Mediterranean Residence

phoenix-home-garden-cover-march-2008Mediterranean Residence

Phoenix Home & Garden, March 2008


The residence would be equally at home in a Mediterranean setting.

The builder of this Arizona home, Jerry Meek, considers its architect, Don Ziebell, an artist, in large measure because of his constant attention to detail. The living room’s complex ceiling trusses, for example, were fabricated on-site using antique beams, says Meek.

“Every beam was individually template and handcrafted to honor the materials and to duplicate the Old World craftsmanship of where they were originally used.”


mediterranean residence living room



Designer Karen Rapp, who fashioned the interiors of this Mediterranean residence, calls Don Ziebell “a visionary,” praising his play with “scale and proportion from room to room” and harmonious use of finish materials.

Ziebell’s backdrop for her design of the family room and adjacent kitchen included wide archways, vintage crisscross ceiling beams and flooring of antique French terracotta pavers that once served as ceiling tiles.

mediterranean residence family room

Overlooking the Ziebell-designed pool is a guest casita with private patio.


mediterranean residence pool and guest casita


The lipstick-hued reading room, with its handsomely decorated beams, opens to a media and billards area.



Working with the design team, the homeowners chose elements that contribute to the kitchen’s old-time look, such as butcher-block-topped center island, countertops and sink of soapstone, antique terracotta tile stove backsplash, and rustic antique beams.

High-tech appliances and energy efficiency used here do not detract from the mood of the space, said Ziebell, for even when a house is meant to look old, “it must have the conveniences a modern home should have.”

mediterranean residence kitchen


Trimmed in wood, this partial opens to the stone-walled dining room.

mediterranean residence dining room


Sitting areas from which to enjoy the outdoors include this wide patio at the bath of the house. French doors defined by tall European-style shutters make for easy access to the space. The stairway (far right) leads to a second-story loggia.

outdoor sitting areas


Soft light shines through French doors in the book-lined home office.

A vintage French bathtub commands attention in the sunshine-yellow master bath. As in other Don Ziebell-designed rooms, the configuration of tiny view-catching windows and the mood-evoking ambience hold special appeal for interior designer Karen Rapp.

“When experiencing his spaces you are engaged and enchanted,” she says. “They are classic, ageless and soulful.”

With bases of brick, tree-trunk posts hold up a lush vine-covered arbor at a loggia off the dining room. A vegetable garden lies beyond.


library, bath, outdoor space


Shaded by a beam-and-tile overhang, this poolside loggia is a serene spot for entertaining or personal relaxation.



Spanning a wash and accented with a network of beams, this narrow hallway acts as an enclosed bridge.

narrow hallway acts as a bridge


Ample stonework and wooden trusses were crafted of very old beams, but the fireplace mantel, of burled wood from a French chateau, is even older, about 800 years old, says Ziebell.

second story loggia ample stoneword


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