We are so, so (so!) excited to kick off our next project – the garden apartment! If you’ve been with us since the beginning of this house’s renovation journey, you might remember that our home is zoned as a residential two-flat, meaning, there are two living units. Before us, the house was split into several apartments, with each…
  • Rebecca - May 4, 2017 - 7:53 AM

    So exciting! We own a legal 3 flat in Bridgeport (Chicago) and after 4 years are finally getting to the basement unit. The whole building needed a lot of work (and then we had a baby) and my husband had tried to do much of it himself so as you know, it’s slow moving! We’re excited to fix some of the old termite damage though, make it less basement like (hopefully) and get it rented after it’s been sitting empty for about 2 years. I’m looking forward to seeing your changes! Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 8:58 AM

      Exciting and good luck to you as well! We know the feeling of slow moving all too well…ReplyCancel

  • Katy DeBardelaben - May 4, 2017 - 8:06 AM

    Cooooool! I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Sounds like it’s going to be amazing.

    Question though: is tile floor freezing cold in the winter? Seems like an odd choice for a ground floor unit in Chicago but I have never actually had tile floors so maybe I’m just projecting.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 9:03 AM

      That’s the million dollar question. We weighed heavy on this decision! We asked the former tenants of the tile was too cold in the winter, and they said, not really at all (much to our surprise). They told us that in the summer, it felt especially nice. We considered luxury vinyl tile (man, that stuff has come a long way!), but we knew that we wanted something crazy durable for years – decades! – to come. If this was our personal family room, we might have chosen luxury vinyl for the warmth, but because this is a rental, we had to keep in mind that we can’t babysit the people that come and go. We can’t ask people to put felt pads on their furniture (wouldn’t that be something, haha). Everything needs to be tough as nails from the start, so a cooler floor in the winter was our sacrifice. Luckily, area rugs and fuzzy slippers can help with that!ReplyCancel

      • Julie - May 4, 2017 - 11:05 AM

        Interesting, we are putting in luxury vinyl planks in our rentals because they are so durable and waterproof. Maybe not as durable as tile, but that options wasn’t in our cards.ReplyCancel

      • Lori - May 4, 2017 - 12:05 PM

        How about putting radiant heat under the tile? The electric kind is fairly straightforward to install.ReplyCancel

      • Jessica - May 4, 2017 - 12:38 PM

        I was just coming here to beg you to reconsider the tile flooring! We live in a similar climate and have endured basement tile and basement engineered flooring — both were miserable. If you ever get tenants with a young child, it is freezing to crawl around on that floor. I understand the durability issue with a rental, but please consider radiant flooring at the very least.ReplyCancel

      • Karly - May 8, 2017 - 3:02 PM

        We have vinyl plank flooring in our basement (in central Canada) laid directly on the cement. It’s not warm but I feel it is warmer than tile would be. It is also crazy durable, scratch proof, water proof etc. And in terms of install it was much less work than actual tiling would have been for us to DIY. Just some input regarding going the vinyl route!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - May 4, 2017 - 9:23 AM

    Love love love the video and so excited for your project! I’ve never been a fan of garden units, but Id move into yours in a heartbeat 🐶🐶🐈 good luck on the reno!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 9:24 AM

      Thanks, Bonnie! Our biggest challenge is making any renter forget they’re in a garden unit. We’re going to really be focusing on the details to make this place feel special, fingers crossed!ReplyCancel

  • Jane - May 4, 2017 - 10:24 AM

    This is going to be fun. Any chance of posting room dimensions?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 11:12 AM

      Both bedrooms are about 10′ x 10′, and overall, the entire space is around 820 sq. ft.! It’s small, but we think it has the potential to pack a big punch. Lots more to come in the weeks and months to follow!ReplyCancel

      • Jane - May 4, 2017 - 2:57 PM

        Thanks! I have a similar size space and have been dreaming for years of all the fun stuff that could be done. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - May 4, 2017 - 10:45 AM

    I’m so excited to watch this transformation for a rental unit. Lots of people share transformations for their own living space, but I know it is different for a rental. Like how we put in luxury vinyl planks in our rental, but might not be our first choice for our primary home.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 11:04 AM

