects, Ed says he’s working on cabins on Mount Lemmon. “I love to built and create and every home is a new adventure.” HG

LeFT The original galley kitchen has been upgraded with an island counter and cherry cabinetry. beLOW The covered patio received a facelift with lighter-hued paint, new doors and flooring.

Harold Bell Wright Estates This 116-acre subdivision, named for once-popular American novelist Harold Bell Wright, is lined with streets named for places and characters in his novels. The neighborhood is known for its spacious lots and post-World War II custom ranch-style homes made of burnt adobe. n The home’s round pool, in vogue in the 1950s, has been refurbished but the style has been retained.

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


Homes with a History


Transitional Treasure Thanks to some TLC, this Victorian that predates Arizona’s statehood has weathered gracefully. by Debby Larsen PhoTogrAPhy CourTesy of Treehouse Design group

aboVe Following renovation, new landscape plantings were added to provide curb appeal. righT an arch and low stucco walls were removed to regain the home’s Victorian appearance.

beFore 26

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012


Interior designer Mary Alexander has a love of old houses. Fifteen years ago she owned a large home in the center of the West University Neighborhood and even though she loved it, she was drawn to a small house just a few doors away that seemed to have great energy, but needed to be rescued from years of neglect. For several years, Mary had watched as the brick Victorian, built in 1898, declined in a slow downward spiral and finally fell into ruin. “In this particular neighborhood, demolition is just not an option,” Mary says. When the house eventually appeared on the market, she purchased it and began the rescue plan, easier said than done with such a unique place. “Lacking the elaborate detailing of a typical Victorian, the style of the home is more characteristic of the bungalow era that was beginning to be the trend in the early 20th century, so I call this a ‘Victorian Transitional.’” Mary’s love of historic architecture was influenced in part by her family background. Born and raised in Tucson, she spent her formative years helping her grandfather, a carpenter who repaired older buildings at the University of Arizona. Her renovation project was an act of love, abeit one that required a lot of work.

righT The original cooking porch was replaced with this new kitchen. beLoW a vignette was created from a former doorway.


Lacking the elaborate detailing of a typical Victorian, the style of the home is more characteristic of the bungalow-era that was beginning to be the trend in the early 20 th century.

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


The first order of business was clean-up. After years of deferred maintenance several interior walls had to be torn down. The roof was replaced and additional space was added for insulation and lighting. The bead board ceilings were sandblasted throughout. Several brick interior walls were left in their original condition. Three-inch-wide mesquite flooring was installed throughout the house; exterior walls were sandblasted and covered with stucco the color of sand. Attention to details was always foremost. When only a few feet of the original wooden molding was uncovered, it was used as a template and Mary duplicated the trim in many parts of the home. The double-pitched roofline was retained, but the low stucco exterior walls and curved arches were removed to bring back the home’s original appearance. Lava rock walls, originally quarried from “A” Mountain, were repaired. A new kitchen replaced original cooking porch, dating back to the 1950s. The Douglas fir flooring was resurfaced. A 1940s refrigerator and a metal and porcelain sink were recycled and used as design elements. The living and dining room area, with plaster walls, wood ceilings and wood flooring, adds warmth and charm to the finished project.

Top Mesquite flooring was added throughout the home. LeFT exposed brick walls, bead board ceilings and door moldings retain the character of the home’s past.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

A four-bedroom guesthouse, which was added in the 1930s, was part of the overall renovation plan. The original kitchen cabinetry and zinc countertop from the main house were moved to become part of a new guesthouse kitchen. Five years after Mary began her project, she met and married Curt Ench, an architect. He also embraced the endeavor and was an integral part of the final phase of the design project. Thanks to his expertise, the once-barren landscape between the guesthouse and main house is now the site of a magical garden of trees and plantings. Three fountains add to the small but delightful space. “This has been my home and design studio for the past 15 years. It has been well worth the work to bring its beauty gracefully into the next century.� HG righT a serene garden space was created between the main house and guesthouse. beLoW a small stairway leads to the basement. boTToM a porch was removed to bring the house back to its original architectural style.



