Passion, product, partnerships and pride summarize the feel of a home built by Doug and Diana Mills of Canyon View Homes, LLC. A desire for creativity and fine details led Doug to begin building custom homes in 1994, and has resulted in the successful completion of nearly forty homes to date. Doug is also a certified ICF home builder, which is an insulated concrete form method of construction which provides the ultimate in insulation, fire resistance, and noise reduction qualities.
The Canyon View design team consists of Craig Haskins, metal artisan and owner of Artistic Metals, LLC and Mike Lettera, master tile setter and owner of American Tile West. They have worked on all of the Canyon View homes for the last seventeen years and have become like family. Diana refers to the team as “her old quilts; comfortable to be with and there when you need them.”
Walking into the 7000 square foot home in OroValley, the team’s tireless efforts are apparent. Upon entering the home, guests are welcomed by an incredible arched iron and glass door in excess of twelve feet tall, framing the view of the Catalina Mountains. The door is comprised of operable dual pane glass panels, which allows for easy cleaning while the door frame and design elements are foam filled for insulation and noise reduction. The finish is rich, comprised of a black powder coat base with an oil rubbed bronze faux finish and clear coat. “Given the overall size of the door and the Old World Tuscan feel we were trying to capture, I kept the design simple yet striking. I believe in attention to detail and I want people to remember this door,” remarks Craig. “When the front door is such a high quality, finely crafted piece of art, the rest of the house can’t disappoint,” Mike adds.
Together, the team envisioned a direction for the home’s style and created a unique, one-of-a-kind design, as they do for each home. They may use some of the same materials in the different homes, but they never repeat the design or patterns. Their latest project is over two and a half years in the making. It began by choosing the right lot, and working with another key member of the team, designer Greg Simmons of Simmon’s Home Design. “Greg has a unique talent for bringing an abundance of ideas into a functional yet spectacular finished plan,” Doug adds.
The design process for the iron and stone work may begin with an electrical fixture or a mosaic tile and it grows from there. The massive light fixture over the island all began with one factory made fixture. Diana liked the globe and Doug liked the base. They turned it over to Craig to tear apart and design the custom piece that is one of the focal points in the 825 square foot kitchen. The custom light fixture is a ten foot long double flat arch suspended by four curved 2″ round tube steel supports at a fixed height above the center island. The flat arch design of the fixture was inspired by the front edge of the custom vent hood. The hood, which is approximately nine feet tall, creates an hour glass shape and houses the fans and lights. The shape and heavy strap design was a compilation of ideas between Doug, Diana and Craig, who spent a lot of time trying to come up with a range hood design that would combine functionality and a uniqueness that would allow the hood to become the focal point of the kitchen. Both the hood and the light fixture utilize 1/4″ thick strap steel with 1″ square hand forged rivets that are 5/8″ thick. Both pieces are finished in a combination of bronze and black faux. They are stunning works of art in their own right. They compliment each other and inspired the custom iron hardware on the knotty alder cabinets.
The stone work on the backsplash was designed by Mike using Diana’s choice of a European style tile mosaic in a polished marble. Mike took the stylized floral tile mosaic and installed it with a tight joint for minimal grout. The surrounding tumbled marble brick pattern was also set with a tight joint to minimize the grout. “My intention was to have the end result very uniform, and made to look like it was created and installed by craftsmen in Italy many centuries ago,” Mike explains. The warm finish and texture of the knotty alder cabinets, interior doors and the beamed ceilings are continued throughout the home as is the floor pattern created by Mike and Doug. The size and pattern of the stone floors of Imperial Brown granite inlay and Mexican Noche travertine are dictated by the grid of the beams which make up the ceiling detail.
A very unique canopy over the outdoor barbeque and bar area is constructed of round and rectangular tubing. The four legs of the canopy are made with 4 inch square tubing and while the design is simple, there are many subtle details that tie into the other steel design elements throughout the house. For example, the boxed scroll at the end of each crossbar matches elements on the entry door. Craig’s designs are inspired by the many shapes and architectural details that he notices throughout a client’s surroundings. By paying attention to the details that already exist within an environment, Craig is able to come up with a design that fits the client’s needs, flows within the home and still holds its own unique qualities.
Canyon View Homes attributes much of its success to the camaraderie that has developed between Darryl Nelson, their superintendent and master craftsman Ken Whetton, and Mike and Craig; together they can make all the seemingly overwhelming obstacles a non-factor. “These guys have perfected the concept of teamwork and have a great respect for one another,” Doug shares. The team works together to interweave their creations for a result that is beautiful and unique. “We enjoy working with Canyon View Homes because they are always supportive and provide projects offering challenges which allow us to grow as artists,” says Mike.
There is no shortage of imagination when entering the powder room, where the iron vanity, mirror and light sconces are set into a highly detailed, tiled arched recess. These tile details carry throughout the room and accentuate an arched niche. This use of steel and stone harmonize beautifully to create one of the highlights of the home. The more than five foot long vanity top in the powder room is designed to look like one 4 inch thick solid plate of steel with a hand-cut edge detail. The top appears to balance on an arched pedestal which encompasses a cabinet underneath for storage. The cabinet doors are one inch thick with the hand-cut edge detail to match the top. The finish on the vanity top and cabinet doors is a two part bronze faux applied over a black base with a clear coat.
Mike’s attention to detail and fine craftsmanship is evident in the 450 square foot master bathroom. The counter tops and tub deck are a gleaming, polished Empedor Dark marble. Mike wanted to create a sense of depth for the mirrors, so he developed a large molding detail consisting of pre-machined elements and mosaic patterned marble for the mirror surround. He then carried a version of that detail into a wainscot around the entire room. These elements were then repeated in other areas, such as the shower, window surround, niches and columns.
The many hours of planning, designing and construction that were spent in building this home has created a sense of pride both on the part of the talented craftsmen that worked on the project and the artisans that created the iron and stone. The wonderful relationship that the Canyon View Homes team has developed with one another, from the catered lunches that Doug prepares and provides for his crew every Friday, to the respect each has for their ideas and talents, the beautiful end result is seen and felt in this home as well as all of their homes. As Canyon View Homes moves on to other projects, they will be built with the same sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from a job well done.
Robin Motzer is a world class artist and interior designer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org