We waited until I was almost at the 13 week mark to tell our family we were having a baby. It was fun having this big, exciting secret between the two of us, and although we wanted to tell everyone we love right away, we were cautious. Part of this was nerves, some disbelief (the pinch me moments…
  • Carol - September 8, 2017 - 6:58 AM

    CONGRATS!!! So excited for you!
    (FYI, you’re looking at the space between her legs. There’s nothing extra hanging out so she’s a she!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 8:59 AM

      That’s what we figured! But there were so many other things on the image – ha! We love that the tech literally outlined her body shape on the image, and still, we were holding it every which way to figure it out.ReplyCancel

      • Lu Ann Freeman - September 8, 2017 - 9:47 AM

        I always find this type of U/S so amusing, I always imagine the baby sat on a copier ala Bart SimpsonReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:04 AM

          OMG YES. Yes, exactly!ReplyCancel

  • Katya - September 8, 2017 - 7:03 AM

    I recently came across your delightful blog and today, I have to say, a little tear of happiness rolled down my cheek for both of you! I am so looking forward to following your story over the next months.
    KatyaReplyCancel

  • Natalie - September 8, 2017 - 7:21 AM

    So this is kind of crazy, but I bought that EXACT same brass rocking horse at Value Village in 2015 when I was pregnant with my girl! She has recently just having turned two become very interested in it and likes to move it around the house different places. I can tell you that all of the dreams you have for that bebe become a reality so quickly. Also, you re making me realize that I really need to polish that poor horse. Yours is looking much nicer than ours. And, congratulations!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:04 AM

      Small world! We haven’t polished ours up yet, but it could still use a little. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy G. - September 8, 2017 - 7:23 AM

    What a sweet way to tell the family and to find out your sweet baby’s gender. :) I’m so happy for you all.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - September 8, 2017 - 7:31 AM

    Ahhh yay, congratulations! We are also expecting a girl and we are so excited and so terrified at the same time. I grew up with 4 brothers and all male cousins so a little girl is definitely out of my comfort zone!ReplyCancel

  • Karen T. - September 8, 2017 - 7:42 AM

    So so so fun! I can feel your joy and there is nothing better than sharing it with loving grandparents-to-be and family. Congratulations and can’t wait to see the scary room’s transformation. What a lucky and loved little girl!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - September 8, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for you guys.
    I could never tell what was what in those ultrasound pics either!ReplyCancel

  • pat - September 8, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    I am SO SO happy for you! I cried too! You are my blog BFF!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 9:01 AM

      I haven’t stopped crying since we found out! I’m just one big misty tear, haha.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 8, 2017 - 9:04 AM

    So very happy for your little family. Sending lots of good wishes!ReplyCancel

  • Paula (cousin) - September 8, 2017 - 9:07 AM

    So happy for the two of you!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - September 8, 2017 - 9:08 AM

    Well this is awkward. Just burst out crying at work….

    Congratulations. My heart is overwhelmed for you both.

    (might just be in the baby mood – a close girlfriend who has been dying for a 2nd and who’s husband said no just told me she is pregnant and over the moon)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      So much baby goodness in the air.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - September 8, 2017 - 9:09 AM

    Congratulations! I had my first (also a girl!) on Thanksgiving day last year, and had the same reaction when she was born and I found out her gender. Being a girl-mom is definitely something else, so special. Best wishes on a happy, healthy rest of your pregnancy!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - September 8, 2017 - 9:21 AM

    Congratulations! What a joy to get to surprise your family with the wonderful news!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - September 8, 2017 - 9:27 AM

    Congratulations!! I did a crazy ugly cry too when we found out the genders of each of our kids! We had a girl first, (and two boys since) but there’s nothing like having a little girl first. I was touched by your story because I too had trouble get pregnant with our 2nd and 3rd babies, but it happened finally. It’s great that your sharing your sweet story :)ReplyCancel

  • Ann - September 8, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    Nana is glassy eyed reading this lovely post💚.ReplyCancel

    • Robbi - September 8, 2017 - 6:08 PM

      ditto, Ann! I’m not even related and I feel like a newly informed grandma… Like when M and Rob told me about Alyx. Its so special!!ReplyCancel

  • em - September 8, 2017 - 9:42 AM

    Oh, KIM!!! Congratulations :) I had a big long congrats note typed on your last baby post but for some reason I never hit post and it got lost along the way…anyway, I’m so happy for you guys, you’re going to be an amazing, super fun MOM!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 10:05 AM

