penthouse is a Tempe tour highlight
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 3, 2004
Bonnie and David Ender traded suburbia for loft
living in downtown Tempe when they moved from
a five-bedroom, two-story home to a seventh-floor
penthouse at the Orchid House.
Now, instead of visions of neighbor's back yards,
they have dramatic views of downtown Tempe, Phoenix
Arizona State University, Papago Park and Camelback
Mountain. Their 2,700-square-foot loft is one
of the highlights during Sunday's Tempe Neighborhood
Home and Garden Tour. The fourth annual event,
which is sponsored by Tempe-based NewTown Community
Development Corp., features new and renovated
homes, some of which have lush vegetation or xeriscaping,
in Tempe's urban neighborhoods.
When the Enders bought the loft, it was a shell,
with no interior walls.
Wanting to keep the drama and expansiveness
of its 19-foot-high ceilings, the couple, who
served as general contractors, designed the home
with a huge great room open to the kitchen.
It has several sitting areas: One section faces
the flat-screen TV, another encircles a game table.
The dining table, accompanied by a crystal chandelier,
and matching china cabinet take up another corner.
The opposite corner houses a desk and work area.
The adjacent kitchen features a black-granite
countertop, stainless-steel appliances and highly
polished bird's-eye maple and black-lacquer cabinets,
built extra tall for additional storage.
"It's so nice. You can be in the kitchen
cooking and someone can be playing a game at the
game table and somebody else can be watching TV,
and you're in the middle of it," Bonnie Ender
The couple borrowed on their strengths in designing
David Ender, a mechanical engineer, designed
intricate coffered ceilings and architectural
detailing. Bonnie, an artist, utilized the long
entry hallway and tall ceilings as galleries for
her colorful paintings of flowers and kimonos
and works of art the couple have collected on
trips to Europe, Asia and Africa.
The eclectic mix of artwork and decorating styles
In the master bedroom, an African look predominates.
The bed, the Kilimanjaro bed from Thomasville's
Ernest Hemingway Kenya Collection, sets the tone
with its rattan headboard and footboard, dark-brown
suedelike coverlet and custom-made pillows. Stone
sculpture from Zimbabwe decorates the table at
the foot of the bed. The walls are lined with
framed Egyptian papyrus paintings.
In the master bathroom, ceramic tiles sporting
African-animal and geometric designs border the
garden tub and act as a backsplash for the sinks.
A collection of African masks adorns the wall
above the mirror.
The powder room, done in blacks and golds, is
outfitted with a hand-painted Chinese cabinet
that was custom-designed to hold the china vessel
sink. The primary artwork is a framed Chinese
jacket, although a collection of Russian boxes
also lends interest.
Bonnie Ender's favorite room - she likes them
all, she said - is the library. A multipurpose
room off the entry hallway, it serves as her studio,
as well as the guest bedroom.
Lined on three walls with cherry-stained alder
bookcases, desk and drawers, it also contains
a Murphy bed that looks more like an entertainment
center. Bonnie uses the floor space for painting,
and the long drawers to store her artwork.
Other homes and sites on the tour include additional
Orchid House lofts, downtown Tempe homes, and
residences at Cook College & Theological School,
a 17-acre Native American college.