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HOMEOWNERS — Bud and Robin Jones

LOCATION — Prescott, Arizona

PROPERTY — One acre nestled in the pine trees of a golf course community

COMPLETED — March 2003 following 20 months of planning and excavating

EXTERIOR — Stucco, stone, and copper

LIVING SPACE — Main house 7,000 square feet, guest house 1,000 square feet

HER FAVORITE ROOM — Master-suite sitting area with its scenic vistas

HIS FAVORITE ROOMS — Their son's game room, with its theater-style seats, and the summer kitchen with its panoramic views

HOUSEBUILDING TIP — "The quicker you can get a builder involved in the design of your home, the better. Also talk to previous clients and see if they still have a good relationship with him."

WHY FRONTGATE? — "We love the quality of the merchandise and the speed and ease of ordering. It's a good company to deal with, very customer oriented and friendly." — Bud Jones

Dining Room


Main Staircase

Living Room

Bud Jones
Prescott, AZ

Interior Designer
Charles Glover

Custom-Made Furniture
Robb & Stuckey
Scottsdale, AZ

Exterior Stone
Dunbar Stone
Prescott, AZ

Interior Granite
Arizona Tile
Prescott, AZ
928-776-1070 or 928-778-4067

Prescott, Arizona — Bud Jones knows just about everything there is to know about building a house. "I was in the construction business all my life," he says. But when he and Robin moved from California to Arizona in 1998 to open a couple of art galleries, he left all that behind — or so he thought.

Wanting to start fresh with a new house for themselves, Bud and Robin purchased a hillside lot in a private golf-course community just outside Prescott. Other potential buyers had passed it by, concerned that the steep-sloping property was virtually unbuildable.

"People just couldn't figure out how to put a house on it," Bud explains. But where others saw headaches, he saw opportunity.

"We walked the property and realized the view that was attainable: all the way to Flagstaff 120 miles in the distance and even the North Rim of the Grand Canyon another 40 miles beyond."

He and Robin set to work sketching a home that played to the lot's strengths, a three-story house that stepped up the hill. "My wife and I designed it, a draftsman drew it out, and an engineer did the structural calculations," he says. "Country French: that's the flavor we wanted. Our inspiration was a Thomas Kinkade painting, Gardens Beyond Spring Gate. Though the house looks nothing like the painting, that was the feel we were after."

Trouble was, Bud couldn't find a builder qualified to take on the job. There was only one thing to do: get his general contractor's license for the state of Arizona, sell the galleries, and go back into business.

"My company built this house," he says. "Fortunately, in the 18 months of planning and engineering and fiddling around, I started learning all the good sub-contractors. My project manager is a Prescott native, and he knew all the subs."

The open-air fireplace built into the covered, natural-stone terrace makes it an inviting retreat. Shop Outdoor Living.

The steepness of the lot did indeed present certain challenges, though the breathtaking views of Thumb Butte, of Prescott Valley and the Grand Canyon, made all the effort worthwhile. Excavation alone lasted a good three months, but in the end, the house appeared to be sitting on a perfectly flat, level lot.

"We hauled out 3,000 yards of granite," says Bud. "We temporarily buried most of the boulders beneath the driveway to keep them from being damaged during construction, then dug them back out later when we were ready to landscape."

By surgically placing the house on the lot, they saved all the trees — pinyon pines, ponderosa pines, and aspen — and left the natural landscape as undisturbed as possible. "We dug the footing and foundation around the vegetation and saved the rock outcropping. The house looks like it's been here forever."


Bud pulled out all the stops when it came to building their home. Integrated into the design were the best features of every house he'd built. Drawing on a vast storehouse of possibilities, he'd ask himself and Robin, "How about this? How about that? I was like a kid in a candy store," he says. "In a way, the house is like a big toy. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun."

Determined to capitalize on the beauty of the surrounding countryside, he installed 26-foot stacked windows in the family room, 18-foot windows in the formal parlor, hexagonal windows in the master bath and main-floor bath that frame Thumb Butte just perfectly, and butt-glass windows in the kitchen and master suite.

Butt-glass windows? "They go in the corner of a room," Bud explains. Two pieces of glass are joined by a corner seam so there are no posts or walls to obstruct visibility. "What we did in this house was bring the outside in. All the windows make you feel like you're outside."

"In a way, the house is like a big toy. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun."

Smart-house technology gives Bud and Robin the capability to see the house real-time from a computer terminal, monitor certain areas of the house via closed-circuit surveillance, activate the furnace via cell phone, or switch on the lights and radio using the garage-door opener.

He and Robin also pulled in colors from Mother Nature's palette, "the great reds and rusts," and used seven different kinds of granite to further the sense of naturalness. Three of them are on display in the kitchen: rosa verona on the range hood, verde fire granite on the island countertop, and verde butterfly on the remaining counters.

The public areas — living room, dining room, bar, two-story library, and powder room — were located on the first floor of the west wing.

The foyer, with its walnut-and-marble floors, wallpapered walls, and carved Italian marble fireplace, sets the tone for these more formal areas. An elliptical staircase leads to the four guest rooms and master suite on the second floor.


A wood-paneled elevator serves all three floors, connecting the garage with the main floor and master suite, the only room occupying the third floor. "If you have groceries, it would be tough to walk up and down the stairs," says Bud. "And elderly people can get around more easily."

