Compass to Camelback

A team including architect Mark Candelaria and interior designer Claire Ownby creates a home that focuses on mountain views and an Arizona lifestyle.

The great room and kitchen have views of Camelback Mountain, while collapsing patio doors open the spaces to the backyard. 

Charcoal-hued cabinetry, a custom-designed walnut-slab table and linen-upholstered chairs add drama to the kitchen. 

A corner window in the master bedroom perfectly frames views of Camelback Mountain. The bedding, custom rug, chairs and ottoman are accented by orange pillows, which echo colors of the mountain at sunset.  

In the backyard, the home’s roofline echoes the form of Mummy Mountain in the background, while the cobalt blue-tiled pool provides a splash of deep color.

The dining room’s custom walnut and steel table points to the mountain. Jute and linen draperies provide privacy.  

Linda and Dave Lange grew up viewing Camelback Mountain. Today, their views are even better.

Dramatically sited on an acre in Paradise Valley, their new, one-level custom abode looks south toward the Valley landmark, including Praying Monk. The equally dramatic north entry is sited toward another local feature, Mummy Mountain.

The four-bedroom, 4 ½-bathroom contemporary design celebrates the open, indoor-outdoor lifestyle Dave and Linda—an empty-nester couple—have enjoyed in Arizona since childhood while still ensuring their privacy.

“We loved to hike Camelback Mountain as kids, and Dave is an avid mountain biker,” Linda says. “But when we were looking for just the right place for our home, we weren’t sure if this site would give us the mountain views we wanted because of how the original house was built and landscaped.”

Scottsdale architect Mark Candelaria assured them that after the property’s 1960s-vintage house was leveled, the obstructive foliage removed and a new well-sited home built with ample windows, they’d be looking good.

Their 5,707-square-foot home is expanded by patios and courtyards, while a four-car garage, which opens out to a generously sized auto court, is conveniently connected to the kitchen side of the house. Here, Candelaria placed the master suite, anticipating late-night snacks and quick-grab morning coffee. One bedroom has been configured as an exercise room, which exits to the backyard. Another is Dave’s office space, with a walkout courtyard, again extending that space to the outdoors.

“There’s nothing trendy in this home,” Candelaria explains, “just comfortable, user-friendly living space, with inspired design and materials selection, which will retain its elegance for many years.”

“The home has wonderful outdoor living spaces, as well as indoor spaces that feel like they are part of the exterior,” says builder John Schultz. “All rooms have great views into interior gardens, as well as distant mountain views. The architecture and materials chosen for construction are very in tune with the outdoors, as steel, stone, stucco, wood, concrete block and glass are all blended with the desert design.”

In the great room, crisscrossing steel truss beams ascend and intersect at the ceiling pitch, which is aligned exactly with the mountain. “It’s a compass point to Camelback,” explains Candelaria, who filled the four beam quadrants with tongue-and-groove naturally stained alder.

Window walls and six large trapezium-shaped clerestory windows deliver those great views and soft southern light. “The collapsing back patio door allows the two spaces to flow, and the window glass going up to the ceiling wood that flows through also helps bring the spaces together,” Schultz says.

Matching structural steel also supports alder beams in the adjacent kitchen, and the tongue-and groove alder ceiling repeats inside, in the dining room, office and master bedroom, and outside, in areas such as the dining room courtyard and the expansive rear entertainment patio.

Similarly, Candelaria called for two types of masonry and stonework to unite interior and exterior. The earth-toned, exposed textural concrete masonry blocks constitute walls throughout the home, and rubble stone appears in the courtyard, dining room fireplace, on-site walls and around the outdoor shower. For this work, the home won a recent Excellence in Masonry Award from the Arizona Masonry Guild.

Inspired landscaping provides inspiring views too. Designed by landscape architect Kim Arevalo, the property includes a negative-edge pool and spa. Arevalo placed a Zen garden with a Buddha statue, Rhapis palms, a lower boxwood hedge and pigeonberry at the end of the main corridor. The outdoor shower is made private with layers of green that include creeping fig vine, hopbush and a sour orange hedge.

The home’s Arizona-lifestyle theme has also been well executed by Scottsdale interior designer Claire Ownby and her team, who were honored with a 2017 ASID Design Excellence Award for the project. While satisfying the couple’s vision for almost seamless indoor-outdoor living, the home also combines their individual stylistic preferences.

“Dave is more modern in his tastes, while Linda prefers an organic, natural, tactile and textured interior,” Ownby explains. “So, while the structure and spatial feel of the home is clean-lined and crisp, the materials and artworks inside are warm with many pleasing contrasts.”

The steel-hung rift-oak barn doors throughout the home, for instance, are finished in an earthy espresso stain. In a guest bedroom, the ceiling coving matches that wood. Also in this room, hickory-planked flooring, with its distinctive knotting, adds character; a chain-saw-textured oak dresser has elongated steel pulls; and grass wallpaper and linen shades intensify the organic and “touch-me” appeal.

Textured tiles add to the sensuousness of other rooms—in small walnut blocks, for instance, in the powder room, and clay in the bathrooms. The fireplace hearths and secondary bathroom countertops are leathered granite.

And, in Dave’s office, leather panels cover a wall across from the custom desk, and, just outside in the entry corridor, a petrified wood ledge holds a ceramic vase custom-fitted with a leather top and bottom, filled with birch branches.

“We love our home,” Linda says. “Our team met all of our expectations, indoors and out, and made our dreams—and our views—come true.”


Single-family home
Paradise Valley
Mark B. Candelaria, AIA
Candelaria Design Associates LLC
John Schultz
Schultz Development Corp.
Claire Ownby, ASID
Ownby Design
Kim Arevalo
Evolve Design Studio
Creative Designs in Lighting 
Sutter Masonry

Decorative plants

Front courtyard lounge chairs

Cabinetry and barn doors

Eames lounge chairs and ottomans (great room)

Lighting fixtures

Pool and hot tub

Great room sofa, and breakfast and dining chairs

Rear patio outdoor sofas, and lounge chairs and lanterns