Designer for Hire

Home is where the balance is

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We take a peek inside the home of interior and landscape designer Kathryn Prideaux, whose house balances family life and a modern/mid-century aesthetic. Plus, tips on how to get the look. Story and photos by Rachel Miller


The carrara marble table was a steal at $275

They adorn the pages of décor magazines, those beautiful houses with sleek sophisticated lines and nary a hint of clutter, the young children or even the family that supposedly lives in them.

Dwell and the like might be the fantasy décor porn for the parents of small children whose reality is tripping over school backpacks and LEGOs, but is the simple beauty from these magazine pages realistic for most of us with children? Or maintainable?

Before admitting defeat and sacrificing the Noguchi coffee table to the rampages of toddlers or teens, consider the home of interior and landscape designer Kathryn Prideaux, husband Ryan and daughters Minda and Eva. It is not the austere, almost stark beauty of a magazine home; rather, Kathryn and Ryan have created something simple, beautiful and functional. This home is a reflection of the owners’ bustling life: bean bags for kids to lounge on, deep sofas for snuggling, sleek cabinets for storage that grace, rather than dominate, a room, and subtle earth tones in the paint and accessories bringing it all together.


An Eames surfboard table and IKEA storage in the living room

Kathryn, owner of Prideaux Design in Tucson, has a love for those looks in magazine pages. But she has found balance. She highlights the family’s passions in a mixture of new, vintage and found materials, from the quilts sewn by youngest daughter Minda to a Japanese doll from Kathryn’s childhood.

About the home: The 2200 square foot home in northwest Tucson was built in 2014. Kathryn and her family are the second owners, moving in in the Fall of 2014.

squeeze, splash, pop of color to living room

A pop of color in the living room

Describe your style: Says Kathryn: “I would say my style is a blend of mid-century modern, modern and rustic modern. I am definitely minimal in my aesthetic, but I like a home to be warm and inviting. Several of my friends have described our home as ‘comfy’. I think that is a compliment, especially when I decorate in such a modern way. I love clean lines and simple décor, but I don’t think a home should be sterile or institutional. A home should highlight the things you love, the places you have been, and the memories that mean something to you.”

Your fave thing about your home: “My favorite part of the house is the location! After living so far north west of town we are so happy to be in such a convenient location [near Oracle and Magee]. We can even walk to stores and restaurants. I love the lighting in this home. I really appreciated what the previous owners put into it. We were so lucky to find a home with amazing fixtures by Tech Lighting and lots of wonderful 4” can lights on dimmers, accent lights and sconces. People just don’t pay enough attention to lighting in a home. It is so important. The previous owners also upgraded all the switches to [motion sensor and dimmer switches from] Legrand and I am a complete convert. So spoiled by these  switches. Who knew what an awesome luxury a beautiful switch plate could be?”

Biggest splurge: “A nine-foot sofa by Restoration Hardware. I love the size of it. It has deep and comfy cushions with down overfill. This is where my two daughters and I curl up to watch movies. It is completely slip-covered and washable, so it is family-friendly.”

Can you make out what the painting says?

Best bargain: “That is hard to choose. I love a good bargain! I would say our marble dining room table is the best bargain though. I found it at Homestyle Galleries consignment shop for $275 and it’s carrara marble. It has a bit of an 80’s form and style, but I am just fine with that. I think the 80’s are finding their way back in home decor. Oh boy!”

My DIY moment: “We installed all of the wall units in the main living room – the wall hanging buffet and TV media cabinets. They are all from the IKEA Besta system. I LOVE their new door color, Creme, which is a very warm grey color.

Favorite resources: “Estate sales are the best. I have found so many beautiful and unique pieces at amazing estate sales, like the large art piece in our entryway. Jerry Schuster, of AZ Modern in Tucson [where Kathryn bought her Eames surfboard table] is an excellent resource. I also love to go up to Phoenix and hit the MCM shops like Modern Manor (end tables in living room). I do a lot of online shopping. Etsy is incredible for handmade pieces (the wood and cable shelving system in entry, the walnut floating shelves on the TV wall). I shop Craigslist and eBay too (tulip side tables, brass urchin poms on TV wall). I just got back from [home show] Las Vegas Market and found so many great trade resources for furniture and accessories.”

Tucson treasures: “I absolutely loved the market at Mercado San Agustin over the holidays. There were so many great local vendors and artists. I also love the Metal Arts Village where I had my studio for so many years. There are some really talented artists there. Tucson is a very exciting place to be these days. There are so many designers and artists and architects that are doing incredible work.”

