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We’re as nosy as the next person about the insides of people’s homes. That’s why we bring you a great property pick each issue. This month we visit with Paula and Clif Taylor. Story and photos by Rachel Miller.
One step inside Paula and Clif Taylor’s Tucson home and it is clear this is a place where people gather to laugh, to hatch grand plans, and to realize dreams. It is at once comfortable and dynamic – not an easy pairing to achieve.
A mix of emerging local and international artists’ work adorn the walls; mannequins stand ready to act as backdrop to a reading or performance; and the flow of the home and of the fixtures and furniture invites relaxation. Paula, a fashion events producer, educator, stylist and author – also one of the directors of Tucson Fashion Week – has, along with artist husband Clif, created an environment ready to coax the shyest poet into reciting their latest work, or to host a boisterous family gathering.
This Catalina Foothills home has white and light pink walls in the living and dining room that dazzle. If those walls weren’t so thick you’d imagine the Pacific beyond the French doors. But there is a distinct Mediterranean feel. You might just open those doors and look out on cliffs and sea. Instead, beyond those doors it’s a cool pool and stunning mountain views.
Describe your style: “Our style started out as more mid-century, but we have personally evolved. We see our home as a place to curate art, whether it is a piece that Clif builds, or a piece we find, or a major designer piece. Era is not as important as placement and feel. How it works within the construct of the house and it’s environment. We have pieces from the 50’s and the 80’s. It still works if it’s in the right place.”
Clif: “I like the old art nouveau, disco deco, Peter Max posters. “Paula: “If it was just me it would be just one Barcelona chair in the room, but the two of us, we’re combining our two styles. Clif is a collector, I’m very much about clean lines. We collaborate.”
Your fave thing about your home: Paula: “All the memories we have in this house. We’ve lived here for 11 years. We love the wall space to curate art pieces for fun parties we have. We love having our friends and families over. The living room is my favorite room in the house. This is the one room that is done and finished. ”
Biggest splurge: “The restaurant-sized kitchen faucet. I’d just redone the kitchen. It’s ridiculously priced, but we love it.”
Best bargain: “The two chandeliers in the kitchen and the living room were great bargains. We kept going back to Palm Springs and they weren’t selling and finally we got them and packed them back to Tucson.”
My DIY Moment: “We did the tile panel in the kitchen together. That was fun.”
Favorite Resources: Paula: “My husband. We love to go hunting in salvage yards, and thrift shops, mostly out-of-town. I’ll find an idea that I like and I’ll ask Clif to make it. Ten times out of ten he can create it and he’ll make it better.”
Tucson treasures: “Friends who are artists have given us art as gifts: Olivier Mosset, Erik Kroll, Scott Benzell, Steve Parrino. Many thrift stores in Tucson have funky items we have fallen in love with too.”
Take-away lesson: Be brave. Your tastes don’t need to be static. Evolve and be courageous enough to experiment with feel and placement without being rigid to an era. The 1980’s chandelier in the foyer with its tinted glass is something many of us might walk away from if we saw it uninstalled outside this environment, but in Paula and Clif’s entrance-way it is nothing short of magnificent.
Are you digging these digs?
Get the look locally:
- At the heart of Paula and Clif’s home is a passion for art. Whether they are major or minor players, these artists’ work is sometimes personal, often provocative, and not always displayed how you would imagine. (Check out the slideshow image of Clif with model Kate Moss in a dune buggy, unframed.) Find what you love at galleries, in thrift stores (the David Hamilton photos from the 1980s were a find). Check out local up-and-coming artists. Find something that captures your heart and invest in the art.
- Gerson’s Building Materials is a favorite for Clif and Paula. Follow their lead and use salvaged pieces to create pieces. The narrow bar that Clif created makes use of reclaimed materials.
- Copenhagen carries chairs that are reminiscent of the Barcelona chairs Paula has here.
And try these lookalikes we found (contains Amazon Affiliates):
From left to right: Barcelona Style Modern Pavilion Chair, $628 from Leisure Mod on Amazon; Modway Criss Cross Oval Glass Top Coffee Table, $176.99 from Hayneedle.com; Female half torso Mannequin, $18 from Amazon
* 3 Story Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com