Category Archives: PHX – Rental Living

Shelves Solved

After my moaning and groaning back in January about not having a good shelf solution for the weird, awkward cabinet-less corner of our rental kitchen, I pretty much promptly went out and solved our problem and then fully neglected to blog about it. Here’s what we were dealing with – a strange space that wasn’t doing much good.

HOLE IN THE KITCHEN We tried living with the rolling cart island from our old kitchen as a countertop extension for awhile.  Not too bad but the lower shelf was broken during the move and so it’s not so functional anymore for storage. KITCHEN FOR A WHILE 2 We’ve actually tried a few other things out in the kitchen – like the tulip table when we very first moved in (hard to believe that was six months ago!). KITCHEN AT MOVE IN It filled the little corner well and was a nice place for breakfast but ultimately it was needed for the dining room. Next we tried  the “beer pong” dining room table that also once lived in our old house. KITCHEN FOR A WHILE It felt a little too low to the ground and didn’t offer any storage either.

But now with a little help from Ikea and a little Frankensteining of our furniture, we now have a layout that’s working pretty well.  First the Ikea part: NEW CABINET This guy (the Fabrikor)  has been holding our meager liquor supply for a few months now and has blended in well with the kitchen.  And literally, that’s why I picked it, to blend in well.  I really hate our bland beige yellow wall color but this house is a rental and I just can’t bring myself to paint the whole slam-damn thing.  So this beige-y tan metal cabinet is a great chameleon with the wall and calls less attention to the dingy paint color than a nice fresh white cabinet would.  And since it’s all metal, when we move on to our next house, I’ll just spray paint that baby and leave the beige behind. CONTENTS Having glass on the front and sides is great right next to the window.  It fills the space but still lets a lot of light through.

Now on to the Frankensteining – we took the base from the metal rolling cart and married it up with the wood top from our old, old, old dining table. CORNER NOW Yep, that’s an extra and ginormous bag of dog food hanging out there.  Sorry Pope, we have dogs not kids.  Now the table/cart is a much better size and scale.  I’ve been on the lookout for a few barstools to add around it too but no rush. CLOSE UP JT picked out the poster actually but I rather like it for our crazy vegan kitchen. So that’s what’s been happening in our kitchen.  What about yours?  I caught LizardMan checking the kitchen out too the other day.  He’s cute and I like the blue streaks on his belly but I hope he just keeps checking things out from the outside the house . . . . LIZARD MAN

A Friday First – Video Tour

So I sound like a soft-talking third grader navigating this tour and my iPhone camera work is shaky at best, but I took the plunge and filmed a quick video tour of our main living spaces.

I saw on Apartment Therapy that we have what is known as “dorm yellow walls“.  It’s about to make me crazy, living in this beige box that could be so beautiful as a white box.  And it’s everywhere – so many walls and ceiling planes – that if I were to start painting one or two it would become a three-month long painting extravaganza just to get this thing fixed up.  And then there’s the trim.  Sigh.

We did paint a few walls – the wall behind the entertainment center and the wall with the console table on it were painted a lovely baby-shit brown when we moved in.  We did our best to match the paint and covered those up immediately.  The only photographic proof I have is a yellowed iPhone pic . . .


So that’s that.  Happy Friday everyone!

Phoenix is being very shelf-ish

It’s an age-old conundrum – once you are seeking something specific, you cannot find it.  The universe hides it from you (or something).  Well universe I need a set of shelves for my kitchen and you can stop playing around now, okay!

Here’s what I’m blabbering about:


Why leave such a random hole in such a random place.  Run the counter top to the corner.  Put in a few more cabinets. You’re killing me Smalls.

What’s really killing me is Craigslist.  I think I may have taken St. Louis offerings for granted but the general style in Phoenix seems to be too much money, not enough good taste.


Above is what I have been finding when I search “baker’s rack” on Craigslist Phoenix.  Not quite our style here at Living Analog.

So, like my “Dreaming Of” post, I thought I’d be more proactive in this needle-in-a-haystack search and tell you guys what I am looking for.  For starters something like this gorgeous industrial bakers rack via Hudson Goods.  This one was listed for $1089 . . . .


