Project Info

Architect / Contractor: Rob Paulus / Rob Paulus Architects, Tucson, Ariz. 
Contractor (interior): Ted Kline / Mega Trend, Tucson
Interior Design and Millwork/Cabinetry: D. Scott Baker, Mary Ann Hesseldenz / Baker + Hesseldenz Design, Tucson


• Improve the connection between interior rooms
• Provide a better visual connection from the house to the landscape


Not only was this house poorly laid out, but architect Rob Paulus describes its Spanish style as “Santa Fake.” “A lot of what we did was more subtractive—taking things away and bringing it back to a simple box. From there, we opened up as much as we could,” Paulus says, by removing walls to create a better flow. Some of the drywall had been made to resemble adobe walls, so he simplified those for a cleaner, more modern look.

The owner, who had  purchased the house because of its mature landscape and setting, wanted the interior spaces to better connect to the yard. To strengthen that connection, Paulus increased the glazing on the rear wall to capture views.

A film enthusiast, the owner also wanted the remodel to include a media room with a 14-foot projection screen. Since the living room didn’t have enough wall space to accommodate a screen that large, Paulus enclosed an outdoor porch and incorporated the existing outdoor fireplace.

The second phase of the project involved improving the outdoor spaces. A 20-foot-by-40-foot contemporary steel and Douglas fir porch trellis shades an outdoor living space that has an outdoor kitchen and direct access from the home theater, great room, and master bedroom.

The interior kitchen cabinets are also made of Douglas fir, but a more polished, smooth version that fulfills the owner’s desire to for a natural element. The cabinets also provide a contrast to the rough-hewn fir used for the trellis.

Judges’ Comments

The judges praised the “clarity of structure” the architect was able to create from the original house and its connection to the new outdoor space. The house has beautiful detailing and materials, and they pointed out the interesting contrast between the raw steel and warm wood on the trellis.


Bath faucet: Aquabrass
Bath sink: Decolav
Countertops: Caesarstone; concrete
Dishwasher: Miele
Hardware: Emtek
Kitchen faucet: MGS
Oven, range, refrigerator: Wolf
Windows: Western Window Systems

Related article: Rob Paulus Architects and Mega Trend also won a 2010 Grand Remodeling Design Award for transforming an auto repair shop into an office space for Rob Paulus Architects.