Framing the Landscape

Glass doors behind a white couch show a view of the pool and patio outside.
Framing the Landscape
For This Glamorous Home in Phoenix, Big Views Reign Supreme

When developer Marc Nassos of Marc Development began building a modern farmhouse on a cul-de-sac in Phoenix, he wanted to maximize views and plan the flow for socialization.

Inspired by homes he’d seen in California with open-air designs and indoor-outdoor living features, Nassos worked with architect Erik Peterson of PHX Architecture to frame views of the surrounding landscape throughout the home.

A Series 900 Pivot door set in a glassy jewel-box entrance makes for a dramatic welcome.
A Series 900 Pivot door set in a glassy jewel-box entrance makes for a dramatic welcome.

“When you arrive at this lot, you say, ‘Hey, look, there’s Camelback Mountain. Oh, look at the greenery outside.’ There’s a lawn there, citrus trees,” Nassos says. “When you have a good view from a restaurant, you're like, ‘Oh, I want the table with the view, so put me by there.’ Well, I have these views on this lot.”

First, they had to position the home perfectly on the lot to take advantage of the views of Camelback Mountain. That presented a challenge. “The cul-de-sac cuts into part of the lot. Then you have the views out what might be a side yard,” Nassos says. “So we had to angle the house to capture the views of the mountain and design around the cul-de-sac and all the setbacks that come along with it. It was extremely challenging to come up with a floor plan that worked but embraced what was around it.”

“Indoor-outdoor living and bringing the outdoors in means glass. It means I need to be able to see through things. I need to feel I’m outside when I’m not outside.” – Marc Nassos, principal, Marc Development

The Bi-fold windows over the kitchen bar lets guests outside enjoy an ice-cold beverage without having to go inside.
The Bi-fold windows over the kitchen bar lets guests outside enjoy an ice-cold beverage without having to go inside.

The next challenge was arranging the flow of spaces for socialization. “One of the biggest things for me is inclusivity of spaces, so you can interact with each other, even though the spaces are separate,” Nassos says. Add this to the desire to feel connected to the outdoors and the beautiful views, and glass became a big part of the plan.

Windows surrounding the dining table create a comfortable atmosphere for eating while enjoying the outdoor scenery.
Windows surrounding the dining table create a comfortable atmosphere for eating while enjoying the outdoor scenery.

The 6,712 square-foot home features floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the great room, dining room, master bedroom, and family room, along with a big bi-fold window for an indoor-outdoor bar. Together, the glass doors and window provide a seamless connection to the central pool and patio area. Minimizing the division between indoors and outdoors allowed them to capture views of cacti, mountains, desert brush, and occasionally, native wildlife from every angle.

From the moment visitors approach the stunning window wall of the entryway, that indoor-outdoor experience begins. Entering the home, they can turn and immediately take in the views through the living room and out to the pool area and mountain beyond.

The bedroom multi-sliding glass doors and fixed windows provide a beautiful view of the backyard first thing in the morning.
The bedroom multi-sliding glass doors and fixed windows provide a beautiful view of the backyard first thing in the morning.

In the family room at the back of the home, the bi-fold window that opens to the back patio creates an indoor-outdoor bar just steps from the pool. “When I want to have a drink, I don’t want to have to towel off and go inside. So, you create a bar window that just opens up, and we can have people sitting on stools inside and outside,” Nassos says. “I can make my drinks in the blender and I’m still part of that scene that’s happening indoors and outdoors.”

“One of the biggest things for me is inclusivity of spaces, so you can interact with each other, even though the spaces are separate.” – Marc Nassos, principal, Marc Development

Big glass brings big glamour to the modern farmhouse style.
Big glass brings big glamour to the modern farmhouse style.

After the house was finished, Nassos started a ritual: He would come in, open the pocketing multi-slide doors in the living room, light the fireplace, pour a glass of wine, and unwind to music while staring at the landscape.

“It was one of the most relaxing and satisfying things I’d ever do at the end of a day,” he says. “When you walk into a place that feels good, you become happy. You want to stay, you want to raise a family, you want to invite your friends over. Some of it’s unspeakable. You can't really define it.”

Sliding glass doors on both levels of the house opens up spaces to the dessert landscaping and social areas outside.
Sliding glass doors on both levels of the house opens up spaces to the dessert landscaping and social areas outside.
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