Or the amazing Decker Bookcase from Anthropologie at a mere $798 . . .


And one runner-up – the Emerson Bookcase from World Market as styled and lived with by the lovely Jones Design Company.  Getting better on price at $349 but still too wide for my weird little space.


I did find something to buy on Craigslist under my search term “shelves” . . .


Really stunning but at $850 and with nowhere to put it, someone else is going to have to buy this beauty. (Pretty please and let me visit it.  Thanks.)

So that’s what I’m searching for.  A three-foot wide set of shelves that is maybe around seven-foot tall.  With glass or metal or wood or whatever combination of those makes sense.  I know it’s out there and I’m going to keep on keeping on until I find it.  What are you searching for?  Any particular item that just eludes your grasp?  Let’s commiserate.  Cheers – CT

All by herself . . .

Since moving down to Phoenix and “retiring” (the nice way of saying I’m still unemployed), I have a lot of by myself time while JT is at work.  I’ve filled a lot of it with dog walking, grocery shopping, cooking, baking and helping my MIL find a place to live (we did it, she moved in last night).

I’ve noticed thought that when I’m at home all day, I’ll think up projects and plan them for the weekend and/or evenings when JT is around.  Finally the other day I had a realization that I could do it myself.  And so I did.  (Probably also spurred on by the fact that I had just read “Miss Harper Can Do It” by Jane Berentson, another way to fill some time and keep that brain working.)

I’ve already mentioned that our new house feels mansion-like compared to the small footprint of our brick bungalow in St. Louis.  For instance we now have a Master Bath.  A bathroom that is the master of all others.  I have my own sink and my own little nook for make-up-ing and other things women in their 30s do in the bathroom.  I had been looking for some artwork or a storage piece for that wall when an idea suddenly flashed into my head – I had just what I needed in the garage.


So, voila – a once empty wall now displays all my junk jewelry with the help of an old curtain rod from our STL master bedroom (we took down these wimpier rods when we hung the new curtains.)

There’s no earth-shattering invention here – I’m pretty sure this method for hanging necklaces has already been done and pinned many-a-time to Pinterest.  I just got a kick out of using something I had and getting out the handheld drill for a girl power moment.


I hung all the necklaces without clasps on the end and kept all the other in the middle so I can unfasten them to take them off the rod if needed for actual wearing but I’m thinking if this method gets too tangled, I might grab some of the Grundtal hooks at Ikea and hang each necklace on its own hook.  Oh, the thrill of being able to “grab” something at Ikea without a five-hour drive is still novel to me!  Cheers – CT

Intro to the New House

Hey all!  I shouldn’t promise when I’ll be back on this blog because whenever I say “be back soon”, it never is soon.  So from now on, I think we can all be good with “I’ll see you when I see you.”

We are starting to settle into our new life and new rhythm here in Phoenix and so I was able to get back in the saddle for my “MCM in the Room” posts at Mister Modtomic.  Check out some sweet in situs of Kartell Componibili from earlier this week.

But what I’ve been wanting to share more is our new digs in Phoenix.  We’re situated south of downtown and on the north side of South Mountain.  We’re still in Phoenix proper, not in one of the outlying suburbs which is nice because now JT’s commute is drastically shorter – he doesn’t even have to get on a highway.


We’re sunk into beige stucco land, in a gated-community built in 2004.  It’s strange for everything to be so new and all so tan.   The original owner left a binder of paperwork with the house and I happened across some construction photos and a floor plan (score!).


The plan doesn’t 100% match what actually got built, I even flipped it around and moved a few walls around to get it closer.  But it’s pretty close to what we’re living in.  At 1400 sf feet of above ground, livable space, this house pretty much feels like a mansion to us.


Above, an image of the chaos that is construction.  Below, an image of the chaos that is moving.


I wish I could say the garage has gotten better/cleaner/wiser but . . .


. . .  it has not.  There are a few furniture items we’re still deciding if we want in the house or not along with  a lot of my M-I-L’s furniture as she is also in the process of moving to Phoenix.  The garage does have some built in shelving, a workbench with peg board and even some wiring for  surround sound! (So does the living room and the side patio – the original owner really liked to listen to his tunes.)


