Modern Kitchen Designs Houzz

The homeowners chose this element of synthetic grass to add a pop of color in front of this gazebo.(Photo: Ottavia Zappala/Special for The Republic)

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Can you imagine hand-selecting every feature of your home, from the layout and the design to the finishing touches? Tim and Pam Drexler did just that when they custom built their 6,600-square-foot house inside a gated community in Chandler.

The couple has lived in their dream home for just less than a year. Design and construction took them about two years.

The homeowners worked with Amy (Bubier) Klosterman from AB Design Elements for the furnishings, and Pam handpicked all the fans, light fixtures and many other elements herself. Her inspiration has come from decades of reading magazines and tearing out pages, traveling and searching for unique pieces online.

There are backyard raised vegetable beds, geometric ceiling treatments, brick wall and ceiling accents, a modern stand-alone bathtub, a wine room and numerous cozy outdoor seating areas.

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The herb and vegetable garden the homeowners use for cooking. (Photo: Ottavia Zappala/Special for The Republic)

“I have always liked looking at magazines,” she said. “My poor husband knows, I get quite a lot of them. We travel quite a bit, and we stay at really beautiful places or rent houses. So I get inspired by those places.”

Pam said it was crucial for her to be involved in every step.

“I liked the process, when we decided to do a design-build firm, because we had a lot of input along the way. We tweaked and changed plans,” she said, saying she spent hours scouring websites like Houzz.com and designer portfolios online.

As soon as you walk through the tall, arctic glass front door, you find yourself in a spacious great room with a direct view into the backyard pool area. A large sliding glass door opens all the way to give a sense of seamless continuity between the inside and the outside.

Shaking off convention

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“We really wanted the pool to be a visual for when you walk in so you see the fire, and the water,” says Pam Drexler, referring to the swimming pool and the fire table in front of it. (Photo: Pam Drexler)

“When you come into the house, you see the pool and it’s very inviting for people to go out,” Pam said. “We didn’t want a formal living room. We wanted a great room concept."

She said Klosterman was instrumental in choosing the furniture.

"I found some pieces like the lamps and the rugs and accessories. But she was really terrific in creating something at the right scale for this big room that was comfortable and fit our style, which is not too formal," Pam said.

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A very large kitchen with an arched brick ceiling and cove lighting is one of the homeowner’s favorite spots to entertain. (Photo: Pam Drexler/Special for The Republic)

The    Drexler home's most notable feature is its outdoor seating areas. There are so many that the homeowners couldn't provide a number when asked. Toward the end of the home tour, we counted 10.

The couple’s two children and grandchildren live out of state and stay with them during special occasions. And the Drexlers always like to entertain large groups of friends and neighbors, taking advantage of Arizona outdoor living.

    Cooking is another of their hobbies.

    “We love the fact that everyone comes to the kitchen,” Pam said. "I think that’s true for most people. You invite people and everyone comes to the kitchen. So I really wanted that area where people can sit while you’re cooking."

    She said the kitchen's layout and large granite countertops allowed plenty of room for 25 family members at Easter. And a second prep sink made it easier to put those guests to work. 

    The kitchen is the focal point of the great room; it features an arched brick ceiling with cove lighting.  

    Wired for Alexa

    Tim has automated the house so that the couple can command every light, window and lock through Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.

    Pam just needs to say, “Alexa, turn on kitchen cook,” to light up the cooking areas or “Alexa, turn on kitchen dinner” to dim the lights into a cozy glow. When the homeowners go to sleep, they give Alexa a simple command that instructs her to turn off every light in the house except their bedroom, and to lock every door.  

    Years ago, Pam retired from her position at Make a Wish Foundation of America, where she was in charge of all chapters across the country. Tim used to own a construction company.

    Both are originally from out of state, where they grew up in homes with basements. This, and their HOA's prohibition against two-story homes, led them to build a basement.

