Virtual House Tour: The Inside

I would have really liked to post this before moving day, but it’s better late than never I suppose: welcome to the long-overdue second installment of the virtual house tour, featuring the inside of the new house. (In case you missed it, the first installment looked at the outside of the house and yard, and can be found here.)

All of the images in this post were taken shortly after closing, before we did the painting and the floors. But first, here’s a quick floorplan that should hopefully make everything clearer:

The layout of our Chicago bungalow -- main level floorplan.
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The image above should be reasonably accurate, and it shows the general layout of the main level of the house: the living room spans the entire width of the house, and looks out on the front yard and street. From there, the kitchen and dining room take up one side, and two roughly equally-sized bedrooms, as well as the bathroom, take up the other.

The living room.

The above photo shows the living room, which has almost an entire wall made up of windows. A radiator sits beneath the windows (the house is heated by an old-fashioned boiler instead of a forced-air heating system) and a fireplace surrounded by glass-doored bookshelves takes up most of the far wall.

Closer view of the fireplace.

Unfortunately, the fireplace is purely decorative — it has no chimney, and according to the previous owner, it never did. This is a pity, since a functional fireplace would be wonderfully cozy during our long Chicago winters, and I have to wonder how feasible it would be to convert it at some point down the road.

Oh, and those two mysterious little stained glass windows I mentioned in the outside portion of the virtual house tour are on this fireplace wall — I think one would be roughly above each of the bookshelves if the wall hadn’t been put in over them.

The other side of the living room.

Looking back at the other side of the room, you can see the short stairway that leads down to the front door, and past it, the dining room. And yes, this is what the walls looked like before we got around to painting, with visible dust and grime leftover from behind the previous owners’ furniture and picture frames. Yikes!

Moving along, the dining room features another radiator, a fancy light fixture, and in the corner, behind what looks like a closet door, a fairly steep and narrow stairway to the attic:

The dining room.

I should mention that this light fixture is on the low side, and without a table beneath it yet, Joe is tall enough that he’s rammed his head into it on several occasions already.

Looking back at the other side of the dining room, you can see the mirrored door to a coat closet on the way to the living room:

The other side of the dining room.

Moving on to the bathroom (which I’ve already mentioned briefly here), it’s pretty plain and unremarkable — white tile, white tub, white sink, and white toilet:

The bathroom.

The bathroom walls are a pale sandy color, although we recently realized that they’re covered in wallpaper that was never removed, just painted over. So taking that down is likely to be a project for some point down the road.

The two small bedrooms are pretty similar in size and appearance, and it may even be a bit hard to tell them apart in photos. This first shot shows the bedroom closer to the front of the house:

The front bedroom.

It has a small closet with a mirrored door, as well as another radiator. When standing over by the closet, this is the view looking back out the bedroom door towards the hallway and kitchen:

The other side of the front bedroom.

The other bedroom at the back of the house looks pretty similar and has another radiator, but instead of a closet it opens up into the tandem room:

The rear bedroom.

And this is the view looking back out towards the hallway and other bedroom:

The other side of the rear bedroom.

I think the tandem room is one of my favorites in the house. It’s small, but it gets a ton of light due to all the windows looking out on the backyard. The previous owners seemed to be using it as something of a closet, and they left behind this big wardrobe cabinet thing:

The tandem room.

The interior wall of the tandem room is made of brick and has been painted white. It also has a sort of exterior-looking light fixture next to the doorway leading back into the bedroom:

The doorway to the tandem room.

Moving on to the kitchen, you’ll see cabinets, countertops, and appliances that are all perfectly functional, just a little dated and worn out. The refrigerator in particular is very old — while I’m not entirely sure when it was made, the sticker on the back seems to indicate that it was designed in the 1960’s:

The kitchen.

The kitchen features a big corner sink and laminate countertops with little flower patterns. Also, it came equipped with a bunch of tiny bottles of liquor for some reason:

The kitchen sink.

The other side of the kitchen has a hanging metal light fixture and a small pantry that was allegedly converted from an old-fashioned milk delivery box on the back of the house.

The other side of the kitchen.

And to the right of the pantry is the door to the mudroom:

The mudroom, as seen from the kitchen.

In general, the mudroom is very similar to the tandem room except that it has wood paneling and an exit to the outside world.

The back door.

And this is what you see if you turn back around, looking toward the door to the kitchen… As you can see, the milkbox-turned-pantry juts out through the wall quite a bit.

