Over the years, Realtor Scott Grigg has listed and sold many properties in town. But when Grigg was asked by builder Rod Cullum to sell a new development on Camelback Mountain, Grigg didn’t just list Cullum’s seven lots in the gated community called Cholla Heights. He bought one and worked with Cullum Homes and Scottsdale architect Erik Peterson to build his dream home.
“Having a hillside home has always been a dream for us,” says Grigg, referring to his fiancee, Adrianna Baum, with whom he shares the home. “Once I came up to this Paradise Valley site and saw the views, I became the first buyer. It’s a special place.”
Black steel cladding on the fireplace adds a bold touch to the great room, which opens onto a front balcony and a backyard that’s tucked into the bottom of the hillside setting.
Grigg and Baum’s two-level, 4,600-square-foot home was designed by Peterson to make the most of its views, which include the Superstition and McDowell mountains, as well as Four Peaks in the distance, and, in back, up Camelback’s vertiginous, boulder-strewn and cactus-dotted hillside. The home’s entry was placed on the first level, which includes an entertainment room and bar, as well as a guest bedroom, all of which overlook an infinity pool—placed in the front yard—for maximum vistas. “We strategically raised the pool a few feet above ground to eliminate views of our neighbors’ rooftops below,” says Grigg, who is president of The Grigg’s Group with Realty Executives, a high-end residential real estate firm, for which Baum also works as a sales associate.
A balcony that runs the length of the house is a favorite spot for relaxing
A staircase and elevator lead up to the bridgelike second-floor landing, which links the great room and another guest suite on one side to the office and the master suite on the other side. A long balcony off the second floor runs the length of the front of the house, overlooking the pool. In back, a yard that includes an outdoor kitchen is framed by the mountain’s slopes.
Grigg’s motorcycle is displayed in the entry, against the glass wine cabinet.
Peterson’s architectural design is crisp and linear, marked by 14-foot-tall window walls that capture city and mountain views, and neutral hues that help blend the home into its desert site. Inside, wood flooring, Cambria countertops, and three-dimensional tile details reiterate the home’s architecture. “Cholla Heights was conceived to an enclave of modern homes,” says Grigg of his home’s contemporary lines. “[Peterson] is the preferred architect, so there will be a harmonious look here when it’s all built out.”
When it came to the interiors, Baum and Grigg worked with Scottsdale interior designer Mary Freel, who helped the couple pick furnishings and finishes that were comfortable yet bold enough to complement the home’s tall ceilings and striking architecture. She designed deep loll-inducing sofas for the great room and entertainment room, and specified an Italian glass table for the dining area, surrounded by custom chairs. The great room’s fireplace was faced in rolled black steel and accented by a three-dimensional wall-cladding. In the master bedroom, the custom bed, flanked by simple nightstands and pendant bed lights, was placed to face sunrise views, creating a penthouse-in-the-sky feel.
Peacock-blue dining chairs add a splash of color next to the kitchen’s marble island.
The roomy kitchen features a generous island with plenty of Cambria countertops for food prep and serving. In the master bath, a deep soaking tub has views up Camelback. The tub’s adjacent sliding glass door opens on to the backyard, creating the effect of bathing outdoors. A steam shower is another luxe touch.
Grigg admits that he and Baum took nothing from their previous residence to the new house “except our clothes and toothbrushes,” but they added their touches to the interior with art they’ve collected during trips to Miami for Art Basel and visits to other galleries, as well as personal artifacts, such as Grigg’s Harley-Davidson anniversary Softail motorcycle, displayed in the entry against the illuminated glass wine cabinet. “Adrianna doesn’t like me riding anymore,” laughs Grigg, “so placing the Harley inside the new house was my way of compromising.”
The house was completed last spring, and now that the couple has settled in, they relish the opportunities that the hillside house has afforded them. They’ve started hiking Camelback and enjoy the proximity to Old Town Scottsdale. “We can practically walk there,” says Grigg. Baum and Grigg have also tested the house with parties. “We’ve had an event for about 100 people,” says Grigg, “and the house worked beautifully.” But, most evenings, they enjoy relaxing on the pool patio or balcony, watching the sun’s last rays wash over the mountains.