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inspiration ideas resources

old world, good taste turning up the heat

fireplaces + pizza ovens

a twist on traditional

in North Scottsdale Vol. 1 no. 1 WINTER 2015

Make room for

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the old masters and the new

visit and see why we are passionate about our collection, then come by and see the real thing. Womb chair and ottoman by Eero Saarinen,1946, for Knoll Studio. $4999

Z-Bar Mini lamp by Peter Ng, 2009, for Koncept Technologies. $238

Victor desk by Carl Muller, 2011, for Elite Modern. $1799

Masters chair by Philippe Stark, 2009, for Kartell. $299

Eames molded plywood chair by Charles & Ray Eames, 1948, for Herman Miller. $678

Corridor cabinet for up to 70� TV, sound bar and media storage. Design by Matthew Weatherly, 2010, for BDi, USA. $1999

Motion Five low back reclining chair by Jarle Slyngstad & Svein Asbjornsen, 2013, for Hjellegjerde of Norway. $995

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contemporary furniture & accessories



inspiration ideas resources

phoenix & scottsdale


22 old world, new tricks

Rethinking the placement of the front door of a Paradise Valley home brought the mountains (and the home’s design) clearly into focus.

30 traditional, with a twist

The classic elements are there, but this North Scottsdale remodel embraces clean, modernist details.

38 modern love

Light and lots of space for art and music collections were must-haves in a midcentury Windsor Square Historic District renovation.

OUTDOOR LIVING 46 pizza amore


Thanks to year-round great weather, Phoenix and Scottsdale homeowners can enjoy restaurant-quality pizza baked in wood-fired ovens in their own backyards.

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015


Neon signs, roadside motels, the Southwestern landscape, and quirky sightseeing are all part of the charm of Historic Route 66. Above: Today’s fireplaces are as artful as they are functional.


Bud Russo; Above: Courtesy of Napoleon Fireplaces


Interiors for your Lifestyle

Cabinets – Countertops – Floor Coverings – Interior Design New Homes and Renovations 1102 W Southern Avenue., Ste 3, Tempe, Arizona, 85282 480-921-8419 AZROC 146794, 121660, 187730, 241715, 242506, 246196

in every issue


8 Inside Su Casa

10 Life+Style Southwest Reclaimed wood and materials from Vintage Timberworks; home renovation expert Steve Thomas explains the differences between renovation and restoration; a roundup of timeless midcentury chairs for the modern home; life stylist and interior designer Moll Anderson on surviving the chaos of a home remodel; and how to choose colors in your home for optimum health.

20 Design Studio

Artistic and perfect for indoor and outdoor use, today’s fireplaces are changing all the rules. Q&A with Danny Vice, The Fireplace Door Guy.

48 Su Cocina

Chef John Collura of Cibo e Vino cooks up wood-fired pizza at home using his great-great-grandmother’s marinara recipe. Phoenix-area hotels and resorts pull out all the stops for gingerbread houses that defy the imagination.

52 Vida Buena

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve; the revitalization of Historic Route 66; and a calendar of Phoenix-area winter events.

60 Su Libro

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places, as shown in two new books that celebrate creative design.

64 Adios

A home so resort-like, it’s like being on permanent vacation.

Chris Corrie

This gorgeous Paradise Valley home was cleverly designed by C.P. Drewett of DrewettWorks to capture magnificent views of Praying Monk.

Cover: Beneath the traditional and contemporary details, this gleaming white kitchen is all function. Read more about the Jamie Herzlinger–designed North Scottsdale home on page 30. Cover photograph by Patrick Cline.


Chef John Collura shares his family recipe for the marinara sauce he uses on his famous wood-fired pizzas. Want to make your own? Check out our roundup of outdoor pizza ovens on page 46.


S U C A S A W I N T ER 2015

Rick D’Elia


peration Santa Claus 13 t h

A n n u a l




Inside Su Casa

truly living



Desite its commanding see-through fireplace and soaring ceilings, the great room of this old world–style Paradise Valley home is comfortable and inviting. Read more on page 22.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Chris Corrie

Bruce Adams

David Robin

elcome to the premiere issue of Su Casa magazine.We are thrilled to be the only locally edited magazine dedicated to showing how people actually live in and enjoy their Arizona homes. We don’t focus on what I call “prettypretty.” Instead, our aim is to inspire by showing our readers how other homeowners have created gorgeous homes that fit their unique lifestyles. Whenever possible, we’ll show you the actual residents so you can get a clear picture of how a home works for a particular family, down to the four-legged members.  A home is only as good as the value and joy it brings to the homeowner. For each of the spectacular homes you’ll see featured in this issue, the owners had to first determine their priorities. For some of us, this might be the hardest part of all. But once those priorities have been determined, a qualified local builder, architect, remodeler, or interior designer will have a wealth of ideas to bring them to life. Our goal is to share with you what others have done to create homes that enhance their lives. We hope you’ll be inspired to use and even embellish upon those ideas in your own home, present or future. Your home is your most intimate of surroundings—a place where you get to choose how much of the outside world you want to let in. It’s the place where you can kick off your shoes and feel the joy of your home, right under your feet.      Su Casa will be coming at you four times a year with ideas, resources, and inspiration. Through it all, we’ll be reminding you that your home is your life. Make it beautiful. 

Published by Bella Media, LLC


Bruce Adams

Associate Publisher B.Y. Cooper


Jackie Dishner

Executive Editor Amy Gross

Associate Editor Cristina Olds

Graphic Designer Whitney Stewart

Designer & Media Specialist Michelle Odom

Contributing Designer Sybil Watson

Operations Manager Ginny Stewart

Associate Publisher, Advertising Manager Frankie Mae Richards

Advertising Sales Representative Michael Anthony

For advertising information contact: 480-678-0523


Moll Anderson, Teresa Bitler Jessica Muncrief, Bud Russo Steve Thomas


Patrick Cline, Chris Corrie, Rick D’Elia Please direct editorial inquiries to For subscriptions, call 818-286-3155 Phoenix Office 8655 East Via de Ventura, Suite G-155 Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Santa Fe Office 215 W San Francisco, Suite 300 Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-1444 Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale (ISSN 1094-4562 & USPS # 2-3618) Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 2015. Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale is published quarterly in November, February, May, and August by Bella Media, LLC at 215 W. San Francisco Street, Suite 300, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA, Phone 505-983-1444. © Copyright 2014 by Bella Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Basic annual subscription rate is $9.95, Canada & Mexico is $23.95, Other international countries is $27.95. U.S. single-copy price is $5.95. Back issues are $6.95 each. Periodicals postage paid at Albuquerque, NM, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale P.O. Box 15686, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6925

8340 E. Raintree Drive I Suite B-9 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Phone: 480.538.1288

Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale P.O. Box 15686, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5686 Phone 818-286-3155, Fax 800-869-0040, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Life+Style Southwest

Reclaimed wood—wood that’s old or that’s simply been reused—is one of the hottest trends in home design today. It’s been found in old sawmills in the Pacific Northwest, in World War II airplane hangars, and in an Army storage depot in Oakland, California. The oldest pieces of reclaimed lumber have been salvaged from Civil War–era cabins in the East. With new purpose, this vintage wood is used to create ceiling rafters, flooring, and even furniture, like this rustic dining set. All of this wood has history, adding drama and interest to homes that new growth lumber just can’t replicate. Sometimes, it comes with a story— even if it’s just implied. Read more about reclaimed lumber on page 12. Vintage Timberworks,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Courtesy of Vintage Timberworks

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Life+Style Southwest

built-in history Reclaimed wood adds pedigree to even the newest homes

by Teresa Bitler


ntique barn board planks, beams from dismantled factories, vintage flooring—more than 1.5 million pieces of reclaimed wood lay stacked at Vintage Timberworks’ ( main lumber yard and warehouse in Temecula, California, near San Diego. Even more salvaged and reclaimed wood product is housed in Vintage Timberworks’ three satellite warehouses in Santa Barbara, Cabo San Lucas, and the Phoenix area. Although most client orders go beyond the inventory or samples available at the satellite warehouses, it’s still helpful to visit one, such as the showroom at Southwest Ideas


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

( in Surprise, Arizona, to get a rough idea of how this unique wood can be used to add more charm to a ceiling, warmth to a porch, or depth to a floor. Dennis Roberts and Jeff Husted, owners of Vintage Timberworks, typically don’t know the story behind individual pieces of lumber (sometimes they’ll receive a large delivery from a historic building that can’t be salvaged), but each piece of reclaimed lumber has a past that’s given it character. You can see the adze-made cuts, the dents and scratches from factory abuse, and decades of exterior weathering.

Photos courtesy of Vintage Timberworks

Even interior wood develops a patina over time due to oxidation. That kind of wear and tear can’t be re-created with standard lumber that comes from young trees grown on plantations. “Trying to age new wood is like putting make-up on a young person to make them look 200 years old,” Roberts says. The majority of Vintage Timberworks’ product includes Douglas fir, pine, redwood, cedar, antique hardwood, barn board planks, and reclaimed flooring from the United States, Canada, and Australia. Roberts says customers use it in projects ranging from floors and fireplace mantels to rafters and furniture. Old doors can be turned into gates, windows into mirrors, and heavy timber into exposed ceiling beams. He’s even seen wood from Great Depression–era work projects used to make guitars. Aesthetics aside, reclaimed wood has advantages over younger product. Because it comes from old growth forests, reclaimed lumber has lower moisture content, reducing the likelihood that it will shrink or pull apart like green lumber has a tendency to do, and it’s extremely dense with a high ring count. Using reclaimed lumber also helps the environment by reducing the pressure to harvest additional trees.