      Thank you, Emily!! Hope you guys are doing awesome! XOReplyCancel

  • Sammy - September 8, 2017 - 9:47 AM

    YAYYYY! so excited for you both!!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Wegner - September 8, 2017 - 9:53 AM

    So, so happy for the three of you!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 8, 2017 - 9:56 AM

    Congratulations!! Your little girl is already the luckiest to have you two as parents!ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - September 8, 2017 - 9:58 AM

    AWWW!! So exciting! And I have that same brass rocking horse that I got with my sister to give to her whenever she’s expecting too! So excited for you guys and baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 8, 2017 - 10:25 AM

    First time commenting, although I have been following your blog FOREVER! I take a lot of inspiration from your home!
    Congratulations on your baby girl! Having been through the heartache of years of infertility myself; announcements from people that struggled in the same way make me really happy.ReplyCancel

  • Kyley & Ammo the Dachshund - September 8, 2017 - 10:27 AM

    Congrats! Little girls are so much fun! I wanted a girl so bad and was so excited to find out we were having a girl last year. I pictured her spunky and wild – playing in the dirt, riding her ponies, and keeping up with all her boy cousins. And she’s EXACTLY that and so much more. Enjoy the journey! It’s so hard, but so much fun.ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - September 8, 2017 - 11:04 AM

    Many congratulations to you both! Enjoy the adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Kat - September 8, 2017 - 11:26 AM

    A GIRL!!! 😍😍😍 so exciting & fun!! I’m so happy for you two, and your comment about slumber parties & high school dances brought back so many happy memories 😊ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 11:32 AM

      Some of the best moments of my whole life was with you and the girls!ReplyCancel

      • Kat - September 8, 2017 - 2:19 PM

        I agree wholeheartedly!! 😄ReplyCancel

  • katie - September 8, 2017 - 11:29 AM

    Yay! Such an exciting time!! My little girl just turned one, but I can still remember the moment that we found out we were having a girl. It somehow makes things seem so much more “real”! Best wishes to you, and congrats again!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - September 8, 2017 - 11:33 AM

    I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this sweet time. It’s such a refreshing picture of what is good in the world. Your daughter’s going to be so well loved.ReplyCancel

    • Katie - September 8, 2017 - 12:20 PM

      Well said, Lisa. Ditto! Hearty congratulations and best wishes.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 12:26 PM

        So sweet, thanks, guys!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - September 8, 2017 - 12:38 PM

    Awe, how sweet! Congratulations :) Such a blessing to be able to tell your families in person and share that special moment with everyone together. I also love how you guys had enough patience to wait and open the card at a special dinner for two instead of ripping it open as soon as you got to the car after the appointment. I don’t know if I would have that much restraint. He,he.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 12:57 PM

      We both immediately had to go back to work after the appt, so we left the card in the car where neither of us would be tempted to touch it!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - September 8, 2017 - 4:59 PM

    Happy Happy Joy Joy!! How wonderful. And what a lucky little girl she will be :)ReplyCancel

  • Nikki - September 8, 2017 - 5:03 PM

    Congratulations! Your story is very similar to ours! I understand all the emotions! Our families thought we were joking too! We just brought home our little girl. She is awesome!💕ReplyCancel

  • Shasta Lewis - September 8, 2017 - 5:51 PM

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now (I remember and loved that BRIGHT green in your condo! And then the chalkboard wall! And the custom built in shelves in the teeny office!) so I’ve been a huge but quiet fan for awhile. I just wanted to say “Congratulations!” loud and clear right here on your upcoming baby girl! We also had unexplained infertility for a few years until I got pregnant last summer after months of treatments. We welcomed our daughter this last April, so I am OVER THE MOON that you’re also going to welcome a girl here in a few short months! Thank you for sharing your life and your home(s) with us, and congrats again! I am hoping for an easy pregnancy and a smooth delivery!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 8, 2017 - 5:53 PM

      Thank you so much for following along all these years, Shasta! We love hearing from longtime readers – wow, that bright green wall brought back all the memories! Congrats to you as well :DReplyCancel

  • Mollie - September 9, 2017 - 9:22 AM

    Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you and Scott and your growing family!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - September 10, 2017 - 9:52 AM

    YAYYYYYYYY!!!!! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - September 10, 2017 - 12:27 PM

