Saturday Six: Flippin Gift Guide Edition

I could probably write 6 gift guides. Instead of dragging this shopping on, I’m going to just jam all of them into this post. I think you’ll quickly learn this is more of a post about gifts you’ll want and maybe you should just forward it on to your loved ones as a hint.

There are affiliate links galore in this post. Thank you for your support!

ONE - vintage

Train Case - $20+

Train cases look like some kind of display piece but in actuality they are storage! I keep all of my paint decks and swatches in one and carry it with me to design consults. They can also hold sewing stuff, craft supplies, make up, all sorts of things! Sometimes they can smell a little so if you can’t do a sniff test ahead of time, consider asking the seller if you’re going to buy on Ebay or Etsy.

Toilet Paper Holder aka Vintage Phone Stand - $30+

It’s things like these old AF telephone stands that are perfect for other things like holding TP. They slide right in next to the toilet where it can get real tight. They hold extra TPs so you aren’t left stranded. They have a nice little shelf on top that can hold something like an old wooden box that in turn conceals those not so beautiful feminine products. Some even hold magazines for those of you that like to camp out for a bit. You could even rest your coffee on top if you are a weirdo that brings your coffee in with you. It’s a win all around. I found mine at a second hand store but you can easily find one on Etsy or Ebay.

Kaya Kilim Vintage Rug - $200-$800

So, if you don’t know about Kaya Kilims Turkish Rugs you must be dead or something. I’ve lusted after a KayaKilims rug for years. One of my friends just got one and then she mentions that she might get another and about threw my phone in jealous rage. But, also happy for her you know because I mean she’s my friend. NOTE TO EARTH: I want a Kaya Kilim. These can get kinda pricey and you won’t even know which one to get so if you want to surprise someone with this gift of love, start up a collection jar for them. Maybe a mason jar with a Kaya label? Throw in some bones. You’ll win at life.

TWO - gadgets

Cold Brew Maker - $18.99

Cold brew is delicious. What else is there to say? Also, I’d go for the bigger one today. The small one makes 2 drinks for me. I want more. I suffer through.

Upholstery Cleaner - $124.99 (but read on for discounts)

I bought mine for $10 at the thrift store, probably because the sprayer wasn’t working but I just poke that shit with a safety pin and boom cleared. I would pay $125 for it now, though. I like it that much (but no I wouldn’t bc why??? read on). I have cleaned many a used sofa with this thing. I’ve cleaned spills on rugs in my Airbnbs. The last sofa I bought, the teal one in my newest Airbnb (used to be flip) was so dirty you wouldn’t even believe it. It was not people/pet dirt but like actual dirt. Like maybe the people left it in their garage and just dust and garage type dirt layered all over it. I got it all out. There is a version that doesn’t have the heat button. I don’t think my heat button even works so I don’t use it.

PRO TIP: See the “Add to Cart” button? Scroll down slightly to the “Used & New from…. ” link. This takes you to other options like Amazon Warehouse deals. You can buy an open box or refurbished one for much less. Some have never actually been used or even opened. It will tell you in the description. See what’s available. This works on many Amazon purchases!

Kitchenaid Soda Stream - $229

—-> another good looking cheaper option —> $69.99

Stop the madness with buying and carrying all of the cans and bottles of sparkling water into your house. This is what drove me to buy this machine because we would go through so much and carrying them up the stairs into our house every few days was lame AF. I don’t need all the flavors, although you can buy some and um also though squeezing a freakin lime is not that hard. I also sometimes smash up some mint leaves or blackberries or whatever and throw them in. For parties I make a sparkling water garnish bar bc I’m fancy.

THREE - homesick

Need a little home State love? Here are a couple of ideas:

Homesick Candle - $30

Wow. These candles even smell like home. I hope your home State doesn’t smell like a dumpster fire.

State Eye Chart - $18.95 (Use Code FW17 for a discount!)

How many States are you celebrating? My mother-in-law has 2 of these in one of her bathrooms. I have one in each Airbnb. They are just great easy on the eye ways of fitting in a little home State love. And since it is the print only, they could also fit in a stocking!

