In Arizona, a Lesson in Reinvigorating Without Reinventing

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When they decided to move in together, Celine Rille of Rille & Co. and her husband Kevin scrolled through an endless number of online listings. One day, amidst all the clutter, a mid-century home with the most divine, hand-painted mural in its dining room popped up. The painting simply couldn’t be ignored, so the couple scheduled a showing. Unfortunately, the rest of the home didn’t quite live up to the grandeur of the dining room. The Phoenix, AZ property hadn’t been updated in 60 years, and its stained carpet, outdated appliances and all-pink bathroom were absolutely less than ideal. Luckily for the sellers, the more Celine and Kevin saw of the mural, the more it overshadowed all of the property’s downsides. Without hesitation, the couple moved right in, ready to reinvigorate the home they’d unexpectedly fallen for.

It took three months, but after working under the watchful eye of contractor Mack Ketchum, Celine and Kevin have amplified the fixer-upper’s mid-century vibe and given a nod to bohemian and Southwestern styles. The first step was all new IKEA cabinetry for the kitchen – where the majority of the home’s renovations took place. Once cabinets were installed, Celine and Kevin added fun touches like homemade open shelving and a rustic breakfast bar to spice up the look. The latter is even made from a tree found in a nearby wood. Some parts of a local forest were cleared to prevent fires, so when they heard the news, the couple drove over, snagged one of the fallen tree trunks and had it repurposed for their home.

With the kitchen’s construction underway, the couple began focusing on the bathroom. Celine says it was by far the most challenging part of the renovation because of her specific vision for the room’s floating concrete sink. Achieving the look kept her, Kevin and contractor Mack up many nights. Much to Mack’s chagrin, shoddy construction work kept preventing the sink from draining. Cracks also continually crept up the unit’s cement base. After many failed attempts at tweaking the design, concrete tiling ended up being the only way to go. While a financial setback, and not exactly what Celine had in mind, she’s happy with the final look.

At the end of construction, the results of their renovation had Celine and Kevin giddy. So giddy, in fact, the home even served as the backdrop for their wedding. “We cleared out all the furniture… and managed to seat 50 people in the space. We wrapped the [living room’s] pillars in flowers and used the mural as the backdrop for our vows,” they tell us. That isn’t the only exciting development since the couple moved in. Just as the mural served as the backdrop for the wedding, it’ll be right there in the background of more fond memories now that the pair has welcomed home a new baby. Get to know the newbie, Otis — and the gorgeous home his parents have lovingly brought back to life — after the jump. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Jill Richards

  1. I love this story, I bet you will love this home for a long time. How romantic….. It sounds beautiful….
    Enjoy your life together in this beautiful newly remodeled home!!

    1. Celine says:

      Thanks Michelle!

  2. That mural is fabulous, and I love the chandelier she opted for.

    1. Celine says:

      Thanks Elizabeth! It was super fun hunting for the lighting for this home :)

  3. Emily Harrison says:

    Wow, I would definitely move there right away and leave the renovations for later too. The painted mural looks GORGEOUS!
    Great for u two Celine and Kevin. :D

    – Emily

  4. Emily says:

    Wow! What an amazing home. As someone who lives in AZ I can definitely appreciate this. I feel like it’s hard to find modern homes mixed with an Arizona flair. This is just too lovely.


    1. Celine says:

      Thanks so much Emily! Glad I got to check out your blog too :)

  5. Margot says:

    I really, really like this one. There’s such a mish mash of styles but somehow it all works together beautifully. So much personality and lots of lovely, lovely things. I especially like that ornate antique mirror in the bathroom contrasting with the modern, slightly industrial vibe of the sink. I love pretty much everything actually!

    1. Celine says:

      Thanks so much Margot! I’m drawn to a variety of different styles so it’s definitely taken some time to get all the pieces I love to work together :)

  6. isabel says:

    Lovely home, every item seems made for the this space. congratulations on creating a welcoming and modern home. because your lighting is so unique i was wondering if you purchased the fixtures on your travels or whether you had a local source. Thanks for posting your home.

    1. Celine says:

      Hi Isabel! I bought most of the fixtures for the home at a local vintage lighting shop called Camelback Lighting – it’s on Central and Camelback in downtown PHX.

  7. When we were hunting, first for a home, later for a rental property, my husband wanted something ready to move into. But that doesn’t exist. I preferred something that needed to be redone, rather than tell myself that while the kitchen/bathroom/living room/bedroom/all of the above isn’t my taste, there isn’t anything wrong besides aesthetics. Both times we bought places that had good bones but needed major changes. That’s what Celine and Kevin have done. The star of the place–the mural–isn’t something you can find elsewhere. Everything else can be changed. All the better if it NEEDS to be changed.
    BTW I love those clerestory windows. They must be so practical in Arizona–light without heating up the house.

    1. Celine says:

      Thanks so much for the compliments! Yes, the clerestory windows go around the entire perimeter of the house and they create the most beautiful light in every room. They’re all single pane though so it gets a bit hot in the summer, but I’m willing to put up with that for the light :)

  8. Aidel.K says:

    That mural would have reeled me in, also. Beautiful home! Did you seal the live-edge wood slabs? If so, what did you use? I’m considering one as a shelf right now and wondering about it. The look is fantastic in your place–it’s convincing me to do it.

    1. Celine says:

      Hi Aidel :) We sanded and sealed the wood slab. I’ll have to check with my guy to find out what he used and get back to you.

  9. Teddy says:

    Wow, this is the kind of place where I could see some people having thoughtful conversation to late hours in the night. The whole atmosphere is so lightly colored and warm that if the lights were on all night, I don’t think I could tell what hour it is! Beautiful room

  10. Alexandra says:

    I love the mural too. Nice and cozy home. The little one is so cute. Lovely!

  11. Maria Smith says:

    the place is even more enchanting in reality – every corner of the house is intriguing, beautiful and very bright – just super

  12. The fan in the bedroom is beautiful! It blends well with the rest of the furniture. I love the legs on the credenza too. How fun! What a beautiful space to host a wedding in!

  13. oltyrrell says:

    Wow, what a stunning home—so eclectic, and yes modern, but so not cookie cutter- refreshing….So nice to see a space that reflects individual taste. Love all of your special touches. Great eye! Bravo !!!

  14. I’m soooooo happy to see that they kept this mural! So many people would have found it “old fashioned” and not understood it at all…this makes me so happy.

    And that credenza…I already thought it was vintage and clearly heirloom quality…totally worth it. Great job you guys!

  15. Diana says:

    That mural is out of this world. My favourite part is their favourite part about the house :)


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