Hello, 2014! Through some sort of miracle (or in other words, some extreme hustling in December), Scott and I were able to take off the last 2 weeks from work work. Rather than painting portraits (me) and sporting stripey ties (him) from 9-5, we spent the days with family and friends, couch dates and early bedtimes followed by early rise times. Days began blending together, dates became slightly blurry, and somewhere in-between taking apart our media center (more on that later) and addressing furnace issues (boo), we took on an easier-than-normal project: building out our entry coat closet!

We’d been using the (first floor) guest room closet as coat storage, but with winter coming in at full force this season, we were growing tired of trekking through the house to grab our hats, gloves and scarves several times a day, so the entry closet rose higher and higher on our priority list. Since the contractors reversed the closet in our nook room, we were working with bare bones – no rod, no shelving:

Because we painted the entry walls a very pale gray, we had plans to do something a little more fun on the inside of the closet. We worked in collaboration with Ace Hardware on our simple build out, starting with a minty green base, Clark + Kensington’s Bow Island in an eggshell finish:

In addition to the interior color (at one point our friends suggested orange, but because we’d be painting the closet door a deep navy, it would be too reminiscent of the Chicago Bears; not to mention, the original orange main room was still a fresh memory!), we picked up an assortment of shelving, tracks, a rod and this adorable little light:

Our Ace had an assortment of DIY closet configurations (all items can be picked up at your local Ace or ordered for you!), and we chose a layout that would allow us to have shelving above for low use items, two half-shelves below for shoes and seasonal items and enough space to store our vacuum. Note: While we absolutely love this minty hue, it does glow very fluorescent when the light is flipped on! It’s a gorgeous shade with a double personality, apparently.

We’ve since picked up a few baskets to keep things contained, but we won’t be moving any of our coats or winter gear inside until we’ve finished painting the closet door – which, by the way, is almost done. And we still have some tile to lay… which we’ve been working on over the weekend(!).

In any case, it’s a new year, full of possibilities (right?), so lets get to it and start checking off some of those lingering to-dos. Ace Hardware is all about spreading the love, so together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader!  Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. Giveaway runs through Thursday, January 9th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We’ve partnered with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel. Ace has provided us with the tools and materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. Cute puppies are an added bonus.



Some close friends of ours always joke with us that if our lives had a soundtrack, it would be “The Flight of the Bumblebee” on repeat. Forever. Admittedly, we often have a hard time relaxing, but we couldn’t imagine our lives any other way.

2013 began with our realization that Chicago was, actually, our home sweet home, and the year saw us quickly diving head first back into the real estate market. Our hopes of landing The One (remember, the one that got away?) were crushed (yup, that was hard), but we brushed our shoulders off and landed right back where we started, finding that perfect fixer-upper – the Real Onefour blocks from our former condo. Of course, a champagne christening was order; the perfect, celebratory way to break in this house.

The challenges of demolishing this home – while living in it! – proved to be more intense than we ever imagined, and the highs, lows and botched timelines were often so mentally, physically and financially draining that, at times, we couldn’t help but wonder if we’d made the wrong decision. Did we get in over our heads?, we’d ask each other. Luckily, every time one of us would crash and burn, the other was here to kick our collective ass into gear and restate the fact that we had landed a perfect house with a yard for Jack, a garage for me and a sun-drenched studio for Kim – all in our dream neighborhood of more than seven years. (Click on the first photo or any thumbnail below for the hits, we’ll call them.)

All this to say, we feel incredibly lucky to have all of you stopping by our virtual home as often as you like. Your input, encouragement and helpful direction keeps us grounded through the highs, lows and in-betweens. This whole journey would be a lot more difficult without all of you to root us on, push us through and voice (er, comment?) your enthusiasm, and we look forward to sharing even more in 2014! Finally, 6 months after our move in date, the construction dust has settled, and we’re transitioning from the “have-to” tasks to the “want-to” tasks. It’s funny how quickly you forget those rough patches and how easily it is to get excited again for every new project; projects we couldn’t be more excited to share this coming year.

From our little family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy 2014 and that the new year brings with it everything you’re reaching for and working toward. It’s going to be a good one.

  • Rachel - December 31, 2013 - 7:30 AM

    Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jennie - December 31, 2013 - 7:47 AM

    Just an FYI, I was really surprised to see a League of Angels ad on the blog. . . doesn’t seem to quite fit.

    Best for 2014!!ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - December 31, 2013 - 8:25 AM

    Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with us, Scott and Kim! I love that you see good even in the bad and the ugly!

    Here’s to an exciting 2014!


  • Kim - December 31, 2013 - 8:28 AM

    You too, guys!

    Jennie – you’d be right. Blech, thank you for the heads up!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - December 31, 2013 - 9:27 AM

    Just like a newborn! You forget all the turmoil (emotional & physical), sleepless nights, house becoming a wreck (not quite as bad on that front) etc. Your baby definitely becomes way fun at 6 mos. smiling, laughing, sitting up. Haha congrats on getting there. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Emma - December 31, 2013 - 4:45 PM

    Happy New Year! It’s so fun to see you guys make your new home more lovely :)ReplyCancel

  • Heather {afirepoleinthediningroom} - December 31, 2013 - 6:25 PM

    Right there with you! What a year! Cheers to all the projects we’ll both tackle in 2014!ReplyCancel

  • Lyndsey - January 2, 2014 - 2:35 PM

    Yeaaa!! Love your blog, it’s inspirational and my little DIY learning corner :) happy new year!ReplyCancel


The merriest of days from our family to yours! XO.

  • Julia@cuckoo4design - December 25, 2013 - 6:33 PM

    Haha, my favorite kind of elf ;) so cute. Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - December 26, 2013 - 8:30 AM

    Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! And I love Jack’s hat and scarf – adorable :-)ReplyCancel

  • misie - December 26, 2013 - 11:01 AM

    such a sweet face! Merriest [belated] Christmas guys!ReplyCancel