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Sunset Setting

Designer Mary Clark looked to the surrounding topography and colors of the desert to inform the interiors of her renovated home


Five years ago, interior designer Mary Clark and her husband, Joe, were in the midst of moving into their newly purchased pueblo-style home on four acres in the Museum Hill neighborhood of Santa Fe. The place was a blank slate, and the Clarks brought only a limited number of furnishings from the one-bedroom home they had previously owned on Canyon Road. A bold, colorful collage by the late artist and graphic designer Rex Ray was one of the few design pieces Clark carried along to the new space, and it was set to be the star centerpiece of a large living and dining area. That day, though, the desert sun was beating down. It was hot, and so the doors were left open as movers came in and out. Then came one of the desert’s hazards—a whip of wind. The Rex Ray took a tumble. “So now it has a small puncture wound,” Clark admits. “If only I could Photoshop that out in real life.”

Apart form the blustering winds, though, Santa Fe is a dreamscape for an interior designer, with its exhilarating sunsets and natural light, desert—mountain hues, and a plethora of craftspeople and gallerists. Today, that Rex Ray hangs as valiantly as ever in the couple’s recently finished home, a gradual endeavor by Clark, who added items piece by piece when she felt they were right. What was once a “crash pad” of sorts has become a part-time summer and winter residence for the otherwise Florida-based couple and their family and friends.

Originally built in the 1940s, the home went through several haphazard renovations, including two random additions, before architect Robert Glazier—known for his impressive portfolio of resorts—took ownership of the place and gave it a proper modern update. “The house was almost uninhabitable,” Glazier says. “There was heat in only part of the house. The layout didn’t make any sense, and the kitchen, which was built as part of the original house, was completely disconnected from the rest of the living space.” He kept the original structure, leaving the eighteen-inch-thick adobe brick walls intact, but rearranged the layout, including relocating the entry drive and entry court to the opposite side of the house, allowing the main living space to take advantage of its gorgeous western views.

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This story appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of MILIEU.