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Ask the Experts: Tips & Advice from Valley Homebuilders, Architects and Interior Designers

Home > Blog > Featured > Ask the Experts: Tips & Advice from Valley Homebuilders, Architects and Interior Designers
Posted on October 17, 2018 by Laura Lucky

Our homes are not only a treasured sanctuary; they offer a reflection of our inclinations, dreams and personalities. Thanks to the skilled acumen of local experts; the plan, build and design of our residence can create a dwelling that is not only spectacular in its aesthetic, but a place to truly feel at home. Here, we gathered sage advice from some of the most respected and admired professionals in their industry.

BUILD
What finishes and amenities seem to be the most important to today’s clients?

“The term ‘jewel box’ refers to smaller homes with lots of amenities. They like the great room/open floor plan design, dual master suites, work-at-home offices, a high level of technological options, exceptional Wi-Fi, awesome AV sound systems, indoor/outdoor living spaces, walls of windows that open and retract, and high-tech gourmet kitchens. Clients are looking for less maintenance and the ability to lock and leave. Energy efficiency is important, from appliances to pool equipment to mechanical systems.”

Ken Madden
Owner & Founder
Landmark West Builders
LandmarkWest.builders

PLAN
Talk to us about a home’s relationship with the land and designing to blend with the environment.

“Frank Lloyd Wright said it best by saying ‘the design of a home should be part of the site, not on the site.’ This means you should touch the site lightly so that the structure looks as if it belongs or that it has grown out of the site naturally. You really have to look at the site and let it tell you where the house should sit and how it should flow – if it becomes too difficult or you find yourself forcing things to fit, then maybe the home shouldn’t be on that site. When clients bring us in early enough while they are searching for lots, we can evaluate whether the requirements they have set for their home is the right fit for the lot they are looking to buy.”

Erik B. Peterson, AIA
President
PHX Architecture
PHXarch.com

DESIGN
What are the latest trends in outdoor spaces?

“Outdoor living spaces are now becoming even more important. They are not only ‘living spaces’ but outdoor dwellings. Important and well-appointed outdoor kitchens are first and foremost. Large seating areas with water features such as negative-edge fountains, large reflecting pools and meandering streams are bringing a whole new serenity to our outdoor spaces. Of course, multiple firepits still add drama with the fire and water theme.”

Debra May Himes, ASID, IIDA, LEED AP, NCIDQ Certified
Owner/President
Debra May Himes Interior Design & Associates, LLC
DMHdesign.com

BUILD
Does building in the desert vs. other parts of the country offer any unique challenges or advantages?

“Every environment has its unique building needs. Building here in the Valley, energy control is of vital importance. One of the best ways to manage the cost of air conditioning in addition to using a high-quality AC unit, proper insulation, and thermally protected windows; is something as simple as shading. We use overhangs to shade windows and trees to shade the hot side of a house. With our great three-season climate, we can enjoy the outdoors more than most other parts of the country, so we can build opening window walls and large overhanging patios.”

Ken Madden
Owner & Founder
Landmark West Builders
LandmarkWest.builders

PLAN
When planning a home’s design, what do you take into consideration about the home site?

“I always make some time at the beginning of the project to visit the site because many factors combine to set the course for the design of the home such as the views, the topography, the sun orientation, prevailing winds and the context of other neighboring buildings.”

Mark B. Candelaria, AIA
Principal
Candelaria Design Associates, LLC
CandelariaDesign.com

DESIGN
What design styles, colors, or interior features are trending out? What’s trending in?

“Today is a great day for the world of interior design. Sophistication is in. I’ve always subscribed to bold, graphic, high-contrast design, and that’s what I’m seeing more of now. Concepts such as neutral palettes with black and white details, bold contemporary artwork, and acquired pieces that don’t fit a room’s ‘formula’ and offer an unexpected touch. Clean lines, relaxed color palettes, graphic elements, and livability seem to be on-trend right now.”

Chris Jovanelly, Allied ASID
Principal
Chris Jovanelly Interior Design, LLC
ChrisJovanelly.com

BUILD
What advice can you give a homeowner to keep the build of their home on budget?

“The best advice is to plan in advance. Take the time to get the plans/scope-of-work detailed, thoroughly priced out and costs understood. Clearly understand all allowance items and amounts. It is the change orders and the unknowns that send a project over budget. It’s been said, ‘Failure to plan is planning to fail.’ Spend time on the details in advance and it will save budget overruns and misunderstandings in the future.”

Ken Madden
Owner & Founder
Landmark West Builders
LandmarkWest.Builders

PLAN
Describe what contributes to that je ne sais quoi quality in a home with spectacular design.

“It’s the sense of human scale that brings comfort, and it’s the quality of light that supports feelings. Beauty, awe and delight are what every architect should bring to achieve spectacular design.”

Erik B. Peterson, AIA
President
PHX Architecture
PHXarch.com

DESIGN
How do you marry comfort and elegance?

“I always call it ‘simple elegance.’ The design does not have to have swags and velvet to accomplish an elegant feeling. Every design still needs strong statement pieces and/or structures – just simpler in design. I still like a warm feeling in the home. The home should be your retreat – whatever that means to you. You should feel happy and anticipate returning to it after a long day at work or when returning from a trip.”

Debra May Himes, ASID, IIDA, LEED AP, NCIDQ Certified
Owner/President
Debra May Himes Interior Design & Associates, LLC
DMHdesign.com

PLAN
What advice do you have for clients that haven’t worked with an architect before?

“Make sure you hire one. I cannot believe how many people skimp on hiring a good architect to design what likely will be one of their prime assets on their balance sheet. People will spend more on their car than their architect. I like to tell people our fees are less than what they will pay for sales tax on their project. In other words, we bring great lasting value!”

Mark B. Candelaria, AIA
Principal
Candelaria Design Associates, LLC
CandelariaDesign.com

DESIGN
Statement lighting fixtures can transform a room. What’s your advice on choosing the right piece?

“Bigger is better. I like to play with scale when it comes to lighting. Lighting is an ideal opportunity to create drama in a space, and a fixture that’s larger than what you’d typically see can add an unexpected touch and be a wow-factor. Considering function – always consider how a fixture will direct light. Do you need the light to shine down to assist with tasks, or all around for general illumination? Would you like to highlight the ceiling? If so, consider a fixture that directs light upwards as well. Glare can be a big problem with some fixtures, so make sure you use the right bulbs, and always use a dimmer switch.”

Chris Jovanelly, Allied ASID
Principal
Chris Jovanelly Interior Design, LLC
ChrisJovanelly.com

PLAN
What design styles are homeowners gravitating to today?

“We are seeing a more modern design influence as the main element – even if the main overriding concept is Spanish, Mediterranean, Ranch or Farmhouse. By modern, we are seeing whiter, brighter, open plans with large windows. The new trend for this style is ‘Transitional’.”

Erik B. Peterson, AIA
President
PHX Architecture
PHXarch.com

DESIGN

What are the latest innovations in furniture fabrics and materials?

“Roche Bobois is famous for our unique designs that aren’t only beautiful but go beyond expectations in their functionality. Sacha Lakic, one of our most cutting-edge designers debuted The Lift Bar. It uses a remote-controlled system to reveal the bar, and the glossy finish is a Roche Bobois exclusive material called Daquacryl. It’s a PMMA veneer that is thermo-formed to create a robust finish that looks and feels like a high-quality lacquer with a deep sheen, yet it is much more resilient and has far greater longevity than lacquer.”

Vanessa Weeks
Design and Sales Associate, Scottsdale showroom
Roche Bobois
RocheBobois.com



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Updated Jun 8, 2018