Established in 1999

Serving Arizona and North Texas

McDowell Mountain Modern

LOCATION: Scottsdale – McDowell Mountain Ranch

Modern Design, Heavy Contrast, Low-Water Usage, Native and/or Desert Adapted Low-Maintenance Plantings


Pool, Spa, Steel Fire Pit, Travertine Paver Decking, Mexican Beach Pebble, Outdoor Lighting, Glass Tile, Water Feature, Pebble Beadcrete

The Sonnet project is tucked away in the McDowell Mountain Ranch community of North Scottsdale.  The master-planned community is designed in a manner so that most homes have natural desert arroyos flowing in between the properties.  Each property is immersed in the desert.  Our clients came to us wanting to pull the native Sonoran Desert within their walls, but were very clear in wanting to maintain modern lines.  We know that modern doesn’t mean straight.  In this design, we were inspired by the fluidity and movement expressed by the arroyos around the property.  We used clean, heavily contrasting materials to create clean transitions, but incorporated movement in the water feature wall and deck transition lines.  These dynamic movements play well against the rugged surrounding flora, such as creosote and ocotillo.  

High contrasting elements like golden barrel cactus, Mexican beach pebble, crema travertine pavers, beadcrete pool interior and black/brown 1×1 mosaic glass tile add layers of interest in this design.  Even the rust and glass custom steel fire pit coordinate with the glass tile in color and dimension.  

Dynamic movements create a meandering feel within this modern design.  Subtle details like tightly laid and cut travertine leading edge and a singular depressed paver to allow drainage into the lawn respectively enhance the form and functionality of this space.  

The high contrast, yet complementary, relationship between the black/brown glass tile and the crema travertine play nicely – while the vibrant blue glass bead interior finish on in the spa adds another level of richness.  This material also massages your feet, engaging your senses as you walk across it.