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At the end of this post, we were called out last week by Julia – one of our go-to text-ing ladies for home advice – when she said, evening shots on home blogs – a rarity. It feels so elusive and mysterious. Ah, touché, Julia.

This made us realize – well, she’s right! We’ve never shared snaps of our home at night. When sharing photos here, we’re all about the natural light – sometimes putting off photographing a finished project until the next day (or the day after) when the light is just right.  Chasing the light; that’s a big part of every finished post you’ve seen here.

But it’s funny, because it’s those moments at the end of the day, sans daylight – with Scott and the kids – that we feel the most relaxed and cozy in this home we’ve (so lovingly) tweaked. It’s at night when the lights are dim, when we catch up over dinner – and let’s face it, when there’s a big glass of wine involved, that we feel so at home. Over the last 5 years, we’ve upgraded almost every light fixture to a dimmer switch, and as the hours pass into the evening – as silly as this may seem – we’ve perfected the mood-light level in our home. At night, there are no harsh lights, colors seem to fade, and we focus on relaxing, re-charging.

Julia was right – we rarely get to see our favorite homes in the evening. So, we want to know. How do yours look? (Admittedly, it was a bit of a photographic challenge, too. But who needs daylight when you’ve got a tripod?)

And PS… don’t be fooled by the light from the window in the first photo. We have street lights directly outside; I suppose that comes with the territory in a second floor home, right?

  • Hannah K - March 28, 2013 - 7:37 AM

    That first shot looks just. so. cozy.

    I live on a corner, so we’ve got street lights outside, too, and a parking lot with lights across the street. We have acombo dining & living room – with an overhead (with dimmer!) in the dining room and two low-light lamps in the living room. Yep – we love mood lighting, too!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - March 28, 2013 - 8:36 AM

    Seriously, your kids are the cutest. I love them!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - March 28, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    Aw, yay! I feel like this is going to catch on. ;) Cozy. Cozy.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - March 28, 2013 - 8:53 AM

    P.s. How is your Loring sofa holding up? It doesn’t look to be becoming frumpy at all, but just wanted to check as were in the market for another sofa! :)


  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - March 28, 2013 - 9:15 AM

    VERY COOL! Such a different perspective…

    Question…How DID you achieve such nice photos at night? Just a tripod and slow shutter? We have a basement room that has no windows but needs a photo shoot – I keep putting it off because I don’t know HOW to shoot it…Any suggestions would be appreciated!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 28, 2013 - 9:42 AM

      Shannon, we are obsessed with our Loring sofa. It has some very light sagging in the middle of the cushions, but it’s only because Jack “licked” our cushions to the point of no return when we first adopted him – like, he literally licked the fabric so much, it separated from the cushion. It’s not that noticeable, and if we smooth our cushions at night, the wrinkly/sagging look goes away. In any case, we love the shape, and we like to think that if we ever have a home where we need a different sofa (bigger, for example), we’ll still keep this one! We’d ever upholster it again one day if we needed to. (Don’t you think it would be so pretty in blue?)

      Carrie, thanks! I took a few photos on the tripod from all the angles you see here, and for some of them, I had to shoot 2 photos from the same perspective – one long exposure for the foreground, and one (with a much faster shutter speed) for the light source. Then I merged the 2 in Photoshop and tweaked the levels until it was as true to life as possible! Not gonna lie, it’s not the easiest to shoot at night, but I kept at it until I was able to present the most accurate representation.ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - March 28, 2013 - 9:42 AM

    The majority of our pictures are taken in the evening, because that’s when I’m home. That’s why they always have glowing red eyes, because Badger especially is impossible to see in pictures with dim lighting. I’m with Carrie – how did you get your pictures to turn out so nicely?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 28, 2013 - 9:56 AM

    Rebelwerewolf, in addition to what I told Carrie (above), a lot of patience! I played with the images in Photoshop so it was as true to life as possible – and blending exposures.ReplyCancel

  • Meg @ Radical Possibility - March 28, 2013 - 10:26 AM

    These are gorgeous! All of my evening pictures are not nearly as serene :)

    We are also second-story dwellers with a street light right outside, and its become a nightlight of sorts for us. I think I’ll miss it if we ever move!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - March 28, 2013 - 10:30 AM

    These photos are beautiful. They feel so “real” and cozy, like a true peek into your lives. People should try this more often!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 28, 2013 - 10:44 AM

      Thanks, guys! The kiddos are really the stars of the show though. Show-offs.

