By Laura Eckstein Jones By Laura Eckstein Jones | June 7, 2022 | Home & Real Estate Lifestyle Home & Real Estate
Jeff Berghoff created the graceful landscape of this ground-up Arcadia home. Architect Jim Blochberger and interior designers Caroline DeCesare and Nicole Grkovic collaborated on the extensive project. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
After a successful first project for her client—a confirmed bachelor with grown children—DeCesare Design Group was brought on to create a second, larger home for him nearby. “We originally did a house for him on The Arizona Country Club golf course,” says Caroline DeCesare, who partnered with colleague Nicole Grkovic on the interior design, Jim Blochberger of Blochberger Design on the architecture and Berghoff Design Group for the landscaping. “It was on a tighter lot and in a cozier, smaller neighborhood,” she explains. “He built that house and loved it, and we furnished it and then he sold it. He bought this lot in Arcadia that was a little bit more spacious, so we did 2.0 at the new house.”
“The living room is the ultimate gathering space with generous and comfortable seating for all with a fabulous stone fireplace and a large TV,” says DeCesare. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
Located in Arcadia with stunning views of Camelback Mountain, the homesite is not only beautiful, but conveniently located in a zone without strict design review guidelines. “So you can have a modern farmhouse-style home next to a Santa Barbara-style house—there’s variety,” says DeCesare. This worked in the client’s favor, as he craved the look of a Santa Barbara, early California-style abode. “He wanted something that felt comfortable but elegant, but leaning a bit more masculine,” she explains. Translation: dark colors, leather, stripes and industrial touches here and there. “Kind of a Ralph Lauren mens club-type feel with lots of good wood and iron and beam details,” DeCesare says.
A sofa from Lee Industries mingles with Ralph Lauren chairs and a Paul Ferrante coffee table and chandelier. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
This all goes along with the client’s persona. While he has longtime roots in farming—“He’s a second- or third-generation cotton farmer,” says DeCesare— and appreciates rustic details and materials like wood beams and forged iron, he is well put-together, favoring tailored clothing for himself and, subsequently, a neat and clean aesthetic for his home. “He’s also super OCD,” says DeCesare. “His sock drawer would make any Instagram organizer tear up, it’s that beautiful.” He also craved a home fit for hosting family and friends, something that DeCesare and Grkovic took into consideration while creating the overall design plan.
With its brick barrel vault ceiling and plaster walls, DeCesare considers the intimate dining room the most traditional space in the home. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
Gorgeous white oak wood flooring from Pravada Floors’ Artistique Collection and custom plaster walls by MKL Contracting and Consulting serve as a clean and consistent backdrop throughout the home, starting with the dining room. One of the first spaces encountered after walking through the front door, the space feels cozy and intimate, with a brick barrel ceiling, a monastery table and a buffet displaying dishes. “It’s probably the most traditional part of the house,” notes DeCesare. Branching out from there is the great room. “It has this great stone fireplace and a comfy sectional and a fabulous rug that’s just very welcoming and clubby,” she says of the space, which has wood beams running across the ceiling—a rustic nod to the client’s farming roots. Couches by Lee Industries pair well with chairs from Ralph Lauren Home and a coffee table and light by heritage L.A.-based brand Paul Ferrante.
The spalike primary bathroom—which showcases a generous tub by BainUltra Sanos—opens onto a private courtyard with a fountain made from reclaimed stone. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
Located just off the great room is the kitchen, one of DeCesare’s favorite spaces. “It’s super functional,” she says of the room that’s equipped with Sub-Zero appliances and cabinetry by Desert Cove Woodworks. “His last home had a dark kitchen and we didn’t want to go in the same direction. So this is lighter, but not a traditional white Cape Cod look and feel.” A beautiful iron-and-glass skylight floods the room with natural light, something that wasn’t technically easy to achieve, but worth it. “It was a major coordination nightmare to get it done, but I love how it makes the kitchen feel,” DeCesare says. Off the kitchen is an indoor-outdoor bar and a cozy breakfast nook.
The primary bedroom contains more traditionally feminine elements like lush fabric and elegant drapery. The bed is by Hickory Chair and the rug is from Azadi Fine Rugs. The ceiling light is by Steven Handelman Studios. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
To the left of the great room are the guest rooms, garage and pantry, and to the right is the private wing, where the primary bedroom, primary bathroom and office reside. “There’s a split between the public and private spaces,” DeCesare explains.
While most of the home was designed with her bachelor client in mind, the primary bedroom plan was put into place when he was dating someone—and that’s definitely reflected. “She had some opinions about the [primary], and you can see that it’s a little lighter, cozier and more traditional in this space,” she says. “And a little more feminine, for sure.” An upholstered bed by Hickory Chair is covered in soft blue and white bedding by Linen Tree, while breezy curtains and pillows add softness. The primary bathroom is a true sanctuary, and exudes a peaceful vibe. “It feels so calming and spalike,” DeCesare adds.
A custom-forged iron skylight in the kitchen allows ample natural light to flood in. Cabinetry by Desert Cove Woodworks is accented with pulls by Schaub & Company hardware. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
Throughout the process, the client’s OCD factored into the design. “People with OCD don’t like to see things out of place, so the more things behind doors, the better,” says DeCesare. At the same time, because the client had worked with the designers and architect on his prior home, he was able to let go and let the experts take the lead. “This project is a great example of a client really trusting his team, telling us what he likes and doesn’t like and letting us do our thing,” DeCesare says. “He’s not a micromanager, which is unusual for someone who is so particular.”
Built-in cabinetry in the primary bedroom houses a menagerie of attractive objects. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
In the end, the client was thrilled with the results. “He loves to joke that we were just there to spend all of his money—he’s very colorful and such a character—but he really does love it,” says DeCesare. “He brought the team back together.”
The primary bathroom’s limestone floors by Craftsman Court Ceramics blend harmoniously with vanities by Desert Cove Woodworks and handsome mirrors by Hickory Chair. PHOTOGRAPHED BY WERNER SEGARRA
Caroline DeCesare and Nicole Grkovic, DeCesare Design Group
Jim Blochberger, Blochberger Design
Berghoff Design Group
AZADI FINE RUGS
Great room and bedroom rugs
DESERT COVE WOODWORK
Custom cabinetry throughout
Primary bedroom bed, primary bathroom mirrors
Great room sofa
Lighting throughout, great room coffee table
SCHAUB & COMPANY
Kitchen cabinetry hardware
STEVEN HANDELMAN STUDIOS
Primary bedroom lighting