Hot in Scottsdale: An Insiders’ Look into what will become Scottsdale’s latest trends

Frank Aazami, of the Private Client Group, Russ Lyon I Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale, says local home-building continues to look up.

Because of the imbalance between population growth and new home-building, the Valley has several years of rising prices ahead, he says. “How fast and how high they rise, I cannot tell, but the idea that prices could fall significantly in the near term because of excess supply is not in sight,” he says.
Aazami also expects a demand surge from California residents and companies. “Compared to most of California, housing in Central Arizona is still ridiculously affordable — even if interest rates were to double,” he says.


Arizona Residential Architects $5,000 donationArizona Residential Architects (ARA) recently donated $5,000 to the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center. SARRC is internationally recognized for the services it delivers to families impacted by autism, from early intervention for toddlers through vocational and life skills programs for teens and adults. SARRC is also an important contributor to national research trials seeking answers and effective treatments for autism.
Brent Kendle and other members of the ARA, a group of distinguished Valley architects dedicated to luxury residential design, attended the 15th Annual SARRC Community Breakfast May 2 at the Arizona Biltmore. Kendle’s wife, Jeri, is the president of the group.

The Dialogue House, designed by Wendell Burnette, AIA, and built by Construction Zone, both Phoenix, appeared on the April cover of Dwell Magazine. Completed in 2012, the 2,700-square foot-home is, writes Burnette, “a gestalt instrument for touching the full range and specificity of desert light.”

Swaback Partners, Scottsdale, is working on final plans for Iron Horse Hotel Arizona, a 165-room hotel, spa and conference center on the Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community adjacent to Scottsdale as well as numerous homes at Martis Camp, a North Tahoe, Nev., development masterplanned by the firm.

Nick Tsontakis, AIA design, Mummy MountainNick Tsontakis, AIA, is planning a 16,500-square-foot custom home atop Mummy Mountain. The contemporary-style home will include three elevators, an eight-car garage and two infinity-edge pools that will “fall” from the south and north sides of the home. “The home captures views on the north and south while hugging the mountain ridge in the center,” says the Scottsdale architect, who expects completion by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Brent Kendle, AIA, LEED AP, has several projects in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, four under construction and three others in design. The Scottsdale-based architect is also starting design for an 18,000–22,000-square-foot contemporary home outside London for a client who saw one of his Desert Mountain Scottsdale homes on a website in London.

Desert Mountain

Desert Mountain

Interior designers

The award-winning Ernesto Garcia, ASID, is still winning. At the most recent ASID Awards, the Phoenix interior designer was called five times, including a First Place in Residential.

Scottsdale’s inimitable Janet Brooks, ASID, has two homes under construction, in Desert Mountain and Whisper Rock. The second, designed by Clint Miller, AIA, and built by Archer Custom Homes, combines traditional 12-inch adobe walls integrated with contemporary building procedures.

Susan Hersker, ASID, and business partner Elaine Ryckman, Allied ASID, have two projects under way, a spec home in Desert Mountain and a major remodel in Estancia. “We are also working on furnishings projects where we are ‘de-Tuscanizing’ — getting rid of the heavy, dark furniture and fabrics. We are seeing much more interest in contemporary styles, lighter colors and patterns in fabrics and light-medium wood tones,” Ryckman says.

Studio V Interior Design, Katherine Pullen, partner, Allied ASID, partner, Scottsdale, has been awarded the interior design contract for the Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Est Est, Tony and Blake Sutton, recently completed a 7,200-square-foot Fountain Hills residence, combining the finest of European styling with contemporary lighter tones and textures. “The close working relationship with Hollanti Custom Homes, LLC made this a successful experience from start to finish,” says Bianca Olsson, who, with Elaine Alexander, served as co-designers for Scottsdale-based Est Est Inc.


Tom Monte

Tom Monte

La Casa Builders, Ron Steege and Tim Larson, principals, are offering a contemporary 6,000-square-foot design/build home in Paradise Valley. This hillside custom, available through Brian Miller Sotheby’s International Realty, will capture the indoor/outdoor Arizona lifestyle with views of Camelback Mountain, Papago Buttes and Phoenix city lights.

Arizona Structures is expanding its expertise into Arcadia, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.
In just four years, the Gilbert-based general contracting company, led by partners Tom Monte and Dave Green, has established itself with new build and remodeling projects in East Valley cities such as Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler.

Scottsdale’s Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes is offering its Park Place Series of homes at select locations throughout the Valley. First built at Silverleaf in north Scottsdale, the 3,700–5,100-square-foot luxury homes have a cottage/vintage style and are perfect for empty nesters, says Tony Calvis, company principal with Gary Wyant. “They are lighter and refreshing but without sacrificing amenities or luxury.”


AlyshaanThe new inventory at Alyshaan Fine Rugs, in the Scottsdale Design Center, includes Ikat designs and bamboo silk rugs. The Indian-made 8-by-10-foot Ikat rug is handspun wool and natural dyes.

Scottsdale-based Hydroscapes, Roger (II) and Sheri Soares, is completing a variety of projects Valleywide. For one, an uncompleted pool/spa, they removed the existing spa and moved it to a different location and added copper spillways bronze-colored to match the house trim. The second is a combination play pool/diving pool with a spa and fire pit area.

Larry Langhurst and Bernie Becker, Woodesign, Phoenix, recently finished the Gagganeu kitchen at Allstate Appliances, Scottsdale. The showroom features a totally suspended design from automotive buffed and polished pau ferro. The countertops were miter-folded to continue the sweeping concept of the design.

In addition, with Scottsdale interior designer, David Michael Miller, ASID, Woodesign completed a large contemporary-style home in Desert Mountain, designed by Tempe architect David Wade. The home features a curved pau ferro kitchen, bees’s wing eucalyptus on all interior doors and giant sliding barn doors, also in pau ferro, Langhurst says.

Arizona Solar Solutions, Pat Lamore Jr. CEO, Phoenix, is offering a new generation of solar panel financing, up to 10 years at 2.99%, with no money down to those with good credit. With a monthly payment under $200, the company says that homeowners get a payback period of two years and can save almost $100,000 over the course of two decades — and increase equity.


At Desert Mountain in North Scottsdale, the dedication of the Jim Flick Golf Performance Center was held May 8 for community members and their guests. Special guests were Geri Flick and 2012 Charles Schwab Cup Champion Tom Lehman, who was the keynote speaker.

Flick served as the PGA director of instruction at Desert Mountain from 1987–2005 and spent five decades coaching more than 200 PGA professionals — including his most famous student, Jack Nicklaus, and countless amateurs and junior golfers.
In addition, Desert Mountain in Scottsdale has received the 2012 Developer Award from American Trails, a national nonprofit. Desert Mountain was recognized for a 6.6-mile private trail system within a 3,000-acre natural preserve in the community.

The three trails within the Desert Mountain trail system serve as a link between the community’s residential areas and three million acres of the Tonto National Forest.