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On the first day of this year, we talked about what’s next. We feel a transition coming on in this family, and that has us moving and flowing in a different way, day by day. We’re moving towards our next big dream, talking with a realtor and carefully dancing around the possibilities of a bigger, cushier couch (for us), cozy nooks (for the girls), and a yard – maybe, just maybe! – (for Jack).

As we mentioned at the tail end of this post, we were hoping to making a few small changes in our bathroom – the teeniest, tiniest room in our whole home (like, you can wash your hands in the sink and turn on the shower without moving an inch). Yes, we’d re-painted that room a few times, finally settling on a soft shade of gray, but we were ready to upgrade our lone cabinet to open shelving, switch up the light fixture and replace our yellow mirror with something softer, something not so, um, bright.

But while shopping for said lighting, we realized, why? If we sell or rent this home, surely our taste won’t float everyone’s boat. We still wanted to update what we had – we never really liked our fine for now lights – but we had to put on a different thinking cap, one that was more safe. And while we had our hearts set on something with more of a vintage feel (we liked this one), we realized we should update our current fixture for something that could be universally loved. I texted our “safe” option to our friend Julia, and she agreed it was a go. (It’s still in the box, but we’ll share once it’s up.)

Oddly enough, the bathroom is the one room in our home that’s the most personal; it’s the only room with our funny-faced mugs all over the wall. These will have to come down as we prep our home for showings (ooh, that felt weird to say!), but we’ll still jazz it up with other loved art, because goodness knows, we have plenty of prints still rolled up in tubes:

In any case, this year has felt… different. We know there’s much more in store for us, and while we wait out this ‘tween-er stage, we’ve been easing into each week slowly. It’s these cold, slow days that have us wanting to purge our closets and reorganize our cabinets. I’ve been painting steadily while Scott’s back in the swing of his daily work routine. We’ve been feeling more balanced – in work and play alike – for now, anyway. Maybe most importantly, we’ve been relaxing a bit more than usual during the weekends, knowing that this calm before the storm (so to speak) could be over soon.

And that? That gets us excited. With every step we take towards our next-home-goal, it feels more and more real that before long, we may be waking up in a new-to-us bedroom and making dinner in a different kitchen. With every progressing phone conversation with our realtor, we get chills all over again.

Because we’re still wading into the unknown, we’re often a bit hesitant to talk about these things out loud. The hockey fan in me is full of superstition (thank goodness I can’t grow a beard for that very reason), because talking aloud could jinx something. Right? But the tides are changing, and right now – in this very moment – it feels good.

  • Kim @ See Kim Decorate - January 18, 2013 - 7:10 AM

    From one superstitious hockey fan to another, I understand. It’s a good thing I can’t grow a beard either. Wearing the same jersey every time they’re on a winning streak is bad enough.

    Good luck with the house search. What an exciting (and stressful) time for you guys.

    And good luck to the Penguins this year. (Your team is the Penguins right? If it’s the Blackhawks I take my good luck wish back. Preds fan.)ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 18, 2013 - 7:15 AM

    I can’t grow a beard to save my life. It’s probably why I gravitate more toward baseball.

    But I’m very excited to hear about all this, and look forward to reading about it soon.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2013 - 8:36 AM

      Kim and Jimmy, ha! Lets be beardless together.

      And Kim, you’re right – we’re Pens fans all the way. Happy almost-first-day-of-hockey to you!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 18, 2013 - 8:50 AM

    Oh, I am excited for you. This year IS different, huh. I wish I could tagalong in the home search. I wouldn’t say a word I promise. Hahahahaha.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - January 18, 2013 - 9:05 AM

    Woot! How did I miss you were Penguins fans! Score!

    Good luck in all that comes your way…how exciting! Keep us posted!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2013 - 2:51 PM

      Hannah, huuuuge Pens fans!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - January 18, 2013 - 11:22 AM

    Ahh how exciting! Just hearing you talk about a prospective new home gives me the new home itch. 0:) hehe!

    Shannon Loves Design
    Fabulously VintageReplyCancel

  • Emma - January 22, 2013 - 8:00 PM

    Yay! So happy for you all (including the fuzzies). Moving from an apartment to your first house is so exciting (overwhelming but exciting). I just did it myself 2 years ago. I am also happy for purely selfish reasons because I can’t wait to get new decorating tips from you guys. Good luck!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 22, 2013 - 8:13 PM

    Emma, thank you so much, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:05 PM

    The time has come for you & me both. How exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 23, 2013 - 2:49 PM

    Yes, def. exciting! I accidentally hit “Post Comment” twice on my phone last night, how annoying! And I think because of that mistake you didn’t post my response which I forget what it was exactly! haha…anyways, I found one lil pic of you, me and Kat w/ Nick Klosterman smooshed into the Beach Waterpark photobooth! haha, we must’ve cut the strip up and you, Kat and Nick each have a single pic maybe? I don’t know why I would’ve cut my own apart but we all know I am a weirdo, so whatev.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 23, 2013 - 2:51 PM

