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Workplaces

Our house is warm! Our house is warm! We woke up this morning to a not-freezing house, even though we’re getting hit with another arctic blast. The thermostat downstairs is set to 70° and it’s actually that temperature. Thank you, plastic-wrap window film.

We’ve also closed off the small room downstairs, a former porch off of the kitchen, that should be my office. I moved my computer out of there last month when it became clear that the space had some insulation issues. Fingerless gloves are all right, but I don’t really want them to be part of my work day. I’m at a desk in one of the bedrooms on the third floor now instead. We’re lucky to have the space to be flexible, but we have other plans for the room I’m in now.

I was photographed recently for Splash, the magazine in the Sunday edition of The Chicago Sun Times, and the focus was on workplaces. The turnaround was quick, so they shot in my living room instead of my home office. The issue came out yesterday, and you can read it online here.

Chicago Sun Times Splash, Making it Lovely

Proud! (Hello, laptop and @ sign. It was a story on bloggers, so props.) But then here is why we didn’t shoot in my actual workspace…

Temporary Office

Not so proud.

That’s my temporary office. The desk and lamp were Brandon’s in the last house, and the chair is one of four waiting room chairs I found in an alley ages ago. We’ve had them kicking around forever. Crazy wires and a general lack of styling? Super pretty. It’s working for now, but I do want a dedicated office space here in the house that I can make nice. I’m just not sure where that’s going to be yet.

We have to figure out what’s going on with that room downstairs at the back of the house. It’s open below with a storage area beneath (accessed from the yard), so perhaps better insulation from underneath would help during the winter? Or, if we really want to get crazy, we could knock out the load-bearing wall between it and the kitchen, and make one amazing kitchen. That’s a huge project though — one that is on our maybe someday a decade or more down the line list. I don’t think we want to bump that up right now, but if we did, we could really gut the space and address its issues properly.

I’m thinking out loud here a bit. What would you do?

Feels Like Home

Last week, someone asked me on Twitter if I ever get spooked in this big old house. I grew up in the Chicago area (River Grove and Franklin Park), but we didn’t have Victorian houses in that neighborhood. My only references to them as a kid would have been The Addams Family and The Munsters. Creepy, but not scary. More awesome, really.

I am easily spooked though. I no longer watch scary movies because I can’t stop thinking about them for days months years afterwards. The Gift creeped me out. I don’t even remember much about it, besides a scene with some water and a tree, and oh let’s not think of it. I’m pretty sure that The Ring was the last one I saw, where I decided that yes! That’s it! I’m done with these! In the old house, more often than I’d like to admit, I ran up the stairs at night. Because: zombies. I know it’s irrational, but at least it was good cardio?

In this house though, there has been no nighttime running up stairs. No sprinting down halls in dumb terror. Brandon tries to mess with me. I told him what I was writing about today and he said “yeah, this house is good. Except for that sound of a baby crying. You ever hear it? In the hallway upstairs. But it always sounds far away…” (It isn’t working on me. Yet.) This house feels right. The kids took to it immediately, and we all fit in very happily here. I think that as long as I can go downstairs for a glass of water at night without being scared, and we can have impromptu picnics in the kitchen the next morning, we’re good.

Impromptu Kitchen Breakfast Picnic

This house feels right in so many ways. I hope we’re here for a long, long time.

The Victorian House: Kitchen, Bathroom, Office, and Back Porch #1

Here’s the rest of our new house’s first floor! Think of this as ‘The First Floor: The Wallpapered Edition.’ (There will be more upstairs, too.)

You’ve seen a glimpse of the kitchen already. Here she is, in all her glory.

Wallpapered Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Tin ceiling! Not original, but period-appropriate.

Tin Ceiling

The stove is not vented. It’s wood burning on the left, gas on the right. We immediately blew out the pilot light five minutes into owning the house, and had to run to a neighbor for matches. Then it happened again, and again (but at least we had the matches to relight it). Good times! Continue Reading…

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