West University Neighborhood Sandwiched between downtown and the University of Arizona this sprawling neighborhood is more than 60 blocks in size. It occupies an area between Speedway Boulevard and 6 th Street. As Tucson has grown the area has evolved from a suburb to a historic downtown neighborhood. Although a number of architectural styles were represented, such as Sonoran, Victorian, Territorial and Transitional, the Bungalow style was the most popular. n

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


Homes with a History

Bringing Back the Bloom a turn-of-the-century home in West University Neighborhood now has blossomed like a flower By Judith Ratliff PhotograPhy By thomas Veneklasen


Cathy Morrison finished her home and garden renovation with a gesture of gratitude to the West University Neighborhood where she and her husband Bob, reside. She created an abundant perennial garden between her front garden wall and the sidewalk and planted native wildflowers in the narrow strip between the sidewalk and the street. The flowers perk up the whole block, bring waves from passers-by and have started many conversations about gardening. Whenever she has extra seeds, Cathy offers them to those who ask. “We love it here,” she says. “We wanted to live in an urban area so we could walk to things. We wanted to have sidewalks and streetlights. We’re a 15-minute walk from Arizona Theatre Company productions and even closer to the University of Arizona. Bob teaches entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management and he walks to work.” The Morrisons moved in

toP Colorful old-fashioned flower species fill the gardens. left Blooms frame the front of Cathy and Bob morrison’s home in West university neighborhood. 30

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

White hollyhocks line the path to the front door.

In front, I wanted to recapture the look that the grounds must have had at the start of the 20th century.

2000. Putting their long-standing mutual interest in historic preservation to work, they and their sub-contractors remade every square inch of the half-acre property. Cathy, who took a break from a career in marketing and communications for both retail and non-profit organizations, spearheaded the project. She and Bob, who grew up in the West University Neighborhood, actually did an uncommon amount of the work themselves, inside and out. “The grounds here were derelict,” Cathy recounts. “The house had been carved up into office cubicles and most recently served as headquarters for a health agency. Nobody had thought about the architectural integrity of the house in decades.” But not only did Cathy and Bob see the potential, she felt like she understood the house. Built in 1902, it is an elegant iteration — dubbed American Territorial — of the old farmhouses Cathy grew up with in the Midwest. “The kitchen is always placed in the northeast corner,” she points out, “where it receives morning light for preparing breakfast and getting the family up and going. The bulk of the structure protects the kitchen from afternoon heat. It’s the heart of the house.”

The first six months of the extreme makeover were dicey. That’s how long it took to get the kitchen, which had been completely gutted for commercial use, up and running. Finishing up the rest of the house went smoothly, but before construction began in 2003 on a new two-story garage and guest house planned for the back of the lot, Cathy felt the need to get started on her garden. “In front, I wanted to recapture the look that the grounds must have had at the start of the 20th century,” she says. “It’s a straight entry walk right up to the front porch with garden beds on each side of the walk backed by lawn. Wider garden beds completely surround the porch. “I do a lot of replanting with the seasons because I want flowers. I love them. This is how so many people gardened in old Tucson. They were from the East and this is what they were used to. And it suited me, as well. People say, ‘oooh, it’s so much work,’ but it’s not. Once you get the soil built up and the weeds under control, it’s just a matter of keeping on top of things. I do a little bit every day and look forward to spending Sundays gardening.” It was pretty evident initially that if a few trees could be salvaged Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


