Urban-Infill Home With Innovative Details

Cavin and Claire Costello of The Ranch Mine make creative use of space and common materials in this urban-infill modern home in Phoenix, Ariz.

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Urban-Infill Project On a Tight Budget

This home began as an urban-infill project on a tiny vacant lot in a historic neighborhood. The challenge was to create a home that both fit in among the neighboring homes built in the 1930s and 1940s while still looking like a home created for current times -- all on a tight budget.

Expanding the Living Space Outdoors

Both the front wall and back wall of the living area fully retract to open the space up into the front and back yards. The home's concrete slab foundation doubles as the interior flooring.

Energy Innovation

The orientation of the home and the roof overhang keep the light from hitting the glass until the winter months, at which time the sun reaches the concrete floor and warms it, saving the homeowners on energy costs.

Minimizing Work and Waste

The kitchen island is sized to fit the slab of quartz that was selected as the kitchen countertop in order to minimize any effort needed to cut the slab down and limit waste.

Semi-Custom Cabinetry Design

Cavin and Claire selected Ikea cabinetry for the kitchen to help keep cost down but configured it in such a way to make the room feel custom. A back-painted glass backsplash adds a finished touch to the space.

Setting the Tone With Cabinetry and Tile

Ikea cabinetry is stacked and floated above the floor for a custom look in the master bathroom. The Costellos selected a palm-leaf shaped tile and alternated the two available tile colors, adding color and movement.

Custom Bathroom Detail

The same type of quartz used in the kitchen also appears as the bathroom countertop. The Costellos created a reveal edge lined with walnut tape for an additional custom touch.

Minimalistic Design

The bathroom floor slopes toward a center drain, eliminating the need for a shower enclosure. The far wall includes a recessed space along the palm tile detail, providing a spot to store shampoo and soap.

Beautifully Detailed Wood Sliding Barn Door in Modern Hallway

Inspired by the design of the palm-shaped tile in the master bathroom, Cavin and Claire created a sliding door made of reclaimed wood with a similar pattern. The door conceals the private living areas from the home's social living space.

The Link Between Social and Private

The open kitchen creates the link between the home's social living spaces and private quarters. The large island provides plenty of room for entertaining guests, while the bedrooms are tucked away down a hallway in the L-shaped home.

Light and Bright Kitchen

Though the kitchen does not enjoy the same expansive windows as the adjacent living space, the clean white walls help reflect the light in a gentle way that makes the space come alive at night.

Easy Flowing Open Space

The open kitchen flows easily into the adjacent living space, though the living room is specifically designed by its taller ceiling.

LED Lighting Strips

LED light strips are placed on track mounts in between the walnut plywood boards that clad the ceiling. The result is a diffused glow which illuminates the entire space without feeling overly harsh.

Indoor-Outdoor Living

"We didn’t have much space with the lot, and we wanted outdoor living space. So what if the entire living space could become an outdoor room," Cavin Costello says. "It makes a small space possible for very large entertaining. We had an open house, and we easily had over 200 people here."

Textured Concrete Fire Pit

The fire pit in the backyard is made from the same concrete textured by raw wood as the half-wall in the front of the house, creating a continuity in the design.

Honoring the Design of the Neighborhood

The simple L-shape layout of the home was informed by size, scale and floorplans of the neighboring houses. The home design had to fit into the 1930s and '40s-era neighborhood while still reflecting the time in which it was built.

Cost-Effective Home Construction

The 2,000-square-foot home was built at a cost of $138 a square foot thanks to the simple building materials used in thoughtful ways. The Ranch Mine's efforts earned them a Future of Architecture Residential Design Contest and Showcase Award for Innovation, given by The American Institute of Architects and Houzz.