Chicago Interior Design

A vintage-inspired kitchen renovation

It’s been so long since we’ve blogged but this kitchen was just too good to not share some of the details that brought it all together. And some projects are just smooth and mostly easy and make you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. For us, it’s to create beautiful and inviting spaces that our clients are excited to come home to. From the first interaction with these clients we knew it would be one of those projects that was special and fun!

We met with the clients last Spring and fell in deep like with them almost immediately. From our conversation it was apparent that their home was one of those coveted gathering places you went to growing up. And their kitchen showed it, too. It was well-loved, well-used and with memories all around. A few being the details the clients wanted to keep – the butcher block counter top, the sweet custom-made wood cabinets and a wall of family photos from a hundred years plus. Denisa and I truly went heart-eyes with the thought of using these things in the redesign. Don’t get me wrong, we both love shiny sparkly new things but if there’s a vintage store in a twenty-mile radius we will know it’s hours of operation and will be first in line when the doors open. The thought of using these pieces automatically elevated anything we would do in terms of design - wins all around!

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First on our list was to lighten the space. This was not an open-concept kitchen (honestly a little refreshing.) That said, the space was on the dark side. Here’s a peek at their previous cabinetry.

We both loved the color but felt an off-white would brighten the space all around. For palette we looked around us. Their home which was mostly warm tones (reds, yellows, greens, and some blues) needed something complimentary. We chose blue for the island and brought in more warm tones with the yellow in the cement tile behind the range.

When we left our initial meeting, we both agreed that the space had this English cottage thing going on. With that in mind, we envisioned a farm sink with a bridge faucet. We love to play around with mixing metals when it makes sense. In this case, the effect of the polished nickel accents and brass hardware felt carefully curated rather than overly designed.


Circling back to the backsplash – not only did we choose to bring in color here with the cement tile but also our favorite Zellige from Clé Tile for some added texture. It’s classic and interesting and picks up light in all the right ways. PSA: Don’t be afraid of the variation of each tile - that’s where the beauty comes in. Truly.

Keeping with the English cottage theme, we chose a more rustic farm table from RH and chairs from Arhaus. You guys - they are so comfortable and there is actually a spring in the seat. Just think of how long you could sit there and play Settlers of Catan and drink wine. Just kidding - hour long strategy games should all be put in a pile and burned. Just kidding! (not really!) I digress.


Moving on to the built in cabinet on the side wall. A big request from our clients was the lack of thoughtful storage. That said, we needed this closet space but we also needed it to be more useful and more attractive. We wanted it to stay flush to the wall to keep with the flow of the room and also not compete with the other custom cabinets. If you can dream it, someone can build it! We had this pretty thing built flush to the wall to match the new cabinetry with pretty legs to boot.


Last but never least was the room styling. A thing that sometimes gets overlooked is what to do with your open shelving once your contractor and designer and everyone finishes the job. When you pay for beautiful shelving and then you don’t have anything on those shelves or those things are really sad things from your college apartment, the job isn’t really finished. But it’s one of our favorite parts of a job. We styled the shelves with a mix of new things and cool older things from our clients. We also reimagined their family photo wall (photos to come!)

The outcome, we think, is old meets new in the best possible way. We were able to maintain the charm of the space from the elements we were able to re-use but the updates create a light and inviting space that we hope will be loved for many, many more years to come!

Photos: Heidi Zeiger

Pink & gray forever: a sweet baby girl room


We're starting to wrap up so many projects nearing the year's end and it was so fun to put the finishing touches on this sweet little nursery this past weekend. What started as a blank (gray) slate was quickly transformed when we pitched the to-die-for wallpaper from Genevieve Gorder. Our client knew she wanted a statement wall, so a statement wall she got. We paired it with pinks for a sweet baby girl and our client actually found the perfect pink for the space –  Proposal by Benjamin Moore to be exact. 