      Ooh, I’d love to know more about your choice using LVP! We strongly considered it, but in the end, we were too scared that renters might scratch them with furniture, pets, etc. We felt and looked at so many samples, and we were impressed with the quality, but we just couldn’t quite commit. How is yours holding up in a rental?ReplyCancel

  • Josh Johnson - May 4, 2017 - 11:45 AM

    Can’t wait to watch this project develop!ReplyCancel

  • Akiyo - May 4, 2017 - 12:01 PM

    That’s what the tiles were going to be for! :D So excited to see the progress and final!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 12:08 PM

      Yup! Hence my questions about how you’re still loving it. :DReplyCancel

  • Ross Greenberg - May 4, 2017 - 12:18 PM

    Ooooh how exciting! I am planning on moving to Chicago in 3 months! How do you plan on renting the space? I’d love to talk more about it!! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 12:32 PM

      Hi, Ross! If you’re interested, please reach out to us via the contact form in our menu bar (or our email is listed there as well)!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - May 4, 2017 - 1:12 PM

    Are you going to do the wood look tile everywhere? Kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms included? Because that would look so goodReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 2:04 PM

      We are! We considered doing something different in the bathroom, but in the end, we thought continuity would help the space overall.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - May 4, 2017 - 4:24 PM

    I can’t wait to see how this space turns out! So exciting!

    Since you say you live in your favorite Chicago neighborhood and I’m assuming there’s a lot of cool stuff to do around there, have you ever considered using your garden unit as an Airbnb? You’d stand to make a lot more money that way than renting it to tenants. Just a thought…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 5, 2017 - 10:38 AM

      We’ve definitely talked about that, but in the end, we felt a little strange having people that were looking to have a vacation staying IN our home, if that makes sense? It would be more to manage as an Airbnb (cleaning schedules, etc), but I guess you never know what could happen down the road! For now, a rental feels like the best option for us. :)ReplyCancel

  • angela - May 4, 2017 - 6:25 PM

    I am SO excited to read about your projects for this!! I dont have a rental unit of my own, but it’ll be very interesting to see why decisions are made for a rental versus your own home. And I bet it’ll be awesome. Almost makes me want to sell my house in the suburbs and apply to be the tenant for this unit! hahaReplyCancel

  • Marti - May 5, 2017 - 10:51 AM

    Very exciting!

    I’m a big fan of garden units – my first three Chicago apartments were garden units. Their lower cost let us rent nicer apartments in great locations that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford. Props to you for helping Chicago stay renter-friendly!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - May 5, 2017 - 11:35 AM

    So excited for this project! Lots of potential since it’s basically a blank slate!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - May 6, 2017 - 8:00 AM

    Can you please explain about what you were burning and waving around in the rooms ?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 6, 2017 - 8:28 AM

      It’s sage! We were smudging. We do it to clear the air, so to speak, for a fresh start and ridding any bad vibes. It’s a little hippy dippy, but we like to do it at the start of most projects (and anytime we hit a rough patch)! See more about it here: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2014/02/21/burn-cleanse/ReplyCancel

  • Haley - May 8, 2017 - 3:59 PM

    Didn’t you also keep the old condo as a rental property? I can’t quite recall.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 8, 2017 - 4:14 PM

      We did! Our tenants just renewed for another year. :)ReplyCancel


We started The Week’s End as our own personal motivation to take a step back from the DIY and soak up Saturdays and Sundays the way we imagine most do – eating pancakes, catching a movie, walking street fairs and (my personal favorite) sitting on the couch with not a thing on the agenda. I…
  • Jenna - May 2, 2017 - 8:25 AM

    Looks like an awesome weekend! Random question, but can you tell me about the harness for have for CC & Jack? The ones I have for my dog slip over their head and they can pull out of them by backing up. It doesn’t look like the ones you have can do that.


