The Valley is awash with fabulous dwellings in fantastic areas-luxury homes are simply what this town is all about. Here, we look at some of the finest communities to live in and some of the best custom home builders and architects to make your residential dreams come true. We went right to the source and talked to the fortunate families who live in these homes, so you can take their word for it.

Bill and Linda Demmer's Optima Camelview penthouse is truly a work of art: In addition to their carefully chosen furnishings, breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain fill the space from morning to night. Living primarily in Michigan (where Linda is a hot glass artist and Bill runs a family business), the couple plans to spend winter months in their Scottsdale condo, where Optima's proximity to nearby activities and art galleries provides the perfect warm-weather getaway.

The Demmers discovered Optima Camelview-owned by architect and builder David Hovey-three years ago, and were impressed with its unique exterior. "My first impression when we drove around the bypass was one of being awe-struck. It was a feast for the eyes and reminded me of ancient Babylonia," Linda says. To create their desired interior, the couple worked with one of Hovey's architects, Amanda Biroschak-in conjunction with Michigan-based interior designer, Christopher Ameel-in combining two seventh-floor units, which now make up their 3,100-sq.-ft. penthouse. Through the use of bright sunset and daybreak tones, Ameel helped to create an interior color scheme that mimics Optima's exterior. Linda explains that this is a play on Frank Lloyd Wright's idea of questioning, "Am I inside or outside?"

While the interior has turned out beautifully, Hovey's signature use of plantlife and private gardens also make an impression. "We were stunned because you look outside and you see glorious foliage and flowers, and yet you look at your neighbor's balcony and you don't notice that they're using it because of the way they've done the screening with all the plants," Linda says.

The Demmers may not call Optima home year-round, but the months they spend here will undoubtedly be those of urban enjoyment. "I have dreamed about living in a world of vibrant, natural color and world-class architecture, and now we are here," Bill says. Agrees Linda, "We are thrilled to winter in Scottsdale at Optima Camelview. David Hovey's architectural design is truly a stroke of genius." - A.S.

Community: Optima Camelview
Family: Bill and Linda Demmer; pictured here, Linda and son Jonathan Chambers
Residents since: 2008
Home builder/architect: David Hovey
Favorite part of Camelview: "Unlike other condominiums where you go from car to condo, here you actually see your neighbors out and about on the garden pathways or using the facilities, shops and restaurant," Linda says.

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Optima Camelview, 480.425.7177,

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Optima Realty, Inc.
7157 East Rancho Vista Drive
Suite 109

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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