First Place - Loft - Andersonville 2016-2018

Under heavy wood paneled walls and dropped ceilings designed by a group of Catholic priests running a small publishing company in the 1960's, was the bones of a 100 year old coffin factory in Andersonville, Chicago, IL. My partner, James, and I tore down cement walls, framed new walls, re-did the electrical wiring, laid brick, installed the floors,  fixed the plumbing, built a fireplace, and developed a volatile love-hate relationship with Ikea. He's a high school history teacher, and I did the bare minimum to pass my set-building and crew classes in college. We learned how to do it all off of youtube and asking around. We saved money on sweat equity and bartering beer for friends' and families' labor.  

The pallet I worked with was red bricks, greenery, black, white, and wood. We embraced the coffin factory's history with the trending modern-industrial style. Mostly furnished by Ikea and Cost Plus World Market ( eternally has a 20% off discount if you keep registering for their award program with new made up emails).

Please enjoy the black accent walls which I always knew I was right about despite James's mom's pleas for me to reconsider. I told you it'd be chic, Karen. 

NOTE: Ok, there will eventually be pictures here. It is my intent to satisfy the desire for a great before and after. But here I am, unable to get into my apple cloud for whyeverthehellreason. I'm working on it, but every minute that goes by I'm cooking up another Apple conspiracy theory.

Second Place -  Two Story walk up - Irving Park - 2018

Ah, well. Sharing an open concept studio between someone that wakes up at 5:30 AM (James) and a night owl (muah) proved not ideal. Apparently I cannot eat cereal at 2 AM very loudly and I found writing scripts in the bathroom was Combining that, with a two hour commute for James's new school and no ability to expand in the future (to accommodate the inevitable 6 or 7 animals I find to adopt (but they find me, if we are being real)), we decided we needed to leave our freshly painted new digs. My parents needed a new place, so, perfect. Now mom and dad are hip and we have tenants we can ignore. James and I found our own little dump that we could barely afford as long as we split it with James's brother. We call it home for better or worse. 

As I'm writing this, 8/30/18, we are living in a goofy humbling reality. For the past three months, James, his brother, and I have had no bathroom. Yes, we have a toilet. But hold on- listen: in order to use the toilet (say in the middle of the night) I have to go down three flights of stairs with no lights on and then I open the basement door to an unfinished basement with a scary bare bulb hanging over a toilet in the middle of the room with no walls around it. And I watch murder shows at night. Too spooky for comfort! Our "shower" is two feet away from the toilet-- it is a hose hanging over a drain. The end. There was this weird nightmare/reality time where we didn't have hot water for two weeks. When I moved in my feminine touch was to go straight to the jammed basement door that doesn't close or lock and  tape looseleaf paper over the windows so at least you couldn't accidentally pass by someone in at the vulnerable-ist. Yes, we've all walked in on each other at some point and gone, "UH UH SORRY UH SORRY" and then proceeded to pretend it never happened. Temporary. Temporary? temporary....