High Country Stunner
A-1 Mountain Home Shows Strength in Character and Natural Styles
By Geanne “G” Shanahan • Photographs by Jamelle Kelly
One of the Flagstaff area’s knockout forest homes is a property that is evocative of rural Minnesota. Located near the slopes of A-1 Mountain, the residence captures the feel and aesthetic of a Midwestern barn and adapts Arts and Crafts and traditional Scandinavian styles. The drive to the property alone is a scenic one, reminiscent of a Robert Frost poem. There are winding roads, valleys and dramatic shadows cast from the canopy of pines that saturate the landscape. There is a quiet that resonates and a profound stillness. It is there, in the hillside, seemingly cut into the rolling of the land, that the home announces itself.
Designed by Christopher Alexander and built by Deb Fisher of Ridge Top Construction, the home carries a strong character—built with elements of wood, stone, concrete and metal. It brings a palpable and inviting warmth to the interior. Sitting on 10 acres that border forest service land, this home evokes the beauty and simplicity of nature. The homeowners discovered this parcel of land while on a weekend bike ride.
Picnics at the location soon turned into hours spent conjuring up wistful ideas for what their future home would offer. They agreed that the home needed to be highly functional and inviting, a home that would duplicate the environment of their youth and would invite the beauty of the outdoors, inside. Upon ascension of the malapai rock and paver steps that lead up to the home, is a large outdoor fireplace that serves as a unique gathering place. There are multiple patios and a deck that offer the opportunity to observe wildlife, allow for privacy and are utilized daily by the family.
Time spent addressing details and functionality resulted in features such as a cupola in their son’s bedroom that affords light to filter in and illuminate the private loft space which are flanked by two sets of built in bunk beds. The interior of the home has traditional touches, such as hexagon flooring in the master bath circa 1900s, vintage stained glass windows from England and oak and alder trim and woodwork throughout.
As the family grew, so did the home. An addition was masterfully completed on the lower level in 2009 that extended the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home 3,000 square feet. This home is a destination property not just for the location, but for the senses; as it transcends time with its mood and grasp of yesteryear.