All photos by David Blank/Bighorn Golf Club
A Bighorn Golf Club Contemporary Packs the Voluptuous Va-Va-Voom of a Pin-Up Girl
Like a sharp-elbowed teenager, right angles and hard edges define many contemporary homes. So when stucco and stacked ledger stone in the coppery hues of a desert mesa meet softly rounded wall corners and soaring, 18-foot stepped and sculpted ceilings, magic happens. Bumped out, semicircular walls and curved glass work it with all they’ve got, making this new Bighorn home as pretty as a pin-up.
“My ultimate goal was that the house flowed from inside to outside without interruption,” says Rhonda Parks, the interior designer. Her bold choice of flooring — 4-foot-square slabs of roughed Colombian gold travertine set on an angle for interior floors and patio and pool surround — became the key ingredient to give a spirited yet pulled-together feel to the home. What could have been a clash of glamour gal meets rugged cowpoke instead, with floor-to-ceiling pocket sliders pushed back, becomes more than 13,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor desert living blended into a seamless marriage of equals.
Libri Partners of San Diego developed this modern estate on two lots, and four separate structures wrap themselves like a giant apostrophe around a brick paver drive and front courtyard: a five-bedroom main house on three levels and a three-car attached garage, a nanny’s quarters with a bedroom and kitchenette, plus a two-bedroom guest house and its detached two-car garage. Each building’s exterior includes copper soffits and fascia that follow the curves of their rooflines. The custom gates at either end of the driveway evoke the same movement with wavy copper strips threaded onto horizontal rods. “These features are like a copper rainbow when the sun shines on them,” Parks says.
The main house displays her curves right up front with a 6x10 tempered glass door framed in satin nickel that sports a sleek S-shaped door handle. Just inside, a glass-topped, U-shaped wet bar on a bamboo base greets guests. The living and family rooms flank the curved, elongated bar, while the open floor plan allows a view of the formal and informal dining rooms. Just off the living room, underlit steps wind downstairs to the temperature-controlled tasting room and 1,000-bottle wine cellar. The playfulness of the wine room and adjacent theater is counterbalanced by the office on the main level, where toffee-colored bamboo — the cabinetry material throughout the home — makes a serious statement in the coffered walls, ceiling, and bookcases.
The master suite holds the allure of a sleek and sexy siren. Backlit glass art panels beckon to guests from insets on either side of the suite’s entry. In the master bath, his and her vanities are carved from white onyx (imagine caramels afloat in rich, thick cream for the color) that is repeated on the walls and ceiling. The shower and tub space communes with the outside through clear glass walls, where one sees a whimsical boulder grotto and its twin waterfalls that provide a soft swoosh for sound effects.
There are enough kitchen and dining spaces — indoor, outdoor, nanny casita, and guest house — to eat in with a change of venue night after night. The main kitchen is equipped with gourmet appliances that include a Sub-Zero refrigerator and separate full-size freezer, built-in cappuccino machine, warming drawer, dual dishwashers, and Wolf stainless steel six-burner range with flat grill. To maintain consistency among the home’s finish materials, the same gold travertine used as flooring has been polished to the color of burnt sugar glaze, and it tops off the lower cabinets as well as the kitchen’s generous square center island.
The rooms in this relaxed retreat flow from one to another like a lazy river. In the main house alone are two guest suites on the first floor, each with its own private entry, and two more suites upstairs that are paired with their own family room with built-in computer desk. House guests will welcome the escape from the ordinary and discover one more surprise: a powder room all dolled up in cappuccino onyx that’s backlit like a showgirl.
Big but never bawdy, this home’s rich colors, as complex as a desert sunset; the voluminous views; and cover-girl finishes make a lasting impression on those who dare go beyond the first curve.