Phoenix, like any other city, has a reputation, a calling card, some easy ways for people to identify it. For a long time the design and development community has been identified as beige, over run with sprawl and speculation, and littered with an obsession for anything perceived as standard or safe. This I.D. did not bring itself into existence. We all hold a stake in the state of our cultural environment. For this reason, we created The Ranch Mine.
Everything we do is grounded in empowering you to be a positive and influential force in the development of your city, and it all starts at home. Home is the foundation of each and every day. If it is strong and inspired, we can carry those qualities into our communities.
We specialize in designing contextually modern homes in historic and mid-century neighborhoods in Arizona. Equipped with our experience and your desires, we create unique solutions that honor the past, challenge the norm, and inspire the future. Our aim is to provide you with a space that goes beyond your functional requirements, a space that inspires you and your family to live every day to the fullest.
In 2009, Cavin Costello received his Masters degree in Architecture and made the drive to Phoenix, Arizona sight unseen, inspired by the complexities and opportunities to be had in the rapidly urbanizing southwest. He had not yet been a full day in Phoenix when he met Claire Costello, then Claire Aton, a Phoenix native looking to make the most of her recent move back home. The two quickly bonded over their ideals of the built environment, how to improve upon it and its ability to influence. Not settling for a hard hit economy to dictate their next move, the duo decided to act. After looking at several houses, Claire and Cavin realized that their best asset was seeing past the current and realizing the potential in spaces. So, they bought a fixer upper and experienced first hand the trials and tribulations of redesign.
The two continued paving their own path developing the First Phoenix Green Construction Code project, designing for visionary real estate developers, and creating inspired homes for unique homeowners like you. Recently, Cavin and Claire have been named Phoenix’s Best Emerging Creative Duo, 2 of the 35 Top Arizona Entrepreneurs Under 35, featured nationally on the NBC Today Show, and have won 2 consecutive Best of Houzz awards for their design work. As always, Cavin and Claire are looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges ahead. The Ranch Mine has many more exciting updates so stay tuned by following us on our Facebook page where we consistently post progress updates on our current projects and happenings!
Cavin Costello, Chief Designer
Cavin Costello is the son of a civil engineer who endeavored to build his own house in rural Connecticut. It is safe to say that this exposure to building systems mixed with a “go get ‘em” attitude laid the foundation for Cavin’s bright future. Cavin pursued his childhood passion at Northeastern University in Boston, a Co-op school, from which he received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Master of Architecture degree*, and 2 years of invaluable full-time employment in leading architecture firms. His enthusiasm for design lead him to Phoenix, Arizona where he is devoted to revitalizing neighborhoods through design that reclaims overlooked beauty and ignites the next generation of modern living. Now, Cavin has five years of residential design experience in the Valley and has been honored as a featured speaker at engagements at Arizona State University, Northeastern University, Phoenix Urban Design Week, Reinvent Phoenix, AIGA, Arizona Historic Preservation Conference and Modern Phoenix Week.
Claire Costello, Chief Executive
Claire Costello is a native Phoenician who received unique exposure to rambling ranches, mid-century modern and desert architecture. Claire was young when she was asked to pick up a shovel and do some dirty work at her aunt and uncles in Tucson. This “dirty work” was digging dirt to build the first rammed earth house Claire had ever known of. Leaving the desert behind, Claire ventured to the University of Colorado at Boulder where she received concurrent Bachelor of Science degrees in English and Communication. Her time away from Arizona led Claire to travel the world, fueling a desire to make real change and igniting a belief in the power of action. Upon returning to her hometown, Claire sought to make a familiar place new, exciting and her own. Emboldened with an entrepreneurial spirit Claire is committed to reclaiming her hometown of Phoenix one home at a time. Today, Claire embraces a hands-on approach to design and development and works toward shaping a more vibrant community as co-chair of the Postwar Architectural Task Force of Greater Phoenix and one of Arizona’s Top 35 Under 35 Entrepreneurs of 2013.
*Cavin is not a licensed Architect in Arizona
How We Work
Have a home that isn’t working for your changing needs? Buying a place with the hopes of creating your dream dwelling? Follow the steps below to get started with us!
1. Visit our Contact tab, tell us about your dreams of renovation or relocation and upload pictures of your home or site.
2. We’ll call you once we receive your completed form and schedule an on-site consultation to speak face-to-face about the scope & goals for your project.