    “Tim and I wanted the basement to have a totally different look. We made it very modern," Pam said. "But I didn’t want low ceilings, so we made them 11 feet tall. Also, every room in the basement has a view to the outside for some natural light.”

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    While the low ceilings throughout most of the house
    While the low ceilings throughout most of the house are typical of early Arizona ranch style, they also reflect a practical reality: The Ellises were building with recycled materials and only had limited supplies.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenArtist Ron Hagerty made many lamps for the Ellis house
    Artist Ron Hagerty made many lamps for the Ellis house during the thirty years he lived at Cattle Track. “Ron never paid rent, but he gave us one piece every year,” explained Janie Ellis. “This house is full of his work. I just love it.”  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenGeorge Ellis designed and built a house at Scottsdale
    George Ellis designed and built a house at Scottsdale and Lincoln Roads for clients in the 1940’s. When the property was later purchased by a developer who wanted to raze the building, the Ellises took it apart brick by brick and reassembled it at Cattle Track, where it now serves as Janie’s rehearsal space.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenArtist Philip C. Curtis, a prolific painter and founder
    Artist Philip C. Curtis, a prolific painter and founder of the Phoenix Art Museum, lived at Cattle Track for fifty years. After his death in 2000, Janie Ellis found an antique carousel horse with the name Phil painted on its neck. Thinking it an appropriate tribute to her late friend, she purchased the piece for the studio.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenMost of the textiles and fabric wall-hangings in the
    Most of the textiles and fabric wall-hangings in the house were made by Janie’s mother, Rachel, who was an accomplished clothing and costume designer.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenMost of the furnishings in the Ellis house were handmade,
    Most of the furnishings in the Ellis house were handmade, including the built-in couch, and the coffee table, which Janie made from an old slab of mesquite.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenGeorge and Rachel Ellis placed the kitchen directly
    George and Rachel Ellis placed the kitchen directly inside the front door, and cemented the room's importance as a gathering space and as the center of the family's many activities. George built the simple but functional wooden shelves and cabinets, which Janie still uses today.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenThe original one-room dwelling is now the main living
    The original one-room dwelling is now the main living room, while the adjacent space has gone through many iterations over the years. First a palm-thatched ramada, it was enclosed to serve as a bedroom after the children were born. When a larger bedroom wing was added later on, the room was modified again and now serves as a library and office.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenA screened and shaded patio outside the front door
    A screened and shaded patio outside the front door helps to buffer the interior of the house from temperature fluctuations, as well as extend the house into the yard. "We've always had an indoor-outdoor lifestyle," said Janie Ellis. "I feel sorry for people who don't live this way. It's so nice."  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenDuring World War II, George Ellis built a bunkhouse
    During World War II, George Ellis built a bunkhouse for pilots being trained at nearby Thunderbird Field. After the war, he converted the building into family bedrooms, connected to the main house with a covered breezeway.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenIn adding to the house, George Ellis kept the same
    In adding to the house, George Ellis kept the same simple architecture throughout: wood framing, redwood siding, and a low roof that extends to shade the walls. The house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenJanie Ellis and her dogs enjoy the backyard, which
    Janie Ellis and her dogs enjoy the backyard, which features numerous seating areas, an outdoor fireplace, and even a tree fort. Janie grew up on the property and now maintains it as an artist compound and residence.  Andrea Galyean/Special for The Republic>FullscreenThe Verde River pipeline supplied fresh drinking water
    The Verde River pipeline supplied fresh drinking water to Phoenix residents starting in 1922. But within a few years, it started leaking and, by 1930, was replaced by a concrete pipeline. The redwood pipeline was free for the taking, and Janie’s father George Ellis gathered as much as he could, using it to built a one-room house on his property along the Arizona Canal in 1937.   historical photo courtesy of Janie Ellis>Fullscreen

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      Source : https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/cool-home/2018/04/19/chandler-home-combines-modern-decor-and-outdoor-comfort/522954002/

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