Scottsdale House

MMA was brought to Scottsdale, Arizona, to help a past client extensively renovate and add on to an existing Adobe home at the base of Pinnacle Peak. The client desired a more formal plan and organization to balance out the free-form nature of the indigenous style. The result was a hybrid of Spanish colonial and Adobe architecture. Elegant arches and pilasters are utilized to define circulation and procession, creating gateways to selected spaces of importance. Similar archways are employed to highlight artwork and areas of focus.

Natural woods such as Douglas Fir and Western Alder are used to properly weight the ceilings to maintain an intimacy of space and provide a scaled terminus for the high ceilings of the public areas. These woods are most compatible with the hand-troweled Venetian plaster walls with rounded corners and a natural movement that helps bridge the architectural styles. Lightly distressed Western Alder cabinets and millwork in the Study, Family Room, Master Bedroom, and Kitchen again balance nicely with the warm plaster to complete a pleasing palette. Limestone floors continue from the front door through the home to the Terrace and zero-edge pool, achieving a seamless segue from inside to out. Reclaimed, wide-plank oak adds a warm base and pleasing contrast to the limestone in selected spaces.

The fenestration of the house was revised and enlarged to take advantage of the spectacular views of Phoenix and the Sonoran desert. Butt-glass corners and banquet window bays create functional spaces and vantage points from which to enjoy these vistas. Access to the terraces was thoughtfully changed to create logical circulation in and out of the home for entertaining and day-to-day living for this desert home.


John S. MacDonald, AIA

interior designer

Bierly Drake Interiors, Inc.

general contractor

RAM Development Company

publications & awards
  • Trends Magazine 2006 (vol 22, no. 2)
  • Trends Magazine 2004 (cover)
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