Graduation is Coming.

ideas, real life, Travel

I am in school right now.  Did you know that?  I am in the very LAST SEMESTER OF MY BACHELORS DEGREE.  I did it you guys.  Well I have almost done it.  In 13 more weeks I, Rachael Pullman will have completed my four year degree with four kids and a husband who travels for work.  I am very proud and very excited.  I am beginning to see the forest from the trees…


I have been in school non stop for a solid year with only a five day break in the summer.  The way I figure it, is that I can finish the one very big thing, and then I can focus on all the things that I love to do.  Like design my home, and then blog about it.  Write about real life, and travels, and things that make me happy.  Because maybe they are the things that make you happy too.



I intend to enlarge this photo I took with my iPhone 😲 from our little foray into cross country skiing from a few weeks ago.  It was amazing and  I have never been so sore in my life.  I was more in love with the snow than the actual skiing.  But I live in Phoenix so snow is a bit of a novelty.  I am thinking of putting this in a large black frame with a large mat in my wet bar area as a stop gap for the winter.  I want to change it out seasonally to keep it fresh, and use photos from places we’ve been to help keep it fresh, ya know?  I am all about those cute photos you can download that are really affordable and can help you out in a pinch.   BUT I guarantee with the right filters and edits some of your own photos will be just as awesome and make your home more you!



Rocky Point aka Puerto Penasco aka paradise 4 hours from home.

Casa del Pullman, Mexico, Modern Spanish, real life, Travel

I have had the craziest two weeks. First Disneyland and Mickey’s Halloween Party, then Seattle and the Gottman Institute seminars, then two days later camping in Rocky Point for October break.

This makes me seem much cooler than I actually am.

We usually stay at Las Palomas Resort, but this time our neighbors who are awesome invited us to go camping on the beach. We have never camped on the beach. We are big camping fans and have a 2002 pop-up tent trailer. Our neighbors have a bazillion foot long fifth wheel that has two bathrooms and bunk beds that go up and down by remote control and self levels. It was comical to see our two trailers next to each other. The kids play hard. The hubs eat mangos covered in Tajin, lime and chamoy. We played tenzies, dominos, and farkle with our neighbors and gorged ourselves on Pollo Lucas. It really is the best.

Night two the winds picked up. Turns out there’s a tropical storm a’brewin’ off the Baja coast. We did not sleep because I was almost certain that our trailer was going to take flight and we would land in Oz. We packed up and are on our way home a day earlier than planned, but I did take some cool photos before the winds came. Wouldn’t these look great in a beach house gallery wall or above a bed?

Night two, before the winds picked up. Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico.

Gallery walls and the art that is displayed in them can totally help you achieve a specific vibe that you want to achieve. I am toying with the idea offering free photo print downloads for some of my photos from my travels, would that be something that would interest you?

That one time I went to Bali

Art, Casa del Pullman, Projects, Travel

SO. I am holding myself accountable for last weeks goals. I didn’t get my front door done last week… I did buy the paint, so that is a step in the right direction.  This week we are going to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Tuesday, and then I have a school thing in Seattle.  Which means nothing is getting done on the house.  That’s okay.  That’s life.  I will get to it.

On to the real post.

I love photography.  I tried calling myself a professional for a few years, but when you get right down to it, I was mediocre at best.  I grateful for the skills that I learned from other photographers and you tube because it helps me take some pretty good photos for my home when I travel, which I LOVE to do.

In April, I went to Bali with my mother on a yoga retreat and it was amazing.  It is another world, and if you ever have the chance to go, do it.  I felt so much peace and I was constantly in awe of the Balinese people, how devout they are and how beautiful their daily rituals are.  I also took about 700 photos.

I am nailing down the plan for the little girls room. The paint color is Dunn Edwards Moijito, which is a nice place minty color.  We also got a new ceiling fan from Lowe’s that I really love. It’s simple but moves a lot of air. A must for anyone who lives in Arizona.


View from the top of Uluwatu Temple in Bali.  This is going above our bed in the Master Bedroom)

In planning the gallery wall I want to do in the girls’ room, I immediately the amazing sculptures that are in Monkey Forest, which is equal parts incredible and terrifying.  Not the sculptures, the monkeys. The Monkeys are EVERYWHERE.


Sculpture in the Monkey Forsest, Ubud, Bali


Temple in the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali


Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali


Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali


The trees are unreal.  Ubud, Bali

I am excited to get to work arranging the art in the girls room!  In a week.  Because life.

