Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LCY Listens: Daughter

It's been a while since I've done a music post... and I've had so many good songs to share! First up is Daughter - soft soulful voice, lovely guitar strumming, and heart-wrenching lyrics. My kind of stuff. No surprise The Vampire Diaries used her song Medicine in one of their more recent episodes. Oh, how I love the CW.


Noteworthy lyrics:
You could still be,
what you want to.
What you said you were,
when I met you.
when you met me.
when I met you.


Noteworthy Lyrics:
We are the reckless,
We are the wild youth
Chasing visions of our futures.

- and -

And if you're in love, then you are the lucky one,
'Cause most of us are bitter over someone.
Setting fire to our insides for fun,
To distract our hearts from ever missing them.


Noteworthy Lyrics:
So we lay in the dark
'Cause we've got nothing to say
Just the beating of hearts like two drums in the grey

See more LCY Listens posts here!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

when you're invited over for game night, here's where you'll be sitting.

...on our new couch.

yes. it's true. we bought my dream couch. i even called it that two years ago in this post.

an oversized english roll arm sofa (albeit we purchased a more practical and safe-from-stains dark grey in lieu of a custom sunshine yellow version like jenna lyons has).

it's the carlisle upholstered sofa from pottery barn in metal grey twill.

and yes, it is an investment piece. neither of us are bringing a couch to the new place, so this is the one thing we really need. beds, dressers, tables, chairs - all of that is taken care of. now i'll be the first to admit i could have done a little craigslist, thrift store, budget furniture hunting (my specialty), and i could have found something that would have been fine. but that's the thing. i could have spent $300-800 on a more affordable couch that was simply fine. and $300-800 is not a small amount of money. so in my mind, i would much rather put that money toward something i absolutely love versus getting something i would want to replace in a couple years. i don't know how long this couch will last, but i can guarantee i'll wear it down to its last days... and even then, it will be a piece i can reupholster and/or have new back cushions made. this one is it for the long-haul. and i couldn't be more excited. bonus points that mike liked it too! his one requirement was comfort. with oversized down cushions and a 90.5" length, i'd say he got it. (he's super tall and can actually fit on this.) it also helps that it's dark grey (very manly). and i love the low arms offer extra comfort when you're laying on them. standard armrests kill my neck.

i think it's safe to say the carlisle is a win, win, win.

unfortunately, the couch won't arrive until early october. bummer. but i'm too excited so i started having some fun with photoshop, adding in furniture and "painting" the walls.

 here's the half of the living room where the couch will go.

 a lil photoshop magic and poof...!

...a couch appears.

oh - side note - the doors that lead to the sunroom were previously painted white, but whoever did it did a shoddy job. so we've discussed painting them black.

ooo lookin' sharp.

add in my coffee table (i got it for a fifth of the original price at the jayson home and garden warehouse sale this past winter). i win.

 perhaps a natural jute rug underfoot, and here's a version with light grey walls.

 medium grey walls

or dark grey walls.

thoughts? questions? concerns?

see the full "before" tour of belle here!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Belle: The Official "Before" Home Tour

Slowly but surely, we are moving our stuff into Belle. The Birdcage was the first item of mine to make it's way over... love it atop the wood paneling of the faux fireplace mantel.

Today, I present to you the official "before" home tour of Belle. Before showing you agagillion angles of the different rooms, I threw together this amateur floorplan. It's not at all to scale, but gives the general idea of where things are located.

Gosh, why wasn't I an architect?

A few items of note:
- Yes. The apartment is huge. This is not an illusion. Actually, based on Danielle and our interns' reactions when I took them to see the place, apparently the place is even bigger in person than it appears in photos.
- I am paying the same amount in rent for this place as I am my current place. The new place is about twice as large. And actually, my landlord is raising the rent of this place $200 (plus $150 for parking), so this place will actually end up being cheaper than where I currently live.
- The size of this apartment is not normal. But it's what you can get the farther North you live in Chicago. It is a third floor walk-up (coin laundry is in the basement). No garage parking. No central AC. We will not be in the heart of Lincoln Park or Old Town or River North. I highly doubt you can find an apartment this large in those neighborhoods, and if you could, I can't even fathom what it would cost. So basically what I'm trying to say is, we were willing to sacrifice location for space. We're both homebodies, and kind of over being surrounded by congested neighborhoods streets on a daily basis.

