I would like to think this fabulous idea of telling you all (finally) about how and why I (and we) chose my (and our) house was all mine. But, alas, that honor goes to the very fabulous and talented Jennifer at Town and Country Living.
And you can read all about why Jennifer chose her historic home here …
This week she’s organized a bunch of us bloggers to share the tales of how and why we fell in love with our homes. You can find links at the end of the post.
So, on to my story …
Now, many of you who stop by regularly have heard me moan and bemoan about my Chicago home. It’s old. It’s creaky. It’s drafty …
and, it’s (technically) a tear-down in my now very gentrified Lakeview neighborhood. So I’ve been reluctant to make any large investments. Lately, it’s been a lipstick on a pig situation.
But it wasn’t always so. There was a time when I swooned over this house!
I was going to correct the headline to include a “we” and “our” because Mike did play a role too. But then I remembered that … technically … I really did choose this house!
Well, at first that is.
Mike was on a business trip when the realtor called insisting she found our first home. So I rushed over (alone) after work to take a look.
It was love at first sight.
Not to mention love at first neighborhood.
I fell in love with the tree lined street. I fell in love with the cast iron fence. I fell in love with the refurbished Victorian right next door. And the house next to that? Yeah, I fell in love with their white picket fence.
As far as I was concerned, it wasn’t just a house I was buying. I was buying the entire block and the entire neighborhood.
And after 25 years (we originally had a 5-7 year plan) I’m still in love with the neighborhood. The block. And (most) of my neighbors. 😉
Shall we step inside?
The interior looks nothing like the house we bought.
And detail wise.
In the entry we embarked on our first big DIY experiment: installing faux board and batten molding.
In our space-challenged home, it offered up a great storage solution for the kids coats and backpacks.
Okay, they still threw them on the floor. But at least mom now had hooks to pick them up and hang them on!
And we liked the board and batten look so much …
we installed it in the living room too!
The big windows are nice for letting in light, but we’ve never been a fan of casement windows.
Ah well. Twenty-five years later and we’re still living with them!
This is the space I call my office (since I don’t have a space to call an office). It’s where the proverbial magic happens!
Oh, and that side table is usually piled high with notes and papers and cans of diet Coke!
Did I mention we liked board and batten? Yup. We installed it in the dining room too!
Our house is a railroad set up which means the rooms are stacked back to back. So the dining room is probably the least used but most visited space in our place!
And through that French door is the family room we added on when I found out I was pregnant with #2. I don’t have pictures to share today because my son (who was two-years-old when we built that addition) came home from college and set up his electronics back there! 🙂
Here’s the view from the dining room through to the living room …
But what really sold us on this house …
what really made us realize we needed to live here …
was the screen porch out back.
This is actually our second screen porch. We had to tear down the original and build new for that family room addition.
Thank you so much for visiting my home! And be sure to check out my blogging friends to learn why they chose their homes …
Town and Country Living / Designthusiasm / StoneGable
The Happy Housie / The Wicker House / Sincerely Marie Designs
It All Started with Paint / Maison de Cinq / Jennifer Rizzo
Worthing Court / The Happy Housie Cabin / Duke Manor Farm
Jan Fusco says
You’re home is charming!
Thank you! 🙂
I love your house! I possibly have walked past it at some point as my daughter did the typical young adult trek through Wrigleyville and Lakeview before buying a Lincoln Park condo last year. There is something about those old Chicago homes! I found myself smiling and nodding my head as you described your dining room and screen porch – love it all! And it holds 25 years of memories and happiness!
Yes, the memories are the very best part of the house! 🙂 Linda
As with anything “older”, time ages its usefulness but never its romance! When looking at an older home. ..location is prime, next is the lay of the land & how much of it is useable. And finally the “bones” – then you have the beginnings of the structure of financial indebtedness will ensue. Of course, it’s always easier & less expensive to build and oftentimes to re-build. Depending heavily on town ordinances and if the property has historical consequences.
….It appears to me that you’ve chosen what changes to make according to your personal preferences over most functionfu ones, which is fine! But as you’ve learned by living in it, there was a price to pay, ie ” lipstick on a pig”. You made me smile. ….Because you’ve chosen according to your heart and its lovely, quirks & all. !! All those years there, such a blessing really. All that family love, well.. it doesn’t get much better than that, eh! I see no pig, no lipstick, no quirks; instead, I see a home. Now that is a noble feat. Much love to you, your family, your home.
Amanda Marie says
I absolutely adore your home! From the charming exterior to the beautiful interior, it’s such a gem. I’m completely envious of your screened in porch. That’s something we would love to add onto our home. You’ve total inspired me!
Thank you so much! And the screen porch is one of the best parts of our home!!! 🙂
Michelle Churchman says
Your home is very attractive. Really light and airy! I may have to do a post like this one day.
I would love to hear the story of how you chose your home! 🙂
Jennifer @ Town and Country Living says
Linda – I would hardly call your home lipstick on a pig!! LOL. I’ve always loved your home. Sometimes when I walk around Chicago neighborhoods I wonder what it would be like to live there. I’ve never lived in the city. Thanks for sharing more of the layout of your home. I’ve never heard about the railroad set-up so that was interesting. You know, one of my favorite Christmas posts was yours about the time you went to the bar with all those ornaments hanging from the ceiling. I have to see that sometime in my life!
I so enjoyed this post! Love what you did with your lovely home, and especially love your writing style… 🙂
Thank you so much!!!
Fred Janning says
Hey ! I wish I had you for a neighbor…I would come hang out on your porch. It looks fabulous. Hope you are doing well….you made a good choice even after all these years.
I would love to share a glass of wine with you on the porch, my friend! 🙂
What a beautiful old home! We don’t have many homes here with such fabulous character. I think it’s amazing that you’ve lived there for 25 years- we’ve never stayed anywhere longer than 7 years. Eek! But it is awesome for your kids to be able to come home to the house they were raised in. Loved your story!
Julie Briones says
So much inspiration, Linda! I love getting ideas from other ‘small’ homes! Love your faux board and batten, and all your light and airy touches! We are thrilled that you linked-up at Tuesday Turn About! (Be sure to visit this Tuesday! ;-))
Love, love, LOVE that screened in porch and how you’ve decorated it. Older homes are charming but come with their own set of challenges, don’t they? But you’ve handled them well and your home is lovely. Adding board and batten is a wonderful element and works great with old walls. We’ve done something similar in our home with beadboard instead… it’s a great fix!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Hi Linda! You home is just darling and lovely and beautiful! I can understand why you fell in love with it and the neighborhood! The board and batten makes your home look so fresh. And I love that you told us your son was home from college. How absolutely sweet! Cherish those precious few years! What a gem of a home you have! Thanks for letting us see a little of your life and home.
Linda, your home is gorgeous, including all the board and batten. Everything looks so fresh and light and welcoming. What memories the home must hold. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! 🙂
Hi Linda! Thank you for sharing your link at Handmade and Otherwise this week! Unfortunately we ran into an error with our link party and have to re-start it. If you wouldn’t mind sharing your link again we would really appreciate it. Have a great weekend!
Love what you did with your house, Linda! The paneling adds so much wonderful character. It’s so fun to remember why we loved our homes in the first place! 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peek inside!