Scottsdale Home Renovation

Desert Glam: Earthy Tones with a Hint of Rock and Roll

Jenna Peffley

Scottsdale, Arizona

About the project

Kele's family have been going to Scottsdale, Arizona to watch the San Francisco Giants play in spring training games for more than 30 years, so an annual pilgrimage to the area has been a longtime family tradition. Over the years, as wives and kids have joined the mix, it became increasingly trickier to find enough hotel rooms for the growing brood. Kele’s parents had been on the hunt for a vacation home when they stumbled upon this funky abode, then they tapped us to help with all things design.

As we dug into the concept for this home, we were definitely inspired by the surrounding desert, then we after a little research decided we should layer it with a bit of 70’s rock-n-roll glam to add something unexpected. The house was originally built in the early 1970’s, and Kele grew up listening to that era of music with his folks, so we thought it would be a fun nostalgic nod for them. We also learned that Stevie Nicks grew up here, so we channeled what a Fleetwood Mac afterparty might look like in the desert: Desert Glam.

The house had most of its charm ripped out of it over the years, so we made it our mission to layer it back in during our remodel. We also knew that we wanted this three bedroom, two bath home to be used as a vacation rental, so infusing instant-vacation-vibes was a key lens with which we chose the materials and furnishings.

Here are a breakdown of the rooms we transformed:

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Living Room and Front Entry

  • We ripped out the drab, greige ‘80’s floor tile and installed rich, handmade saltillo tiles throughout the entire house.
  • We leaned into the heavily textured walls to dial up the funk, then painted them a bright white to lighten their weighted down texture every so slightly.
  • We painted all the french doors a golden mustard and the ceiling's wood a creamy peach color for our desert-inspired palette.
  • Kele designed a custom cabinet box to conceal the TV and treat the cabinetry like an art canvas. After sketching up a minimal, abstract desert landscape, we then brought it to life (think paint by numbers on a larger scale)! It was an inexpensive hack that had a big aesthetic payoff.
  • We removed an old piece of dilapidated granite from the fireplace hearth and re-wrapped it in Jacobsen Cement Tile by Cle. The fireplace grounds the entire room, so we needed a graphic, eye-catching tile as a juxtaposition to the vintage pieces of furniture.
  • The living room's back wall, being a massive blank space, was ripe for a gallery-style collection of desert glam art. Below it we placed a beautiful midcentury credenza, flanked with oversized table lamps.

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Kitchen, Dining Room and Atrium

  • In the kitchen, we tore out the cramped, existing kitchen to double the size of the space, so that it could accommodate more people and lend itself to a more open concept.
  • We added an arched walkway from the kitchen to the living room to create continuity between rooms and keep in line with the desert motif.
  • We used prefab white lower cabinetry and paired it with grainy hickory wood upper shelving for visual contrast. We then continued the hickory wood as a detail for our island kick-splash. We used ultra thick quartz countertops to mimic concrete, then splurged on Cle’s zelige tile in an amber hue to wrap the hood, making it a focal point of the room.
  • We also gave some love to the little adjacent atrium, making it a fun spot to read and enjoy a morning coffee with the help of colorful furnishings and lots of plants.
  • The dining room is a fairly small space, so we found a cool circular travertine table that we paired with Kele’s grandmother’s caned chairs. We balanced the vintage tones with a modern dining light hanging overhead, then doubled down on vintage (we just can’t help ourselves) and finished it off with tufted desert art prints.
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The Three Bedrooms

  • This three bedroom house has one ensuite with a king bed, one bedroom with two queens, and one bedroom with a queen and a pair of bunk beds.
  • In the ensuite, we upgraded the bathroom with simple and budget-friendly additions, such as adding fun geometric brass mirrors, diamond-shaped hardware and a leathered countertop with lots of veining.
  • In the double queen room, Kele and I sketched out a geometric sunset desert scene that we hand painted in auburn and rust hues, accented with an amber lamp hanging from the ceiling.
  • To create the bunk nook within our third queen guest room, we closed off a hall closet that had opened from the kitchen and added that square footage back to the queen bedroom. This allowed us to create a custom wall-to-wall bunk nook within the room - perfect for a family who wants to sleep near their small kiddos.
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Exterior Upgrades

  • We invested in resurfacing the pool, as that’s a major draw for any home during Arizona’s sweltering summer months. We added desert-inspired tile along the water's edge, resurfaced the entire pool decking in a cream colored travertine and added retro-looking lounge chairs alongside the water’s edge.
  • Tucked in the back corner, we added a bocce ball court and a little patio off the back bedrooms, for a quiet place to drink a morning coffee and read the paper.
  • We added hints of wood detail throughout the exterior such a custom towel hook rack and a purposely uneven fence around the pool equipment, then we changed out all of the softscape to reflect the surroundings - loading every bed with cactus, succulents and rock.