“Toca Madera is one of our favorite inspirational dining experiences in the Valley. The ambience of the natural greenery, open roof and moving glass walls is the perfect backdrop to yummy craft cocktails and organic Mexican flavors.”
“One of my favorite things to do is sign up for a massage at the Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa and relax for lunch poolside. The hotel is on the north-facing slope of Camelback Mountain and was converted into a sort of organic, midcentury modern-styled boutique hotel and spa. On a random Sunday, when seasonal folks have retreated to cooler climes, I love to go up there for the day, feel like I had a vacation of sorts and enjoy the stellar views of Paradise Valley from the comfort of a lounge chair.”
“The Scott Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway to escape the heat. From the moment you walk into the lobby, you feel transported to a lush, Havana-inspired oasis filled with beautiful art, photography and artifacts. Take a dip in one of the refreshing pools, and don’t forget to treat yourself to the spa!”
Extremis, the Belgian outdoor furniture brand that brought its arresting yellow aluminum Picnik tables to The Standard High Line hotel just released its multifunctional AMAi table. A Flemish expression for “wow,” AMAi is set between a pair of A-frames and designed to be adjusted at two levels, standard and high. “My ideas always originate from the observation of the interaction between people,” said Dirk Wynants, founder and designer of Extremis. “For AMAi, I just had to look at my own balcony where we like to have a standup aperitivo and sit down for a nice dinner with our friends and family.” The AMAi is made of powder-coated steel and aluminum with the option to add an overhead shade. Check out the Extremis tables at Ernest in Manhattan’s NoMad. extremis.com; ernestny.com
WHO: Teresa Wilson, owner and creative genius behind the fiercely local, works-directly-with-farmers Camelback Flowershop, which has been hustling blooms for 18 years.
WHAT: More than florals (although there are bunches of those, too), this feed explores the gracious ease of Arcadia living. Think citrus, greenery and, yes, even the occasional chicken.
WHY: The temperatures outside may be well into the triple digits, but this feed delivers all the cool and refreshing feels.
IN HER WORDS: “We like to think of our Instagram as a virtual art gallery. It’s a collection of our aesthetic, which includes everything from inspiration images to beautiful creations our designers cultivate on a daily basis.”
What’s in a name? In the case of Electric Pass Lodge, a new development comprising 53 two- and three-bedroom ski-in/ski-out residences at the base of Snowmass Ski Area, the name celebrates a design that’s completely powered by renewable energy.
“We set out to design not only a contemporary, Scandinavian-inspired alpine lodge, but the most sustainable, all-electric condominium building in the Colorado mountains,” says Christian Barlock, principal at 4240 Architecture, which collaborated with interior design firm River + Lime on the project. Upon its anticipated spring 2023 debut, “Electric Pass Lodge will set a new standard for the future of building design in Snowmass and hopefully for ski resorts across North America.”
A combination of a rooftop solar array and off-site renewable electricity will power the building, which includes a health club, lounge and ski locker room. Triple-pane windows, robust insulation, phase-change ceilings that retain and release heat, and a mechanical system that pre-heats or -cools incoming fresh air will all minimize the structure’s energy appetite while keeping residents comfortable even on the coldest winter days.
Founded in 1987, Portland-based GreenWorks has steadily emerged as a leader in landscape design with its unique approach to shaping places that work for people just as they celebrate and protect natural resources. With major parks and recreation projects across the Northwest, including Portland’s first bike park at Gateway Green (top), GreenWorks’ new managing principal Gill Williams is bringing the firm squarely into the future.
How do you define “sustainable design”? To me, it has three tenants: environmental, physical and social. We’ve honed our approach to the natural and environmental over the years, but today the social issues facing our communities are profound. As designers of environments, it’s our duty to create places that are adaptable, equitable and accessible.
What’s most important to you in design today? We’re landscape architects, so we’re always concerned with our impact on the spaces around us. As a firm, we’ve realized that in order to reflect what we’d like to see externally, we need to model those behaviors and approaches internally. It’s designing from the inside out.
What’s next for GreenWorks? We just moved to a new office on the Central Eastside, across the river from downtown Portland. It’s an emerging neighborhood, and we’re excited to help shape its character.
The only thing better than indulging in “all things delicious” with acclaimed chef James Porter is doing so at Terra Farm + Manor.
