My ‘vacation’ & learning how to relax

You guys, I’m in Brasil! I never took trips growing up, and my family never took vacations or traveled outside of a few trips to visit family. So being able to travel has been a big dream of mine for a long time. This year I’ve taken three trips, which is a ton for me. In January I took myself to L.A. solo, {which was also a big deal} and reunited with an old friend, and now magically, my manfriend loves to travel {and has a lot of miles ~ hello free airfare for the lady friend, score!} so we’ve…

There’s More Than One Kind of Renovation

I’ve always imagined buying an old old house that needed a complete gut renovation and diving in headfirst. I’ve never really considered any other kind of project. It would be an old house that hadn’t been updated or kept up for decades, and I would overhaul the whole space. That’s a pretty big project to undertake, even for an architect. And it’s a huge project to undertake as your first go round renovating a space on your own. That is most certainly still a dream of mine, and it will happen, but I think that dream is a little further…

Color is the New Neutral

I’m noticing a disturbing trend lately… I think it’s been going on for a while now and I just haven’t noticed, but an alarming number of homes are filled with absolutely horrible poo colored brown couches. Please. Stop this behavior immediately. Be better than a poo brown couch. I’m not really sure how anyone can look at that and think that it’s a good choice, forget trying to figure out why a furniture company would even offer it as an option. Ugh. Maybe poo brown is supposed to be neutral? Maybe not. The great news is that these days, in design…

What I’m doing with all the stuff I’m getting rid of…

As I’m cleaning out my space I’m experiencing a strong desire for my things to go directly {or as close to directly as possible} to someone who really needs or wants them. One thing I never liked about just dropping off a huge pile at the Salvation Army is that everything is being re-sold. And I always feel overwhelmed in those spaces, it’s literally everything piled into one big warehouse and you have to go hunting for one specific thing. It just isn’t my favorite. I really want as many of my things to go directly into the hands of their…

The Big Purge of 2017, Getting Unstuck & Making Space for New to Come In

I saw this memory pop up in my Facebook feed this morning and thought ~ how timely, as I’ve been a little stuck and in a lot of resistance to starting a big {and long overdue} purge of my space. I can tell anyone what they need to do to get their space ready to sell, and when I give them their to-do list, it seems so easy. Just clean out all of your closets, do this and that, and like a wise design fairy god mother I can tell them in a magical song like voice to “take this…

Weekend Agenda ~ Open House Chicago

Happy Friday! As I sit at my computer trying to write, and think of anything else I could possibly come up with to avoid actually going through everything in my apartment to do a seriously overdue purge of my space, I remembered that Open House Chicago is this weekend! Stop. Everything. If you have any spare time this weekend, check out Open House Chicago. Once a year, a plethora of spaces are open to the public that are usually off limits. There is a mind boggling array of types of buildings, in so many different neighborhoods it’s actually impossible to…

Front Door Refresh Ideas ~ Wreaths, Door Knockers, and Door Mats Galore

I always love walking up to someone’s door and seeing a beautiful wreath, or a great door knocker. Doors and entryways don’t always get the love and attention that they deserve. They are people’s first physical interaction with your home, it’s a great chance to make a warm, welcoming first impression. There are a few simple elements to having a strong, statement making and memorable entrance. A solid door in a great color makes a strong foundation, and entry lights are the perfect frame. But the fun finishing touches are a great door knocker, and a fun door mat and…

Real Estate ~ The Weirdest Investment

I don’t really think real estate is a weird investment, not in a bad way anyway. But I do think it’s unique and unusual in the way that it’s our largest investment, and it’s really the only one that we can actually touch, feel, be inside, experience, and grow emotionally attached to. I mean, I guess you can be emotionally attached to your stock portfolio, but definitely not in the same way that people get attached to their house. People’s homes are their safety, their shelter, their haven from the outside world. It’s only natural that we have an emotional connection…

Don’t forget your Amazing

This ‘memory’ popped up in my Facebook feed this morning of me cutting rebar with a big heavy gas powered saw, back when I was a construction worker during the Great Recession. It was a great moment and a reminder not to forget our Amazing. When we are going through the mundane day to day, it can be easy to fall into a routine and get caught up in what’s not amazing… what’s stressful, what we are worried about, what isn’t working, what we don’t have. When we are working to create something new we are constantly handling so much…

If I could buy anything ~ vintage highrise edition

There are so many amazing places that I would happily buy. So welcome to the first of who knows how many ~ If I could buy anything ~ posts. . . today’s debut edition is all about the vintage highrise {drool!!} Guys, Chicago has some AHMAZING vintage buildings, but one specific type that I’ve always been completely crazy in love with are the vintage high-rises. Seriously, breathtaking, stop you in your tracks beautiful, outside and in. The rooms are huge, I take that back, they are normal sized, you know, from the days when you had a dining room and a living room… and…