the Morrisons would be lucky. Fortunately they have brought back some olives, palms and a few other tough species, including a huge, ancient hackberry that shades the yard on the west side of the house. Other landscaping priorities included getting a period, white iron fence in place for the protection of the family pooches, Oliver and Clyde. Installing turf came next, for its aesthetic and cooling properties. The backyard was simply left bare while the construction of the new building was undertaken. Cathy was more or less waiting for inspiration for what to do there in accordance with her theory that answers to problems will present themselves with time. “We love to entertain, but this is an old house. There’s no sleeping porch. Nobody had ever built a ramada for shade back here. I wasn’t sure. Then one night we were eating at a favorite restaurant and I realized the giant umbrellas I’d loved at the original location weren’t in use. The owner said they were in storage and he’d sell some to me. I took two, each 20 feet in diameter.” “That was the easy part. To securely install the umbrellas took 600 pounds of concrete. I used them over two round patios — really outdoor living rooms with couches and overstuffed chairs and decorated with talavera pottery. These huge umbrellas have a wonderfully extravagant effect. We consider them garden art.”

a duo of 20-foot umbrellas shades the round cement patios.

BeloW a cantera stone fountain is the focal point of the shaded west garden. BeloW RiGht Cathy and Bob morrison pose with one of the family dogs.


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

A few years ago, when the completed Morrison property was part of a garden tour, the tour sponsor asked Cathy if she had any before-and-after pictures of the place. She replied, “I have a picture of Harry Arizona Drachman (city and county treasurer, state senator, prominent local businessman and the second owner of the house) sitting under our hackberry tree with Geronimo’s grandson. Does that interest you?” Such are the pleasures of living in a beautifully refurbished historical property — bringing the past to life for new generations. Cathy will describe to interested walkers how her low landscape wall is made from stones carried by horse and wagon from a long-abandoned quarry at the base of “A” Mountain. Inside she can point out the myriad period details she worked to recreate. She was as determined as the historic district officials that the guest house/garage was built in the same architectural style as the house. “We’ve enjoyed every minute of living here,” Cathy beams. “Of course there are ongoing projects. I’ve become an expert at repairing plaster cracks. That’s something you get with old houses.” HG Judith Ratliff is a Tucson landscape designer. She can be reached for comment at 577–7391. a covered porch looks out on the umbrella-covered “outdoor rooms.”

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


plant profile


2. Blackfoot Daisy

3. Mexican Hat

Tolerates full sun and drought tolerant. Rounded masses of tiny white daisy-like blooms. Good ground cover with delicate evergreen foliage. Blooms March to December.

One of most common ingredients in a wildflower seed mix. Extra water in summer extends blooms to fall. Red to maroon petals surround a tall central cone. Takes full sun. Drought tolerant.

4. Dogweed

5. Indian Blanket or Firewheel

6 Prairie Verbena

Dainty, daisy-shaped gold flowers cover mounds of fine-textured leaves. Reseeds itself readily. Blooms March to September.

Red and yellow fringed petals. Heat and drought tolerant. Blooms May to July. Included in most wildflower mix seeds.

Clusters of lavender on hairy perennial foliage. Carpets ground with color from February to October.

Baileya multiradiata

Mounds of yellow daisy-like flowers on wooly, gray-green foliage. Readily reseeds itself. Year-round flowers in mild winters. Drought tolerant and does well with radiated heat for xeriscape gardens.

Dyssodia pentachaeta


Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

Melampodium leucanthum

Gaillardia artista

Ratibida columnifera

Glandularia bipinnatifida

Red Poppy photo Š

1. Desert Marigold

Fall-planted seeds, nourished by the winter rains that drench our soils, greet us in spring with bright, beautiful blooms.

7. California Gold Poppy

8. California Blue Bell

9. Beard Tongue

Very low growing — under 10 inches. Clusters of bright-blue bell-like flowers. Triangular-shaped leaves. Reseeds itself.

Tubular flowers grow on stately spikes. Dozens of species in a rainbow of color. Basal rosette of foliage year-round. Drought tolerant. Grow from seed or nursery stock.

