Q+A with Liz from @Desert Decor
People who dream big—and then make it happen—are on our short list of favorites. From seeing beautiful interior design to the weekend warriors who aren’t afraid to tear a few things apart, Sinkology finds inspiration in the creators of the world!
We recently had the pleasure of touring the recently renovated home of Liz, the woman behind the design Instagram account @DesertDecor. Liz invited us to see her new home (and her brand new Sinkology Fireclay Farmhouse kitchen sink!) and share her experience with us. Liz gave us great tips and shared the secrets to creating a kitchen as stunning as hers. Watch the video or read below for all the details! And don’t miss our recent Home Tour post with Liz, to see how she brings French farmhouse style to Arizona!
Hi Liz! Tell us a little more about yourself.
I’m Liz and I have a design Instagram account at Desert Décor. I design a home décor store here locally and in addition to that I teach a fitness class. Our home when we moved here to Phoenix, we had just a couple of days to find our location, went through tons of homes, tons of different areas in the Phoenix area and this one when we pulled in, it was the one. We just love our desert location, and I think we’ve been here about ten years now and I think we’re here to stay for a while.
What attracted you to the French Farmhouse style?
What drew me to the French farmhouse style, I think are just the vintage elements, I love all the chippy detail and the subdued colors. When you think of being in France, I think you think of relaxation and just, chillin’. And I love that feeling in my home…I just love a really relaxed feeling and subdued colors, and pieces in my home that have a story. So, that’s where the antiques and the French country kind of come in.
How long did it take to complete your kitchen renovation—and was the length of time more or less than you planned?
I don’t know any different; we’ve only renovated one kitchen, but it ended up being from the time we started it to the end about three weeks. So…the good part of what can make it go faster is a good kitchen designer. I felt like our designer at Space Home Outfitters, Sandra, she made an excellent effort to make sure everything was very timely. But it’s the prep work beforehand that really makes it go seamlessly. So we did a lot of prep work for about six months, coordinating all of our workers that came in.
How did you find the products for your new kitchen?
A lot of the products you’ll see in our kitchen, we wanted to make sure it was local companies that we worked with but also were accessible to my followers. That was really important to me so that they could grow their business as well. The cabinets, we ended up using Sollid Cabinetry, which is a local company here, but you can also order it even if you’re not local to Arizona. We also used Top Knobs for all of our knobs, and I loved their good variety that they have, and I feel like that’s added the real jewelry. Obviously, our Sinkology sink is one of my favorites. I’ve dreamed of a farmhouse sink since I was a little girl. It just, I feel, really sets the tone for our sink area in our kitchen. And we love it.
Where did you find inspiration for your renovation?
My heart kind of lies in Instagram, and so I wanted to be sure that all my inspiration came from Instagram. I know a lot of people go to magazines or Pinterest, but for me I feel like through searching hash tags, you can find everything you want. When we’re looking at sinks, we put in sinks in a hash tag and Sinkology came up. When we wanted to look at backsplash tile, whether we wanted herringbone versus classic, we just went to the hash tag search. So, a lot of people go to different sources, for us, most of our inspiration and what we wanted came just from Instagram.
How did you know which sink would work for your kitchen?
As far as farmhouse sinks, as we were deciding what kind of farmhouse sink would work best for our home, I really lended my opinion to be swayed by Sarah at Little Vintage Nest. And I’ll tell you why: she got the Sinkology farmhouse sink; I loved it in her home, I thought it was so beautiful. She did a beautiful detailed write-up blog post and it was all the facts and information you could ever want about fireclay. And reading that, I got goose bumps. I was sold. I just knew that that was a product for my home and number one importance wasn’t necessarily how it looked, but more durability, quality, and that’s what I found with Sinkology.
What features did you look for in your farmhouse sink?
When I was deciding on my farmhouse sink, I don’t think I wanted a great big bowl, although that’s a turn-on for most people who are looking for a farmhouse sink. I didn’t want to feel like I was scraping on all sides, I like to be able to wash and rinse in a separate sink. I had a really hard time actually, finding a double bowl farmhouse sink. I was so lucky to find Sinkology as they were starting to carry the perfect size: 33-inch, double bowl, they nailed it.
What did you love most about your Sinkology farmhouse sink?