3. After the on-site consultation, we will draft a Design Agreement that will outline our fees and services specific to your needs.
4. With the paperwork signed our process will look a little something like this:
Existing Conditions consists of photographing the existing site/house and site measuring the areas of the site/house that will be affected by the design. Once these measurements are recorded, they are put into the computer to create an Existing Conditions Plan. This plan creates the foundation for the rest of the design process.
Schematic design is an exploration from the aerial point of view, or the floor plan. In this phase we use the client’s wishes and our design expertise to modify the existing conditions plan into, generally, 2 different potential floor plan layouts. We meet with the clients to discuss the pros and cons of these layouts, and refine until we find the best floor plan solution for the design. It is crucial to have a fantastic and functional floor plan before moving on to the stylistic components of the house.
Design Development takes the new floor plan and begins to style it. During this phase, materials including lighting, cabinetry, tile, flooring, color schemes, and all other finishing details are discussed. 3-D renderings are used during this phase to paint the picture of what the spaces will look like.
Construction Documents are the deliverable you receive from us. In this phase we specify, draw & print highly detailed plans to be used by Contractors to price the design, and as needed to meet City Permitting. Once the project is underway, we are available by phone and email to troubleshoot any questions that arise during the construction process. We typically make site visits every other week to ensure that the design intent is being upheld to the client’s satisfaction.
In The News
Check out some of our newsworthy successes below!
BEST EMERGING CREATIVE DUO – BEST OF PHOENIX 2013 AWARDS by Phoenix New Times
PHOENIX 100 CREATIVES: CAVIN COSTELLO by Phoenix New Times
35 UNDER 35 ENTREPRENEURS by The Arizona Republic and AZ Central
BEST HOMES ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR UNDER $250,000 on the NBC Today Show
URBAN RENEWAL by The Arizona Republic
A WINDOW ON HISTORY by The Arizona Republic
MODERN RANCH MAKEOVER by The Arizona Republic
A SPLASHIER BATH by The Arizona Republic
COOL HOME: THE REA’S MIDCENTURY MODERN IN PHOENIX by AZ Central
STYLISH BATHROOM REMODEL FOR LESS THAN $5,000 by AZ Central
HOUSING MARKET SHIFTS BACK TO METRO PHOENIX’S CORE by AZ Central
HAVER SAVER by AZ Magazine
HOME REDOS & DON’TS by AZ Magazine
HOW TO START FINDING A GREENER HOUSE by Houzz
DWELLING OF THE WEEK: THE CASTAWAY HOUSE by Desert Living Today
AWARD-WINNING ENERGY EFFICIENT G HOME IN PHOENIX by Inhabitat
HISTORIC REVIVAL REHAB IN CENTRAL PHOENIX by Jetson Green
NAHB GREEN REMODEL OF THE YEAR 2012 by Jetson Green
CASTAWAY HOUSE IS A COOL GREEN RENOVATION by Jetson Green
BEFORE AND AFTER: PHOENIX RANCH REMODEL by EcoBuilding Pulse
THE RANCH MINE REVIVED A HISTORICAL SPANISH COLONIAL FOR MODERN LIVING by Crestview Doors
5 MINUTES WITH CAVIN COSTELLO by Modernize.com
THE RANCH MINE DOES INFILL THE RIGHT WAY IN HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD by Blooming Rock
Check us out on TV and video below!
HOT REAL ESTATE YOU CAN BUY FOR UNDER $250,000 OR LESS on NBC’s TODAY SHOW with Barbara Corcoran
RECLAMATION NATION: DEVELOPING A RESIDENTIAL TRANSECT at Phoenix Urban Design Week 2012
CASTAWAY HOUSE AND PHOENIX GREEN CONSTRUCTION CODE on Building Phoenix
Lectures and Presentations
Check out some of our lectures and presentations below!
MODERN RANCH MAKEOVERS at Modern Phoenix Week 2013
SUSTAINABLE CHOICES FOR YOUR MID-CENTURY MODERN REMODEL at Modern Phoenix Week 2012
NEW DESIGNS ADDING VALUE TO HISTORIC CENTRAL PHOENIX NEIGHBORHOODS at Arizona Historic Preservation Conference 2014
MID-CENTURY TO MID-CENTURY: ADAPT TO PROSPER at Arizona Historic Preservation Conference 2013
ADDING SPACE & SAVING FACE: THE CARRIAGE HOUSE at Arizona Historic Preservation Conference 2013
DESIGNING FOUNDATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE at PechaKucha Night Phoenix: Design for Good
RECESSION SESSION: DESIGNING YOUR POST-COLLEGIATE CAREER at Northeastern University
Check out some of our client reviews below!