Ok, enough babbling. And now, the tour.

The living room is located at the front of the apartment, and is kind of two rooms in one. It will house the sofa and tele...

...which will go to the left in the above photo. Television on that wall. Sofa in the middle of the room facing it.

Another shot of the sofa/tv area.

But then there's this part of the room. Built-in bookshelves and faux fireplace. I'm thinking small dining table? Making this a grand entertaining space?

And can we talk about Christmas tree potential?! It will be loverly.

Also off the living room is the sunroom.

Which has a super-sweet painted floor that I'm not allowed to paint over. It's been like that for thirty years (read: obviously the work of some friendly hippies in the 70s), and the landlord is attached to it.

So we'll make do. Either keep it as is or cover it with a rug... not sure yet. Thinking this might be a music room (been pinning inspiration for that). Mike has several guitars, and we're looking to get a piano. Stay tuned. No pun intended. Tehehe.

Here's the hallway. The entrance to the apartment is on the right-hand of this photo. That doorway on the left is the main bedroom. And you can see the dining room and kitchen in the distance.

Here's the angle from the dining room (which is toward the back of the apartment) looking back at the front living room. Is this making sense or am I just confusing all of you? That's a closet door on the left, and bathroom door on the right.

Here's the main bedroom. It's a good size! Nice and bright.

Located near the front (you can see the built-in shelves peeking in the corner). That's a closet door on the left.

Pretty much a nice blank square box of a slate. Could take this room in a million different directions.

Here's the real gem of the home. Every old apartment has one. The problem child if you will. The wood paneling is... there. The tile is a dirty shade of beige. The shower head sticks out perpendicular to the tub. And there's a big wooden column in the middle of the room. But it's nice and big! And has a window! Always a plus in my book.

At least the toilet is white. Kind of surprised it wasn't brown or orange or something.

But there's nothing a little white paint can't fix. You can see a portion of the ceiling was already done, and we'll recreate that throughout the rest of this Brady Bunch latrine.

At the end of the long hallway is the dining room complete with beautiful built-in hutch. Perfect for all of my glassware. And there's little to no storage in the kitchen, so this will come in handy. The entry to the kitchen is on the left of this photo. The hallway is on the right, and you're getting a peek into a large hallway closet on the right side of the photo.

Dining room looking into hallway toward front of house.

The other side of the dining room has a beautiful bay window. I'm thinking my desk is going to go over there. We really want to make sure this space gets used, and since we're turning the second bedroom into a guest room, I need an office. This might all change once we're moved in, but that's where my head is at thus far. Oh, and how cool is the coffered ceiling? So many painting options. Or keeping it natural... again, we'll see!

The kitchen is super small, offers no storage, and is located in the back of the house off the dining room.

Will likely paint that door and the cabinets white. Thinking navy walls. Crazy, I know. But this is far down on the list of priorities... right now we are just thanking our lucky stars the landlord was willing to add a dishwasher.

Here is where guests (aka my new baby niece!) will stay. Don't know what's with the used-to-be-a-door converted to a huge window...? Love old apartments.

Otherwise, it's pretty standard. This room is also low on the list of priorities, so no big plans to share. It opens up to the dining room/office.

And finally, here's the back deck. Which was the icing on the cake. You have no idea how difficult it was to find a place that had everything we wanted, most notably outdoor space. We have been grilling a lot lately, and with dogs, it's just nice having a place to kick back outside. Especially since nice weather lasts only a portion of the year here in Chicago.

But Belle has it all. Including this oversized deck off the back. Victory!