    And this is proof I’ve stared at a computer for too long today! I thought MY COMMENT WAS YOUR RESPONSE saying “Jill, The time has come for you & me both. How exciting!” hahahahaha, OH LORDY! Stop me now!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 23, 2013 - 3:02 PM

    Oh man, you are seriously cracking me up! I was like, huh? Anyway, I don’t have a piece of the strip you’re talking about – that is hilarious. You’ll have to show me next time we see each other!ReplyCancel


After declaring our living room done! – even without the end tables that we just couldn’t seem to track down – we received an email from Susan of Jubilee Furniture (our favorite second-hand furniture heaven; if you’re in the Chicagoland area, go!). After scouring her store’s inventory, she lured us in with promises of the perfect end table. The dimensions fit our unusually shaped needs, and since we love a reason to visit Jubilee, we hauled ourselves to the ‘burbs to pick up the table.

But! More on that table later; I’m going somewhere with this. (Ugh, I know, sorry.) While picking up the table, Susan also left us a bag labeled Merry Christmas!, and inside? These:

We would have been stunned, but Susan is just that way – so super thoughtful – and we left the store wondering if we could adopt her into our family (Susan, is this possible?). Along with the birds, she left a note, too. (It reads: Mid 1940s gold leaf peacock, Maynard Anthony Freeman, Anthony of Freeman McFarlin figurines.)

We sent her a note of thank you, and she responded with a little research she pulled up on the peacocks:

I found the same set online for around $150 – so if you can’t find a home for them maybe you could sell them!

Hold. The. Phone. First, no way were we selling them. (We already loved them!) Second, a quick search of our own found our exact pair for $600. $600!

More research had us understanding the history of these collectibles hailing from Freeman McFarlin, a collaboration of Gerald McFarlin and Maynard Anthony Freeman. My expert internet-sleuthing confirmed these were the real deal, as evidenced by Anthony’s signature (see more images at the original listing, right here). Pretty neat, yeah?

On the other hand, we found this guy on Etsy for $35, and now, I’m really, really wishing for the giraffe.

For now, we’ve propped them against our subversive cross-stitch (which got a new mat and frame during the big-ledge-o’-art overhaul), and they balance out our gilded doughnut just right. However, we couldn’t help but think how sweet they’d look tucked into a dining room buffet – words straight from Scott’s mouth. (I suppose our bigger-house dreaming has been catching up with us.)

How many of you have picked up your own special thrift finds, only to find out – surprise! – they were worth much, much more than your original tiny price tags?

PS… If you’re on the fence about whether or not to make the trek to the Chicago ‘burbs, you can see (a small portion) of Jubilee’s current inventory on their blog.

  • Shannon - January 16, 2013 - 10:09 AM


    I love these!! ahhhh! These are amazing!! :) Lucky, lucky you! And how nice of Susan! :)

    Can’t wait to see the table. :)

    Shannon Loves Design
    Fabulously VintageReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - January 16, 2013 - 11:49 AM

    That is amazingly nice. And they are so gorgeous. Coveting!

    p.s. such a tease about the end tables!!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 16, 2013 - 1:16 PM

      Shannon and Julia, the table will need a little work… more on that next week :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan at Jubilee Furniture - January 16, 2013 - 5:18 PM

    So glad you like ‘em! The bling of the gold and the elegant lines of the peacocks immediately said, “Kim” to me!

    Can you adopt a 54 year old?

    Thanks for the wonderful plug for Jubilee Furniture!

    All my best to you and Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 16, 2013 - 5:35 PM

    Susan, I think adopting a 54 y/o is absolutely acceptable.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - January 16, 2013 - 6:54 PM

    I love the crossed stitched piece you have them bordering. May I ask where you got it from?ReplyCancel

  • Emma - January 17, 2013 - 10:01 AM

    Ooooh. Pretty birds. What a lovely gift.ReplyCancel

  • kristi@SimplePrettyThings - January 17, 2013 - 10:44 AM

    I just found your blog throught ChrisLovesJulia (love them). I am now instantly obsessed with Freeman McFarlain. I just pinned a bunch of Etsy stuff. I’m off to check out the rest of your blog and I’ll be add it to my blogroll on my blog! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 17, 2013 - 11:37 AM

    Kristi, too funny! You better scoop some of it before someone else buys it!ReplyCancel

  • Christan - January 19, 2013 - 5:45 PM

    I love deals. I found these mid-century danish candleholders for a few dollars at a thrift store. have seen them for $40 or so on etsy.

    • Kim - January 21, 2013 - 11:34 AM

      Christian, those are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:16 PM

    What a sweet gesture! They’re beautiful & I’m blushing they’re flanking my piece! @Emma, you can find the pattern in the Subversive Cross Stitch book. Wish I was genius enough to come up w/ the saying!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - January 22, 2013 - 10:17 PM

    Oooops! @kelly, my bad!ReplyCancel


For the most girly, pink and gold-gilded room in our home, it makes me smile to see the Studio on Made By Girl today! With those brass-’denza-knobs inspired by Jen herself (originally seen here, then purchased immediately, you know, for art’s sake), it makes my insides all mushy gushy. That, and reminiscing on all those months that Scott helped me paint pink walls, choose art and select reflective wallpaper – aw, what a guy.