Southwest Ideas, in business since 1988, has a showroom where it stores Vintage Timberworks’ wood. They also sell Southwest-style vigas, latillas, saguaro ribs, and mantels to a national client base, as well as reclaimed wood furniture made by their employees. The newest product is a supply of logs from a tornado that occurred east of Flagstaff in 2010. “It touched down seven or eight times,” says Operations Manager Saxon Hill, who notes that the wind completely ripped the bark off the logs. Hill, whose company works with framers, builders, and homeowners building their own homes, says customers will use these logs on porches or maybe as wainscoting in a new home. Southwest Ideas may not always know the story behind the product, says Hill, but if it’s barn wood, they’ll definitely know the region from where it came, and that can be enough to pique a client’s interest.

“People buy reclaimed wood for the dents and dings. They like the aged look,” says Rich Reithal of Southwest Ideas.

Sourcing salvaged wood and logs in new or remodeled homes provides an efficient way to reuse a natural resource that otherwise might go to waste.



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

as good as old What determines whether a project is a restoration or a renovation? and restoration, like One of the first principles of restoramy current project, tion is that as much as possible of the a small Shingle-style original material, or “fabric” of a buildVictorian built in ing, be preserved. The Montpelier proj1905. The house ect went to great lengths to find original needed some serious bits of the building that had been TLC, but it was basirepurposed elsewhere in the building, cally in good shape and then return them to their original and was in its original places in the structure. This obviously condition, making it is very costly, and while justifiable for a a perfect candidate presidential mansion, not so much for a for what you might project like mine, even if I could afford it. call a layman’s restoSo, purists might argue that Sea Cove ration/renovation. Cottage is not a restoration at all but I decided to keep merely a sympathetic renovation. I the exterior fully would agree on technical grounds, but intact, replacing the given the rate at which old neighborcedar shingles on the hoods and old structures are disappearing in the United States, I think eople often ask what the dif- gable ends with new ones, and the clapboard it’s worth encouraging renovators to ference is between a renova- siding on the first story with new cedar clapboards. I’ve replaced the porch columns and keep the look of their houses as original tion and a restoration, and the porch railing. It needed a new roof, and as possible. Yes, it will cost a bit more honestly, the answer entails though I would have liked to have used cedar and take a bit more time, but for me, many shades of gray. There’s an old shingles like the original, at more than twice the satisfaction of keeping the 1905 saying: “This is my grandfather’s ax. the cost of asphalt shingles it was not in the “streetscape” of this little Maine fishing My father replaced the head, and I budget. Still, the exterior renovation will village historically in tune is well replaced the handle.” So if all the “restore” the house pretty much worth it. parts have been replaced, is it the to its original look. same ax? Inside it’s all An example of pure restoration renovation. We’re is James Madison’s Montpelier. keeping the room Montpelier started out as Madison’s configuration the personal house, but he added onto same as the original, it when he married Dolly and added but we’re replacing again when he became president. It was expanded significantly and turned the dated kitchen with a modern one. into a grand manse by subsequent owners. In the full archeological res- Same with the bathrooms, lighting, toration that commenced in 2001, plumbing, HVAC, the decision was made to restore the and so forth. In the building back to its 1860 iteration, end it will look and when it was a true presidential mansion. The result was as meticulous and feel like an old A big snow temporarily halts progress on the exterior. Right: house, but it will accurate a restoration as is possible. The original home, second building function like a For us mere mortals, our projects from right, early 20th century. new one. may involve a bit of both renovation Evy Blum

Steve Thomas, working on the restoration/ renovation of Sea Cove Cottage.

Steve Thomas


Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert and the spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International. 14

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

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Life+Style Southwest

by Cristina Olds

midcentury marvels Timeless, innovative chairs from history’s most gifted designers Renowned Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner famously said, “If only you could design just one good chair in your life . . . . But you simply cannot.” The irony, of course, is that Wegner designed more than 500 good chairs, many of which are still in use today. The trend-resistant chairs reproduced here, many commissioned for specific projects in the 1930s to the 1960s by leading architects and furniture designers, are snappy, sexy additions to many home styles decades later.

Barcelona Chair Conceived for the king and queen of Spain at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, the Barcelona Chair represents the epitome of modern furniture. Designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe aimed to “harmonize the old and new in our civilization,” allegedly basing the seamless, crisscrossing steel frame on the folding chairs used by Roman aristocracy. $5,429, Knoll,

Oyster Lounge Chair Although this foam upholstered shell chair by designer Pierre Paulin screams “the ’60s,” its design remains timeless. The seat appears to float above the minimalist frame, which is available in chrome or powder coat. $2,998, Hive Modern

Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Longue This adjustable “long chair” is constructed of triple chrome–plated steel with a lacquered steel base and an authentic cowhide fur–covered foam cushion and headrest. Designed by the influential Swiss architect Le Corbusier in 1928 with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, the chair was meant for ultimate relaxation, offering a variety of reclining angles. $4,335, Design Within Reach, 16

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman With a more relaxed look than many of the contemporary designs of its time, his now-iconic lounge chair was Charles Eames’s embodiment of “a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” He and his wife Ray created this chair for Academy Award–winning director Billy Wilder in 1956 to provide him with a relaxing place to take catnaps on film sets. $4,579, Design Warehouse

Knoll Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman Inspired by Florence Knoll’s suggestion of a “chair that is like a basket full of pillows,” Eero Saarinen designed the Womb chair for comfort and security more from the shell shape than the cushioning. Saarinen convinced a boat builder to experiment with fiberglass for the streamlined look. $4,999, Design Warehouse,

Bertoia Side Chair Italian-born American designer Henry Bertoia described the collection of formed wire frame chairs he made for Knoll as “mainly made of air . . . space passes right through them.” The sturdy, industrial chair, created in 1952 with a minimalist vinyl seat cushion, works indoors and out. $748, Knoll,

Risom 654 Lounge Chair by Knoll Danish-born Jens Risom’s original lounge chair was made for Knoll in the early 1940s of wood and woven cotton webbing—materials not subject to wartime restrictions. Today’s chair (shown here in clear maple frame and nylon webbing in licorice), is as sturdy as it is timeless. Frame also available in walnut and ebonized maple. Starting at $1,270, Copenhagen, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Enchanted Spaces

by Moll Anderson

surviving the chaos The secrets to remaining a couple during a home remodel mind and a positive mental attitude, you can decide to create a new perspective for the process. Whether it’s one room or an entire “mow down,” you can make the experience one that will actually be very rewarding and bonding for your relationship and that will truly enhance your soon-to-be new home.

During a remodel, every emotion you have will be put to the test.

John Hall Photography

Before calling even one contractor, first ask each other these questions: • How will you make decisions? • Will you respect the decisions you’re making now and stick to the plan? • Who will make the day-to-day decisions? • When is it important to make a joint decision? • Is this budget really the budget? • Do you agree to visualize the process and experience it in a positive way? Once you have covered all the hot buttons, sit down with your spouse or significant other and make an agreement in writing. If you can easily answer these questions with-

Successful remodels involving planning down to the last detail. Above: Moll Anderson reviews blueprints with her contractor during the design phase of a home renovation.

Moll Anderson

Right: The front entry to Moll’s home before its remodel. Above: The entry, transformed.

out a major altercation, you’re off to a fabulous start. If you’re going to enter into a remodeling situation, you need to be realistic. Whatever your budget is, double it! Meaning, if you can’t afford to spend one penny over your original budget, then you need a better plan. You will go over. “Double” is the true budget. Money is the number one issue that causes stress during a renovation project. If you’re purchasing an old house, you need to do your homework and make both short- and long-range plans—especially if money is tight. Next, you need to find the right contractor. Word of mouth is still truly the best way. Be sure your contractor is licensed in your area, and don’t begin without a written agreement. Remember, it’s all your truth and your perspective. If you jointly make the decision to be realistic and enjoy the process, you really can change your home, and change your life.

Moll Anderson is a television radio host, interior designer, life stylist, and author of three books, including Change Your Home, Change Your Life. She and her husband are part-time residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico. 18

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Michael Gomez Photography


hey say that remodeling or building a home is often a huge catalyst for divorce. Hmm! I say if the process splits you up, then you weren’t living with the partner/soul mate who was meant for you. It’s true that creating (or re-creating) a home is one of the greatest tests a couple will face. It puts your relationship under a magnifying glass, bringing everything to the forefront— positive and negative. If only you could design or remodel a home with a significant other before moving in together or getting married! You’d learn so much about yourself—as well as your prospective lifetime partner: how they feel about money, how they handle stress, how they adapt to situations, even how they treat others. Think about it. During a remodel, every emotion you have will be put to the test. Remember, you create your life. Just because you’ve heard all those horror stories about remodeling nightmares and contractors fleeing with your money doesn’t mean you should roll over and accept that to be true for you and your mate. If you approach the journey of remodeling with an open

interior designer Barbara Kaplan

Courtesy of Barbara Kaplan

Q &A

by Teresa Bitler Choose colors for your home that you really love, says Barbara Kaplan. Raspberry is a happy color for the owners of this powder room, part of the home remodel featured on page 38.

color your home healthy

What role does color play in our mental and physical health? There’s a connection between our minds and bodies. When you’re happy, you produce healthy endorphins, so if your home makes you happy, it can benefit your body, mind, and spirit. I recommend decorating with the colors you really love for optimal health, not the colors you see in a magazine or the ones promoted in the industry. Remember in the ’80s when Southwest style in Phoenix meant whitewashed wood and mauves? Today, it is bolder colors. Decorate your home the way you want. Are there particular colors to embrace or avoid? You could have very negative feelings about the shade of blue that was in your dining room as a child if there was a lot of harsh conversation at the table. Or, you could associate good memories with blue if you shared a lot of laughs as a family in the dining room. It could affect you either positively or negatively. Color association—and color’s influence on our health—is a very personal thing.

