and the walls come tumbling down

While I was busy getting the kitchen layouts together so that we could get going on this renovation, Lindsey took her dad on a tour of her new house and before I knew it we were talking about totally reconfiguring the bedroom, bathroom and laundry room next to the living area… I mean, might as well just do it now right?

Originally they had been hoping to get this work done in the month before they moved in – I’m kind of wondering who is going around telling people that they can get in a renovation in 30 days because this is not the first time someone has expressed this desire to me, but unless you are just painting or laying some new carpet – it’s probably not happening. They understood though – thank heavens – and we also ran into another hurdle – the contractor who they thought would be a slam dunk wasn’t quite working out the way that they had hoped, so we had to start the search for a new GC.

The delay might be okay though because it gave us time to figure out how to rework those three rooms into a much more spacious bedroom and guest bath layout and decide to move the laundry into the mudroom between the kitchen and garage…. And for me to draw it all up. I always forget how many decisions go into any design but it’s the difference between the final product really looking amazing or seeming not quite ‘there’.

Typical Chicago houses being what they are – skinny – the goal was to make the spaces more functional and a little more roomy.

Here are photos as we’ve (or they’ve – the guys actually doing all the hard work!) torn out the old…

before and after demo:

this is a view standing just outside the kitchen in the living room – the kitchen is on the right – the existing bathroom door to the left, a mini bar and the door to the laundry room on the right

DSC01965voila! No more doors… or mini bar or laundry room or bathroom…

barThis is a peek of the bathroom and laundry room that they said goodbye to. It’s tough to convey the true beauty of the space, but I think the column next to the toilet and on the sink pretty much sum it up… also the tiny glass block windows do add a little something special…


sink tubThe laundry room was just a tiny room behind the bar with bright yellow paint . To be honest I almost feel bad sharing a photo. It’s okay if you have to look away.

DSC01984Now they are all gone, phew.

This is a view standing in the middle of the (former) three rooms looking toward the kitchen (warning – not the best photos here, construction is quite dusty and there is limited light right now – construction crews are so insensitive)bathroom 1

This is a view turned around facing the (soon to be slightly enlarged) bedroom and the front doorbathroom 2

bathroom window 2

We were going to keep those glass block windows because everyone was convinced they were original (not to brag, but I totally saw this one coming). Now that we see that they used to be real, normal sized windows what do we do? We weren’t planning on doing anything to the windows, or any masonry work for that matter…

This window on the right is going to be right next to the toilet – also dubbed ‘the poop window’ – can i just say thank god we decided to re-open and install an actual for real window (the third window is to the right of this photo, it was in the laundry room) and get rid of this guy? YAY!… and phew. I honestly think I just didn’t want anything in the house with that nickname.

I am SO glad this happened… and I’m really glad Lindsey and Doug were open to the additional work required to make this change. The good news and the bad news is that when things like this come up (which they inevitably do), they can be great opportunities to take the space to a higher level – but they do have an impact on the cost… and no matter what kind of budget you have, these decisions are always a balancing act… and there’s never just one.

So now we will have an awesome window in the bathroom, and a few more surprises soon to come… can’t wait to show you more about those and what’s going on with the ceiling in the kitchen…

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