10. Lacy Scorpionweed

11. Brittlebush

12. Butterfly Weed

Spiky fiddlehead-shaped clusters of lavender flowers on lacy foliage. Reseeds easily. Drought tolerant.

Tiny clusters of yellow daisy-like blooms from November to May. Perennial rounded shrub. Drought tolerant. Fragrant gray-green foliage.

Bright orange and red flat-topped flower clusters top tall branching stems. Drought tolerant. Perennial shrub. Attracts monarch butterflies. Blooms April to September.

Eschscholzia californica

Gold cup-shaped flowers. Delicate lacy gray-green foliage. Reseeds easily. Blankets the ground with color in spring display.

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Phacelia campanularia

Encelia farinosa

Penstemon species

Asclepias tuberosa

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


garden calendar


It’s time to get your garden ready for the burst of spring growth.



Plant color annuals such as pansies, petunias, larkspur, primrose, poppy, stock, violas, alyssum, snapdragon and marigolds.

Water citrus deeply every three weeks.

Plant native or desert adapted plants such as desert marigold, penstemon, sage and evening primrose, which are hardy enough to withstand the cold nights but benefit from extra time in the ground to establish roots.

Fertilize citrus, lawns, grapes and deciduous trees. Citrus fertilizers are formulated especially to provide a source of nitrogen. Fertilize roses with a slow-release fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorous around mid-month to encourage blooms by April. Fertilize non-native plants just as they begin active growth. Wait to fertilize tender tropicals until danger of frost is over. Natives generally do not need fertilizer.

TRANSPLANTING Tomatoes must be transplanted early enough to develop roots, flower and set fruit before hot weather arrives. Plant mid-month but watch for frost and cover for protection until mid-March.

Adjust watering schedule according to winter rains.

HARVESTING Continue to harvest citrus. Most citrus should be picked by the end of the month. However, Valencia oranges are just starting to sweeten and grapefruit continues to sweeten for several months.





Watch shallow-rooted newly planted annuals, which can quickly dry out with spring winds.


Start a new crop of cool-season vegetables, such as root vegetables, peas, leafy greens, kale and bunching onions.


P e tu ni a


e et P




r os


Prepare beds before planting new vegetable crops. Blend organic matter into the soil using compost or steer manure, ammonium phosphate and soil sulfur. Allow to rest one week before adding new plants. Cover the bed with plastic to germinate any weed seeds that may be present in the soil.

PRUNING Wait until new shoots emerge on frost-damages plants. Cut back ornamental grasses. Dead head spent flowers on annuals to promote continuous bloom. HG

P e n st e m o n All iu



Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

interior design

w w w. l o r i c a r r o l l . c o m 520.886.3443

events & more Compiled by Anne Kellogg Your guide to what’s happening on the home and garden front this month. Event listings run without charge on a space-available basis as a service to our readers. Because of possible last-minute changes, readers should confirm event details by calling the telephone numbers in the listings. For additional listings visit

February Art & SpeciAl exhibitS Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase

Jan. 28-Feb. 12. World’s largest marketplace featuring international dealers at 4+ locations around town. 1-800-638-8350. Tucson Gem & Mineral Society Show at TCC

Feb. 9-12. Tucson’s original gem show with displays including “Minerals of Arizona” and more. 322-5773. Tubac Festival of the Arts

Feb. 8-12. Hundreds of visiting artists, craftspeople and musicians as well as food vendors. 2 Tubac Road, Tubac, (520) 398-2704.

Tucson Museum of Art Monthly Events Located in the Main lobby and courtyards, no admission fee. El Nacimiento, through March 18 Art of Latin America, through Feb. 28, 2013 Han and Beyond — The Renaissance of China: The James Conley Collection: Continues through Jan. 2014 Art of Latin America; Art of the American West; and Modern and Contemporary Art: Ongoing

Museum Hours: Sun. 12-4 p.m.; Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.5 p.m. Located at 140 N. Main Ave. Contact 624-2333, or visit for further details and other events. Admission to the museum is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for students 13 and up; children 12 and under are free, and first Sunday of the month is free.

