The Ranch Mine: 2015 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design

Becky Bartkowski
Meet Cavin and Claire Costello, the creative duo behind The Ranch Mine.

You submitted nominations for the best and brightest emerging Valley creatives, and the results are in. Presenting the 2015 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the announcement of winners at Artopia on May 9, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will introduce the finalists. Up today is The Ranch Mine.

Behind a tall block wall just east of Seventh Avenue in Central Phoenix stands an architectural oddity. Among Yaple Park historic district's many ranch homes, this modern Rich Fairborn two-story house encased in curving redwood paneling and massive north-facing windows is getting a much-needed makeover.

That's thanks to Cavin and Claire Costello of the Ranch Mine, a design company that specializes in restoring and designing homes in historic and mid-century neighborhoods. On this warm March afternoon, the couple, 29 and 28 respectively, is seated at a table outside the home's kitchen, windows at their back. Dressed casually in button-down shirts and jeans, they're thinking back on when this project started a year ago.

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Phoenix Urban Design Week 2015: Your Guide to This Year's Events

Courtesy of
Phoenix Urban Design Week 2015 is coming and will make you fall in love with Phoenix even more.
Building an entire city would be pretty rad. The one million people who bought the latest city-building video game, Cities: Skylines, in the past month probably agree. If only constructing a perfect metropolis in real life were as simple as a few mouse clicks. Of course, that's not the case. But the time and effort that go into creating a city like Phoenix give it history, community, and culture. And that's pretty rad, too.

Starting April 18, Phoenix Urban Design Week 2015 is going to amp up the love for the Valley by delving into what makes Phoenix the city it is -- and how it could change for the better.

With a full week of events ranging from tours of historic buildings to an ├╝ber-competitive Pinewood derby, it may be hard to decide what events you don't want to miss. Lucky for you, we've laid them all out in our guide to PUDW 2015.

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Inside John and Liz Tavarez's Gothic Glam Home in Phoenix

Katie Johnson
The Tavarez family has made their home in the historic Fairview neighborhood.
If Tim Burton and Betsey Johnson were to build a life together in downtown Phoenix, it likely would look something like John and Liz Tavarez's 1926 Sears Craftsman home.

Located in the Fairview neighborhood just east of the Arizona State Fairgrounds, the historic abode is best described as gothic glam -- complete with macabre knickknacks, gold accents, and more skulls than you can shake a femur at.

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Modern Phoenix Week 2015: Your Guide to This Year's Events

Evie Carpenter
Get excited for all things midcentury modern during Modern Phoenix Week April 10-19.
Midcentury Modern masters and mavens, we don't have to remind you what's happening April 10 through 19 in Phoenix. For everyone else, we'll give you a hand: It's Modern Phoenix Week.

With 26 speakers and seven event locations, the weeklong architecture and design bonanza is going to be something every Haver lover and Wright fan won't want to miss.

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Lindsay Kinkade on the State of the Arts in Metro Phoenix

Design RePublic
Lindsay Kinkade weighs in on the state of the arts in metro Phoenix.
When Jackalope Ranch issued a 10-question survey asking Phoenicians (and anyone with an opinion of Phoenix) to sound of on the state of the arts in the Valley of the Sun, dozens provided insights on what's happening in the city's creative realm. We'll present a selection of survey responses here over the next three weeks. Up today is Lindsay Kinkade of Design RePublic.

What are three words that describe the arts in Arizona?
grassroots, growing, participatory

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10 Most Expensive Houses for Sale in Metro Phoenix Right Now

The early '90s called. They want their mansion back.

Home, sweet home?

Talk about an understatement. Metro Phoenix is home to plenty of over-the-top abodes that go well beyond putting a roof over your head. Offering everything from Olympic-size swimming pools and tricked out home theaters to wine caves and tennis courts, here are 10 houses for those who can truly afford to have it all.

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Roosevelt Row: The Fight to Keep Downtown Phoenix "Authentic" Is a Fight to Let It Become Something It's Never Been

Ben Voldman
Jimbo Reid is pissed off.

He's mad that there aren't any "cute chicks" today in Jobot, a coffee shop in an old house on Fifth Street. He's angry that the guy he's talking to on Jobot's cracked front porch keeps asking him about gentrification. He's fuming because the latte he ordered didn't come topped with a cute drawing made out of steamed milk, "like they always used to do at this fucking place."

Mostly, though, Reid is angry because the downtown Phoenix he knows and loves is, he says, about to go away.

"Come back here in five years," Reid barks, waving a heavily tattooed arm out at Fifth Street, "and I'll be sitting here at a Starbuck's, and she--" and here he jabs a tattooed thumb at a young woman with fuchsia hair wearing mismatched leggings and what looks to be a bustier, "will be some tight-ass lawyer on her way to an office."

He offers this last word as a vulgarity. Reid does not like offices. He doesn't like national chains. And he really hates that "the suits," as he calls them, are about to bulldoze the thing about Phoenix he loves the most: Roosevelt Row, the hip, scruffy arts district that has helped transform downtown Phoenix from a bombed-out also-ran feared by suburbanites to a destination for many of those same suburbanites -- and in a relatively short time, too.

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Alison King and Rachel Simmons to Host Designing for Historic Spaces Workshop in Phoenix

Katie Johnson
These people knew what they were doing. Do you?
Phoenix is an absolute goldmine for anyone in search of some swanky old-school architecture. However, it's one thing to own an old home, and it's a whole other thing to know how to take care of it. We've seen our fair share of historic homes gone wrong, which is why we're more than a little excited to announce that Modern Phoenix's Alison King has teamed with interior designer Rachel Simmons to host an all-day intensive workshop called Designing for Historic Places.

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Friends of Mexican Art to Host Home Tour in Phoenix February 22

Image courtesy Friends of Mexican Art
Get ready for some interior design envy.

Mi casa es su casa, Phoenix.

At least that's how participants in the Friends of Mexican Art (FOMA) Home Tour and Mexican Mercado feel. The organization, which aims to promote Latin American art in Arizona, has recruited four Valley homes for its annual self-guided tour and fundraiser set to happen Sunday, February 22. Guests of the tour will be able to explore private residences that showcase worldly art and design as well as purchase pieces for themselves from art dealers at the Mexican Mercado.

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Modern Phoenix Home Tour 2015 Tickets on Sale February 1

Becky Bartkowski
Several Al Beadle homes were featured on the 2014 tour.

Midcentury Modern aficionados, go ahead and schedule a reminder for noon on Sunday, February 1.

That's when tickets to the 2015 edition of the Modern Phoenix Home Tour go on sale. In recent years, the tour has highlighted mostly residential architecture from big names including Ralph Haver and Paolo Soleri in such neighborhoods and areas as Arcadia, Phoenix's west side, and Sunnyslope. Now in its 11th year, the tour will put the spotlight on mid-century dwellings in Southern Scottsdale.

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