Living in Paradise (AZ)

We are so excited to share these professional photos of another out-of-town project by IEG. This one is in Paradise Valley, AZ, and believe me, it does feel like paradise there! It is the fourth project we have collaborated on with these Chicago-area clients, and we all value their long-standing trust and loyalty very much.

Their goal was to establish a relaxing second home in the desert for themselves, their four grown children and future generations. The Southwestern influence is very subtle and  a different aesthetic  than their home in Illinois, as our clients requested. We incorporated the colors and wonderful softness of the desert – delicate moss, mauves, creams, blues and greens – plus organic elements in the accessories. Durable fabrics were a must-have to take the worry out of family fun. We chose all of the furnishings for this existing home, including furniture, art, accessories and rugs so it would be move-in ready.

front entry, botanical rug, arched doorway, chandelier, chest, wall art, accessories

Maintaining the soaring elegance of this foyer while making it feel more intimate was the major challenge in this space. All photos by Cole Horchler

Balancing Styles

Though this is a second home, our clients wanted it to have a relaxed elegance that reflects their lifestyle. To achieve that balance in the grand foyer, we added warm, organic elements including the botanical rug, pottery and a lush plant.

living room, fire place, sectional sofa, arm chairs, wall-mounted TV, cocktail table, sofa table, pillows, throw, accessories, ceiling fan, built-in cabinets

No worries about spills in this family room. We chose stain-resistant, cleanable fabrics.

Seating a Crowd

When generations of family gather, they will find plenty of comfortable seating. We chose a roomy sectional that can accommodate six to seven people, plus two arm chairs and an ottoman that can easily be moved and do double-duty as another seat. The layout encourages conversation or watching a movie or sports on TV. A fire is optional, but nice to have in the evening when the temperatures drop, even in Arizona.


living room, sectional sofa, arm chairs, cocktail table, sofa table, ottoman, fireplace, wall-mounted TV, glass-front cabinets, accessories, pillows

Accessories are the finishing touch to a perfectly curated room.

Mixing Relaxed and Refined

Upholstered pieces layered with pillows are refined contrast for the more reclaimed-wood look of the cocktail and sofa tables in the family room. To give the glass-front chests a finished, artisanal look, we topped them with delicate blue pottery and ropes of beads sourced locally. Understated desert colors and woven baskets hint at the Southwestern environment outside.

dining room, dining room chest, wall art, rug, wood floor, wall-mounted TV

Touches of black in the chest legs and accessories are sophisticated contrast for the soft whites and terra cottas in this home.

Keeping It Open and Airy

Balanced on a slender metal framework, this carved chest helps maintain a light, airy look in the living room.  We love the delicate curvy pattern of the chest front against the nubby rug and the natural surface of the terra cotta tiles. The mix of textures in this space echoes the casual-refined tone of the entire house. And isn’t that leafy wall sculpture amazing? As designers, we love finding those special pieces!

family room, two sofas, cocktail table, arm chair, pillows, wall art, floor lamp, wood sculpture, window panels, rug

Every room needs a statement piece.

Something Unexpected

Who would expect such a rustic wood sculpture in a space like this? We like to surprise our clients and their guests with something they have not seen before! This modern tribal floor sculpture was handcrafted of durable teak for our clients. Each piece is unique because it comes from Mother Nature, with all the natural variations of the wood. This is a great addition to a family get-away because you can tell everyone to go ahead and touch it.

dining room, dining room table, dining room chairs, chandelier, wall art, rug, windows, wood floor

Choosing the best rug size for a space can involve some creative rule breaking.

Special Occasions or Casual Bites

This dining room works whether our clients are serving hamburgers off the grill during a pool party or steaks and lobster. Small details make a difference. We opted for sophisticated, wing-back chairs with tufted inner backs and nail heads that outline the curves of the sides and backs. As in the foyer, this oversized chandelier brings the lofty, coffered space into proportion and adds a glamorous touch.

For the rug, we had to stretch the rules, bringing the edges closer to the walls than usual to ensure that the chairs would remain on the rug when pulled out. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken!

Selecting the right-sized artwork is an important step, too. In this case we placed a pair of large water colors side-by-side so they wouldn’t get lost on the wall.

Check Out More Photos

Love this home? You can find more photos on our website here: Southwest Living.

Contact Your Second (and Third) Home Specialists

IEG has the design expertise and the organizational skills to make out-of-state projects run smoothly and efficiently. We have worked on homes from Florida and Wisconsin to Texas, Arizona and Colorado. Recently we established a second office at 304 Deerpath East, Suite E., Fontana, WI. (Same phone – 847-705-9569, and same mailing address: 130 S. Northwest Highway Barrington, IL 60010). We would love to work with you!