For all of my before-and-after lovers, this one is for you.
This month, we celebrate 9 years of loving and living in this home! We feel beyond lucky to have found our happy pocket in this big city, living in the same neighborhood we started in when we moved to Chicago 16 years ago. After one year of renting, we purchased a small condo nearby, got married, and started this blog! (This is our very first blog post, and from there, you’ll see us paint walls bright orange, tackle our first major DIY project and honor the beloved pets we’ve been lucky enough to call family.) After 6 years of condo living, we joke that we were young and naive enough to take on the biggest renovation of our lives, and we bought this home, just a few blocks away from the condo.
Built in 1887, our home is a frame two-flat that we suspect started as a single family home. There are three floors – a basement (or ‘garden’) level that we lease to tenants, and our unit is more typical of a two story family home. Each level is about 850 square feet, and in true Chicago fashion, the home is long and skinny.
Our home has been the biggest labor of love, and we’re still renovating it! I could wax on about all the projects we’ve yet to do, but today, I’d rather focus on how far we’ve come. Below, I’m sharing a handful of the spaces in this house that have seen the biggest transformation, along with a links that’ll take you through the process. (And keep reading for an important question at the end of this post!)
How we got here: removing the carpet // finding a vintage door // tiling the entryway // painting the stairs // adding a stair runner // painting the walls Milk Toast // …and more!
The Living and Dining Rooms (Open Concept)
How we got here: raising the ceiling // running modern electrical // adding a custom dining table // velvet sofa! // swapping velvet for a sectional // adding a behind-the-sofa console …and more!
The Primary Bedroom
How we got here: the bedroom plans // drywall! // demolition wrap up // black bedroom walls // building our IKEA closets // …and more!
The Primary Bathroom
How we got here: bathroom plans // demo surprises // hex bathroom floors // skinny storage DIY // bathroom organization // …and more!
The Small Bathroom
How we got here: bathroom plans // choosing a color scheme // DIY board and batten // maximizing storage in a small bath // bathroom reveal // …and more!
How we got here: an intro tour to The Scary Room // installing hardwood floors // designing the nursery // budget nursery closet // nursery reveal // big kid room plans // DIY lofted bed // big kid room reveal // …and more!
How we got here: backyard plans // adding a paver patio // DIY planter boxes // DIY patio table // MCM fireplace makeover …and more!
A Question for You!
In honor of this 9 year milestone, we would love, love, love to know how long you’ve been here on this journey with us. How did you find us, and/or do you remember which DIY landed you here? Whether you’ve been here from the beginning or just joined us today, we’re grateful to embrace you into this community!
PS: See something you like? You can shop our house here, or browse our favorite items in our Amazon storefront. You can also see every single blog post categorized by room in our Room Makeovers menu tab.
I have been following you for 4+ years, found you while reading another blog, can’t remember which one, liked your blog immediately, although my taste were very different from yours. In the end, I was so impressed with your home and some of your lifestyle post I stuck around. In my opinion you have displayed integrity through your writing and honest review of products. That means a lot to me personally. Thank you for all the before and afters, product recs, and vlogs…keep it going and don’t fix what aint broke!
I’ve enjoyed reading your comments over the years, so happy you’re here!
I’ve been on your journey for about 8 years. You’ve always been a source of inspiration and good cheers!! Thanks for sharing your process!
Wow, thank you for being here, Brenda!
I found you from Daniel Kanter (I think Lucy was born at that time?) and have so enjoyed reading these few years!
How fun! Daniel visited us the summer after Lucy was born. Miss him so much!
I also found you via Daniel Kanter about the same time.
Started following you all with the office built-in project at the condo and have been a loyal follower here and on Instagram. Kim also did a pet portrait of one of our dogs. Thanks for sharing your lives with us!
The studio built ins! Aw, thank you.
Been here since the condo! So wonderful to see how your style has evolved and how much your space seems to have felt more and more like home as you’ve gone through the years! :)
Wild to think we were in our 20s in the condo, and now here we are in our 40s. What a journey, thank you for being here all these years!
