The Scottsdale home of Joseph and Lynne Reaves is pretty far removed from the far-flung locales they’ve lived previously as working international journalists. And, tucked into Troon, nestled up against the mountains and not far from Tom’s Thumb trailhead, it feels pretty far removed from the city altogether.
It is a neighborhood where, while walking their dogs (Harry and Caray, named after the famous Chicago Cubs broadcaster), the Reaveses may come across a pack of coyotes, a group of javelina or hear of a mountain lion sighting.
“We definitely get the critters,” Lynne said of the wildlife in the area, while giving thanks for the wall that encloses their yard and keeps the wildlife from wandering up to their front door.
It is also a neighborhood that is even more appreciated as you drive away from it, navigating rolling streets that sit above layers of mountains in the distance, some iconic, others picturesque. Perched in the high desert, among cactus and foothills, the landscape is unlike anywhere else they’ve lived.
“We just fell in love with Arizona,” Joseph said, referring to the four years he spent traveling to the state as a Chicago Cubs beat reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
The two settled in Arizona about 20 years ago, after living and working in England, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Poland, Italy and the Philippines.
And they brought pieces of their globe-trotting travels with them, placing them throughout the four-bedroom, 3½ bath ranch that includes a renovated, customized office for Joseph, a published author.
The artifacts around the house, most heavily influenced by their time in China, range from sculptures and carvings to wall hangings and window panes reinvented as mirrors or standalone pieces.
It helped, when exporting the works, that they had a friend who did restoration work in Shenzen, China.
“We’ve mixed a lot of Chinese stuff with Western stuff and it kind of works,” Lynne said. “We just really liked the big, open plan of the house. We knew we liked this style, this kind of adobe, Sante Fe style.”
When they say “open,” they mean it.
The view from the family room overlooks the home’s only yard, which is positioned in the front to take advantage of the surrounding mountains. A two-paneled glass door fully retracts, leading to the pool and patio in front and creating an indoor-outdoor setting.
The Reaveses like to entertain, so it’s nice for guests who attend their annual Kentucky Derby party, or those who attended Lynne’s recent birthday celebration, to meander in and out, all the while seeing and hearing the pool.
“It’s a great party. People really enjoy the view,” Lynne said of the derby celebration, which gathers friends in their fanciest hats.
And, a pool out front isn’t all that odd for the Reaveses, even though it doesn’t exactly fit conventional design.
“When we lived in the Philippines, we had a pool in the front yard,” Lynne said.
After renovating the yard to rid it of cactus and make it dog-friendlier, the Reaveses renovated a backroom that is accessed off the garage and served as a previous owner's dance and exercise studio.
“There were mirrors all around and bars on the walls,” Joseph said of the room that has been transformed into his office. It is trimmed at the ceiling with bobbleheads, paying homage to his time as a Cubs reporter.
Lynne also uses one of the rooms as an office, although after recently retiring, she is still finding its purpose.
Beyond the spacious master suite, the home has a guest suite and a room reserved for the Reaveses’ two granddaughters.
The front of the house, though, is where the Reaveses and their guests spend most of their time. An open, island kitchen is equipped with a peek-through bar area and is offset by a breakfast nook tucked behind three curved windows offering a view of the pool.
“Everybody hangs out right here,” Lynne said of the island in the kitchen, a universal theme for most house parties.
A side door off the nook leads to a built-in grill area on the front patio, which winds itself along the exterior contour of the home and offers a series of seating areas.
A favorite of one of their granddaughters is the area right in front of the family room. She loves that from that spot she can see a funny rock formation in the distance, with a large vertical split, that reminds her of somebody’s rear end.
The Reaveses both thought the observation was so cute they named that portion of the patio after that distant crack.
Joseph Reaves was an investigative and sports reporter at The Arizona Republic from 2001 to 2007.
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