This particular home has been written about many times over the years, featured on home tours like Modern Phoenix’s annual tour and written about in the AZ Republic for it’s extensive remodel, fantastic interior, yard, kitchen, you name it. The iconic mid century Charles Schreiber designed home is a local favorite as well as the surrounding homes of Village Grove with their low sloping rooflines, floor to ceiling windows and toothpick support beams.
Enter the newest owners of this little slice of architectural delight: Colin and Ellana, who are exactly like the house — a little vintage, a little modern and full of charm. Colin, a data engineer, Ellana, a physician’s assistant, and their two pups, Mabel and Johnny, gave us a tour of their home and décor while we reflected on their home buying journey and future plans for their lovely home.
N: I recall that the home search was something your family wanted more than you did. When did your home search get serious for you?
C: The house being available kind of triggered everything. Before when we would look around, we weren’t really seriously looking. We would miss out on houses, and Ellana would get really upset. We were in agreement we were not looking for a house, but then she would get a little emotional when we couldn’t get one. It felt like a rollercoaster, when we would find something we really wanted and it would sell really quickly.
E: I was saying, “If you ever see a Haver, but I really meant Schreiber, go on the market, let me know,” and I drove by this one randomly one day after visiting my parents and was like, “That’s the one, that’s what I want!.” I got really excited, but immediately thought there was no way.
C: So, the whole family looked at it. Ellana was a little defeated afterward. She thought there was no way we would get it. We hadn’t agreed on moving close to the family and this was a block from family-her parents, sister and brother in law, their parents. She sent me a picture of the house with a sad emoji and wrote, “We should talk.”
N: What was the home buying process like for you?
E: The negotiating was so exciting.
C: The house had been sitting for a few weeks on the market, so when we got an offer in, it was crazy, because there was another offer suddenly. I remember going back and forth. Chuck (father-in-law) was running the show. I wasn’t doing the negotiating. I was like, “Chuck, this is the perfect house in the perfect place — even if it’s like $10K over ask, we need to get it. It’s worth way more to us than anyone else.” There are very few decisions in life that actually matter: Who you marry is one; where you live or the house you buy is another. There’s no reason to sweat the details on the things that actually matter.
E: Then the appraisal came in a little higher than we paid, which was exciting, too! I barely remember the rest.
C: I went to the inspection and thought — I was blown away by how little there was on the report. We were just excited to get the house.
N: How would you describe your interior style? What are your favorite pieces in the home?
E: I guess, Japanese minimalist aesthetic is what I would like to attain. Natural elements, like natural fibers, airy, down to earth feeling. Not boho, would you say it was boho? I’m going through a phase right now, it used to be vintage, but after Japan, I want everything to be simple, functional, airy and lite.
C: Samezies; just things we really love.
E: We went to Tokyo, and we are hoping to bring the feeling back from there.
C: Favorite things, I would say the hanging plants. I’m going for the floating island look over the dining table, and the dining table —
E: We picked it (dining table) out at Porterbarnwood, a local company. They have these giant slabs of wood. My favorite things in the house — the bed, I love it. It’s a really amazing mattress. I like the chairs in the front room, too. They are my grandmothers. We had them reupholstered.
N: Can you tell us some of your plans for the house/yard?
E: Backyard landscaping. We want Steve Martino. He did work at the desert botanical gardens, which are amazing. But one can wish, we are starting our campaign for him now.
C: And he did my parents’ and my grandmother’s backyard. They’re both incredible.
E: We also want to do the kitchen backsplash, and in the living room, I want a big, long credenza to hang art above once things are in a more permanent state.
N: Do you feel intimidated by the home, its architecture or history?
C: There’s a responsibility that comes with a home like this, the previous owners did such a great job maintaining this house- when we first moved in, it was a bit overwhelming, I tried to do everything myself but soon learned that it was better to hire experts.
E: It is more difficult to make decisions because we want to do right by the house.
N: What do you like about the neighborhood?
E: Living by family and that we grew up here. We definitely want a family here, have our kids go to high school here go to college here. When we first moved in, we told our friends we were right by our family. They were like, “Oh, yikes,” and now I’m like, “I love it!” We have my parents, my sister and her family, my brother-in-law’s parents, and then their neighbors have become friends as well. It’s nice because we are so introverted, we might not know anyone if not for all of them. There’s also El Dorado Park. They have the rain collecting system. It’s so neat. We went the other night with Hazel (niece) and watched all the frogs jumping around. It’s frog-mating season! Hazel was catching frogs. There is a skate park at the end that Colin used to skate in. There’s also the Scottsdale trolley system that takes you into town; the stop is right by our house. When the weather’s nice, we take the trolley, go have a glass of wine, go to SMOCA or the library. It’s really nice.
Colin and Ellana hope to complete some if their wish list for the home in the coming year. The couple looks forward to hanging some of their favorite art, working on their backyard landscaping plans and settling into the space.
Written by: Misha Renteria, Photography by : Jesse Miller