Design Bar extended

Christine and Stefan Fortman were in the right place at the right time.

The Fortmans feel fortunate that they found their house last spring before it even hit the market.  Their home, built in 1964, is in the striking Sherwood Heights neighborhood.

Previously, Christine and Stefan were living near 46th Street and Thomas Road in a 1,700-square foot house.  “We had updated everything we could.  And then we started talking about actually remodeling the house,” Stefan explains. “But we finally reached a point that we thought we would be better off investing in a larger house where we had more room.”

The ranch-style house, like most of the homes in the Sherwood Heights neighborhood, was the perfect location for the couple.  “It’s in my bubble,” says Christine, who works just a short drive away at her family’s business, Berridge Nurseries, near 44th Street and Camelback Road.  At the time they purchased the house, Stefan, who’s employed as a private pilot, was flying in and out Sky Harbor Airport.  He now uses Scottsdale Airport.

Not counting painting, the Fortmans haven’t made any significant changes to the interior of the 3,100-square foot home.  They like it just the way they found it.

A dense desert landscape has been allowed to grow naturally that virtually obscures the front of the house, which is positioned perfectly on a half-acre lot – which the couple likes because of its symmetry.

When a visitors approaches the home up the sidewalk, a huge pivot door constructed of layers of horizontally stacked plywood and vertical strips of walnut lets them know they are about to experience something special.  Once inside, the front room’s pitched-and-beamed ceiling provides a strong sense of space.  And its ebony-stained floors create a warm and welcoming ambiance.

Christine and Stefan’s creative efforts have been concentrated on their lush back yard that now features a cushy carpet of bright green grass and well-placed plots of succulents. “My favorite time of day is 6:15 in the evening,” Christine says, “because that’s when the ground lighting comes on in the back. I just love being on the patio.”  That’s also the area she and Stefan share with their two energetic dogs, “Banks” and “Bogie,” (short for “bougainvillea”).

Stefan likes being inside the house – especially working in his office or cooking in the kitchen.

The exceptionally long kitchen stretches across the rear of the house and is reminiscent of a galley on a yacht designed to use space as efficiently as possible.  A bank of floor-to-ceiling cabinets with frosted-glass doors and the combination of stainless steel appliances with concrete countertops make it one of the most unique kitchens on this year’s tour.

Christine and Stefan agree that one of the things they both like most about the house is what she calls its “modern and linear” qualities.   Stefan quickly adds they appreciate the natural “order” that the home’s design creates.

Sherwood Heights has been one of the favorite stops on Scottsdale Home Tours.  This year will be no exception when Christine and Stefan Fortman share their splendid home with visitors on the November 12th tour

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