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Roseanne South’s home, nestled between Scottsdale and Hayden roads, is right in the center of Scottsdale’s action without losing privacy.

“My favorite part of living here is that I’m so centrally located to everything,” Roseanne said. “I live in Scottsdale and still have the cowboy feel of the Wild West and Sonoran Desert.” 

The neighborhood has no HOA, which allows for diversity in the look of the homes, and the lack of streetlights and sidewalks lends to the natural desert feeling Roseanne and her family love so much.  

“Houses are unique in appearance and range in age from 70 years old to 7 weeks old,” she said. “The neighborhood is quiet and holds a secret network of horse trails for riders or those who just want to get off the beaten path.” 

Roseanne, her husband, Hanwen Chen, and their two sons purchased the 2,500-square-foot home three years ago. It sits on nearly an acre lot and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  

Midcentury modern charmer 

Roseanne loved the character of her home when she first saw it. 

“When I first met my house, I felt a modern home trapped inside the décor of a failed 1980s remodel, and with that feeling there was an obligation to the house to make it relevant while keeping in line with the original intention of the architect,” she said. 

The owners chose Roseanne to purchase the home over other offers because she didn’t want to completely gut and change it. A contractor confirmed they could make some essential changes to make the home more functional while maintaining the character Roseanne desired.   

Renovating without eliminating integrity 

They began the renovation process before moving in, making sure they kept the bones of the home.

The formal dining area contains a long, wood table with warm, leather dining chairs in the midcentury modern design, marrying comfort with Roseanne’s sought-after style. (Photo: Roseanne South and Hanwen Chen)

The back of the house originally had a bedroom next to the kitchen, which visually blocked the pool in the backyard, so they turned it into a family room, which is Roseanne’s favorite space. It is a comfortable spot for the family to gather. The 16-foot arcadia doors have an 8-foot opening for prime indoor-outdoor living.   

The family trusted several contractors to help with the vision, and Roseanne’s advice for other homeowners is to conduct a search on the Arizona Register of Contractors to make sure there are no complaints filed.   

KP Homes was able to bring Roseanne’s vision for her kitchen to fruition.

“The kitchen is located right in the center of the house. …  It’s easy to be drawn to it for eating, drinking and hanging out with the family,” she said. “Along with that, I spend a lot of time cooking and love the ambiance of the entire space.” 

For the countertops, the couple chose Glacial quartzite with rose veining. The island has a waterfall edge on each end and enough room for barstools. The backsplash — brushed copper tiles from the Tile Shop — add a touch of glamour to the space. The modern, blue lacquer cabinets also add a modern touch of sophistication and lend to the midcentury aesthetic.  

Roseanne chose on-trend champagne gold lighting fixtures and faucets throughout the home, including the midcentury modern pendant lights over the island. 

Instead of wood flooring that scratches easily, they chose a high-end laminate flooring for the home, Gemwoods Santa Fe Collection Singing Hills. They used luxury vinyl in the bathrooms called Paradigm Shasta. 

The Scottsdale family worked to maintain the kitchen’s midcentury feel. (Photo: Roseanne South and Hanwen Chen)

Trendy touches 

During the renovation, Roseanne purchased a lot of pieces from West Elm.

“Most recently, I’ve found the furniture at CB2 is a bit more relevant and am excited for some of their pieces to arrive at the house next month,” she said. 

Roseanne used a cohesive color palette of blue, brown and gold accents in most of the home. They chose Accessible Beige from Sherwin Williams for most of the walls.  

“My favorite wall is in the foyer where we used a light, dusty pink color,” she said.  

“My style is open, airy, bright and filled with plants,” Roseanne said. “Since my home is a 1960s midcentury modern home, I felt that the furniture and décor should be modern while giving a nod to the style from its same era.”  

“For art, I love using agave panicles, cholla skeletons and yucca panicles to decorate a table or accent the height of a special nook in the house,” Roseanne said. Panicles are branches that are a more modern nod to florals in décor.   

Fall in Scottsdale 

The stacked cinderblock exterior of the house now has a glass cupola on top with windows on all four sides.

“The roofs are slightly pitched, which I think give it a little touch of pagoda feel,” she said.  

The house also sits far from the street with natural desert landscaping and a gravel driveway. The yard has become a labor of love for Roseanne. She recently stopped working as a programmer, which allowed her to once again pursue her love of natural desert landscaping. 

They purchased the home three years ago in November, and fall is still Roseanne’s favorite season in her home.   

“I love all the wildlife we see in the fall. A lot of birds take up residence in our Oleanders and are especially talkative in the morning and at dusk,” she said. “Javelina, racoons and Harris Hawks also seem more visible this time of year.” 

Their backyard is a showstopper and boasts a large, covered patio where the family can lounge or enjoy a meal. It also has a diving pool. There is a large grassy area for the family to play badminton and where their two Italian Greyhounds, Pippa and Sammy, can play fetch.   

Designing as a family 

“I’m married to the love of my life that I met when I was a student studying abroad in China,” Roseanne said.

When they designed the home, they looked for pieces they both liked.  They enjoyed shopping and choosing items for the design; however, they had a difficult task of maintaining the integrity of the era it was built while making sure it felt like a comfortable, livable home. 

Her two boys, now 12 and 14, each had a part in designing their rooms. Her youngest loves reptiles and designed his jungle-themed room with a green wall. They also share the home with a Ball Python and several fish.   

Roseanne is drawn to the unique architectural features of her home. “I really love the beams in the house,” She said. “There is one diagonal beam which stretches from each corner of the cupola to each corner of the house.”   

She doesn’t regret purchasing a fixer-upper rather than a new home.

“The character and uniqueness that comes with a rehabbed house is really exciting,” she said.

Finding what the home should become posed a unique challenge that Roseanne and her family successfully conquered, both in style and comfort.   

Know of a unique home in metro Phoenix that is not on the market that should be featured? Email [email protected]  

Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/cool-home/2020/10/08/cool-home-scottsdale-family-updates-mid-century-home-nod-its-roots/3578400001/