Our house was built in 1887, making our most recent baby 126-years-old. We absolutely love the romantic idea of fixing up our turn-of-the-century home (we often wonder about the house's first owners - what furniture they owned, what they wore and how they talked [all proper like, obviously]), and with every Demo Day came fun, new surprises. Lath - that f@&!-ing lath! - not being in the fun category. On the opposite end, you know that we uncovered this arch above the entryway (formerly …
  • Cait - September 16, 2013 - 8:48 AM

    I love the backstory you came up with! :)

    Oh gosh, I can’t imagine hanging drywall on the ceiling of a room that large! We (and by ‘we’ I mean Robert, his dad, and my dad) hung the bathroom ceiling, and that was more than enough for us!

    Hooray clean drywall!!ReplyCancel

  • Annie - September 16, 2013 - 10:32 AM

    If you really want to know who lived in your house, you can search the 1900 census records. They are online at Ancestry.com and require only a little bit of sleuthing to find your address on your district’s census maps. And Ancenstry.com has a free trial period. I started compiling a map of my neighborhood for the next block party with the 1940 records (most of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the 1930s).ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ Cuckoo4Design - September 16, 2013 - 10:39 AM

    I love little backstory to your house and I would totally do the same.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - September 16, 2013 - 10:50 AM

    I wonder if the family were prohibitionists or if they had a drink now and then, and how did they feel about Capone in their streets? Oh the stories if only walls could speak!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 16, 2013 - 10:50 AM

    Annie, great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 16, 2013 - 10:51 AM

    Whitney, I really hope they had a drink every now and then! ;)

    Maybe Capone was their friend?! Maybe he was in our house. Oh, man.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 park project - September 16, 2013 - 11:00 AM

    Oh my gosh, we seriously should compare notes! I love love love that our house is over 100 years old, but damn if you don’t find some interesting stuff going on!! We’ve uncovered so many things and just been like, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?! But that’s all part of the process, and part of the story. Can’t wait to tell our grandkids someday about this crazy adventure!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 16, 2013 - 11:09 AM

    I love your little backstory – I do the same thing. That is something that I love about older homes, that there were people there in a totally different time doing some of the exact same things as us in the same spots. Pretty cool when you think of it.
    I like that they had a chicken – maybe that’s the reason Capone liked to come over – to see the pet chicken in the house haha.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 16, 2013 - 11:12 AM

    Sarah, yes, one day we’ll look back and realize how crazy we were for taking it all on – but it’s been so much fun, too!

    Rachel, I know, it’s so creepy and cool at the same time. While we watch television, was the first family’s mom doing a needlepoint in the same spot – 100 years ago?! Ooh, the intrigue.ReplyCancel

  • Manda Wolf - September 16, 2013 - 4:18 PM

    That last picture brings back memories. The house maybe in shambles during a reno yet the sofa, tv, and remote are all accessible. *smiles*ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 16, 2013 - 4:34 PM

    Manda, you know it!ReplyCancel

  • katharina - September 17, 2013 - 7:35 AM

    you are troopers (and my secret renovation role models)!
    such a huge project!
    keep on going.
    xo KatharinaReplyCancel

  • Lucy - September 17, 2013 - 8:35 AM

    Love seeing the progress posts on your blog. In addition to going on ancestry.com, you can also go to your local town/city library (main branch) or local city hall and the records room would most likely have your drawings or blue prints of your original home. I know our local library’s librarian that works in the records room is always very helpful and willing to dig through the back room to see what else she can find.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 17, 2013 - 9:48 AM

    Lucy, another great idea!ReplyCancel

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A life changing - yes, really - thing happened in 2008. As a tiny birthday token, I painted for Scott a mini portrait of a pup, shared this with you (a whole year later), and then quietly (very quietly, shh), began taking word of mouth orders. These orders - mostly from friends and family - turned into reader requests, which, besides shocking my pants right off, turned into the official launch of The Pet Shop in 2010, 3 years ago today. We were in
  • Leslie Jehle - September 13, 2013 - 11:07 AM

