Category Archives: phoenix metro retro

What I’ve Learned by “Right-Sizing” My life

As I mentioned in my last blog…(Change is Coming) I wrote about this new chapter Juan and I will be entering in the coming weeks. I will be “spilling the beans” soon…I promise!
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you what I have learned over the last year and a half about living smaller, simpler and of course “right-sizing” our lives.
It started when Juan and I were thinking about moving into yet a larger home with only two dachshunds and a 31 year old parrot. Why did we need all that space? What were we trying to do? THEN…the economy took a turn for the worse which affected our business (Staffing).
I read two quotes that really hit me by Henry David Thoreau…. “Only have things of beauty or usefulness in your life”. Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”And this oneSell your clothes and your keep thoughts”. You always have your memories, but items get packed away and you only enjoy the memory.
This is what started this journey and has now taken new turns. Now, a quick view of what we’ve learned and when you see parts that are highlighted, they will take you to the blog I am referring to.
We’ve learned that bigger isn’t always better and some of our happiest times were when Juan and I were first married, living in a small apartment. Since we did not have the challenge of cleaning and maintaining a large space, we had time to do fun things with each other.
I learned that you spend your life accumulating stuff to only do what???Pack it away! Take out and dust off your beautiful dinnerware/china…use the sterling enjoy these pieces; don’t hide them in a box to only use a few occasions.
We’ve learned that a garage sale can turn two people that were so worried about getting rid of stuff into two greedy, commissioned driven sales hounds. We’ve learned that bigger isn’t always better and all the wants” in the world will not make you a better person nor change your social status.
We learned that when moving into a small space, it’s hard to go to many of the furniture stores and find sleek, fun furniture to fit in tiny rooms. (Of course today more stores are embracing small space living) Seek out and find vintage or retro stores that sell mid century modern furniture. Great pieces that fit in the small spaces you are trying to furnish and decorate. However, we did learn that in a small space you have to live a lot closer to everyone and IKEA is also a great place to find loft style stuff!
We’ve learned that 900 square feet is a huge piece of living space for so many others. We’ve learned that Facebook has been an awesome way to reach out to old school friends and have the opportunity to stay in touch and learn about their lives/families….and in my case get back in touch with a dear friend who has found paradise in a small beautiful beach cottage on the coast.
We’ve learned that if you spend the extra time, and in some cases, a little extra cash, you can find great organizational bins, boxes, dividers etc to make living in a small space easier.
(This is more about me than Juan) I’ve learned that no matter how much technology you have or love to work with….sometimes going Old School is the best way to enjoy an evening of bar-b-que and the love of a soul mate.
I was amazed…as well as Juan at how so many people in the world have started thinking the way we do. AND….at a much earlier start in life. We’ve learned that there are so many people dedicating themselves to talk about green products, clean technologies and social responsibility and live a sustainable life.
We’ve learned to incorporate some of our treasured items that we stored away into storage organizers. And to look at a room at what you plan to use it 90% of the time…not 10%…and amazed that there are so many wonderful products out there that can transform one room into three rooms.
Juan and I have learned that riding our bicycles to close destinations verses driving your car make a much more enjoyable adventure. That you enjoy the scenery much more pedaling by than driving. That by bicycling to may of our destinations is a great mental break as well as exercise and save on the gas.
For me…one of the neatest (I know …I just wrote the word and thought neatest? Okay Brady Bunch)….yes, I said one of the neatest things this whole experience has done has brought me and Juan into a new direction and adventure. A beginning of a new business…doing something I have always been passionate about and enjoy doing 24/7.
Whether it’s bicycling, building this new start up adventure and getting the opportunity to meet people face to face across the southwest, Juan and I will continue to enjoy a simpler lifestyle, promote “right-size” living and promote “Mom and Pop” business across the Southwest.
The journey continues…..


Small Space….Time To Decorate

Modern Manor
Juan and I really wanted to furnish our house simple yet well-designed AND of course our own flare (meaning cool). It’s going to be a small space so we need to make sure the things we buy fit AND are “multi-functional. I’ve always loved the “Mid Century Modern” Style whether its houses, furniture and other “kitschy” style accessories. We stumbled upon a great shopping area here in Phoenix AZ.  It’s on 7th Avenue between Indian School and Camelback (For all my local readers). It’s called the Melrose District and it is a smattering of vintage/retro boutiques, thrift shops and great ethnic restaurants. My love for mid century modern era furnishings I’m sure is due to growing up in the late 60’s-70’s.

Phoenix Metro Retro

The first several weeks of “shopping” these stores, Juan and I found ourselves reminiscing and strolling down memory lane. Things like the big thick glass ashtrays in dark green or amber, the cool teak wood furniture that had great storage for every need. The bars…oh those fabulous bars with the leather trim and stocked with all sorts of wine and spirits. I can see my Mom and Dad dressed fabulously, Glenn Miller records playing on the stereo and the fondue pots simmering with broths, cheese and of course chocolate (for dessert) to plunge your favorite food in.
PMR-Vintage Desk
Okay back to the present. So we are moving into a 900 square foot home and furniture today is typically oversized and overstuffed. So what to do? Go for the mid century modern furniture. Why? “It’s perfect for smaller spaces…sofas, bedroom suites, side tables, buffets and chairs, all fit perfectly!”- quoted from Doug from Phoenix Metro Retro based in Phoenix AZ.
Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Harry Bertoia, Hans Wegner….All the cool pieces of furniture maintained all these years. Well, with the help from Ryan & Kylie of  Modern Manor and Doug & Heidi of Phoenix Metro Retro, two great places that find, refurbish and sell these mid century modern masters.  
MM-Entrance View
MM-Vintage Lighting

Modern Manor and Phoenix Metro Retro are side by side in the Melrose District. You can’t go wrong in shopping both places. They have great finds from furniture to accessories for the home AND if there is something they don’t have, just let them know and they will keep an eye out for it and contact you when they do. At times, they will reupholster pieces to give it a new and fresh look. When it comes to anything mid century modern, you will be impressed with Ryan’s and/or Doug’s knowledge of architects, designers and fashion of that era. I always walk out of there learning something new.  I’ve included their websites (click on the store names in the posting and it will take you to their website) AND you have to check them out on facebook. These links will take you to their facebook pages; Modern Manor and Phoenix Metro Retro!
Next…What did we buy and how does it look in the new place?….

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