    Congratulations! She’s going to be the luckiest girl with the sweetest family and the most adorable room :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily Wenzel - September 10, 2017 - 11:32 PM

    We didn’t find out what we were having…it’s not for everyone, and I’ll be honest that I wanted to find out at least a dozen times, but my husband really wanted to wait. I went along with it because I was 90% sure we were having a boy. I was READY to be a boy mom. There are only boys on his dad’s side of the family, and very few girls in mine. So imagine how surprised we were when we had a GIRL! In fact, we had a solid boy’s name chosen for months, but were still debating girls names while I was in labor. :D

    Congrats!!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - September 11, 2017 - 1:00 PM

    Congrats!! Teared up as I was reading! I’m 14 weeks with my first and can’t wait to find out the sex. Love seeing maternity posts! Would be interested in seeing any baby must haves (or what you guys pick for strollers, car seats, etc) if you are willing to share!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 11, 2017 - 3:19 PM

      We’ll definitely keep it in mind! We have a steep learning curve ourselves!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - September 13, 2017 - 5:20 PM

    That is so amazing, congratulations!!! What a way of telling everyone, love that story! I’m at 18 weeks now and can’t WAIT to know for sure. <3ReplyCancel

  • Ayanh - September 14, 2017 - 12:22 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! So happy for you!!!
    Been following you since I found your home tour video in youtube and following your ig immediately. Loving your story & loving your amazing home!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 12:24 PM

      So happy you found us, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - September 16, 2017 - 3:58 PM

    Congratulations! I’m a long time reader who so appreciates your thoughtful, down-to-earth writing and I’m so happy that this part of your lives is working out so well! Excited to see what you do with the baby’s room, too. I’m very newly pregnant myself for the first time (hooray!), and already I’m thinking about protecting the baby from potentially hazardous stuff while doing house projects. Not sure if you’re interested in answering this question, but what kinds of precautions have you taken while you’re working on your house? I’d love to hear how you’re handling that if you feel like sharing (I’ve definitely done some Googling, but it would be nice to hear a first-hand experience from a responsible person!).ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 18, 2017 - 8:48 AM

      Thank you for the kind comment, Meg! Glad to hear from you. As for precautions, luckily, we haven’t tackled too many hazardous type renovation projects since I’ve been pregnant. When we paint, we’re using low or no VOC paints (like in the garden unit), and when things are ultra dusty or we’re using chemicals to clean things (again, like in the garden unit), I wear a mask and goggles almost to a fault! I use this mask, which I love for it’s smaller size, and it’s way heavier duty than the disposable ones you normally see. We have some larger renovation coming up later this year, and I’ll be sitting those projects out, but I will be documenting them!ReplyCancel

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[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2807285″] As a part of our whole backyard overhaul last year, we built in DIY raised planter beds. Although we were sure to insulate them (before filling them with a literal ton of soil and compost), we were a bit nervous that all our effort would be wasted on our cold Chicago winters. We’re still…
  • Katie - September 6, 2017 - 9:15 AM

    I use to leave my stone crop (or Autumn sedum) alone cause I read that winter birds like the flower clusters (or maybe the bugs that hide in them?)
    They become dried straw by the winter and can easily be cleaned upin spring when you get your beds ready. While I’ve never seen birds around my plants they are very hearty. In 4 years time I was able to divide the plant once and have 2 very hearty happy huge plants. I love that plant, it’s probably my favorite perennial.
    Also, I think coneflower should be left to dry out and reseed itself.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:58 AM

      It’s definitely my favorite that we’ve had experience with, too. Now dividing plants… that’s something we’ll have to warm up to eventually!ReplyCancel

    • Ryan - September 6, 2017 - 4:16 PM

      I also wait until spring to cut back the sedum. It’s one of those “winter interest” plants in the yard. If you’re looking for more of the echinacea leave it to re-seed. I have more than enough after doing that for a few years and just pull it up and compost or give it away if it’s growing where I don’t want it. I didn’t find the white coneflower to be as hardy or prolific as the purple though. It’s great to see everything going together so well. I have a big overflowing mess but I think it’s time to start being more selective about which plants are allowed to stay and which might need a new home.ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn - September 6, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    Love the patio garden! I have a sweet spot for Sedum and Echinacea, so pretty and hardy! I don’t really have a green thumb but my mother does and she is my consultant. She recommends cutting back perennials in early spring :) BTW, we just visited Logan Square and did check out Lula’s on your recommendation after which we went to the farmers market, we tried to go to Parsons but it was a two hour wait and didn’t get a chance to go to Scofflaw. We loved our visit and will definitely visit Logan Square again!ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn Michniak - September 6, 2017 - 9:34 AM

