A few weeks back I left the soggy lands of Portland to travel to red plains of Phoenix, AZ for a few days for work. Though my time there was primarily spent working, I did manage to take a day to do a little exploring and R&R.
Knowing little about Phoenix and being solo, I wanted to do something on foot that wouldn’t just involve going out to eat only. Being a big admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, I was very excited to remember that he had designed a building at ASU’s campus in Tempe, which was only a thirty minute light rail ride from my hotel.
From photos I have seen I knew what I was looking for, but when I finally came across it while walking the campus it was nothing like I had ever seen before, even for FLW. It looked like a giant copper cake from mars! Adorned with beautiful scalloped edges and layers, it glowed in the early desert sun. The doors were locked so I couldn’t venture in, but I could only imagine the burnt orange carpet that ran through it.
Another favorite was the H.B. Farmer Education Building. Again with the monotone burnt orange edges with the softness of the globe light and and pops of greenery. This building was definitely a blast from the past that hopefully never gets a modern renovation. As I left the campus I wondered if the students appreciated the architecture and it’s history. Probably not. But hopefully one day some will.
Since I was going to be in town for four nights I wanted to stay at a hotel that was a little outside of the general Downtown area and that stayed more alive post business hours. I booked my stay at the Found:Re, a boutique hotel in the Arts District. The layout and decor of the rooms reminded me a lot of the Ace DTLA with it’s floating bed and interactive shower.
My room had a nice view of the street and some restaurants so even though I could be up in my room binging on HGTV I didn’t feel isolated.
After my walk through ASU did a little self-care poolside with a vibrant cocktail. I actually cannot remember the last time I actually laid out and did nothing by a pool. And I forgot how relaxing it was. Must do again soon!
Being my last night there and making the most of my one day off like a vacation, I took myself out to dinner (rather than ordering room service) down to the hotel’s restaurant Match. So I confidently ordered myself the ribs and enjoyed a night out solo - something I do not do often. Best part, no one talked to me. Maybe it was the ribs. Either way, it was just how I wanted my evening to go.
Though Phoenix is still not on my top 10 destinations to visit, I was pleasantly surprised with what it had to offer during my short and busy stay. Until next time…
Also tbh, I meant to post this weeks ago but life. Enjoy!
OUR STAIRS ARE DONE!!! Finally! From, start to finish it took approx. six months! But as my husband likes to say: the turtle always beats the hare. And yes, patience definitely paid off! They are beautiful and exactly what we wanted!
If you dare to look back at the before (and progress from week one and week five) these new stairs have completely transformed our home. It’s so airy, and natural light pours in - which is really important in Portland. It definitely makes for a great entrance into the house.
Not only did the stairs turn out better than we thought, but our contractor gave our home a big upgrade with his awesome craftsmanship in the trim and moulding. We went with a base-trim to return the home back to it’s era after numerous previous owners did their own “upgrades.” In this he also added a very simple but very appropriate frame around our new window which I love so much! Eventually every window and door frame will have the same details. It ties in our mid-century style so well. The new window is also going to be our new standard for the house with the craftsman divided lights. We also replaced all of our floor registers from the dingy ones that were left behind that help tie in our vintage look with an antique brass finish.
Picking the right paint and stain was probably one of the most difficult decisions we had to make in this project. Our treads are a gorgeous White Oak but we quickly found out do it’s absorbent nature we would need to use a gel stain that would give us the color we wanted while keeping the integrity of the grain while still being durable. We ended up going with a color called Candlelite that gives a rich tone without being too warm (and it matches our furniture!). Only downside is, gel stains take about five days to dry so prepared for that.
Then, I really struggled with the color, because I wanted all white walls, but Danny wanted a contrast between the walls and the trim so we compromised and went with Benjamin Moore’s “Cloud Cover”. It looks more like a Vintage White, and goes nicely with the all the wood. We had originally thought we would do all the painting and staining on our own to save money, but after we realized how tedious it was going to be, we decided to hire out the job - and it was worth every penny spent. The whole process took about a month.
After the initial build was complete, Danny and I talked about what the functionality of this room would be besides just the stairs, since it was previously a bedroom. We never envisioned this room to be our dining room, but after placing our table in there while moving the rest of the furniture in from it’s hiatus in storage, it just made sense. The rest of our existing furniture then fit in perfectly, as if it was meant to be. But, the room really came together with the gorgeous light fixture from Schoolhouse Electric. Biggest plus side, now we have a great view of the fireplace while we have dinner or play games with family and friends.
We are beyond pleased with how everything came out and could not be more grateful having met the people we did who made this all happen. Now to get some more plants and finish decorating!
Thank you so much David & Bryan, Nikole & Tom Peña, Bonnie Johnson, and Emily Moran. You dudes are the best. Xo.
Stair Newel - McCoy Millwork
Window - Milgard via Parr Lumbar
Paint - Benjamin Moore, Cloud Cover
Stain - General Finishes, Candlelite
Floor Registers - Home Depot
Lighting - Schoolhouse Electric
Rug - Vintage from PCC Flea Market
Chairs - Craigslist
Table - Goodwill
Bookshelves - Salvation Army
Flowers - Knot & Fern