Sean Gaston Design offers 10 tips for honing your desert flip

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Scroll through MLS and you’ll see many homes that have been refreshed and made presentable, but certainly not personal. House fins are all about eye-catching and casting the widest net, but once you’re there, there are plenty of easy upgrades that can make you feel like your own.

This home overlooking the 13th fairway of Thunderbird Golf Course was a flip, purchased by a couple as their “forever home” after owning four previous residences in the desert. They liked the house from the moment they looked at it, but they wanted to fall head over heels.

Creator Sean Gaston toured the house with them and identified a number of customizations and upgrades that would take it to the next level.

“We completely remodeled our last two homes with Sean’s help, but because of material and labor issues, we didn’t want to start from scratch,” says one owner. “Thinking it was perfect because they had done some of the basics and some renovations but we knew Sean could elevate it to our liking for us.”

Fine-tuning your flip can move quickly if you make quick decisions and the chosen materials are available. As a bonus, notes the owner, “the house was habitable because we didn’t do massive demonstrations and construction.” Here, Gaston’s best tips for your flip.

1. INVEST IN GREAT RUGS AND FURNITURE.

The new owners loved the bones of the bright house, but were surprised to learn that the structure was built in 1965 as a flat-roofed ranch-style house. In 1988, the previous owners completely renovated the center of the house, raised and pitched the roof and inserted triangular clerestory windows above the great room. “It’s sort of a cross between mid-century and modern, but with the warmth of the wooden ceilings,” the owner explains. Gaston has chosen furniture that speaks to three facets. To cushion the expansive tile floors and shape the living and dining spaces, Gaston turned to Prestige Rug Gallery in Palm Springs. “I know the clients well, so I push them on certain things. These handcrafted Tufenkian rugs were investments,” he says, designed to transcend trends and last for generations.

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