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By Nora Burba Trulsson | Photo: Mark Boisclair and Werner Segarra | October 17, 2016
Interior designer Lynne Beyer and architect Richard Nicholas Loope add a touch of warmth to a Paradise Valley modernist classic.
There were many elements the owners liked when they first saw their Paradise Valley home: the easygoing, three-bedroom floor plan, ideal for visits from grown children and young grandchildren; the home’s modernist architecture, designed by Phoenix architect Hugh Knoell; and the in-town location, with views of Camelback and Mummy mountains. In short, it seemed like the perfect winter retreat in the desert.
However, there was one catch—the 3,100-square-foot home’s interior was a tad too minimalist for their taste. With another home in Wyoming, the couple collects Native American and Western art, so they wanted a warmer backdrop for their collection, in addition to creating a more grandchild-friendly setting.
For help, they turned to Phoenix interior designer Lynne Beyer and her husband, architect/builder Richard “Ryc” Nicholas Loope, who often collaborate on projects.
“They loved the house, but the interior was more contemporary than they liked,” explains Beyer, who had worked with the owners on their previous Scottsdale residence. “They were used to a more traditional and transitional interior, but we decided it had to be a soft contemporary in this home to complement the architecture.”
Loope suggested several interior architectural changes to better suit the owners’ lifestyle. “The bones of the house were spectacular,” Loope recalls, “but the views of Camelback and Mummy mountains on either side of the house were bifurcated by a large stone fireplace wall that stood near the entry.”
Loope removed the fireplace wall—which took some engineering, since it was a load-bearing wall—opening up the living room to a small sitting area, as well as mountain views on both sides. He also had the original front door replaced with a larger custom design, creating a grander sense of entry for the home. In the kitchen, which opens to the living and dining rooms, Loope replaced a smaller, angled island with a generously sized oval-shaped island that can accommodate multiple cooks and many onlookers. He also designed an oval soffit for the ceiling above the new island, further defining the kitchen space. In the master bath, new vanities and an additional window add light and function.
Under Beyer’s direction, most of the home’s original finishes were replaced. New Brazilian cherry flooring warms the home’s public spaces, and a new custom wall-length cabinet made of walnut and wenge serves as a focal point for the living room, incorporating a fireplace, big-screen TV and shelving for artwork. “The owners live in Jackson Hole part of the year,” explains Beyer, “and they love nature, so I used a lot of wood, like the rich, velvety-feeling floor, and textures to give the interior a comfortable, natural feeling.”
Working with a neutral palette to keep the focus on the art and views, Beyer incorporated some of the owners’ furnishings from their previous house, new selections and several custom pieces she designed, all with an eye on being able to withstand the rigors of family life. A custom sapele table and shelf add a sleek touch to the dining room. Deep, comfortable seating in the living room is contrasted by edgy, custom designs for a wood and metal cocktail table and console. The master bedroom is anchored by a luxe bed and cocooned in glamorous draperies.
The owners have enjoyed the home for several winter seasons now, hosting gatherings of family and friends, as well as fundraising and charity events. When it’s just the two of them, there’s a cozy fire that warms the soul and the sunset reflecting on Camelback Mountain to watch.
For Beyer and Loope, the renovation project was successful for both their clients and for them professionally, winning several design awards. “We wanted to preserve and honor the original architecture,” explains Beyer, “but make the interiors work for the new owners.”
Lynne Beyer, Allied Member ASID, from Lynne Beyer Design
Richard Nicholas Loope, FAIA, from HL Design Build
Kitchen bar stools
Cactus Stone and Tile
Kitchen and master bath countertops
Paul Ferrante, through John Brooks Inc.
Dining room chandelier
Phillip Jeffries, through John Brooks Inc.
David E. Adler Inc.
Craftsman Court Ceramics
Master bath tile