House Tour (The Victorian)

We lived in our first home, a 1910 Oak Park bungalow (just outside of Chicago) from 2007-2013, fixing it up and making it, well, lovely. We moved to our second home, an 1891 Queen Anne Victorian, in 2013 (also in Oak Park). We are updating the home with a nod to its history, without being beholden to the past.

Victorian House Tour: Front EntryVictorian House Tour: Home Library (Double Parlor)Victorian House Tour: Living Room (Double Parlor)Victorian House Tour: Dining Room

Victorian House Tour: Bathroom (1st Floor)Victorian House Tour: KitchenVictorian House Tour: Spare Room (1st Floor)Victorian House Tour: Hallway (2nd Floor)

Victorian House Tour: Our BedroomVictorian House Tour: Closet / Dressing RoomVictorian House Tour: Den / Family RoomVictorian House Tour: Eleanor's Room

Victorian House Tour: August's RoomVictorian House Tour: Calvin's RoomVictorian House Tour: Bathroom (2nd Floor)Victorian House Tour: Playroom

Victorian House Tour: Attic RoomsVictorian House Tour: Kitchen / Craft RoomVictorian House Tour: Bathroom (3rd Floor)Victorian House Tour: Basement

Victorian House Tour: Laundry RoomVictorian House Tour: Front PorchVictorian House Tour: Back PorchesVictorian House Tour: Back Yard and Garden

There’s always something more to do, but here’s a tour of where we started and where we are now.

Making it Lovely's Queen Anne Victorian House


Front Entryway

Before

The first space you see upon entering the house! Wood paneling, a gorgeous stairway and intricately carved newel post with Victorian details aplenty.

Stairs, Entryway and Coat Rack

Entryway

After

A sideboard, Victorian hall tree, and coat rack serve hold the shoes and coats for our family of five. Pink paint, matching table lamps, a modern copper chair, and a semi-antique Persian runner finish things off.

Oak-Paneled Victorian Staircase and Front Entry with Curved Window | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Victorian Front Screen Door | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Queen Anne Victorian Front Entry | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge


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Home Library (Double Parlor)

Before

A curved wall with windows, but not much else. We created a library in our first house and knew we would like to do the same here, and this was the room we chose.

First Parlor

In Progress

We had floor to ceiling bookshelves built, complete with a rolling ladder! The idea was for the shelves to look as though they were original to the house.

Built-in Library Bookshelves and Rolling Library Ladder #makingitlovely

After

I’m constantly on the hunt for an amazing patterned rug to go in here, or maybe drapes. Or both. It’s feeling pretty good as it is now though!

New Lighting in the Library and Living Room (Double Parlor)

New Lights in the Double Parlor

Here’s the home as shot for HGTV’s Christmas 2015 issue. This was shot in April, 2014.

Making it Lovely's Home Library in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

And here’s the room again at Christmas, December 2016 this time.

Home Library with Christmas Tree | Making it Lovely


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Living Room (Double Parlor)

Before

We had never lived in a house with a double parlor before, so we weren’t sure exactly how we would utilize the two spaces.

The Second Parlor

Fireplace in the Second Parlor

After

The front parlor became our home library, and the back parlor is now our living room. I knew from the start that I wanted to paint a room black. After living in the home to get a feel for it and to understand how the light changed throughout the day, I decided that this was the room to go bold with the wall color. The south-facing windows flood the space with light, and the black has a grounding effect when viewed from the adjacent rooms.

Black Walls, Teal Sofa, Moroccan Rug | Making it Lovely

Red Console, Peacock Mirror, Black Walls » Making it Lovely

Golden Pheasants and Fall Leaves on the Fireplace Mantel


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Dining Room

Before

The ceiling beams are a later addition, though they look appropriate to the house. The storage appears to be built-in, but is in fact freestanding and was left by the previous owners.

Dining Room with Beamed Ceilings

After

The walls have been painted and wallpaper is in order, but we cannot paper the walls until after we have finished rewiring the house (which is in progress).

Subtle Pink Dining Room with Wood Trim, Making it Lovely

Dining Room and Back Parlor | Making it Lovely


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Bathroom (First Floor)

Before and Currently

Why yes, that is a toilet with a wooden tank! This is a darling bathroom. We have made minor changes to personalize it, but the bones of the room were great.

Bathroom, First Floor

Bathroom, First Floor


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Kitchen

Before and Currently

We cook for a family of five on a hybrid gas/wood-burning stove from 1918. It’s not ideal. Cute tin ceiling though, to look on the bright side.

Wallpapered Kitchen

Cooking on an Antique Stove

Kitchen


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Spare Room (First Floor)

Before and Currently

We thought that this room would be a fantastic home office, but it has insulation issues. Now the plan is to someday incorporate it into a kitchen remodel.

Floral Wallpapered Office

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Second Floor Hallway

Before

The Victorian had been converted from a single-family home into a 3-flat, sometime around the Depression. The previous owners began converting it back into a single-family home shortly before selling, but there remained many quirks. The second floor hallway was reconfigured when we remodeled a former kitchen to create a bedroom.

The Upstairs Hallway #makingitlovely

After

The built-in storage off of the bathroom was demolished and the hallway opened up from the front of the house to the back. Walls and doorways shuffled about, the electrical system was rewired and new sconces were added, we ripped up and replaced the hardwood floor, and the hall is now back to its original layout. We painted the wood trim (fir) white, the doors black, and hung pink wallpaper.

Pink roman shade from The Shade Store, Farrow & Ball Tourbillon Wallpaper, Schoolhouse Electric brass light | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Brass Sconce, Pink Wallpaper, Black Doors, White Trim | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Brass Rope and Tassel Crystorama Sconce on Pink Farrow & Ball Wallpaper | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Looking Toward the Bedroom from the Wallpapered Hall | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge


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Bedroom

Before

The bedroom is a large room with lovely natural light.

