Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Office Makeover | Introduction

It’s been three months since Mike’s been in Chicago and I’ve basically taken a break from life (including blogging obviously).  I thought I’d have all this alone time to get shit done and do some things that I want to do like crafting or something, but I found myself in kind of a funk.  That all sounds a little more depressing than it really is, but getting into a new routine at home, where I was responsible for my regular chores plus Mike’s, took some time.   It’s taken awhile, but I think I’ve finally figured it out and I’m back to my old self, which means I’m itching to start a project!

I’ve been brainstorming an office makeover for literally years.  Besides small changes, like a new chair, here and there I haven’t done anything to it since we moved in.  My style and interests have changed, which means the office just doesn’t work for me anymore.  

Here’s the photos I have on the Home Tour page:




I painted it beige (Bungolow Beige SW7511), brought in my old crafting area, made a desk for Mike, and added the cube storage and then literally never updated it.

Here’s how it looks today, without any cleanup, styling, or general care for putting this on the internet:




As you can see the organization has gotten a little out of hand.  When we moved in I was mostly just paper crafting, but now I do a lot more and while I still love paper crafting, it’s not the main use of this space.  Which is probably why the cube organization still looks relatively neat – I don’t use it that much.

Another major problem is I share this room with the litter box.  Which is less than ideal.


This does force me to keep it clean, but all the mess that is associated with it is a pain.  Plus I don’t think kitty litter bins are exactly in style.

I’ve got some plans and basically all the furniture is getting upgraded and adding in more storage that’s not specific to any one type of crafting.  I’ll share the major plans soon, I just figured if I put this idea out on the blog, it’ll give me even more motivation to get it done!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mike’s Chicago Apartment

During our vacation/scouting trip to Chicago, we viewed 4 apartments from our short list of the dozens that we found online.  Like I mentioned we had decided on one as soon as we saw it; a small studio condo in Streeterville.  We drove out last week and officially moved Mike in on July 18th.

As promised, I’m here to show you the apartment; mostly to share our new adventure, but also since this is my digital diary of sorts, I want to remember this part of our lives.

Since it’s a studio, we’ll start in the main room. These are from the listing, and everything but the stuff on the shelves stayed.

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The room has a full size couch from West Elm, a coffee table that converts to a dining table (with the help of extra leaves), a storage unit with a TV and a built-in desk on the platform area.

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Looking from the other direction you can see the kitchen on the left, the front door straight ahead, and the walk-in closet is behind that bump out with the picture on the right.

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The kitchen is compact, but as Mike’s visited other apartments in the city, he feels lucky to have even this much space!

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The bathroom is to the left of the front door, behind the kitchen and was recently renovated.

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Since these photos were taken a mirror and glass shower doors were installed.

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Across the hall is the walk-in closet and is honestly bigger than our closet at home, and Mike doesn’t even have to share!

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You might be wondering where the bed is since I’ve basically showed the entire space at this point.  Well, behold the adult trundle bed!

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A full size mattress pulls out of the platform steps and it’s actually pretty genius, since the space is so tiny.  The condo owner, whom Mike is renting from, actually designed and had this system installed. 

Mike grabbed lunch and drinks with him last weekend and he’s our age and was living in the condo on his own before meeting his now fiancĂ©e and moving in with her not too far from this place.  After staying a few days in town before heading home, I can see how this place would be (and will be) perfect for one person.  It’ll be fine for weekends when I visit, but it’s a small space and more appropriate for just Mike. 2016-05-23 22.03.51
What really sold us was the outdoor space.  Not a lot of 3rd floor downtown apartments come with its own patio, complete with sectional, storage, grill, and that view!

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Here’s a shot I took while I was there one evening.

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The patio actually opens to a rooftop terrace with shared space with grills, seating and gardens.

And it’s 1 of 2 rooftop terraces for the building (technically 3 since the building has two separate apartment complexes with a shared lobby, but I’m not sure if our keys work over there).  The second floor rooftop is above the lobby, has a giant fountain and looks out towards the lake and what is known as Ogden Slip (a little slip of water created to increase water frontage back in the 1800’s) that runs parallel to the river and out towards Navy Pier.  All this to say, that the second story rooftop is the perfect location to watch the Navy Pier fireworks which are every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer!

Mike’s been there a full week now, and he’s really happy with the apartment we found.  With all the custom features, and dual purpose pieces (that coffee/dining table gif gets me every time) it feels a lot bigger than its 500 sqft.  We were worried about storage when we were planning, but the built-ins, as well as a pretty good sized linen closet next to the bath provided a lot of storage and Mike didn’t even begin to fill it all!

I stayed there for 4 days when we drove up to move him in, and I’m not going to lie I was more than a little jealous Mike got to stay and live it up in the city!  I’ve already booked my next trip out there next month and can’t wait for more grilled dinners on the patio and catching fireworks on the rooftop!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Porch Refresh | Sources & Cost Breakdown

I shared our front porch refresh earlier this week, and wanted to follow up with a cost breakdown and source list for those looking for a similar look as well as my own resource for when I need to replace something, or just remember where I got it and how much it cost!

Porch Couch Detail
Porch Details
Porch Close-Up
Let’s start with the products I bought.  Unfortunately, the furniture set from Bed, Bath and Beyond is no longer available, but I found something comparable and not a thousand dollars.  The rest are all exact products, but some are on clearance, so they eventually may sell out as well.
Danks & Honey Front Porch Product Board


Outdoor Rug (5’x7’)
4-Piece Conversation Set
Gold Planter
Black Planter
Blue Pillow ($26.99x2)
Black Striped Pillow
Watercolor Palm Leaves Pillow ($33.00x2)
Large Black Lantern
Small Black Lantern
Concrete Citronella Candle
Citron 3 Wick Candle
Large Silver Lantern
Small Silver Lantern
Gold Drum Table
Plants (approximate)



This cost isn’t exactly what I spent.  Some of the items I got a discount on like using a 20% off coupon for the furniture from BBB, and others I already had like the black lanterns which were gifts.  But, it’s a good representation of what it would cost to buy all of these items to recreate this look.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the cost and extremely happy with the results!

Porch Reveal 1
We continue to love this space and I’m happy I’ve finally gotten it right after almost 4 1/2 years!
If there are any other questions about specific items, or something you see that I didn’t mention, just let me know!  For see all these items, as well as some that I didn’t end up using or things that I might buy in the future, check out my Front Porch board on Pinterest.