    • Kim - May 2, 2017 - 9:14 AM

      I just checked, and there’s no tag anywhere! I know we got them at PetSmart, and they have the ability to hook in the front and the back. We always use the front hook, because it keeps them from pulling.ReplyCancel

      • Jenna - May 2, 2017 - 10:13 AM

        Thank you for checking! We have a new PetSmart in town, so I’ll have to go check them out. :)ReplyCancel

        • C - May 15, 2017 - 4:35 PM

          They look like the one I have for my dog. It should be in the section with the “petsmart” collars that come in a bunch of colors. If I recall correctly, the harness is just one of those generic options with the small, medium, large collars and leashes.ReplyCancel

  • aj - May 2, 2017 - 8:56 AM

    First off – I LOVE your blog. Always so happy to see a new post!

    Second – thanks for this SPECIFIC post. The stars truly aligned…perfect surprise, family get-away, location, location, location…and I just booked this same ABNB for later this summer. Simply cannot wait! Thanks :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 2, 2017 - 9:12 AM

      Aw, so happy to hear this! You’re gonna have such a great time!ReplyCancel

  • Josh Johnson - May 2, 2017 - 9:47 AM

    That looks like an absolute dream. Hope you guys had a blast!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - May 2, 2017 - 1:43 PM

    What a perfect weekend! It looks amazing!


  • Daniel @ Manhattan Nest - May 2, 2017 - 4:26 PM

    Aw, yay! So glad you guys were able to connect!! You gotta go back to the sculpture garden later in the summer when all the plants are really in full swing—all that stuff will be as tall as you! xoxoReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 2, 2017 - 6:20 PM

      It was so, so pretty even at this time of year, I can’t wrap my head around that.ReplyCancel

  • Life on Hill Street - May 2, 2017 - 5:32 PM

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip! I’m going away this coming weekend and it can’t here soon enough. Also going on a trip where I plan to do nothing, sometimes those are the best! Welcome home :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenngelmhurst - May 2, 2017 - 10:30 PM

    Ah! Janis and Tom are dear friends of mine – so awesome that you explored their prairie and all of the sculptures on property. Glad you had a great #puremichigan weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Tanja - May 3, 2017 - 12:37 AM

    That looks lovely and something my family needs to do soon.

    I can’t wait to hear what the next project is going to be…ReplyCancel

  • Monique - May 3, 2017 - 6:32 AM

    Thanks for sharing your trip. Beautiful photography and I absolutely love your pups!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - May 3, 2017 - 8:44 AM

    So fun! I spent many summer days at those dunes when I was in high school. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin - May 9, 2017 - 11:01 AM

    Thanks for sharing the airbnb you stayed in! I’m in Kalamazoo and head down to Sawyer once in awhile to hang out at Greenbush Brewing and check out the antique stores in the area. This would be a great place to stay for a long weekend!ReplyCancel


Our back patio is as steamy as it gets in the summer, and it’s sunny for the majority of the day (it’s hot-car-hot in the mornings especially!). At the same time, we’re surrounded by really close neighbors and high fences, blocking any cool breeze. The ‘someday’ plan is to add an awning above the French door sliders…
  • Sammy - April 26, 2017 - 7:33 AM

    I LOVE IT! it looks so fun in your backyard.

    me and my fiancé might be building these tables for our reception. we’ll see how much we want to take on as it gets closer! hahaReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2017 - 8:42 AM

      Ooh, a whole bunch of these would be so pretty in a group setting!ReplyCancel

  • Josh Johnson - April 26, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    That is the perfect low-maintenance patio.ReplyCancel

  • Southern gal - April 26, 2017 - 11:59 AM

    Can you recommend a drill? I have an old black and decker but the battery is not charging anymore and it’s so old I don’t think I can find a replacement battery.

    I don’t need a high end but something moderate priced. But would love to know what you would recommend.


