Interiorssneak peeks

A Global Eclectic Home with a Handmade Feel in Phoenix Arizona

by anne

Recently photographer Raya Carlisle was in  Phoenix, Arizona visiting a friend when she met Bjorn & Maggie Olson and decided to have a spontaneous photo shoot at their delightful home in the Windsor Square Historic District of central Phoenix. Bjorn works at Porter Barn Wood, a local reclaimed wood company, designing, building and finishing furniture (clearly he’s contributed a lot to their home too!), and Maggie is employed at Arizona State University. Bjorn’s touches throughout the house come in the form of the raw and finished wood used to accentuate and fuse together some of their favorite spaces, while Maggie’s contributions are the various ethnic pieces throughout the apartment that each have a unique history and story. While their styles may be vastly different, they’ve still been able to create an eclectic yet comfortable home. They both love supporting local businesses, so items found close to home also pull everything together. Many thanks to Bjorn and Maggie for opening your home to us, and to Raya for the photos (you can see Raya’s home here)! –Anne

Image above: Bjorn’s surprise wall came to be a year ago as he was experimenting with colors and paints. It paired nicely with the teak bedroom furniture in the textile rug and African throw.  The Tibetan wind chime hangs above the bed to create peaceful rest, the screen from Indonesia is made from ikat fabric, and the large copper plate is from east India.

Image above: Floating reclaimed beam desk made from Bjorn’s wood stash.  This particular piece was aged for 3 years (to Maggie’s dismay!) at the casa before Bjorn found its purpose.  It has a clear Briwax finish that accentuates the weathered personality of the beam.  The Pottery Barn scone illuminates the Dunn Edwards, Turtle Lake green colored wall.  Raya loves climbing on the canvas covered African folk stools.



Click for more inside Maggie and Bjorn’s Arizona home after the jump!

Image above: Maggie’s favorite piece in the house is the coffee table Bjorn built (called Bank’s Table).  It has 5 different types of wood (all in their natural color) and 153 individual slats of wood shaped together to form the table.  One characteristic we love about the house is its natural light which our plants love.  

Image above: Bjorn calls Maggie the crazy plant lady, this picture illustrates why.  This is the most used room in the house and we love to open all the windows to let the room breath.  






Image above: Welcome to Bjorn’s zone as his best masterpieces have come from this 1950s O’Keefe and Merritt gas stove. The day we moved in, we took out the new stove to bring in the old.  Living in a small house means that functionally is king.  Because of this, we’ve collected items that have dual purpose. 

Image above: Our love for the garden means composting and love for juice means hand squeezed OJ in the morning.

Image above: Wheat grass juice sits proudly on Bjorn’s maple and wenge butcher block table.  The vintage chairs finishes off the nooks charm.  The bold paint – Kitchen – Dunn Edwards, Untamed Orange, flat sheen, no VOC – brings color to the otherwise white room.  At sunset the light bounces off the orange and makes the kitchen glow.    

Image above:  Bjorn collaborated with local artist, Kelly Driscoll to create this convertible dining room table area. The purple bear is Eggplant from Dunn Edwards. The table is convertible. When it’s not in use it flips up and latches to the wall with bracket above bear to create more space, and the legs collapse against table to create art piece when latched to wall.  

Image above: The wall is Behr Sunflower, flat sheen, no VOC.

Image above: Back wall is Behr, Rejuvinate (green color) with Behr Red Hot paint on door and over Rejuvinate.


Image: Maggie’s Gammie and Poppop have traveled and lived around the world. Maggie is able to share their experiences by incorporating some of their treasures into our home.

Image above: You can never wear or have enough bangles. Maggie houses some of her collection in one of her African baskets.


Image above: Baby Raya definitely has the best closet in the house. Using material from Porter Barn Wood’s collection, Bjorn handcrafted these double barn sliding doors with central panels that open. The left door has a caulk board and a Kelly Driscoll painting while the right side opens to a full length mirror. Both doors are completed with a hand carved sayings from daddy to daughter.

Image above: Kelly Discoll mural.



Image above: Bliss with daughter Raya.


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