    Love the patio garden! I have a sweet spot for Sedum and Echinacea, so pretty and hardy! I don’t really have a green thumb but my mother does and she is my consultant. She recommends cutting back some perennials in early spring :) I do agree with Katie that the Echinacea should not be cut, and I don’t usually cut back my Sedum either, definitely cut back the Clematis though! BTW, we just visited Logan Square and did check out Lula’s on your recommendation after which we went to the farmers market, we tried to go to Parsons but it was a two hour wait and didn’t get a chance to go to Scofflaw. We loved our visit and will definitely visit Logan Square again!ReplyCancel

    • Jaclyn - September 6, 2017 - 9:38 AM

      Did think my first draft posted (said error), sorry for the duplicate!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:57 AM

        I’m so happy you loved our neighborhood! Parsons can get CRAZY unless you’re there on a rainy day or an off-hour, but even then on the weekends, it’s typically packed. So fun though!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - September 6, 2017 - 9:38 AM

    You can spray paint your allium seed heads with spray paint! I’ve seen even botanical gardens do that, and depending on the color you choose, it can blend in or make a really funky statement. Here’s an example I found online: http://www.beautifulbotany.com/Story%20Archives/Plants/Annuals,%20Perennials,%20Bulbs%20&%20Houseplants/Bulb%20-%20Graffiti%20Gardening%20-%20Turning%20Alliums%20Into%20Art.htm

    I’d wait to cut things back til spring, personally, especially the stuff that looks good during the winter, like dried flower heads.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:18 AM

      Interesting! As soon as you mentioned it, I remembered seeing something similar. I don’t know if I’m brave or funky enough to do that to ours, but it’s still a neat option!ReplyCancel

      • Carswell - September 6, 2017 - 11:51 AM

        I would deadhead those alliums.

        I don’t know what kind you have but some of them are voracious self seeders – and you will find them turning up everywhere, including between your patio stones.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Frost - September 6, 2017 - 9:50 AM

    Hi, I am a horticulturist in downtown Boston, Ma (I think we have a similar zone). I also do a lot container gardening and designing. I found the liner your architect suggested to be very interesting. It looks like you have strong sun for the afternoon which is basically full sun? The hydrangea might burn out a bit because it does not like the afternoon sun but looks great so far. The sedums and plumbago (and herbs) are well suited to those conditions. You can cut the flowers off the alliums, if they suggested a good variety they should bloom in the Spring and the Fall. The echinacea will be slow to take off but should grow faster in year 3, like most perennials.
    As for winter, I generally recommend that you choose a few plants to keep for winter interest and cut back and clear out the dead leaves on the rest, add a layer of compost for moisture and fertilizer. If you don’t clean up, insects and pests will make it their winter home and then it’s hard to get rid of them. Also don’t forget to water in the winter, containers dry out in the wind and if there is no snow it can kill the plants. I replace a lot of dried out plants in the Spring for people who forget to water.
    Enjoy!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 9:59 AM

      SO helpful, thank you, Erin!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - September 6, 2017 - 10:01 AM

    It looks GREAT!!! Does your renter have an area to do a little planting? I just ask because my husband is obsessed with his little container garden and I know he would be so sad living somewhere without the same option. Just made me curious about other renters.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      While our new renters did like the backyard, they admitted they wouldn’t be using it much, if at all!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - September 6, 2017 - 10:19 AM

    Your garden looks so nice!

    Coneflowers often follow the perennial “sleep, creep, leap” rule (not much the first year, little bit more the second, then BOOM – they take off). So I would wait and see what they do next year before making any decision on them.

    Your hydrangea should be trimmed in early spring to encourage stronger branching and prevent it from getting tall and gangly then flopping over. Start by removing all sucker branches at the base of the plant. Then prune all the branches back about 3-6 inches. It also encourages blooming throughout the shrub, rather than just on the tips of branches – and who doesn’t want more blooms?

    I would probably remove the blue rug junipers you planted – they have a tendency to choke out everything around them. Yes they only get 6 in. tall, but they quickly spread to 6 to 8 ft. wide! That’s going to take out everything in both of your beds. Another trailing plant would be more desirable.

