Friday, September 18, 2015

From Winter Park to Wicker Park

Friday, September 18, 2015
Hello! Welcome to our home. We're really getting settled in, we're even accepting visitors! I'll need to start a public calendar for our friends to see when they can visit, some of our friends already booked, and I need to keep their dates straight. Anyway, let me show you my boat* apartment!

*Steve Zissou reference, anyone?
This paint color is one that we've loved for years. We wanted to paint our last two apartments this color, but never had the time. I tried once, and got the color totally wrong. We were inspired by Deyrolle, our favorite shop in Paris. I knew this color looked beautiful with tons of natural light, is bright enough for when it's dark in winter, and looks lovely with antique wood finishes.
Oh hey - we have a fireplace! This was totally unexpected. When we inquired about this apartment, there were no photos. The description didn't even say "hardwood floors". All I knew was that it was in our price point, was in a good area, and had a dining room. When I asked for photos, the landlord took some from his phone and texted them to me - he was so responsive and quick! The photos weren't great, but through the previous tenant's piles of moving boxes, I could see potential, hope, luck! After showing friends the photos various times, I finally noticed it: in the corner of the picture, behind a couch, was the grainy outline of the fireplace. We felt like it was too good to be true. Of course, it is not an operating fireplace, but it's warming with it's presence either way.
As per usual... this is Mordechai's natural state of being.
One of our coffee table books is a contemporary (AKA affordable) edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America. Ours is very beautiful with gold edges and large prints of his illustrations. I was exploring the staff-only floor of the museum and spent some time in our library. We have a reading room as well as a rare books room where the librarians will take you in and show you books while wearing white gloves. In the library, in a large glass case, sits one of the original copies of The Birds of America. It's in four volumes, has a case that the four books slip into, and there's an ornate ottoman that the case fits into. The original coffee table book. The book can no longer be on display in the museum due to damage from light. Instead, the librarians will turn it's page in the glass display case once a week. It's truly incredible and inspiring to be in the presence of important natural history. The library is available to the public by appointment if anyone is in the Chicago area. 
I feel as though this heirloom table has been waiting it's whole life to live in an 1800's home. My parents had it while we lived in our early 1900's house in Staten Island, New York, and I feel as though the soul of the table really thrives when in an older home. It never looked quite right in our 1970's apartment. This table looks really big, but that's because we put in one of the center leaves, elongating the table. If you can believe it, we still have another leaf in the closet, so this table can fit up to 12 guests. Surprisingly, this space was large enough for it! So while S thought it would look better in it's smaller size, I believe that it needs to stretch it's legs and fill in the space. 
This is the second bedroom. For the moment, it's too small to house our pull-out couch, but I'd like to some day get a day-bed for visitors to have their own room instead of having to sleep in the living room. But for now, this room works to hold their suitcases. It's purpose for the moment is Mordechai's room when he's done listening to the TV or radio and if he wants some silence, he'll go on this couch. 
The map seemed fitting for this room seeing as it's somewhat of my "Chicago room". I have my Chicago guidebooks and novels in here, as well as some Chicago-themed gifts from friends. I also have some vintage Chicago travel postcards that I want to frame and hang up.
Our tiny office (by "our" I mean "my") is the last room to come together. It still looks like this because S unpacked all of his books and office things and there's no room left for mine, so my things are still in boxes. But it's window overlooks the street and gets tons of light, so when we finally put the finishing touches on it like hanging up the thrift store ship painting and get some of my books on the shelves, then it'll be a nice little office for me to work in. I call it "my" office because I'm still working from home. I wrote previously that I was doing copy editing from home, but now I've been moved to the social media team. 
The last three places that we've lived together have had very tiny, boxed-in kitchens. I'm so happy to have space to spread out! My friend joked that who knew you could move to a bigger city and get more space? We've already been making Sunday dinners together, instead of one of us cooking for the other. There's enough room for us to tag-team! And there is no more bumping into open refrigerators or stepping on a curious Mordechai. 
There's even room in the kitchen for this little breakfast table! Since our office didn't fit our two desks like our last two homes did, we re-purposed one desk by putting it in the spacious kitchen and having a little breakfast nook. We'll also sometimes have lunch here. Considering that we put one of the two leaves in the middle of the dining room table, making it seat 8 guests at any time, it seems a little outrageous to eat a casual pasta lunch staring across taper candles. 

When our landlord asked what colors we wanted the apartment painted, we left out the kitchen because it seemed like a lot of work (considering he painted every single other room!) and I also have no idea what color I would want the kitchen to be. Ideally, if it was a perfect world, I would like to have grey walls in the kitchen and to paint the cabinets white, but that's a huge process. Maybe it's a project that we could tackle next summer, considering we plan to be here for years. Any other ideas for what colors the kitchen could be, minimal work, while also tying into the rest of the apartment? Let me know!

8 comments :

  1. oh I LOVE it yelle!! this house really seems to suit you. All of your things look so perfectly at home here. And I really love that you have enough room in your kitchen for a little table - it's one of my dreams. Congrats on finding such a fantastic place. xo

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    1. thank you christine! you've got a little breakfast nook on the wallpapered wall, don't you? missing you and your posts! hope all is well.

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  2. your home looks pretty, Yelle! and so comfortable. i love your breakfast table

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    1. thank you niken! i love comfortable <3

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  3. What a lovely home! And I love the typewriters on the wall. :)

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    1. thank you charlotte! i think i saw typewriters on the wall in a movie once, and i had to imitate it! my typewriters don't get much use other than viewing their beauty anyway :)

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  4. The place looks great Yelle! You have really settled in quite nicely.

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    1. thank you santa! we've definitely settled in; it's the only way to keep on keeping on!

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