Project Flip Ya Later

 
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We have done many of renovations and home makeovers with wonderful furnishings and decor. This one in particular was an opportunity that we had such an amazing client who was flipping a family home to sell! It is in the wonderful Moon Valley area but just as others are in that area, OLD! Which is perfect! They have the best bones but need some serious design love. You guys, she gave us free rein to update and transform this home. We are in love with the end and made a friend of our client and her mom. That is what we live for!!!

Main goal here was obviously make this house look as gorgeous as possible but totally on a budget! When flipping a home it is important to not get carried away and keep costs as low as possible to have a larger return. Seems about right, right?! We planned and plotted to make sure the budget was under and the design was perfection.

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Well here it is, the master bathroom with gorgeous carpeting… Just kidding goodbye to all of it!!

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Ready for the after?! Oh man, the arches are everything!

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We are really quite bad at before pictures, we will let you know that right now. As you can see one of our designers making a nice appearance here for this one.

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These before’s… adios.

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Bye bye old sink!

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I wouldn’t mind doing the dishes now with this wonderful lighting and single basin stainless sink!

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Such a fresh, open hallway!

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Yet again, another high quality before photo but the after is totally worth it!!!

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Realistic (and laughable) Jobs of an Interior Designer

You guys! I was cracking up when I was reading this list that Capella Kincheloe wrote on her website. So often people do question what exactly an interior designer does and let me tell you this nails it on the head! This is the down to earth version of explaining the job of what we do and why we love it so much!! Hope you enjoy!!


  • You can get therapy and design for one price. Just kidding, most designers aren't licensed therapists, but sometimes get treated as such.

  • It’s almost impossible to have perspective on your home (too close to the trees to see the forest!!).

  • You don’t want your neighbors copying you.

  • You want your neighbors to copy you.

  • You don't want to copy your neighbors.

  • So you don’t have to live with 20+ paint swatches all over the room.

  • To not waste money resolving bad design decisions.

  • If you're spending money on the reno, spend the money to do it right the first time.

  • To keep track of all the orders.

  • Save time.

  • Professional plan of action.

  • Trained eyes will see things you're going to miss.

via pinterest

via pinterest

  • Better resources and relationships.

  • Designers think ahead, they know what is coming on the horizon and can prepare for it.

  • They'll know if the coffee table is the right height and size in relation to the room and the rest of the furniture.

  • Designers are skilled in the "mix": high/low, time periods, styles to keep your space interesting and cohesive.

  • You'll have somebody on your team.

  • Increase the value of your home.

  • Designers want to delight and dazzle you.

  • They can push your boundaries (in a good way!) and help you think out of the box.

  • They can help incorporate historic details when appropriate.

  • Designers can help you and your partner agree on a design style by being a neutral third party.

  • A designer can maximize your space.

  • So you'll have a home you love to be in and show off to friends.

  • To maximize quality for your money.

  • They'll know how to set the priorities for the project.

  • Designers know what needs to get done first, second, and what can wait.

  • They know where to find faux plants that don't look fake.

  • Designers go beyond what is trendy and give good design.

  • They can figure out where the light switches should go based on your preferences, not the builder's.

  • White-glove installation - they can install a house from empty to lit candles & a set table.

  • They know what materials are good for houses with kids & dogs.

  • Designers can help you find a place for everything and make it easy to keep it in place.

  • To spend more time enjoying your home with your family.

  • Somebody needs to decide on the grout type, color, and width.

  • Designers are problem solvers.

  • Designers are project managers.

  • Designers are creative.

  • Designers are innovative.

  • Designers are diplomats.

  • They'll know how to keep all finishes the same or appropriately mix them.

  • Do you know the standard measurement for lights above a dining table?

  • You can avoid having your house featured on McMansion Hell.

  • Designers can turn unused space into your favorite spot in the house.

  • Fluffing pillows so they look natural, but still orderly is harder than you think.

  • You can have function AND form.

  • The devil is in the details.

  • The details are not the details. They make the design. (Thanks Charles Eames)

  • Designers know how light, direction, and other colors affect paint and can account for that.

THREE BIRDS RENOVATIONS

THREE BIRDS RENOVATIONS

  • Save money

  • Spend money - wisely.

  • the WOW Factor

  • So you don't have to do it yourself.

  • Designers are not emotionally connected to your home to make the changes needed (like a doctor diagnosing and treating herself!)

  • Great sources

  • Knowledge

  • Experience

  • To style your bookshelves

  • Fewer headaches

  • Do you know what a rectified edge is? A designer does.

  • They know how high/low to hang sconces.

  • Designers come up with things you wouldn't have thought of.

  • They know a shower head can be too high or too low.

  • They know that sofa arm height is important to how you use your sofa

  • For solutions you haven't considered.

  • Designers speak the language of contractors, architects, and builders.

  • Confirmation you're headed in the right direction.

