Virtual House Tour: The Basement

Over the course of the two-plus years since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve shared “virtual tours” of almost every part of our house — the outside, the main level, the attic — but somehow never got around to blogging about the basement. Which is kind of odd since compared to the attic, that abandoned […]

Our House’s Wood Trim: To Paint Or Not To Paint?

The house-blogging genre dosen’t have much to offer in the way of controversy, but if anything comes close, it seems to be the subject of painting wood. One interesting example can be found over on the blog Making It Lovely, where Nicole wrote this post a while ago about painting the natural wood trim in her home. […]

Living Room Update: Let There Be Light!

When I last left off blogging about the living room, we had just added the giant lighthouse painting to the wall above the sofa, and were considering what else we could do to bring more light and balance to that side of the room. A few developments have happened since then, as the photo below […]

Pre-Winter House and Yard Maintenance

December has arrived, but weather-wise, it’s been pretty mild around here, with temperatures as high as seventy degrees on Monday. Doesn’t that seem crazy? Seventy degrees in Chicago in December. During my lunch break from work, I just felt disoriented and kept wondering, where am I? What month is this? What’s going on? Though I’m […]

Living Room Upgrade: The Ceiling Fan

When we got our whole-house rewiring done earlier this year, I mentioned that we added a few not-strictly-necessary lighting upgrades — things that would be nice to do eventually, but that we probably would have waited on if we hadn’t had the electrical work done. (To read about the serious electrical problems that prompted the […]

Virtual House Tour: The Attic

Last summer, when we first moved into our house, I posted a “virtual house tour” of both the inside and the outside, with plans to eventually also do an installment for the attic and the basement. And now the suspense is finally over, at least on one of those things — today’s post will feature […]

Our House: Looking Back on the First Year

As of the fourth of July, it’s been a whole year since we moved in to our house — and it’s come a long way from the bare, empty, blank slate that we unloaded the moving truck and all our belongings into. The following is a partial list of some of the projects tackled and […]

The Brick Work and Tuckpointing, Before and After

Well, I originally intended today’s post to be about those landscaping improvements I mentioned briefly at the end of the six month baby update… But as I was looking at the before and after photos, I realized just how big and obvious-looking a change had happened to the outside of our house, and yet had […]

The Wall Damage from a Whole-House Rewiring

Last week, I blogged about our finally-finished whole-house rewiring. While the most important thing was to avoid the possibility of an electrical fire due to dangerously outdated wiring that was shorting out in the walls and ceiling (more about that here), a secondary concern was how badly the inside of our house would get destroyed […]

Whole-House Rewiring: Finished at Last

After those major electrical problems surfaced, we started searching for an electrician to replace all of our ancient outdated wiring in one fell swoop. It took a week of comparison shopping and over two weeks of work, but I’m happy to finally report that the project is finished, the holes in the walls are repaired, […]

DIY Draperies for the Living Room Windows

As of this past week, the electrical work that we so urgently needed is under way, and since that little drama is providing quite a lot of house-related blogging fodder, I figured I should catch up and post the final installment of the epic three-part saga about our living room window treatments. Before I forget […]

Major Electrical Problems

Well, I suppose we knew this was coming. Our lovely little Chicago bungalow was built in the 1920’s, and we knew before we bought it that lots of its innards were old. There’d been some deferred maintenance, no question about that — the tuckpointing was overdue, and the plumbing and wiring were probably about as […]

Hanging Curtain Rods on Plaster Walls

The last time I blogged about the living room window blinds that came with our house, I went into exquisite detail about how ugly, broken, and potentially dangerous they were. (In case you missed it or think I’m exaggerating, check out my ranty post about their irredeemable awfulness from a few weeks back.) It was […]

The Mystery of the Kitchen Ceiling

Like most houses, our nearly century-old Chicago bungalow has its share of quirks: I’ve mentioned the stained glass windows that are visible from the outside but not the inside, and the old milkman’s delivery box that was turned into a pantry. (In case you missed it, check out the virtual house tour for more info […]

Property Tax Troubles

I haven’t blogged much about the financial complexities of homeownership so far, and for the most part, there really hasn’t been much to say about it. Sure, getting the mortgage was an ordeal that took many weeks and required mountains of paperwork — I wrote a bit about that here — but since then, it’s […]