I wish I could remember! I want to say at least 3 years? Maybe more…I found you through another blog that linked or chatted with you. I always seem to find new blogs that way!
We are 2 years into a 1938 Tudor in CA and love all the character an old home brings.
Cheers to 9 years and lots of beautiful DIY’s.
How cool, enjoy the process!
I started following around 2016, but I recently went back to read your very first blog posts! Thanks for having me along for the journey, I love your candidness and great photography with the tutorials!
Ahhh how fun, haha, thank you!
I looked back because I was curious too! I’ve been following along since 2018..I think maybe from your interview with @theeverymom?! I came for the before & afters but I stayed for the pets & baby! We have 4 rescue dogs, 3 rescue cats a 16 month old sweet little girl (she was our surprise after committing to being a full time foster for our local humane society). Full house for sure and some days too chaotic, but I love that you promote living with pets. While I feel like I spend 80% of my life vacuuming, they are our family and we love them so! Thanks for being an inspiration and sharing your goodness with the world, Kim & Scott!
Mariah, thank you! I can’t imagine our home without the love of a pet. I miss our two dog/two cat household so much but things feel really comfortable right now with Kitty and Lucy. Im still working on Scott to adopt another cat though… (his allergies!)
I don’t remember what brought me here, maybe something on Pinterest? Or a link from another blog? But I’ve been here since before Lucy and as you were making over the scary room. And before you demoed the stairs outside, wow that was probably the biggest transformation! So happy to be here, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
The Scary Room! And you’re right about those stairs – sometimes I forget we had those and then I find an old photo. Wow! So happy you’re here, Megan.
I have been following for about 5 years. I am pretty sure I heard about you from YoungHouseLove.
I’ve been following since I found your house tour on YouTube at least 4/5 years ago! Love your work so much, I always feel inspired and appreciate all that you share :)
Aw thank you!
I was introduced to you via Young House Love and Chris Loves Julia, when they came to visit you guys in Chicago a few years ago. I love that your style feels genuine, fresh, and comfortable, and doesn’t fit neatly into any boxes which I think is becoming too commonplace on Instagram. Thanks so much for sharing your process with us! xoxo
Appreciate this so much, Val!
Hi, Kim and Scott! I’m harboring a guess that I’ve been following you since 2014 (maybe 2013?). There was kitchen renovation planning happening, if memory serves. I think the clincher were your dinosaur engineer prints and your celebration of quirk. . .without making it a personality :) I’ve been hooked ever since, and YBH is, by far, my favorite blog <3
Quirk 4eva! So happy you’re here!
I’ve been following since 2014. I can’t remember how I found you, but always love seeing a new post pop up in my feed!
Thank you for being here! xo
I was at a friend’s house in Logan for NYE oodles of years ago (8 maybe?) when your blog came up in conversation about house renos. Looked you guys up there and then and have been following ever since! Have to admit that we were more than a little #influenced by your garden apartment to get ourselves a two flat 5 years ago!
Wow, that’s so wonderful! We love hearing from so many of you that have purchased two flat and kept them as such (as opposed to converting to SFH). It’s so good for the neighborhood. Happy to have influenced in the huge way!
I have been following since the condo days! The post that brought me to you was your chalkboard wall. If I remember correctly, it was linked from YHL. I’ve loved watching your blog, family and community grow.
Ah, yes! In the entryway, right?!
Yes, entry way. But I do remember the chalkboard backsplash in the condo too. OG!
My super talented friends!!!! ♥️How you’ve built such a lovely home, you should be so proud!!! These comments here say it all, I love reading what everyone also sees in you through living so authentically & sharing your talents!!! I’m so lucky to be your friend!!! Love you to the moon & back a bajillion times!!!! ????
Love you so much forever and ever until the end of time! xoxo
Been following you since you did the renovation in Baltimore. In fact I think it was in my neighborhood- Federal Hill. Was it? I am originally from the northwest Indiana suburbs of Chicago so love all the Chicago content!
Oh, wow, how cool!
I’ve been following you for about 9 years! I can’t remember how I found you guys. I’ve loved every step of your journey. You’ve poured so much love into each project and it shows! I remember the dinosaur art, the 100 year old nail art, the plant pockets. They are so so good! You should be very proud of all that you’ve accomplished.