The dresser was a refinished piece that we found at a local resale shop. We had it sprayed White Dove by Benjamin Moore and added this killer hardware from Anthropologie. It was a labor of love just to coordinate the transformation of that piece but to have a solid piece of furniture for about $500 beats anything you could get in a store this day and age. We were all beyond pleased with the uniqueness of this piece when all said and done. 

The XO's were an Etsy find and per our recommendation, our client had them printed and framed through Framebridge – couldn't have been easier. 


Many of the other pieces were Pottery Barn including the bedding, drapes (blackout), mirror and rug while the toy box/bookcases were our favorite kids storage solution from Land of Nod. Another favorite is the decorative ladder – a perfect solution for blanket storage which also adds some much needed height and texture to the space. 

We're so pleased with how the room turned out and what's better is our client never wants to leave it – a very good thing considering she's about to spend a whole lot of time in it ;)


Big brother gets a big boy room

Way, way back when I worked on the One Room Challenge for our baby-to-be (six weeks and counting!), I also worked on a little upgrade to Henry's room. It's been a little nuts around here and blogging has gone by the wayside somewhat but this room is just too fun not to share. Plus @lindseykay_photography came by to take photos and they are so bright and cheery that I had to show them off. 

Henry, now a big, bad three year old seemed a little cramped in his convertible crib. His changing table/dresser was taking up too much room and frankly, I had a vision for the space – truly never not updating our home. Since I am still into the wall color (Oystershell by Benjamin Moore) and quite a few of the other pieces in the room, the change was not huge but I love the results. 

First to go was the crib. I found this black metal bed on of all places. It was easy to assemble, sturdy and doesn't require a box spring. Win! I wanted to play up some of the black accents in the room and it works perfectly to bring it all together.

I had to find a use for the shibori pillow I brought home from HomeGoods so naturally I bought all new bedding. No surprise the sheets and quilt are from Target. I chose the mud cloth throw from @minimalist_shop as another nice black/white accent. I want it for myself but I'm a mom so I'm used to sacrifice (ha). Really though, this room is beginning to look nicer than my own. 

Is it just me or do you guys also beg, borrow or steal from other rooms in the house for furniture and decor? The nightstand is from our guest bedroom and the lamp from our living room. It looks great but then what happens in those other rooms? It's and endless rotation with one room always feeling a little left out.  

With the crib gone, I was left with this giant mostly empty wall. I'm nothing if I'm not a gallery wall aficionado so I threw together his random collection of art and voilà! The banner above his bed from @askyomother was just a no-brainer. The kid truly wakes up like he's going to Disneyworld. Every. Single. Day. It's perfectly Henry and I love it.

Since selling the old dresser, I had to hunt for a smaller piece that fit right under that window. I found this mid-century guy at a local resale shop and it was beat UP. Even I was skeptical that it could be salvaged but I stained the drawer fronts and painted the rest white and I think it turned out great. It's a perfect fit for the space and serves another great purpose of keeping my kid clothes shopping to a minimum. How do they get so many t-shirts anyway? 

Out went the shag Ikea rug and in came this lovely fringe guy from West Elm. Henry was truly excited about this purchase. He'd seen so many new things come for the baby room so when this showed up and it was for him it was like Christmas Day. For like one minute until he realized, meh, it's just a rug, guys. NBD.

The Land of Nod teepee has been around awhile but I still love it. I have visions of our boys hiding out in there reading books and playing together – I can't wait!

Add a cool, old storage trunk from my mother in law and update complete! Henry now has a room that feels more age-appropriate and leaves him with tons of space for pulling out all his books and tossing them to the floor (cry/smile emoji). But really, I'm proud of how it turned out. Henry's world is about to change SO much and we both wanted him to feel just as special as this new guy coming our way. This room now feels so perfectly him – bright, happy and cheerful. Thanks for stopping by to check it out!

One Room Challenge Week 6: Baby room reveal!

