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…

Video House Tour of the Oak Park Foursquare!

If you don’t follow my Haven by Design Facebook page you probably missed my LIVE video tour of Rebecca & Ryan’s new house, which is still very much in-progress. If you want a real live peek into a renovation by real humans, with full time jobs and kids and dogs, just like the rest of us {who might be thinking a renovation is too much to take on} then click here and see where they are now and learn a little more about renovations and as-is sales! I’ll share more mid-renovation pics this week, until then, have a great Sunday!…

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I love Architecture, and I’m obsessed with renovations and bringing an outdated or neglected space back to life.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

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…

Bringing color into the Kitchen

A few posts back was all about refreshing the white kitchen, but there are a few other trends happening on the horizon that are super fun… and colorful! More and more often you are seeing some really fun, and really beautiful different colors being used for kitchen millwork. I’m so excited to see more color in people’s spaces overall. Here are some amazing spaces, from more understated grays to pastels and playful mint green {it’s having a moment, yay!} to rich darker and bold colors, they are all beautiful. And none are all white, and I love that :) Light Grays & Pattern…

My favorite gold accents & accessories to brighten up your space

There are so many super fun and great looking gold accents and accessories right now, even if you don’t have gold hardware in your kitchen, you can still totally get in on ~ what I think is ~ the best trend in a long time. Here are some of my favorite gold accessories/accents that you can easily integrate into your space. Instant upgrade and refresh. Installing a new light fixture is actually pretty easy and will totally transform a room. These two from West Elm are really beautiful, totally affordable and you can use them in lots of different spaces…

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…

Uptown Renovation Wrap-up – Living Room Options

Eugenia’s renovation was a little bit of a two step project. There were the big projects that needed to be completed before the move in – refinishing the cabinets, painting the space and installing the new lights and ceiling fan, and then there was planning for the rest of the space in a way that Eugenia and her husband could implement over time at their own pace. There were several pieces that were coming along with the move, the sofa and the dining table and chairs {and one train table not shown that is a cute, but temporary, toy/play space…

Uptown Kitchen – Final Photos!

Here they are, final pics of Eugenia and her family’s kitchen renovation! It’s hard to even remember the before space, much less imagine that it’s all the same cabinets under that glossy new paint. This is definitely one of my favorite projects for a huge transformation of a space while working with a lot of the existing conditions. It’s easy to make a huge change when you can tear everything out, move walls and really start over, but you can also completely transform a space with a few strategic moves and a great team. I feel so lucky to have…