Arizona State Museum Southwest Indian Art Fair, Feb. 18-19. Southern Arizona’s premier American Indian art show and market with 200 native artists, rug auction and more. 626-8381. Hopi Quilts: Unique Yet Universal, through August 20. Presenting 20 examples of Hopi quilts from the 1970s to today. Many Mexicos: Vistas de la Frontera, ongoing. This exhibition interprets the broad sweep of Mexican history from the perspective of the borderlands. Museum Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed 12:301 p.m.); Sun. 12-5 p.m. Experience the Arizona State Museum located on the University of Arizona campus, 1013 E. University Blvd. Visit for further information on exhibits, lectures and special events. Fees vary by workshop.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art Master Impressions from the UAMA Collections: Alphonse Legros, through Feb. 5. The Border Project: Soundscapes, Landscapes & Lifescapes, through March 18. Matt Eskuche & Matthias Düwel: Consumer Consumption, through April 22. Portraits and Figurative Works from the UAMA Permanent Collections 17th to 20th Centuries, ongoing,

UAMA Pfeiffer Gallery Twentieth Century Works from the Permanent Collection, ongoing, UAMA Gallagher Gallery 38

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBR UARY 2012

Learn container gardening at Tucson Botanical Gardens. Photo by Thomas Veneklasen. Museum Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 12-4 p.m. Located on the campus of the University of Arizona. Visit for more information on exhibits, events and education. Admission: adults, $5; museum members, students, children and UA faculty and staff, free.

Wildflowers, Thurs. Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., $14; $10

Register online. Just Having Fun with Butterflies. Sat. Feb. 25, 2:30-4

p.m. Gardening for the Newcomer: 1st Thursday and 3rd

Saturday monthly; 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Xeriscape Doesn’t Mean Zeroscape!: 2nd Saturday

monthly; 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

FAirS & tourS Agua Linda Farm Agua Linda Farm offers seasonal fresh crops such as pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, honey, grass-fed beef cuts, salad ingredients, chiles, tomatoes and beans. Families can have fun on the hayrides, plus the property is a bird-watcher’s delight. Located at 2643 E. Frontage Road in Amado, AZ (I-19 South to Agua Linda Road, Exit 42). Contact farmer Stewart Loew for visits, seasonal produce selections and hours at 891-5532.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Monthly Tours & Events

Explore the amazing world of desert flora and fauna with in-depth tours and exhibits. All presentations and workshops are held at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. For details, times and other events call 883-2702, or visit Fee varies.

Successful Plants for Tucson Gardens: 1st Saturday

monthly; 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Rain Water Harvesting Workshop: 4th Saturday monthly;

8:30-10:30 a.m. Exploring Tucson Botanical Gardens, Fridays, 10 a.m.

Sept.-May. TBG Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily General admission: $7 adults and $3 for those 4-12, 3 and under are free. Some classes require pre-registration, call for details. Class size is limited and prices per class vary. All events held at the TBG, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Call 326-9686, ext. 35 or visit for details on special events, classes, ticket prices, etc.

Tohono Chul Park Monthly Tours & Attractions Gardening Where We Live, Sat. Feb. 5, 9 a.m.-12 p.m, Ed.

Ctr. #1, $8; $4 members The Gardener’s Guide to Cactus, Sat. Feb. 18, 10 a.m.,

Ed. Ctr. #1, $8; $4 members Beautiful Desert Gardens, Feb. 25, 2-4 p.m., Ed. Ctr. #1,

$8; $4 members

GArdeninG & plAntS Tucson Botanical Gardens Classes, Tours & Attractions

Walk in the Park: Mon-Sat: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Art in the Park: Each Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.

Docent-led tour. Birds of Tohono Chul Walking Tour: Mon., Wed. and Sat.

