tailored to the stylized, natural dreamer

for the artist

Houses constructed on mesas and cliffs command awesome views, and this adobe is no exception to the rule: to the north, the Mogollons and the Gila Wilderness; to the south, the Burro Mountains. And the Gila River, 120 feet below, snakes through it all. Simply put this is an artist’s dream house-studio. Good northern light provides the perfect environment for painting and sketching the fabulous sunsets and nights full of stars like no other.

for the family

Adobe, the real thing, is vernacular architecture at its best, and this Michael O’Harrow designed adobe is no different. It evolved out of an eclectic mix of seed ideas – pueblo structure, Japanese social space, and the ideas inherent in Charles Alexander’s “A Pattern Language”. Begun in spring of 2003, you might say it’s still evolving.

for the chef

The house flows north to south like the Gila River 140 feet below it. The entry leads past the dining/kitchen quarter where you may pause or pass on into the living room and its adjacent studio. From here one receives a spectacular vista of Cherokee Canyon and the surrounding hills.

for the entertainer

Good northern light provides the perfect environment for painting and sketching the fabulous sunsets and nights full of stars like no other. With the Bird Sanctuary a few miles down the county lane below, you’re living in an oasis of ornithology (wild turkey, cranes, cardinals, bluejays, hawks to be seen in abundance) not to mention more grounded wildlife like deer, javalina, and coyote.

Quick Snapshots

Splendid Trees

It doesn't feel like the desert.

The house flows north to south like the Gila River 140 feet below it. The entry leads past the dining/kitchen quarter where you may pause or pass on into the living room and its adjacent studio.

Extended Skies

It's all about the views.

From here one receives a spectacular vista of Cherokee Canyon and the surrounding hills. A short passageway away segues into a large secluded bedroom and study from which one has access to the bathing area, toilet and utility room.

Promoting Inspiration

Your creativity will flow.

A French door leads outdoors to an area just begging for a porch to be built.. Although all rooms have alcoves, built-in bookcases, and special nichos, the sleeping area has a Japanese tokonoma with which to showcase art.

Superior Craftsmanship

O'Harrow has been developing the space for years.

Good northern light provides the perfect environment for painting and sketching the fabulous sunsets and nights full of stars like no other. With the Bird Sanctuary a few miles down the county lane below, you’re living in an oasis of ornithology (wild turkey, cranes, cardinals, bluejays, hawks to be seen in abundance) not to mention more grounded wildlife like deer, javalina, and coyote.

It's Personal

Contemporary without a cold feel.

And within and overlooking this wilderness seclusion, you get an authentic adobe home including: a kiva fireplace; vigas from the Bosque; flagstone floor; 2 foot thick adobe walls; bancos and nichos; hand-thrown, custom made wall sconces; board-and-batten ceilings; built-in bookcases. Wainscoting throughout provides emotional warmth, not to mention protection against occasional scuff marks.

Landscaping Friendly

Attention to your landscaping potential.

And with unusually thick walls this home doesn’t really require additional cooling in summer. As for winter, a wood stove provides sufficient heat throughout (the house, even without the stove in operation, never dips below 50 degrees).

Who is Mike O'Harrow

  • Every house design from Michael O’Harrow is an original adobe. Through the skilled hands and vision of this designer, he works the patterns of clients’ lives into one-of-a-kind designs. Having spent most of his life in Japan and New Mexico, Michael O’Harrow learned the basics of vernacular architecture studying the legendary Japanese house designs of the Edo Era and the pueblo structures of northern New Mexico from Taos to Santa Fe. Integrating the two seemingly diverse cultural modes, he has created a unique style well suited to the climate and culture of the Southwest.

    Michael O'Harrow - Architectural Designer
  • O’Harrow designed this house from the ground up. Using patterns that fit the social structure of his life, he began construction in May, 2003 and basically finished in spring the following year. Keeping in true vernacular tradition, he purchased his adobe brick from New Mexico Earth Adobes in Corrales, while the flagstone was quarried from nearby Ashfork, Arizona. On the other hand, he found his vigas in the Bosque near Albuquerque. For his cabinet countertops a local sawyer cut thich, rich slabs of cedar from the Gila National Forest. The clay wall sconces he had custom made from Bill and Janis Cook – the Mesilla potters. But no matter how good the individual parts are, the whole is even better.

    Michael O'Harrow - Master Craftsman
  • So, now imagine: the morning breeze from off the Gila nudges you awake, and you catch the smell of the river in the air. Through the open window you watch swallows sweep down beneath cedar branches. You hear a hawk’s echoing call throughout the valley below. The sun streams through the French door onto the dining room table. You brew up a pot of coffee – dark roast. Drifting outside, cup in hand, you listen to the river flow by. You know, few others on Earth are able to start their days this way, but you do.

    Michael O'Harrow - Artist