A West Valley couple embraces Halloween, pulling out all of the stops to decorate both inside and out.
It takes Brian and Shannon Warner a month to decorate their Peoria home for October.
“It is our favorite time of the year,” Shannon Warner said. “Brian is a Hallows Eve baby, and our twins were born on the 13th.”
Halloween is not a traditional celebration in Holland, her home country, but she was hooked a year after arriving in the U.S. as a child, when she dressed as the free-spirited Pippi Longstocking character.
“It’s the one day a year you can be anyone or anything you want,” she said. “We are huge Halloween people. The lights, the celebration; we love it.”
Brian Warner has created life-size gravestones with catchy epitaphs using 2-inch Styrofoam, while a full-size skeleton is suspended on a swing from a mature ficus tree in their front lawn. A wooden front porch sign greets trick-or-treaters as they make their way to the front door from the contrived graveyard.
Bright lights in orange and purple spring the Warner home to life amid mature landscaping.
And the interior is full of masterful decorations during Halloween.
Spiderwebs and classy décor are resplendent throughout. Thoughtful displays celebrate the observance of Allhallowtide, also known as Samhain, a Celtic festival. It is a liturgical holiday dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed; a ritual that is rooted in Catholicism and shared by Christians worldwide.
Brian Warner, an Arizona native, has a passion for creating cool things with admirable execution. His parents’ careers in architecture and interior design ignited his desire to create furniture and gadgets likely to one day become treasured family heirlooms.
He and his wife share a talent for repurposing relics of yesteryear to a renewed purpose, linking the past to present with class and creativity.
The Warners, who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, relocated to the West Valley from Washington state a few years ago to be near their families. They narrowed their search to homes near Centennial High School so their twins could finish school with the friends they made in elementary school before moving out of state.
The light-lined streets, mature landscaping and solid construction practices on their executive semi-custom 3,100-square-foot, four-bedroom and four-bath home pulled them in right away.
“We were already familiar with the area, and this home felt so cozy, much like what we left in Washington state — a quiet neighborhood tucked in amid a busy area,” Shannon Warner said. “And to find this square footage on one floor — ideal.”
The couple immediately began updating their 22-year-old build. For starters, a porcelain kitchen sink was replaced with a Ruvati 33x22 granite composite farm sink in midnight black, along with a sleek new faucet. Plans to reface the dated oak cabinetry in their spacious kitchen utilizing Brian Warner’s precision woodworking talent are under development.
His test case was a big hit. Having removed a bank of original built-in oak cabinetry in a hallway leading to the main suite, Warner built a custom replacement featuring a baseboard and countertop of solid maple specific to the piece. Handmade leather pulls trimmed out the finesse, garnering an additional gold star rating.
Unique light fixtures throughout the home’s rustic industrial flavor were created by the couple transforming historic pieces along with Shannon Warner’s father.
The family room, the couple’s favorite space in the home, is comfortable, chic and carries two unique pieces of craftsmanship Brian Warner built specifically to the room.
A live-edge slab of wood curated from Porter Barn Wood in Phoenix was fashioned into a narrow coffee table with industrial metal hairpin legs. It is a striking complement to the luxury vinyl plank flooring installed by the home’s original owners.
To further compliment the room, a stereo entertainment cabinet was designed to fill an opening in the built-in wall structure that was popular at the time the home was built. It is comprised of walnut with maple inlays.
“My friend lives in Missouri and cleared the trees from his property, had it milled by the Amish, dried it for a year, threw it in the back of his truck and drove it here,” Brian Warner said. “I continued the drying process to acclimate the wood for a short time longer, then built it specifically for this space.”
Having a home office was a lifesaver during the pandemic for the computer guru. It features an impressive desk, marrying the base of a 75-year-old antique drafting table with a slab of wood for the desktop. Handmade frames from hard maple and walnut woods complete the rustic industrial theme.
“We are collectors of antiques,” Shannon Warner said. “We love things that tell history. We want to be part of moving their story forward. One day, it will be our things moving history forward by someone else.”
The traditional combination of the 23-by-17-foot living room/dining room area was reconfigured to accommodate the Warners’ lifestyle: entertaining family and friends.
Accordingly, a massive dining room table overtakes the dual space, horizontally spanning the large room. A Magnussen hutch snagged for a mere $500 reigns supreme in the unexpected yet classic design. An abandoned antique stove from bygone years that was dumped in the desert decades ago and rescued by Shannon Warner’s father has been restored to its unusual beauty, creating eye candy with historic flair.
Fourteen-foot ceilings throughout the home create a light-infused, lofty atmosphere.
“Changing out batteries in the smoke detectors poised at 13.5 feet can be daunting,” Shannon Warner said, laughing.
Luxury vinyl laid in a herringbone pattern is present in one den/bedroom, as well as in Brian’s office. Carpeting and tile comprise the remaining hard surfaces throughout.
Saltillo tile defines a walkway from the street and throughout the front courtyard entry, as well as the back patio for continuity.
Exterior windows are dual-pane and tinted for energy efficiency. And A/C units on opposite sides of the home provide controlled temperatures throughout the home’s abundant square footage.