Still love that dinosaur art! So happy you’re here and that I now get to follow YOU, Xin!
I’ve been following for years…since maybe 2012-2013? You were definitely in the condo!
We need a name for our friends that have been here since the condo. So impressive! xx
I have been here since you did a one day(or was it two days) kitchen reno in Pittsburgh with Chris Loves Julia. Love you style, cozy home and how you want everything to work for your family-not just look good for IG. I love that about you! Thank you for keeping it real!
Yes! I believe you mean the Baltimore kitchen we did with CLJ and Daniel Kanter. So, so fun!
I can’t remember when I first started following you- it was before Instagram was big. To me you are one of the old-timers. I miss the old days of blogging! I have stayed a loyal follower because I love your style. Modern but in a way that stands the test of time. Not trendy. You are so thoughtful and careful about every decision and it is fun to watch your process!
We ARE old-timers, both in blogging and IRL. Haha! We were blogging before Instagram – even before Pinterest! Thanks for being here for all these years.
I think I’ve been following along for about 3-4 yrs? ( Lucy was a baby when I found you). I believe I found you through YHL? I live in an 1895 Victorian in MA and really love watching what you’ve done to your old beauty. I love your style and your down to earth attitude and your political/social justice views. I love seeing how others manage to stay living in cities and working with small spaces. I look forward to seeing what you do next!
This means so much, Kate. Thank you!
I absolutely love reading your blog and keeping up on all your projects. It was delightful to see you reflect on the past 9 years. You radiate such love and kindness and are SUCH hard workers … my goodness how much you’ve done! I’m pretty sure I first found you through YHL early in this current home’s reno journey. Then I took some walks down memory lane to your condo to understand better how to live in small spaces. I became a daily reader probably six years ago. Thanks again for taking us along!
Small spaces are our FAVORITE spaces. Thank you for being here, Ashley!
I’m pretty sure I started following when you renovated your kitchen (in your current home) the first time so not sure how long it’s been but I feel like at this point, I’m an OG haha! Love what you do and how you do it!
Yes, you’re definitely OG! xx
I’ve been following since the time you hosted YHL and ChrislovesJulia for a winter visit. I remember how tiny you and Sherry looked next to Julia, & the cool places you are and played in.
Haha, Sherry and me are minis.
I started reading sometime around your first kitchen reno/update in this house. I couldn’t begin to remember where from–maybe a Young House Love blog post link or something? But you guys have been some of my favorite bloggers ever since and I just love watching what you guys do to the various spaces you’ve shared.
And now here we are on Phase 2! Can’t wait.
I started following back around the end of your demo phase on this house. I am pretty sure I found you from YHL. I’ve now followed many of your tutorials (open shelving FTW!!) and have a daughter 2 months younger than Lucy!
Our shelving tutorial (a few different ones) have been some of the biggest searches on our blog. We’re so happy they’ve been helpful!
I have been following since you lived in the condo! I also lived in Logan Square at the time and loved living vicariously through you from my scrappy studio apartment haha. Still my favorite home blog!
Pretty sure I found you from YoungHouseLove… might have been about the time they visited you in Chicago with Chris Loves Julia? Maybe?
That was so so fun!
I’ve been following along for maybe 4-5 years. I found you and CLJ via Young House Love who I’ve followed forever and ever. I found your black and white bathroom renovation helpful for a recent bathroom reno we did. I wanted something classic that would be good for kids and adults and last for a long time.
Love that! We still enjoy our black and white bathroom so much.
I found you through young house love maybe about 4 years ago. At the time I was living in Wicker Park and have since realized we’re now in the same neighborhood. It’s a wonderful place to live!
The best! Hi, neighbor!
Kim, I started following you just before this move! Wow, what a journey. Thank you for taking us along with you. On a personal note, 2013 was the most challenging year of my life and reading blogs like yours was such an escape for me. Looking back on these spaces reminds me of how that time felt for me, but also how far I’ve come. Its nostalgic and a great reminder that time roles on for better or worse. Thanks for creating a little time capsule for us all xoxo
Wow, what a wonderful comment. Today is all about celebrating how far we’ve come, congrats to you as well!