Painting Plants with Manabu Saito, Feb. 8 and 22, 9-11

at 8:30 a.m.

a.m., free with Gardens’ admission. Butterfly Basics, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 4:30-6:30 p.m., $12; $7 members. Register online 2/21. Photography Workshop with Mary Warren, Feb. 25, 8-9:30 a.m., $20; $15 members. Register online 2/25. Butterfly Phylogeny, Sat., Feb. 4, 2:30-4 p.m., $14; $10 members. Register online. The Contained Gardener, Sat. Feb. 11, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (with a 1-hour lunch break). Learn techniques for successful potted gardening. $75; $65 members. Register online. Your Garden as an Urban Sanctuary, Sat. Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $25; $20 members. Register online. Butterfly Sex, Sat., Feb. 19, 2:30-4 p.m. (ages 18 and over), $14; 10 members. Register online.

Connecting Plants and People: 1st Saturday of the

month, 10 a.m. The Great Xeriscape: 3rd Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. Stories in the Garden: Tuesdays; 10 a.m. Children’s

Ramada For all classes and workshops, call 742-6455 x 0 to register. Pre-registration is required. Tours, classes and exhibits vary by season. All proceeds benefit the park. Located at 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Call 742-6455, or visit for more information and fees.

The Contained Gardener Classes See Tucson Botanical Gardens, Sat. Feb. 11.

Register online at for all classes. Get Potted Studio, 2522 E. Ft. Lowell Rd., #2, 733-3359.

SmartScape Program, UA Pima County Cooperative Extension Arizona Cooperative Extension workshops usually are held Wednesdays at 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Call 626-5161 for more information. No fee.

Arizona Native Plant Society Monthly Meetings: 2nd Wed. of every month (Sept. through May) at 7 p.m. (sometimes earlier) at the AZ Game and Fish office, 555 N. Greasewood. For more information contact Carianne Campbell at

The Gardeners of Tucson Monthly Meetings: 2nd Tues. of every month at Ward 6 Tucson City Council offices, 3203 E. 1st Street, at 7:30 p.m. Contact: Jacqueline Soule, Ph.D., 292-0504.

Rose Society of Tucson Monthly Meetings: 1st Tues. of every month (except July & Aug.) at Tucson Botanical Gardens at 6:30 p.m. Contact: Judy Singer, 529-6020, or visit

Tucson African Violet Society Four meetings a month: September-November and January-April, then potlucks on a Saturday in December and May. For more information call 574-1367.

Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society Monthly Meetings: 1st Thurs. of every month (except December) at the Junior League of Tucson, 2099 E. River Road at 7 p.m. For more information go to or call 885-6367.

Tucson Garden Club Monthly Meetings: 3rd Wed. of every month, 10 a.m. (Sept.-May) at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Affiliated with national Garden Club and Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs. Some meetings are not held at TBG. For information call Mary Primeau at 297-8301.

Tucson Orchid Society Monthly Meetings: 3rd Wed. of every month at Adobe Bridge Club, 3727 E. Blacklidge Road. Contact: Jim W., 749-1142 for information and time.

Tucson Organic Gardeners Companion Planting, with Kim Nelson, Feb. 21, focus-

ing on the use of one plant to enhance fruit production or protect another. Monthly Meetings: 3rd Tues. of every month at 7 p.m. (Sept. through April) at St. Mark’s Church, 3809 E. 3rd Street. For more information call 670-9158 or visit

Food & Wine Bear Canyon Open Air Market Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Located on the northwest corner of Catalina Hwy. and Tanque Verde Road, this community market features locally grown produce, organic eggs, grass-fed meats, local artists, recycled yard art and education on recycling and organic gardening. For more information call 9822645.

Broadway Village Farmers Market

and more. For more information visit

Park Place Mall Farmers Market Tuesdays 1-6 p.m.