The first floor houses a three-car garage, workshop, storage area, gymnasium, Bud's office, and their son's game room.

On the main floor, arching double front doors lead from the stone-paved steps and terrace into the foyer. "The ceiling is 24-feet high, and it's a perfect dome," says Bud. "When you stand on the center of the inlaid granite medallion in the middle of the floor and say something, it echoes back to you perfectly like a parabolic dish."

The faux-painted ceiling medallion encircling the chandelier repeats the pattern of the floor medallion, and the dome itself is faux-painted to resemble the quartzite stone laid in an Ashler pattern on the home's exterior. Each wrought-iron balustrade of the curving staircase was faux-painted in gold "to get that Tuscan-French country look and feel," and the handrail itself was bent into shape onsite.

The kitchen is equipped with professional-grade appliances to support Robin's gourmet cooking abilities. At holiday time, the 48" double oven allows for baking a turkey and a couple of pies simultaneously.

Two dish drawers and a standard dishwasher handle clean-up chores, and two refrigerated drawers store vegetables and beverages, clearing up space in the 36" refrigerator and freezer. The main sink has instant 190°-hot water and instant chilled water, all purified by reverse osmosis filtration, and the island's two vegetable sinks allow guests to pitch in and help without getting in the way.

The master bedroom boasts a fireplace, walk-in closet with built-in cabinetry, and mini fridge
for midnight snacks. Shop Bed & Bath.

Both kitchen and dining room have warming drawers, there's a wine captain and icemaker in the butler's pantry, and a special pasta-pot spigot over the range enables Robin to fill a pot with water without lugging it over from the sink.

The kitchen, family room, and dining room feel like one large room thanks to a pass-through cabinet counter connecting kitchen and family room. "People can see one another when we entertain," says Bud. "No one is segregated — they all feel a part of the conversation." All the same, guests still tend to congregate in the kitchen. "That's why it's that size, and that's why the island is 88 square feet. We take away the bar stools, and there's room for 20, 30, 40 people in the kitchen and family room, and they don't have to stand elbow to elbow."

The tray ceiling in the dining room is faux-painted with the same design as the foyer dome. For that matter, all the walls in the home are faux-painted in one manner or another, the work of specialty painters employed by Bud and Robin's interior designer.

(Robin had seen an ad for an open house in Scottsdale that was to be a charity fundraiser, driven down to gather ideas for her own house, and admired the interior so much that she picked up the decorator's card and then hired him.)

"...the (kitchen) island is 88 square feet. We take away the bar stools, and there's room for 20, 30, 40 people in the kitchen and family room..."

An archway with barrel ceiling leads to the mini-suite occupied by Bud and Robin's son. He has his own private balcony, walk-in closet, Jacuzzi, and walk-in snail shower with stone bench, body sprays, and thermostatically-controlled, ceiling-mount rainshower head.

A bridge leading to the third-floor master suite underscores the seclusion these rooms provide. The sleeping quarter's butt-glass corner window overlooks the golf course, and just around the corner the sitting area runs the full depth of the house, offering panoramic views in three directions. Furnished with two small loveseats that rock and swivel, it's a cozy nook, "very peaceful and serene," where Robin enjoys settling down with a good book.

The sitting area opens onto a private deck with two-person Jacuzzi where she and Bud can relax with a glass of wine, drinking in the views of Flagstaff. There's a second Jacuzzi in the bath, as well as a granite-topped dressing table and sink vanities.

The shower is walled in glass on three sides and sports his-and-her height-appropriate shower heads with body sprays, also thermostatically-controlled. In the 12-foot square closet, clothing is protected behind glass doors and within built-in dressers, and a mini refrigerator chills a stash of midnight snacks.

Inspired by a Thomas Kinkade painting, Bud and Robin strove for a "Country French" flavor for their three-story, stucco-and-stone hillside home. Shop our Gift Guide.

The guest house has an altogether different atmosphere than the main house. Rough-sawn cabinetry and Douglas-fir ceiling are far more rustic and, in Bud's words, "more Wild West."

Guests find a full kitchen, washer and dryer, living room, bedroom, elevator, and full bath at their disposal, as well as an outdoor balcony looking onto scenic vistas. The building also houses a second three-bay garage.


Life at home is simple and uncomplicated. Robin enjoys reading and cooking, while Bud entertains himself on the computer and in his son's game room, watching sporting events with his son and his friends.

The two of them entertain quite a bit, inviting friends over for supper and staging more formal dinners during the holidays. Three seasons out of four, they and their guests gather outdoors, their base of operations a summer kitchen located over the garage. And even during a winter snowfall, built-in ceiling heaters keep Bud toasty warm so he can fire up the grill year round.

Though he and Robin are quite content here, they haven't ruled out the possibility of moving on someday. Building is in Bud's bones.

He has some parting advice for those considering the possibility of building a home of their own. "Choose a builder who fits your personality because you're going to be married to him for a year or longer. Also talk to previous clients and see what their relationship is now. The quicker you can get a builder involved in the design of your home, the better off you're going to be. He's the one who has to take the lines off the paper and make it your house. You need to have a team affair between yourself, the architect, and the builder — and the quicker, the better."

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