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Featured Categories

Outdoor Décor & Accessories

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Our assortment of Outdoor Decor includes a variety of all-weather art and sculptural accents designed to flourish in open-air settings.

Pool & Spa

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The Ragels are loyal fans of Frontgate's unsinkable and ultra-comfortable pool floats, available in our expansive Pool & Spa collection.

Home Care & Storage

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Discover inspired Home Care & Storage solutions at Frontgate, including practical ways to organize your garden tools and pool care necessities.

Outdoor Furniture

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Visitors can relax outdoors on teak chairs or these supremely comfortable Bain de Soleil chaise lounges. See more inviting Outdoor Furniture, such as seating and dining sets, cushions, and pillows.


After moving in and living in the home a few months, the Ragels began experiencing another joyful benefit: reduced energy costs. It was Lathrem’s numerous energy-saving insulation and construction techniques and the 18 SEER dual-speed HVAC system—the most technologically advanced model available at the time—that worked together beautifully. The Ragels take pride in the 2002 United States EPA Energy Star® award they received from the city of Tucson for building Southern Arizona's Most Energy-Efficient Custom Home.

Building the home's three stone fireplaces on a common foundation also reduced material waste and simplified construction. The triangle of fireplaces – one in the master bedroom, one in the living room, and one on the outdoor patio near the private spa—are formed together in a central hub, separated by walls.

Master Bath

The spacious bathroom combines soothing marble and wood elements with invigorating natural light from the windows flanking the bathtub. Outfit your bathroom with Frontgate’s inspired Bed & Bath essentials.

A Pool that Dazzles

The home isn't all about practicality and function, however. A stunning three-tiered pool has become the centerpiece of the home, but its construction didn't take place until three years after they'd moved in. "I waited because I wanted a pool that was really special. Believe it or not, the design of the pool came to me in a dream, and I built a lot of it myself based on that original vision," Mark says, justifiably proud of his 18' x 40', three-level pool concept. Mark's brother Carl Ragel, a rock artist and owner of Natural Pools and Garden in Tucson, arranged the 40-foot-long boulder waterfall with rocks they’d stockpiled from Mark’s job sites. Combining contemporary and natural styles, the sleek wet deck pool is a counterpoint to the granite rock background. The three free-form pools of varying depths and the multiple waterfalls conform beautifully to the sloping backyard topography.

"The sound from the waterfalls is amazing because water is so special and rare in the desert,” says Leanne. “I love hearing the refreshing sound of the water, and I never tire of the view of the mountains and the mesquite trees beyond the pool.” Special landscaping and pool lighting provides a luminescent glow at sunset, while tropical plantings introduce splashes of green set against the gray granite border.

One of Leanne's summer evening pastimes is floating on her Frontgate pool float. "It's so big and comfortable. It feels like lying on a bed in the pool." Another preferred outdoor spot, a secret refuge poised around the corner from the pool, is the open patio leading from the master suite. With its cozy private spa and fireplace, Mark and Leanne frequently relax here on cool desert evenings.

In contrast to the quiet peacefulness of the spa is the home's busiest area: the 100-foot-long covered patio that spans the width of the home. The Ragels see to it that family and friends gather here frequently for relaxation and celebrations. "We can fit about 50 for dinner easily. It's a great buffet space because it fits long serving tables perfectly.” The Ragels entertained family and friends during their son’s 2004 wedding and their daughter’s 2008 wedding. Leanne adds, "We rarely go out for dinner anymore because it's easier and more fun to have friends gather over here." The lattice-covered barbeque area with two grills, a bistro table, and barstool seating overlooks the peaceful pool close by and the mountains in the distance.

Pool

Three free-form pools of varying depths and a 40-foot-long boulder waterfall conform beautifully to the sloping backyard topography. Browse our assortment of Pool & Spa amenities to update your own outdoor oasis.

A Collaborative Effort

At the outset of the home's design, Mark and Leanne divvied up the work so the home became an amalgam of everything they wanted. Explains Mark, "Both of us had areas that we wanted to make decisions about. Mine were the site work, plus the garage and the pool areas. Hers was primarily creating a great kitchen. She loves to cook, especially during the holidays." Adds Leanne, "I love having people keep me company around the big center island." A large plasma TV is visible from the open kitchen so Leanne, a fan of cooking shows and sports, never misses new recipe or the big game while she's preparing a meal. Maple cabinets and Corian® countertops lend warmth to the kitchen area, which is bright, airy, and commands a wonderful backyard view.

Both Mark and Leanne agreed on the concept that a living room should be all about living. Large enough for family gatherings and intimate enough for the two of them plus their cat and dog, the living room sees constant use. Furnished with a supple leather sectional sofa, recliner, and a cherry wood TV cabinet loaded with storage space, the comfortable space is warmed by a tile-surrounded fireplace. Large windows artfully provide a wide view of the tranquil pool area. "We really live in this room, and love it that way. We felt we didn't need a media room or extra family room," says Mark. "We stayed focused on practicality and energy efficiency."

Because both Mark and Leanne come from big families, building an accommodating dining room was imperative. Theirs seats 12 comfortably and is made intimate with the more than 50 family photos carefully selected by Leanne. "The photo gallery wall makes the dining room feel lively and full even when no one else is around," explains Leanne. "When family is over, there's always something to reminisce about in the photos."

Personal touches make the Ragel's house a home. Niches built into walls throughout the home contain rock sculptures they've collected together. Another case in point is the guest suite, which Leanne dubs The Jungle Room. It comes to life with treasures she's gathered from Hawaii and other tropical locales. Amid lively green walls, a 7-foot wooden giraffe, a monkey lamp, a banana tree, and a hand-painted map of Hawaii dwell side-by-side with heirloom furniture. "It's a really fun room," muses Leanne, "and since we have guests staying with us just about every month, it gets lots of use."

When they first moved in, Leanne ordered monogrammed coco doormats from Frontgate. "Since that time, they've held up beautifully to dogs and kids and dirt," she says. For her, these mats have come to symbolize the welcoming feel of their home at its busiest. And even after seven years, the Ragels still savor the peace and quiet they find in their desert oasis. "In the cool of the morning, sipping coffee by the pool, enjoying God's country…it's absolutely wonderful. We are so blessed to have this home and live here," marvels Leanne. From the nearby barn, her horses whinny as if in agreement.

 







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Interested in having your home featured in Frontgate?
Please send a few indoor/outdoor snapshots to:

Creative Director
5566 West Chester Road
West Chester, OH 45069
featuredhomes@frontgate.com

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