text by SHANI SILVER
photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK
Today we head west (a smart direction in these frosty winter months!) to Arizona, where Kelley Pierce, of Kelley Pierce Design, shares her family’s well-curated and welcoming home with us. Her ranch-style home, built in 1954 and nestled in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood, was remodeled in 2004 and spans 3,300 square feet. Read on to learn more about Kelley’s space, and even score a design tip or two for yourself!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC IN THREE WORDS?
I’d say classic, relaxed and curated (with a little quirky thrown in).
WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS HOME INITIALLY?
The Arcadia neighborhood is highly sought out in Phoenix. It has strong community ties, great schools, amazing people and beautiful views of Camelback Mountain. We searched high and low, and immediately placed on offer when this house became available. The house was a rental property and was poorly “updated”. Everything had to be ripped out and this gave us an opportunity to start fresh and put in the touches we wanted. We were able to modify the space to meet our family needs, which is a huge gift!
WHAT WERE YOUR DESIGN GOALS FOR THIS SPACE?
When we purchased the house we had a young family, two girls under four years of age. We knew that this was our forever house, and built it as such. Thank goodness we had enough foresight to realize we needed our own individualized spaces. As adults we needed our own private space and the girls did too.
Also, it was important that we did not overbuild, we needed “right” sized rooms for coziness and family togetherness. I wanted every room to have purpose and get full utilization. We have an extra bedroom, which was once a playroom when the girls were young, and now we converted into a teen room. Also the key to a happy marriage, separate closets and separate sinks!
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Getting decisions made timely. I felt like a 1000 decisions needed to be made daily. We acted as our own contractors and I was designing the space and picking out product and finishes.
Also at the time I had a full time job in retail, plus two small children. It was stressful! Plus, we lived in the house during construction. Not a smart idea unless you enjoy drywall dust and washing dishes in your tub.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SPLURGE IN YOUR HOME?
Custom cabinetry throughout and Carrera marble in kitchen and the master bathroom.
WHAT IS THE BEST STEAL?
I like the mix of high/low, vintage/new. So I would say my best steals are my high end vintage pieces.
I have a killer Michael Taylor Far East dining room table that my blogger friend, Jen West, found for me on eBay for a few hundred dollars. I love thrifting and going to estate sales. I feel like every piece of vintage furniture I buy has a great story behind it.
WHAT DESIGN ELEMENTS DID YOU USE IN THIS SPACE THAT OUR READERS SHOULD TRY FOR THEMSELVES?
Buy the best you can afford but don’t rush the process. You will find what you love, and when you do you must buy it! I would say make sure you have a good mix of finishes, heights, textures, etc. Train your eye and educate yourself.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT DESIGNING YOUR HOME TAUGHT YOU?
Two things which are very hard.
- Be patient The right item will come along, but often you have to wait. Don’t settle just to get it done.
- Don’t buy it if you don’t need it. Being a hoarder is not attractive. If you can’t live with out it, then get rid of the stuff you no longer need.