Chris Corrie

Color is usually the first impression our surroundings make on us, and it can make a powerful impact on our mental and physical health. Interior designer Barbara Kaplan, owner of Phoenixbased Design Dimensions and author of The Bajaro Method: Rooms Have No Feelings, You Do!, shares how to incorporate color into your home for good health.

How can you incorporate healing colors into your home? Once you know what colors make you happy, it’s easy to bring them into your home. You can paint your walls, add a throw pillow, bring in fresh flowers, and even purchase a container for your tissue box that adds to the color palette of the room. If you don’t know what your colors or decorating style are, you can take my online test at to find out. The holiday season is here. How do you recommend decorating for the season with your health in mind? Don’t be afraid to use colors other than the traditional ones associated with the season—orange for autumn, red and green for Christmas. If you have a blue, brown, or orange interior that you love, consider buying a white, silver, or gold Christmas tree and decorating it with ornaments in your interior’s color. Then, add smaller accents in the colors of the season. You’ll enjoy your home more this holiday season if you decorate with the colors you love. Design Dimensions,

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Design Studio

by Jessica Muncrief

a new dance with an old flame Today’s fireplaces are changing all the rules


Courtesy of Napoleon Fireplaces

ur fascination with fireplaces has existed for centuries. Once strictly functional home elements used for heating and cooking, today’s fireplaces are often as much about aesthetics as comfort. Leading Phoenix-area fireplace distributors weigh in on choosing the right styles for your home.

mix it up

bring the inside out

The mingling of traditions with modern sensibilities is part of what makes the Southwest so uniquely rich. When designing a home’s interiors, it can be a challenge (albeit a fun one) to find that happy medium. Fireplaces can go a long way in pulling a design plan together. “Linear, electric fireplaces are still the hot ticket right now,” says Roger Ferraro, general manager at Arizona Fireplaces ( in Phoenix. In fact, he says, most new custom homes have at least one linear fireplace, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a traditional one as well. Ferraro suggests mixing and matching designs to meet the different needs of formal versus informal living areas. If opting for the classic, square-shaped fireplace, update the look by keeping the surround simple—think sleek black wood or metal. Or, look for see-through, glass versions that bridge the gap between another room and the outside environment. “Sometimes the fireplace is the main focal point and sometimes it isn’t,” says Ferraro. “Whether it’s in terms of size or style, it’s all about finding that perfect balance.”

The Arizona desert is rugged and rocky, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor fireplace has to follow suit. Contemporary homes that favor cleaner lines and smoother surfaces can extend the interior design plan right out onto the patio. “Inside or out, it’s that very modern look we’re installing more than anything else,” says Terry Haley, owner of Phoenix’s Fireplace Furnishings ( “We’re seeing more rectangular shapes instead of squares, and homeowners are putting their own stamp on their fire features with materials like colored stones and decorative woods.” Still craving that outdoorsy feel? Keep the coziness of stone or brick, but meld in glass or stainless steel elements for a more modern vibe. Bottom line: Outdoor designs are not limited just because the fireplace is exposed to the elements. “Any style you can imagine inside, we can re-create that look outside, even in a smaller yard,” Haley says. “I’ve done outdoor fire features as long as 10 feet and as small as a foot in diameter. We just make everything to scale.”


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Torn on exactly where a fireplace will get the most use? No need to compromise. Both visually interesting and ecofriendly, freestanding fireplaces are the ultimate conversation starters. “What you’re burning is an all-natural product made from corn or grass,” explains Allen Childers, owner of Look At My Fire ( in Scottsdale. “It burns clean without fumes or soot,” he says, “There’s no need for flues or venting. You’re not putting out carbons or polluting the atmosphere. And even on No Burn Days, you can still have a fireplace.” Freestanding versions are completely functional—they not only glow, but also put out heat—and some even do double duty as coffee tables, fountains, or entertainment centers. Most are appropriate for indoor or outdoor use and don’t require any fixed installation. Since no gas or electric lines are required, you can add ambience to your romantic dinner one night and spruce up your patio party the next..

Courtesy of Heatilator

Ken Campbell

Courtesy of Vintage Timberworks

an unexpected glow

Courtesy of Fireplace Xtrordinair

Q &A

A fireplace can be designed to fit in any space, even becoming part of the view.

Danny Vice

Danny Vice, The Fireplace Door Guy Danny Vice was happily earning a living installing fireplaces when life suddenly took an artistic turn. Today, as The Fireplace Door Guy, he puts the finishing touches on fireplaces with custom-designed, decorative fireplace screens and doors he designs for clients in Arizona, California, and Utah. Where do your design ideas come from? The basic concept is to create a barrier to keep sparks in the fireplace, and everything I do is handmade; beyond that, the design options are pretty much limitless. Inspiration comes from all over. Sometimes customers come to me and ask for a fireplace door to match a rug or a favorite painting, or even their front door. Other times we just talk about the style of their home or their interests and together we come up with something that matches their personal tastes. We make a template of the fireplace and then start building from there.

Traditional fireplace designs translate beautifully to outdoor settings, while contemporary designs (opposite page) are as artful as they are functional.

With neither hearth nor mantel, this modern fireplace represents the popular trend toward sleek, streamlined elegance.

What’s popular right now? It’s both ends of the spectrum: either very rustic or very modern. For rustic, I usually incorporate hammered metal and create something really solid with a cabin-like feel. More modern doors are much simpler in design, and I usually add some tempered glass. What sets you apart? My doors are completely personalized. One customer lived on Deer Lane, so we used the plasma cutter to cut deer silhouettes into the door. It’s a completely handson, customized process, but you will also receive a product that is completely handmade from the construction to the painting. If you order off the internet, you’ll probably get something made in China. Everything we create is American-made, and that’s more and more rare these days. The Fireplace Door Guy, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


old world, new tricks

Rethinking the front door brought the mountains (and their home’s design) clearly into focus

by Jackie Dishner Photographs by Chris Corrie 22

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ith a lot nudged between desert mountain preserve, Mummy Mountain, and a gorgeous close-up of the iconic Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain, Michael and Dr. Milena Howell wanted their new home to take advantage of those copper-hued views. In fact, it was their number one priority. They explained that must-have to their architect, C.P. Drewett, principal of DrewettWorks in Scottsdale, who proposed designing the home’s grand entrance . . . at the rear of the house. Cue the crickets. “I got some pretty long-looking faces [at the suggestion],” Drewett admits. “It’s unorthodox, but to keep the views open all the way around their [kidney-shaped] lot, a rear entry was key. Once the Howells were on board, things just fell together.” Milena, a clinical psychologist, was born in Czechoslovakia and lived in London and Paris before moving to Michigan for work. That’s where she met Michael, the managing partner of an equity firm. The couple followed Michael’s parents to Arizona, later deciding to move near Scottsdale for the cultural opportunities and to be closer to three of their five sons. It took the Howells a year and a half to find the perfect lot in a neighborhood they deemed safe for their grandchildren. Milena’s European roots drove the couple’s taste for old world; they found those details in a home nearby built by Scott Pfeiffer, president of Sonora West Development. “We saw fabulous quality, lovely detail [in that home],” says Michael. “Scott just ‘got’ it.” It was Pfeiffer who brought Drewett in to deliver on design.

Above: Michael and Dr. Milena Howell in the backyard, near the “front” entrance to their Paradise Valley home. Behind them is the stone wall finish that European-born Milena says reminds her of Normandy. Left: A variety of materials, including stone, brick, stucco, red clay tiles, and wooden beams, gives their grand entrance the old-world feel the homeowners desired. Opposite: Tucked into a loggia beneath one of the home’s nine unique roof lines, the mongrammed, iron-and-glass front door faces the pool at the rear of the home.



The luxurious master bathroom, which features an elegant, freestanding clawfoot tub, is part of what Milena calls her “sanctuary.� Heavy wooden doors ensure complete privacy.


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Milena chose a Spanish theme for the master suite, which includes heavy wood furnishings and rough-hewn beams, Brazilian cherry wood flooring, and arched doorways. White bed linens soften and feminize the space.

“The front faces Camelback, but the entrance doesn’t. It’s out back, where the auto court is located. You come in from the east on the narrowest side to create a sense of destination.”—Michael Howell

The Howells enjoy their morning coffee in their French café–style patio beside the home’s English gardens.

The homeowners’ acceptance of the rear entry, says Drewett, led to an L-shape design of the home. It also provided the perfect blueprint for the covered courtyards outside and the two lengthy and dramatic hallways inside that open space for the views and draw guests inside. “The front faces Camelback, but the entrance doesn’t. It’s out back, where the auto court is located,” Michael notes. “You come in from the east on the narrowest side to create a sense of destination.” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


This idea of “arriving” plays into the wow factor Michael wanted for his guests. To accomplish it, the team utilized a variety of “themes, materials, and geometrics,” incorporating stone and wood, glass and iron, gardens and patios. The home also boasts no fewer than nine elevations on the roof line, alternating window shapes and sizes, and a mix of Versailles and herringbone patterns on the flooring. The design plays into Milena’s childhood dreams and experiences as a first-generation immigrant from central Europe. Creativity, workmanship, and right-sizing helped capture the sight lines of the mountains throughout the house in a very tasteful way, says Drewett, right down to the exterior Romeo


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and Juliet balconies off the raised master suite. “It feels like you’ve wafted up on a European hillside,” he notes. “You get that regal sense, as though you’re floating above the gardens.” With more than six patios to enjoy the mountain views, another impressive visual outside is the three-section loggia at the back of the house. Each section features differing ceiling heights; one houses the monogrammed, glass and iron “front” door (remember, it’s at the rear of the home), which is framed in limestone. The loggia doubles as an outdoor dining area at the far west end. Across from the entrance, brick steps separated by well-lit columns lead to the lap pool surrounded by travertine.

