Design 101: Listening to the language of your house

So how do you create a great design? There are many many rules of thumb and practical tips… and you can always pay lots of money to go and get a formal education to have all of the official answers for yourself… But maybe one of the most basic things that everyone should remember, and one of the most helpful, above {and before} everything else is to listen to the language of your house. What does that even mean anyway… A while back we helped a couple buy a mid 90’s frame house that was a contemporary style. Pretty clean lines,…

Recipe for a Spectacular Outdoor Space

Happy Holiday week! Hopefully you have some time off this week to enjoy the summer weather and some good company. Maybe you’ve got a bbq on a great rooftop planned? We’re going to be heading out for a lazy rooftop morning on Wednesday before we head out to the suburbs to spend the afternoon celebrating with friends… Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about great outdoor space, mainly how much I miss it and want it! It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything close to amazing outdoor space and man, am I seriously longing for it lately. In Chicago…

Thinking about {the unattainable idea of} perfection…

It’s been an absolutely crazy few weeks in our house. The spring is, hands down, the busiest time of year in real estate so work life is dizzying. In addition to normal life busyness, I got sick the same week that we moved into our new place {and 90% of our stuff went to storage}, and then we headed out of town to New Orleans for the holiday weekend. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing all of those things all at once. {If you were wondering.} Last week was a deal just trying to get back into a normal routine, still…

Bye bye subway backsplash… a new trend is in town.

Subway tiles are classic, and ~ if done right ~ are timeless. But they’ve been so popular for enough years now that even these are starting to feel a little tired and overdone. I’ll always love them, but I will admit, there’s another approach to backsplashes that’s been a rare sighting for a long time, but is getting a little more attention these days, and I couldn’t be more excited. The slab as backsplash. Personally I’ve been head over heels in love with this look for a long time. It doesn’t really get more sophisticated than this. And if anything is more…

Sofa Dreams

Since we’re doing this sublet through the end of the year that means no big designing and no big furniture purchases for about nine more months, until we find our permanent place. But that hasn’t stopped me from becoming really pre-occupied with what sofa I want in our next living room. I haven’t even really started imagining too specifically what our next space will look like design-wise overall, because we want to be open to different types of spaces and buildings that could work as far as fixer-uppers. I think once we get moved into our immediate next space I’ll…

Logan Square Cottage gets a big facelift!

Yesterday was picture day at Carla and Andrew’s sweet Logan Square house, as we get ready to go on the market there soon. {if you want to see more about how they transformed the interior, click here} While they did a lot of work on the interior of their house, one of the simplest, but biggest impact, projects they did was replacing the siding on the exterior. The house looked okay with it’s original grey siding, but didn’t really stand out. And when you got closer than just looking at a photograph, you could tell that it had ‘been around…

Brick & terra cotta ~ you’ve stolen my heart

I love a good vintage space. And I love finishes that aren’t necessarily the ‘hottest’ or ‘trendiest’, but are beautiful, classic, timeless or even just unexpected but make a space really stand out. One thing I’ve been seeing pop up here and there a bit lately is brick and terra cotta flooring, and I’m in love. It’s not super trendy {and that’s one thing I love about it}, but it’s beautiful, and moreover, it’s timeless. So a house that has 40 year old {or more} brick or terra cotta flooring is suddenly in again, without changing a thing! I love…

A small project makes a big difference in this Logan Square house!

Last year we met with some clients, Carla and Andrew, who had bought a fixer upper back in the winter of 2014 and were just about ready to sell and get started on a new project. They wanted our input on a few potential projects and timing so that they could really get the house in tip top shape, and at it’s peak value, to be able to maximize their investment when they were ready to sell. Carla and Andrew are awesome people, and they are smart when it comes to their house.  They also have a killer sense of…

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…

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…