Personal Space

Inside Misty Guerriero's Internationally Styled Ralph Haver Home in Phoenix

There are few words to describe the first impression of walking into Misty Guerriero's home. It's eclectic, for sure, but it's not the kind of eclectic that results in pursed lips and slow head nodding.

The vintage maven's Phoenix home is eclectic in the way that an art museum is eclectic, where you want to walk up to each piece, take it in, and then move on to another.

But it is also warm, graciously inviting visitors to take what feels like a tour of China, Tibet, Israel, France, and Morocco. These places and more are represented through the home's furniture and art, much like her boutique in Scottsdale, Vintage by Misty. Basically, Guerriero brings her work home in the best way.

See also: Inside Tania Katan's Midcentury Modern Ralph Haver Ranch Home in Phoenix

"As you know, my whole life is vintage," Guerriero says, standing in her doorway leading in to an open, airy living room.

It's been less than a year since Guerriero, her husband Ofer Navon, their Boxer Mia, and daughter Adina left their home near Lux on Central and Campbell avenues and moved to Marlen Grove in north central Phoenix.

See also: Personal Space: Inside Misty Guerriero's Vintage and Worldly Phoenix Home (Slideshow)

From the street, this 1950 Ralph Haver home seems private and secluded with blue agave, plumeria, and other foliage covering the front of the home despite it sitting on a corner lot. A bright yellow 1970s VW van that Guerriero got from Modern Manor sits out in the side driveway, waiting to be turned into a traveling pop-up boutique. Oak wood paneling lines the exterior of the home, and the wood motif continues throughout the home's interior.

Guerriero says she was about 25 or 26 when she first became interested in decor. But it was when she opened her first Scottsdale store, The Grand Tour, in 2008 that her taste for international style began to blossom.

"I opened up to a completely different world," Guerriero says.

Now, Guerriero's priorities are self and home, in that order. She believes that home is a sanctuary, and if you take care of your home, it will take care of you.

And Guerriero has clearly taken care of her home.

As guests enter through the front door of Guerriero's house, they are greeted by an expansive living room full of focal points. Straight ahead, a mirror lines the entire far wall of the living room, which creates the back wall of the kitchen.

Guerriero says it was Navon's idea to use the wall to display a custom mirror. And it pays homage to the couple's previous home, which also prominently featured a mirror.

To the left of the front doorway hangs a large modern pop art piece by Mark Freedman that Guerriero got from the Phoenix Art Museum's 2004 "Fresh Paint" exhibit, featuring pop idols like Andy Warhol and John Lennon in vibrant colors. To the right is a white, round metal fireplace with a tall, skinny chimney that stretches through the roof.

A hand-carved wooden window from a Tibetan temple dating back about 200 years adorns the beam in the center of the room.

"It's not a piece of art, it's a window," Navon says with a smile. "We made it art."

Guerriero's favorite piece sits on the living room floor. It's a Mongolian lamb ottoman covered in real wool. On a nearby table is a Hollywood Regency-style gold rotary phone in the shape of an elephant from the 1960s or '70s.

"It has the most horrible ring," Guerriero says, but it reminds her of the rotary phone her grandmother used to have.

On the way to the kitchen is the "'70s corner," with a working jukebox and a disco ball. They say it's a work in progress but that they use the jukebox to play music regularly.

The kitchen is possibly the most interesting room in the house. But it's not even exactly a room. There are two full walls and high cabinets in place of the other two, but nothing reaches the ceiling, creating a shadow box of sorts.

Natural light spills into the kitchen through a south-facing elevated skylight. Guerriero compares it to the periscope of a submarine, peeking out to the backyard.

Though most would hear "plywood cabinets" and immediately start picking out any other kind of wood to replace them with, the couple didn't even consider touching the original cabinets. Navon shows them off with pride as the "gotcha" factor of the kitchen, telling his guests to guess what kind of wood they're made of while knowing they'll never get it right.

Vintage dishes, including a set of gilded champagne flutes from the 1930s, that Guerriero has collected over the years fill those cabinets and the matching built-in shelves just outside of the kitchen.

Each piece has a story, whether it was brought back from a trip to Israel or represents a little piece of Guerriero -- like the tiny, gold hotel desk bell in the shape of a lion selected because Guerriero is a Leo.

Zodiac signs pop up again and again in Guerriero's home. Above the dining room table hangs a bronze-framed circular mirror several feet in diameter. The 12 zodiac symbols line the frame formed out of bronze with impressively intricate detail.

"Can't get more Bohemian than that," she says.

A black vase with a face on each side à la Jonathan Adler's Dora Maar vase brings a modern flair to the otherwise mid-century-inspired dining room.

Having only moved into the house in March 2014, Guerriero and Navon say some rooms are still a work in progress, like the back room, or lounge room, as they call it. It features a Street Fighter II arcade game from the 1980s. Navon is especially proud of that find because, unlike other standing models, this version was meant to have the players seated, making it a collector's item.

"It was one of my dreams to have this," Navon says while sitting down and showing that the game still works.

Haver originally built the house as a four-bedroom, but the previous owner combined some of the bedrooms, turning it into a two-bedroom home. You can still see where the two bedrooms were divided in the master bedroom by a few-inches-wide strip of floorboards that run perpendicular to the rest.

Guerriero has brought in fabrics from several different countries to give the space a worldly feel. The headboard is covered in a fabric from India, pillows in a built-in reading nook are made of velvets from Israel and ticking from France, and Indian silk fans line the walls.

Guerriero says their bedroom is almost finished, except for the storage room she plans to renovate into a walk-in closet for herself, fully equipped with a washer and dryer inside.

Like the bedrooms, the previous owner also combined rooms to create an expansive master bathroom with both a bathtub and unenclosed shower, which would have been impressive on its own.

Beige porcelain tiles line the walls and a squeegee stands in a corner, which Guerriero says gets plenty of use cleaning down the walls and built-in plywood cabinetry.

With a pedestal sink, storage space is somewhat limited in the bathroom, so Guerriero uses a vintage workman's standing toolbox for smaller items like makeup.

Guerriero has filled her home with the non-traditional, and her daughter's room is no exception. Barkcloth from the 1960s with Japanese parrots and peonies frames the windows as curtains and Asian silk screens from the 1940s hang above the bed.

In the corner, an especially modern-looking dresser sits. Guerriero admits that it's from Ikea, but by adding vintage mismatching handles to the drawers, she's been able to tie the piece in with the rest of the room.

"People think I'm so expensive, but I'm not," she says. "You can be creative without spending a ton of money."

On a shelf above the Ikea-turned-Misty dresser, Guerriero displays toys and relics from her own childhood, like a set of stacking boxes with various Disney characters of them. An image of Lady from Lady and Tramp and her pups faces outward on the largest box next to a pair of Adina's first moccasins.

A large glass door opens from Adina's room to the expansive backyard where the same oak paneling from the front of the house covers the back. Well-manicured orange trees create a barricade at the south-most end of the yard. Guerriero and Navon say they're excited for their first "harvest" of the oranges.

A small herb garden where Guerriero grows chives, rosemary, basil, and several types of mint houses a tiny Buddha statue.

Eventually, the couple plans to build a Moroccan sitting area around a tree in the last unfinished corner of the yard. But that is something for down the road.

Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version.

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Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter