A Playful House in Phoenix

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Taylor and Isabella Crockett
Location: Central Phoenix, Arizona
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 9 Months; Owned

While the housing market in Phoenix was one of the first to crash, it’s also been the first to rebound. Before the first quarter of 2012, if you were quicker than the investors, you could snag a foreclosed home in an historic neighborhood for less than $100,000. Unfortunately, most of the options were limited to either a house in need of considerable repair, or a flipped house with a new, yet hideous interior. When Taylor started looking for a house around this time, she thought she chose one settled squarely in the middle of those two options. Some aesthetic problems needed to be addressed, and perhaps a few structural repairs here and there, but ultimately she figured she’d be able to live in the house while slowly completing projects. In reality, the problems were so extensive that it would take 11 months of work before moving herself and her daughter into the home.

(Image credit: Lindsey Kay Averill)

The first project on the agenda was to replace the countertops in the kitchen. While removing the countertops, Taylor discovered three things: rotted and moldy walls, cabinetry that wasn’t attached to said walls, and her mother’s newfound knack for replacing drywall. “Once we removed the cabinets and the little wall and took the laminate floor up and saw how bad it was, it snowballed from there.” Originally the kitchen was where the dining room is now. Taylor decided to push it back to both open up the space and to better utilize the natural light from the corner window.

Her mother, a longtime DIY enthusiast, never once considered hiring someone to do the repairs. They watched Youtube videos on everything from how to install drywall and replace studs, to wood floor installation. Her uncle, an 80 year old engineer by trade, rewired the house and replaced the leaking cast iron plumbing with copper. Her brother welded the unit that separates the living room from the dining room and helped her polish the concrete floors. Additional help came from friends and even former renters who worked off their last month’s rent with demolition labor. Of the renovation fund, around $5000, not one cent was spent on labor. This incredible team has crafted a sweet and loving home that Taylor can — and should be — proud of.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is still evolving, and it has been hard for me to pinpoint one category. I guess it is more of an appreciation of clean lines, handmade textiles, tradition, quick gestures of a child’s hand, and showcasing beauty of natural objects. I never set out with a plan to decorate a room — if I like it, I buy it, and let the pieces fall where they may.

Inspiration: Tradition of craft, textural elements, the desert, fossils, vintage elements.

Favorite Element: The bamboo floors.

Biggest Challenge: Creating separate spaces in an open area.

What Friends Say: That I should be proud of the work we did. Thank you Uncle Wally and Mom!!!

Biggest Embarrassment: The dead grass in the yard — actually the entire front of my house.

Proudest DIY: Gutting out a bathroom and laundry closet to create a new footprint for the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: The bamboo floor — it was something that wasn’t budgeted for, but half of it was donated by a good friend.

Best Advice: From my mother: keeping the custom shutters that came with the house. I wasn’t sure if I liked the style of them, but now they have become one of my favorite things about the house and they keep the Arizona sun out.

(Image credit: Lindsey Nochta)

Resources of Note:


• Industrial shelving unit form the Apache Junction flea market.

• Couch from the Arc thrift store in Tempe and reupholstered by my mother has as a house warming surprise!

• Rug from the Goodwill.

• Chair thrifted in Tucson (one of my favorite pieces and my cat’s too).

• Ceramic and brass lamp from Apache Junction Flea market.

• Tree stumps are old Anthropologie display props that needed a home.

• Coffee table from Mesa Antique Mall.

• Saguaro skeleton Antique Trove in Scottsdale.

• Botanical Screen print by good friend Nancy Bobo at http://www.luncheonettepress.com/

• Mid-century buffet thrifted in Tucson.


• Repainted Ikea cabinets in bright gloss white.

• Countertop from Ikea.

• Welded shelving piece by my brother Collin.

• Vintage peach hardware from Antique Trove in Scottsdale.

• Brass globe lighting from a yard sale of a local dive bar.

• Dining chairs bought off a good friend.

• Large painting in dining room by my daughter Isabella.


• Curtain fabric from Home fabrics and made by me.

• Circular shelving unit frame thrifted in Bisbee.

• Deer head plaque I was told was won by my uncle at a carnival, my grandmother Zennah always had it in her room with her jewelry hanging off it. If I knew the history I would of never painted it white.

• Patchwork quilt from Anthrpologie.

• Rug from Ikea.

• Dresser was part of a set that my parents bought together over 40 years ago.


Rug from Anthropologie.

• Dresser thrifted in Tucson.

• Light fixture from Apache Junction flea market.

• Shelving unit from Ikea.

• Quilt from Anthropologie

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Taylor and Isabella!

(Images: Lindsey Nochta)

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*Re-edited from a tour previously published.