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Celeste Wilson's Newest Spec Home Design Is All About The Space Planning

By Nora Burba Trulsson | December 15, 2019 |

DSC4402-Edit.jpgThe great room’s monolithic fireplace and TV wall is surrounded by windows that capture views of Camelback Mountain

Celeste Wilson doesn't just throw together a one-size-fits-all floor paln when she designs spec homes. The Phoenix-based architectural and interior designer—principal of Form 180—thinks about the lot, the views and how a potential buyer would like to live.

Her most recent project, a 4,200-square-foot modern farmhouse- style home she worked on with Method Construction is a case in point. “What I love about residential design is how much you can pull out of a floor plan,” says Wilson, who has a background in commercial, retail and residential design. “I have a responsibility to give homeowners a good space so they can live well in the house.”

DSC4511-Edit.jpgThe modern farmhouse-style home includes a welcoming front patio

The lot for the new-build, four-bedroom house had views of Camelback Mountain, a feature Wilson made sure was visible from several areas of the home. “I designed the bedroom so that the first thing you see in the morning is the Praying Monk formation on the mountain,” she says. And while she designed the requisite great room for the house, she also added a sitting area adjacent to two secondary bedrooms that can be shut off from the rest of the house (perfect for young kids or teens) and a sitting area off the master suite. “That master bedroom sitting area is for the TV and all your electronics,” Wilson says. “I tried to keep those energies out of the bedroom itself so it becomes a calming retreat.”

A home office and separate guest quarters finish off the plan, which, Wilson points out, also offers easy access to front and back patios from most rooms.

DSC4323-Edit.jpgStrategically placed windows in the master bedroom add light and frame vistas

Not that Wilson’s design for the spec home is all about the layout. She crafted the home’s crisp exterior to include a combination of white board-and-batten siding and stucco walls, a charcoal- hued standing seam metal roof, dormers, and metal accents that add a modern touch over the lower windows. Wire-brushed European oak flooring and a shiplap ceiling framed with box beams provide a backdrop for the interior, which is highlighted by industrial-style lighting.

The great room’s pièce de résistance is a monolithic, tile-clad horizontal fireplace, surrounded on three sides by glass, giving the room both a close-up focal point and views of Camelback Mountain in the distance. “That end of the great room was the obvious place for the fireplace and the TV,” says Wilson, “but I didn’t want to block the mountain, so the windows were the solution.”

DSC4316-Edit.jpgThe master bath is sparked by brass fixtures

At the opposite end of the great room, the kitchen holds its own with a marble-clad counter, shaker-style cabinetry, an encaustic tile backsplash and a custom hood. “I want to promote people cooking together,” Wilson says, “so there are several cooking zones.”

In the master bathroom, the walk-in shower is clad in a vintage patterned marble tile and includes brass fixtures, as well as dual showerheads and a generously proportioned niche for shampoos and body washes. “The design promotes a good marriage,” says Wilson with a smile. “Nobody has to fight about who gets in the shower first.”

DSC4380-Edit-Edit.jpgThe kitchen offers several cooking zones

Once the home was finished this summer, it was staged by Lexi Grace Design with an appealing mix of midcentury and vintage furnishings, selected for their pale neutrals.

Wilson’s floor plan, the home’s style and its views were spot-on for one buyer. The house sold within weeks of completion.

Photography by: Cole Horchler