    Otherwise, great job and wonderful low maintenance garden!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      Phew, that’s just what we did with our hydrangea this past spring! And thanks for the warning on the blue rug junipers – we’ll be keeping an eye on them.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - September 6, 2017 - 10:35 AM

    Your planters look so great, Kim! Very impressed.

    I don’t know much about most of the things you’ve planted, since a lot of it won’t survive the Austin heat, but I have a ton of Coneflowers in my yard. Mine bloom in late spring and come July the bloom stalks turn black and crispy in the summer heat. Once they’re completely dry, I snip off the seed heads and crush/scatter them around my garden where I want additional plants to grow. I don’t have to worry about winter here, so it doesn’t matter when I scatter them (they’d probably do better if I scattered them in the fall, but I have no patience). I usually compost and mulch over all the seeds in the fall and they all come up in late February when the weather starts to warm up.

    Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 6, 2017 - 11:17 AM

      Ooh, great suggestion for the coneflowers! Thanks, Ryan.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - September 6, 2017 - 1:37 PM

    I would remove the allium seed heads, but others might not. That is more of a visual preference than a “should.” You can try it one way one year and the opposite the next year to see what you like better.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - September 6, 2017 - 5:33 PM

    Your containers look very lush. I live in a townhouse that has a small area that allows me to plant some things. It’s mostly shaded by mature trees.
    I have come to realize that gardening is an expensive hobby. I’m not very good at it & much of it dies. But each Spring I’m buying more plants & keep plugging away at it. Your cute pups must be your good luck charms.ReplyCancel

  • Tari - September 7, 2017 - 7:08 AM

    It looks great! If you’re looking for a low, hardy plant that spills over the edge, you should try the sunsparkler dazzleberry sedum. It’s a stone crop with blue-purple stems, and hot pink flowers that bees LOVE. It’s one of my new favorites. http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/3628/sunsparkler-dazzleberry-sedum/ReplyCancel

  • Eva Burgess - September 12, 2017 - 11:47 PM

    Great plant selection. You could think about adding some grasses and bearded irises for a different leaf texture and height.
    I can’t wait to have a garden againReplyCancel

  • Ann - September 16, 2017 - 12:02 AM

    Your garden is so lovely. We are also in Chicago, also in the city. I just had my whole garden replanted hoping to have a low maintenance perennial garden…. but the neighborhood doggies have also been enjoying it! If you find any puppy tolerant plants, please post them!ReplyCancel

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In case you missed it, you’ll want to watch the vlog that kicked off this entire renovation-that-could. Catch up right here!  We’ve spent the last 3+ months overhauling the garden apartment, sacrificing nights, weekends and a whole lot of sleep to bring this dated unit back to life. As two people that like to take their…
  • Amanda - August 29, 2017 - 8:13 AM

    But where is the microwave?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 29, 2017 - 8:36 AM

      We touched on that in the kitchen post (and in the comments), but we opted to nix it in favor of a powerful range hood instead. We got mixed needs from friends who rent – whether they cared if there was a microwave or not, so of course someone can certainly still plug one in from the countertop and leave it out or stash it away in one of the several deep drawers!ReplyCancel

    • Alison - August 31, 2017 - 6:16 PM

      Microwaves are bad for your health.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Taylor - August 29, 2017 - 9:58 AM

    I love it so much! The way you did the kitchen is really inspiring the changes I want to make in my own kitchen and I would definitely be all over renting that beauty if I lived in Chicago :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 29, 2017 - 12:01 PM

      Move here! It’s a great city. :)ReplyCancel

  • Holly - August 29, 2017 - 11:15 AM

    Looks so good! You guys are the cutest!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - August 29, 2017 - 11:36 AM

    The beginning and end of this video made me smile so hard. You guys and your dogs (and kitty!) are just the cutest! And I hope you rent this soon because you but so much heart into that little apt and someone is going to be incredibly lucky to live there. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 29, 2017 - 12:01 PM

      This is so kind, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - August 29, 2017 - 12:54 PM

    So excited for you guys! It looks amazing!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Tim - August 29, 2017 - 1:54 PM

    Holy smokes! Well done and congrats on the completion of the project.ReplyCancel

  • susan - August 29, 2017 - 2:02 PM

    the apartment looks lovely! and it made me smile to see someone else makes sure the screw slots in switch and outlet covers all line up… : DReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 29, 2017 - 2:05 PM

      Haha, we call that ‘hot dogs’ or ‘hamburgers’ depending on which way the screw is facing!ReplyCancel