The bed in the guest bedroom affords visitors one of the better views on the property: Praying Monk. The guest suite has its own private entrance.

Although not wine collectors per se, the Howells do enjoy a nice bottle from their wine room paired with a great meal cooked by Milena. Among their favorites vintages: Caymus Special Selection, a cabernet. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


“Everywhere you go, it feels different. You get a different feel, tone, and sense in each area of the home,” says Milena Howell of the transitional design. Inside, the home divides into two long barrel-tunneled corridors consisting of a series of Gothic-inspired groin vaults, with wall sconces lighting the way. One corridor leads to the guest suites, the other to a set of curved stairs with an iron railing. At the top of the stairs is the master suite, home to what Milena calls the “most formal room in the house”—the master bath. With exquisite taste and an eye to mixing and matching, Milena orchestrated the home’s interior design, making use of furnishings and décor she and Michael already owned, including some European treasures, and other items bought new. Because the design is transitional, she says, “Everywhere you go, it feels different. You get a different feel, tone, and sense in each area of the home.” The study, for example—Michael’s space—is all wood, very masculine, while the dining room incorporates the feminine touch of mirrors—at least one on every wall. “I modeled the room after a chateau in Europe I visited,” says Milena. “It had a mirror room, and I liked how it felt.” The great room provides what Milena describes as “a touch of Vienna,” with its 22-foot-tall ceilings, wainscoting, crown molding, and original paintings from Europe. A massive display case houses her collection of Czech crystal, while French doors open to views of an English garden. 28

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Thermador appliances are tucked inside the custom cabinets of the kitchen, part of an open-plan space connecting the living areas. Despite the luxury of two ovens and two dishwashers, Milena says her favorite feature is the water tap over the stove. “I use it all the time.”

High ceilings coupled with stone and walnut flooring give the great room a light and airy feel. Milena loved the fabric chandelier, but bided her time until the pricetag dropped significantly and she could snap it up.

The study, with its coffered ceilings, custom cherry wood shelving, and parquet wood flooring, features an antique desk once owned by the Henry Ford family, brought to Arizona from Michigan. Right: Just inside the main entrance, a large mirror adds depth to the narrow space by reflecting the mountain views. The elegant hall leads to the curved staircase, which steps up to the master suite.

“The homeowners were more interested in the way the space felt than how it might fit their lifestyle. They said they would learn how to live in it.”—C.P. Drewett, architect

Although many homeowners build a home around specific needs, the Howells took a different approach. “They were more interested in the way the space felt than how it might fit their lifestyle,” Drewett says. “They said they would learn how to live in it.” And indeed they have. Since moving in, Milena and Michael have used the home to host movie premiere nights, fundraising events for their church, and even a wedding reception for one of their sons. The kitchen has also seen its fair share of Sunday night dinners. Despite its expansiveness, the Howells’ home is warm and inviting, and often filled with friends and family. “Wienerschnitzel. Chicken paprikash. Cucumber salad. It always comes down to Mom’s cooking,” Milena says with a smile. True, but it’s also about taste—good taste in design. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


traditional, with a twist The classic elements are there, but this North Scottsdale remodel embraces clean, modernist details

Jamie Herzlinger Interiors, 30

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by Amy Gross Photographs by Patrick Cline


The comfortable family room opens to the kitchen, the dining room, and, via the seethough fireplace, the living room. Christian Liaigre Ocean sectional sofa available through John Brooks Inc.; antique area rug from Aga John Oriental Rugs of San Francisco.

lanning ahead for expansion has always been part of Rick Federico’s business model. As the CEO of P.F. Chang’s, Rick has helped the company grow from three restaurants in 1996, when he and his wife Peggy moved to the company’s Scottsdale headquarters, to over 200 locations internationally in 2014. He and Peggy were thinking in a similar vein when they bought their current home in North Scottsdale a few years ago. Since only one of their five children was still at home—youngest daughter Shea, a high school senior—downsizing was certainly a consideration, but at the same time Rick and Peggy hoped their older children would soon be blessing them with grandchildren, so they were in need of space to accommodate visitors. (They’re off to an exciting start: Grandchild number one, a little girl, was born this past fall.) They loved the location of the home: not far from the clubhouse with its pool, tennis courts, and golf course. The size, at 5,000 square feet, was also ideal—“large enough that when everybody’s home it’s great, but it’s not too big and sprawling,” says Peggy. The Federicos’ only issue with their home was that, having been built in 2000, it was ready for an update. They turned to veteran interior designer and licensed contractor Jamie Herzlinger (of the eponymous Jamie Herzlinger Interiors) to help them update the kitchen and bath and, as Peggy says, “maybe open up one wall.” But when they sat down with Herzlinger, it became clear they were sitting on a much larger project, one with the exciting potential for the homeowners to impart their own personal style on each space. But what was their style? “My role is almost like therapy,” observes Herzlinger, speaking from her loft-like office in the Arcadia area of Phoenix (she runs another from New York City). “It’s me as the designer getting out of your head what you want—your expectations. It’s learning how to listen: What is it that’s driving a client toward a color, a style, a certain sensibility?” SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


“How do you argue with white marble in a white kitchen?” asks Herzlinger. Polished Calcutta Gold marble countertops soften the crisp, Rysso-Peters–built cabinets, which pop against the mahoganystained oak floors. Hood by Poliform; swivel barstools by Madeline Stuart. 32

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“Jamie said, ‘I think you like that old world feeling, but clean openness.’ And I said, ‘Yes! What’s the word for that?’”—Peggy Federico And this, according to Peggy, is where Herzlinger excels. “I was saying ‘modern,’ but that’s not really what I wanted at all,” she says. “Jamie would come up with very modern pictures and we would be like, ‘ooh, no!’ She finally said, ‘You know what I think you like? I think you like that old world feeling, but clean openness.’ And I said, ‘Yes! What’s the word for that?’” There really wasn’t one, not in the classical sense, anyway. But Herzlinger nevertheless created a new vocabulary for the Federicos’ home, one that appealed to the owners’ traditional aesthetic sensibilities but spoke more to the home’s functionality for the family. “What they wanted was really classical, with a modern element to it, which basically means light and bright,” says Herzlinger, who made her mark in fashion design in New York before turning to interior design and architecture in 1991. “It has all of the vestiges of traditional—the beautiful white millwork, dark hardwood floors—but you can see in the handling of the furnishings, the fabrics, the kitchen, the bathroom, that’s it’s very, very different than traditional. And that was Rick and Peggy’s comfort zone.”

Jamie Herzlinger traded fashion design for interior design in 1991; today she operates Jamie Herzlinger Interiors out of Scottsdale and New York.

The chocolate and charcoal man cave features built-in, lighted niches to showcase Rick’s hobbies. Aquitane chandelier by Fuse lighting; upholstered wall panels custom-designed by Herzlinger.

Herzlinger cut up the Asher Gray wall tile and rearranged it into a unique design in the powder room. Devon&Devon sink unit from Clyde Hardware.



Herzlinger designed all of the interiors and interior architecture and worked with contractor Steve Sommer of Sommer Custom Homes (who had built the Federicos’ previous home in Silverleaf ) to bring the blueprints to life. The team left the exteriors of the home untouched, as well as the beautiful backyard landscaping and pool area. Set into a rough V shape, the front door opens to the lovely, well-appointed living room, where modern Black Swan marble (sans gold veining) takes the place of traditional Nero Marquina marble in the see-through fireplace. Traditional George Smith tufted chairs surround a mirrored coffee table. Like so many pieces in the home, the table was custom-designed by Herzlinger; mirroring is another recurring theme. An enormous 9 x 12-foot oil on canvas painting by Utah artist Brian Kershisnik dominates one wall. “It’s called Lovers Running, but I call it Dancing Through Life,” Peggy laughs. “Anyone who knows Rick knows he goes a hundred miles an hour. When I saw that I said, ‘Okay, that’s you and me. Just hold on; here we go. We’re on quite a ride!’”

Herzlinger opted for a collection of Jean de Merry chairs in the dining room rather than a matched set. “It starts a conversation,” she explains. The wall art is an old practice called verre églomisé, which is the reversepainting of mirrored tiles.

Lovers Running, a 12-foot-tall painting by Brian Kershisnik, dominates the bright and airy living room. Murano chandelier from Italy; mirrored coffee table from Mirror Fair of New York.


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Herzlinger created a new vocabulary for the home, one that appealed to the owners’ traditional aesthetic sensibilities but spoke more to the home’s functionality. The living room, family room, kitchen, and dining room are open-concept, certainly a step outside the traditional home playbook. White walls and a muted, but by no means drab, palette throughout enunciate the “light, airy, and uplifting” feel Peggy and Rick had desired but struggled to express. The gleaming white kitchen boasts Calcutta Gold marble countertops; it’s appointed with crisp, clean, custom cabinetry by RyssoPeters, Miele appliances from Ferguson, and a sexy (and decidedly nontraditional) European hood by Italian kitchen brand Poliform. The master suite features a sumptuous white bathroom swathed—from the wainscoting to the countertops to the polished floor tiles—in Statuary marble. Peggy’s dressing room off the master bath is a diva’s dream, complete with floor-to-ceiling cabinets and fun giraffe-print carpeting. “I don’t think there’s a woman alive who doesn’t want a great closet, so I treat them very reverentially,” says Herzlinger. “I like hanging out in my closet, you know? It’s like . . . visiting your shoes!”

