Board by Board Builders create a gathering space in Parks, Arizona for a Prescott Couple
By Hilary Dartt
Photos by Bella Vita Photography
Jim and Cheryl Smith came to Robert and Christie Board with a tall order for the new home at their Parks, Arizona horse ranch. It had to be at once functional and beautiful, and serve as both a gathering place for family and friends, while being cozy enough for the couple when they didn’t have visitors.
The result is a breathtaking-but-practical 4200-square-foot ranch home with plenty of open space, comfortable living areas, and the kind of attention to detail that makes a house a home.
“The goal was to make this a place where family would want to come and gather,” said Christie Board, lead designer with Board by Board Builders.
Meanwhile, because it’s part of a horse ranch, the home had to withstand daily ranch life. Cheryl “wanted ‘rustic luxe,’” Christie said, which meant “nice finishes that were forgiving but beautiful.”
Outside, visitors come through the pine trees to the front of the home, where exposed beams and a grand covered entryway provide a warm welcome. An antler chandelier, a rusted metal roof and several pillars create a rustic ambiance.
By merging luxurious textures with casual finishes on the inside of the house, the Boards and Smiths’ final product, Christie said, “Is a cohesive, comfortable home where the family can gather and enjoy being together, or, when it’s just the two of them [Jim and Cheryl], it’s still cozy.”
The great room has soaring, 22-foot ceilings with exposed boards and beams. The room’s focal point: a generous fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling stone surround. Two full-sized leather sofas and matching loveseat provide ample seating, while an area rug creates intimacy within the open floor plan.
Christie said the Smiths wanted to incorporate some of the items they already had (for example, an antique wagon they used as a side table) with some of the new elements.
“Overall, we did a good job of balancing out the textures while still being able to see the room,” Christie said, adding that the details of the design, “keep your eye traveling around.”
The kitchen is the heart of every home, and this kitchen is a spectacular example of that. Christie said this is her favorite room in the house.
“It’s so big, it’s so open to the rest of the house, and it has all these layers of texture,” she said. “I was so happy with how it turned out.”
Special features make it the gathering place the Smiths desired: a huge island with seating, built-in banquette, and a large dining area.
“It feels very social, and it’s a place to just be, and to be comfortable with company and family,” she said.
Knotty alder cabinets, stained with a vinegar-tea-steel-wool wash, provide two “wins.”
First, “It’s very functional,” Christie said. “There is all kinds of cool storage behind those doors.”
From a mixer lift cabinet to a built-in buffet, there’s a place for everything.
Second, the wash on the cabinets supplies the vintage, rustic look the Smiths were going for, “without us having to spend a fortune buying a barn out of Ohio,” Christie said.
The range hood is made of reclaimed wood from the Smiths’ property. Robert Board built it specifically for Cheryl.
While the countertops on the perimeter are made of a light-colored quartz, , the island in the middle is a darker granite called “meteor shower,” which looks like petrified wood.
“It gives the kitchen a nice, high-country rustic look,” Christie said.
The built-in banquette, with its cowhide upholstery and a view of the grass-covered, pine-tree shaded front yard, is the perfect spot for the Smiths or a small group to eat.
Sliding barn doors flank the banquette. The first sliding door leads to the laundry room (which contains a second entry point to the home). With stone floors and a small seating area, this room is the perfect place to “put boots on or take them off,” Christie said, and there’s built-in storage for gloves, hats, and anything else a rancher might need. Because it is a secondary entry, Christie said, “It has to be cute and fun. It has some great windows, and we made the cabinets look like they’d been sitting in the barn for a long time, with their paint peeling off.”
The second sliding door leads to the pantry, which features shelves distressed and stained in the same vinegar-and-tea wash as the kitchen cabinets.
“The shelves in the pantry look rustic, like old barn wood,” Christie said. “It adds authenticity. It’s really fun to have a client who invests in the details.”
Another room that’s big on details: the “bunkhouse.” Christie said Cheryl wanted her grandchildren to loving coming to their grandparents’ house.
So Christie designed and Robert built wall-to-wall bunk beds with a loft above, where the Smiths’ grandchildren could build forts. They added in a rock-climbing wall and beanbag chairs. Each bed has its own lantern for a cozy place to read.
The Boards installed bark shingles as a textural wall treatment in the powder room, and that room’s mirror features an antler frame.
The master bedroom has a “fantastic view” of the mountains, Christie said, and is consistent with the rustic luxe feel of the rest of the house. Another fireplace with a stone surround provides warmth, while fabrics in neutral tones provide a calm, soothing atmosphere. Rustic wood shutters hide the television, and another sliding barn door leads to the master bath.
The master bathroom’s focal point is a freestanding copper tub.
hile distressed hickory flooring spans the rest of the home, the master bath features wood-look tile. A walk-in shower stands in one corner, and a side-by-side vanity stands in the other.
Outside, behind the house, a generous patio with a fire pit and plenty of seating provides another gathering space, overlooking the property.
The Smiths, Christie said, “have said they are very happy, they have a gathering place for their friends and family, a place to come and relax. A place to get away to a beautiful, peaceful place they can call home.”