March 31, 2010

How to Get Good Design on the Cheap in Phoenix

by: Taz Loomans

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There’s a misconception out there that good design costs more.  And if you’re lazy, it does.  You can always buy good taste, right?  Just go to the most expensive stores, buy the most expensive things and you’re bound to get good design.

But where does that leave most people who can’t really afford to buy their way to good taste?  Newsflash:  you don’t have to be Donald Trump to
live in a cool house.  With some creativity, a good eye, some time and hands-on research you can find inexpensive ways to add design to your home while being environmentally responsible.  Here are a few examples.

Wandering around thrift stores, Goodwill being a great example, is a great way to find some very cool mid-century modern furniture and accessories for next to nothing.  In fact, this awesome old light table, an anchor piece in our kitchen at 3 Palms is from Goodwill.

Photo: Light table at 3 Palms

You could score some fantastic reclaimed wood on craigslist like architect Nic Smith and landscape architect Beth Johanssen did for their home in the
Coronado neighborhood.  You could also try salvage places like Davis Salvage, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Stardust Building Supplies and Construction Lots for cool doors, windows, light and plumbing fixtures, tiles, and all sorts of goodies.

In fact, local artist Kyle Jordre of Jordre Studio makes much of his art from salvaged building materials.  Architect Christoph Kaiser of Plus Minus Studio is known to drive up and down neighborhood alleys for cool historic appliances, furniture or interesting materials people might be throwing away.  Writer
and design professor Peter Wolf will scour stores and garage sales in Sun City for mid-century modern treasures.  Taking it to the next level, Heidi and Douglas Abrahamson collect beautiful retro furniture from estate sales and re-sell it for affordable prices at their store Phoenix Metro Retro Mid-Century Modern Furniture.

If bopping around town for a chance encounter with attractive and inexpensive items for your house sounds like torture, get an eco-minded affordable design professional like me to do it for you.  You’ll end up with a unique, cool, funky home that you’ll love to show off for a fraction of what your friends think you spent.

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