My weak spot

Casa del Pullman, Modern Spanish, Phoenix Designer, Projects

Every designer as a weak spot. Granted, I am not really a professional, I didn’t go to school for or get a degree in interior design. But still, I love design. The room I am definitely the weakest in is the Master Bedroom. I don’t really know why, but it is always the room that seems to come together the slowest for me. I struggle with making it cohesive. Add to the struggle I am working with furniture that we had in our last house that I

  1. Don’t necessarily love, but it is functional
  2. Worked in our last home, but is there because we don’t have another spot for it in our new home.  So it ended up in the Master Bedroom.

This morning after I got my hoard of kids off to school I checked the mail. The Design Within Reach catalog was in my mailbox, just begging to be perused through, bookmarked, and eventually recycled because I can’t justify their prices. This time it was different. I saw a beautiful spread that loved that I could recreate on a budget AND help me with my weak link.

It is gorgeous, right? Warm woods, with white-ish walls and contrasting drapes.  I can work with this.  Now this is the current situation.


The breakdown:  This Crate and Barrel Petrie sofa is the first ‘big girl’ piece of furniture I ever bought.  Six years ago I saved, used a coupon and waited till September when they have their annual upholstery sale.   I still love this couch.  It had it’s own special place in our last home.  In this home, it is shoved into the master and I am sad about it.  However, if you have small children that like to come into your room at night, you need a couch.  The kids know that they sleep on the couch.  Kids are not allowed in our bed.  Damon and I need uninterrupted sleep or we ain’t happy the next day.  I am loosing focus.  Sorry.   The headboard is a Craig’s List score, the desk is from Ikea. One day I won’t have desk in here, but it is sure nice when I need to get things done for school and can lock myself a way.  The eyeball sconces are from Urban Outfitters and a total score.

It is a real hodge podge.


The fireplace is it’s own special case.  I am mulling ideas, but holy crap can we all agree that it is just kinda weird?  These dressers are West Elm beauties.  Again, our last master bedroom was ridiculously huge, so two worked there. Not sure about here.



  1. Paint the Walls.  I am thinking Chantilly Lace white.  The baseboards are already done, the kids and I did those before we put in carpet.
  2. Black/ dark gray drapes.  I make my own drapes.  I think I need to do a tutorial about that.  You can save so much money making your own drapes.  The dark drapes will hopefully make it easier to tie in the dark sofa.
  3. Figure out the bedding situation.  Currently we have awesome Parachute Home linen duvet and sheets- but don’t have a duvet insert because Arizona.  Arizona is so hot right now.
  4. Replace the ceiling fan.  I know that a cool lighting fixture would be amazing.  Again, Arizona.  Notice we have a giant fan on the desk AND a ceiling fan.  Arizona is so hot right now.

I am excited to make this happen.  I think all parents deserve a sanctuary. Now lets all appreciate the new carpet we had installed in July.IMG_5172.jpg


Sunday Funday

-ish, baking, Modern Spanish, real life


This post is more on the -ish side of modernish.  On Sundays I like to bake.  I am no pro, I make a huge mess and I don’t have any of my own recipes.  Everything I make is from pinterest and/or the magnolia farms cookbook.  My older kids don’t like to help me as much as they used to, but my little girls still think I am cool.    I made these sugar cookies and they are choice.  I change the frosting, I don’t add the milk.  It makes it too runny.  Also don’t over bake them.  It makes a ton, and I throw a few dozen into the freezer for lunch treats.modernishhomeexterior-51

Joss and Mila are my little girls.  They are so much fun and I am trying to soak up every minute of their littleness.   modernishhomeexterior-53

We busted out the Halloween Sprinkles and had a great time.

My house goals for the week include painting the trim on the front door and maybe getting the hardboard for the cabinets in the wet bar and half bath.  I have done a little research and have an idea to do an affordable cabinet makeover.

Happy Monday!

The Entryway- Outside Edition


I am in online school finishing up my bachelors degree, and I started on Monday.  I am trying to come to grips with it, giving up my beloved free time and heading into my last two semesters before I graduate.  However, this doesn’t mean I am going to stop working on my house.  I think a fun easy quick project will be the exterior entry.

I love the exterior of my home.  It is white, ranch style Spanish goodness with ample patios and lots of vines.  It does need a little spruce.  Note the giant oak door.  There is part of me that wants to change it, but a bigger part says keep it.


Long term I want to rip out the tile that was laid on the landing and replace it with some Saltillo tile or cement tile, but for now I am going to do the following.

  1. Paint the very outer trim on the front door back.  I want to give a little more contrast to the entry, and I think it will define it more.
  2. Rip out the random ficus tree and hibiscus bush that is blocking the view of the front door from the street and replace it with boxwood bushes or some other small shrub.  Maybe dwarf rosebushes?



