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!…

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…

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…