Small Changes, Big Transformation

I love seeing the transformation of a space pre and post-renovation. And of course it’s always super fun to see a space that needs a major space lift and be able to go in and change everything. But you don’t always need to rip everything out and start over from scratch in order to have a big transformation within a space. Sometimes just some small adjustments  can make a huge difference, and lucky for you I just worked on this exact type of space! Here we started with an underwhelming condo, with a layout and size that worked, but bad real-estate beige…

How to be Successful as a Buyer

More contracts were written on properties this January than in the past nine Januaries. We’re still a few months away from spring, {or maybe not since it was 70 degrees in Chicago this weekend!} and it’s already very busy… I don’t know for sure, but right now it feels like there are even fewer places on the market than last year, or maybe there are just more early year buyers… either way, it means it’s even more competitive for buyers. That’s great for property values which continue to climb, but it can be really discouraging for people who want to buy a property and…

Sellers, let’s talk family photos

I’m in the middle of reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Part of the message is that you can’t have room for the new things, until you’ve gotten rid of the old things. Personally I think this is 100% true, but man it can be such a deal to let go of the old stuff! Am i right?! This could be happening in any area of your life, but few things epitomize this struggle better than the dreaded family photos in a property for sale. Especially when they are really big… and mounted in a very prominent place, like over the fireplace…

The biggest ‘secret’ of selling your house

In the real estate world it’s already spring, even if mother nature isn’t on board quite yet. And it’s busy. There is a huge demand for listings, but that doesn’t always ensure automatic success as a seller. Today’s post is all about something that I don’t think any agent shares with their sellers, but it really is the essence of how to get what you want out of the sale of your house. Before you even think about thinking about starting to declutter or moving even one piece of furniture to get your house ready to sell, you have to be in…

White Kitchen Refresh

You heard it here first, white kitchens are on their way out. Or are they? This is a hot debate right now, as white kitchens are the go-to for pretty much every kitchen renovation and are in most new developments I can’t help but wonder if they’ve saturated the market a little too much. But, my personal opinion on their current popularity aside, shaker cabinets and white subway tile are both timeless and classic. But as with everything, if you see it too much, and too often, people get tired of it and it starts to seem stale. It’s inescapable, just…

Architecture | Politics | Energy

Even if it’s the most boring year of your life, it’s still a big year for everyone… Personally, it’s been a huge year for me. But before I could get my big news put together and finish reworking everything to do an official relaunch… the Cubs went and won the World Series – after only 108 years – kind of a huge deal, especially here in Chicago…. and then we had the election… with a pretty surprising outcome. How can I compete with either of those things?! First the Cubs stole my thunder and then the Election rained on my…

Please don’t buy {or build} an ugly house

When you’re buying a new house it’s important that the inside space really works for you. But it’s also important that the outside doesn’t look like shit either. Sometimes I look at a building and I honestly don’t know – 1. what the person who designed it was thinking, or 2. who on earth thought it was great looking and what an awesome idea it would be to buy it. In one way I can totally get behind the idea of ‘to each their own’ and that everything is beautiful in some way… to someone… but also – some buildings…

Uptown Kitchen Transformation – In Progress

One of my favorite things about renovations is seeing the progress as the space transforms, so I’m super excited to be able to share that with you for this project. I’d already mentioned before that we decided to keep the existing cabinets and repaint them. This is an awesome way to get a big change for a lot less cost, and these kitchen cabinets were a classic style and in good condition, so it really made sense to keep them. So how do kitchen cabinets get re-painted you ask? Well, for starters – I would not consider this a DIY…

Hang out with me today at the Pullman House Tour!

I’m heading to the Southside today for the Pullman House Tour! Pullman is a really beautiful historic neighborhood founded by George Pullman, a railroad magnate. He was a trailblazer in his time and built an entire community for his employees. There are different types and sizes of house for the different levels of employees and they each had certain distinct characteristics and were grouped together in different areas. There are row houses for the workers in three widths, twelve feet, fifteen feet and seventeen feet. Yes, you read that right, can you even imagine a twelve foot wide house?? One of my…

how to see the potential in a fixer upper

This building is for sale in my neighborhood that’s being marketed as a great potential conversion from a multi tenant building to a single family home. This can be a great way to get a single family home in a neighborhood where there might not be many {or any} on the market. And often, at least here in Chicago, single family homes can be very expensive, so making your own can be an awesome way to literally create your own dream home. But, there can be a lot to think about when you are considering purchasing a fixer-upper – of any kind. If you aren’t a…