Some spaces are better to renovate while you live in them…

A couple of weeks ago I found the most amazing place that had just come on the market. It hasn’t been sold in 40 years! It’s a massive condo in a vintage three flat and is a massive 2400 square feet on one floor. A sprawling three bedroom two bath space with tall ceilings and gorgeous original trim, it even has a picture rails in the dining room {be still my heart}! And of course it needs a lot of updating {that’s part of what makes it so great, in my opinion anyway!}, but has all the vintage charm that…

Adding color to the kitchen

Remember a few decades ago when everyone was doing ‘themes’ in their kitchens? Chickens, cherries, gingham… you’d pick something you love and then fill up the room with dishes, kitchen towels, plates, a nice wallpaper border to top it all off. It was bad design heaven. Thankfully that trend is long gone… When I design a space I tend to gravitate toward more minimal, classic designs, and like to keep things clean and simple. When it comes to my kitchen I like to have as many things put away as possible. I don’t like to have lots of stuff on…

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??!}…

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I love Architecture, and I’m obsessed with renovations and bringing an outdated or neglected space back to life.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…

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…

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…

Happy New Year! 2018, Let’s DO This.

Happy 2018! I have mixed feelings about resolutions, last year I shared my list of ‘non-resolution resolutions’… but this year I’ve decided not to have a formal list of individual items, but rather focus more on shifting some higher level things in my life. When I look back on challenges I faced last year, I can easily see that I have some work to do when it comes to really owning my space and setting the tone that I want. This isn’t really something that can be measured per se, but you can see it when it’s working… and it’s…

Be the Rare Find

Things are absolutely crazy right now as I pack and arrange movers, everything is moving so much faster than I was expecting. It’s definitely not the ‘picture’ I had in my head of a peaceful, well organized and graceful move. Once my manfriend and I decided to make it official and move in together, and I finally stopped dragging my feet about re-letting my place, I was a little worried about finding someone in what is typically a pretty slow time of year. But when I finally posted it, I had multiple applicants before the end of the first day,…

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…