Welcome to House Calls, a new feature in which Curbed tours the lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes of regular Chicagoans. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line with a few photos and details about your place.
[photos by Nick Fochtman]
Tim, Jarod and their dog Reggie were first time homebuyers when they began their search for a new place a year and a half ago. Along the way, they came across a renovated unit in a vintage Uptown building that fit the bill and decided to call it home. Although the building had been renovated in the '80s, the unit still needed some updates. And as creative, do it yourself types, Tim and Jarod were prepared to take on the challenge. Shortly after purchasing the unit, the new homeowners got started right away. "Within the first week, we did as much renovation as possible with the help of family and friends. New carpet, French doors, tile, paint, light fixtures, the list goes on," Jarod recalls. "It's an ongoing process but we really enjoy it. Our neighbors think we're strange knowing we have a toilet and sink in our basement, hanging out ready to get installed this spring."
Who lives here?
Tim, Jarod and our dog Reggie.
What are the stats?
1,400 square foot three bedroom, two bathroom unit with two private outdoor spaces. The building was rehabbed in the late '80s and most if not all of the design and charm of a 100 year old six flat is gone, sadly. However, we've put in a lot of work to give the place a fresh update.
How long have you lived here?
Just over a year in this particular unit but for about five years in Uptown.
What's your favorite thing about your house?
While the original architectural details might be gone, we have still managed to make the place feel warm and welcoming. Also, the windows are huge and we get an abundance of light all day.
What do you like least about it?
The size and layout of the kitchen. We all know the kitchen is where everyone gravitates and ours is a small galley that usually gets way too crowded. We're still trying to figure out how we can open it up someday. Also, one piece shower inserts. Why? We have to saw ours out.
What was the inspiration behind your design?
We are inspired by clean, functional design that tells a story. We travel often and try to find something unique at every place we visit, which we later incorporate into our home. Our style is similar in that we both have an affinity for modern, clean lines with a sense of simplicity and a little bit of fun by incorporating a lot of tchotchkes we've collected from our travels, our families and from thrifting.
Do you have any particular interesting stories about your home?
When we were cleaning out the basement and getting rid of stuff left behind by previous owners, we found blueprints from the late '80s showing the conversion of our building from 26 apartments down to six condos. It's interesting and weird to think that there was once a bathtub where our front door is or that there were just that many units before the conversion.
What's your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
The neighborhood is rich in history, diversity and fantastic architecture. Uptown was an epicenter of entertainment back in the '20s and there are several relics from that time including the Aragon Ballroom, Essany Studios, Uptown Theater, Broadway Building and so on. These places are all within a five minute walk from us.