Home Tour: Desert Modern Luxury in an Updated Ranch Home

Tour an updated 1960s ranch home, which mingles a modern silhouette with a warm feel, to learn how modernism fits in the mountains.

A Modern Face

Concrete and stone trace a geometric path up to this glass-wrapped abode in the mountains near Paradise Valley, Arizona. Thanks to the brilliant structure created in 1966 by architect William F. Cody, only subtle updates were needed to bring this classic ranch into the new millennium.

Perfectly adapted to its surroundings, this home was designed to make the most of its beautiful vantage point and make its own beautiful statement, inside and out.

Strong Exterior Lines

Cody is known for some signature design moves: Sleek window walls, rooms that spill onto sunny terraces, and super-thin cantilevered roofs. All three can be seen from this beautiful view from the pool.

Luxury Pool

Situated to take advantage of the rugged view, the edgeless pool is a recent addition to the house. Thanks to its thin, sharp shape, the line of water feels like a natural extension of the original structure. The blue-tile pool ends at a group of mature saguaro cacti, reflecting the Southwestern landscape in the water.

Desert Beacon

A russet door provides a stunning focal point for the home's entrance. The surrounding concrete and a private entry court, deployed with intentional austerity, presents a guarded face to the public.

Clusters of regional grasses and succulents create refined, low-maintenance strips of green around the home's exterior.

Restrained Renovation

To refresh this modern masterpiece, the design team carefully stripped and re-stained the original tongue-and-groove ceilings, shown here in the living room. The wood has a warming effect on the spare, open space.

The innovative floor plan centers on the open living and dining areas, an unusual configuration for a 1966 design.

Wall of Windows

Is the view better from inside or out? In contrast with the home's cloistered front, the back of the house is wide open to the outdoors, greeting the surrounding landscape with a series of custom 10x10-foot windows offset by steel posts and beams.

The Art of Geometry

To make wall-size windows environmentally responsible in this sunshine-filled living and dining space, the owners invested in energy-efficient glass. Choose low-E glazed or argon-filled glass when shopping for windows.

Subtle tone-on-tone striped carpeting replaced dated plush carpet. The commercial carpet's horizontal stripes emphasize the home's stellar lines.

Neutral Elements

With such an open space--the living room, kitchen, and dining room all flow into one another--materials were needed that could exist harmoniously. White paint unifies interior walls. Natural cedar planks add a warm texture to the ceiling and are mildew-resistant. The carpet adds sophisticated lines.

A custom lighting system is positioned to illuminate the dining area and spotlights an art installation.

Modern, Open Kitchen

One of the few major changes executed by the design team involved this bar. Prior to the renovation, this was a built-in, floor-to-ceiling wet bar that effectively blocked off the kitchen from the open dining and living areas. That bar was removed. In its stead is his marble ledge positioned on steel legs above stainless-steel tile.

The homeowners use the newly created counter as a serving bar at parties, or for a casual dining spot. It seats up to eight.

A Kitchen Alight with Color

Besides the electric pop of color, there are plenty of reasons to go with fused-glass tile: It's fade-resistant and impervious to water and stains. This type of tile is created by melding a thick top layer of clear glass to a thin backing of color.

Stainless steel and marble counters provide a cool contrast to the vivid tile, and new walnut cabinetry lines the room.

Bedroom for Serene Sleep

Who needs a TV in their bedroom when they've got a mountain view? All this glowing room needed to bring it up to date was an expanded master bath. The bed is positioned to capture the gorgeous views through a large expanse of windows. Window panels slide as a floor-to-ceiling unit, extending the suite to the terrace for an indoor-outdoor connection.

Bathroom with Clever Shading

Enclosing a terrace adjacent to the bedroom created the newly enlarged master bath. The new, spa-inspired bath is essentially a glass box. But the designers used limestone tile and frosted glass to make the room a private, yet open, space for a relaxing soak. From the tub, views of the mountains can still be enjoyed through the top third of the windows.

Bedroom with a Refined Palette

Updated colors and textures throughout the house are light and neutral, seamlessly connecting one room to another. Creamy white walls are the perfect backdrop for a mix of refined new and vintage furniture. The glossy terrazzo floors were refinished as part of the remodeling process.

Auto Showcase

The renovation converted a standard carport into a glass-and-steel temple to the automobile. The impressive new glass doors use aircraft hangar technology.

A Place in the Shade

Here, a patio creates additional space for entertaining. After all, who keeps a space this stunning to themselves? This sleek, modern terrace serves as an extension of the glass-walled living/dining room, seen through the windows. The private side yard and backyard stretch out on a softly sloping lot that eventually meets a verdant golf course. Thin, cantilevered roofs create all-day shade.

An Edgy Approach

Careful updates, respect for original materials, and an intimate connection between the home and surrounding landscape help a modern classic retain its edge.

Floor Plan: Modern Oasis

Renovation architect Lance Enyart respected the 1966 home's original design, retaining the compact 4,356-square-foot imprint on the land and enlarging the master suite by enclosing an adjacent outdoor living area. The home's original grid pattern extends to the newly installed pool.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.