“The chandelier needed texture—and to be not so serious,” says Herzlinger. The Louvre chandelier by Helene Aumont fit the bill, its hand-knotted tassels complementing the grasscloth walls. Herzlinger custom-designed the bed and the mirrors.



Daughter Shea’s room mixes fun textures within a soft, feminine color palette. Bed coverlet available through Valerianne of Scottsdale; custom sofa by Jamie Herzlinger.

There’s a place for everything in Peggy’s neat-as-a-pin dressing room, complete with tufted chair and kicky giraffe print carpeting.


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The marble–swathed master bath, as seen through mirrors. Ruhlmann sconces from Urban Archaeology. Below: A pool and xeric landscaping highlight the lovely outdoor living spaces.

“My role is almost like therapy. It’s learning how to listen: What is it that’s driving a client toward a color, a style, a certain sensibility?” —Jamie Herzlinger Word word word word word word word word

Rick has his own personal space: an elegant, chocolate-and-charcoal “man cave” just off the living room, with a TV, a bar, and custom-made niches. Daughter Shea helped design her own bedroom suite. Soft, feminine colors and trendy accents like a chandelier made of thinly sliced wood give her bedroom the appropriate edge for a young woman considering fashion design as her college major. Herzlinger, the former fashion designer, heartily approves of mixing things up; it’s why the Federicos’ home works so well. “The whole idea was to take traditional and break down all the walls,” she says. “Arizona is not the East Coast; it’s a lot more casual. So it’s okay to have the nods to traditionalism and then juxtapose them with a more modern way of living.”

The living room, Peggy’s favorite space in the home, is back-to-back with the family room. Chairs by George Smith; custom mirror over mantel by Jamie Herzlinger.

Shea’s en suite bathroom, with the same clean white cabinetry as the master bath and plenty of storage space. Above: A sitting area and office space in the master suite.



modern love

Light and space for artistic and musical collections were must-haves in a midcentury renovation

The Phoenix – New York Company,


tepping inside the yellow-framed door of this Windsor Square Historic District home is like stepping inside an art gallery. That’s no accident. She’s a musician in a local band. He’s a former docent at the Phoenix Art Museum. Both homeowners share a love for midcentury modern simplicity— that, and a growing art collection. When Phil Sheinbein and his wife Ora Zutler first decided to remodel their post-war home in Central Phoenix, they brought in an architect who lived nearby, Bruce Spiegel, as well as family friend and interior designer Donn Snyder to work with them on the project,


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by Jackie Dishner

Photographs by Chris Corrie

which took nearly five years to complete. During that time, the couple welcomed their twin boys into the family, which also factored in on the design; it had to be tough and withstand a lot of wear and tear. Phil, who runs a recycling business, and Ora, who works in research at a nearby hospital, married in 2005. Almost immediately thereafter, they started talking to architect Spiegel, principal and design consultant at The Phoenix – New York Company, about remodeling the home Phil had purchased in 1996. Within walking distance to ongoing gentrification, it’s also just minutes away from Phil’s favorite running path.

Homeowners Phil Sheinbein and Ora Zutler pose with their twin five-year-old sons around the tire swing their handyman installed in the backyard.

Above: Interior designer Donn Snyder pushed Phil and Ora out of their comfort zone with the exterior color palette. The green etched glass enclosing the front yard patio is from Mercury Glass Company in Phoenix. Right: Marriott Cabinet and Woodworking built the flatfront custom cabinets that are the main feature in the galley kitchen. Raspberry Saarinen chairs from Knoll; Le Klint pendant light from Lightform Lighting.



Everything needed to flow together, which meant finding ways to bring a material from one room to the next.

“Bruce had an appreciation for the historical integrity of the home,” says Phil. “He understood the neighborhood and our architectural aesthetic.” That aesthetic? Clean and simple. “Every material chosen became the ornament,” Spiegel notes. “Every material added its own quality to the space.” The work they planned was extensive: Redo the kitchen, tear out walls, rebuild bathrooms, add a master bedroom. Then the list grew to include revamping sewer, gas, electrical, and HVAC systems. They would spend time learning what the historic district would and would not allow—no deviation from the Flemish bond brickwork pattern on the west side’s exterior, for one thing.

The green etched glass at the front of the house is echoed in the living as a wall surround for the fireplace. Each of the three panels are attached via metal rods inserted two feet deep into concrete; the top panel weighs 200 pounds.


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Lighting in the bedroom is by way of a commercial window system similar to the one found in the adjacent family room. The Knoll headboard was reupholstered by European Custom Upholstery & Design, and the celestial-themed painting facing the bed is by New York artist Oliver Warden. “It’s a trippy piece to wake up to every morning,” says Phil.

Before their dramatic transformation, the living areas were dark spaces that were never used. Light and open today, they highlight the homeowners’ artistic and musical interests. It took two weeks for Phoenix-based Strictly Wood Floors to install the maple hardwood flooring in thin-cut slats on the diagonal.



“Every material chosen became the ornament. Every material added its own quality to the space.” —Bruce Spiegel, architect

A Le Klint wall lamp is the only decorative element affixed to the master bedroom’s exposed brick wall. Just inside the double doors to the master suite (left) is a lovely blonde by New York City photographer Dana Hoey, who also shot the black and white photos in the powder room (see page 19).

“Before the renovation, their home was this labyrinth of rooms, and the rooms themselves were dark and tight,” says Spiegel. “There was no direct access between the front and back of the house. It was closed off,” Ora adds. “We barely used the front room, the living room. We lived in the kitchen, the family room, and the bedroom.” In between all of these structural needs were aesthetic requirements: space for Ora’s musical instruments, including a baby grand piano, and for the couple’s art collection, some of it on very large canvases. And they also wanted to be able to present their midcentury furniture in the best light. “We took a number of design ideas from some of the great midcentury homes in America,” Phil says. “The wrap-around brick wall in the master bedroom, for example, plays homage to Philip Johnson’s Glass House.” 42

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Phil and Ora wanted the spaces to be lighter, brighter, and more functional, with a bedroom wing off to the side. Everything needed to flow together, which meant finding ways to bring a material from one room to the next. The green etched glass that wraps around the front yard patio, for example, would find its way inserted in kitchen cabinets, as a decorative surround on the fireplace, and in the foyer where it’s a highlight of the master bedroom doorway and the barnstyle door to the boys’ bathroom. Maple wood flooring is in every room in the house; Phil and Ora say they chose it because it’s safer for the boys and easier to stand on. “We were able to get more space in certain areas by cannibalizing space from other rooms,” says Spiegel, explaining that they tore out a bedroom to rearrange a laundry room and powder room. The laundry room, which once opened to the living room, now has its own closed entrance from the foyer in the guest wing. Part of that bedroom also became the master closet. The clerestory windows in the bedroom wing’s foyer open and close with the flip of a switch on the wall, circulating fresh air in the house. According to Spiegel, they also provide “a bounce of light that is more even, more controlled [to protect the art that hangs on the walls].” Commercial-grade windows that line the south side of the house provide the right amount of illumination and solar protection.

To best showcase the couple’s art collection (which includes select pieces of midcentury modern furniture like these fabulous ca. 1920s Wassily chairs, reupholstered by a Tucson saddle maker), many hours went into determining lighting placement.

The homeowners opted for green subway tile—and lots of it—in the master bath as a way to bring nature inside. Tiles from Heath Ceramics in California.



Spiegel calls the work they did on the roof and ceiling “an engineering feat.” Everything that supports the foyer’s and master bedroom’s architectural angles is hidden behind walls, leaving no evidence of an addition. “It all looks like it’s supposed to be there,” he says.

“Even in things like choosing the same brand of hardware for every room, there’s a visual serenity involved that helps create a sense of balance in the home.”—Phil Sheinbein, homeowner To maintain some of the interior historical integrity of the home, the team found craftsmen to re-create the plaster wall finish found in older portions of the house. Existing features, such as the arched entryway and the dining room— now the piano room—became part of the final design. “We had renovated a home in Park City, Utah, so we were very deliberate about the process. We weren’t in any hurry,” says Ora. “That must have frustrated Bruce, because we went through multiple iterations of design.” The wait was well worth it; her husband says their home now provides them with a sense of order and peace. “Even in things like choosing the same brand of hardware for every room, there’s a visual serenity involved that helps create a sense of balance in the home. It’s not for everybody, but it works for us,” says Phil. With a patio renovation still ahead and front windows yet to restore, he and Ora are both fully committed to the house. They agree it’s the home they plan to live in forever. 44

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The custom floating marble sink in the boys’ bathroom is one of three in the house. Ora saw the design in a magazine and decided it would help keep this tiny space open. For uniformity in design, the shower is also clad in marble.

Ora and Phil love their Windsor neighborhood, believing it to be a great place to raise their family. Left: Remnants of the home’s post-war architecture remain, such as the arched ceilings in the entry.

The built-in maple bookcases are lined with glass shelving to ease what might otherwise be a heavy look. The yellow chair is one of a pair of Platner lounge chairs, a rare find the couple bought in the ‘90s.

Next on the remodeling to-do list: the pool and the backyard. Phil and Ora also plan to add a new east-end patio.



Outdoor Living

by Jessica Muncrief

pizza amore Wood-fired pizza ovens bring the old world right to your backyard

Wood-fired pizza ovens create a romantic outdoor ambience.


