Everything is an investment, invest wisely

I’ve really been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I’m not sure we think of much outside of money as investments in our lives, but really ~ everything is an investment of one sort or another. What we spend or save money on is the obvious one. And the bigger the amount of money in one purchase, the more we think about it, and get stressed, etc. But outside of actually ‘investing’ money in the stock market do you think of anything else as an investment? Do you think of your car as an investment? Do you think of…

Kitchen renovations on a budget: painted cabinets, why that counter probably needs to go and what you need to know for a successful {and good looking} budget refresh

Painting kitchen cabinets has become the go-to quick {and cheap} fix for a dated kitchen. No matter what your kitchen looks like, just paint those cabinets white and ~ voila! ~ you can say the space is updated, and won’t everyone just be racing over? Maybe… not. Here are two kitchen renovations. Both painted existing cabinets, one stopped there, and the other made some additional updates. Personally I think the space on the right looks far better than the one on the left {and so should everyone else who isn’t blind}. The short cheap squatty ‘backsplash’, the stark contrast between…

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,…

Working on the energy of our now space, and our next space…

I’ve been feeling super frustrated this week. I’m so ready to buy our new place and be going full steam ahead on all kinds of fun fixer-upper projects, but we still have a little while until we even start looking for that place {like at least four or five months}. We also aren’t settled into our current {temporary} place either… while we might not be totally unpacking, there is still quite a bit that needs to get put away and organized so that the space feels good to be in and we can enjoy it… and I need to figure…

The distressed property… what it is, and what it means for you as a buyer.

So you think you want a distressed property… it can seem like an amazing deal, but is it really? Our team is selling a listing that is a bank-owned property {also known as an REO property}, so I thought it was the perfect time to talk about this type of sale. The house we are selling is listed at $739,000, it’s pretty big at about 6,500sf, and was built in 2006. And even though it hasn’t been especially well cared for over the past decade, it’s not in extreme {or obvious} disrepair, and it’s not an old house where you’re…

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…

Where have all the medicine cabinets gone?!

As I pack up, and purge, and daydream about our ‘forever’ {for a reno at least} home… I randomly starting thinking about the strangest part of a house ~ medicine cabinets. Has anyone else noticed that medicine cabinets seem to be disappearing from bathrooms everywhere? what. the. heck?! Does it really even matter if there’s a medicine cabinet in the bathroom? Am I just getting stuck in old thinking about storage and being practical? I don’t have a medicine cabinet in my bathroom now, or any other {built-in} storage for that matter. And maybe that’s why this is weirdly on…

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…

Rethinking {upper} kitchen cabinets

Would you ever go sans upper cabinets in your kitchen? Did you just think to yourself ~ what is this chick talking about?! But  really, think about it, it’s a string of boxes hanging on the wall, floating over that precious counter space… and those top shelves are always so hard to reach! You don’t see a lot of kitchens without upper cabinets, but I’m totally in love with this look and can’t wait to have a space that I can design this way. It might be a little tough to go this design route if you are tight on space, and using vertical…

Oak Park renovation ~ progress house tour!

Rebecca and Ryan have made a ton of progress on their house, and I’m excited to share a new video tour with you today! Right now it might not look like they’ve made as much progress as they really have, since all of the kitchen cabinets are still in boxes in the living room, but they have come a looong way since they started, and the project is just about at the point where all the sudden you blink and the space looks almost finished. I’ve even heard whispers that they are even scheduling movers for the end of the month!…