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Pueblo-Style Home with Traditional Southwestern Design

A Pueblo-style Arizona home reflects a casual and sunny Western lifestyle

Written by Sandra S. Soria
  • Michal Venera

    A few years ago, while on vacation with some golfing girlfriends in Arizona, Mary Ellen Hawn decided she really liked the area. Really liked the area.

    Mary Ellen fell hard for the Sonoran desert landscape, with its saguaro cactus popping up like enthusiastic cheerleaders. Even more, she was quite literally getting into the swing of the sunny, casual lifestyle of the West. Then came the kicker: She found a Pueblo-style adobe home in a picturesque community dotted with six Arnold Palmer–designed golf courses. "I took one look at this home," she says, "and fell in love with its traditional Southwestern design and the setting. And it’s in Carefree, Arizona. Isn’t that a great name?"

    Today, after enjoying the home and its environs for four seasons, Mary Ellen attests that the place lives up to its name. "It’s like adult camp!" she says. Obviously, her husband, Gates, played along. "Gates took up golf four-and-a-half years ago," she adds. "And thankfully he did! Now it amazes me how much he loves it."

    "It’s a nice balance," reports Gates. "Now we have six months in the New Jersey green zone and six months in the Arizona brown zone, each with its own look and lifestyle."

    The room shown here is the sala grande, or grand living area.

    Design: Patti Burdick, allied member ASID, Wiseman & Gale Interiors, 4015 Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251; 480/945-8447.

    Photography: Michal Venera
    Produced by Barbara Mundall

    Armoire; fireplace corbels (original to house); carpeting (woven abaca): owner’s collection.
    Custom paint on armoire: by Karen Bennett, Palette of Possibilities, 602/622-0686.
    Leather chaise: National Upholstering Co., 415/861-4669.
    Long bench by chaise: Berman Rosetti through John Brooks Showroom, 480/675-8828, trade only.
    Lamp; wooden water buffalo on mantel; horns above mantel: Wiseman & Gale, 480/945-8447.
    Chair with red cushions ("Newport Chair’’): Charles Fradin, 323/951-1200,, trade only.
    Cushion fabric (linen): Rogers & Goffigon, 212/888-3242, trade only.
    Iron chandelier: Allan Knight & Assoc., 214/741-2227,, trade only.

  • Michal Venera

    Floral linen fabric kicks off the home’s red-and-brown palette, complementing existing rosy plaster walls. Nevil, the cocker spaniel, likes to relax in the colorful chair.

    Wing chair: Michael S Smith Inc., 310/315-3018,
    Wing-chair fabric ("Verdure’’): Brunschwig & Fils, 212/838-7878,, trade only.
    Chest by wing chair (antique): Wiseman & Gale, 480/945-8447.
    Native American pottery: Blue Sage Gallery, 480/488-1292.

  • Michal Venera

    Mary Ellen Hawn credits designer Patty Burdick with the loveliness and livability of the home. "All the design credit goes to Patty," says Mary Ellen, who spotted Burdick’s work on the July 2004 cover of Traditional Home. "I just told her I didn’t want the kitschy Southwestern look; she got me right away."

    Good thing, too, since the Hawns purchased the home in August and wanted to enjoy the holidays in Arizona. "They leaped into the lifestyle and aesthetic completely," remembers Burdick. "And it was clear they wanted an authentic house."

    The entryway’s Guatemalan masks and kilim rug are among aged accessories that add authenticity throughout the home.

    Front door: original to house.
    Pots; masks on wall; chair; pillows on chair (kilim remnants); wooden chandelier: Wiseman & Gale, 480/945-8447.

  • Michal Venera

    The 10-year-old house needed no structural changes. The Hawns loved the great room’s soaring 20-foot-high ceilings constructed with latillas, the Southwest’s traditional peeled-pine tree limbs laid in a herringbone pattern, and supported by vigas. The living area flowed to a courtyard with a naturalized pool. Perfect for entertaining, the home had two guest rooms with private entrances and a separate casita for visitors.

    In the living room, a braided sisal rug plays off the pine-log ceiling.

    Sofa: JJ Custom Upholstery, 310/276-4126.
    Sofa fabric ("Corgi Plaid’’): Dogwood Fabrics, 800/883-5500,, trade only.
    Tartan cushions on sofa ("Cecil Plaid’’/Rosewood): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563,, trade only.
    Coffee table: Artifacts International, 858/693-6000.
    Bench across from sofa ("Guilelss Bench’’): Berman Rosetti, 310/476-6242,, trade only.
    Bench-cushion fabric ("Zebra Linen Print’’): Brunschwig & Fils, 212/838-7878, trade only.
    Red strapping on bench (Ultrasuede/Red): Kravet, 888/457-2838, trade only.
    Clock (antique): Ed Hardy San Francisco, 415/626-6300,, trade only.
    Iron chandelier: Allan Knight & Assoc., 214/741-2227, trade only.
    Native American pottery: Blue Sage Gallery, 480/488-1292.

  • Michal Venera

    The home’s palette of browns with pops of deep red and sage green mimics the desert landscape beyond the windows. "By picking colors for the inside from what you see on the outside," says Gates, "you feel like you’re always outdoors."

    A small dining area and a nearby courtyard make an ideal space for entertaining. Hefty linen-covered chairs are scaled for the house.

    Chairs: Artifacts International, 858/693-6000, trade only.
    Chair fabric ("Nimes’’): Zoffany Ltd., 800/395-8760, trade only.
    Art (by Nancy Pendleton): Wilde Meyer Gallery, 480/945-2323,
    Wall sconce (double swing-arm): Paul Ferrante Inc., 323/653-4142,, trade only.
    Chest: Wiseman & Gale, 480/945-8447.
    Santo; pot: owner’s collection.
    Finish on walls (Venetian plaster): original to house.

  • Michal Venera

    For the final layer of the home’s design, the Hawns tapped into the rich artistry of the area and discovered an affinity for its bold pottery. These artful pieces remind them that they are far away from New Jersey. "We wanted a place completely different from our home back East," says Mary Ellen. "Our home in New Jersey is fussy, and we didn’t want to fuss with this house."

  • Michal Venera

    The pueblo-style home seems baked into the Arizona landscape.

  • Michal Venera

    The pool area is anchored by a kiva fireplace and sitting area, perfect for cool nights in the high desert.

    Chairs: Murray’s Ironworks, 310/652-0632.
    Cushion fabric (striped fabric): Sunbrella, 336/221-2211,

  • Michal Venera

    The courtyard’s limestone table is the scene of many parties.

    Table (custom); wooden bowl: Wiseman & Gale, 480/945-8447.
    Chairs: Murray’s Ironworks, 310/652-0632.
    Cushion fabric: Sunbrella, 336/221-2211,
    Dishes: Vietri,
    Glassware ("Bubble Glass’’ by Biot): Provence Shop, 888/899-1935,
    Placemats: The Linen Tree, 480/483-2044. Pottery: owner’s collection.
  • Michal Venera

    Mary Ellen and Gates Hawn with Nevil and Ruby.

    Seat cushions on banquette ("Woodson’’/Brown, Green, Lime Stripe #491): Brown Jordan, 800/743-4252,