Let Me In – Steph Carrico

This Let Me In blog post is especially near and dear to my heart. I met Steph when our band played at her performance venue, The Trunk Space, in Phoenix years and years ago. Steph does so much, and contributes so much to our community. I will let her explain all of those details, but for this post I have to say the first time I stepped foot into Steph’s house, I was intrigued. There is a presence about it that I can’t explain, as if the house itself has a soul. And while everything in the house is something to admire and talk about, nothing seems “precious” and the house is lived in, and celebrated.

Esther and I had so much fun hanging out with Steph, and learning about her home. She is truly “good people” and one person that I am honored to know.

Steph Carrico

Who are you? What do you do?

My name is Stephanie Carrico, most people call me Steph. During the day I am a photography and visual art teacher at the high school level.  I love my job, I am so inspired by my students.  We have a chemical darkroom and a lot of days I feel like I am teaching them magic.
I also am the co-owner of The Trunk Space, an art space that caters to all forms of art from visual, to performance, music, theater and vaudeville.

What made you decide to move into the residence that you did? Location? Potential?

I wanted to live in a historic house in downtown Phoenix.  I really like being downtown, I am close to creative like minded people and most of the places I like to spend my time are within 10 minutes of my house.  When I was looking for a place to buy a lot of the houses had been poorly remodeled. I saw lots of low end cabinetry and crappy tile put over hardwood floors.  Most of the houses I would have had to spend a bunch of money undoing bad remodel jobs. The house I bought had been neglected for 30 years so a lot of things where in serious need of repair, but it still had the original crown molding, the floors where intact, but buried under carpeting. The house was a lot less expensive because it needed so much work. It made sense for me to buy something that needed work for less money then paying more money for a house that I needed to undo a bunch of cheap upgrades.

What renovations/changes have you made?

The ceiling in the living room was cracked and damaged severely, the solution the previous owner had was to put drop tiles in.  I removed all the drop tiles and had someone repair the ceiling.  I unburied the floors and refinished the wood. I rehung some of the double hung windows and repaired broken windows. In the bedroom someone had taped up small squares of drywall, if you hit them with your fist they fell down as paint and tape where the only things holding them up, so I redid all the insulation in that room and redid the drywall.  I replaced the old wood in the back of the house with cement lap board, I replaced all the electric and plumbing and put in an AC. I painted inside and out. I completely redid the bathroom.  A lot of the “remodeling” I did I used items I found at antique shops to keep the historic feel of the house and to save money.  I found a claw foot tub out in Glendale for $300, it would have been about $2,500 to buy a new one, and the one I got was cast iron instead of plastic.

What is your favorite part of your place, and why?

I really love the whole house, I don’t think I can play favorites! I feel really comfortable in my house and it is laid out really well for all my needs.  I wish I had a little more counter space in the kitchen, but that is my only gripe with the house.

If money were no object, what is one thing you would renovate or purchase for your place?

If money where no object I would put a tin roof on the house.  I think the house would look fantastic with a tin roof, and it sounds so pretty when it rains.

Biggest pet peeve of your place?

My biggest pet peeve is the Bermuda grass. It is such a pain to deal with.  I have tried to kill it, but haven’t had any success.

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

Steph Carrico

The details in Steph’s house just blow my mind. I was looking all over like a crazy person just because I didn’t want to miss anything! Thank you so much to Steph, for being such a generous host and allowing Esther and I to come over and invade your space!

Check out The Trunk Space website: http://www.thetrunkspace.com/

And special thanks to Esther for the beautiful photos! www.estherruthphotography.com


I am loving…all things Leopard



I remember at some point in the 90′s (why does that sound so far away now??) having a comforter on my bed that was leopard print. I thought that was IT. I was legit. At some point after that, leopard seemed to be cliche or tacky or maybe people didn’t really get it. I’ve personally always held a very special (and sometimes secret) place in my heart for leopard.

I have seen a lot of instances where it is absolutely used in an over-the-top manner – you know, leopard wall paper and a leopard headboard with leopard carpeting… and that’s when it tends to go tacky. But used in small amounts, it is divine. Classy, bold, a little risque…

Check out these examples of leopard used PERFECTLY in interior design:

Leopard stool


Used as the upholstering in this stool, it’s so understated and glamorous. It blends so well with the earthiness of this room!