See it right here, or just click on the image, above. And a super warm and fuzzy thank you to the ladies behind MBG; a happy Monday indeed!

  • Emma - January 14, 2013 - 12:06 PM

    Yay! Your studio is such an amazing room and I think everyone should see it. Congratulations you two!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 12:15 PM

    Thank you, Emma!ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 14, 2013 - 12:52 PM

    Very cool. Congrats!

    Totally off-topic, but the fodenza mention reminded me that I’ve been meaning to ask you. As a fellow small spacer, and someone who’s photography skills I deeply admire, I figured no one better to ask: I got the fixed 50mm lens a few months ago and love, love, love it. Only problem is shooting our small spaces. I can do some lovely close-ups, vignettes of little areas, but I can’t back up far enough (thanks to small rooms) to get full over-all shots of my renovation projects. What lens should I be looking for when it comes to these shots? For now I’ll be grabbing my old point-and-shoot to get these photos, but I think this will be my first “second” lens once I save up a little cash for it.


  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 1:06 PM

    Hi Jimmy, thanks!

    I have 2 wide lenses – my 20mm and a 12-24mm, but here’s the thing… the 12-24 is really wide, and I use it for room shots to get fun, funky angles where I actually want distortion. You can see my exact wide angle lens right here:

    Then, I use my 20mm f/2.8 when I need a wider angle but don’t want distortion. The 20mm doesn’t get nearly as wide as my 12-24 above, but I love it because it was decently affordable (I bought it used for $250) and has a f-stop as low as 2.8. (My 12-24 only goes down to a f4.) By googling the lens, you can find photos that were shot using that one.

    Let me know if that doesn’t help to clarify!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 1:07 PM

    I should say that I bought the 12-24 second hand as well, for about $350. I use the 20, 12-24 and 50 for everything you see on the blog!ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 14, 2013 - 1:59 PM

    Thanks Kim, very helpful. I should say that when I saw those prices I threw up in my mouth a little. Looks like we’re resurrecting the point-and-shoot for a while. Do you think a 35mm f/2 wide angle would work for these purposes? They seem to be easier on the wallet, starting at 289 new on amazon.

    I suppose you are happy with the used-lens purchases then, right? Very good to know you are able to do so much here with those three lenses.

    We’ve resumed construction on the bedroom build-out series from a while back. You’ll notice in my post that I don’t have any pictures of the whole scene in there.

    Thanks again for all your insight on this.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 2:08 PM

    Jimmy, no problem! I’ve been using the same three lenses for YEARS. (Like, the last 6 years I think?) Purchasing them gently used is the way to go! I’d recommend starting with the 20 for good, non-distorted wide shots.

    I think the 35 might cause similar problems to the 50, only giving you a slightly wider shot in a small home. I think it’s worth saving the extra $100 for something wider, especially since you’ll be focusing on room shots. (Not to mention, a wider lens will be good for capturing your growing family in one frame, or capturing wider landscape shots.)

    If you have a camera repair store near you, many times you can rent a lens for a day/weekend. You could rent a lens for a weekend and see if it’s a good fit for you, since I know they can be very pricey.ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 14, 2013 - 2:46 PM

    Ok, good to know about the 35. I kinda figured that might be the case, especially in rooms that usually aren’t much longer than 10 feet in any direction.

    Good call on the lens renting idea. I’ll have to check around for that.ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - January 14, 2013 - 9:44 PM

    Ok, last question and then I’ll stop bugging you guys today. With all the photos you take, have you invested in cloud storage for backup? If so, do you have any recommendations? I try to delete a lot of my junk pictures, but my hard drive is still filling up fast, and I know I am just one rambunctious toddler tantrum or spilled coffee away from losing it all.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 10:50 PM

    Jimmy, ha, bother as much as you need! Last year, we actually upgraded to an Apple Time Capsule. My laptop backs up several times a day to the Time Capsule, and I also have a smaller 500GB external drive that I use to back up my laptop (in addition).

    Technically, everything on my laptop is always on the external drive, and I’ve set up the Time Capsule to back up not only my laptop internal drive, but my external drive as well (when it’s connected to my laptop!). If anything happens to my laptop internal drive (knock on wood!), I’d have 2 other places that have backed up all my information and data.

    I swear this sounds more complicated than it is. If you use Apple products, the crew at any Apple store can break it down more simply!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 14, 2013 - 10:52 PM

    One more thing! I permanently delete the majority of photos I take, saving space on my laptop internal drive (so my external drive isn’t also backing up no-good photos).ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - January 15, 2013 - 9:36 AM

    YAY! Your studio is totally the (yes, I just said that) and deserves to be showcased to all. :)

    So happy for you, Kim!

    Shannon Loves Design
    Fabulously VintageReplyCancel