Phoenix Home and Garden features Sedona Home Builders The Morris Company in their January 2010 edition.
Ineffable Adobe: Understated and comfortable, a Sedona home reflects timeless Arizona Style
By Catherine Behan
Photography by Werner Segarra
The adobe home of Sallie and Don Davis springs from its environment, collaborating with its surrounding by design and by providence. “As planned as it was, the house seemed to grow out of itself,” Sallie says. “We loved it even as it was going up - the courses of brick against the Sedona sky. It held its own even without furnishings.”
The 8,000-square foot custom home was a collaborative labor of love between its owners, the Morris brothers (architect Robert Morris and builder Phil Morris), and interior designer Jacques Piquemal. “Three years in the making, the ideas just flew. We threw them all out their, then picked through the best ones,” says Piquemal. The home is sited north to south, with sweeping views of green vistas and terra-cotta cliffs to the east. French doors in the home’s vast indoor spaces frame fine vistas and also provide access to a broad veranda and outdoor living areas beyond.
The vision was simple. “We wanted an understated place where people felt comfortable, a casual place but very well done,“ Don says. The one clear directive was to create a timeless and true adobe Mexican Ranch home that is loosely rendered in Arizona Style.
Arizona Style takes its major architectural influences from Old Spain then integrates design details from Native American cultures, local topography and natural materials inherent to the region, the architect explains. Even Arizona weather patterns are taken into account.
Adobe bricks in and of themselves are environmentally friendly-the most simple of passive-solar materials-while an adobe structure can emote an ineffable, even sacred feeling, the homeowners relate. “Maybe it helped that a shaman blessed the house, “Sallie says, adding, “At least it was a great excuse for a party.
Furnishings reflect an eclectic mix of styles-Western, Native American, Traditional and Contemporary – resulting in a look that is both indigenous and fashionable. Heavy Western elements are softened by traditional European influences. A life-size Cherokee Indian sculpture shares the grounds with a cascading infinity-edge pool. Rustic beams stretch over most ceilings.
For Sallie and Don, the surroundings are familiar. “I incorporated a lot of their own furniture, even raiding a couple from their other home,” Piquemal says. In fact, some rooms replicate the floor plan of their home in Milwaukee. The entry is spatially identical, as is the master bath and his-and-her closet area.
Expansive and streamlined yet brimming with detail, the home spells custom to the extreme. The cabinets, while similar, have a variety of finishes and different hardware. The nailhead trim varies slightly from couch to couch. Two chairs may share the same upholstery, but the pattern runs in opposite directions, subtly distinct and whimsical. Return to a room, take up residence in a different corner, and something new is noticed.
There are plenty of places to relax in this home. Little nooks can be found throughout, each with a unique focal point- a kiva fireplace, a therapeutic pool, a span of books.
If comfort was the goal for this residence, then the mission was more than accomplished.