      • Vanessa - August 30, 2017 - 2:59 AM

        Funny!ReplyCancel

  • melbajo - August 29, 2017 - 2:30 PM

    i love this all so much, it’s gorgeous! thank you for sharing your journey with us – i learned a lot and it’s really helping me make decisions for a guest house remodel i’m about to start (like, any day now, the ikea cabinets are waiting in their boxes on the back porch!)

    one question – could you share with us how you dealt with the exterior wall when you closed up that window in the kitchen? you obviously did a fantastic job on the inside, but on the outside i’m wondering if you hired that out or patched it up yourselves…

    again, thank you for all of your detailed posts, you guys are true resources and inspirations!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 29, 2017 - 2:34 PM

      Ooh, good question. It was framed out from the inside using 2x4s, and on the outside, the window was removed and the same cinder blocks (used in our foundation) was patched in with cement/mortar. Our house is SO close to our neighbor’s house, so it’s not even something you can see unless you’re squeezing between our house and the fence. But it was still important for us to match it up as close as possible.

      Good luck on your IKEA kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - August 30, 2017 - 3:03 AM

    Brilliant you two! Very well done. I think I actually got most of the layout from the photos along the way, except for the bedrooms off the living room, those I did not have in my head.ReplyCancel

  • Emma P - August 30, 2017 - 12:04 PM

    The place looks amazing!!! All the changes were done with such care and forethought about future tenants — you guys nailed it!ReplyCancel

  • lsaspacey - September 2, 2017 - 9:45 AM

    It’s so gorgeous! I looked at the earlier house tour and was reminded of that 1st floor bathroom, are you still going to try to finish it by the end of the year or wait until after the baby (Congrats!!!) is born?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 2, 2017 - 1:09 PM

      Oof – definitely not this year, ha! Hopefully next? Thank goodness for closed doors :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 5, 2017 - 9:09 AM

    Love this entire transformation! The video is pretty perfect too- you guys belong in front of the camera! xoReplyCancel

  • Sara Gillis - September 5, 2017 - 9:16 AM

    Such an unbelievable change – well done, guys!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - September 19, 2017 - 10:27 AM

    I love everything about it! Will you share the budget details? I’m also very curious about how much more you will be able to rent it for now.ReplyCancel

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cabinets | sink| faucet | countertop | drawer + finger pulls | sconce | hand towel | soap pump | S+P grinders This post is in partnership with IKEA. The last room to wrap up in our garden apartment renovation is the kitchen! While plumbing was swapped in the bathroom, water connections were moved in the laundry and a lot of cosmetic upgrades were made throughout, this is the space that has seen the most drastic…
  • Paige Flamm - August 24, 2017 - 7:40 AM

    Your kitchen looks amazing! I love it!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Whitney - August 24, 2017 - 8:42 AM

    Love the look of your kitchen! Is there a reason why some of your kitchen outlets are turned sideways? I’ve seen this done a few times, but never knew the reason why.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2017 - 9:28 AM

      In our case, we needed the outlet to be on the side to fit on that little half wall, so we kept it consistent on that side of the kitchen. On the other side, we had a switch and outlet in one, so everything on that side is placed the usual way. Honestly, I think it’s all personal preference!ReplyCancel

  • RC - August 24, 2017 - 9:36 AM

    Great job! It all came together so nicely.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - August 24, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    Amazing! If we hadn’t bought our house in Chicago last year I’d definitely be applying for that apartment! Beautiful work as always!ReplyCancel

  • Jacki - August 24, 2017 - 10:20 AM

    Almost tempted to move to Chicago so I can live in this beautiful apartment. Not like I don’t already love the city.ReplyCancel

  • Saz_Gho - August 24, 2017 - 12:04 PM

    It is stunning. I would loved to have seen the inside of the pantry and drawers.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - August 24, 2017 - 12:38 PM

    I love this little space!!! Your future tenants are very lucky.
    Not to alarm you, and this may seem silly, but will you have a clause in your lease that the tenants cannot use that furnace closet for storage of any kind? I know a few people whose tenants inadvertently started small fires by storing brooms in the furnace closet despite the rules against it. I’d hate for you to have any issues!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2017 - 12:50 PM

      Thanks, Bernadette!

