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Who We Are

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We’re a husband and wife duo from Chicago, living, working, and playing amidst the hustle and bustle. In 2006, we took a breath and a leap, and we packed a one-way moving van from Cincinnati to the Windy City. We craved change; we were ready.

In 2007, we purchased our first home together – a teeny, tiny condo on the second floor of a yellow brick corner building (all 675 square feet of it!), hence the name of this blog. Over the course of 6 years, we DIY-ed our way through each and every room – sometimes twice! (Guilty.) After convincing ourselves we wouldn’t stay in Chicago forever, we spent each wedding anniversary traveling from city to city, in search of our next big adventure. The verdict? First time was a charm; we hit the jackpot with Chicago. This city is our home.

Fast forward to the summer of 2013; we said goodbye to the second floor walk-up that found us falling in love with Chicago, and we purchased a fixer upper of a houseright down the street. It’s been our dream to nurse an old home back to life, and now, well, you can say that we’re finally doing it!

Here, you’ll find us giddy over power tools (Scott), cupcakes (me), flea markets and spray paint (both!) – and over sharing snaps of our four fluffy kiddos, Jack, CC, Maddie and Libby. We’ll talk about our home’s renovation journey, share our travels, art, photography and – from time to time – dish about the random that makes us tick.

While Scott spends his days in shiny shoes and stripey ties, you’ll find me in our home studio, where I run our two online stores: The Pet Shop and The Print Shop. On any given day, I’m painting your pets, printing photographs (both jobs that were born from this blog), tweaking our home (I’m a continual fuss-er) and keeping this corner of the web cozy. You inspire us more than you’ll ever know, and from the bottom of hearts, we thank you for reading!

You can find out more about us in these reader Q & As: one, two, three, four.

The Pet Shop unofficially launched in 2008, after gifting Scott a handmade mini portrait for his birthday. I was thrilled (albeit, shocked) when I began receiving word of mouth orders – from friends’ cats to my childhood dog, I painted countless teeny paws and wet noses. Simply put, you all have big mouths, and we love you for that. It’s still humbling to know that a handful of requests quickly escalated to hundreds in a handful of short years. Your support has been nothing short of amazing.

Our four fuzzy kids – our loves, inspiration and cuddle bugs – picked us. Each one lived a former life in a shelter, and they all have a story to tell. (Oh, wouldn’t we love to know?) They’ve easily taken over our hearts, and now, we’re reaching out for them. For every sale in The Pet Shop, 10% of our proceeds are happily given back to our loyal companions by way of nonprofit animal rescues.

What began as an offbeat gift giving solution for the animal lovers in our lives has evolved into creating one-of-a-kind portraits for all – while treating our wet nosed buddies along the way.

The Print Shop was kicked off in March 2013, a place where we share the view from our lens as fine art giclée prints. As a result of sharing our photography on this platform, reader requests for prints became all the encouragement we needed to get those files out of dusty archives and onto your walls. (Again, have we told you how much you rock?)

Most photography in The Print Shop was taken during our yearly travels, a tradition that started as we set out to explore at least one new city every year. Of course, you’ll also see snaps taken around our own gorgeous hometown of Chicago, too.

Whether you’re looking to add art to your home via Pets or Prints, our goal is easy: we want to bring you joy, and we want you to have personal, cheerful art into your home to do just that.

We hope that you find our virtual home an inspiring place to gather ideas, and we enjoy sharing with you; after all, you inspire us, too. We ask that if you reference Yellow Brick Home using our photos or articles that you credit them with the original link to the post. All the photography on our site has been taken by us unless otherwise stated.

Yellow Brick Home encourages discussion, but we reserve the right to monitor all incoming comments. Over-the-top offensive feedback, spam and self-promotional spam are subject to deletion, as we want to nurture a place that keeps things fun, light and lively. We will never, ever share your information, as your privacy is important to us. In the case that you’ve entered and won a sponsored giveaway, we will first ask your permission to provide said sponsor with a contact email and mailing address (if necessary).

This blog was created using the ProPhoto theme, with a layout designed by us. Our logo is the brain child dreamed up by our talented friend, Chris, of Halverson Creative.

  • Vanessa - January 14, 2010 - 1:04 PM

    hey just saw your house tour on apartment therapy! love your blog! my bf and i just moved into our first rental apartment here in Chicago, and we also started a blog about co-habitation, design and regular life ridiculousness.

    I love the look of your blog, did you guys design it yourself? I am in the midst of purchasing our domain, but I would like some style tips if you have a moment!

    Cheers!
    VanessaReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 14, 2010 - 6:09 PM

      Hi Vanessa, thank you for the kind words! Just checked out your blog: that tub is too cute. Are you new to Chicago? If so, welcome! You’ll have a blast.