Bedroom

In Progress

The walls were painted a a soft gray/blue (Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray). I worked at a desk in the bedroom for about a year.

Making it Lovely's Bedroom

Bedroom Office | Making it Lovely

After

We upgraded from a queen-sized bed to a king, got the desk out of there, painted the wood trim white and the doors black, and the walls went a soft peachy pink.

Bedroom with Ceiling Fan | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Bedroom

Super Cute Bedding and a Turquoise Lamp| Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Bedroom

Vintage Wooden Dresser Between Black Painted Doors in the Bedroom | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Bedroom


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Bedroom Closet

Before

The space is 8’x9′ at its widest points, but there is only one portion with a straight expanse of wall. The rest of the closet is taken up with doors, a curved wall, a window, and a sink.

Closet

Closet

After

The carpet was removed and the wood flooring beneath was shot. We had to rip it out, repair the subfloor, and lay new hardwood flooring before adding a new closet system.

Making it Lovely's Master Closet

Making it Lovely's Closet

Making it Lovely's Closet


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Den

Before

The den is a sitting room of our bedroom, accessed from the hallway or through the bedroom’s French doors.

Bedroom

The Family Room

After

We painted out all of the wood trim and gave the room a dark, moody blue wall color. Then I made six-foot-long giant insect art, as one does.

Striped Rug Ottoman from Annie Selke Furniture | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Den

DIY Huge Insect Art | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Den

Family Den | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Den

Looking Toward the Bedroom | Making it Lovely's One Room Challenge Den


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Eleanor’s Bedroom

Before

A blank slate. Eleanor wanted blue. Dark blue.

Bedroom

After

Dark blue it is, kid!

A Kid's Desk from Target, Making it Lovely

Eleanor's Room

Another shot from our HGTV Magazine feature.

Making it Lovely's Daughter's Bedroom in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue


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August’s Bedroom

Before

The blue and white striped wallpaper was cute and we had intended to keep it… until August peeled a huge section of it off shortly after we moved in. He was three.

Bedroom with Blue Striped Wallpaper

Bedroom with Blue Striped Wallpaper

After

We removed the wallpaper after its head start and painted the walls green.

August's Bed

Star Wars Art and August's Books and Toys


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Calvin’s Nursery

Before

This was a kitchen, back when the second floor was an apartment.

Second Floor Kitchen

Second Floor Kitchen

Second Floor Kitchen

After

We closed off doorways and moved the entrance to the room to turn it into a bedroom. I wasn’t sure about keeping the built-in cabinetry because it read very ‘kitchen’ to me, but it’s fantastic for clothes and toy storage.

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

Calvin's Nursery with Wood Built-ins| Making it Lovely


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Bathroom (Second Floor)

Before

The wall paper is not my cup of tea and I wouldn’t have chosen a pull-chain Victorian toilet, but here we are. The clawfoot tub is cute, and the bathroom is a good size.

Bathroom (Second Floor)

Bathroom (Second Floor)

After

We haven’t made any changes to this room. Eventually I would love to put up new wallpaper and bring more of our style into it while keeping a lot of the major elements the same.


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Playroom

Before

Wonderful light and a closet with a secret half-round stained glass window that we call “The Rainbow Room.”

The Rainbow Room Door

Attic Room

After

Playroom #makingitlovely

Playroom #makingitlovely

Making it Lovely's Playroom


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Spare Rooms (Third Floor)

Before

No closets, but these were the two bedrooms from when the third floor was an apartment. The slightly larger one will be our guest room, and the other is currently storage space.

Small Attic Room

Attic Guest Room


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Bathroom (Third Floor)

Before

Bathroom

After

Several cosmetic updates, the biggest of which was hand-painting a tumbling blocks pattern on the wood floor.

Hand-Painted Bathroom Floor | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

How to DIY a Tumbling Blocks Painted Floor | Making it Lovely


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Kitchen/Studio (Third Floor)

Before

The third kitchen in our house! Again, a leftover from when the home had been split into apartments.

Attic Kitchen

Attic Kitchen

Attic Kitchen

After

This is a room in progress, becoming a craft studio.


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Basement

Before

This house is never going to have a beautiful finished basement. It’s storage space, it’s dry, and that’s enough for us. We’ve upgraded some of the house’s systems (heating, electrical), and combined multiple commercial accounts into a single-family residential account (gas, electric). And it came with treasure chests and a safe! Really!

Basement

Basement Treasure Chest and Safe


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Laundry Room

Before

I appreciate the effort made here. Walls were put up, a drop ceiling went in, and the laundry room is its own room. We bought a washer and dryer and put a freestanding cabinet in, but that’s it thus far.

Basement Laundry Room


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Front Porch

Before

Are those roses not the most storybook charming thing you’ve ever seen? The adirondack chairs were left, but not in great condition.

Climbing Roses Over the Front Porch

The Front Porch

After

We reused the seating from our old house and brought in a swing chair, plus potted plants and flowers.

Victorian Queen Anne Front Porch

Swing Chair on a Victorian Front Porch | Making it Lovely


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Back Porches

Before

The house has two small porches stack on top of one another.

Back Porch #1

Upstairs Back Porch

After

More furniture from our last house, plus a small bistro table and chairs. Teeny little porches, but so lovely to have.

Making it Lovely's Back Porch


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Exterior and Garden

Before

We heard that the previous owner spent time on the garden like it was her full-time job. Ha ha hahaha, we thought. How hard can it be to keep up with?

The Garden, When We Moved In

The Garden, Last Year

After

Yep, it’s a lot. We haven’t done much to change the garden, but we did add a sandbox for the kids.

Play Area by the Back Door


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