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Arizona Republic Feature: Custom Dream Home Inspired By Mountain Views

Michelle Beaver, Special for The Republic

Published 10:00 a.m. MT July 19, 2017 | Updated 11:42 a.m. MT July 20, 2017

Kevin and Stacy Morgan have a big, beautiful empty nest with outstanding desert views

(Photo: Nicole Bonilla)


Kevin and Stacy Morgan lived in Dallas while their dream home was built in Peoria

The 3,300-square-foot home, with three bedrooms and 3.5 baths, is nestled into desert mountains

The Morgans wanted a one-story house since they rarely used the second floor of their Dallas home

Kevin and Stacy Morgan were living out of state when their custom home in Peoria was being built. That may sound stressful but the Morgans actually enjoyed the process. Kevin took monthly trips from Texas to check the progress, and was exhilarated every time as the house took greater shape.

“I was like a little kid at Christmas every trip, once a month,” he said.

The 3,300-square-foot home is nestled into desert mountains near 91st Avenue and Westwing Parkway. The house has three bedrooms, 3.5 baths and an office. The design and building process took two years.

Kevin, who is in sales leadership, and Stacy, a teacher, raised their kids in Dallas and in May moved back to their home state of Arizona. Their daughter, 21, and son, 18, no longer live at home, leaving the Morgans with an empty nest. A big, beautiful, empty nest with outstanding desert views.

“The goal was to maximize the views we had because that’s the beauty of the lot,” Kevin said. “We designed the house so each window had a specific view.”

Empty nesters craft a custom home for themselves in the mountains

Kevin and Stacy Morgan built a custom home for themselves on a Peoria mountainside. James Tyner/

Flowing into surroundings

The Morgans didn’t want a flat backyard at odds with the nearby mountains. Instead, they designed the lot to flow into its surroundings.

“We wanted different elevations of the yard so your eye would be drawn up to the mountain,” Kevin said. “We wanted the waterfall feature specifically so your view would end up at the mountain. That was a big deal for me.”

Almost every major conversation the Morgans had with the builder was done at the lot instead of over the phone.

“That was so we could really sit down and determine if we did something, what would the impact be and where would it would be located exactly on the lot itself,” Kevin said. “We would have phone calls, too, but 90 percent was done on site.”

Not as stressful as it seems

Being in Texas during the design and build wasn’t as stressful as it would seem, according to Kevin. The Morgans worked with Starwood Custom Homes and said working with a good company made all the difference.

“I trusted our project manager and the team,” Kevin said. “I knew they truly had my best interests at heart. It’s probably best that I wasn’t living here while they were building. If I would have been living here I probably would have been [at the building site] every day driving them nuts and probably wanting to make changes all the time. This arrangement allowed it to take shape without me nitpicking.”

The Morgans wanted a one-story house since they rarely used the second floor of their Dallas home.

“I’m not old now, but as we get older, we don’t want to take as many stairs,” Kevin said.

The couple also wanted the house to be as close as possible to Flagstaff and Lake Pleasant. That’s why they chose Peoria instead of north Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, areas they also considered.

Dream home

In respect to the concept of a “dream home,” Stacy Morgan said she “could think of a thousand features I would have in a dream home, but that doesn’t make it necessarily feasible, homey, or practical, so what we built was something we felt would fit our needs as we start a new empty-nest phase.”

Stacy’s favorite feature of the home is the eat-in dining table built into the kitchen island. It’s also a crowd pleaser, she said. She found a picture of a built-in table she liked and showed it to a cabinet maker who emulated the design.

“He built it as an area that made eating together more comfortable and entertaining much easier without compromising counter space,” Stacy said. “In fact, I have more cabinets and drawers than I can use because of this style island. Other than that, I can’t complain about the ability to open the entire glass door and slide it into the wall on our cooler days and create a great indoor/outdoor entertaining space.”

As for Kevin, his favorite part of the property is the view, his second favorite is the RV garage, and the backyard is his third favorite. The Morgans’ former home in Dallas was on an acre lot and had a movie theater, but this house is more of their dream home.

“Absolutely, this is my dream house,” Kevin said. “This is it.”


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