J.Nicolette, Chicago, Illinois

Welcome to Our New Home

Oh- to recount the tales of the past few weeks since we’ve moved into our new home. The transition here was the opposite of smooth. Bumpy, rocky, turbulent, crunchy?? I don’t know. It was all the things that make you wake up with fine lines and gray hairs while using language your mama would not approve of.

The lens that we are currently using to filter our lives is the statement: We will appreciate our home renovations so much more because of this experience!

To give you a high level understanding of our new home, my favorite thing about it is also the thing that is making this experience so…colorful.

An Antique Abode

The home was built in 1920 and we are only the third owners. I LOVE that. It makes the home feel so much more alive. It gives it character. The previous owners obviously loved this home and the condition of the home reflects the attention and tenderness that they put into maintaining it.

I love knowing that there were families who grew up here. There were generations raised here. So much life happened within these walls. It just feels good knowing that of all the structures we could have chosen in Chicago, this house- this house that is literally standing because of the love and care of the two families before us- is the house where we will plant our Chicago roots and grow our family. (No babies anytime soon though. Settle down, y’all.)

Perhaps it was fate, if you’re into that kind of thing. We were, in fact, down to the wire on our time frame for moving. So yea- maybe this house was just meant to be.

Anyway- are you getting the vibe that I LOVE it? Because I love it.

This is Real Life

The downside to living in a 100-year-old home is that…well, it’s 100 years old.

The first few days were…hot. Just plain hot. The house does not have central heat and air, and while we are planning to remedy that in our first wave of renovations, we had to find a way to make due. Adam and I are not handy people, so thank goodness for Carl Crane and Youtube videos to walk us through installing the window units that have been our saving grace from the heat.

For the first five weeks we slept on an air mattress in the basement because it was the coolest part of the house. Riv slept in a nearby pack in play. The electric wiring is so dated that we’re still learning which appliances  don’t fare well together. Window Unit and Dishwasher? Blown fuse. Dishwasher and Microwave? Nope. Power’s blown again. Using three outlets at the same time? Have you lost your mind?!

We’ve gotten plenty of steps in going from the kitchen to the basement fuse box as a result.

We’re also learning to strategically plan our kitchen use. No washing dishes until after the food’s been heated. No washing dishes while cooking either unless you want to forego the precious window unit. Do you want to forgo the window unit if you’re using the oven and the stove? Heck no.

This is especially annoying for a family that pretty much lives in the kitchen. When my mom and sister came to stay, I blew the fuse so many times that my sister pretty much camped out in the basement and waited for the signal. I kid you not- I probably blew the power 10 times in a single morning.

We won’t miss that.

The couple before us also loved (LOVED) locked doors. Every entry way has a door and every door has a different lock with a different key. When I come home from the grocery store I enter from the garage and use three different keys to enter through three different doors to get my bags in the kitchen.

The window unit in the nursery is janky and doesn’t sit properly in the window. We have ghetto rigged a solution by shoving a towel beneath it to catch the condensation so it doesn’t drip onto the carpet. It’s on my to-do list to switch it out daily.

Upcoming Renovations

Luckily, we’ve got some major renovations coming in the near future that I can’t wait to share  with you guys! I’ll also use this space to walk you along some of the fun transformations that our home undergoes.  While it’s going to be a process to make this home really feel like us, it’s going to be so rewarding to have a properly heated/cooled home that is functional for our lifestyle.




  1. Sounds like you have many challenges but oh my, what a relief when all is done and working properly! And the house!!! I cannot wait for pics. Have I missed that?! It sounds like lots of history there! And old houses rock!! Ha! Don’t get discouraged. Hang in there. You will be proud you did ! Loving your’s and Adam’s and that cute lilt one’s story!!❣️

    1. Thank you!! And I’ll have to take some more photos of the house before we renovate and post them. I had some posted from when we first moved in and it was a wreck. ha I’ll post some updated ones soon!

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