    Can you please give me pricing information on portraits of my dogs ?ReplyCancel

  • Jill - September 13, 2013 - 12:51 PM

    I was telling Eric’s cousin on our vacay (her sister has a dog) about your biz, and she was totally interested in a Christmas purchase (just sent her the link to this deal)! YAY! CONGRATS ON THREE YEARS and a growing, beautiful business that’s all your own!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 13, 2013 - 5:41 PM

    Jill, thank you so much!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @cuckoo4design - September 16, 2013 - 10:33 AM

    Happy 3rd shop anniversary. I have to share this with my hubby’s cousin now who is a vet. She’ll love it.ReplyCancel

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Holy Jeez, do we hate cables. In the past we've done everything in our power to minimize and hide them. Although they're often necessary to connect one electronic gizmo to another, the previous tenants of this house took it to an entirely different level - but unlike mess you may see behind the television or under your desk, this time, it was outside our home. Specifically, seemingly miles of extraneous cables running along the side of our house. I know, right? This is what we were facing …
  • Aaron - September 11, 2013 - 8:09 AM

    Ugh… I feel your pain. The back of the Fire House looks just like that. I can’t wait for the day that I can clean it up. Huge change guys, looks great.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 11, 2013 - 8:39 AM

    What a difference that makes! Nice job tearing down all those wires. And I love those decks on the back of your home – I can only imagine what pretty things you will do to them :-)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 park project - September 11, 2013 - 8:50 AM

    Oh how I hate visible cables!! We have so many on our house too. We are actually considering going all in and trenching out a path to put the lines to our house under ground. Such an eye sore!ReplyCancel

  • Nathan - September 11, 2013 - 8:56 AM

    Oh my gosh, yes. I’m still going through this. There’s so much abandoned wire in my house! After tracing out lines of over 50 feet, I find that it’s not connected to anything on the other end. I think I’ve collected at least 200 feet of wire at this point, some of which was just stapled to joists in short 1 ft sections and left like some macabre electrical crucifixion.ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom - September 11, 2013 - 9:09 AM

    That is seriously a ton of cable, I would have wanted to tackle that right away too… the house looks so much better without it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 11, 2013 - 9:13 AM

    Thanks, guys! What a pain, right?

    Sarah, wow, that’s quite the undertaking! Kudos to you for taking on something that’ll make a huge difference.

    Nathan, too funny. Same thing here – I would help Scott by pulling the cables that were loose, and more often than not, they weren’t attached to anything. Nope, they were just hanging out… ALL OVER OUR HOUSE.ReplyCancel

  • Tina S. - September 11, 2013 - 9:35 AM

    Between this post and the last, you guys make me want to go out and start building my own house! This has been so much fun to read, watching you guys tackle all this work!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 11, 2013 - 9:43 AM

    Tina, building your own house might be easier ;)ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 11, 2013 - 10:48 AM

    Holy cables, Batman! You guys totally showed those cables who’s boss, though! Looks great!

    If you makes you feel any better, the back of our house near the outdoor shower has wires, cables, and pipes running all over it. We’re considering doing the same thing as Sarah. Or rather, redoing the buried line we ran to the shed out back, and having an electrician friend do that for the main wire in the front.ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - September 11, 2013 - 11:57 AM

    Hooray! What a great change!

    I’m intrigued by your plans to take down your deck thingy :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 11, 2013 - 12:17 PM

    Heather, we’re just as intrigued. We have ideas for days!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - September 11, 2013 - 11:50 PM

    Holy bajesus! Were they renters before? I just cant wrap my head around who would think that is ok to do! Looking good kiddos!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 12, 2013 - 8:59 AM

    Michelle, they were – and each of them had their own cable to every single room, times 100.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 12, 2013 - 4:57 PM

    That’s a crazy amount of cables! We don’t have that many, but the ones we do have go straight through the house like yours do. I’m convinced those holes are the source of the bugs we find in my daughter’s room on that side of the house. I’ve been putting off caulking the holes, but after seeing how big your project was, mine seems easy. :)ReplyCancel

