Hey, remember when this blog was more about decorating an apartment than having a baby? Yeah … those were the days. We’ll get back to design stuff soon enough – I still have to post about our actual FINISHED house, for crying out loud – but in the meantime, let’s combine furnishings and babying and do a little nursery preview, shall we?
And what good is a baby-related post without a picture of a squirmy, cooing baby wearing a sweater outfit?
Note to self (and anyone else considering putting their child in a sweater outfit): The cuteness does not make up for the fact that the buttons take FOR-EVER during a diaper change. Especially when the baby is furiously kicking his legs. And screaming.
All the details – including before and after pictures, paint colors and a bunch of teeny, tiny baby things that are heart-stoppingly cute – coming soon, but for now, Wilder and I are putting our Baby K’Tan carrier to good use and ACTUALLY LEAVING THE HOUSE. After being so cooped up for so long, this is a really huge deal. Fingers crossed he doesn’t scream his head off or spit up all over me, both of which are totally possible … and horrifying.
I know. I KNOW. I can’t believe it either. The movers are booked. Boxes are … OK, so they’re mostly unpacked, but it’s totally cool because WE ARE FINALLY MOVING!
Our apartment, which has one teeny closet, floors that give you splinters if you walk on the wrong spots, and a shit-ton of charm – our home in Wicker Park for the last 17 months – is officially available for rent, and I can’t believe we’re leaving. I mean, I’m THRILLED, but I’m also weirdly sad because this was a great place to call home.
Also, it’s across the street from Big Star. So, yes, the location is primo for late-night taco cravings.
So, in honor of the impending move and our last few weeks of being Big Star’s neighbor, here’s the full tour of our beloved apartment. Not pictured: James chasing the cat out of the pictures & the mountain of boxes we moved out of the way, constantly.
Living room, which only had one mantle-decorating session before we got lazy and forgot to ever do it again.
The office, AKA the cat’s room, AKA the room that is now full of boxes and rolled-up rugs and Lord knows what else.
The dining room, which will look TOTALLY DIFFERENT in the new house, with new chairs and a cool vintage rug and that old C sign we bought at a closing Ace Hardware FINALLY hanging on a wall instead of propped up against one.
The bedroom, which is getting all new bedding + decor in the new house and I AM SERIOUSLY COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS. More posts on this later, because I’ve been waiting 17 months for this to happen.
The hutch, which you guys have seen before.
Our tiny bathroom, which was short on storage but ultimately inspired our new bathroom’s design. The subway tile, you guys. I fell in love.
The kitchen, which is pretty similar to our new kitchen’s size and layout.
Spare bedroom, which really had no purpose other than giving the cat a soft place to sleep and being a generally dark room full of clothes that didn’t fit in our SINGLE apartment closet. This room won’t exist in our new house, because it will be a BABY ROOM. WITH A CRIB. AND CUTE SHIT HANGING ON THE WALLS.
And there you have it. Our home for 17 months – full of a bunch of mix-and-match crap that I hauled from one tiny apartment to another tiny apartment – in all its glory.
There’s something that feels so much more permanent about living in our VERY OWN PLACE, and that something makes me want to get rid of everything I own and buy a bunch of new stuff. I can’t be the only one who feels that way … right?
OK, guys. I’m back with another house update – this time, the (previously unseen because I am lazy) second-floor unit. AKA, where James and I will move our truckloads of crap, hopefully next month … pending a bunch of projects that still have to somehow get done in time.
Where did we last leave off? Ah, yes. This stairway to heaven, which is now filled with natural light instead of darkness and spiders and weird stairway carpet:
The source of the natural light! I mean, life was real bad the day our contractor told us we needed a new roof (roof = money = cry), but this is a nice perk to the whole deal. There will also be a light on the landing that will certainly come in handy when we’re lugging a stroller and a diaper bag and a baby and what’s left of our sanity up the stairs, but this skylight does a pretty bang-up job in the meantime.
