In Arizona, a Lesson in Reinvigorating Without Reinventing

In Arizona, a Lesson in Reinvigorating Without Reinventing

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 The Phoenix, AZ property hadn’t been updated in 60 years, and its stained carpet, outdated appliances and all-pink bathroom were absolutely less than ideal.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



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