It’s challenging to cultivate anything that resembles an oasis on an Arizona lawn. So it’s up to designers to create interiors that are a visual retreat from the arid landscape. Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold of Nate Berkus Design did just that in the Phoenix-area home of a young couple and their three children under the age of four.
“This couple has their own style and is mindful of a classic and beautiful aesthetic,” says Adler. “But the design needed to reflect their family situation, too, with comfortable furniture for their young children.”
The interiors make reference to the Arizona terrain with rugged textures that include burlap, sea grass, saddle leather, and reclaimed and raw oak. Chipped finishes on antiques add to the authenticity of the home’s unpolished desert location. The varying materials mingle to create a style that is sophisticated in its imperfections. “We like to incorporate a good mix of objects and finishes that aren’t so perfect,” explains Adler.
“The furnishings needed to be comfortable and family friendly,” says Adler. “The children pile onto the daybed to watch movies.”
“If an interior is too polished, it can look prissy and precious," she adds. "A space that is a little messy gives a look that is collected and layered.”
A black-and-white kilim rug anchors a facing sea grass daybed and tufted Chesterfield sofa, and a pair of club chairs covered in a toffee-colored velvet.
Iron garden benches with green leather seats are tucked under a round raw-oak center table.
The kitchen adopts a clean, white aesthetic. Around the painted black island, bistro-style chairs meant for outdoors are well suited for young children and are easy to clean. Gray subway tiles on the backsplash and metal pendant lights break up the white walls and cabinetry.
Even with furniture and accessories in each room that feature worn patinas, the spaces clean up to deliver a formal presentation, with symmetry guiding furniture placement. For instance, the dining table sits in the exact center of the room, with matching china cabinets on one end and a console table with matching lamps on the other.
Grass cloth blankets the walls of the dining room and enhances the other textured pieces throughout the space, such as a capiz shell lighting fixture that descends over the raw-oak dining table. Tufted dining chairs covered in linen soften the rough surfaces.
In the master bedroom, bedside tables that are painted black and gold pair with bookshelves on either side of an upholstered bed positioned in front of a folding screen.
“The interiors of this home are timeless,” says Gold. “Traditional elements throughout, such as tufted upholstered pieces, mix with objects that have some warmth and history, making it feel more suitable for a family and less like a showroom.”
What traditional means to designers Lauren Gold and Sasha Adler: Traditional style means developing a sense for pieces that you will not tire of—things that can withstand the test of time. Pieces should be worn, patinated, revered, and full of history.
Photography: Patrick Cline
Art Direction: Michelle Adams