      Meg, I know what you mean. There’s something very reassuring about having our own night light!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - March 28, 2013 - 1:44 PM

    Love the fluffies (my word for pets)!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @cuckoo4design - March 28, 2013 - 3:58 PM

    Another Julia here ;)
    Sounds like my kind of evening too.
    I love evenings, when the children are in bed and the cats creep out from under beds to snuggle on the couch with us, the candles are lit and a big glass of wine in hand.

    Your photos are very pretty and you guys obviously know what you are doing, because mine stink whenever I try to take them at night to capture the mood. ALways love all your photos.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 29, 2013 - 8:41 AM

      Thank you for the kind words, ladies!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - March 29, 2013 - 1:05 AM

    Having pets really cozy up a home! I can’t imagine a home without animals. Love your evening photos.ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle - March 29, 2013 - 7:46 AM

    The evening edition of your pad looks soooo relaxed and cozy. Julia was right to call the blog world out.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - March 29, 2013 - 7:46 AM

    Thanks for the photography tips!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication - March 29, 2013 - 2:31 PM

    I absolutely LOVE these night-time shots! I definitely need to work on my nighttime photography!ReplyCancel


After Kim’s mention of the status with the (Former) One yesterday, we were touched by your kind words through email, Twitter and comments. Thank you all! We try not to dwell on what wasn’t meant to be around here, so all of your encouragement has re-fueled our house hunt fire and kept us moving forward to find the Real One.

While we were convinced The One really was the one, we’ve (slowly) come to terms with the fact that there is a different home out there for us. This was a complicated sale with a lot of factors beyond our control, and no matter how hard we tried, things got to a point where we simply weren’t comfortable moving forward. We learned a lesson and have fully, totally, 100 percent, moved on.

Goodbye, original woodwork. See ya later, light-filled second floor studio space.

Adios, century-old tile entryway. We didn’t like you anyway, yellow dining room. (We will, however, miss you, apron sink. We had big plans for you.)


The best part about the Chicago real estate market is that every home has a lot of siblings. If this wasn’t the house for us, we’ll find a sunny brick two-flat, tree-lined street-residing, two-car garage-having, original tile-sporting, hundred-twenty-year-old, beautiful, perfect, twin of a house somewhere else. We’re up to the challenge and are working with a great team that’ll make it happen.

For now, we’ll be humming this tune – but maybe without all the drama.


  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - March 26, 2013 - 8:00 AM

    Ugh. Wow. It MUST have taken a lot to walk away from ALL THAT. It was/is gorgeous, but you’re right–there will be another one. Better!!! YEAH! I’m rooting for you guys.ReplyCancel

  • Jaimie - March 26, 2013 - 8:56 AM

    Man, I feel you. We are preparing to lease our first home so I can move closer to work (and knock the majority off my current 15 hour/week commute), and the realtor has already started sending me listings for a new place even though the earliest we can close on anything is not until July. And there have been some amazing little gems that popped up, and are now gone. The housing market in Austin is insane right now, so I try to view the listings as just inspiration for what we want to keep an eye out for when the time comes to seriously start looking.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 26, 2013 - 9:16 AM

      Julia, thank you!

      Jaimie, that has got to be very tempting and confusing! I don’t know if I could even look at places until it was time to actually GO. Good luck with everything!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom - March 26, 2013 - 9:38 AM

    Man, that’s tough, I’m sorry that happened. But, I’m sure you’ll find a place that’s even better and is really the ONE!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - March 27, 2013 - 12:53 AM

    If it made you feel uncomfortable to move forward, that’s a big sign that you made the right decision to walk away. I know in weeks or months later you will look back to this and think- yep, we did the right thing. Your real home awaits. Can’t wait to hear about it. It will be super awesome I promise.ReplyCancel

  • ann - March 27, 2013 - 6:37 AM

    Scott and Kim –
    As for your future home, I KNOW that the best is yet to come.
    I love the photos you posted from last weekend. We actually had a sunny day Saturday!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 27, 2013 - 9:09 AM

    Thanks, guys! Such a roller coaster, but we’re confident ours is waiting for us…ReplyCancel

  • ashley @ - March 27, 2013 - 6:39 PM

    This is Chicago! You’re totes right that you’ll find something better any day now! The city is filled with great neighborhoods and great homes with tons of charm that you can get your hands dirty on. So buck up Buttercups! It’ll be all good! :)ReplyCancel


The last handful of days have been weird ones – full of ups, downs, and in-betweens. It felt as though nothing actually went as planned, but we did our best to turn those lemons into lemonade (so they say). I’ll admit that while I was, at times, a bit of a Gloomy Gus, I bounced back just as quickly – as it seemed that most things were out of our control, so what’s the point of dwelling?