(I also have a thing for blue glazed pots, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of that cactus that also looks like a cross between Beaker from the Muppets and an asparagus.  I also don’t have a spot for it anywhere, so he just kinda hangs out there weirding people out)
  1. Deck it out for fall.  I have been loving perusing Pinterest and seeing all the fall goodness.  Here’s an image that has been inspiring me.


This color scheme.  It can be Halloween, or 86 those faux crows and it works for fall.  Work smarter not harder!  Going this route for any season is great, especially if the budget is tight.  Which mine is.

I think simpler is better in a front door situation.  I don’t like a lot of fuss, and tend to steer clear of the burlap situation… and fake hay bales…

I also need to replace my front door mat.  I will say this Pottery Barn mat has been worth every penny.  I bought it when we bought our last house almost six years ago, and it just gave out.  That’s pretty impressive for an $80 dollar mat.  modernishhomeexterior-41


Entryway Update

Casa del Pullman, DIY, Modern Spanish, Paint Projects, Phoenix Designer

The paint is done!  The lights are installed.  I love it.  It is such a process righting the wrong of the brown paint, but can I just say how satisfying it is?  Its like preforming an exorcism on a home, making it clean and pure and restoring it to its full potential.  It literally took a week of me painting the entry way trim and walls, and a whole weekend with me and my husband painting the ceiling.  (Lets be real, we are working/ going to school and have four kids to take care of.  This would probably be done in a weekend total if you had no distractions.)

Let’s all hold hands in a show of support to witness what it was before.  (Deep breath) Prepare yourself…entryrenovation-1


The brown just makes it feel choppy and segmented, and the strip of brown on the ceiling?  Why tho?  I don’t understand.  The lighting circa 1979, original to the house.  Questionable, at best.

I had a $500 budget to get this done.

Here is the process on a project like this. I can not emphasize this enough.  Prep.  Is.  Life.

  1. Degloss or lightly sand the surface.  We used this sander/deglosser to degloss the tray ceiling and trim.  The best part about it is you don’t have to wipe down and clean the surface after.  entryway-30
  2. Have Hot Husband remove super classy smoked glass mirror from wet bar.
  3.  Prime the Surface with Kilz or Zinsser.  We love Zinsser.
  4.  Paint the first coat.  We used Dunn Edwards Aristoshield in White. This is where I had my mild freak out moment.  It looked splotchy and uneven.  Don’t stress.  Keep going.
  5. Wait at least 12 hours before coat two.
  6. Paint coat two.
  7. Rejoice in how awesome it looks.
  8. Wait for it to dry.
  9. Hot Husband installs the new lights from overstock.  He is amazing.  Ladies and Gents, get yo’self a man who is handy.

Can I get an amen for these lights?  I mean, at $107 a pop these can’t be beat.


Also the ceiling?!!  I love some good mill work, and the while against the dark bronze iron lighting is helping me achieve that modern Spanish vibe.


This is Mila.  Mila is hilarious. She is four and rules our household.

This is a little before and after.  It looks SO much better, but still work to be done.

Next Up? Wet Bar and Half Bath cabinet painting.


My next exorcism awaits…

A New Game Plan and Entryway Progress

Casa del Pullman, DIY, Modern Spanish, Paint Projects, Projects

We have been in our home for almost ten months.  I can’t believe it, and I still LOVE my home.  I love it even with all its craziness, and fix-it-up-ness.  We have had quite a busy summer, and now are settling in to our back to school routine.  For which I am so grateful.  Lets just say it was a VERY long summer and leave it at that.

Over the past two months we have had some “moments” that have expidited some renovations, and pushed back others.

Expedited was the garage door.  The heavy solid wood door which I am fairly certain is original to the house judging from the MANY coats of paint on the exterior, busted.  Like I thought it was going to fall apart at the old wood seams kinda busted.  The garage guy told us it would be $450 to repair it, which will likely break in a few years, OR (cue cash register sound effects 💸💸💸)  we can buy a new one for $800.  It was a no brainer for me, I like to be able to get my car out of the garage without worrying about a 200 pound wood door falling on me, my kids or my car.

Pushed back is more of a nice way to say this:  ALL my original plans for how I was going to do the renovations has now become much more complicated.

