This article features one of the seven homes featured in the 2019 SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home Tour. Hindered by COVID-19 cancellations of the 2020 tour, the SBCO Special Events Committee has reconvened and plans are in motion to produce the next Remodeled Home Tour this fall.

Each year, the SBCO Special Events Committee strives to present a variety of homes on its annual Remodeled Home Tour. The seven models presented (six-single family and one villa) showcase a range of home improvements from subtle renovations that enhance existing models to transformative, full-scale remodels. Mike and Sandy Gianotti's Diego 1600 home represented the latter with a comprehensive remodel by Northwest Builders which altered the home's interior so dramatically that the floor plan's name now seems a misnomer.

Attracted to the home's corner lot with its private, spacious backyard and luxurious 45' lap pool, the couple had originally purchased the home in 2003 for Sandy's mother to escape the Oregon winters. Looking to move from Oregon themselves, once Sandy’s mom downsized to a villa, Mike and Sandy decided to act on their vision for expanding and improving the two bedroom, two bath Diego, taking on remodel number three of their life together.

With four adult children and six grandchildren under the age of 10, the Gianottis desired a home that would provide both the public expanse to enjoy family gatherings and private spaces for their kids to retreat. In the master suite, they longed for a more private sanctuary and more closet space. Sandy credits her husband with most of the inspiration for the home's new layout and both commend contractor James Widdows of Northwest Builders and Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer Carlie Korinek for helping bring their ideas to fruition.

With an accommodating deep lot, a backyard casita was a natural solution for some of their space needs. Selecting one of the larger plans the contractor offered, a 450-square foot one-bedroom casita was built within a couple of months. Boasting the best mountain view of the property, the casita provided the couple a temporary residence during the demolition and reconstruction of the main house. From a family of engineers, Mike enjoyed the close oversight of both the main house and new landscaping projects from his backyard vantage point.

In the main house, the entire south exterior wall of the home was expanded by eight feet. This was accomplished by first pouring an exterior slab, then constructing exterior walls and extending the roofline. To provide matching tile to the new front roof addition, all tiles were removed from the back roof plane and replaced to provide cohesive front and rear planes. Finally, the existing interior walls were demolished to reveal 288 square-feet of additional space to the home's kitchen and living room.

The expansion allowed room for a front entry hall, with the formerly open living room enclosed by sliding pocket doors that allow the room to function as an extra bedroom during family holiday reunions. A variety of floor coverings were removed and replaced with a porcelain wood look plank tile, featuring a blend of taupe and beige hues, a pallet that Sandy felt would stand the test of time.

The most dramatic result of the home's expansion was realized in its new kitchen. A definite showstopper, there is no hint of the prior kitchen's footprint. Gone is the Diego's distinctive wraparound breakfast bar-height counter and pantry cabinets. Now the wide-open kitchen flows seamlessly with the adjoining family room for great room concept living. The stunning white kitchen is punctuated by pleasant pops of 'Maritime', a deep watery blue hue, on both the base of the massive 4-foot x 8-foot new island and the door of the new corner walk-in pantry. Eschewing the former island sink placement, Sandy requested the new granite composite sink be placed to take in the views from the new south-facing kitchen window. Both the new window and an additional French door opening from the kitchen to the patio and new outdoor kitchen add beautiful light to the space.

Working with designer Carlie, Sandy related her style preferences through magazine clippings she'd collected. From her client's inspiration, the designer mapped out a new kitchen layout and offered suggestions for customized storage, including a cabinet to house a pop-up mixer, along with counter, backsplash and hardware options to choose from. Sandy chose a white marble-look quartz counter, 'Statuary Classique', to contrast with the blue of the island's cabinet base, and 'Babylon Gray', a deep gray quartz with mild patterning for the white perimeter cabinetry. The gorgeous gray quartz pops against the kitchen's surrounding Schrock Maple painted cabinetry in 'Coconut', a soft milky off-white color. An elegant backsplash of beveled white marble subway tiles provides a classic counterpart to the sleek stainless appliances that include a striking contemporary canopy hood.

In the master retreat, Mike's inspired ideas overcame the weaknesses of the original Diego plan which featured a single-door entry flanked by the open bathroom and two inadequate closets. Leaving all but a portion of the small walk-in closet to form a linen closet allowed space for a grand double-door entryway with no bathroom in sight. Walling the bathroom off from the entry hall created more privacy and a new bathroom layout granted Mike and Sandy's wish for separate vanity spaces. The vanities of both the master and the second bath are all Pottery Barn single-sink consoles that Sandy topped with a Carrara marble-look quartz after shipping mishaps damaged the original, less practical, marble tops. The master bathroom is anchored by a new, huge walk-in closet created from space borrowed from the enormous laundry room on the adjoining wall.

Built in two phases, the casita was completed in two months and the main house project took two-and-a-half months to finish. The result is comfortable, easy living space to welcome family and friends. The home's modernized floor plan and fresh transitional styling ensures that the humblest of the Diego floor plans now stands shoulder to shoulder with the newer floor plans of SaddleBrooke's Preserve and SaddleBrooke Ranch.

Specializing in SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley and NW Tucson properties, Realtor Beth Fedor also serves on the board of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, where she co-chairs the annual SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home Tour. She is the former communications director for Pusch Ridge Christian Academy K-12, and a prior TV advertising account executive with KVOA and KGUN. A forty-year resident of Tucson since college days, Beth is a proud Wildcat and a passionate part-time sailor. Email:

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