Located 45 minutes north of Prescott, this luxury Arizona retreat sits on more than 100,000 acres of historic ranchland where Porter and his wife, Wendy, maintain an orchard, a vineyard and 9 acres of vegetables, flowers and herbs. Guests can reserve a weekend stay in fall or spring or book a private escape in the winter to enjoy what Porter describes as a “modernized homestead experience.”
The eight-room manor and three-room guest house emphasize Arizona’s diverse offerings with details like kitchen tiles handmade in Tucson and custom-designed plates crafted by Arizona potter Christiane Barbato. Other notable features include napkins designed and woven in Arizona from local Pima cotton and chandeliers forged by a resident ironsmith.
To all this, Porter adds a global touch: Much of the livestock hails from elsewhere, including Wagyu cattle and chickens from France.
A new development in Chicago’s Lakeshore East incorporates the concept of biophilia, or the human desire to live among nature, through a verdant indoor amenity. The Conservatory, a shared space connecting the 350-unit condo tower Cirrus and the 503-unit apartment building Cascade, is filled with flora and fauna and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Cascade Park.
Abundant natural light, lush plants (think fiddle leaf figs and bamboo), wood-block flooring and polished stone allow residents to enjoy natural surroundings no matter the weather. “Over the past year, we have been reminded of the importance of being connected to the outdoors,” says Linda Kozloski, creative design director with Lendlease, a developer on the project. “This renewed interest in the natural world, including its role in supporting our physical and mental well-being, has made biophilic design a guiding principle in new residential communities.”
The couple jumped at the offer. Avid entertainers, the Rollos had always been intrigued by the home’s functionality: The living area, kitchen, entry and patio combined into one open layout ideal for mingling. The stone floors, brick walls, and black doors and windows created a vibe rooted in masculinity that appealed to them. But the couple also wanted to add drama and depth. So they turned to designer Jill Mitchell to do just that.
Originally designed by local architect Tor Stuart, the sprawling residence is perched atop a mountain on 10 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Floor-to-ceiling windows and wall-to-wall retractable doors evoke a floating sensation. “It’s a modern beauty,” says Mitchell, who used the indoor/outdoor architecture as the jumping-off point for Ian and Pedro’s request for a luxurious but livable design that functioned for both everyday life and entertaining.
A minimalist approach became Mitchell’s guiding mantra. “No matter what, we had to preserve the view,” she says. “By going minimal, we could effectively furnish the space while directing the eye outdoors.” In the living area, this meant two oversize, clean-lined custom sofas for ample seating; one of them backless to maintain the sightline outdoors. Clear glass lamps offer ambient light and visual read-through to both the mountain views as well as the landscaping by Chad Norris. “The sun paints incredible colors across the sky at dusk,” says Ian. “Maintaining unobstructed views allows that sunset to be experienced anywhere.”
To add depth and drama, Mitchell painted the walls white to contrast the dark stone and brick. And, because minimalist should never translate to cold, she counteracted the 15-foot ceilings by adding pieces with visual heft, such as the extra-large coffee table that anchors the living area. “Oversize pieces keep the space from feeling cavernous,” she says. Mitchell then utilized metallic accents to emphasize the stone’s warm golden tones. Bold textiles and materials—velvets, shagreen, burnished brass—as well as abstract patterns surprise against the furnishing’s clean lines. “I love mixing the old and the new, combining textiles, adding metals,” says Mitchell. “Each layer ensures that a space looks curated over time.”
It is a lesson in understated luxury, but Mitchell couldn’t forget the other half of the couple’s request: livability. Every piece Mitchell chose is anything but precious. “No one wants to live in a museum,” remarks Pedro. Performance fabrics on the seating defend against red wine spills and muddy paws from the Rollos’ four pooches—Walker, Winston, Watson and Sammy. Dark wool rugs add warmth to stone floors while combating heavy foot traffic.
The main floor is not the only space that’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. A downstairs guest suite, complete with its own living room and kitchenette, is more than just a place for guests to retire to—it’s also an additional entertainment area that nods to Pedro’s affinity for modern Italian furniture. A peacock-blue sofa and chaise pair with a cognac leather ottoman to break the neutral color scheme. Nearby, a shuffleboard begs for competition.
For all the carefully curated furnishings, perhaps the main bedroom is what hosts the pièce de résistance: a Poltrona Frau Volare canopy bed by Italian designer Roberto Lazzeroni. Pedro has pined for it since youth. “I’ve loved it forever, and I finally found its home,” says Pedro. “Being that it’s both framed and open, it reflects the bedroom’s indoor/outdoor vibe perfectly.”
