Cristi Pettibone of Renov8phx on Her 'Carrie Bradshaw' Shoe Obsession — and Why You Should Splurge on a Watch

Lara Piu
Home designer Cristi Pettibone models her Trina Turk top, Gap straight-leg jeans, magenta Cole Haan heels, and gold Michele watch.
Last January, City Chic Design interior designer Cristi Pettibone and remodeler Kelly Muller founded Renov8phx to do just that: restore and renovate historic Phoenix.

Since then, the duo has completed six historic homes. Another six are in the works: a 1940s Arcadia home, two Garfield homes, one midcentury restoration in Encanto, a Roosevelt Craftsman, and the Montague House, which is a 1938 Windsor Square home designed by Lescher and Mahoney, the same architects responsible for such Phoenix landmarks as the Orpheum Theater and Brophy Chapel.

“I’m obsessed with downtown,” Pettibone says, citing her appreciation for the design craftsmanship found in the area. “We’re trying to honor what's unique about each home."

True to form, Pettibone lives in her own vintage treasure, a 1912 Craftsman in the Roosevelt neighborhood. New Times recently visited to talk with Pettibone about fashion and personal style. Unsurprisingly, she looked chic, comfortable, and classic in a pair of dark, straight-leg jeans, bright magenta heels, and a sleeveless printed silk top.

How would you describe your sense of style?
I would say it’s Audrey Hepburn meets Cher from Clueless, with Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe obsession.

What’s your business style approach?
For the most part, I keep the fun in my accessories and handbags and shoes, and then I try to be pretty classic in my clothes.

How does your personal wardrobe style relate to your home design style?
Probably only in the attention to detail. In both design and getting dressed, it’s fun to put a lot of effort into those little details that add up and make a big difference.

What are you wearing right now?
Right now I am wearing a Trina Turk top, Gap straight-leg jeans, magenta Cole Haan heels, an oversized gold flower ring from Banana’s clearance box, and a gold Michele watch.

Where do you shop?
For the most part, I stick to Zara, Kate Spade, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and J. Crew. I occasionally sneak into Forever 21 for a $12 statement necklace.

What are your favorite local boutiques?
I love Frances and MADE if I’m looking for unique gifts for people.

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Pettibone's latest splurge – Kate Spade taxi flats. "They’re completely obnoxious and adorable," she says.
Lara Piu
What was the last piece you bought?
I bought a pair of Kate Spade taxi flats; they look like little taxis. They’re black and white patent leather with gold glitter. They’re completely obnoxious and adorable.

What's one of the weirdest things in your closet?
My mom’s bikinis from the early '70s. One is bright yellow terrycloth, and the other is a bold hot pink and kind of a cobalt blue mod print. They both remind me of the beach movies from the late '60s. No, I don't wear them.

Who are your fashion inspirations?
As far as fashion icons from the past, Jackie O., Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn get my vote. From today, Blake Lively and maybe even Kate Middleton. She's very well put together and feminine without being too cute. She's a classic.

What is your earliest memory of fashion?
It was one of my first days in kindergarten, and I was wearing an adorable little shorts romper that snapped at the bottom. I couldn’t get the snaps together after going to the bathroom. So I sat in the bathroom waiting for someone to come in, some girl who looked like she wasn't going to make fun of me to snap it back up. [I was] traumatized. It was my first sacrifice in the name of fashion.

What is a trend that you wish would stop?
I wouldn’t mind if people stopped wearing their workout clothes all day, every day. I’m also attempting to get my business partner to stop wearing flip-flops to client meetings. There's a time and a place for that. Phoenix is a little more casual than most other cities our size, but there’s nothing wrong with putting a little effort into your presentation, even if it’s a T-shirt and jeans sort of day.

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Pettibone models her fun, magenta Cole Haan heels.
Lara Piu
What is one piece of advice you'd give to people in Phoenix about fashion?
We have a good mix of people and styles throughout the Valley. I would say, don’t worry about what's “in.” Have fun with what you wear, put a little thought into it, and make sure it feels like you. There’s definitely something to the saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

What are five things that everyone should have in her closet?
Classic black heels, a fun statement purse, a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, a Mother’s Day brunch sort of sundress, and a watch to splurge on, to balance out the $12 statement necklace from Forever 21.