FOUR - design books

Everyone knows I’m a design book junky. I’ve been hosting a low key Design Book Club monthly if you want to check out some of the past choices. Below are some of my favorite books that may or may not have been part of the book club.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon - $10

A book that could fit in a stocking — it’s 6 1/8” x 6” x 1/2” thick. It doesn’t fit in mine but it fits in my daughter’s so measure it out. Lots of great ideas about creativity and borrowing ideas.

The New Bohemians and The New Bohemians Handbook by Justina Blakeney - $19 each

If you like yourself some boho... I mean the person you are gifting does…grab one or both of these. They are super colorful and fun.

Urban Jungle by Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff- $20

A book for people who love to kill plants. Wait. Love them but kill them. If you are gun shy about buying yet another plant and murdering it, get this book. It’s pretty AND it tells you how to keep it alive.

The Modern A-Frame by Ben Rahn - $22

A book for A-frame fanatics. If you or your friend like MCM, retro style and lots of pretty pictures, you’re not going to regret this book.

Surf Shack by Nina Freudenberger- $35

A book for boho geeks. Add the beach and I mean what else is there? This is about surfer’s homes and lifestyles from the newbs to the lifers and everyone in between. Total house + decor eye candy.

Nomadic Homes by Philip Jodidio and Russ Gray - $54

A book for people who have a wee obsession with tiny/mobile homes. So many good photos. It’s huge and heavy and FEELS like a sizable gift, then you open it and your eyes are blown off from the awesome photos.

FIVE - pillows

DK Renewal Kantha Lumbar - $48

DK Renewal is like an explosion of boho. This is is just one of the hundred boho stuffs they have. Check out their other items like artwork, rugs, poufs, etc.

CB2 Zbase Pillow - $40

I’m finding myself gravitating towards the black and white pillows. They can just go with so many styles. This one even comes with an insert.

Circle Grid Tassel Pillow - $50

Good ole’ Target coming through with a really nice pillow. I had to have this one for my new Airbnb. So I got it. The end.

The Citizenry Lumbar Pillow - $199

A client of mine had one of these on her bed and I stopped in my tracks. I had been drooling over it for years, but the price tag was like whoa. She told me her mother-in-law had bought it for her for Christmas. So, that’s how this pillow made the list. Because awesome pillows would be a great gift. Not to mention anything else on their site. Their blankets and bedding also look to die for.

SIX - snuggle

Soft AF Blanket - $25.00 Amazon

This blanket is like luxury. I got it for The Lounge Airbnb and yeah it’s amazing AF just like the reviews say. Price is right, too!

Best Bamboo Sheets - $40 (but read on)

OMG I could punch something right now. I seriously just bought like 9 sets of sheets and I’m just noticing that there is a discount code for 2 sets, 3 sets and 4+sets hidden in their photos! GAHHHH the humanity! Anyway, these things are obviously amazing because I buy them for all of my Airbnbs and myself. Both the queen and king sets are around $40. On my screen there is also a 5% coupon and then of course the coupon codes if you are going to just go hog wild like I do. I’m so pissed right now. I’ve honestly bought 15 sets of sheets in the past 4 months. Q#$%@#$%@$%@ Merry Christmas.

Boho Upcycled Cotton Sari Robe - $50

I asked Santa for this robe. I mean it looks so freaking comfortable! Considering getting a couple for The Shack.

Bed Sized Blanket - $50

I bought this blanket for the camper (No, it’s not done yet bc life. GET OFF MY BACK! <—note to myself). I stole if from the camper stash and have been using it to cozy up with on the nightly. The king size one obviously fits my king bed and stretches all the way across. You may decide on the twin size one to use on your sofa. I love that the king one is so ginormous bc my whole family can sit on the sofa with it together. We are snuggly people. I know you don’t believe that about me but it’s true.

BONUS

I know it’s supposed to be six but I have a couple stragglers that doesn’t have a home.

KEVA Contraptions Plank Set - $47

I saw this on the show New Amsterdam and was like yep gotta get that for my 5 year old. Santa will be bringing it to her this year. You see her self proclaimed super power is that she can build things. She’s been building all sorts of things like…a Starbucks…out of paper and tape and toilet paper tubes. My friend that’s a preschool teacher told me she has an invention box in her classroom. She throws random bits in there like mayonnaise jar lids, recycling stuff, egg cartons, tape, whatever and the kids get their time with the invention box, I have started the same thing with my daughter and created a Building Box. I throw random shit in there like coasters from a restaurant, recycling, straws, some of her school work and this colored masking tape. She goes to town building all sorts of contraptions.