  • Emma - September 16, 2013 - 9:56 PM

    Something tells me that an abstract art project can be created from these wires… :)ReplyCancel

  • James - October 19, 2016 - 8:57 PM

    Each time the place was rented they must have flipped from Direct TV to Dish… then cable TV. Every time the installed just ran new wire to eliminate any possible issue with the abandon cables. So you end up with a rats nest of cables because no one really cared.ReplyCancel

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Things we shouldn't do until our contractor completes the drywall repair - well, the drywall we've ripped out… but also the ceilings we've taken down and the floors we've ripped up: Nail anything into the walls. Our home will still be shifting (ever-so-slightly) until they complete the support beam installation. This means that any built-in ideas we have are off the books for now. Unpack the fun stuff. We have bags of pillows, boxes of vases and candles and
  • Julia @ cuckoo4design - September 9, 2013 - 6:54 AM

    I hate patching walls LOL!
    Love the colors you picked.ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - September 9, 2013 - 8:29 AM

    At first I thought “You’re crazy for sanding your walls!” Then I realized that is exactly something we would do and that’s why we’re friends :)

    It’s crazy how much time the prep takes, but it will all be worth it when you can unpaint and unpack some of those boxes! I’m living a bit of that dream!

    Charcoal front door + charcoal coat closet = not too much. In fact, it might be nice to have a little repetition in that area.ReplyCancel

  • K - September 9, 2013 - 8:52 AM

    Omg what a huge undertaking! How are the pets handling all the dust? I have to say, your color palate and all the other soft neutrals I’ve been seeing around have me itching to repaint. We went bold 5 years ago when we bought our house and I think I’m over it. Such a lot of work though! Maybe I’ll live vicariously for now!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 9, 2013 - 10:08 AM

    Thanks, Julia!

    Heather, thanks for the input! We’re leaning more and more towards 2 dark doors, so we appreciate it. And yes, we are totally crazy, but at least it’s ONLY the first floor, ha!

    K, are you kidding? They love it! They love rolling in it and discovering all the new nooks we’ve uncovered for them. As for the paint colors, we went bold in our condo when we first moved in, then slowly toned them down, room by room, over the course of 5 years. Styles change, it’s all good – and it’s just paint! You can do it!ReplyCancel

  • Kayla @ Home Coming blog - September 9, 2013 - 10:57 AM

    Some of the walls in our house have a terrible texture too! The previous owners decided to DIY some things when they probably shouldn’t have… There have been a LOT of things we’ve needed to fix.

    Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 10, 2013 - 12:28 PM

    Love the colors you picked! And for the record, I don’t think a charcoal front door and closet door would be too much! Maybe you’re channeling your inner Manhattan Nest?

    Front doors. You know I have a lot to say on the subject. ;) I’m pretty much IN LOVE with our door (a Craftsman 6-lite) even though I haven’t blogged about it… It does come standard with the whole frame, which should make that process easier. I think it would look nice with the style of your house, and with the entry way door you picked.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 10, 2013 - 3:38 PM

      Thanks, Cait! I AM channeling my inner MN! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - September 12, 2013 - 9:07 AM

    Our living room is pensive sky as well, great color that has been really versatile as I move stuff around all the time.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 12, 2013 - 9:25 AM

    Hey Kathryn, I just checked out your home tour and looked around your living room. LOVE the color in there, so it makes us that much happier that we landed on Pensive Sky. Funny how much more gray it looks in your room, whereas in our home, it leans more blue. Although, I guess we’ll see once we REALLY get it up!ReplyCancel

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Every now and then in a rare Chicago moment, you'll find something at an unexpected yard sale that is a steal. We often say that Windy City peeps are too smart for their britches, and landing a deal on a piece of furniture is like finding that needle in a haystack (or finding that ever-elusive 5 panel door). Most things are sold at a premium, and typing the words "mid-century modern" or "danish" into the Craigslist bar is no different price-wise than …
  • Hannah K. - September 5, 2013 - 8:15 AM

    LOVE! I am trying to find a good second hand store in this neck of the woods that carries good furniture! What a great find!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - September 5, 2013 - 8:38 AM

    Good find! Love the pulls.