      The furnace is a perfect size for that closet, I don’t think anything else would fit… BUT it’s definitely something we should mention! For brooms and items like that, we could always suggest the utility room.ReplyCancel

  • Staci - August 24, 2017 - 1:50 PM

    That’s it. I’m moving to Chicago! Kidding. You guys did an amazing job. It makes me want to redo a kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Layce - August 24, 2017 - 2:44 PM

    Love it!! its Beautiful and you guys did an amazing job!
    Question for you – would the microwave fit in the pantry (is it wired up?) or is it destined to go on the beautiful countertop?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2017 - 2:53 PM

      Thanks! If someone wanted to have a microwave, it would need to go on the counter, or there’s under counter space if they want to tuck it away. The pantry is pretty skinny, otherwise we would have added electrical for that reason!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - August 24, 2017 - 2:55 PM

    Beautiful kitchen. Is there a reason you didn’t put the pull out cabinet next to the sink? If it were to the side you would be able to scrape dishes, rinse and then right into the dishwasher while standing at the sink. As it is if you want to throw something out while someone is doing the dishes they would have to move out of the way.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2017 - 3:12 PM

      Good point. This is actually an under-the-sink pull out cabinet, so the idea is to use either trash cans or a way to stash your cleaning supplies. You’re so right through! If we had more than enough for more than 3 lower cabinets on that wall, it would have been a good use of space to put the trash cans to the left of the sink (since the dishwasher is on the right).ReplyCancel

      • Susan - August 24, 2017 - 6:41 PM

        I never thought of using a pullout for cleaning supplies. What a great idea! No more losing stuff at the back of the cabinet.ReplyCancel

  • JoniB - August 24, 2017 - 5:14 PM

    I absolutely love what you guys did in here! I’ve been waffling about what to do for my new counter tops and butcher block was one that I really liked, so it’s really nice to see it here. And I really love the grey cabinets. Very nicely done. And very blessed renters, whoever they turn out to be.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - August 24, 2017 - 11:00 PM

    I love how you’ve customizable the IKEA look with the brass pulls. The grey with the warm metal is fantastic! One tiny thing to complete everything (that might be OCD) is to cover the cams on the botttoms of the uppers with white melamine stickers. I did that in our Pax closets and it made a surprisingly large difference in how finished it looked.ReplyCancel

  • Alli - August 25, 2017 - 8:30 AM

    You could dab those little screws under the counter with white paint. I did that in our last kitchen and it made all the difference just because your eyes didn’t really even notice the screws anymore! It looks amazing, wish we were looking to rent in the city!ReplyCancel

    • Kelly - August 25, 2017 - 11:18 PM

      I was just going to make a similar comment. We put white melamine stickers on the cams in our Pax closets and it made a huge difference in how finished it looked. The metal is so high contrast, your eyes just can’t help stop on them!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - August 25, 2017 - 6:27 PM

    I love everything about this kitchen! So many smart, clean and pretty decisions. Great job you guys!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - August 26, 2017 - 9:25 AM

    This turned out great! Your hard work really paid off. My husband and I put in our IKEA kitchen about 9 months ago and we love it. Everything has held up REALLY well and using lower drawers instead of standard cabinets has changed my life! Haha! I’m sure your lucky tenants will love this space.ReplyCancel

  • Trude - August 26, 2017 - 2:22 PM

    The difference is incredible!! So in love, this is the most amazing apartment kitchen. Thanks for all the inspiration, I know when we buy our condo this will be the kind of budget we’ll be working with! <3ReplyCancel

  • Christine - August 27, 2017 - 3:40 PM

    Fantastic! So much in such a small space. It has everything that I would want! Can’t wait to see the video on the entire project! Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Eric - August 28, 2017 - 6:15 AM

    You have found the perfect solution to that wierd space under a kitchen sink. No more half height cabinets, or odd pull out angled shelves. Put garbage and recycling there in a pull out. Everyone looks under the sink for the garbage can anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Mags - August 28, 2017 - 10:26 AM

    If I didnt already have a great apartmenti n Chicago, I’d be emailing you!