Empack Travel & Fitness Backpack - $149

This backpack is awesome. I have it in orange and have been using it when I travel whether it to warm or cold climates. Mind you I’m not a fancy dresser by any means, but if you enjoy a good travel backpack, you’ll like this one. This backpack is built for WORKOUTS. Got a Crossfitter you need to buy for? Check out this bag. It has water reservoirs you can fill up to add wait to the bag. It has handles on all sides so you can use it sort of like a sand bag for workouts when you travel or hike. Really cool stuff for that fit him or her.

Airbnb Gift Card - $25+

Of course I can’t end a gift guide without the gift of travel and experiences! You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who won’t appreciate some mula toward their next Airbnb stay! And if your gift receiver is traveling to Cincinnati or Phoenix any time soon, you know where to send them. :)

Have anything to add to this list? Comment on this post so we can all learn about the coolest things!


My Update, Don’t Renovate Challenge is coming in January! Subscribe to join in and not miss a day! Your home will appreciate it.


December Design Book Club: Nomadic Homes

OMG you guys this book! I can’t wait to feast my eyes on this month’s read. Truth is…I’ve been saving it! Last month my husband gave me this book for my birthday. This is shocking for two reasons.

  1. That my husband would give me a design book for my birthday. That’s like me giving him a geek book. Our obsessions are totally foreign to each of other.

  2. I can’t believe he found a book that is so awesome and I have never even known of it’s existence. I thought for certain I had seen everything that is out there.

When I opened it I literally gasped because it is so beautiful and SUBSTANTIAL. It’s a nice heavy thick book filled with all the eye candy!

This month’s book is:

Nomadic Homes: Architecture on the Move by Philip Jodidio.

I’ve literally tried to keep my eyes off of it until December. Just taking those photos got me all excited! I think this would make a great gift for the Holidays for anyone who is design obsessed! Clearly it got me on my birthday!

I really hope you guys grab up this book for yourself or a friend. Your eyeballs will love it.

Miss any previous month’s books? See them all here!

Cyber Monday Design Consult Sale!

I did it last year….let’s do it again! I never discount my consults because they are worth every penny in my opinion. I share with you as much as I can and I share TONS! But, what the heck, I’m in the festive mood!

20% OFF DESIGN CONSULTS TODAY ONLY!

At Checkout Use Code: CYBERMONDAY2018

In a consult we’ll discuss anything you want from kitchen design to Airbnb ins and outs, from flipping houses to furniture placement. It can be your home or an investment property. It can be given as a gift for your kid’s or parents’ home. It can be general flipping or Airbnb questions with no particular home in mind! IDGAF.

It can be over the phone or in person! Below is more about what a consult entails:


What: A one hour renovation, design or investment strategy consultation (or all of the above!)

Cost: $250 over the phone or $300 in-person in Phoenix

Who: Consults can be for any or all of the following (should time permit):

  • Narrowig down design decisions

  • House flipping help including personal discussions about financing, how to find houses, etc….

  • Running an Airbnb

  • Material sourcing

  • Badass design ideas

  • Floor plan options

  • Expected general costs

  • Alternatives that will save money or update the look

  • Actual material options (this light would look good here, maybe X faucet, etc)

  • Color schemes

  • Things to avoid

How: You'll send me photos, videos and a sketch (if necessary) or I’ll just see it all in person if you are in Phoenix.

See more about the entire process here.

Clients typically find that after their consultation they have a more focused direction for their home renovation or investment property. They feel confident in how to proceed and have new ideas for the space that they had not considered. Often times they are relieved they now know what they can do in order to avoid complications, delays and sometimes disaster.

***A consult is verbal and does not include formal physical design plans.


If you’ve been thinking about a consult but have been waiting for the right timing, then pull the trigger now! There is no expiration on the consult. You don’t have to schedule it now. Schedule it when you are ready! HOWEVER, my schedule is open beginning in January, so any consult purchased now can be “cashed in” beginning in 2019.