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Courtesy of Belgard Hardscapes


t’s originally Italian, yet in the United States, pizza has become an all-American food, right up there with burgers and barbecue. Even if you have a favorite pizza joint you visit regularly, there’s something to be said for making pizza at home, using the old-world authenticity of a woodfired oven. The market for residential pizza ovens is heating up, giving a whole new meaning to the term “pizza party.” “Pizza ovens are really much more than pizza ovens,” says Nic Whitaker, co-owner with his wife Liz of Arizona Landscape Creations ( “There are some popular restaurants right now offering chicken, bread, and other dishes baked in wood-fired ovens,” he says, “You can cook pretty much anything in them with a unique flavor that you won’t get from a standard oven.”

Courtesy of Forno Bravo

A contemporary, freestanding oven fits well in tight spaces.

Doing it the traditional way takes a bit more work, but that’s all part of the fun. First, a fire is built right inside the oven, in much the same manner as a campfire. The dome of the oven will start to turn black, but once the soot has burned off and the ceiling is whitish-grey in color, it is ready for baking. The key is intense heat. For pizza, the ashes are generally pushed to the side and continually

“You can cook pretty much anything in a pizza oven, with a unique flavor that you won’t get from a standard oven.” —Nic Whitaker, Arizona Landscape Creations

also popular, especially for homeowners who want a more Italian-style surround.”

Continually stoking the ashes keeps the oven floor heat maintained at upwards of 700 degrees, allowing pizza dough to cook in just minutes. While designs can match any architectural style, getting the most out of a pizza oven is more about ambience. Pizza feeds many, and it’s a crowdpleaser, making it the perfect dish for entertaining. “You don’t just put in a pizza oven and walk away,” Papazian notes. “You put in some nice seating and add an outdoor kitchen and really make it a cozy area for people to gather.” You can do something square and modern with the design, but Papazian says he usually recommends keeping it more classic. “Pizza is an old-world food,” he says, “and when you add extra stonework or create a dome shape or an arched opening, that feels old world, and that’s more authentic.”

Courtesy of Unique Companies

The outdoor pizza oven can be designed around a homeowner’s lifestyle and choice of decór.

Courtesy of Desert Crest

Combine your pizza oven with not just one, but three, outdoor fireplaces.

stoked to keep the floor heat maintained at upwards of 700 degrees, allowing the dough to cook in just minutes. For roasting or baking at standard oven temperatures, ashes can be removed or left to slowly mellow out. “When you’re building a pizza oven, the look or surrounding design is a subset,” says Carlo Papazian of Unique Landscapes by Griffin ( “To get the best pizza, the oven itself has to be made correctly,” he explains. “A well-built pizza oven will heat up to very high temperatures fairly quickly and will retain that heat for as long as you want to keep cooking.” Papazian and Whitaker both recommend starting with an oven insert from a reputable company, like Forno Bravo or Chicago Brick Oven, and building around it. “Once you have a good solid oven, you can surround it with anything—stone, brick, whatever matches your home and landscape,” says Whitaker. For homeowners looking for something completely custom, Jesse Inzunza, owner of landscape design firm Desert Crest (, makes pizza ovens from scratch using a special mix of clays and heat-resistant cement. “The most typical looks like an igloo,” Inzunza says. “We in the Southwest might recognize it as an horno—the traditional Native American adobe bread oven. A longer, half-moon shaped dome is



Su Cocina

by Jackie Dishner

Photographs by Rick D’Elia

cooking heritage

Scottsdale chef John Collura talks pizza and marinara sauce

In an outdoor pizza oven, a pie will be ready in five minutes or less. Below, left: Carefully portioning toppings allows for even cooking.


e’s a Brooklynite who came out West to study broadcast journalism. Somewhere along the way, the handsome guy who’s often seen wearing a white or red monogrammed coat and a big smile returned to his Italian roots and first love: cooking. John Collura is the executive chef and owner of Cibo e Vino, Italian for “food and wine”—or Cibo (CHEE-bo), for short. As the North Scottsdale restaurant he’s owned for three years undergoes a remodel—the addition of a 75-foot-long inside/outside bar and a new patio, plus a new happy hour menu (lasagna for $10, for example)—reopening in time for the holiday season, Collura makes time for a private cooking demonstration at his home in Northwest Phoenix. On the menu: wood-fired pizza, using his Sicilian great-great-grandmother’s marinara sauce. He sells it at Cibo in jars labeled Re Sugo. Having grown up in an Italian family, where food was central to their lifestyle, Collura says, “I learned how to make this pizza when I was 6.” At 8, his daughter Ella has already learned how to make ravioli—a specialty at Cibo.


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Prepping the pizza he learned how to make when he was just 6 years old, Chef John Collura shows off his dough-tossing skills in his home kitchen.

“None of my Italian recipes have changed one bit. I still do it the way I learned as a child.” —Chef John Collura

Six weeks into Le Cordon Bleu’s program, Collura showed up with a list of 300 things he wanted to learn that went beyond the school’s French-based curriculum.

One trick to delicious pizza is fresh basil. Add it last, over melted cheese.

Collura’s home kitchen is, naturally, well designed and functional for a chef, and beautifully appointed with stainless steel appliances, white cupboards, and granite countertops. The chef grabs a few knives and a spoon from his bucket of utensils and sets them on the counter next to a jar of marinara sauce (that has his picture on it), fresh vegetables, four kinds of meat, and fresh basil. Next he pulls two basketball-size blocks of New York–style Romano and mozzarella from the refrigerator to grate. “Ten pounds each,” he says. “These won’t last two days at the restaurant—20 minutes if it’s a busy night.” Standing in front of a wood block on the counter, Collura rolls out the dough balls prepared that morning. He tosses one up and down a few extra times for the camera, but warns, “If you play with it too much, it breaks.” Next, he swiftly slices red, orange, yellow, and green peppers into long thin strips, storing the colorful pieces each in their own small red dish of the same size. “It’s all about portioning,” Collura says. “You have to be consistent so guests know what to expect on the plate.” Collura brings 30 years of restaurant experience to Cibo. His first job was at Yogi’s Taco Shop in New York City, and he helped Ruby Tuesday’s build seven restaurants in the ’80s. Cibo is the third restaurant he’s owned; the first two were award-winning pizza parlors in Tempe. Even with plenty of hands-on kitchen experience behind him, Collura felt he still had more to learn, so at age 40, he enrolled at Scottsdale’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Six weeks into the program he showed up with a list of 300 things he wanted to learn that went beyond the school’s French-based curriculum: Greek, Creole, Japanese—he was hungry for all of it. Collura opened Cibo a few years after graduating; during and after his culinary

“A really good dough recipe includes good flour and the best olive oil you can afford to buy,” says Collura.



Margarete Bagshaw “Positively Thinking” 48” X 60” oil in Belgian linen 505-988-2024 MB Positive ad.indd 1

Chef John’s Marinara Sauce This is the family recipe passed down from Chef John Collura’s great-great-grandmother; he packages it now for sale in his restaurant and elsewhere.

Serves 4 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 28-oz can pureed tomatoes 1 teaspoon ground garlic 1 teaspoon ground onion 2 teaspoons chopped onion 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 fresh basil leaves 1 tablespoon fresh parsley 2 tablespoons Licotelli Romano cheese In a large saucepan, brown the garlic over medium heat in olive oil; do not burn. Add the tomato sauce and all the other ingredients. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

10/30/14 4:03 PM school experience, he says, he worked with some of the finest pasta makers, chocolatiers, and pastry chefs in the world—people he calls “artists, really creative people.” Despite all that he’s learned along the way, Collura says, “None of my Italian recipes have changed one bit. I still do it the way I learned as a child.” The bonus, of course, is that now he can add things like short ribs and seafood to his daily specials.

“It’s all about portioning. You have to be consistent so guests know what to expect on the plate.” —Chef John Collura And the trick to making the best sauce? “Really good tomatoes,” says the chef with a grin. He still uses the same brand of canned tomato puree he remembers his great-grandmother using: Cento, with its bright yellow label. “There’s no citric acid in this,” he says. “You just get the full flavor of the tomato, no added sugars or salt or anything. Just tomatoes.” After spooning his marinara sauce onto the flattened dough, Collura places the veggies on top in a pinwheel design, then sprinkles on the cheese. Using a wooden peel, he pops the pizza into an oven that can heat up to 700 degrees, cooking a pie in two minutes flat. The pizza is removed with a tin peel, and finally Collura drops fresh-cut basil on top; it wilts fragrantly into the gooey cheese. At last, the final step—the one hungry diners eagerly wait for. “Mangia,” he says. Let’s eat. Cibo e Vino, 34522 N Scottsdale Rd, Suite D1, Scottsdale,


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Su Cocina

cookie cutter houses Sugar, spice, and all things nice make holiday gingerbread villages a delight for all ages


hey’re homes even your children can build—gingerbread houses—yet the ones local pastry chefs cook up every holiday season seem like architectural wonders. This year, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, home of the largest gingerbread display in the Valley, you can walk around in a sweet-scented, winter wonderland based on the movie Frozen. “We’re a really big resort, and

we always want to build the biggest gingerbread house in town,” says Executive Pastry Chef Joel Gonzalez, whose pastry team helped him build the village piece by piece. Indeed, the Marriott’s gingerbread displays, decorated with gingerbread shingles, graham cracker shutters, and vanilla frosting detailing, usually fill half of the front lobby. The village’s homes, too numerous to count but all created with housemade gingerbread, surround 800 pounds of white granulated sugar transformed into the mythical white castle. The film’s characters—including lovable snowman Olaf—a chocolate sleigh, and a train with lights are part of the intricate design that took three months to build. Gonzalez and his staff pick a different theme each year. In the past, they’ve created a Willy Wonka factory, Dr. Seuss scenes, and the Polar Express. A snowflake machine, new this year, hangs from the ceiling and “rains snowflakes down over the entire village,” says the chef.