  • Kate S - April 26, 2017 - 2:07 PM

    How ’bout “Umbrella Retrofit” or “How to Retrofit an Umbrella” . . . although, to be honest, “umbrella hole” made me giggle and I appreciated the laugh, so you should probably keep it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2017 - 2:09 PM

      Haha, I tried to word it in 10 different ways before I exclaimed, let’s just call a spade a spade! :DReplyCancel

  • Sarah - April 26, 2017 - 4:23 PM

    I have a similar fireplace to yours. I painted it similar the way you did, however, it did not weather the winter well. Did you experience this? It looks great, so I’m guessing yours came through well?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2017 - 4:31 PM

      Ugh, bummer! We had a tiny bit of rusting, so we ended up taking it to get powder coated over the winter. We didn’t want to risk it getting worse with Chicago’s crazy weather! I imagine the spray paint method would be fine for dryer climates, but I still updated the original DIY post as a bit of a warning.ReplyCancel

  • Kate McMillan - April 26, 2017 - 4:24 PM

    It looks super great! We have a similar setup, but find that the umbrella rotates in the wind (making me bananas) — did you do anything to keep it from doing that? I’m brainstorming ideas for ours & can use all the help I can get. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2017 - 4:30 PM

      We haven’t experienced that, but the opening for our umbrella is REALLY tight.ReplyCancel

  • www.kanzinteriors.ae - April 29, 2017 - 3:29 AM

    It looks super great! We have a similar setup, but find that the umbrella rotates in the wind — did you do anything to keep it from doing that? I’m brainstorming ideas for ours & can use all the help I can get. Thanks http://kanzinteriors.ae/service.htmlReplyCancel

  • Amber Karr - May 15, 2017 - 9:08 PM

    I love your table and am thinking about making one of my own. Wondering if you could share how it’s held up and what you did to protect it from eventually rotting or having damp wood. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 16, 2017 - 7:43 AM

      Thank you! We used exterior grade paint and applied several coats with a spray gun to ensure it was completely coated – every last nook and cranny. Over the winter, we used an outdoor cover, and so far this spring, we haven’t covered it (even during rain), and it’s held up beautifully! We are so happy with how it’s wearing… it still looks just built and freshly painted. :DReplyCancel


This post is in partnership with Sydney Hale Co., for which you’ll find no less than half a dozen of their candles throughout our home. Use promo code YBH for 30% off your order through April 27th! Do you ever wonder what your home smells like? You know, like when you walk into your best friend’s house, or…
  • Josh Johnson - April 24, 2017 - 9:13 AM

    My boyfriend’s brother lives in a veritable frat house, complete with an actual pet PIG. We redid the entire place over the weekend and it looks amazing, but the smell is another story. Maybe this will do the trick!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 24, 2017 - 9:20 AM

      Ohmigoodness – I want to play with the pet pig!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - April 24, 2017 - 11:36 AM

    Hello, can you tell me where the head (with the matches in it) came from, I love it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 24, 2017 - 12:16 PM

      It was a gift from a friend, and there aren’t any markings on it – I’m sorry!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy G. - April 25, 2017 - 5:14 AM

    I would describe our home’s scent as as mild dog with a whiff of mildew every now and then. Occasionally, it smells like tator tots. 😀 Yesterday, after sanding the floors upstairs, it smelled like a really old museum or old government building. I honestly love that smell, and it’s a real thing. Our house is over 125 years old.

    I shy away from chemical scents and cleaners, but I’m always on the lookout for something non-toxic and environmentally friendly. I’ll take a closer look at these candles. Thanks for the recommendation!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 25, 2017 - 10:03 AM

      I know exactly the smell you’re describing! It’s a good one. Another fave is a freshly painted room. Give me all the paint fumes, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - April 25, 2017 - 9:31 AM

    I tend to stick with the simple fresh linen or crisp apple scents and maybe some cranberry in the winter, but the spearmint seems intriguing.

    I’m also crying because the Best Friends charm is sold out. :-(ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 25, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      You won’t be disappointed with blue spruce + spearmint. I just got a little jolt of excitement thinking about it – is it Christmastime yet?!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - April 25, 2017 - 12:49 PM

    We moved to a new house last year and I still don’t feel like it smells like “us.” I’m sensitive to smells and they trigger memories for me so I’m hoping we can figure it out for this house soon.ReplyCancel

  • Boxon - April 25, 2017 - 10:13 PM

    Good trick, I used to put coffee on a small plate. I really like the smell of coffee, but there’s no harm in trying the tips from you, thank you :)ReplyCancel