    Are the stovetop burners at an angle? In the picture underneath the cutting board picture, it looks like the two left burners are way offset- what’s going on there?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 28, 2017 - 1:05 PM

      Oh, wow, that photo does make it look funny, huh?! I used my wide angle to grab as much as possible, and it distorted the bottom of the image (as most wide angles do). They’re not offset, they’re nice and straight. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - August 30, 2017 - 8:52 AM

    What an absolutely beautiful space! I love all the function and style you’ve packed into this small area. And those counters are ah-mazing :)
    Best,
    KellyReplyCancel

  • Anne E - August 30, 2017 - 11:29 AM

    In addition to the renovation itself looking beautiful, I really like how you put this post together. Having the evolution of one viewpoint all in one spot to scroll through really brings home how much work you did.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen Welsch - September 10, 2017 - 9:46 AM

    Um excuse me can I rent this apartment? The kitchen turned out AMAZING!ReplyCancel

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We filled up on a lot of heavy lifting throughout the entirety of the garden apartment renovation, and while those things certainly make for a more dramatic before and after, every teeny, tiny thing we did added to the overall equation, too. More often than not, it’s those little things that really make the biggest impact, because without…
  • Eric - August 22, 2017 - 6:19 AM

    These are great tips! Almost all of them are touch points, knobs, switches, handles, so not only do they get heavy use, but they are also the first to wear out.ReplyCancel

  • KM - August 22, 2017 - 10:02 AM

    We need some hooks just like this by our front and back doors, but I’ve stalled out because I’m not sure if individual hooks like this could withstand heavy coats and bags, or we should instead find something that has individual hooks on a board and displaces the weight more? What do you recommend?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 22, 2017 - 10:08 AM

      We LOVE these hooks. They’re super strong (cast iron!) and much larger than they might look in photos. Each one received it’s own anchor, and I guarantee each one can hold a winter coat (or three), bag and hat with no issue.ReplyCancel

  • Katya Pereira - August 22, 2017 - 10:26 AM

    Congratulations! First for the baby and now for finishing this reno, it’s gorgeous! I hope you find great people to live there!ReplyCancel

  • susan - August 22, 2017 - 10:39 AM

    Great job with the finishing touches and really helpful post.
    Did I miss a previous post’s link to the adorable light fixture over the kitchen sink?? I love it and need one for my sink area!
    Thanks muchReplyCancel

  • Sara - August 22, 2017 - 11:02 AM

    Great tips here, thank you. Can’t wait to see the kitchen! Would you mind sharing your hallway and baseboard paint colors? I apologize if you’ve already done so in previous posts. I am getting caught up. Love your work!ReplyCancel

  • Christy - August 22, 2017 - 12:06 PM

    Quick tip on the LEDs: check with your utility provider for instant discounts or rebates on lighting and other easy energy efficiency upgrades (smart thermostats, etc.). Most utilities offer assistance for homes and well as businesses.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 23, 2017 - 11:50 AM

      That’s a GREAT tip, Christy! We recently got $100 off nest thermostats for our home using a rebate our energy company provided. Definitely something worth checking into.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - August 22, 2017 - 12:15 PM

    Can’t wait to see the full reveal!ReplyCancel

  • AshleyM - August 22, 2017 - 2:32 PM

    I love all of these details and I agree with each of them. Another thing I would say is a bonus to adding the hooks with renters is that you guys know what you’re doing and you know how to hang them so that they are secure and will stay in the wall. A renter might want hooks there, hang them and then you’re left with four or five holes in your walls when they leave. It’s smart and useful for both you and the renters that you put them there in advance! Great work!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - August 22, 2017 - 4:44 PM

    Terrific ideas all. I can’t believe I didn’t think about changing the knobs in my house. What a great idea, and the black looks so smart against the bright white. Could you share a link to the knobs you used on the bifold doors?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 22, 2017 - 4:49 PM

      We picked them up at Lowe’s! I can’t find them on their site, but Lowe’s has a lot of great matte black options right now.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cuckoo4Design - August 22, 2017 - 6:59 PM

    I so agree with all of it and your amazing photography made these tasks look amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - August 23, 2017 - 12:00 AM

    Congrats on the baby. And congrats on the demo. The suite looks great.

    When moving into a condo I made the same changes you did. I also replaced 70’s door/window trim and added baseboards once all the carpet was gone. I also replaced the electric baseboards with a newer model. Those things date a place as much as almond or ivory toggle light switches.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - August 23, 2017 - 7:14 PM

    AHHH! This post just made me so excited for our move in November. We’re going to be buying a new home in a new state, and I look forward to making it our own. Thanks so much for the inspo !ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - August 23, 2017 - 7:42 PM

    All great points and all things it took me years to learn, not that I do them all, but I know that I should.ReplyCancel

  • Isadora Guidoni - September 5, 2017 - 7:03 AM

    Updating door hardware is sure a great tip! All of these are, actually..but the door one is my favorite!ReplyCancel

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