Courtesy of JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge

Train photo: Courtesy of Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel

Courtesy of JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge

by Jackie Dishner

Above: Last year’s holiday display at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort included 13 gingerbread houses made from 4,000 pounds of gingerbread cookie dough.

Several greater Phoenix resorts offer free-tothe-public gingerbread displays in their lobbies during the holiday season: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa 5350 Marriott Dr, Phoenix December 1, 2014–January 4, 2015

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel 340 N Third Street, Phoenix November 28, 2014–January 2, 2015 From giant, stand-alone homes (top) to tabletop wonders (left) and villages visited by toy trains (above), executive pastry chefs take the lead in developing these sweet “housing projects.”

The Phoenician 6000 E Camelback, Scottsdale November 29, 2014–January 1, 2015



Vida Buena

by Teresa Bitler

take a hike

Doug Thompson

Trails of all lengths and challenge levels abound at Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

From the Gateway Trailhead, you can hike the easy, barrier-free Bajada Nature Trail or tackle more challenging trails, which link all the way to McDowell Mountain Regional Park.


he McDowell Sonoran Preserve ( in Scottsdale, which comprises 47 square miles well north and south of DC Ranch, isn’t your typical city park. In fact, even though the city purchased its 30,000 acres—nearly onethird of the city’s entire land mass—through funds generated by two voter-approved sales taxes, it’s not a city park at all, but a city-managed nature preserve. You understand the distinction the minute you arrive. No roads cut through the preserve’s interior. There are no play areas with swing sets and picnic tables or campgrounds with hookups. Recreational activities are limited to passive, nonmotorized uses such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and bird watching. As a result, there’s more wildlife and more variety in the plant life, according to Mike Nolan, executive director of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, which helps manage the preserve in cooperation with the city. “City parks usually exist as islands, surrounded by development,” Nolan explains. “The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a corridor, connecting the Tonto National Forest to the north with the McDowell Mountain Regional Park to the east. 52

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Wildlife can move freely through the preserve, from one public land to another.” Because the preserve encompasses so much terrain, it is incredibly diverse. In the south, the McDowell Mountains reach 4,000 feet, while in the north of the park, rolling hills give way to spectacular views of Four Peaks. Hike less than an hour into the preserve from any of the five existing major trailheads, and instead of sprawling neighborhoods and other hikers, you’ll encounter cholla cactus, granite outcroppings, and geological formations like Tom’s Thumb. Gateway Trailhead serves as the best introduction to the area. Not only does it have a LEED Platinum–certified interpretive center, but it also earns its name as a gateway to the rest of the preserve. From this point, it’s possible to hike all the way into McDowell Mountain Regional Park or directly access several trails with a varying degree of difficulty, from the child-friendly, barrier-free Bajada Nature Trail to the challenging, 9.6-mile climb on the Bell Pass/Windgate Pass Loop. “You can pick a trail from Gateway to fit the amount of time you have and the experience you want,” says Nolan. If you need help, he says, Conservancy volunteers stationed at the trail-

Gateway Trailhead, with its LEED Platinum­–certified interpretive center, serves as the main access to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s 133 miles of trails.

Don Bierman

Recreational activities in the preserve are limited to passive, nonmotorized uses, which allows plants and wildlife to thrive. head can help plan a hike and make sure you’re dressed for the desert and have plenty of water. More than 600,000 people from across the nation visited the preserve last year to hike its 133 miles of trails, says Kroy Ekblaw, the city’s preserve director. That number will only increase as new trails open. Ekblaw expects a few more to open in 2015; others are planned for 2017 and 2018 openings, for a total of up to 210 miles of trails. After that, he says, the boundaries for the preserve will be set unless voters approve additional funding for more acquisition. Located just off Thompson Parkway north of Bell Road, Gateway Trailhead is open from sunrise to sunset. There is no charge for parking or use, and dogs on leashes are welcome. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM








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Vida Buena

by Bud Russo

rediscovering the

Mother Road Historic Route 66

Route 66 was a highway of rescue and salvation, of exploration and adventure. The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona (part of a chain of “Wigwam Villages”), was built in 1950 by Chester E. Lewis. It is still in operation today.

Word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word word


ohn Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath called it the Mother Road; many others came to know it as the Main Street of America. It was a highway of rescue and salvation, of exploration and adventure. It was U.S. Route 66, running through eight states from Illinois to California. Its rich and enduring history is still being written today.

a road of possibilities

At the end of America’s Golden Age, from the 1890s until Black Tuesday in October 1929, the nation’s leaders were intent on encouraging prosperity. One goal was to create a network of national highways that would connect cities and towns and strengthen economic development and travel. Route 66 was just one of those highways, but it became the most famous. The highway, which was laid out in 1927, connects eight states, including (when heading west) Texas, where it enters just east of Shamrock; New Mexico, at Glenrio, now a ghost town; and Arizona, at Lupton. In its heyday, travelers availed themselves of gas stations, garages, cafés, and motor courts that seemed to pop up in every town. They were essential to travelers escaping the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, heading west to start over. When prosperity began to return, people traveled by car just to experience the great West. However, as cities and towns began to flourish once more, Route 66 was quickly abandoned when Interstate 40, which included five connecting interstates, drove it nearly to oblivion. Many of the small businesses catering to travelers failed, followed by many of the villages that had once called them home. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Bud Russo

The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, still greets travelers with its classic neon signage.

Seventy-five years after opening its doors, the blue neon of the Swallow once again invites weary travelers to lay up for the night. modern-day mystique

Today, curious travelers can still drive the remnants of Route 66. From Glenrio, New Mexico, west, the road is gravel, while other segments are maintained as state highways. Along every part of the historic route, you’ll find wind-weary buildings longing to surrender to the forces of nature and decay. Still there are those who believe in the mystique of the Mother Road, people who have kept small parcels of the old road alive. Arizona businessman Angel Delgadillo and others formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, a nonprofit established to preserve and restore what remains of the Arizona portion of the highway, rebirthing the Mother Road with a different kind of character. There are similar associations in Texas, New Mexico, and most of the other states along the highway. After traveling Route 66 and eager to be self-employed, Kevin and Nancy Mueller purchased the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and found themselves welcoming guests from around the world—people seeking to experience America in those heady years before the Depression. Within the dozen rooms of the motel, they’ve managed to blend the style, colors, and furnishings of the early period with modern conveniences, like Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions. Seventy-five years after opening its doors, the blue neon of the Swallow once again invites weary travelers to lay up for the night. 56

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Seligman, Arizona, calls itself “The Birthplace of Historic Route 66” because it was instrumental in the revitalization of the historic aspect of the highway. The Delgadillo family’s Snow Cap Drive-In (above) in Seligman has been a fixture on the Mother Road since 1953.

Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery, by Susan Croce Kelly, University of Oklahoma Press, hardcover, $25

In Texas, Amarillo’s famous Cadillac Ranch art installation is visible from I-40 where the interstate merges with Historic Route 66.

glimpses into the past

Nearly 60 miles west of Tucumcari in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, James “Bozo” Cordova shares his love for classic cars, an affair he’s had since boyhood. “When I bleed, I bleed oil,” he says. His Route 66 Auto Museum is a collection of nearly four dozen cars, from a 1931 Auburn to a 1957 pink Cadillac, any of which could have been seen along the two-lane highway countryside many years ago. However, what’s left of the Mother Road isn’t just about vintage cars and gas stations—it’s got some serious star power, too. Armand Ortega was 13 when his uncles left him in the lobby of Gallup, New Mexico’s, El Rancho Hotel so they could down a few shots in the bar. He was so impressed with the ornate lobby, he thought, “I’d like to buy something like this for my mother.” Years later, 46 to be exact, Ortega purchased and restored the aging hotel for himself. Back in the day, El Rancho accommodated Hollywood western royalty: Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, and even the actors who played the Lone Ranger and Tonto slept here while traveling through Route 66 and shooting movies about the Old West. Today, part of the hotel’s charm are the several dishes in the hotel’s restaurant named after Hollywood stars who graced the hotel so many years ago, like the Ronald Reagan burger, served with a side of jelly beans. While these Route 66 hot spots are some of the most famous, there are other, equally significant, stops along the highway. The U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas, today a visitors’ center, was once an excellent stopping point for travelers desiring “Delicious Food Courteously Served.” In Winslow, Arizona, you can stand on the same corner famously referenced in the Eagles’ 1972 hit “Take It Easy.” Whether you choose a segment of Route 66 to explore or commit a few days to ride its full length, there’s plenty to take in. From museums to restaurants, stops along the historic road allow travelers a glimpse into a different time, a slice of Americana forgotten by many, but still revered by a few. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Courtesy of Tempe Tourism

what’s happening?

FANTASY OF LIGHTS BOAT PARADE December 13, 5 PM Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Free Presented by SRP, this event lights up the night with as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes, ending with a fireworks display. Special guest Santa Claus makes an appearance to hear children’s gift requests in nearby Tempe Beach Park.

LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS November 28–29 December 5–6, 12–13, 19–23, 26–30 5:30–9:30 PM Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix $10–$30, kids under 3 free Presented by the Arizona Republic, this treasured holiday event fills the garden with 8,000 hand-lit luminarias, lighting the way for 10 musical groups performing throughout the evening. Food, wine, and hot chocolate for sale. Dine at Gertrude’s, the garden’s on-site restaurant, with advance reservations.