Hi! I’ve been following you both right around when you started renovating the two-flat, so probably pretty close to 9 years. I’ve loved watching your home evolve!
So happy you’re here, Bridget!
I’ve been here since the bathroom/laundry room renovation. Doesn’t seem that long ago.
And yet, prepandemic times feels like twenty years ago.
I love these before and afters and how they show the love you have put into your family home! Thanks to you and Scott for bringing us all along on the ride. I found you through YHL when they (and CLJ) came to visit you a few years back. Don’t even remember when that was?! Pre-pandemic and time is now wonky for me :)
Haha totally. They visited in spring of 2019, and we had planned to go Richmond in 2020… but then the pandemic and the Petersiks moving to Florida changed those plans, wah wah.
I started following you when I was looking for nursery inspiration for my first baby, back in 2019. I found your post about Lucy’s nursery and swooned. Our nursery in the Chicago four-flat condo that we lived in then was narrow and long like Lucy’s room and you gave me ideas and hope that we could make ours just as sweet. I love that you love old homes – and we just bought a 100 year old home in the Chicago area and will be using your home for inspiration and information for lots of our projects (we may be requesting a consultation with you down the road!). I also appreciate your honesty about the challenges that you face with your projects. You all are a joy to follow!
We LOVE a challenging room! Small, narrow, awkward, we’ll take them all. Congrats on your new old home!
I suspect the IKEA closet or laundry room reveal (that kitty door!) brought me in, but it could have been a reference from YHL or CLJ. You three, plus DK, are still my faves!
Oh the kitty door. My heart. Miss our girls so much.
I live in Richmond and am a die-hard Young House Love fan from back in the day, and that’s how I discovered you guys! But I can not for the life of me remember when I started following… maybe in the early days of the two-flat? I’m ready for another YHL/CLJ/YBH meet-up!
Long time follower – since you were in the condo! I think I started following you through YHL. I won a pillowcase from one of your raffles! You and your sweet family and your beautiful style and writing and personalities are one of the highlights of my week and I’m always happy to see a new post or Instagram reel! I have serious intentions of renting your Lakeside cottage one day as we love Michigan and it isn’t too far to get to from Indy! Love all the progress and thanks for letting us see a little glimpse of your life!
That’s so cool! I always recognize your name.☺️
So funny, I messaged you on Instagram without realizing your prompt! I think the project that brought me to you was the media unit in your old apartment. I’m guessing I’ve been following you for at least 13 years??? Just incredible to see the skills you’ve acquired and the evolution of your style over time.
You did! Haha. Grateful for you, Alexis!
I found your blog in late 2013. I was researching reno blogs as we were in the middle of our own house renos. I love your blog/IG style. It’s helped us with our own projects.
I’ve been a sporadic follower for years, but have recently been following you when I began looking at small spaces. I love your treehouse and the two flat renovations especially. ????
Those homes will always have our whole hearts.
I’ve been following since the built ins in the condo, love your style and voice so happy to be here.
Our first massive project!????
Hi! “Influenced” by Younghouselove! Since they visited you in Chicago with Chrislovesjulia. All 3 of you are my instafaves!
So many of you found us that way! So happy you’re here!
I think I got linked here from with Young House Love or maybe One Room Challenge if you ever did that? You were in this house for sure and maybe doing the laundry room with wallpaper. I appreciate your writing style, great photos, can-do attitude and respect for history while having your own modern style.
This makes me so happy, it’s what we strive for!
The first post I remember was about you guys rolling a ball across the living room/dining room floor. Or maybe your bedroom floor. Either way. I was also so inspired by Kim jumping into the dirty work. First time I had ever seen “girls” participating in that part of a project and seeing real people tackle something so hard and amazing. Ahh, makes me nostalgic in a way, haha. Love you guys! ????
AHHHH! The nickel roll! We rolled a nickel across the uneven floor in our family/play room, before we jacked up the ceiling from below. Phew!