  • Kate - April 27, 2017 - 7:56 AM

    Just ordered my first Sydney Hale Co. candle and match set and am so excited for it to arrive :) Thanks for the coupon code! As a fellow pet lover (and home to 1 dog + 2 cats), a signature scent from a fresh candle is a dream! I always looks forward to your posts – thank you for sharing your home with us!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 27, 2017 - 8:22 PM

      You’re gonna love it, we already know! Which scent did you choose?ReplyCancel


There are a handful of recurring questions we receive that pop up week after week, and while some of them are item-based (as in, how’s that so-and-so holding up?; we answered a lot of those right here!), most of them have to do with the cutest, sweetest valuables in the home – our pets! They might…
  • laura {not a trophy wife} - April 20, 2017 - 8:13 AM

    Love this! I have an entire category “Woof” devoted to our pets.
    We have an Aussie and a Berner. I love the idea of their own space… we don’t kennel them anymore now that they are house trained, but I love the idea of dedicated space. Hmmmm…. you got me thinking…. lauraReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 9:09 AM

      I LOVE Aussies! I had two growing up. They’ll always hold a soft spot in my heart.ReplyCancel

  • CC - April 20, 2017 - 9:03 AM

    We call our pets “The Kids” and we are pretty crazy about them too!

    Last year, I started upgrading our air filters. I now get the super duper allergen reducer air filters. While we still have fur tumbleweeds when I fall behind on vacuuming, I have noticed WAY less dust and pet dander overall. They are more expensive but totally worth it. Less dusting and my allergies haven’t bothered me at all so far this year.

    We also have a dedicated ‘Kids Room” that is just for our fur babies and where we keep all their stuff. So the toys, food, litter, etc has a much smaller footprint, or paw print if you will! :DReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 9:12 AM

      Such great points! We recently went up to super allergen as well, and it HAS cut down on some of the muck in the air. Plus, it’s healthier for the longevity of your furnace, too.

      And you brought up a good point – while we don’t have a whole room for the pets (that’s awesome), we have one big, deep drawer in our kitchen island for all of their medicine, treats and toys. Having everything in one place was a MUST when we were figuring out what goes where during our kitchen renovation.ReplyCancel

      • Hannah K - April 20, 2017 - 11:43 AM

        I’ve seen the allergen filters state change every 3 months. With pets, how often do you change yours?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 11:53 AM

          Every 3 months, no question!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - April 20, 2017 - 9:25 AM

    Do you have the cordless Dyson? I’ve been debating one. I’d love to know how you like it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 9:32 AM

      We do! The link and our take on it is in the post. :)ReplyCancel

    • Nicolette - April 30, 2017 - 1:27 PM

      The cordless has changed my life! I know it sounds dramatic but I’m telling you this thing is great. The most annoying part of vacuuming to me was always getting the vacuum out, unwinding the cord, finding an outlet, hanging to switch outlets, then wind up the cord. All of this is eliminated! I think the biggest complains are the small canister size and battery life. As long as you get in a routine, this won’t be an issue.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - April 20, 2017 - 9:44 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have a one-year-old greyhound mix who we got towards the end of last summer and I’m just now that we’re starting to get into a groove and out of the puppy phase, we’re starting to get to the “holy crap, we have no idea how to live and be normal grown-ups with a dog in our apartment” phase, so this is all very helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Misie - April 20, 2017 - 9:48 AM

    We bought the Dyson cordless last year – agreed the canister is small when you have husky style tumbleweeds – but it’s so convenient! When we had our couch made we took the various swatches and rubbed them ALL over the dogs to see which showed fur the least. (thankfully we really liked the gray – which is now our universal color choice for anything they will be touching) Maeby’s undercoat is seemingly lighter than air and still gets on everything…everything; we were recently introduced to the furminator and the shampoo so here’s to hoping! Thanks for the fabric tip – that’s quite helpful :-) If only my lululemon’s could be furminated – I will forever be the hairy girl in yoga class.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 10:22 AM

      We totally rub down our pets with any fabrics we’re considering, too! So funny. And three cheers for the cordless Dyson. It makes quick vacuums much easier, and we’re WAY more likely to do it.ReplyCancel