That bedroom, like every space on the main floor looks out on the covered patio—the couple’s favorite space. Here, sheltered in the privacy of the canyon walls, Pedro and Ian dine alfresco, relax on the swings and swim in the infinity pool. The house is exactly what they thought it could be. Says Ian, “It’s our own little resort.”
Offering the sort of secluded luxury that has attracted the likes of the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, Castle Hot Springs checks all the boxes for a healthful, socially distanced getaway. The historic resort was fully renovated in 2019 and features 30 standalone accommodations as well as three pools of thermal spring water and a 1-acre farm. The design of each cabin celebrates the resort’s unique setting amid the Bradshaw Mountains. Sky View Cabins, for example, feature a raised deck outfitted with a telescope for stargazing. Spring Bungalows nod to the stunning setting with indoor-outdoor bath areas, and the Historic Cottage complements its trio of bedrooms with a stone fireplace and a covered deck where you can unplug and take in the view. The resort welcomes guests ages 16 and older with included meals and wellness-inspired amenities, all just 50 miles outside of Phoenix. castlehotsprings.com
The couple envisioned a modern take on a Spanish-style ranch, “which fit that site,” says Smokowski, pointing to the surrounding desert landscape and Santa Rosa Mountains beyond. “It was essential to have something that felt intrinsic to the landscape.” To satisfy both the family’s wishes and community design guidelines, Schaffner, working with colleagues Michael Boyd and Dale Patton, employed traditional elements such as plasterwork, pillow-cut limestone and reclaimed brick for the parapet trim. He then laced black steel details throughout, such as the floor-to-ceiling windows, and incorporated decorative steel I-beams softened with warm wood inserts. The I-beams, installed under the direction of general contractor Bill Leddy of Sun Vista Construction, were a “trust me” moment with his mother, Schaffner recalls. “But I knew we needed that contemporary detail to come through, to show that this is a new home.” Once the wood insert was in place, “it so perfectly blended in,” says Smokowski. “It gives that hint of a modern, forward- thinking perspective.”
Punctuated by two enclosed courtyards, Schaffner’s open-plan layout invites discovery. “As you walk around the entire home, you have views from both sides,” says Smokowski. “There is this constant unrolling of surprises.” The wonders begin outdoors at the massive custom gate. There glimpses of the front courtyard, planted with palms and bougainvillea (a collaboration between Smokowski and landscape designer Gustavo Magaña of GM Future Designs) are visible through square cutouts. “They make you want to see what’s on the other side,” says Schaffner. “We wanted to create visual interest that keeps you moving to the next space.”
Many of the entertainment areas also radiate from this sun-kissed core, including the dining room, which opens wide to uninterrupted vistas of the Chocolate Mountains.
Other social spots such as the kitchen, media room and wine bar flow together. Private spaces flank the rear courtyard, where the master bedroom suite overlooks a reflecting pool, which features a commissioned sculpture by artist America Martin.
When composing these interiors, “I like to keep it simple,” explains Smokowski. “Because I think the interior designer’s true job is to create a canvas, so you can fill it with things you love, things that matter.” Colors remain neutral to showcase the family’s vibrant artworks and sentimental pieces, like the lamps made from antique concrete wallpaper rolls by Smokowski’s maternal grandmother. For furnishings, she also favored pared-down yet easy silhouettes in lush fabrics and finishes, from the cashmere B&B Italia sofas in the living room and a family room to the richly stained dining table by Flexform. “Her approach to design is always about making everything feel comfortable,” notes Schaffner. “She would never choose a cold piece just for appearances.”
A vein of familial warmth indeed runs throughout the project, forged through sunny days on the construction site and late-night text exchanges, swapping sketches and ideas. This spirit is perhaps best captured by Schaffner’s unexpected detail for his mother—an exterior fireplace at the entrance. “We were finalizing the massing,” says Schaffner, who turned 29 this year, as the project was wrapping up. “We thought a chimney would evoke that Spanish Revival look and create a warm welcome for people entering the home.” The surprise worked perfectly. “We light it when we’re home, to let people know they can come by,” says Smokowski. “And I think everybody who comes here enjoys our space. I hope they see the passion and the beauty of a family who knew what they wanted and was actually able to bring it to life.”