  • Designers care about the end result as much, or sometimes even more than you do.

 
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  • To be the bad cop with contractors and vendors so you don't have to

  • They worry about your project in the middle of the night so you don't have to.

  • Your project will get done and not let it languish.

  • No more piece by piece.

  • Designers deliver a full room or house complete with accessories so you can sit back and enjoy.

  • Designers wrangle contractors and vendors while you can focus on the rest of your life.

  • To help manage and control your budget

  • Designers can set realistic expectations of what is possible.

  • Network and industry connections only available to the trade

  • They have learned from past mistakes and can help avoid future ones.

  • They provide a guiding vision throughout the process

  • Share creative solutions

  • Access to customization

  • Working with a designer provides added protection and project insurance.

  • They can make a perfect bed and know what makes a bed perfect.

  • They can discuss the virtues wood, hand-tied construction, and sofa fillings.

  • Do you know that composite "leather" is not really leather? Designers do.

  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design

  • Designers know how to utilize negative space.

  • They can add color to your home without it taking over or being too colorful.

  • Designers know the right scale and when and how much they can push scale up or down.

  • Because they're awesome.

A Complete Guide to Thrifting - Two Gals Way

Let’s be honest thrifting can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially if you’re staring out and scoping the trend. In this post we want to share some tips and tricks, the things we actually look for, and getting the best bang for your buck.

For us, thrifting is retail therapy! Our first tip - setting a whole day aside for thrifting. This is important because you want to allow yourself enough time to really dig through all the stuff and travel to several stores. We try to aim for 3-4 stores depending the distance and area. With that in mind, create a map of the area you want to be in. We use trusty google maps to search for “thrift stores” or “Goodwill” in Phoenix. Once we map out where we want to start and end we set a budget for the day.

Amazing thrifting and styling - Selene L @houseofsaaj

Amazing thrifting and styling - Selene L @houseofsaaj

Our second tip - set a budget for the day, this is extremely important. Sometimes there are items that aren’t worth the few bucks. Try to limit yourself and be mindful of where this new piece will be displayed, used or placed. We try to consider the resale value of the item, if it’s a trend or a staple piece and if it’s something we can up-cycle too!

Selene L - @houseofsaaj

Selene L - @houseofsaaj

As Instagram has created a huge influence, some of the trends we are seeing is lots of baskets, wicker, texture and sandy color pallets! The list goes on, most of these items (if not all) can easily be found at your thrift store. Some of the things we look for - vases, they can be crucial to any “layering” created in any space. From bookcases, kitchen counters, coffee tables and dining rooms! Art pieces - That vintage vibe is SO good, especially if you’re mixing vintage and new. You want your space to be instagram worthy lol! We always look at the furniture, we have scored a few badass chairs in the past that can be awesome accent chairs in any space. Need new coffee table books? The thrift store has you covered. Look for big chunky books, remove the sleeve to get a feel for the cover. Stacking them without the covers to look at or the colors and sizes can help make a decision.

Another amazing thrifter - Jes Lewis @jeshaus

Another amazing thrifter - Jes Lewis @jeshaus

Scan every aisle, we love looking at the throw pillows, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see something you love. Consider the feather pillow inserts that can easily be used inside another pillow - in our case we have our own pillow shop, you can check it out here. We reuse these pillow inserts and make the pillows we want! Also always check the curtain/placemats/bedding section, we have found some awesome velvets, textures that we easily turned into throw pillows!

Before we leave we browse the clothing as well, mens oversized band tees and vintage Levi’s are our jam!

Jes Lewis - @jeshaus

Jes Lewis - @jeshaus

Jes lewis - @jeshaus

Jes lewis - @jeshaus

Please follow these amazing ladies on Instagram, their homes are literally thrifting goals and we aspire to find awesome pieces like they do! We hope this has been helpful!

Love,

Em & Rora

the new neutral

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know how to blog!! But I do know interior design and photos that inspire me daily so that’s the intention of these!! The reason we get up in the morning is to be able to share inspiration and give people to opportunity to be excited about their homes!

It’s funny to see how when I am searching for new design trends and I see a lot of our influence is from other countries. This to me is extra cool knowing that the designs that are coming in are bringing new cultural elements to our homes! This new color is the creamy clays that are bringing comfort and warmth in a luxurious way! Who would of thought pink would actually be high end?? I am not mad!

I may have actually had a few tears rolling when I came across this modest retreat of bold craftsmanship in Spain!

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Would ya just look at these stairs!!!!

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By Yatzer

Ok this next one made me want to go rip all my tiles out of my home! My fave part about this is the brick wall with those terra cotta oblong tiles! GOALS.

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More With Less

I don’t think this needs an explanation here, just visually enjoy!

 

Aaaand here are our tiles of the moment -

You Guys…this tile from Cle’ is seriously giving us the feels right now!