One of the first things we did to the back yard was to get our chiminea set up.  We actually had a fire pit that we moved with us from St. Louis but mysteriously only the stand and the cover arrived.  I should say though that overall we were really happy with the movers and the moving company and after helping some of our friends and family move themselves, having hired guns do all the work is A.MA.ZING.  So we bought the chiminea with the replacement funds from the missing fire pit and everything was back to (our new) normal.


We set up an outdoor dining area with our old janky umbrella (already broken pre-move).  This shot illustrates why this is a house you rent, not a house you buy.  The property backs up to an industrial area and on the other side of a small alley/wash there is lovely razor wire.  We’re thinking about setting up some kind of screen/planting/TBD at the end of the patio to hide the razor wire view while dining.  On the plus, and random side, there is also a real and complete horseshoe game in the back yard – two sand pits and three horseshoes for hours of entertainment.



Another random (and very bad) image of the covered patio.  I’m in the market for some sun loungers for this space – not exactly something we brought with us from St. Louis!

So that’s what we got in our neck of the woods.  What’s going on with you guys?  Next up is the interior – we’ve started decorating for Christmas to help get us out of a bah humbug slump.  It’s weird to be putting up Christmas decorations before we’ve really “finished” decorating the house but there are no rules to this thing called moving.  So, I’ll see you when I see you — hopefully it will be soon!  Cheers – CT

The new (rental) house – The Guest Suite

Come On In

Part of our criteria for our AZ pad was that it have room for guests.  After leaving St. Louis and bringing all our earthly possessions 1500 miles across the desert, we wanted a space our family and friends from back home could stay in to encourage them to come visit.  So while I’ll have a full tour of the whole house, I wanted to start out with the guest spaces to remind our friends and family we want them to get their butts to the Valley of the Sun NOW!

So come on in.

High Overall

I have been hoarding that headboard, just waiting for a guest room for over ten years.  That, my friends, is a furniture hoarding problem that finally worked itself out.  The room itself is not large so we wanted to keep the furnishings simple – a bed and a few accessory items.

We picked up a full size (new) mattress and box spring at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store nearby.  At only $153, it was a great deal.  The best part of the great deal was that we were able to keep it attached to the top of the car on the only windy day we’ve experienced since we moved in and get it home.  Good times.

Bedside Table

On one side of the bed, I set up a little Target table with a little vignette of the Savers artwork, a clock I received on my 13th birthday (hoarder!) and a scented candle.

Other Side of Bed

The other side of the bed got the AZ yard sale lamp that JT just rewired.  The switch is actually a little knob on the top of that ball and the light is on a dimmer.  For $10 (and the $6 spent on a new porcelain socket and light bulb), I’m really starting to like this little lamp.  The magazine rack is stocked with some night-time reading and all the PHX brochures we scammed from the hotel.

Travel Brochures

The doors for the closet were already off and stored in the garage when we moved in and perhaps they may stay that way.

Closet No Doors

We stocked the closet with a few hangers, all our board games and guest towels.

Suitcase Rack

I’ve also been hoarding the luggage rack for over five years . . . . The blanket is a new purchase from a Phoenix shop called “My Sister’s Attic“.

Look Up

One thing I’ve been dealing with in this new house is a lot of beige.  All the walls (and ceilings) are beige.  Each room has its own lovely (and unique) ceiling fan.  This great palm frond one is what our guests will get to enjoy — aren’t they lucky!

Guest Bath

Next door to the guest room is this bowling alley of a hall bathroom.  Coming from our little St. Louis brick bungalow with one tiny bathroom, having two sinks and a separate room for the tub and shower is luxurious.  And this is only the hall bath, there is a master bathroom as well — we’re definitely feeling spoiled with all this space.  Sometimes I can’t even find my husband, this house is so big.

Low Overall

All in all, I still have some work to do to make this room into my ultimate guest room but we have a guest arriving today and so it needed to be ready(-ish) in a hurry.  Book your rooms at Hotel Living Analog now, they’re filling up fast!