*Take-away lesson: Our take away from Kathryn’s home is to rethink your storage spaces. Practical but beautiful storage options can be subtle rather than dominating a room, while storing all that stuff that many of us tend to accumulate. We particularly loved the use of the IKEA Besta system in the living room. We also loved the lighting choices in this home and the hint of 80’s retro in the lighting fixtures. Some reminded us of the entryway light fixture in Paula and Clif Taylor’s home. Smoky lamps are apparently on their way back!

* Find Prideaux Design at


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Are you digging these digs? Get the look locally

  • You can peruse Jerry Schuster’s AZ Modern Tucson site for pieces like Kathryn’s Eames surfboard coffee table.
  • Tucson has a whole host of talented artists. Catherine Eyde, one of Eva’s favorites, has prints and originals available across town.
  • Kathryn and her daughters like to thrift shop for mid-century modern accessories and ornaments. Take your children with you to Tucson’s thrift stores to choose items you all will love.

And try these lookalikes we found (contains Amazon Affiliates):


From left to right: Ikea Besta system, cabinets start at $50 at Ikea; Alina Pendant lights $453.60 from Tech Lighting at Amazon ; Legrand light switches $49.98 on AmazonBelgian Track Arm Sofa from $1995 from Restoration Hardware 



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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 the home of author Chris Gall, whose Dinotrux books will be turned into a Netflix series this year. Story and photos by Rachel Miller. 


A one-of-a-kind ‘flaming rocket’ light sculpture hangs above the bar in Chris Gall’s Joesler home.

I admit to a little apprehension in approaching the home of Chris and Ann Courtney Gall. After all, this is the house where Dinotrux came in to being, or rather DIIINNNNNOOOOTRUX (it must be said in your deepest, most resonating voice), a favorite children’s book in our home. Indeed, our copies are so well-thumbed I was embarrassed to bring them and request signatures.

Chris Gall, Dinotrux, home tour

Working vintage phones and radios add to the nostalgia

What kind of home environment nurtures the creation of such well-loved children’s books? Books that promise to explode onto the screen this year when an animated series based on the books comes to Netflix? Whimsy? A mess of dinosaurs and trucks? Art that reflects the bold, exaggerated images of the artist and author?

There are no dinosaurs or old ’50s trucks littering the Tucson home of Chris and Ann Courtney Gall, but there is whimsy. Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear soars through the studio and office alongside meticulously assembled model airplanes – both indicators of Chris’s interest in restoration and mechanical tinkering. There are working vintage radios and a World War II submarine phone, along with the ham radio.  And there is plenty of stunning art, including Chris’s own work.

The artwork is reminiscent of ’40s and ’50s graphics: rich and striking in color and line, particularly appropriate for a house of this era. This is Americana, but not kitsch and not frilly. This is bold and beautiful. Think vintage Park Service posters, but with a Norman Rockwell twist.

About the home: Built in 1951, the original Josias Joesler home is in Tucson’s Catalina Foothills Estates within 15 minutes of downtown. Atop a small hill with stunning mountain views, Chris and Ann have gracefully doubled the square footage over the past 24 years to 3,800 square feet. While the size of the house has doubled, the characteristic Joesler design features have been painstakingly maintained: the high ceilings, large picture windows, and use of porches.

Home Tour of Chris and Ann Gall's home

Chris at work in his studio


The master bedroom addition.

Describe your style:“There is a word…it’s not craftsman like, but…it’s Frank Lloyd Wright in home décor palate in places. We used to say everything was harvest colors…there’s a nostalgic quality to our home.”

Your fave thing about your home: “The mountain and city views, and the acreage (4 acres) around the house, as well as the building materials. We like the red brick.”

Biggest splurge: “The stained glass front door by local artist Jon Goldbaum. I took a classic Frank Lloyd Wright design and changed it up, switching the colors, and Jon Goldbaum created it for us.”

Best bargain: “The casement windows that we found at Gerson’s for my studio.”

My DIY Moment: “Building all the window frames in the new master addition.”

Favorite resources: “Restoration Hardware, local art fairs and [southern Arizona village] Tubac.”

Tucson treasures: “The one of a kind flaming rocket light sculpture over the bar we bought here in town, and the mesquite and antler coffee table at a local art show. We also have a few paintings by Phoenix artist Ed Mell.”

Take-away lesson:  Take time to do it right. Sometimes doing it right means doing it yourself. Unable to find used casement windows the right size, Chris used his welding skills to make the windows for the master addition. Added bonus: these casement windows are double-glazed.

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Are you digging these digs?

Get the look locally:

Take to local art fairs and search for locally sourced furniture for a feel that reflects the environment. Hang your own Chris Gall Giclee print from ArtsEye Gallery on Grant Road, or frame art in the form of books, bought from Kid’s Center or Yikes Toy Store. Check out Etsy store Hot Cool Vintage for sweet kitchen artifacts that fit the era of your home.

