Cave Creek, AZ

Up close with nature

It's the ultimate wildlife-viewing platform.

Rising from a rocky outcropping and overlooking a tree-lined creek, this Sonoran Desert home features a sculptural window wall and a cantilevered concrete patio that expand the house toward the water.

DESIGN  Will Bruder + Partners, Phoenix (602/324-6000)

WHAT MAKES THIS ROOM WORK?

Inside this 1,650-square-foot home in Cave Creek, Arizona, the main gathering place combines a compact kitchen, dining area, and high-ceilinged living room. The space is an eclectic composition of materials: Modern stainless steel and minimalist cabinetry play off the vibrant hue of Venetian plaster and the earthiness of a long stone wall.

1. Natural rock wall
The rocks, which were chosen for their palomino-ocher color, are dry-stacked in a mortarless 20-inch-thick wall that's gently angled.

2. Sleek kitchen
The orderly kitchen cabinets, made of maple-veneered plywood, act as a visual anchor for the red plastered walls. Stainless steel appliances add polish.

3. Contemporary furniture
The caramel-toned Togo sofa from Ligne Roset is a cozy, quirky counterpoint to the room's cool angles and rough-hewn stone.

4. Plaster and plywood
The kitchen and dining area are defined by Venetian plaster sealed with wax, which brings depth and sheen to the ruddy tone. A reswan plywood ceiling angles over the intimate dining space.

5. Strategic windows
A window wall encourages sunlight to penetrate deep into the house. In the living area, steel-framed glass doors open to the outside.