TEMPE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS December 5–7, 10 AM–5:30 PM Mill Avenue District, Tempe Free As many as 350 artist booths displaying handmade artwork ranging from photography to sculpture to jewelry take over Downtown Tempe. The event, now in its 46th year, also includes food and snack vendors, the Arizona Wine Festival, The Art of Beer, live entertainment, a variety of street performers, and hands-on visual art education for kids. 58

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

A MERRI-ACHI CHRISTMAS December 19, 8 PM Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E Second St, Scottsdale $14–$59 Maestro Jóse Hernàndez and the Platinum Award– winning Mariachi Sol de Mexico perform treasured holiday favorites along with traditional mariachi tunes. Bring the family, and get into the holiday spirit. NATIVE TRAILS January 8–April 4, 12 PM Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N Drinkwater, Scottsdale Free Now in its 13th season, Native Trails returns most Thursdays and Saturdays for its series of lunchtime Native dance performances, sponsored by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Led by Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw), artistic director and seven-time hoop dance world champion, this year’s performances include youth performers on Saturdays and an interactive “round dance” with the audience.

P.F. CHANG’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ARIZONA MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON January 18 Tempe Beach Park (Finish Line), Tempe Registration fees $45–$185 This event features an assortment of live music and local high school cheerleading squads entertaining and encouraging runners at nearly every mile of the 26.2- and 13.1-mile courses. The marathon begins in Phoenix, races through Scottsdale, and finishes in Tempe. The half marathon course begins and ends in Tempe. Other events this year include a 10k race and a two-person half marathon relay.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HOOP DANCE CONTEST February 7–8, 9:30 AM–5 PM Heard Museum, 2301 N Central, Phoenix $7.50-–$18, kids under 4 free Experience the fast-paced precision and grace of hoop dancing when more than 70 top Native hoop dancers from the United States and Canada compete for cash prizes and the 25th annual World Champion title. Guests can watch dance performances, try fry bread and other American Indian foods, and visit museum exhibits, including the new Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art.

Courtesy of Tempe Tourism

Courtesy of Tempe Tourism

ZOO LIGHTS November 24–January 11, 5:30–10:30 PM Phoenix Zoo, 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix $10–$18 Celebrate the holiday season with 3.8 million lights, 700 lighted displays, and two new Music in Motion shows, all powered by SRP EarthWise Energy. Also new is the 4-D theater to tell the Polar Express story with multisensory effects, including snow, fog, and gusts of wind.

Courtesy of Tempe Tourism

November through February

DIRTY DANCING February 17–22 ASU Gammage, 1200 S Forest, Tempe $20–$125 The popular coming-of-age movie comes alive in a fabulous stage adaptation at the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed ASU Gammage theater, now in its 50th year. Dirty Dancing tells the story of Baby and Johnny, two independent young spirits from different worlds who experience one of the most challenging and triumphant summers of their lives. The show features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” as well as sensational dancing.




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Su Libro

an eye for design Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places Focusing on different parts of the home, Palmisano asks readers to consider how their space is used and how its functionality can be improved with salvage. Flooring, cabinetry, furnishings, and fixture ideas are detailed, with suggestions as to where interesting salvage can be found for these items. For those with a passion for salvage design, knowing their reclaimed material’s history, acquisition, and construction details is half the fun. The discovery of metal countertops from a restaurant-supply shop or driftwood washed up on the beach adds to the emotion behind the project.

“Salvage” can be anything that is given a second chance, be it reclaimed, vintage, or someone else’s cast-off.


epurposing and recycling is more than just a fad. Joanne Palmisano, award-winning interior designer and author of Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home With Reclaimed Materials, says salvaging is a way of life. The building industry generates nearly one third of today’s waste, Palmisano explains, but designing with salvaged materials is the ultimate green practice. It also inspires amazing creativity. And salvage design can look truly fabulous. Palmisano’s new book demonstrates how the repurposed hull of a sailboat revamps an ordinary kitchen bar and how a used shipping container perfectly serves an urban home as a cozy guest cottage. Besides professional projects like these, the author offers inspiration to DIYers and outlines several small projects for novices. Palmisano explains that “salvage” can be anything that is given a second chance, be it reclaimed, vintage, or someone else’s cast-off. Before an old surveyor’s tripod and scuba air tank part became an amazing floor lamp, someone had the vision to put those materials to that use. Palmisano takes us on a “guided shopping trip” suggesting how to approach the hidden gems in the secondhand store or antiques fair. Practice looking at materials with an eye to repurpose, the author advises: A blanket makes great upholstery for a chair, and curtains are an instant headboard covering.


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Susan Teare

Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home With Reclaimed Materials, by Joanne Palmisano, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., paperback, $35

A chapter called “Retail Inspiration” showcases several hip businesses that are brand-building and promoting sales with clever salvage designs in their stores that homeowners can sample from, and includes a resource list of individuals and companies who helped design the examples featured in the book. As well as producing a blog (, Palmisano films DIY Network videos showing specific refurbishing projects, such as building a dining table from salvaged wood. “Taking a few small steps toward thinking about what goes into our homes will make a huge difference in the entire design and build industry,” Palmisano concludes. With her help, salvage can be beautiful.—Cristina Olds

One homeowner found the driftwood for this headboard on the beach near her San Rafael, California, home.

Candice Olson Favorite Design Challenges, by Candice Olson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, paperback, $20

Brandon Barré

a designer would understand. Olson speaks in bullet points, separating them into Style Elements and Solutions, so there is no doubt about what was done to each space. Sometimes the fixes are easy, like new paint or moving furniture. Other times, they’re the kinds of upgrades only a professional would consider, like adding fireplaces, water features, or kitchens. It’s time to meet the monster, aka, that one room you can’t seem to do anything with. Though as Olson notes, “The real challenge is often not the room itself but the people inhabiting it.”—Amy Gross

A seethrough bookcase helps break a long, skinny, attic into “rooms.”

“Our Family Values Bring You The Value You Deserve!”


ong rooms with no character, tiny spaces with too much going on, awkward corners and angles . . . these architectural groaners are like blank canvases to a creative interior designer. With her battle cry, “No problem, I love a good challenge!” interior designer and HGTV fan favorite Candice Olson unleashes her singular energy on two dozen unhappy spaces crying out for help in Candice Olson Favorite Design Challenges. You’ve seen those HGTV shows where the guy goes out for dinner and comes back three hours later to a spankin’ new rec room. Well, this book ain’t that. For one thing, Olson actually listens to what both parties who will be living in the room are looking for. Often that entails opposing styles and tastes that somehow need to be melded: contemporary with antiques, neutrals with vibrant color. The concept being “before and after,” Candice Olson Favorite Design Challenges is a howto book that’s an actual pleasure to read. There are no vague concepts or suggestions about what you might try; these are examples of actual fixes. In each challenge, Olson presents a before photo (usually pretty eyebrow-raising) and an explanation of what the homeowners were looking for when they called her in. Immediately following is her process for creating the gorgeous “after.” Breaking it down: a sketch of the space, swatches of the materials to be used, and of course, beautiful color photos of every angle of the new room. Even the text is easy to read. No long passages here or esoteric concepts that only

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Ignite Hope for children hospitalized over the holidays during this candlelight walk to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. December 13 | Registration - 3pm | Walk - 5:30pm Register at 62

S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

on the market

Paradise Valley perfection

This spectacular custom estate sits on more than an acre of desert landscape with great views near the prestigious and iconic Arizona Biltmore resort. Masterfully designed with extra space for guests, the open floor plan includes soaring ceilings, impressive stone flooring, multiple fireplaces, Hunter Douglas window treatments that frame wrap-around windows, a grand hosting bar, and expansive living space. A wall of glass brings the outdoors in to a large and airy living room, while the dream kitchen includes an elevated island, beautiful blonde cabinetry, gas cooking, and Sub-Zero, Thermador, Dacor, and Asko appliances. The master suite is perfect for relaxing with a sitting room, jetted tub, and fireplace, while the office is custom-built for the executive. Car enthusiasts will love the temperature-controlled, nine-car garage, with lift and custom work area. The outdoor living space includes green lawns, a built-in barbecue, and a water feature. List price: $1.595 million Contact: JoAnn Callaway, Those Callaways 480-596-5751,

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inspiration ideas resources

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A lovely Silverleaf view layered in blue sky, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and a Tom Weiskopf窶電esigned, championship golf course give this backyard a luxurious presence many of us only dream about. The regal Spanish Colonial, two-story home built by Desert Sky Development Custom Homes was constructed with relaxation in mind. Rose bushes surround a pool finished with iridescent glass tiles and a deck made of Marbella shellstone pavers, infused with fossilized coral, shells, and crustaceans. Interior designer Ashlyn Pohl of Ashlyn Designs worked with the homeowners to create this very private retreat in their own backyard. Not surprisingly, the owners came to realize their vacation home was redundant. They sold it, they say, because living in their beautifully appointed North Scottsdale residence is like being on vacation all year long. Desert Sky Development Custom Homes, Inc., Ashlyn Designs, 480-201-1189


S U C A S A W I N T E R 2015

Chris Corrie

permanent vacation








15455 N Greenway-Hayden Loop, C15, Scottsdale 85260 480.378.0686

Illuminating your Lifestyle 35 years in Arizona

Schedule a FREE design consultation with one of our lighting specialists.

Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale Winter 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale Winter 2015 Digital Edition

Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale Winter 2015 Digital Edition  

Su Casa Phoenix/Scottsdale Winter 2015 Digital Edition