If you know where to look, deserts bloom all year long. You can start with these deluxe dwellings in posh southwest towns.
10 Altazano Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Boasting fantastic vistas of the Sandia and Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley, this historic seven-bedroom estate’s stone walls flow into a 13,400-square-foot interior, which encompasses the original ’20s-era structure and a new wing designed by architect Meisa Batayneh. Ceramic fireplaces, Cherrywood ceilings, and a beautiful mosaic are just a few of the many bespoke details. Just as enticing, the recreation areas include an indoor Olympic-length swimming pool and tennis court, a giant sundial, and an outdoor life-size chess game a la Marostica in Italy.
40102 N. 107th St., Scottsdale, Arizona
Beautifully landscaped with cacti and other desert plants, this remodeled contemporary single-story home in the tony Desert Mountain community features an open plan with a split master bedroom floorplan. In the spacious great room, expansive doors open to a private backyard outfitted with a fireplace, a spa, and a heated swimming pool with beautiful mountain views. Optional gold and lifestyle memberships are available from the club.
1011 W. Cielo Drive, Palm Springs, California
Nestled into the mountains and surrounded by a grove of palm trees, this mid-century marvel was designed in 1956 by renowned modernist architect Walter S. White. The home’s lofted foyer has an open steel staircase that leads to the upper-level living areas, which have tons of windows, sweeping wooden ceilings, and a circular steel fireplace. On the lower level, which houses a family room and bedrooms, walls of glass showcase the stunning desert landscaping and a patio with a perfectly circular swimming pool that looks like something straight out of a Slim Aarons photo. The home is on the National Historic Register.
218 Calle Diamante, Sedona, Arizona
Sedona’s striking red rocks are the backdrop for this luxe dwelling in the exclusive Casa Contenta community. A large curved wall of windows frames those vistas from the large living area, which has wood-beamed ceilings and a fireplace. It flows into a deluxe kitchen with Viking appliances. A large patio with a Kiva fireplace extends the living area outside, and there’s another patio for the two guest bedrooms, each with en suite bathrooms. The gated community also offers a swimming pool, tennis courts, and other amenities.
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Tate Gunnerson is a Chicago-based freelance journalist with an equal appreciation for natural beauty and good design. He is a passionate supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.