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Home Highlights

Owners: Patrick Secord

Home Site: Tucson, Arizona

Built: 18 months of construction completed in Fall 2005

Setting: Sabino Estates at Sabino Springs, a master-planned community nestled on 430 acres of natural desert at the base of the Catalina Mountain foothills. The Arizona National Golf Course is located within the community.

Living Space: 3,000 square feet indoors and 1,500 square feet of entertaining space under roof outdoors

Style: Southwestern Contemporary


Architect: Kevin Howard of KBH Design, Tucson, AZ

Interior Designer :Donna Rice, Alta Forma, AZ

Pool: Patio Pool & Spa, Tucson, AZ

An avid jogger and golfer, Pat Secord had been running on the desert road near the Arizona National Golf Course for years, and recognized the land as the property of his dreams. But the area wasn't under development, even though a road had been built up the Catalina Mountain in 2000.

He'd even sketched drawings for his dream home in the desert while residing in the city of Tucson. "Then one day as I was out for my run on the road above the golf course, I met two people walking around the area. It turned out they were developers getting ready to build houses there. So I showed them the lot I'd had my eye on, and mentioned to them that I had my house already drawn," says Secord.

Making the most of a Natural Setting

With an elevation of 2,940 feet, the property overlooks the whole city and sits just above a fairway of the Arizona National Golf Course. Within months, the property he coveted was his, and he began working side-by-side with architect Kevin Howard of KBH Design. His home took shape—not exactly the shape he'd sketched, but many of Secord's original ideas remained.

"What evolved was more or less a custom home. What I'd sketched was the kind of home I wanted to live in, with an open living area. Kevin oriented the home so that every room has an amazing view," Secord says. "The house I'd drawn was basically a lot of squares. Kevin added the curving, covered outdoor area and its dramatic pillars." The graceful curves in the back of the home serve to soften the lines, offering a contrast to the right angles of the rest of the home.


What most distinguishes Patrick Secord’s home is the stonework found throughout, including the walkway, the entryway pillar, and the massive pillars outside. To create equally striking all-weather areas, shop our Outdoor Furniture.

But for Secord, what most distinguishes his home is the stonework found throughout: in the walkway, in the entryway pillar that extends into the foyer, in the great room's majestic stone fireplace, and in the massive pillars and curving wall along the back. These aren't just random stones, shipped in from somewhere unknown. These native stones were unearthed while digging the home's foundation; all are part of the bedrock from the foothills of the Catalina Mountains that surround the Sabino Springs community.

"There was so much stone from digging up my lot that we decided to incorporate it into the home. It makes the entire structure look much more a part of the desert, Secord says." The workmanship took almost a year, and Secord says the dramatic effect is worth every minute. Secord's decision to integrate native stone into the home's design was also part of the larger environmental attitude of the community.

An Unspoiled Desert Oasis

The entire Sabino Springs development was designed with an emphasis on natural desert preservation and animal protection. The surrounding area is famous for its immense population of towering saguaro cactus, which can live up to 200 years and grow to be 40' tall. Prickly pear cacti, spiny ocotillo, and many other species span as far as the eye can see. As a result, almost half of Sabino Springs’ 430 acres is designated to remain undeveloped, making this community a unique blend of civilized comfort and untouched wilderness. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to build on one-acre to four-acre lots, and each home's footprint is limited to a maximum of 9,200 square feet. "The rest of the land must remain undisturbed," explains Secord, "so that the homes blend into the environment." Most of the landscaping around Secord's home is untouched desert, all extremely low maintenance. "About the only thing I need to take care of are two or three flower beds, which I maintain rather poorly, " he laughs. As Secord puts it, "Outside and in, there's nothing gaudy here."

Living Room

With help from an architect and interior designer, Secord’s home estate boasts an open and flowing sequence of interior rooms accompanied by stunning fixtures. Browse our Media Furnishings to update your own interior rooms.

That's an understatement. Muted and masculine is the description that best describes the home's interior. At 3,000 square feet, everything flows together, and each room is well suited to a bachelor's lifestyle. A well-appointed 40' x 26' Grand Room features 20-foot windows with sliding doors that Secord says erase all boundaries between indoors and out. “The feeling is complete indoor/outdoor living," he says. The ever-changing desert, Tucson city skyline and mountains beyond afford magnificent views day and night. The Grand Room opens to Secord's office, his master suite, and a guest suite. Helping blur the lines between inside and out, large windows and doorways in the high-end kitchen, curving dining room, guest room, and Grand Room all open to the great outdoors.

Inside, Teamwork Shines Through

Secord speaks of a true collaboration that resulted in his home's finish and furnishings. "I worked closely with both my architect and my interior designer. Everyone got into the project," says Secord. The result is an open and flowing sequence of interior rooms, bordered in back by airy outdoor living space, accompanied by spare but stunning furnishings.

Among the mix of ideas architect Kevin Howard brought to the design was the introduction of varied ceiling heights that add subtle asymmetry to the house. The Grand Room's ceiling soars to 14-feet high, while ceilings in the office, kitchen and master bedroom suite run 12' high. Below the ceilings, floors are tiled in travertine stone. The liberal use of warm woods also pervades the rooms—for example, doors are made of solid knotty alder wood. In the kitchen, custom-made cherry wood cabinets extend ceiling high, and a spacious, granite-topped center island is also cherry wood. Continuing the emphasis on clean, contemporary lines, Secord boasts, "No electric outlets break up the kitchen walls—they're all hidden away." Mere steps from the kitchen area, a semi-circular informal dining space is surrounded by windows that overlook the pool and the Tucson skyline in the distance.