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 and renovating 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.

The Entryway, Before

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 (Front 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. 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.

Front Parlor, Before and In Progress

After

Hey, it holds half of our books! (We really must pare down.)

Home Library with Rolling Ladder | Making it Lovely

Home Library with Pink Chairs | Making it Lovely

We love this room at Christmas, especially. Here’s how it was shot for HGTV’s Christmas 2015 issue.

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

And here’s how we set things up ourselves a year later.

Home Library with Christmas Tree | Making it Lovely


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Living Room (Back 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.

Living Room, Before

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 Living Room, Annie Selke Rug

Victorian Home, Modern Living Room

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


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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, Before

After

Working with the room mostly as it was, we brought in our table and chairs from our first house, changing only the wall color.

Subtle Pink Dining Room with Wood Trim, Making it Lovely

Dining Room with Unison Home Table Settings | 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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Family Room (The Snug)

Before and Currently

We had initially thought that this would be a fantastic home office, but it’s now serving as additional family space.

The Snug, Before

After

The wallpaper that came with the house stayed, and we added seating, storage, and a TV.

Storage Bookcases and Cabbage Rose Wallpaper


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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 Hallway, Before

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


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Our 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.

Bedroom, In Progress

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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Dressing Room / 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.

The Closet, Before

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


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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.

The Den, Before

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.

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

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

Striped Rug Ottoman from Annie Selke Furniture | 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.

August's Room, Before

After

We peeled the rest of the wallpaper off and painted the walls green, which we lived with as a temporary fix for a couple of years. When we decided to really fix up his room, August wanted light blue and red. I also painted all of the wood trim white, and the doors black.

Dutch Boy Paint: Frosted Olive | Making it Lovely

Boba Fett Stands Guard in a Kid's Room | Making it Lovely

Bookshelves, Star Wars Framed Prints | Making it Lovely


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Calvin’s Room

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.’ This is the front portion of the third floor, a finished attic.

The Rainbow Room (Before)

One Room Challenge Fall '17: Office, Before | Making it Lovely

After

Playroom #makingitlovely

Playroom #makingitlovely

Making it Lovely's Playroom


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My Home Office and ‘The Rainbow Room’

Before

Yes, it was initially the playroom (see above). The kids didn’t spend as much time up here as I thought they would though, and meanwhile I was in need of a proper office space for myself.

Finished Attic and Playroom, Before

Finished Attic Space | Making it Lovely

After

Room to work, all the storage I could need, a comfy spot to sit by the windows, and a beautiful table in the center. It’s a joy to work in here.

Making it Lovely's Home Office Makeover for the One Room Challenge

The Wallpapered Rainbow Room and Home Office | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge Fall 2017

Finished Attic Home Office, Wallpapered Closet / Storage Room | Making it Lovely, One Room Challenge

Making it Lovely's Home Office with Center Marble Dining Table | One Room Challenge


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Guest Room (Third Floor)

Before

No closets, but there are two bedrooms on the third floor from when our home was split into apartments. They are similarly shaped with the larger one becoming our guest room and the other storage space.

Attic Guest Room, Before

After

Bed Centered Under Attic Eaves

Pink Guest Room, Patterned Bench at Foot of Bed

Wooden Dresser with Brass Pulls


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Bathroom (Third Floor)

Before

Bathroom (Third Floor), Before

After

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

Small Bathroom, Black, White, Brass, and Wood | Making it Lovely

Hand-Painted Tumbling Blocks Bathroom Floor | Making it Lovely

Brass Centerset Bathroom Faucet


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Craft Room / Former Kitchen

Before

The third kitchen in our house! Again, a leftover from when the home had been split into apartments. Eventually, this will be an amazing craft room.

The Craft Room Kitchen, Before


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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

The Lovely Victorian


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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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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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