What I liked most about the option with Sinkology farmhouse sink is that I had two design options. It was plain on one side, which we were originally going to use, and we, just fell in love with the design detail on the opposite side. But what I’ve been most happy about is it’s just so easy to clean. The durability has been great; we’ve banged on this, hot pots, I mean the works and it just holds up to everything we’ve put inside our sink. We’ve been really happy with it.
Was there anything you were nervous about in picking out your sink?
When we were shopping around for farmhouse sinks, I read tons of reviews, I did tons of research before I decided with Sinkology. And when I went to the other reviews I heard cracking and that scared me. That they would pour hot water into their fireplace sink and it cracked, there was chipping, and it had to be replaced over a year period of time, and I’m not okay with that. And I wasn’t going to take a chance on another company. What I love about Sinkology is they offered a lifetime guaranty on their sinks. To me that tells me they’re not selling me a hunk of junk, this is gonna last forever.
How did you begin your renovation? Did you start with anything in specific?
The very first material we had was our fireclay farmhouse sink from Sinkology, so everything else had to work around it. Our cabinet measurements, our accent marble, they did a fantastic job making sure that their template was just right to fit over top of the sink. We even put little decorative furniture legs under the sink to highlight the sink area. So yeah, that was definitely the heart of our kitchen. It was the first thing we started with in our kitchen design.
Would you recommend your Sinkology Fireclay Farmhouse kitchen sink?
If someone asked if I would ask recommend the Sinkology fireclay farmhouse sink, the answer is yes. We’ve been so happy with it and, in comparison to other competitors, I feel like this is top notch.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced in your renovation?
The biggest hurdle we came across is we had our counter tops all chosen, selected, tagged with our name on it, and a bigger project came in where they needed all of their quartz countertops. And so this company sold all of the slabs we had tagged which pushed our project back I’d say three or four weeks. And in a crazy world of jobs and coordinating other trades, it was hard. But we worked it out we worked with another company that we’ve been really happy with and we ended up getting our counter tops with MSI Stone, and we’ve been really happy with them.
Any advice for homeowners just getting ready to start a kitchen remodel?
If you were just thinking about designing a kitchen, and you didn’t know where to start, I would highly recommend a designer. I used to be scared of the word designer because I thought that meant a lot of added cost, but I’m telling you the return investment on that is so worth it. They have so many connections to different trades that you don’t have to worry about it and I feel that’s what made our kitchen go so seamlessly and in such a good time frame of three weeks, that’s unheard of for a kitchen. And so, a designer would be the way to go.
Whose design styles do you love?
The accounts that I love and that I look to the most anytime I need inspiration on Instagram is: Jessica @jesswasserman; Jamie @whitetailfarmhouse; and Lucy @birdiefarm. And the reason I love them is because there is nothing contrived about their house. When you go to their feed it is very them. You can tell they didn’t pop into a magazine and get the latest trends on what’s current. Its just things they love in their home and it feels so homey and so them.
What inspired this particular renovation?
Some inspiration I got when we were looking at kitchen renovations, and what we liked and didn’t like, there’s a feed that it’s Becky Owens. She doesn’t always design, it’s not always her home that she shares but she shares such good inspiration and there were so many fabulous things from kitchens that she shared. Like this tile design on our island, I got that from Becky Owen. The two toned, she really showcased that in such a magnificent way that’s what really drew us to the two tone.
What’s your next project now that your kitchen is complete?
Okay, so you asked about a list of projects we have coming up: we’re doing a brand-new staircase, which we’re really excited about. It’ll be wood stairs and new risers going in; we have an awesome custom barn door being made by Porter Barnwood that’s being installed; our pantry doors are getting a little refresh too, they’ll be antique doors I think from the 1800s that will be installed.
If you are working on a kitchen renovation, be sure to check out all of the amazing resources from Sinkology to help you along the way. We curated a comprehensive Kitchen Sink Buying Guide to walk you step-by-step and decision-by-decision through the process of finding out exactly which sink will work best for your home and your family. If you’re looking for inspiration and design ideas, be sure to follow our blog and our Instagram account! We feature beautiful kitchens and bathrooms and we’re not afraid to show them off. Once you’re finished with your renovation, be sure to submit your new space to our #ShowUsYourSink program to receive your free gift. Happy renovating!