Admittedly, this looks a little boring, but it is one of the most exciting additions to the entire unit: A new landing closet to hide the furnace, which means we don’t have to use valuable INSIDE-THE-UNIT space to do it.
Chicago apartment closets are like gold, you guys. I was willing to sacrifice heat if it meant not having to waste closet space on this beast, but thankfully, I don’t have to.The dining room, which is the first room you see upon entering the apartment. New windows, check. Original light fixture, check. Hutch that should probably be stripped but we’re just going to paint instead, check.
Another shot of that awesome light, because gosh darn it, I am really excited it was salvageable. Also, it saves us a bit of money, because HOLY SHIT, lights are way more expensive than I ever realized.
Looking left from the dining room into the living room, which is pretty darn sunny despite the giant overgrown tree taking over the front of the house. The doorway you see on the left of the room will (soon) (someday) (hopefully) be the nursery.
Inside the nursery, which has remained relatively untouched, save for putting this scaffold inside. Thrilling, I know.
Another nursery shot, plus the (closed) closet door, which is the ONLY existing closet in the entire unit. But not for long!
Hallway off the dining room. The door to the right is a spare bedroom, and the doors on the left are the bathroom and closet, which are almost identical to the first-floor unit.
Guest bedroom/office/whatever room.
The other side of the guest bedroom/office/whatever room, which will eventually have a brand-new CLOSET. It’s the little things, you guys. Ultimate happiness.
Again, the bathroom and closet doorways, but before I show you bathroom progress, let’s first look at the bathroom and layout BEFORE:
SO SCARY. We hated this layout because it was a waste of valuable bathroom space and left no room for the 60-inch vanity we had our hearts set on using …
This guy! Props to to the parentals for getting it at a barn sale a few years ago and hanging on to it for us until NOW SO WE CAN FINALLY USE IT. Life is great. The bathroom gods are good to us.
Subway tile up the walls, just like in the first-floor bathroom. Extra-large tub, because life is too short to be crammed into a bath.
And, OK, another shot of the vanity. Because why not?
Somewhere off the hallway, toward the kitchen, is the master bedroom, which looks about a mile long but ISN’T, really. This used to be two small bedrooms (and a closet) that we combined and plan to gussy up with a brand-new closet from ClosetWorks. It’s very similar to the bedroom size and layout of our current apartment, only longer, which is a blessing when it comes to planning a fancy closet.
The other side of the bedroom. Please note the soffits, which had to be built throughout the unit and, thanks to the 12-foot ceilings, are relatively unnoticeable.
Next up, the kitchen. But before we look at the progress, let’s check out a before shot of the scariness:
I’m not sure what was happening in here, but it’s all wrong. Tile stuck down on original hardwood floors, a random heater, huge windows complicating possible layouts, weird fake tile glued to the walls …
So, here’s our solution. Rip all the stuff out, shorten one window (so cabinets and a sink can fit underneath) and make the other window skinnier to fit the washer/dryer. I also cried about this one, too. Sue me.
Another shot of the shortened window, the recessed lighting in the ceiling, and that darn washer/dryer hookup. I’m over it, I swear.
The exterior wall and bricked-up window, as seen from the scary and not-forever back porch, which currently looks like this:
During renovation, it serves as a back stairway and construction storage, and will (hopefully) (someday) (maybe next summer) be torn down and replaced with a lovely back deck. It slants, and it’s even uglier from the OUTSIDE than it is on the inside, if you can believe it.
I’ll spare you pictures of that and instead show you a closer shot of the building’s front windows, which are actually really hard to see through that ridiculous tree … which will eventually be trimmed. Fingers crossed, anyway.
Coming soon: New front door with sidelights and a cool iron railing, all courtesy of a Lincoln Park demolition sale. Did you know those things existed? Because they do, and it is much better to salvage these awesome pieces of history than let construction crews throw them in the dumpster.
WHEW. So much done, still so much left to do. Next on my list is finding a living room light, because I needed to pick that out, oh, WEEKS ago. Any favorite lighting recommendations? If so, I’ll take ‘em.