We interviewed several renovation design companies and quickly settled on Cavin and Claire Costello (at the time Claire Aton and Cavin Costello), who constitute The Ranch Mine, to guide the renovation and expansion of our 1927 abandoned brick cottage in an historic district in Phoenix. They listened well but were not hesitant to make their design leanings known. As the project proceeded they continued to carefully guide our thinking and decisions so as to fulfill our vision. The work was collaborative throughout, including the contractor team. We are in the last week of completion and Cavin and Claire have made themselves available at each step. They have been adaptable to required change without letting the team sacrifice the overall outcome. For example, when we suggested that the main material of the addition would be adobe, they quickly educated themselves in its manufacture and use. There was full embrace of this unique and central aspect of the project. It was a professional and personal delight to work with Claire and Cavin and we would recommend them without qualification.
Bennie G Clients
We hired The Ranch Mine to design a VERY budget conscious remodel of an early 1970s condo in Cave Creek, AZ. Almost nothing had been done to it since it was built, and though the bones were good it was dark, chopped up, and uninspired. You can see the open, light-filled, very enjoyable to live in space as redesigned at the link below.
Cavin and Claire listened well, were very prompt in their work, and had great ideas. We did only three concept sketches, and the cost actually went down as we got to the final design. I especially appreciated their help sourcing materials that were key to the look and feel at very very reasonable prices -which actually declined as we spec’d specific materials. As an added bonus, they also did a “modern” landscape design for us which is still in process so no photos yet. And, the plans were very high quality requiring no revisions to pass City review or to allow builders to bid and build – this saved time and money.
We also appreciated their continued help during construction consulting on colors (stained concrete floors) and various other issues.
All in all, a great experience. I highly recommend them for great design ideas, timely high quality work, and responsiveness to Owner concerns. And, they are delightful people and a pleasure to work with!
Flying Colors Client
First I will say that I’m impossible to work with. Partly because I’m new at this and of course I was expecting TV style Property Brothers results (cost timeline etc), and partly because I’m maniacally particular, impatient and stubborn by nature. My taste is ultra modern, simple, and unique and the Team at Ranch Mine gobbled up these challenging conditions and PRODUCED without flinching.
We chose Ranch Mine because Cavin and his team seemed to specialize more in reusing as much of the existing materials as possible, building in SMART, SUSTAINABLE solutions while hitting style preference. Their genuine interest in getting our concept and desires right the first time amounted to a pretty involved vetting session that made us feel like they appreciate our job and how it will impact our lives moving forward vs. the “ya ya ya we’ve got this covered..we’ll figure it out” lip service that came from the competition.
Their out of the box green additions were a great surprise and we can’t wait to see them in action.
Furthermore, let me say that Cavin’s Construction Documents (final stage in preparing his design for a contractor to put into place) were consistently celebrated with all 4 building contractors we interviewed. All were impressed at the amount of specific detail he included in the docs, and all seemed to independently agree that his efforts up front would surely help the project get completed as quickly as possible.
It’s been a gift to work with Cavin and his team and I’d highly recommend Ranch Mine to anyone looking for the same experience I’ve described above.
Sun View Clients John and Ann Rea
Creative, responsive, cost conscious, The Ranch Mine was a great find for us. With them we were able to create our dream house, we completely remodeled a 50′s ranch into a modern, livable space. When people walk in to our home for the the first time, they say wow!
At Firefly Living we have had the pleasure of working with Cavin and Claire of The Ranch Mine on multiple projects. They have a unique ability to take old outdated floor plans and refresh them so that they make sense in today’s modern world. The projects we have completed with the Ranch Mine have garnered national attention and accolades. Renovations are complex projects and their insights and experience definitely simplify the process. We would recommend anyone considering taking on a big project work with the Ranch Mine team.
Park Paradise Clients
We worked with Cavin and Claire from The Ranch Mine for our full house renovation master plans and just completed the first phase, the kitchen remodel. We are taking a traditional southwestern ranch home and making it more contemporary which they really excel in. They were great to work with. They brought up ideas we would never have thought of and they really listened to what we wanted. They nailed our kitchen materials and finishes on the first try. We are looking forward to continue to work with them on the rest of our place.