  • katie - April 20, 2017 - 9:55 AM

    We have 2 long hair cats, and a golden, so pet fur is a constant battle in our house… after much debate we bought a roomba and it’s been amazing. We let it do it’s thing every other day, and I feel like our house is just cleaner overall. It’s actually helped cut down on the dander in the air, and we haven’t had to dust as often. We still bring out the big pet vacuum every few weeks, but I honestly think that the roomba does an impressive job of deep cleaning. Now I’m trying to justifying buying a second one for upstairs ;)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 10:01 AM

      I’m so skeptical of the Roomba, even though we only hear great things! Which model do you have?ReplyCancel

      • kerry - April 21, 2017 - 11:06 AM

        I have the 595 Pet series and we love it. Our house faces east/west and we have long hardwood expanses. The sun shines PERFECTLY to illuminate any dirt and dust, so we can’t really let it get too bad, but I loathe vacuuming. The downsides to Roomba as I see them are 1)you have to get anything that might tangle or get in its way off the floor,although it rambles right over the footer rods for our couch and 2)you do have to clean/maintain it. It honestly takes a minute after each vacuum run, and 10-15 for a deeper clean/brush the hair off the rollers which I do once a week or so.

        About once a month I roll through the house with a dust wand attachment on my regular vacuum and do moldings, etc but for day to day floor cleaning, the roomba is great. It also does fine with our area rugs, which are all also low pile wool.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - April 21, 2017 - 11:54 AM

          Thank you!!ReplyCancel

          • Erin Griffiths - April 24, 2017 - 8:27 AM

            My husband surprised me with a Roomba this Christmas, and I am surprised at how much I love it. We have a large, hairy Bernese Mountain Dog, a cat and a 9-year-old boy, and the robot vacuum is a total game changer. It runs almost every night while we sleep. Then I just need to do light touch ups with a handheld vacuum upstairs in between our biweekly big cleans.
            We have 650 model – I think the cheapest one. I was extolling it’s virtues to a friend at dinner once, and she ordered it right there on her phone!

          • Kim - April 24, 2017 - 9:07 AM

            You guys are convincing us!

  • Kristin - April 20, 2017 - 10:04 AM

    It’s always interesting to hear how others do things! I was under the impression in our old house that Alice the dog was not allowed on the couch. Turns out as soon as I left, she climbed right up. In our new house, I gave up. The furniture is now either vintage/old or slip-covered, and nothing is too precious. Yes it takes a little more tidying, but it’s fine. Plus it’s cute to see two kitties and the pup snuggled up together.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 10:16 AM

      Haha, well, they don’t dare climb on the furniture when we’re around, but they LOVE snuggling on the chairs when we leave the house. So, it’s a daily battle. That said, you’re absolutely right – nothing is too precious. That’s pretty much our motto around here.ReplyCancel

  • Taylor - April 20, 2017 - 10:10 AM

    Thanks for sharing these tips! Have you found a bed that you like for larger dogs that holds up well to washing?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 10:15 AM

      We have beds from Shop Janery made from outdoor fabric! I’ll pre-treat any stains before I throw them in the wash, but by sticking to outdoor fabrics, it helps them to last longer.ReplyCancel

  • Virginia - April 20, 2017 - 11:01 AM

    Seriously, thank you so much for sharing this. We have a cat and a dog and sometimes I bemoan that our home will never look Instagram-y because… here’s a dog crate. And pet bowls. And a litter box. And fur tumbleweeds. (I could vacuum every day and there would still be fur tumbleweeds.) Pets have *stuff* and they make messes! It just seriously made me so glad to see the photo of the crate in your bedroom, because that’s also my reality. Our pets are part of the family and this is their home too.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 11:34 AM

      Totally. We always joke that this is more their home than ours, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - April 20, 2017 - 11:08 AM

    Hoping Katie comes back and can tell us what kind of Roomba she has too! I’ve found that having 2 dogs somehow means having 1000x the pet hair of just one dog, and have been debating the cordless Dyson (LOVE my corded one, but it can be a hassle for quick clean ups) or a Roomba (but which one is best?!).ReplyCancel

    • Flora - May 6, 2017 - 11:18 PM

      Ahh I wanted to chime in since I have both a Dyson corded and cordless vac and a Roomba. I’m pretty embarrassed about it to be honest, since having three vacuums seems really weird and excessive.