The door to the kitchen.

Anyway, that about concludes this installment of the virtual house tour, complete with its ridiculously excessive number of photos — and I didn’t even get around to the basement or attic, so I’ll probably end up doing one more installment eventually.

But before any of that, there are already some notable house updates that have occurred since these photos were taken — we’ve been busy painting, having floors sanded, and adding modern appliances to the kitchen, not to mention filling up all these empty rooms with boxes and furniture. So stay tuned for some of those exciting updates to be posted soon!

Moving Day

Well, we did it! As of today, we’ve moved ourselves, our cat, and almost all of our stuff out of the old one-bedroom apartment and into the new house. It feels like a huge accomplishment, and we managed to pull it off on a national holiday — all thanks to friends and family awesome enough to take a chunk out of their Fourth of July to help haul boxes and furniture across the city.

The U-Haul truck parked on the street outside our old apartment building.

This was the first time in my life that I’ve actually done a serious move. When I moved in with Joe, into the building we’ve been living in for the past few years, I was only moving out of my parents’ house — and I say “moving out” lightly, since I never really packed up and moved. I just slowly brought over more and more of my stuff, and at some point my bedroom there stopped being my bedroom, or even a bedroom at all. (These days, it’s been turned into a sort of mixture of a sitting room and an office, and I’m glad my parents are getting good use out of it.)

So this experience of packing up and moving all at once, with boxes and a truck and everything, was a new one to me. It was fun and challenging, if a bit clumsily executed.

For instance: Joe and I inexplicably thought it would be a good idea to start packing at 11:00 PM when we had the U-Haul truck reserved for 9:00 the very next morning. This resulted in a frantic packing session that stretched into the wee hours of the night, and we didn’t quite finish — the last few boxes actually got filled as we were loading up the truck.

The U-Haul truck packed with all our stuff.

But it all worked out pretty well, I think. We started loading the truck at 10:30, finished at 1:00, and then drove to the new house and (somehow) completely unloaded the truck by 1:45. It probably helped that we didn’t have that much stuff — the smallest U-Haul truck was big enough for our purposes. Plus, there were six of us working on it — or at least, five workers plus one pregnant lady who mostly stood around supervising.

There are still a few things left at the old apartment, like some bags of old clothing for donation, and we’re planning on going back some evening this week to help clean and vacuum in preparation for the next tenant. But even if we aren’t 100% finished with the moving process, it’s great to be past this first huge “moving in” step.

And it’s an interesting feeling to have fireworks going off everywhere as you’re celebrating the first night in a new home.

22 Weeks: Baby Movement & Other Updates

According to the Wikipedia article, it’s typical for a woman to start feeling fetal movement at around 18-20 weeks in a first pregnancy, and that’s been pretty accurate to my experience. I think I felt the first flutterings shortly after the 20-week ultrasound appointment (more about that here) — and I actually may have felt some earlier, but for the longest time it was hard for me to tell the difference between actual movement and non-meaningful belly rumblings.

But by now, I’m feeling what I’m 100% sure is actual baby movement, and it really is an interesting sensation being kicked from the inside by these adorable tiny baby feet:

Baby's feet, as seen in the 20-week ultrasound.

For the first few days I felt anything, it seemed like baby would sleep all day, and then wake up and start doing the river dance at about 11:00 pm. But since then, she’s shaken up her routine, and I haven’t been able to detect much of a pattern — just random spurts of movement at random times during the day.

In other news, I’m definitely starting to look visibly pregnant at this point. (I should probably post a “baby bump” picture soon just for completeness sake.) Not just that, but apparently I look so pregnant that random people on the street have actually asked me how far along I am. Which I find interesting — I had thought that, in the interest of avoiding a potentially embarrassing faux pas, you weren’t supposed to comment on a stranger’s being pregnant unless you actually see a baby coming out of her.

In a last bit of news, I may need to start slowing down a bit. This past weekend, I actually had a few mild abdominal pains — nothing remotely severe, but Joe insisted on calling the doctor just to play it safe. The doctor said the most likely culprit was round ligament pain, which can often arise after excessive physical activity… and since I’d been running around working on various house-related things, I didn’t doubt that was the cause.

A good night’s sleep was enough to clear it up, and I’ve since been instructed to try not to overdo it. It was all a tiny bit disappointing, though — I’ve heard all sorts of things about the second trimester being the glorious high-energy phase of pregnancy, and here a little work on the house was apparently too much for me. Le sigh.