Hello, and happy house anniversary!! I am pretty sure I first landed here from Young House Love, and I’ve been following for 10 or 11 years, I think… I remember your condo and some of your amazing projects there! Your home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your stories!
Thank you for being here all these years! xo
I started following you about a year ago as a recommend from Chris Loves Julia. I love your positivity, creativeness, and realness—and your love of plants, which is something I’ve been learning more about since 2020. Thanks for all you’d share and do! You are inspiring!
We loooooove our plants. Scott cannot resist adding them to our home constantly! So happy you’re here, Angela!
A blog I used to read linked to your DIY laundry detergent a million years ago! I think you were in the condo at the time, and I loved how your maximized every space. And as a fellow dog lover, I was hooked!
That laundry detergent was one of our biggest referrals in the early days! Wow!
I have been following since right before the tree house renovation started, and I check in regularly because I love your quirky, clean style and attention to detail. You have great, authentic energy that draws me in and your Jack story really resonated with me (similar pup over here!). Thank you for sharing and inspiring!❤️
Oh, our sweet buddy boy. He was so so special. Hugs!
The condo was still your home when I discovered you. It’s been such a joy to follow along♥️
In some ways, it will always be home. xx
Hi Kim and Scott, I’ve been following along (from Aus) since the condo studio/office reno. It was so long ago I can’t remember exactly but I think I found you by Googling “renovation inspiration” and boy did it work! Thanks for sharing your amazing tips and life all these years! ????????
Incredible! Hello all the way from Chicago!
I think I started reading in your condo days, pre-house. Always enjoy seeing the progress and love you put into your home.
I’ve been following since before you bought this house! I remember the champagne smash – can’t believe that means it’s over 9 years! Congratulations!
Wow! That was SO fun, even though it took me a few tries haha.
I think I’ve been following you for 6+ years. I came to you through ChrisLovesJulia, or deucecitieshenhouse, I can’t remember! I love your content and how approachable everything you do is.
Aw, both wonderful recs! Thank you for being here, Tara!
I’ve been following you since just before you moved out of the condo. and Honestly I can’t remember how I found you, but so glad I did.
Thank you, Lori!
I found you through the Scary-Room-to-Nursery reno and I’ve loved coming along for the journey. We had our first baby a year after you had Lucy, and it’s been fun to see how your home adapts to your changing family needs.
Oh wow, you came in just in time for the Scary Room and stayed! Haha, thank you.
I’ve been following your since your media console DIY you guys did at the condo in 2011 and was shared to YHL. Your blog actually inspired me to move to Chicago way back in 2017 and I lived in Logan Square for a handful of years before the pandemic hit. Also, you and Scott had a garage (?) sale down in West Loop in either 2018/2019 and I bought the Land of Lincoln poster from you guys. Thanks for keeping up the awesome work!
Ahh Summer, that’s so cool! Happy to have you here!
HOLY SMOKES! This blog post hits me in all the feels. Satisfying before & afters! Sweet photos of pups! Fun memories of projects I forgot you even did!
So proud of everything you’ve done to make this house your home! Can’t wait to visit and nuzzle up with catfish on the couch. Or in the snug. Or in the guest room. everywhere!
Luv u so much baby girl!
I was (am!) a Young House Love follower, and when they visited you in Chicago…I was hooked. I lived in Chicago from 2001-2013, and the nostalgia I get when you post around the neighborhoods here and in your insta stories is HEAVY. I lived in Lakeview, Albany Park, Lincoln Square, and Irving Park – the last of which was where my husband and I bought our first home (1901) and did some very basic rehabbing of our own. The size and style of your house is so similar to what we had, and our yards (down to the backyard garage!) are almost mirror images to the setup in our home there. Lastly, a Chicago friend of mine fosters dogs through One Tail at a Time and I love, love, LOVE all your connections there!
Chicago is a very small world!
