The Found House Brings An Eclectic Mix of Home Goods to Phoenix
The Found House, a new home decor boutique in the Pearson Place Historic District of Phoenix, blends vintage and modern design with a desert influence. Owned by interior designer Sarah Rhodes, the space features vintage Turkish and Moroccan rugs, new and found furniture and small-batch, artisan-made favorites—all reflecting Rhodes’ affinity for what she calls a “Southwestern Nouveau” aesthetic. “I would describe it as clean, vibrant, fresh, colorful and welcoming,” Rhodes says. “I’m always inspired by other cultures and mixing eras. I don’t think there should be rules in design, just as there are no rules in art. I just say make a home that makes you happy, and I approach my shop the same way.”
We recently sat down Rhodes to discuss what’s been keeping her busy—and inspired—as of late.
What made you decide to open a brick-and-mortar store?
The Found House is my “COVID baby.” I know I’m not alone when I say that the last two years have wildly changed the trajectory of how things would have been if COVID-19 hadn’t happened, and my shop is no exception! At the beginning of quarantine, the work dried up. Even the current projects I had been working on had momentarily stalled. I ended up having to sell my small hoard of vintage furniture and rugs out of my office before I moved out, and I realized how much I liked retail, even though it was a really sad time closing up my design business. But it became a fun project. Fast forward about a year, the vaccine was on the edge of rolling out, and the idea came to me as I was ready to think about what was next for me. It happened so fast! Within a couple days, I had found my location and registered my LLC. It was wild.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
I’m always been inspired by other cultures and mixing eras. I don’t think there should be rules in design, just as there are no rules in art. I always say design a home that makes you happy, and I approach my shop the same way.
What’s your favorite project you ever worked on as an interior designer?
I’ve been totally blessed with having some clients who completely trust my vision and my crazy suggestions, and those are always my favorite projects. I know as a homeowner it’s probably hard to relinquish control like that, but in my opinion, the end results are always so much more cohesive and inspiring.
How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
Sometimes I call it “Southwestern Nouveau,” but I would also describe it as clean, vibrant, fresh, colorful and welcoming.
What is your favorite home decor item or piece of furniture you own and why?
It would have to be the rug in my living room. It’s an antique Moroccan rug from the Atlas Mountains, and the weavers in that region design rugs as if they were abstract art. There’s no pattern or symmetry—it’s just art. It’s colorful, and it will bring me joy forever.
How would you describe your approach to design?
For anyone unfamiliar with my work or style, the first thing I would tell you is that you need to be comfortable in your own home. So I’d describe my style as being functional and approachable, with lots of permission to take liberties with texture, color and patterns. Maybe like a marriage of Jungalow Maximalism, Palm Springs freshness and color pop, and Spanish Adobe minimalism. So, a throuple I guess.
What’s the best-kept design secret you know?
When I hit a design brick wall in my own home, I take a photo on my phone of the space. So often, it’s easy to feel frustrated or not be able to pinpoint what’s wrong when you’re looking at it live and when you live with it every day. Just take pictures on your phone, go into another room and look at the pictures. It’s weird, but it’s so much easier to see empty spots or spot something that’s not working when it’s in 2D. Another tip: Command strips forever. That’s it! Keep a Command strip kit in your house and you can hang anything anywhere. It’s amazing. I’m not being paid for this, I swear. It’s just a really good tip.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am so excited to be seeing a big dream come to life right here in Phoenix, and I can’t imagine a more welcoming and wonderful neighborhood than the Melrose District. I also have to say that we could not be here without the support of so many who believed in our shop and were eager to give their time, investments and encouragement. We wouldn’t be here without the support of so many small business owners who are giants in our community and at the same time, who root for the success of others. Phoenix is such a special place, and my husband and I are honored to be doing this here.