Our New Home Reader Q&A

Whoa questions! Thank you all so much for your support over our new place! 🙂 It’s amazing the kindness you can find over the internet! So ya’ll had a lot of questions but fortunately a lot of them were asking the same things so I’ll try and get through them here!

Let’s get started!

1. Is it the suburbs or city? What neighborhood are you moving to?!

We are staying in the city! I’d rather not share the neighborhood until we close.

And once we move, I’ll share what neighborhood #SchmiedskiGreystone is in! I’ve heard some guesses but no one has got it right except for a few followers who happen to live right around us! So I think most of you will be surprised. 🙂


2. Is it a single-family home? If not, how many units?

building entryway

It is a duplex down penthouse – meaning the building has two units, and we are the top unit. The lower unit has the basement and first floor, we are one staircase up and occupy the second and third floors!

So many of the places we looked at and liked were up two or even three flights of stairs, which we knew would be too much with Henry and the dogs, so this was the perfect compromise! We get the light and security of being higher up without having to lug everything up multiple flights of stairs! No elevator!


3. Is it a new construction or renovation?

kitchen sink and cabinets

Our new place is a new construction but it wasn’t quite finished when we saw it! We are not renovating! So we were able to make decisions on finishing touches that had not yet gone in!

We get to choose: cabinet hardware, lighting, countertops, fireplace surround, kitchen backsplash, and paint colors! One of the items we put in our in our offer was a request for the builder to trim out the master bedroom – which is easy peasy for him. We also negotiated adding in a farmhouse sink with our offer! I am SO SO glad we did because I really don’t care for the sink he was going to use…

We do not get to choose: anything else including tile in the bathrooms and cabinets, all of which was already in!

Above left is a photo of the kitchen sink that was going to go into our home, as seen in another property of the builder’s; on the right is the sink I chose for our kitchen! Plus we’ll be doing brass hardware on the cabinets and a stunning bridge faucet; small but BIG improvements if you ask me:


4. Square footage?

It’s approximately 2400 sq. ft.


5. How many rooms? Bedrooms? Bathrooms?

master bedroom
guest/kids bath

It is three bedrooms and 2.5 baths – exactly what we were looking for! There is also a living room, dining room, kitchen, family room + three private outdoor spaces and a front yard! Literally exactly what we were hoping for and more.


5b. What about parking?

This is a biggy. Parking was on our list of non-negotiables (along with big living space, lots of natural light, easy in and out, not a busy street, and some other things). Garage parking would be a perk. And somehow we ended up with two garage spots. In the city. Excuse me while I happy dance emoji over here.


6. What compromises did you make on your new place that you felt were okay to deal with?

I kept mentioning that any time we saw a promising home, there’d be a serious dealbreaker that would lead us to walk away from it… and when I asked for advice, everyone said, you won’t find a perfect place. Makes sense – I accept that!

The only things that are not ideal in this new place are: bedrooms are small (but not too small – totally livable) and the back staircase to the garage is outdoor, not enclosed, which is tough for Chicago winters. Oh, and the exterior front is not my favorite style.

That is literally it. Everything else we love about it! So those are the “not perfect” things that we are more than ok to live with!


7. Is the front yard yours?

No – the front yard will be shared.


8. Is there an outdoor space out back? WILL YOU HAVE TWINKLE LIGHTS?

front deck

The home has a front deck (shown here), back deck, and 20×18′ rooftop terrace with skyline views! Oh yes. There will be twinkle lights!


9. Will you miss living in a pre-war home?

Hah of course I will definitely miss our living room and the 12′ ceilings. But there’s enough going wrong in this place that I am ready to move and have NEW things for the first time ever! Is it weird I’m super jazzed to have new doors? 🙂

It’s funny someone send me a DM saying “wow they almost never make homes like this anymore!” referring to the built-ins and trim and details! I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t see a single new construction with this traditional style and detail. So even though I’ll miss the charm of this place, I’m very happy with the level of it in our new home!


10. What will you do with the third bedroom? Will you have an office?

We’ve been debating whether the third (and decently small) bedroom in the front of the house will be a guest room or office, but considering we have overnight guests less than 5 times a year, we decided we’re going to make it our office! And utilize a nice blow-up mattress when we have guests. They can have our bed and we can sleep on the blow-up! No big deal!


11. Is it yours yet?

We are under contract! We have not closed. Such a weird between time where it feels like ours but technically is not.


12. Was the school district a factor in your home choice?

It was not. This is our first home, and we’ll likely move to the suburbs before Henry is 5 and schools really matter! We’ll want something bigger (4 bedrooms) and a yard then!


13. What will your master bath look like?

master bath shower

The master bath has a double vanity that is grey. I am planning on doing brass faucets and hardware from Kohler, and hopefully these sconces (horizontally) from Rejuvenation! I did not get to choose the shower tile (shown above), and it’s not my favorite thing in the world but I don’t dislike it either! And of course, it’s a HUGE upgrade from our current place, has a rainhead shower, and steam function so let’s be honest – we are thrilled!


14. What design vibe are you going with in your new home? Sticking with the New Victorian or something ‘breezier’ a la blue cabinets? Are you taking everything with you or starting fresh with decor?

Love this question. I am not exactly certain and am trying to figure that out. Hah I had a WHOLE plan for a suburban house but since we are staying in the city, and this is a traditional style home… I’m a little at a loss. These photos I just pulled from Serena and Lily’s instagram are kind of where I’m at! Lighter. A bit more relaxed.

Victorian definitely does not work in the new space… so I’m trying to decide what items will work from our current place! I of course want to use as much as possible! It’s like a puzzle trying to figure out what will work where. I usually have vision, and right now, I don’t really!


15. Will you be taking the beautiful chandelier?

I am trying to decide if it will work over our dining table or in our master, which has a high ceiling… my gut is telling me no.


16. What’s the best feature of the house, other than the gorgeous millwork and built-ins?

kitchen built-ins

The size of the kitchen! Which opens up to the family room and back deck and is decently open to the dining room and living area… it’s just such a great layout and the thing we loved most when we walked into it! Big, airy, bright living space!


17. Have you decided on a color island?

Right now I’m leaning toward no blue… I know. Sad. The island is currently a medium grey color and I think for resale it’s better, and I think this is not the “blue cabinet” home… that would be better in our next suburban / country house complete with shiplap walls!


18. What paint colors on the walls?!

staircase down to living room

The seller’s realtor asked what color we wanted, and I said “WHITE!”

“White? Everything?” she asked.

“Yes! Everything white, please!”

So right now the whole place is being painted Super White by Sherwin Williams in an eggshell finish.

It’s funny – people think a color makes the trim and millwork stand out, but I actually think it looks prettier all in white! Less like it’s been added on and more like it’s all one fancy wall. At least with it all white, it will be super easy to paint over should we want to! Like Henry’s nursery or even the office!


19. Will you share the builder?

I will once we close!


20. Dishwasher?

Hahaha yes! We will finally have a dishwasher!


21. Are you going to design Henry’s room the same?

Yes – his is the only room I know will be exactly how it is here!


22. Color scheme?

TBD! I honestly have a much easier time decorating with neutrals. I genuinely struggle incorporating color. Even when I try, I think the neutral version looks best. Hah but having kids makes me want to try and incorporate more color – make the home a bit more “kid/family/fun” feeling! So we will see!