Check my January calendar now if you don’t want to waste any time! Remember, if the times shown don’t work with your schedule, I am flexible and can work with you on a better time. Just reach out!

20% OFF DESIGN CONSULTS TODAY ONLY!

At Checkout Use Code: CYBERMONDAY2018


design therapy: from afar
250.00
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design therapy: in Phoenix
300.00
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"The Lounge" Downtown Cincinnati Airbnb is Live!

After a great rush to fill my friend, agent and fellow flipper, Grant Steed’s condo with all the comfiness, the time has come to hit the SEND button! Now live and ready for your next Cincinnati visit is The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati Airbnb! Let me give you the grand tour!

The Lounge is over 2000 square feet, 1100 of which is just in the living room area alone! I kid you not. If you know anything about downtown spaces, you know that that is just ridiculously huge. The space used to be a social club back in the day, so we wanted to bring a little bit of that vibe in and impart a comfortable lounge feel. In order to do that with the large area, we made separate seating areas and places to chill.

The Living Room

The main seating area is outfitted with two large chesterfield sofas and huge 4’ square coffee table, all of which face a 65” Roku TV.

The windows are one of the best parts of this loft bringing in a ton of light. There isn’t a building directly across from The Lounge, so it feels private despite the wall to wall windows.

*affiliate links ahead…

Chesterfield Sofas | Coffee Table (vintage) | Rug | Lamp

The Bar

Behind the sofas in the other half of the front living area is the bar set up with two lounge chairs facing the TVs as well.

Lounge Chairs | Bar | Cincinnati Art | Coffee Table (vintage) | Rug | Pillow

The Dining Room

Moving away from the windows we come to a large dining table with seating for 8. I imagine this as a great place to host a dinner party or work meeting.

Downtown Cincinnat The Lounge Airbnb

The Library

Across from the dining table is our library stocked with a ton of books. I filled it with as many random books as i could get my hands on. You’ll find anything from finance to romance novels, biographies to thrillers. Take one or leave one. Up to you! Enjoy a book on our chaise lounge that also converts to a twin size bed.

Chaise Lounge Chair | Rug | Bookshelves | Art | Lamp

The Kitchen

Rounding out the living area is this kitchen with a huge island with seating for three making that a total of 20 seats in the living area! The kitchen is fully stocked with everything someone needs on a vacation and then some. Knives that actually cut! Storage containers for leftovers! I try to consider everything!

Counter Stools

Which means that a coffee bar is A MUST! A 12 cup coffee pot should take care of things nicely. If not, have some tea.

Coffee Bar | Microwave | Coffee Pot | Coffee Cup Stand | Dishware/Coffee Cups

The Master Bedroom

Moving onto the bedrooms…I’m all about getting a good night’s rest. So both bedrooms come with a comfy memory foam mattress, organic bamboo sheets and blackout curtains. This condo is in the city, but it’s actually very quiet! I have included a noise machine just in case for those that aren’t accustomed to even the tiniest bit of city noise.

The master bath is also very large and comes with two vanities and two shower heads. Lots of room to get ready in the morning.

Master Bedroom in the Lounge Downtown Cincinnati

The Second Bedroom

The other bedroom also has a queen bed and all the amenities of the other bedroom. The second bath is in the hallway and includes a tub with shower and plenty of storage.

Art | Bamboo Sheets | Bed | Curtains | Curtain Rod | Mattress | Mattress Pad Cover | Side Tables | Throw Blanket | Quilt

Not only is this loft incredibly comfortable, it’s also in one of the best locations downtown. Situated on the Northern end of the Central Business District puts this loft only one block from OTR. This is basically the best of both worlds. Walk South to all of the attractions on the Ohio River such as the Red’s and Bengal’s stadiums, the restaurants and bars at The Banks, US Bank Arena or come inland a little to Fountain Square and all of it’s attractions. Walk North to OTR and visit a ton of the city’s greatest restaurants, small shops and breweries. Don’t want to walk? The street car passes (quietly) in front of this loft with a stop on the same block. My favorite things nearby though, are the couple of coffee shops just around the corner. We have written up a huge guidebook with all of our favorite places and really had a hard time stopping at what we had. So much good stuff!