I’m from post-condo but pre-Tree-House! When I started reading, I think y’all were just starting on the big primary bedroom changes and I went down the longest rabbit hole for a few days of reading back all of your archive to get the history on you both and the house (and your rescue animal family! Proud pittie parent here!). It was a true delight to “watch” the stuff I had missed unfold up to that point and I’ve followed along in real time ever since. Thank you for working so hard to share your life and style and work ethic and skills and family with us. My husband and I are also small-time landlords/renovators with two properties, and I’m so grateful for the privilege of being a kind, attentive landlord and having access to home ownership. We’ve used tutorials, ideas, and just general inspiration from YBH countless times, so it’s very fair to say you and your business and your blog have made our life sweeter and easier. Thank you for sharing–though from one human to another, I hope the pressure of sharing your life never overwhelms your instinct to stay private in whatever way you need. The world is crazy and whatever and whenever y’all share, your audience (and more importantly your sweet neighborhood and city) is lucky to have you around. Here’s to many more happy years in your darling home!
Well, Becky, now I’m crying. Thank you for the words I needed to hear. xx
Yahoo! 4 years and heard about y’all from young house love! Love seeing all these! Thank you!
Hello! Your home is fabulous. I literally just started reading you today, after seeing you on Ashley’s blog, The Gold Hive. But I’ll be back! You’ve inspired me as I’ve been wanting to redo our staircase for ages ????????????
Oooh how fun! Ashley’s my GIRL.
I’ve been here since you did the project for the built in shelves around your TV in the condo! It’s been fun seeing your style evolve over time!
I got here from Daniel Kanter: whenever he visited you, that’s when I started reading. I was so excited to find home bloggers living in Logan Square and living in the same kind of home we lived in. Thanks for sharing a review of your journey: it was fun seeing some of the projects I missed.
Look how far you’ve come! I’ve been around for quite a few years. I can’t remember how I found you, but I think it was a Young House Love feature way back in the day. Your projects and journey have been such an inspiration, and I’m thankful you were willing to share it with all of us. I’m excited to continue following along for whatever is next! Wishing all of you the absolute best
Thank you so much, Amanda!????
I have distinct memories of reading your blog in 2007? I don’t know whether it was the doggos that brought me here (another blog named pitties in the city or something?) and I also remember a spray painted plastic dinosaur DIY? I think I also found Daniel at the same time. Saw your pet painting business take off and I think maybe lost track of y’all for a minute, but randomly said “wonder what ever happened to the couple with the pitbulls?” And now here I am with my own pittie, plus a kid- who is just a little younger than yours and has benefitted from your excellent choice in retractable gates. Thanks for the years of entertainment, friends. <3
Aw, I love that so much! Yes, our friends had the blog Two Pitties In the City! We started our blog in 2009, but you brought up a lot of great memories. Thank you for being here!
I have been here for about 2 years and found you through younghouselove when I bough a home with a few scary rooms! Seeing the transformation of your home on a reasonable budget is inspiring as I see the work ahead with my own multifamily home. I also love seeing that day to day it can seem small, but over years you can really transform where you live. I appreciate how you share the good and the bad through renovations – I have also had some issues with miscommunication/work differences with contractors and its nice to feel less alone seeing you go through it as well. I love the tone of your blog and appreciate you sharing some of your life with us. Thank you!
I started following in the condo days. The custom living room built-ins blew my mind! I loved everything about that room – the minty walls, the side chair. It was my dream living room for a long time :)
I will always love that living room. Thank you for being here!
Definitely here since the condo days! I think I first found you via YHL and was so excited you were in my neighborhood. Lucky to have a sweet pet portrait of our dear Luna as well. And even luckier now to call you both friends.
I found you guys through YHL a few years ago, saw “yellow” (favorite color????) “brick” (timeless) “home” (home DIY?)..I clicked the link and never looked back. Y’all never disappoint. And yes, I went all the way back to the beginning. Wishing y’all many more happy years in your lovely home.
Wow, thank you, Maria!
I clicked over to you from YHL and I’ve been following along just about 9 years exactly, right when you bought this house. I was riveted, reading and watching a renovation happen right from the beginning in real time. Your “voice” has always resonated with me, the perfect combination of mellow and upbeat. Love your style (esp when it’s not my own style), your quirkiness, and how you thoughtfully embrace working with what you’ve got :)
So happy you’re here Erica!