Hi guys! It's the final week of the One Room Challenge by Calling It Home and I'm happy to say I (we) made it out alive – with a new baby room, to boot! What's basically been a storage room for almost two years is now an actual functioning place in our home and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

Days (weeks!) would go by when we would truly forget this room existed. Our reminders came by way of not so subtle hints from the moms in our lives. Everyone was more interested in what we would do with that space than us. We were loving the family of three arrangement. It was fun! It was (mostly) easy! And then it just sort of happens, doesn't it? That feeling like, "what if?" It's scary to think how you'll love another little human as much as you do your first but given the joy Henry gives us (along with sheer frustration at times) you kind of get why everyone in the suburbs has like five (kind of). 

So here it is! Just like the rest of our home, a good mix of clean lines and modern but with a healthy amount of vintage and of course plant life to make it feel welcoming and warm. 

While the mint green is where the room design began (actually Lido Green by Benjamin Moore), the dresser/changing table was also a starting point. I once volunteered at a charity-run resale shop in my single days and of course I spent the majority of time picking out pieces to take home with me. I've been hoarding that mother ever since. 

With a wood tone dresser, I wanted a contrast for the crib so we went with this white, simple guy from Ikea. Word of advice to my former self... NEVER spend money on a fancy crib when your kid will probably just go all Bucky Beaver on it. I'm smarter now and a $99 crib will do just fine. 

The hanging pots are making everyone crazy that comes into the room. I feel like I might need to lock the door for fear they might disappear. Everyone is real into them. As am I. I purchased them on a whim at HomeGoods (the way everything is purchased at HomeGoods) having no idea where I would put them. If I had to think of something else for that wall now I couldn't. They're perfect.

I went with a simple gray geometric pattern for the crib sheet and the pillows are a mix of Goodwill, Minted Home and Target. Is it just our Goodwill that gets the overstock of Target? I will take that location to the grave. The modern quilt an is oldie but goodie from my mom. I love how perfect the colors are in the room. 

We swiped Henry's glider from his room (big boy room update coming soon!) and the table is from a new store to our area called Kirkland's. It's not really my aesthetic but I do enjoy this table which is sadly now discontinued. The striped chenille rug is from Land of Nod. Do they ever disappoint??

When the sun goes down, the lighting in this room is truly a challenge. There's no overhead lighting and as much as I wanted to do a chandelier or at least a flush mount, I also wanted this project to be easy. The brass floor lamp (Threshold) is sleek and adds some much needed metal to the room. To block light during the day, I installed a simple cordless Roman shade from Overstock which is blackout for maximum napping capacity.

The best part about styling a kid's room is that you don't really need any fancy accessories when you have toys. I love the color Henry's old toys bring to this room and this wall specifically. I also heart those knob wall hooks – functional and so cute. And that cardi? A gift from a friend that I can't wait to reuse this time around.

I showed off the wall hanging project last week but, isn't it just the best statement piece? This room would not be the same without it and it was such a fun project to collaborate on with my mom. Throw in a lidded boho basket for a hamper and a floor pillow and you've got yourself a pretty stylish lil' nursery! 

Thanks for following along all of these weeks. It's been so fun to see the space transform so quickly and I love that I have it all documented. Our home has been such an evolution since we moved in just under two years ago and I'm pleased to say all of the major interior stuff is complete! Every room in our house now has our stamp on it and it truly feels like home. 

Check out more exciting room reveals on the One Room Challenge link up. You won't be disappointed. Oh! And thank you @lindseykayphotography for making the room look extra cool <3

Shopping sources: Bookshelves / Wall hooks / Dresser (vintage) / Wall sconces / Wallhanging (mom) / Wire basket / Moses basket / Floor lamp / Rug / Glider / Side table (similar) / Crib / Sun pillowMoon print / Moon & teepee canvas / Hanging planters (HomeGoods) / Sheets / Floor pillow / Paint / Roman shade / Hamper (similar)