This Clay Bisque tile from the Tile Bar gives a little sheen while having all the natural vibes

 
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Even if you can't use it structurally, here are our favorite ways of it being used through furniture and accessories!!

Like a sofa..are you kidding me?! Soooo good. I’m also looking at that perfect peach peeping on the swivel chair!

Let’s Paint a wall! Even faux painting is dreamy!! Yes, its back!!!

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50 shades of perfect pink. Just use it all ok??

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Let us know what inspires you and what you would like to see more of!! We have answers and would love to hear from you :)

Kitchens that will make you Swoon.. You're Welcome

This is for all my kitchen lovers out there! Nothing is more inspiring and satisfying than a delish kitchen!! This is the staple to any home and the place where the food’s at! Need I say more? Even if you can’t do a huge gut-job remodel there are always easy fixes that you can do to obtain a kitchen that has extreme character and you written all over it.

As a designer my top priority is to make sure my client’s personality is shining through their dwelling. When you have items that spark a little somethin somethin in you, you are at your best! Another top tip is to embrace the outdated tile and update it with that rugs you’ve been eyeing! Add some vintage wood to your not-so-cool countertop! Layer the hell out of your surfaces to only embrace the style!

So anyways, Im sure you came here for the inspo, here are kitchens that will go ahead and make you dream of cooking in!

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6 Actual Benefits of Hiring an Interior Designer

Well hello there, we are writing this blog post not because we are interior designers trying to sell our service but because we really want to lead you in the direction of having an awesome home! Interior designers can get bad rep and that's just a thing of the past! 

 
 

We will keep it short and sweet as to why it's the coolest thing ever to hire an interior designer!! Ok maybe not the coolest.. but maybe up there!

WE SAVE YOU MONEY.  

Need I say more?! Ok I will though. It's the inevitable when choosing your materials, whether it be flooring to furniture, you can make costly mistakes. Even though you are paying for a service, designers lead you in the right direction with our expertise. We went to school to be able to create spaces that add value to your home and keep you honed in on what is important to upgrade and what is not. We are trained to be able to give anyone what they desire on any budget.

We Save you Time.

We all have our things going on between work, fam, and friends right?! Sometimes we get over excited and start a project only to leave it hanging for weeks on end! Well guess what, TIME IS MONEY. We sort, we shop, we manage to keep you and your project on track! We guide you in the right direction at all costs and help you keep that line of vision for the end game! It's hard to stay focused on all the pretty materials out there, trust us we know!!! 

We Have Cool Secret Discounts.

Ok maybe not so secret but hello! We are in the trade, which means trade discounts on all your fave retailers!! We can even find you specials that aren't open to the public! Right on!

We give you a vision.

Some of us were born lucky enough to have the ability to see a 3D vision when walking into a home! We hear your wants and needs then create a preliminary example of your home before you even purchase! This saves time and money right there! Bam!! We know how to give you the best functionality while giving your home the character that it deserves. This living room below was filled with nada by the way!!

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We Bring your Pinterest Board to Life.

Don't lie, you have home goals on Pinterest or any other awesome inspiration sites. No matter what, your home is the place that you spend most of your money and time on. This place represents you and all who live in it. Imagine being able to have that perfectly styled home that you just can't put your finger on knowing where to start. You know what you want but we help you actually achieve it with our expertise.

We Have Passion for the Potential of your Home.

This is our baby. Seriously, this is what we went into business for!!! We want you to-

  • be reflected in your home

  • have the most bang for your buck

  • to have your dream home no matter what budget you have

  • be proud of your home and have kick ass parties

Liiiiike what the heck to do with this odd nook?! It has so much potential we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it!!

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Ok done rambling for now, thanks for reading and hope that gives you some interior designer faith!!

Your design BFF’s,

Em&Rora

How to Make a Huge Change on a Small Budget for Your Window

I am so excited! I just moved to a new place in Downtown Phoenix! I have always been a West Side girl and now I get a wonderful taste of the authenticity this city has to offer! I think the thing that sold us are these big windows with views to the wonderful buildings! Oh my goodness, obsessed! There was only one thing.. a big thing… A nasty thing.. BLINDS! Throwing off my groove! Honestly! This actually could have deterred people away since you couldn’t see the potential behind them! But I sure did!

 
 

We got those bad boys off asap and look at the results! We did a trip on over to Ikea and grabbed the softest, creamy white goodness of curtains and draped them on a brass rod from Target Project 62!

The reason I went with this scheme was to completely compliment the view without taking anything away from it, which goes to my next thing! Hanging the curtains so they are only on one side of the window. This gives a luxurious look and minimal feel that you wouldn’t have with curtains on both sides of the window! This means you have to buy a rod that can withstand the weight without the middle bracket! But I am telling you guys, do this! It’s a simple change that won’t break the bank but seriously EVERYTHING you need.

This is the before, Bye bye.

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This is simply perfect and all for a nice weekend project! Heck yes!!