design

February Design Book Club: Hit The Road

If you’ve been following the tidbits I’ve been spewing on IG, then you know I’m back in the camper action! And since I’m in camper mode, I thought this month’s book could follow suit. It’s camping weather here in Phoenix and it will be soon in your neck of the woods, too. Let’s get a little roadside design inspiration! Now, the cover online does not do this book justice. The colors are phenomenal.

This month’s book club book is Hit The Road: Vans, Nomads and Roadside Adventures by Gestalten and Sascha Friesicke.

There’s so much to look at here! This book shows all sorts of mobile vehicles, Liz Kamarul’s Winnebego being one of them. It also shows converted school buses, vans, Airstreams, trucks, tiny homes….TONS of cool stuff. There are even roadside recipes to enjoy.

Pick this book up by clicking here or on the photos!

Side note: I have no idea if you guys are participating each month unless you mention it to me on social…..so if you are….COMMENT BELOW! I’m also open to any suggestions for future books. Holla at me.

DAY 24 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Light It Up

If you think I’m going say for you to go buy all new light fixtures, well you are only a smidgen correct. Maybe 5% on point because there is so much more to be done with lighting than just switching out a light fixture. Today we will work on lighting as a complete package.

DAY 24 Lighting.png

There’s a lot to be done in the lighting department. Below are the many ways you can make an impact in your home by adjusting your lighting needs.

Replace Your Bulbs With The Right Bulb, Even If It’s Not Burnt Out

Edison Bulbs

Early on in the Edison bulb craze, I realized it wasn’t for me. That’s right. No. Here’s why: many of the light fixtures that feature Edison bulbs look great in the fixture, but work horribly in the room. I once put a light fixture in a bathroom with Edison bulbs and my newly renovated bathroom felt like a haunted house. Edison bulbs are horrible for actually seeing anything as they don’t put off enough light, especially in a lighting situation where you want to see what you are doing. They also tend to be a little too orange-y/amber in color for my taste. Maybe this has changed over the years, but still, I haven’t gotten over the let down of a cool looking bulb not working the way I wished it would. I have a hard time going back to things after I have already shunned them, like capri pants and Costco.

Bright White and Blue Hued Bulbs

On the flip side, nothing feels more clinical than a bulb that shines just as annoyingly as fluorescent bulbs. The ones that come to mind are new LED can lights. I tend to stay away from LED lights in general because of this. They typically are so blue in hue that they feel like you’re getting prepped for surgery. If your room feels horrible, try switching out the bulbs for something a little warmer. It seems counter intuitive, yet you’ll thank me later.

Globe Bulbs

Instead of using Edison bulbs I like to grab round incandescent bulbs. They put out great light and have a nice shape as well. They work well in those situations where an Edison bulb would look good, but won’t work well for lighting purposes. They also work well in situations where you’ll be looking up at the bulb from below, such as in the bathroom where you don’t want look up and see the swirly CFL bulbs hanging down.

Appliance Bulbs

How annoying is it to open your freezer or dryer and not be able to see inside? Fix that shit already.

Update Your Light Fixture

Paint It

We’ve hit this in several challenges already so you know full well by now that you can paint a light fixture. Shut off the power to that fixture, flip the switch on and off to test that it is in fact off, then take that puppy down for it’s spray paint treatment. Put it back up the same way you took it down.

Decorate or Un-decorate It

If your bathroom vanity light or dining room chandelier are dumb AF, you have a few options.

  1. Replace the shades with something different. Home Depot sells shades by themselves.

  2. Remove the shades completely. Do you even need shades? Maybe, maybe not.

  3. Replace the bulbs for something a little more shapely and call it a day. Sometimes it’s just that flame bulb that is bringing the wrong vibe. Try a globe bulb to modernize it.

  4. Add something to your light fixture like beads, crystals, what have you.

Replace Your Fixture

Sometimes you just have to jump ship and try something new. I like to buy light fixtures from Amazon, Etsy, Shades of Light , West Elm, World Market, CB2 and Pottery Barn. There is always a sale going on at those box stores so keep an eye out. Here are some of my favorite fixtures I’ve used over the years.

Remove A Light Fixture

This is something I’m doing regularly now, as in I’m not putting fixtures where I would have normally. I may even remove some. For instance, for a long while pendant lights were the norm in any kitchen I would design. Now, I decide if that kitchen would benefit from them or if it would detract. My newest remodel, The Rattan Ranch, was one such case. I have rattan basket style pendants hanging above the table in the adjoining dining room. I couldn’t think of a light fixture that would compliment those lights and not compete with them. I also didn’t like the idea of more lights hanging down in my face. So, I just did without. I do still have can lights, but no pendant lights over the peninsula.

Dim It

Maybe you’re not suffering from a light fixture problem at all. Maybe you just need to be able to tone it down a little. Add some dimmers to some lights, especially the can lights. This will make your nights and early mornings much more enjoyable. See the DAY 22 pleasure post about other ways to make your home feel more pleasurable.

If you shop for a new light fixture or light bulb and if you put this plan into action, we want to see! It’s so motivating to see things getting done! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

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.


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
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design therapy: in Phoenix
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Saturday Six: Remember Your Flip, Girly AF, Elimination

Six random thoughts on a Saturday…

ONE - remember

Back in Phoenix! It was a whirlwind of chaos, design and shopping in Cincinnati this week! I literally cut most people and projects out of my life the entire week and just straight worked. Some of my friends and family didn’t even know I was in town. I feel bad about that but then again I seriously went non-stop and had very little room to breathe even! I don’t think I’ve ever been that focused. I even forgot about my own flip! Someone asked me about how it was going and I was like, “Ummmm, hmmm I don’t know!” Whoops.

TWO - missing

I got this light for the Cincy Airbnb, but it never was really seen since it will be going in the sofa area and the sofas have been MIA. It’s really cute and not a bad price for a floor lamp!

THREE - inappropriate

Sometimes I want to have my own podcast so I can ask people questions that are not normal for every day conversation. Is that weird?

FOUR - pinned

I really am stuck now in this contemporary vibe. Never loved it before working on the Cincy loft. Now I want to Art Deco everything. I’m sure my Comfy Cactus Airbnb will receive the deco treatment bc it tends to take on my design whims for some reason.

Side note: I’d also like to do a girly AF Airbnb. Like with pink marble or granite counters. So there’s that.

FIVE - mine

Dudes. World Market is having a 40% furniture deal! It ends Sunday 11/25! I’ve been eyeing this chair in particular. Might be time to pull the trigger!

SIX - eliminate

I often think, “What can I get rid of?” I mean I do like a good purge, but also when designing. I get sick of the routine of the same things over and over. I mean I like lighting. Like, a lot. But, sometimes when I feel like I’m in a sort of rut, I just get rid of something and change it up. Like pendant lights. It was ingrained in me that one must have pendant lights over an island or peninsula. But, sometimes the idea of something hanging in front of all of the other fun, beautiful things I had planned was not sitting well. So, I just got rid of them. At first it felt naughty and wrong but now it’s like BYE. I like it. I feel so rebellious. I’M SUCH A REBEL WITH MY NO PENDANT LIGHT KITCHENS! :)

What you might have missed this week…

  1. November book club was announced! See all book club months here.

  2. The Comfy Cactus Phoenix/Arcadia Airbnb has last minute availability Nov 12-16, then nothing else until the weekend before Christmas and the beginning of January.

  3. The Shack Phoenix/Biltmore Airbnb has last minute availability Nov 12-14 and Nov 18-22, then nothing else until December 13-20. We also have New Year’s open!

  4. Look for the Cincinnati Airbnb listing to go live in the next week to 10 days!