Thoughts? Suggestions? We are a little overwhelmed and all ears!

Friday, July 20, 2012

living with a boy.

if you've been following along the past year, you'll know i took full advantage of having a lady roommate and decorated accordingly. i added pink wherever i could (notably a graphic rug - which i am aware still has not been properly revealed, a new bar tray c/o mattie luxe, and i got a few pink throws from the joss and main sale i hosted). but the time has come to hang up my pink fairy wand, and view decorating through a new perspective.

the male perspective.

i've said it once and i'll say it again, i do not understand why boys spend their entire lives not caring about decorating - they'll tape a jim belushi poster to their wall, use the musty couch from their parents' basement, and sleep on a mattress on the floor. but when they move in with a lady, they all of a sudden have a very strong opinion about how things look. i don't get it. but whether it makes sense to me or not, this is what happens. c'est la vie.

so in an effort to make this new place our home and not my home (aka sprinkled with photos of paris (i recently counted - i have eight pieces of parisian-themed art hanging around my apartment), white lacquered furniture, and pink accessories), i've done a bit of recon and came up with some inspiration that i think would make the two of us very happy.

notes and inspiration below:

white walls, wooden furniture, and cool leather furniture. sure... i can do this.

wood layered on wood layered on wood. black and white photography. and oh, what i'd do for wishbone chairs.

navy wall. would love to try this somewhere.

neutral base, natural woods with splashes of colors that aren't overly feminine.

more leather and wood. grey walls. grey will be our safety color. we both love it.

neutral art. cool, industrial lighting. again - more wood.

wooden table, black chairs. alaina like.

black bedding. intruiging... not sure i can do this.

you can view ALL of my inspiration in my new appropriately named pinterest board: living with a boy.

i am also very excited to start working with farrow and ball with paint colors! have you heard of farrow and ball? i learned about them ages ago because my mom's favorite hgtv designer sarah richardson exclusively used their line of paint. and if you've ever seen sarah's work, you know that all of her rooms have this perfect calming serenity about them. calm, muted colors. have any of you used their paint and can recommend colors? here are a few swatches that caught our eyes:

you can view all their colors here. any others you think we should consider?

happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

words worth reading.

Some people meet the way the sky meets the earth—inevitably, and there is no stopping or holding back their love. It exists in a finished world, beyond the reach of common sense. 
- Louise Erdrich

image via

Monday, July 16, 2012

the new home

so i've been very accepting of the fact that wherever my next apartment is, it would in no way compare to the size or charm of my current place. nor would it have a fraction of natural light. the latter of which really killed me seeing as i work from home and would prefer to not reside in a cave-like dwelling.

but, with a landlord who raises rent $200 a year (is that even legal?), the time had come to move. and i went out into the world of apartment hunting prepared for a major downgrade. the only problem was, i was downgrading without paying any less money! turns out the renting market is INSANE these days.

after several weeks of looking at a lot of this...
happy birthday!

and this... dark, shoebox sized rooms.

...that barely fit a bed...

and this... can we discuss how people live?! grown adults?

and this... ew. men.

and some semi-decent places... alas, that was the whole of the living space.

entryway looking into living room/sunroom
we found a home.

living room/sunroom angle 1
...a ginormous, twice-the-size of my current apartment, sun-flooded, top-floor, two-bedroom, with huge deck and sunroom...

living room angle 2
...complete with built-in bookshelves and moldings and boatloads of vintage chicago architecture charm...

hallway leading to entryway and living room
our new home.

signing the lease tonight. giggles.

and you may notice the title of the post and frequently used pronoun "we."

that would be me and this guy. whoa big step. /very exciting developments happening, people. mike and i had a celebratory dinner last night after finally settling on our new place. it's an august 1 lease so i have QUITE a bit to do around here before then...

who's excited?!

(i'm taking a page out of bailey q's book and naming this home, since all the posts about the last place were called "new apartment," all posts regarding THIS new apartment will be under the tag "Belle")


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