      But! They are all so good. I have the Roomba 665 (I think it’s the same as the 650 but has a longer battery life) and run it every other day. I run it when I’m home or out with the pup because I’ve heard of some horror stories of Roombas running through pet accidents (pretty much poo armageddon). The suction isn’t super powerful, but overall it does a decent job collecting the GSD tumbleweeds. It works best on hard floor and low pile rugs. Our house is a bit tough for the Roomba to navigate – it’s a ranch but the hallway layout makes the Roomba confused. I think it’ll do better in a really open concept home.

      We picked up the Dyson V6 cordless recently. I justified the purchase because it was on sale. It comes with a couple attachments but I like that you can use all your doodads from your corded vac with it too. We use it for small messes and to keep the pup’s favorite areas and our furniture relatively hair free.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - May 8, 2017 - 1:18 PM

        We love this feedback, thanks, Flora!ReplyCancel

  • katy - April 20, 2017 - 11:12 AM

    We have 6 cats. (not on purpose, it just kind of happened) I got a Roomba (the pet one? 650?) last year and it has changed our lives. We’re a single-story house, all wood floors and no rugs (cats think it’s a secret cat box so we finally just gave up) and the only level change is down to the entry way, so we put the roomba invisible wall there and set it run every day just before we get home form work. It’s finishing up as we get home, gets emptied, and goes back to it’s port to charge for the next day. He lives under the course, out of sight. SO MUCH BETTER. Once a month we still have to get in the nooks and crannies and under low furniture to get the cat bunnies that have hidden away beyond Roomba reach. There have been two downfalls with the roomba – you can’t leave cords on the floor because it will eat them. Might not be a problem in other households, but our computer tower is on the floor and we tend to leave our phone cord plugged in to it (hot spot) and it’s been eaten a few times… Other downfall is making sure to pick up in the morning and leave a clear path for Roomba to run. Which is a great way to keep the house picked up, but sometimes it will eat a cat toy (it just stops and we rescue it when we get home). It’s like our little robot housekeeper, and it has helped with pet hair and seasonal/dust related allergies, so definitely worth the investment! Especially if you’re a lazy house cleaner and hate to sweep/vacuum.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2017 - 11:34 AM

      Man, we really might need to check out the Roomba! Thank you for chiming in with all these tips!ReplyCancel

  • Paige - April 20, 2017 - 1:58 PM

    These are all awesome tips!


  • Elizabeth - April 21, 2017 - 5:34 AM

    Thank you Kim for sharing all these tips. We have cat and a dog at home and having spread out cleaning supplies and the long time delayed Roomba which we have been debating to buy it or not will really help us.ReplyCancel

  • Martin Joy - April 21, 2017 - 6:29 AM

    First of all, Thank you for sharing this useful article, I loved it. Really if we have a pet so we should know How to keep a Clean and healthy pet-Friendly at home.

    I Have a pet so I will this ideas and tips.ReplyCancel

  • Katy DeBardelaben - April 21, 2017 - 10:32 AM

    Whoa, the most interesting thing about this whole post to me is the revelation that you have neighbors downstairs! Am I totally late to the game here?! I’ve been following for a long time but never knew that your house had a garden apartment downstairs! I have so many questions. You guys own the whole building right so is this an additional source of income for you guys? Do you ever see yourselves not letting anyone live there in order to have more space? Guest suite or Airbnb perhaps? Do the people that live there ever complain about the noise of renovating? I don’t know why but I’m so fascinated by this :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 21, 2017 - 10:40 AM

      Haha, those are all such great questions! You’re going to learn a lot more about the garden apartment in the coming weeks, hint, hint…

      But to quickly dive in, yes, we own the whole building, and we’ll likely always keep it as an income stream (as a rental). It has a front/back entrance that we can’t access without going outside, so it doesn’t make too much sense for us to have that as a part of OUR home.

