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January 28, 2009


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Making it Lovely

Can't you tell her that you're a fabulous designer and that you'll be improving the rentability of the unit?

(p.s. Welcome to Chicago!)

Katie (aka Porcelain)

Eeep! That is pretty terrible! It wouldn't be so bad if you could take the wood around it off.


That is a challenge, but I'm sure you'll think of something...so sorry about Domino, but can't wait to see what you'll be doing here.


I bet Emma is going to love curling up in front of that fireplace. Just don't tell her it is faux! She's such a needy little thing. Besides, she will now be able to watch light dance through those art glass windows. Lucky Emma.


So sorry about the news of Domino, but you did such wonderful work there and you should be very proud.


Wouldn't it be fabulous painted black with the glass shelves replaced with mirrored shelves? Or is that too hot tranny mess?


I love the floors. Please show us picture of the whole place!!

kate d.

that fireplace couldn't be anywhere but chicago! it's classic.

jealous of all the delicious deep dish, sausage and steak you'll be around. (is it weird that my best memories of my chicago college years all involve food?)

have fun!

Kate F.

Gorgeous floor.

The fireplace is....interesting. But with things on the shelves and something filling that very gilded interior, maybe it won't be as bad?


I am so glad you started this blog! Cook the land lady some yummy stuff and she will let you paint it any color you want.


Oy. I wouldn't even know where to start with that sucker! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with all this space!!


at the very least, take out the shelves and maybe add some removable wallpaper to the back panels?

It also may be very worth the investment to make a cover for the fireplace that is removable. Like build a big box that fits over the mantle?

maison d'etre

I'm SO excited for all these ideas! And now I can say what I really, really, really think. Heaven help us all. I do think, all these options are good ones:

a. flatter land lady
b. fill shelves with books to hide the putty color of the wood
c. go over the top with it
d. make it into a home for Emma the cat
e. eat sausage and grill a lot on my back deck and ignore the fireplace


Perhaps you could talk her into letting you stain the weird putty colored wood to match the floors? The shelf might end up looking less out of place if it matched?


I think you should just take out the glass shelves. The surround itself is not awful. Those shelves make it terrible...very 80s in a bad way. Without the glass, it could almost me modern rustic...a big surround just for its own sake.


Did you know that you're moving to a block, where two Chicago design bloggers already live? Design Boner lives very close (she alerted me that you were moving here) and I live in a building with the same basic layout as your new building (side entrance, big sun porch) as you (but across the alley). Small world, huh?

I'd like to invite you and Design Boner (i.e. Porcelain i.e. Katie) to dinner at my place and to welcome you to the hood.

Sorry to hear about Domino.

Email me if you have a chance: strangeclosets@yahoo.com




A MDF surround needs to be constructed for this. Then you can paint, tile, or even brick it over to look exactly like you want.

maison d'etre

what's an MDF surround?

Kate F.

You know, like on the HGTV shows when they build a sort of wood (MDF--it's that manufactured wood stuff, very flat, easy to paint, cheap) slipcover for ugly fireplaces that they can't just rip out!


What Kate F. said. ;)


My thoughts exactly! It's a relatively easy project. Box that sucker up and keep steppin'! No one will ever know.

masion d'etre

Oh, I have to go look that up. And get to IKEA!


I love the idea of a fireplace slipcover!
Hahahahahaha... I can't stop laughing ... I know it's weird to type 'hahaha' ... but you HAVE to know how great I think the idea of you getting that fireplace slipcovered would be!

I LOVE your new place! Both apartment AND blog!


oh, i miss chicago. best city in the world. so i got this cool poster so i can remember how much it rocks:http://orkposters.com/chicago.html they have brooklyn ones too.

Outdoor Fireplace Designs

Awesome post!

My family and I adore our backyard, it is really turned into our own little private retreat, especially now that we've added a fireplace out about the deck. We adore the outdoors so thats where you are able to usually discover us hanging out. There's absolutely nothing like spending a night with buddies and family chatting around the fireplace! My husband and I love relaxing through the fire for a quiet night all to ourselves! We use the fireplace every chance we get, even on warm nights it's still wonderful to have a crackling fire going. Camping out about the deck through the fire has turn out to be a favorite for the children, and us too because there is no travel time and no packing! Our children adore the fireplace, and I truly think our loved ones "camping" trips out to the deck exactly where we camp out by the fire have brought us all closer together.

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