A community of family farmers and local artisans in the south courtyard of the mall. For more information visit

Rincon Valley Farmers Market Every Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Year-round market featuring fresh produce, arts, crafts and furniture. Located in the Rincon Valley on the southeast edge of Tucson at 121500 E. Old Spanish Trail, four miles east of Saguaro National Park East. For more information call 591-2276 or visit

St. Philip’s Merchants Farmers Market and Tucson Farmers Market Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sundays 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Southern Arizona’s largest farmers’ market featuring locally grown and produced foods, produce, baked goods, crafts, meats, eggs and more. For more information on the Saturday market, call 577-7123; for Sunday market, call 918-9811.

Udall Park Farmers Market Fridays 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Features local, seasonal foods while celebrating Tucson’s unique culinary traditions with chefs creating dishes with foods from the market. To submit your home and garden event or workshop, contact Anne Kellogg at

Fridays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fresh produce, tea, eggs, herbal products, baked goods

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


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Glazed Expressions Pottery


Perry Design & Manufacturing Inc.


Arizona Opera League


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Plants for the Southwest



Home Decorator Fabrics and Accents


RB Construction


AZ Landscape Maintenance (520) 663-3533


Interior Trends Remodel & Design


Robinson Perry Design Group LLC


California Closets


Jane Hamilton Fine Art


The Rug Stone of Tucson (520) 219-1129

Canyon Cabinetry & Design


Johansen Fence & Gate (520) 664-9234


Sam Levitz Furniture


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Kinetico Home Water Systems


Sundréa Design Studio


Contents Interiors


Long Realty/Madeline Friedman


Tamarron Homes Inc. (520) 293-3370


Conway Tile Company Inc.


Lori Carroll & Associates


Today’s Patio Furniture & Décor


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Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery (520) 721-8600


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Photo by Jennifer Brankin

from NARI

Daniel Gullick, president of NARI

Manage Stress on Your Remodeling Project


here is no doubt that the remodeling process is both intrusive and stressful. Managing these factors is a primary concern for the NARI contractor handling your project. Nevertheless, it is the homeowner who can help ease the level of anxiety regarding a project’s timely completion. Clear discussions with your contractor and all family members are crucial before the project begins. Outlining everyone’s roles and responsibilities before and during the project will allow for proper planning. Include the whole family in your discussions. Children can help maintain your timeline by keeping family pets under control during work hours. They also need to understand that the work site is not a playground and to keep away from workers and their tools. The more the contractor prepares a family, the more efficiently they can complete your project. Here are some tips to further help manage stress: •  Have a contingency plan for baths and  kitchens in case of timeline overruns.  •  Yes, there will be dust. Ask about drops and  covers at your preconstruction conference.  •  Assign who will be in charge of changing the  air conditioning’s return air filter during the  project and how often this will take place.  •  Be as clear as possible on all product choices and their lead times prior to start of work.  •  Most importantly, do not rely on Google to  become an expert on remodeling overnight!

Daniel Gullick, General Manager of Investment Builders, LLC; is president of the Southern Arizona chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), which began in January 2009. NARI is a national trade association committed to the professional remodeling industry. With 60 chapters in the United States and more than 7,000 member firms, NARI ensures that their contractors are licensed and insured. A company displaying the NARI logo has gone through a membership review committee and is committed to professionalism and education. To find out more, visit If you have questions for Daniel Gullick, email TLM@ HG

Tucson Lifestyle HOME & GARDEN / FEBRUARY 2012


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Arizona Opera League’s 38th Annual Home Tour Saturday, March 17 & March 24, 2012 10 am – 4:30 pm

A Peek into the Past: Celebrating Arizona’s Centennial Year Historic home tour including Joesler’s & Pre-statehood homes Gala on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the Z Mansion, 6pm-10pm

For more information, visit or call (520) 399-8232 Thomas Veneklasen Photo


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Discover the shops at Tohono Chul Park. Featuring unique, local and handmade gifts for everyone.

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