Leopard pillows


 OMG. Don’t even. Who could pull off a fuchsia rug, black wing-back chairs with white piping, leopard pillows and a bright orange Hermes tray? Design BRILLIANCE is happening here.

Leopard wall


Somehow, they’ve designed this room so that a green desk is the stand out piece against a leopard wall. Wrapping the pinboard and the chair seat in the same pattern achieves just that, by making the desk appear on a seamless background. It’s just whimsical.  

Leopard Chair


Here we go again with the leopard and fuchsia! And I’m loving it! I feel like the artwork could be something different as it kind of distracts from the furnishings – what do you think? 

Leopard Carpet


Understated and amazing. Keeping the tones in the room in the neutral family makes this room super cozy and relaxing. Having the leopard print rug amps it up a bit and keeps the room from being too boring. I love this!

Leopard sofa


 OK. WHERE TO I EVEN BEGIN? WHY AM I YELLING? It’s because of this ridiculous room. In the best way. The chandelier. The gold framed paintings hung over the mouldings. The color of the walls. The parquet floors. The SOFA. Yikes. I could live and die in this room , throw a party, have a drink, have the flu… I don’t even care. This is beautiful, glamorous, amazing… I want to go to there.

So now not only do I need to get something leopard in the house, but I also need to move to a high-rise old apartment building in either Paris or New York so I can have this room. Gorgeous.

Leopard is a great way to add something bold to a room, without completely changing everything, or overwhelming the space. Happy Weekend, my friends!



Living Luxe on the Cheap – Target blows my mind again

I am constantly pulling pictures of furniture off of the internet and saving them to files on my desktop. These are “dream pieces” if you will, and maybe not related in any way to anything I’m currently working on. A beautiful side table, or a great looking chair – they all get put into these folders where I will eventually browse, use for inspiration, or maybe even just day dream about someday using them in someone’s house (or my own!).

The other day I came across this media cabinet and had a slight episode.

Black Credenza


I mean, this looks like it was made for me. It just speaks to me, you know? I quickly clicked the link, and then my heart sank a bit when I saw the price: $2,299! I mean, it IS marked down from $4,295 so that’s a deal, right? And maybe if I combined our savings account, our emergency savings account, our vacation account…  I had to stop. A piece of furniture is not worth going to the poor house for. It is so beautiful, but just reminded me that probably like me, a lot of people either can’t or won’t pay that much for a credenza (or any other piece of furniture). That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have access to really beautiful pieces though.

I was walking the aisles of Target at lunch, picking up some essentials, and getting some stress relief when I saw aisle after aisle of really amazing housewares. Typically, I will see one or two pieces, or maybe even one section of housewares that catch my eye, but this was seriously overwhelming. In the best way.

Mirrored Side TableThis mirrored side table would be great beside a bed, beside a couch or chair, or in small hallway/corner that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. And at only $89.99 it’s a steal!

white side tableNow if you’re not on the whole “mirrored furniture boat” (I get it, it’s a trend and eventually will be done, if it’s not already!), this is a way to incorporate the mirror, without going overboard. The cutout motif on the front is classic, and the ring pull really brings this side table to another level. $69.99!

apothecary cabinet


OK we’ve all seen those apothecary cabinets where you can keep all the things, and they are typically hundreds of dollars, if not more. The ones I’ve seen are vintage (read: you might find a surprise in the drawer), and maybe not all of the drawers are still with the piece, etc. Well this beauty above is brand new, waiting to be painted, stained, distressed and filled with your tchotchkes. The price tag? $280.99. Unbelievable.

Tufted loveseatHow cute is this loveseat? The tufting on the back adds a bit of glam, and the grey color is beautiful! I would probably change the legs to something less chunky which would lighten up the bottom profile, and bring your eyes up to seat itself. I can’t speak to the quality of a Target loveseat, but for $399.99, I can’t really complain.

Modern side tableI’ve seen all sorts of geometric side tables recently. The wood finish on this one could warm up any interior, and at only $59.99 , it won’t break the bank!

This post could go on and on – there really were THAT many amazing pieces there. When I can get a piece that isn’t expensive, I don’t feel bad stripping, painting, changing knobs, etc. so Target really has a lot of options!

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