    I can’t remember if I blogged about it or not, but we bought a 3 piece bedroom set off of craigslist a few years ago, and later after doing some research found that it was worth a lot more, it was also american of martinsville. The piece that we use for our media stand is probably the most expensive piece of furniture that we own in terms of value, but thanks to craigslist we hardly paid anything for it.

    http://five2eight.blogspot.com/2009/10/furniture-find-modified.htmlReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - September 5, 2013 - 8:58 AM

    What a cute find! I love the new knobs.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 5, 2013 - 9:18 AM

    Katie, your media stand is awesome! Just like you, I think my favorite part is the pulls – so, so good.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - September 5, 2013 - 9:24 AM

    ooh! nice find. those pulls look really great, too.ReplyCancel

  • Laura at Rather Square - September 5, 2013 - 10:09 AM

    Wow, that is such a cool find. Aren’t you glad you dug through the mountains of furniture to find it? And I love how you cleaned it up, and that inlay! We have found some interesting things in our back alley that are worth a little something (especially since we got them for free), but we still have to freshen them up before we can use them.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 5, 2013 - 10:30 AM

    The end table looks fantastic! Great choice on the hardware!

    I totally know what you mean about getting antsy about the contractors not kicking things off yet! Our contractors dry-walled half the bathroom, but have now had to take 2 days off. I’m trying to be understanding, but mostly I’m getting nervous. Chocolate (and bourbon) helps.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 5, 2013 - 10:35 AM

    Laura, NOTHING beats a free alley find! We have a dresser that’s waiting for some love…

    Cait, is it bad that desserts and drinks help so much? ;)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble Abode - September 5, 2013 - 11:16 AM

    Total steal! Adorable little table and you’re 100% right. Those pulls MAKE it. I’m adding Feed N Wax to my Home Depot run, too. Seems like magic.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 5, 2013 - 1:03 PM

    Probably a little bad? But I don’t care, because of all the drinks and chocolate!

    Also, I just remembered that I need to do a little bit of refreshing on some mid century nightstands that my mom rescued from her neighbor’s trash for me… BUT THERE ARE BATHROOM FIXTURES IN THE WAY.ReplyCancel

  • K - September 5, 2013 - 1:15 PM

    Great find! It’s always so refreshing to see before and afters that aren’t just painted wood!

    As a side note, I’ve been loving your posts about your new house. Such a huge undertaking!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - September 5, 2013 - 2:25 PM

    Get out of my head! My husband and I just moved into a condo in Roscoe Village, and are refurnishing. I’m wanting mid century pieces and so I scour craigslist but everything is priced the same as new pieces and so it is hard to get my husband on board with the idea of second hand. I guess I’m glad to hear those prices are just the nature of Chicago!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 5, 2013 - 2:52 PM

      Amber, hang in there! You’ll find something when you least expect it!ReplyCancel

  • stephanie @Babasouk - September 5, 2013 - 4:22 PM

    Stunning guys! You are so crafty….and courageous! :)ReplyCancel

  • ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com - September 6, 2013 - 11:13 AM

    Cute table! How big is it? I feel like sometimes great pieces like that do not match the height of more modern furniture. I’d be interested in seeing how you use it in a living room or something…but love it and it looks 10x’s better all freshened up.

    ps. totes right about not being able to land a great bargain in the city! even thrift stores like howard brown are pricey! great find!

    -ashleyReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 9, 2013 - 6:46 PM

      Ashley, it’s pretty big! The biggest end table we’ve ever had…ReplyCancel

  • Jill - September 9, 2013 - 2:33 PM

    this comment is anything but original. oh wellll, LOVE IT! :)ReplyCancel

  • […] what a little TLC and wood treatment supplies can do to refresh a wood table, via Yellow Brick […]ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie - September 16, 2013 - 4:12 PM

    You find the BEST stuff, seriously.ReplyCancel

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