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.
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.
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