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The El Chorro: Arizona Charm

Nothing says Arizona like a view of Camelback Mountain from an outdoor patio on a warm evening while surrounded by old friends. This is what the El Chorro Restaurant has become known for, a favorite place to local residents for several decades. So when interior designers Kerri Foreman and Niki Scatena from Vallone Design were called in to update the look of the place, they didn't want to stray too far from what the regulars knew and loved.

“The place looked pretty dated when we came in." said Scatena. “It was kind of all over the board with different furniture added at different times. It wasn't cohesive. Our goal was to give it a facelift and more updated look. So we cleaned it up and modernized it a little bit. We gave it bigger bar that was indoor outdoor. We changed the flow a bit but stayed within the original footprint of the building. We wanted to maintain the old Arizona charm."

The makeover consisted of a color palette that included a coat of Dunn-Edwards Pearl Necklace (DEW343) paint to brighten the space, a coat of Stucco Tan (DE6205) to freshen up the Classroom Bar, and Arizona-red carpet in the dining area and out to the patio. They kept the El Chorro's trademark accents of royal blue on the fabric used on the walls and chair cushions.

“We saved a lot of the wood beams and refinished them to give them new life," said Foreman of the other accents kept intact. “We kept the old fireplace in the dining rooms even though they aren't working fireplaces, they're very unique looking."

Part of their goal was to keep the El Chorro's clientele happy, who have been coming to the restaurant and bar as regulars for years. “If we had gone too far in changing the space, the older patrons would have been very unhappy. We hung some old photos and western artwork to mix the old and new," said Scatena.

As for the end result, both the designers and the patrons seem pleased. “If you were ever in it before, we just simplified it so much. I think it has a much more classic look now that will go a lot longer," said Foreman. “Everybody seems pretty happy."

El Chorro's Dunn-Edwards Colors

Stucco Tan (DE6205)

Pearl Necklace (DEW343)

See the slideshow:

Photos by Mark Boisclair

The El Chorro is located at 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253.
For more information, visit: their website.

For more information on interior designers Vallone Design, visit their website.