If it’s not a hell YES, it’s a hell NO

It can be a tough market out there right now if you are a buyer. There isn’t always a ton of awesome inventory to choose from. It can be easy to think that it will take seeing 100 places in order to find ‘the one’. And depending on what you are looking for, it might very well take a little longer. But there is one thing I notice that tends to happen that not only hurts your search, but it can drain your energy and increase frustration, in what can already be a stressful time {they say moving is literally…

Wood trim: to paint or not to paint, that is the question…

When it comes to renovations, there’s one topic that people always have strong feelings about… whether to paint the vintage wood trim and built-ins… People generally have strong opinions and are solidly on one side or the other of this debate. It’s either fine no matter what, go crazy and have fun… or you are the devil incarnate if you even think about defiling a vintage treasure in such an offensive way. I might be the rare bird who doesn’t have strong feelings one way or the other. Well, I take that back, I’m actually really conflicted about whether to…

There will be no art hung here

Since we’ve decided that we are definitely moving out of our current place either at the end of the lease this summer {or sooner}, I’ve been really torn over how much I really want unpack and get settled in. Do I want to unpack books? Do I want to hang art? What do I do with stuff if I don’t want to unpack, am I just supposed to live surrounded by boxes? We’ve unpacked a lot, and negotiated through most of our duplicate items which is a deal in and of itself {do we really still need three carrot peelers??!}…

Video House Tour of the Oak Park Foursquare!

If you don’t follow my Haven by Design Facebook page you probably missed my LIVE video tour of Rebecca & Ryan’s new house, which is still very much in-progress. If you want a real live peek into a renovation by real humans, with full time jobs and kids and dogs, just like the rest of us {who might be thinking a renovation is too much to take on} then click here and see where they are now and learn a little more about renovations and as-is sales! I’ll share more mid-renovation pics this week, until then, have a great Sunday!…

A soda pop factory gets a stunning makeover

I love Architecture, and I’m obsessed with renovations and bringing an outdated or neglected space back to life. Recently I came across an absolutely jaw dropping space that just sold that I’m excited to share today. I’m so sad I didn’t make it over to see the space before it sold {in a whiplash inducing three days at just over $1 million}, maybe I can make friends with the new owners and get an invite over for dinner, ha! Too often people think that updates have to be very neutral and safe so that their space is appealing to the…

The dream loft that is kind of a nightmare…

Today it’s totally gloomy and rainy here in Chicago. And of course I’m in a funk and if you want to talk about energy… energy is when you are randomly in a bad mood for no reason.. or you wake up with ferocious back pain out of nowhere… and you just can’t seem to snap out of it. So I thought what better topic to talk about than our place that we are so not in love with. Because that’s energy too, lol. My manfriend moved from his amazing bro-partment last summer and I helped him find his new place. I…

A peek inside a BIG renovation, and talking about buying ‘as-is’

Happy Friday! I got a fun surprise this week, some great friends and clients of mine are letting me share a peek inside the {big} renovation of their new house in Oak Park! {!!!} Ryan and Rebecca are a contractor/architect husband and wife team who both have backgrounds in Interior Design as well. And they’ve been around the block when it comes to renovations, having already done a full gut-renovation on their first house, and two other renovations on subsequent investment properties. I’m a little tired just telling you all of that! Renovations can be a big deal, even small…

No, I don’t want your bad bathroom renovation… a real talk about the importance of pricing right.

When you are planning to sell your house, and considering potential upgrades, it’s important to look at your property as a whole to be able to strategize what might be the most appealing to potential buyers. It’s also important to be realistic about price, and the value of your home. I recently looked at a condo that was a really cool loft, great space overall. The kitchen was around 20 years old and the space needed to be renovated. I did some digging and saw that originally the space was a two bedroom, one and a half bath. Here is…

Buying Real Estate ~ let’s talk about money

  Before I became a real estate broker I didn’t know anything about real estate, the process of buying property, or how much money it took. It seemed like something that was out of reach for me right out of grad school as the student loan bills starting rolling in, and then as time went by I that just kind of remained my mindset. It seemed like such a big deal that I was really intimidated by the idea of even reaching out to someone to ask about the process and get more information to even start saving or planning…

I have no style… and it’s costing me.

I wrote a while back that I was starting a big purge of my space… then I moved so it all got put on hold and much to my frustration I ended up packing and moving a lot of things I will end up getting rid of. But as I unpack the purging continues, one thing I’m thinking about a lot as I go through and unpack the seemingly endless pile of boxes is how much I don’t want to do this ever again! The one area of my space that I’m the most frustrated with is my closet. I don’t…