Sean Gaston Design Offers 10 Tips to Finesse Your Flip in the Desert

thunderbird golf course home

Scroll through the MLS and you’ll see plenty of homes that have been freshened up and made presentable, though certainly not personal. House flippers aim to catch eyes and cast the widest net, but once you’re in, there are plenty of easy enhancements that can make it feel like your very own.

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

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

“We completely renovated our last two homes with Sean’s help, but because of the issues with materials and labor, we didn’t want to start from scratch,” says one of the owners. “Finding this was perfect because they had done some of the basics and some remodeling, but we knew that Sean could elevate it to our taste for us.”

Fine-tuning your flip can move along swiftly if you make fast decisions and chosen materials are available. As a bonus, the owner notes, “the house was livable because we didn’t do massive demo and construction.” Here, Gaston’s top tips for your flip.


The new owners loved the bones of the light-filled house but were surprised to learn the structure was built in 1965 as a flat-roofed, ranch-style house. In 1988, the former 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 being midcentury and modern but with the warmth of the wood ceilings,” the owner says. Gaston chose furnishings that speak to all three facets. To cushion the expansive tile floors and contour the living and dining areas, Gaston turned to Prestige Rug Gallery in Palm Springs. “I know the clients well, so I push them on certain things. These Tufenkian artisan carpets were investments,” he says, crafted to transcend trends and endure for generations.

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