ASSEMBLING A TEAM
Moreover, the two of them wanted their second home here in Big Horn to be “a little different” than other homes in the community, something more along the lines of a Tuscan villa. On the strength of developer/designer Mike Fedderly’s recommendation, they brought in James Hann from Phoenix, an architect noted for his originality.
(Although one of their sons-in-law is an Italian-born architect who builds Tuscan homes, Dennis and Jeanette decided against doing business with him. “It’s easier to tell a non-family member you want to change something. Besides, his heavy workload would have made it difficult for him to participate.”)
Dennis maintains that the key to success is a good architect, and he was impressed with Hann’s competence. In researching their own wants and needs, Dennis and Jeanette toured several of the architect’s homes. “We’d tell him, ‘We like this, but we don’t like that.'” Hann designed the house to suit the site and the Frandsens’ preferences, then built a model of the house so they could see how it would look situated on the lot. “It came very close to what we wanted,” says Dennis.
Ministrelli Homes was contracted to handle the building, while Fedderly served as both developer and designer for the project. “We settled on a desert palette,” says Fedderly.
“The colors are very livable. And with the grandchildren so active, we chose tile, granite, and other materials that could stand up to everyday use.”
But it was Dennis who bought most of the artwork — “with Jeanette’s approval, of course.” Exposed-beam ceilings, leather accents, and neutral backgrounds give precedence to the colorful Western-themed paintings and sculptures.
Dennis credits the builder, architect, and designer (and the good communication between them) with most of the creative ideas incorporated into the final plans. To this day, he emphasizes the importance of getting “the builder, architect, and designer right up front.”
Along with his son Lance, Fedderly also took on the task of landscaping the property. Both father and son were well-accustomed to working with the native plants required by Big Horn’s architectural review committee. “All the plants had to be brought in,” says Dennis. “A grounds crew looks after them year round.”
All in all, building was a good experience, and the Frandsens were immensely satisfied with the outcome. “Our home is beautiful,” they say.