Casual Elegance in a Scottsdale Home
Designer Jamie Herzlinger adds her brand of elegance to an Arizona home.
Written and produced by Jenny Bradley
Photography by Werner Segarra
If you ask Rick and Peggy Federico, designer Jamie Herzlinger is nothing short of a miracle worker. Having just purchased a house in Scottsdale, Arizona, that appealed to them more for its location and sweeping views than for its dark and fragmented interiors, the couple called on Herzlinger to help them create the light, bright, and airy free-flowing home they craved.
“I wanted polar opposites for the interiors,” laughs Peggy. “I wanted modern and sophisticated yet warm and inviting, elegant and polished yet relaxed and informal. I basically asked the impossible.” Always up to a challenge, the designer began by walking the Federicos through images of interiors and asking them to respond to each.
“It’s like a design Rorschach test: ‘Look at this and tell me what you see,’ ” Herzlinger explains. “Peggy said she wanted modern, but she didn’t respond well to the modern spaces I showed her. What she liked was the airy, open feel of those interiors but with traditional elements and millwork reminiscent of beautiful old European hotels.”
What Peggy and Rick got was just that—an open, loft-like space with an atmosphere that Herzlinger describes as “relaxed elegance.”
Opposing forces mingle happily here. Shots of pretty—Murano glass chandeliers and tufted club chairs with dressmaker skirts—balance more masculine elements. Delicate Madonnas in gilt frames cheerfully share wall space with overscaled modern art. Traditional architectural details—fluted pilasters and intricate moldings—temper the home’s more informal, modern pieces.
“We infused modern elements into classical architecture,” says Herzlinger. “It’s like when Sharon Stone wore a Gap T-shirt with a formal Armani skirt to the Academy Awards. This house is equal parts black tie and blue jeans.”
It’s the perfect fit for a family needing a home that is well-suited to both entertaining and family time. (The Federicos have three grown sons and two daughters at home—Maddie, 17, and Shea, 16.)
As the first impression, the living room—it acts as both salon and foyer—sets an ethereal tone for the house. Inspired by the impactful 9x12-foot oil painting by artist Brian Kershisnik, Herzlinger created a polished space that’s enthusiastically welcoming. A dramatically overscaled Murano glass chandelier draws the eye upward toward moldings inspired by those in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. “I tend to refer to moldings as eyeliner,” says Herzlinger. “They highlight where you want the eye to go. It’s such an important detail.”
Tufted club chairs with moss fringe gather around a mirrored coffee table, beckoning to guests—an ever-so-elegant version of a conversation pit.
“I love salon-style seating,” says Herzlinger. “It’s somewhat old-fashioned but still so functional and relevant.” And with the Federicos’ penchant for entertaining, the small-scale, portable pieces—club chairs and the mix of ancillary tables—offer the ability to move items throughout the house depending on the family’s needs.
Eschewing a large-scale breakfront or buffet in the dining room, Herzlinger instead used the limited wall space to showcase a reverse-glass painting that Rick and Peggy espied on an outing to a Los Angeles showroom. “The light hits it perfectly,” says the designer.
Offering contrast to the dark, dramatic artwork, the kitchen is the home’s visual touchstone. With its central location that connects to the family, living, and dining rooms, it not only needed to flow visually with the rest of the house, but utility was also key.
To ensure that she created a space that fit her clients’ needs, Herzlinger asked the couple to guide her through their daily routine—from morning coffee to evening meal prep—in their previous kitchen. “They were walking laps around the kitchen to do every task,” she says. “The arrangement was totally inefficient. Function is primary. You can make anything look pretty, but if it doesn’t work well, what’s the point?”
Their new kitchen is not only easy on the eyes but very livable. The cabinets offer a wealth of storage and act as a brilliant backdrop for the room’s mix of glam elements like the modern light fixtures over the island and a sleek glass-and-stainless-steel hood. Dark upholstered stools with nailhead detailing offset the stark white palette and live comfortably in either the kitchen or the adjoining family room—a space that juxtaposes comfort with a rock ’n’ roll air.
Herzlinger continued the home’s neutral palette into the family room and incorporated an Oriental rug woven from vintage wool in muted shades similar to those used in the other rooms. It provides a consistency that effortlessly pulls together the disparate spaces.
“The house really flows,” says Peggy. “It’s what Jamie does so well. She created a home in which we really enjoy every space.”
Interior designer: Jamie Herzlinger, Jamie Herzlinger Interiors, 954 Lexington Ave., Suite 530, New York, NY 10021, and 4400 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251; 800/983-0031, jamieherzlinger.com.
Wall paint (“Shaded White” #201); ceiling and trim paint (“All White” #2005): Farrow & Ball, 888/511-1121, farrow-ball.com.
Mirror over mantel (custom): Jamie Herzlinger Interiors, 800/983-0031, jamieherzlinger.com.
Fire screen: antique.
Fireplace surround: Patoro Marble, polished finish.
Vase on coffee table; gold lobster: JamieShop.com, 800/983-0031, jamieshop.com.