Or try these we found online (contains Amazon Affiliates):

From left to right: Steppe Bed , $1,399 from Crate & Barrel; America the Beautiful $6.91 on AmazonSafavieh Lamps $175.69 on Amazon 

* Look out for an animated series of Dinotrux, about the time when hybrid dinosaur-construction characters rules the earth, this Spring from Netflix. More here. 

Loving our Square Feet column? Take a look at our previous columns here.

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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.


Mannequins provide a fashionable feature

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.

About the home: The house was the first in the neighborhood. Deeded in 1967, it sits on the edge of 40 acres that belongs to a neighbor. SqFtPaulaTaylor3

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. ” sqftpaulataylor10

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.” Hamilton photos and Letterman meet Mannequin

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.

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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; 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

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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 hot property pick each issue. This month:  designers Mary Ann Hesseldenz and Scott Baker share their mid-century Tucson home. (Q: Do interior designers live the way they design for others? A: In this case, yes). Story by Rachel Miller. Photos by Rachel Miller and provided by Mary Ann Hesseldenz

MaryAnnScottFoyer   Dining room table by Baker + Hesseldenz, decoration skulls & orchid It was love at first sight. While visiting from New York, Mary Ann Hesseldenz drove past the Hidden Valley home and fell in love. Problem was, the house wasn’t even on the market. That didn’t stop Mary Ann from sharing her affection for the house with her real estate agent.

Just a few weeks later Mary Ann, now back in NYC, got word that the house was for sale. Without ever stepping foot inside, she bought the 1961 home. The gamble paid off for her and future husband Scott Baker; the views from inside the home are exquisite and the house had barely changed since it was built.

Over the past 13 years Scott and Mary Ann have maintained and refined the original mid-century elements and have created new elements that work in concert with the original. They insist they are not purists when it comes to the home’s era. They simply wanted a renovation that was the ultimate place to relax and to entertain, but somewhere that still celebrated its history.

Who they are: Mary Ann Hesseldenz and Scott Baker run Baker + Hesseldenz, a Tucson interior design firm. They’ve lived in their Hidden Valley home for approximately 13 years. Mary Ann Hesseldenz at home

About the home: Built in 1961 by Wes Miller (father of John Wesley Miller) as the model home for Tucson’s Hidden Valley neighborhood, this 2300 square feet home is in a prime location to appreciate views of Sabino Canyon.

Describe your style: “Eclectic/curated. While the foundation of our style for this house is mid-century because of the architecture, we have many treasures that are from varying eras and styles.”

Your fave thing about your home: “We love the layout and the view. It’s great for entertaining!”

Biggest splurge: “Hands down, our art collection.”

Best bargain: “We have so many wonderful bargain finds. I guess it would be our sheaths of wheat coffee table – Gold Leaf Italian mid-century.”

Sheaths of wheat table

Best bargain: the mid-century wheat sheaf coffee table.

My DIY moment: “We built a cabana that cantilevers over our pool for us to get married in. Scott worked every weekend for a year and it rained on our wedding day. But it turned out beautiful and it is one of our favorite places to hang out.”

Favorite resources: “Estate sales, antique stores (Adobe House, Lionsgate, etc..), auctions.”

Tucson treasures: “See above!”

Take-away lesson:  Curate. You don’t have to have everything on display at all times. Mary Ann and Scott both love to collect, but don’t have everything out at any one time. They curate their art throughout the year. This approach allows you to enjoy each piece and avoid cluttering items that might distract from one another. It also means you can regularly switch up your surroundings.

* Mary Ann and Scott will be hosting this year’s Tucson Modernism Week Cocktail Party at their home on Friday October 10th, 7pm. More details and tickets at

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Are you digging these digs?

Get the look locally

  • So many of the pieces of furniture that sparkle in this home are custom designed by Mary Ann and Scott, meaning that the ultimate place to tap into these sleek designs is at Baker + Hesseldenz.
  • If custom furniture isn’t in your budget, check out Copenhagen for new pieces or Adobe House for original era pieces with simple, sculptural elements and modern sensibilities. Add a little bit of funk and fanciful elements – animal skulls, lamps and ornaments – at estate sales and antique stores.
  • Top this off by including choice pieces that may have an emotional history. Scott and Mary Ann have done this by including furniture made by Scott’s grandfather, and his father’s doctor bag.

And try these lookalikes we found  (contains Amazon Affiliate links):

From left to right: Italian Gilt Metal Wheat Sheaf Table, $875 from Chairish; White Flokati Area Rug 8×10, $489.28 from Amazon; George Nelson Classic Wooden Sunburst Clock, $134.94 from Amazon; Hans J Wegner Style Wingback Chair, $815 from RetroFurnish 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