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time there was a family who lived in Arizona where the water tastes like chlorine.  Luckily, there’s this thing called a Brita water filter.  Anyway.  Somehow the Brita got into a position that was juuuussst the right amount of off the shelf for the door shelves to push the lever and all of the sudden water was everywhere.  ALLLLLL over the kitchen floor.  Annoying, yes.  End of the world?  No.  Until she realized a few days later the kick board on her kitchen cabinets had water stains on the bottom.  Freaked out and not knowing what to do next, this clueless Arizonan calls in her hot husband to survey the situation.  (You get that this story is about us, right?  Okay cool)

Our Sub-Zero fridge is great, but a little on the older side.  Damon tries to take the kick plate off and he can’t.  Why?  Because the flippers who ‘remodeled’ the house two owners before us re-tiled.  ON TOP of the old tile.  Basically they tiled the fridge into place and created this perfect little canal for water to run into and get soaked up by the kitchen cabinets.  This two layer tile and an ample layer of thin set is through our entire house except the master bathroom (hopefully) and Liam’s bathroom.  We are talking around 2500 square feet of crappily installed tile.

What this means is that my plans for saving up $X amount of dollars to do the half bath and the wet bar in one phase, and $X amount for the girls bathroom and Liam’s bathroom have now gone away unless I want to live with almost a half-inch difference between different types of flooring.  It now has to be done allll at the same time, including the floors.  So my smaller, less scary budgets to save for are now a big big chunk.

Boo.  In happier news, I took this defeat gracefully 😏 and put about $500 into the entry way in lighting and paint.

Here is what it looked like before…

I mean,  its bad.  Cheaply pained brown trim on creamy white walls that we like to call “urine whisper” (My eleven year old son came up with that one, and I died laughing.)

But LOOK!  Progress!!  And a little cameo from our dog Nash.  The walls are now Dunn Edwards white, as well as the trim (even though it looks pretty similar I assure you it looks SO different in person.  I am not the best photographer.)  I shall detail the process of painting the trim, but I can not say enough good things about Zinsser and Aristoshield paint that I picked up at Dunn Edwards.  We are tackling the ceiling this weekend!


I can’t wait to show the finished product.  The lighting I bought for the entry is choice and so budget friendly!  I have to keep reminding myself that this home isn’t a race, it is piece by piece,  Room by room, making it our home.

Natural Inspiration


I’m in Carlsbad, California with my husband for a quick Valentines getaway. Really it’s because he had several meetings out here and couldn’t get back for Valentines, so I dropped a few hints, he cashed in some flight miles and boom! I’m here! We had a great Valentine’s Day, we don’t exchange gifts, we exchange letters, shared a box of Sees chocolates and had a romantic walk down Carlsbad State Beach before eating dinner. It was perfect.

(I forgot my camera 😩 But this ain’t bad for an iPhone, right?)

We strolled 45 minutes before sunset, the mood, colors and light inspired me. I want this feeling in my home. I love finding peace and calm in nature, so now my goal is to do this in my master bedroom.

The vibe will be calm and simple, with function and organization. I want at least one room in my home to stay pretty. Now here’s my confession: We have never brought a grown up bed. We have a king size mattress, Parachute linen bedding which I love and highly recommend, and a $50 mid-century modern headboard scored off craigslist that is falling apart. So I’m hunting. I’m on a budget, so it will take a while. That’s okay. Until then I think I’ll hang up a few of these photos from last nights beach stroll.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


P.S. what’s your favorite method for printing photos?

Rugs for the Family Room


I don’t know about you, but the family room is where we spend a lot of our time.  That and the kitchen because food.  This new family room of ours was giving me fits because of how the room is shaped.  It didn’t help that I just threw down rugs that were cutting the room into two different sections and they just weren’t big enough.  Observe.  Just don’t judge me too harshly, I was working with what I had when we moved in.

rugs USA modernish-5

rugs USA modernish-2

My original thought was to go with a cut and bound carpet, but then over New Years rugsUSA had 50% off all rugs, so I jumped at getting this beauty for half off in the largest size they made it.  It’s 12×15 and its glorious.  It’s the perfect blue, bringing in some color without being all in your face about it.  It was delivered over the weekend and we put it in on Sunday!  I’ll post an update on how I finish the room out, but look!  Its a giant rug that makes the room actually work!

rugs USA modernish-4

I love it so much.  Let me tell you how much getting the right size matters.  It Matters.  A Lot.  Don’t cheat yourself or your room getting a rug that is too small.  Wait for a while, save if you need to (Raising my hand here) and get something that will last you a good long while.

I also ordered this rug at the same time, and it was just delivered today!  I can’t wait to put it down, but it is definitely a two person job.  And by two person I mean my husband and a friend while I supervise with a Diet Mountain Dew.

Have a great weekend