Kyle Patton, Special for The Republic
Published 2:00 p.m. MT May 28, 2020
(Thank you to the Arizona Republic for asking us to be a part of their “Cool Home” series. My wife, Amanda, is one of the more talked-about Interior Designers in the Scottsdale area and has more talent than I could dream of having. Her company is Martin Grace Interiors. You can read more about Amanda and her projects here and follow her on Instagram here.)
Gene and Amanda Montemore breathed new life into a McCormick Ranch house that had stood largely unchanged for more than a quarter century.
After 11 years in their previous McCormick Ranch home, the couple was ready for a new project and a home with a more open feel.
It didn’t hurt that Gene is a Realtor and Amanda is an interior designer. They always wanted to work together to apply their skill sets to a project.
They found that with the 2,660-square-foot Scottsdale home built by Gateway Homes in 1979.
“It was a blank canvas, minimal landscaping and minimal updated finishes, allowing us to customize,” Gene said. “A few key elements had already been updated as well, keeping the remodel scope within our parameters.”
Windows had all been replaced prior to purchase and the pool and decking was resurfaced to the family’s liking, which allowed the Montemores to focus on other areas of the home.
Courtyard spruces up front of home
The couple purchased the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in 2015 and got to work with contractors Amanda knew.
The remodel was split into two phases, the latter coming in 2018.
The exterior’s dated design was updated with accents, a new front door, touches of greenery and a front courtyard the couple loves.
The gathering space in the front fits perfectly into the walkable, friendly McCormick Ranch neighborhood, Gene said.
“It provides a space to share impromptu visits with neighbors. It has been especially enjoyable this spring, to enjoy the Arizona weather, and for the time being, socially distant visits with friends,” he said.
The front door is a stained-clear alder with privacy glass that allows in plenty of natural light.
“It anchors the front elevation of the home and sets the tone for the home’s interior,” Gene said.
Through the entryway, guests are greeted with engineered hardwood floors, a light oak with a matte finish, which brightens the home. (And the woodgrain and finish are forgiving to the Arizona dust and everyday foot traffic.)
Vaulted ceilings lead to a traditional-style Hinkley light fixture, and just off the entryway sits a baby grand piano that sees everyday use.
From galley kitchen to hangout spot
Inside the home the kitchen is where the family’s favorite piece of the remodel came into play.
“The kitchen island, hands down,” Gene said. “It really is where we spend most of our time as a family, as well as when we entertain. People just gravitate to the kitchen and the open concept makes it inviting and comfortable.”
The island is made of quartzite, a natural stone just as durable as granite but with the color and pattern of marble.
To achieve the kitchen’s maximum functionality, they reconfigured the original galley kitchen by removing a wall.
The kitchen, designed to be open and bright, showcases bright whites with wood floors, an impressive range, and decorative shelves as an accent.
Among other transformations, a living room was redesigned from a traditional/formal style to a great-room style and a fourth bedroom became a teen lounge for the couple’s sons.
“It’s more common now to have one main living room, and then to have a secondary room as a den, playroom or teen space,” Gene said.
Other highlights of the home include a Victoria Albert free-standing tub in the master bathroom.
“We lightened and brightened the space and love that we have our own sanctuary apart from the other bedrooms of the home,” Gene said. “There are two large picture windows that flood the room with light.”
Satin-gold fixtures contrasted with the marble-like quartz countertop make the master bathroom standout among an already impressive home.
This article originally appeared in the Arizona Republic online edition, May 28, 2020, and in print the following day.