      And somehow, our renters have never complained about the renovation noise, but we were also upfront about the work before they signed on the line.

      More to come!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - April 21, 2017 - 12:47 PM

    Ahhhh this post is perfect! We have a lab/german shephard who has black fur, and white carpet all over. Excellent combo right? I’m often found brushing insane amounts of fur off the dog outside or running around our house with the cordless Dyson. You’re not alone in the battle!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - April 21, 2017 - 5:29 PM

    Do you have any specific info on the outdoor-rated faux sisal you mentioned? I just can’t seem to get passed how much wool rugs shed!ReplyCancel

  • Karen - April 23, 2017 - 8:15 PM

    I have a nonshedding cockapoo – non shedding breeds are an epiphany!! I will never get another dog that sheds. Having said that …. Why can’t pitties/all other dog breeds be non shedding too ☹️ReplyCancel

  • Staci - April 24, 2017 - 2:31 PM

    Wow, the crate! I didn’t know CC had one. I have one and it is such a design buzzkill in my bedroom. I tried spray-painting Mosey’s white (so it blends in better with our light walls) but that has not held up so great over time.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 24, 2017 - 10:28 PM

      It IS a buzzkill, but CC loves it so much. And so, we keep it for her. :)ReplyCancel

  • Christina D. - April 24, 2017 - 10:09 PM

    Hi Guys, love the blog and seeing pics of your furbabies:) I just furminated our long hair cat-if you keep up with it on a regular basis it really helps, I am 100% with you all. Also I always thought your rental unit was in the garage:)) Not sure why I imagined it there and not “under” the main unit:)) Probably has to do with my being born and bred in southern California. Not a lot of rental stream opportunities in properties here-and I would consider you dream landlords! We are renters and some things are just so important to us-the a/c needs to be in good working order/we need to change the air filters every 3 months/good insulation keeps the cool in and the dirt out…lots of things that we check out/ask about of prospective rentals. Sometimes the information is just not available and we have to see in person. I would rent your place in a heartbeat because of your honesty, fairness and committment to doing the job right:)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 24, 2017 - 10:31 PM

      This is so sweet, thank you! We’ve learned a lot being landlords to both the garden and our previous condo, so we do try our best to be as attentive as possible – when needed. (And yup, Chicago winters wouldn’t do well with a unit in the garage, ha!) There’s a lot of good stuff to come with the garden apartment, so stay tuned…ReplyCancel

  • Lucy (UK) - April 26, 2017 - 3:01 AM

    Ah yes I love real life posts! We also got a cordless Dyson and it’s lived up to all our expectations. Our normal Dyson isn’t actually that heavy but it’s cumbersome, and it meant hoovering became a once weekly marathon, ducking and diving under each and every piece of furniture to snag all the fur, kindly left in the wake of our 9 kg Norwegian Forest cat (who, joy of joys, is now shedding his winter coat – thank goodness he’s cute and affectionate!). But with the cordless it’s so dang easy to zip it round or do a quick clean up of the lounge and kitchen if we have people coming over. I love love love the food station you made for the pups and am planning to do a take on this for Ralph over the summer :). Keep up the amazing work guys!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2017 - 8:43 AM

      So true, the cordless just makes us that much more willing to do the vacuuming – less time unwinding the cord, plugging it in, unplugging and finding another outlet… It has changed the way we clean our home so much! And if you end up making the dog food station, we’d love if you sent us photos!ReplyCancel

  • Monique - May 3, 2017 - 6:46 AM

    Another informative article. Even though animals can add to cleaning chores, I feel they are well worth it.

    This tip isn’t for everyone but when I began feeding my 8 year old dog whole foods, ie. raw beef or cooked chicken/pork with veggies and other nutrients, my dog began shedding much less. When I brush her now, I rarely collect hair in the brush. Other added benefits are her teeth became white, mobility improved, hair became darker and she loves her food.ReplyCancel

  • Dianne Tolar - May 4, 2017 - 2:36 AM

    I do not understand. No dogs on the furniture. Then you say one dog can. Did I read correctly?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 4, 2017 - 9:43 AM

      Libby is allowed on the furniture, but she’s a cat. :)ReplyCancel