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Interiors

A Modern Ranch House Filled With Serendipitous Finds in Phoenix

by Sabrina Smelko

Nearly two years ago, Misha and Scott stumbled upon an online listing for a 50s ranch-style home in the heart of an upcoming area in Phoenix. As Misha explains, “when we saw this place online, we knew we had to see it!” As the Co-Owner of pith+marrow, a local creative teaching platform that brings people together to collaborate and learn skills in various crafts, being central to the Phoenix community was important to Misha — and this house checked off all of the boxes. Before they knew it, this 1,500-square-foot rancher became home to Phoenix-native and corporate attorney, Scott, Misha, and Luna, their feline and the mascot of #houseofgarbs.

In addition to running pith+marrow, Misha works as an event coordinator and prop stylist, so her love for all things interior and organization spills into her own home decor and design. But the process of making their updated house feel personal has admittedly been a marathon rather than a sprint. First and foremost came the inevitability of purchasing all of the un-glamorous but necessary things — a washer and dryer, mattress, window coverings et al — and since, it’s been a gradual process to transform the home into a clean, inviting space with nods to mid-century modern style.

Updating an older home while maintaining its charm and character is a challenge, but lucky for Misha and Scott, a lot of the structural work had already been done by the previous owners who knocked down walls to create the open-concept layout, and added 14-foot-long Arcadia sliding glass doors off the dining room. “We’re constantly getting positive feedback about the [space],” says Misha, but there’s still some items on their to-do list when it comes to transforming the house into their dream home. “The front[yard] and backyard are our arch nemesis’,” explains Misha, “We’ve realized how wasteful watering grass in the desert is and have started the process of hardscaping the front yard.” In addition, their detached laundry room, which you can only access by going outside, also poses a challenge, especially in the winter. Inside, however, the space has come together through their neutral decor, juxtaposition of classic and modern furniture pieces, and the various updates executed. Despite the outstanding items on their to-do list, their home feels grand, inviting and oh-so-cozy, and Misha and Scott feel lucky everyday to have serendipitously found this 1950s rancher (and many of its contents) buried in online ads. You just never know what you might find if you never look for it! –Sabrina

Photography by Misha West

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The view as you enter the front door. The bench was a collaborative DIY project between Misha and Scott.
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Like any home on the smaller side, taking advantage of wall space is crucial, especially in the entryway. Misha and Scott picked up this neat wall-hook/mirror unit from CB2 and sanded and stained it to match the handmade bench.
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Scott and Misha sitting in their living room.
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Much like the house itself, the story behind this couch has a lot to do with internet coincidence: When Misha was planning the design and layout of this room, she randomly pulled a photo of this couch online and threw it into a mock-up. Months later, Scott and Misha were in Crate & Barrel and were immediately drawn to this couch. Only after buying it did Misha realize it was the exact couch she had randomly pulled from online!
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One of Scott and Misha's favorite pieces are the locker bays that live behind the couch. They purchased them from a Tae Kwon Do dojo down the street (which they found on Craigslist!) and are perfect storage for all of their outdoor and active accessories; one locker holds their camping equipment, one holds yoga gear, one holds rock climbing accessories and the others cycle through golf, backpacking and the like.
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"We spent months searching for the perfect chairs for the living room," explains Misha. "We ended up finding these on eBay from a mid-century modern boutique in Chicago. They are the most comfortable place to sit in the house," right next to Luna's bed underneath the coffee table.
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In front of the couch sits the TV against a gallery wall backdrop. The trunk under the console table is for the telescope.
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A close-up of their gallery wall. The telescope was Scott's father's. It was sitting in his parent's garage for years, so Scott and Misha decided to make use of it, doubling not only as decor, but a fun showpiece that they often stargaze with on quiet nights.
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The open-concept living and dining room, courtesy of the hard work of the previous owners. "The person who flipped the house before we moved in knocked down some walls [which made] a world of a difference," says Misha, "you'd never guess the house is under 1,500 square feet!"
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Opening the sliding glass doors in the morning for breakfast is one of Misha and Scott's most prized moments of the day, and also keeps their tree, adoringly named Janet, happy and healthy. Their dining room table is from Pottery Barn and the chairs, from All Modern.
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This is the view of the kitchen from the dining area. "The kitchen maintains this light throughout the day," which is one of Misha's favorite features of their home.
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A view of the hallway from outside of the bedrooms. The framed photo was taken by Scott's mother, which matches their neutral decor brilliantly.
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Their guest bathroom features marble counters and a unique off-center, raised sink bowl which allows for ample countertop space for all of Misha and Scott's favorite Aesop products.
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The guest bathroom is also home to Luna's food bowls from Doca Pet, and her scratch pad made from a denim rug sample.
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The guest room is full of nostalgia; the bench was made by Misha's late grandfather, and the portrait on the easel was painted by Scott's father when he was a teenager.
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"We always want people to feel comfortable when they stay in the guest room," says Misha. The vintage lamp and soft linens do the trick, along with the personal touch of the ranunculus painting which was passed down to Misha from her late grandmother. "And nothing makes a room complete like a Le Labo candle!"
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The view of the room from the guest bed. The concrete planter was a housewarming gift and the photos are a mixture of found photos and those taken by Scott.
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Their moody master bedroom. Scott's friend took the picture above the bed of Shibuya Crossing which serves as a reminder to Scott of the first time he traveled to Japan.
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On the nightstand from Urban Outfitters lives a lamp from IKEA, a wash chain plant inside a corrugated metal planter, a leather catchall, and a date-night coin jar.
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Misha and Scott's spare bedroom which they use as an office. The futon offers a cozy space to relax mid-day. The photo of Camelback Mountain from the 1930s was a local antique store find.
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Across from the futon is the office desk, a calendar of the moon phases, and a massive cork board that holds mementos and seasonal inspiration.
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Luna basking in the sunlight their home boasts.

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