Spacious living room with upholstered teal sectional sofa, wooden cabinets in the kitchen,a and a wall of windows leading to the outdoor patio.
Modern house in the desert is big on shape and


In Phoenix, Arizona, local architecture firm The Ranch Mine worked with a family to transform an old home on a stellar plot of land into the Pleats House, a modern abode loosely inspired by a Saguaro cactus.

After buying the land in 2007, the owners saved up to renovate a dated house on the site into something that channels the famed cactus. The plant, known for its streamlined simplicity and forked ribs, is an icon for the area. And while the resemblance isn’t obvious, Pleats does share a few characteristics.


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The Ranch Mine wrapped the facade of the sleek white home in two distinct materials: a timber rain screen reminiscent of the plant’s forked ribs and a black corrugated metal that’s meant to evoke its pleated appearance.

Visual metaphors aside, the house is contemporary desert architecture at its best. The architects used the original foundation of the house, but revamped everything else. The layout creates a three-sided courtyard that hugs a sleek pool and patio.

Inside, the spacious, open-plan living room and kitchen looks out onto the back courtyard and brings in lots of warm desert light. When thinking about the interior design, owners said they wanted “mid-century modern combined with industrial influences with a touch of modern European hardware and design.” Somehow it all works.


Kitchen and dining room with timber cabinets and a marble-top island.
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A bright bedroom has glass doors that open out to the pool.
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Pool surrounded by concrete patio.
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