We did take a (too quick) trip to Cincinnati where we were able to spend time with Scott’s family and friends (good!), but we were derailed for a bit when our trusty wagon needed a trip to the car hospital (bad). While we had every intention of spending an afternoon at our favorite college-day haunts while in Cincinnati, those plans were nixed when our car went downhill (and in a ironic twist, this happened while we were driving up a hill when an axle went haywire. But it’s fixed now – good!).

Progress has been made on The One (sort of good?), but the so-called “progress” means that we have officially let it go – bad, yes, but we can finally just move on. There is some relief in that, so we’re ready to get back out there, dig in our heels and take that good with the bad – and make it really good again.

If that makes any sense.

Even though it’s been an exhausting few days (mentally, mostly), we are feeling optimistic about what’s to come. We have a dose of spring fever – it’s around the corner, right? (despite the snow storm we drove through to get back to Chicago) – and family time was perfect and necessary. This whole limbo-living nonsense won’t get the best of us, nope. Good things are coming; we can feel it.

How were your weekends? Who has snow?

PS… Our Joss & Main Curator’s Collection ends this morning at 10am EST – and if you’re not a member you can skip the line and sign up right here!

  • Jimmy - March 25, 2013 - 8:07 AM

    Sorry to hear you guys aren’t getting the house. Something better is surely in the works. Good luck.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K - March 25, 2013 - 8:34 AM

    So sorry to hear about The One – but it will make finding the Real One even better! So glad you guys are staying optimistic!!

    Loved, loved the Collection – the stuff was so you!

    We have snow in Erie (of course!) – just what I expect for a typical Spring day!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 25, 2013 - 8:36 AM

    Thanks, Jimmy. That has to be the reason, we think. There’s something else that was meant to be ours…ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 25, 2013 - 8:37 AM

    Hannah, thank you! You’re right! The “Real One” is waiting, and we’re ready to get it! We used to go to Erie a lot for hockey tournaments; yup, just another spring day with snow, right?!ReplyCancel

  • Kati from so happy home - March 25, 2013 - 9:57 AM

    Damn. I’m so sorry. And the car to boot? And it’s still winter even though it’s supposed to be spring? I’m glad you have each other, and your furry ones to get you through. Feel the grief, let it out, let it go, make room for something new. Isn’t that how it goes? I think you guys have earned a little merry-making, or some loud music, or some crazy dancing, or something. Rest assured that you WILL find your home. Until then, positive thoughts from my corner of the world to yours.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 25, 2013 - 12:13 PM

      Kati, thank you. There’s definitely crazy dancing and loud music in this home almost every night, so we’re trying to stay upbeat! Everything happens for a reason.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Young - March 25, 2013 - 11:37 AM

    At least there is closure…. there is nothing worse than waiting and wishing with no end in sight. Plus, as others have said, it will make it that much more exciting when you really do find THE one. Can’t wait to see what you end up with!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - March 25, 2013 - 12:17 PM

    Chin up buttercups! I know it’s a bummer but you won’t even remember that house when you find YOUR house and make it even more beautiful. Short sales are a real pain and can make home buying much harder than it needs to be. Happy hunting!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House - March 25, 2013 - 4:08 PM

    So sorry to hear about the house, the car, and the still-winter weather! I know your perfect house will come along, but the wait is never easy.

    Hope your Joss&Main collection went well!ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin - March 25, 2013 - 8:06 PM

    I’m with everyone above- we lost the first 3 places that we loved when we tried to buy in Chicago. But then our place came up on the market, we snapped it up, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else!
    Fingers crossed that the search is over for you guys soon!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Magic City Thistle - March 25, 2013 - 8:37 PM

    Buying a house really is a roller coaster! We lost our first 2, but ended up with the perfect place for us. I know your perfect place is just round the corner.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - March 26, 2013 - 10:04 AM

    Ooh, please add that second photo (blue sky, yellow bridge) to the Print Shop? Is it in Cincinnati?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - March 26, 2013 - 10:11 AM

    Hi Lindsey, yup, it’s in Cincinnati! I’ve added it to our Pinterest board to see if folks would like to see it in the Print Shop. So far, folks seem to like it! :)

  • Lindsey - March 26, 2013 - 10:15 AM

    Yay! I love the colors/composition and my boyfriend is from Cincy, so it would definitely find a great place in my home!ReplyCancel

  • blair @ design that inspires - March 27, 2013 - 8:55 AM

    I’m so sorry that the house didn’t work out, but I think the universe always has a funny way of making these things work. I’m sure you’ll end up with a house even more fabulous than that one, best of luck in your search!ReplyCancel