      In response to the blog, our good friend and neighbor, Chris, whipped up the design concept using a photograph I took of our pup. He’s the brain power behind Halverson Creative, and he comes highly recommended! If you’re interested, you should shoot him an email and let him know what you have in mind. Another tip: we use the ProPhoto blog template, and it’s easy to use, foolproof, and totally customizable. Once you’ve purchased your domain and settled on a web host provider (props to bluehost.com), I’d suggest looking into ProPhoto.

      Whew. Hope that information helps!ReplyCancel

  • jodi - February 11, 2010 - 1:14 PM

    love your blog! so glad i stumbled across it this morning.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 11, 2010 - 1:48 PM

      Thanks, Jodi! Glad you stumbled across, too. I’m currently enjoying your snowy day photos of New York! (And your pup is too cute.)ReplyCancel

  • Ann Marie - March 25, 2010 - 3:32 PM

    I’m always looking for good home/DIY blogs – and you’re not too far from me. It was either suburbs or city for us and our jobs led us to the suburbs – guess I’ll live vicariously through your blog! Glad I found you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 25, 2010 - 6:58 PM

      Hi Ann Marie, glad you found us, too! I’m having some fun scrolling through your blog as well…ReplyCancel

  • Kat - April 9, 2010 - 2:34 PM

    Beautiful home and blog! (Found your tour on Apartment Therapy.) I apologize if you’ve mentioned this somewhere else on the site, but what camera(s) do you use to take the photos?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 9, 2010 - 3:05 PM

      Hi Kat,

      Thank you for stopping by! As for the photos, I go between a Nikon D80 and D200 DSLR. My favorite lenses are my 50mm and 20mm, but for wide shots, I use a 12-24mm. All my settings are done on manual, which can sometimes mean I end up using a tripod to allow enough light into the shots.

      Hope this helps!
      KimReplyCancel

  • Kat - April 12, 2010 - 1:36 PM

    Kim, Thank you for the camera details! I’ve been looking at the NIkon D80. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cherise - May 23, 2010 - 8:52 AM

    Hey Kim and Scott,

    Found your house tour on ApartmentTherapy. I’m not often compelled to write based on a house tour alone, but my husband and I are currently renovating the 660 sq. ft. South Loop condo we bought in September. I was thoroughly impressed by what you’ve accomplished with your small space, and delighted to discover your thoughtful, well-written blog.

    By the way, you mentioned your favorite brunch spot–what is it? Wishbone is ours.

    Cheers,
    CheriseReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 23, 2010 - 11:07 AM

      Hi Cherise,

      Can you believe we’ve never tried Wishbone? After a handful of recommendations, I think it’s about time we did! Our favorite brunch spot, Vella Cafe, is now gone. But all is not lost – it was replaced by a delicious Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, Belly Shack. For now, we frequent other ‘hood spots such as Cozy Corner, Dunlay’s on the Square, and Treat – all wonderful!

      Thank you for the kind words, and good luck making your South Loop condo your own! I’m sure with your beautiful views, it should be easy breezy! We’d love to see photos.

      K&SReplyCancel

  • Cherise - June 2, 2010 - 7:35 AM

    Hey Kim,

    Thanks for the response!

    Our place is coming along nicely, and we’ll have photos soon. We’re waiting for some stuff that’s been backordered as well as some new artwork.

    We also love Belly Shack! The service is a little spotty, but the food is ever so tasty.

    I love your blog–I can’t say it enough. Keep it up!

    CheriseReplyCancel

  • Sylvia O'Hagan - July 19, 2010 - 3:09 PM

    Hi!

    I work on the Olympic Paint account for Ketchum PR and was psyched to see your mentions / links to Olympic Paint on Stefanie’s ‘Brooklyn Limestone’ blog!

    Thanks for using Olympic!

    All the best,
    Sylvia O’Hagan
    Ketchum PRReplyCancel

  • Alana - March 29, 2011 - 8:45 PM

    I’m new to the blogging world…just stumbled on your blog today. I just purchased my first home in Fort Mitchell, Ky, near the Cincinnati area. I keep seeing you talk about an antique store in Cincinnati. I just relocated from Lexington…do you have any of your favorite stops for antiques/decorating in Cincinnati you could send my way?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 29, 2011 - 9:39 PM

      Hi Alana,

      Thank you for contacting us! The antique shop you may have heard us mention is called Master Pieces – 2 words. It’s owned by Scott’s aunt and uncle, and there are some pretty neat things there. On weekends, we love to go to Peddler’s Flea Market located on Kellogg Avenue on the east end of town. Once the weather warms up, that place can be pretty hoppin’ – but get there early to spot the deals!

      Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Sarai McDowell - June 30, 2011 - 10:05 AM

    Ok so I just fell upon your site through pinterest and its nice to know my husband and I aren’t the only pet-obsessed people! I love your website and you two are just so cute!
    This site is not only inspirational but very sweet and I am definitely a follower starting…NOW!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 1, 2011 - 12:02 PM

      Thank you, Sarai! Glad to have you!ReplyCancel

  • [...] fabulous Kim and Scott are taking some much-needed time off, and I was tickled pink when they asked me to contribute a [...]ReplyCancel

  • Clever DIY Curtain Ties - August 24, 2011 - 9:04 AM

    [...] iron hooks…now this is rather clever!  The lovely Miss Kim and Mr. Scott have a quick little tutorial on making your own tie backs with cast iron hardware in the Kingdom of [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] so pretty and cheerful, doesn’t it? Well, it was calling my name. Kim found it via That’s Church, who in turn found it on Tall Tales. But believe it or not, the [...]ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - June 17, 2012 - 10:52 AM

    Hi Kim! I just discovered your blog this morning and I absolutely love it! My dream is to live in a city in a tiny apartment that I can make homey and when I heard you have done just that, I had to check out the pictures. I love your apartment (very original!), and especially the bold colored walls paired with some clean cut accessories. Thanks for all your great tips…I will defiantly be back to your adorable blog! :)

    ~SierraReplyCancel

  • Kim - June 18, 2012 - 10:18 AM

    Aw, hi, Sierra! Thank you for the sweet words! So glad to “meet” you!ReplyCancel

  • Izzy Mackey - September 28, 2012 - 2:12 AM

    Hey Kim & Scott,

    I was wondering if you are currently accepting any guess post? If so I’d like to run some article ideas by you before writing them.

    Thank you,
    Izzy Mackey.ReplyCancel

  • Helen - November 29, 2012 - 3:15 PM

    Feeling warm and fuzzy reading your story. I discovered your site through your house tour on Apartment Therapy. Your love for animals instantly made me want to read more (and it shows all over your design). Actually, your pit mix Jack is the real reason I am writing this(Hi Jack!) I find people that have true love for pit or pit mixes to be the most open-minded and gentle people I know. I wanted to say thank you for rescuing and taking a chance on pits, I am a new fan of your blog and look forward to new posts. Thank you and happy holidays to all your four-legged kids.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2012 - 8:46 PM

      Helen, you are so sweet! This comment left us feeling warm and fuzzy. Not only are we thrilled we have Jack in our home, but we couldn’t be more in love with his 2 feline sisters as well. Glad to have you along!ReplyCancel

  • tahsin - February 25, 2013 - 3:26 PM

    hi!
    i just spent a good hour on your site.
    so much fun stuff here. i have this slightly strange obsession with dinos too! every time i’m in a dollar store or thrift store i find myself looking for more. anyway, love your diy’s, your style and your blog. cozy corner of the web indeed. :)
    tahsinReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 25, 2013 - 5:34 PM

      Tahsin, thank you! Us + dinos. Glad you get it :)ReplyCancel

  • Heather - April 7, 2013 - 1:27 PM

    Hi there! I’m from Cincinnati and now live in Chicago too (three years now)! I just wanted to say that I love everything about your site, and the photos of Cincy and Chicago make me oh so very happy! Keep inspiring!

    -HeatherReplyCancel

  • Kim - April 7, 2013 - 3:26 PM

    Heather, thank you so much! We’re so happy you found us – it seems as though we’ll have a lot in common ;)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - June 11, 2013 - 4:17 PM

    I just came across your blog and think you two are the cutest! I also live in Chicago and know how precious the real estate can be :) Your home looks adorable and you’ve done great things with your space.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - June 11, 2013 - 4:55 PM

    Ashley, thank you! The same could be said about you!ReplyCancel

  • David McCreary - June 27, 2013 - 12:19 PM

    Hello!

    I’d like to send an invitation to you two for an event we’re hosting.

    Thanks,
    DavidReplyCancel

  • Katharina - July 27, 2013 - 2:07 AM

    Hello,

    I just found your blog and I really feel inspired!
    At this moment I’m in the middle of a major renovation project of a tiny house. so your blog seems like a much needed vision of a dust- and rumblefree home!
    glad I found you!

    from vienna with love,
    K

    PS: your pitbull looks really a lot like ours! have a look at Gustav!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2013 - 9:54 AM

      Katharina, so happy you found us! And yay for Pitties! Off to check out your blog…ReplyCancel

  • Renee - January 7, 2014 - 12:34 PM

    Ahh to think back to the day I sat on your couch sipping a glass of wine, begging you to create a blog! And I mean really beg! Can’t believe how it has transformed your life. Miss Vargo you can always count on me to give you a nudge here and there. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 7, 2014 - 1:17 PM

      Yes, Scott and I always give you the credit! You challenged us :)ReplyCancel

  • Chee - May 19, 2014 - 11:08 PM

    Your blog was featured on page 46 of Inside Out, an Australian home decor magazine. Neat that you guys are love Chicago. I too traveled to different city only to come back to Chicago as home.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 20, 2014 - 9:25 AM

      It’s the best city! So happy you found us via Inside Out!ReplyCancel

  • […] of DIY and inspiration posts that bloom from home renovations and decorating. (More on the couple here.) I could break down every aspect of their blog that I love (like their first Chicago home and […]ReplyCancel

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