The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati

I’m so excited for you guys to get to see and hopefully visit this great spot now! I stayed here for a week while I was putting it all together and I pretty much didn’t want to leave. The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati is now available for nightly bookings so you can see for yourself. Weekly and monthly discounts are available! Click the link below to see what dates are available!

Saturday Six: A Rant About They, A Challenge and Sharp Objects

ONE - what were they thinking

This has been bothering me for quite some time so here goes a little rant…. you know how you get your hands on a house (or just go into one) and think, “WTF were they thinking?” I can hear it in my head on repeat. You see an ugly kitchen or electric rigged a certain way, a cheap bathroom fix or an odd layout and say, “What were they thinking?” It’s like a mantra in the land of real estate. Well, I guess after a decade plus of hearing myself and other people constantly complain about things “they did”, I’m over it. When I hear those words now it is like nails on a chalkboard. Maybe I’m just sick of hearing complaining, which is ironic since I’m sitting here complaining to you about complaining. But, after being on Instagram for so long now and having a lot of content for people to pick apart, I’ve learned that most of the time, the things that people usually have a problem with is something they don’t even understand in the first place. There is always a reason behind why I did something and i realize now “they” probably did, too. I assure you they did something you don’t approve of because of a host of reasons. The top reasons I can think of are money, time, 18 other decisions made this one happen, “because I like it like that” and it was their home after all AND/OR “F it I don’t give an F anymore”. If you’ve renovated your home before you know there are 1.8 billion decisions, all of which affect each other…and your pocket book….and your sanity. And toward the end you just think please let this be over. And my guess is when it was “over” it wasn’t actually finished as intended. Was it? If you stay at The Shack, one of my Airbnbs, you will see a shade on a door that isn’t long enough to cover the entire window bc it was the last thing and I was at the - DAMN YOU SHADE! F YOU! I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE AND I HAVE TO MOVE ON - stage. I said it. It’s not perfect. I “should” fix it. I won’t. Bc F it.

Ok maybe I will some day when I simmer down.

TWO - faux fiddle

Now that that is out of the way. Here’s a fake tree I bought for The Shack to fill a naked corner. It has good reviews. Let’s see if I like it in person. I tried a real fiddle leaf in The Comfy Cactus and it ended up a mostly naked twig until I rescued it and brought it home. So, a fake one it is for now. Maybe. We’ll see.

Side note: fiddle leafs are not hard to care for despite what you’ve heard! I have one in my house where it can get some sun but not too much. Just right. When I have some water I’m going to throw out, like the rest of my glass of drinking water or half a water bottle, I just throw it in there. It’s grown about 2’ in two years. The one I rescued from The Comfy Cactus, same thing. I put it in my bathroom by a small window. When we are brushing our teeth, about once a week I fill up two glasses of water and pitch it in. It’s gone from twig with about 2 leaves on it to about 7 now! I honestly thought it was a goner.

THREE - mythical perfect schedules

Update on the Cincinnati condo I’ll be listing on Airbnb: sofas were being delivered on Wednesday but they called at 7am to deliver and no one could meet them. Womp womp. So, now they are rescheduled for Saturday. This pushes back cleaning and photos and obviously the listing timeline. Such is real estate stuffs. If anyone can figure out how to have anything involving homes go as planned and scheduled….please share with me this phenomenon. I’ll be your best friend.

Here’s the little devil we’re waiting on…

FOUR - all the good stuff

Pin of the week! This bathroom is like nothing I’ve seen.

Join me on Pinterest bc I pin weird, beautiful, awesome things. Because I want ALL the ideas. Naturally.

 by Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry

by Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry

FIVE - knives that cut

I got these knives for the Cincy loft and they are SUPER inexpensive! Only $20! They are pretty good lookin. Plus they cut, so that’s good.

SIX - january announcment

I know this is early, but consider allowing some room in your January resolutions/new year new you schedule. I’ll be doing a 31 day challenge involving houses and making them feel and look good without gutting them. If you have done my challenges in the past, then you know I throw shit at you hardcore like. Obviously you are welcome to do as you please. But, I won’t be letting up on the info spewage. Be prepared. A friend told me I was an idiot for not charging for it. I just feel like free is good right now.

If you don’t want to miss the challenge and its daily….challenges, be sure you are subscribed!

Click here to see past Saturday Six posts.