Quantcast

before and after

Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse

by Annie Werbler

“When you’re looking for a fixer-upper, there’s less of that struck-by-Cupid’s-arrow feeling,” admits Lauren Ross, who recently updated every last surface of her 1895 frame house in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. With the help of handy boyfriend Kevin and his expert contractor father, the past 9 months were spent DIY-ing major renovations like expanding and gutting the kitchen, moving and replacing a deathtrap of a stairwell, laying all new hardwood flooring, installing a gas fireplace, and adding additional closets.

Throughout the process, Ross geeked out on the building’s long history. “I felt good about inheriting a house that had been home to the previous family for 40 years,” she shares. Every aesthetic decision she made, from selecting doorknobs to moldings, was influenced by what would have been there in times past. The ceiling medallions fixed above nearly every hanging light also work within this historic framework, but Ross reveals she acquired them to cover unpatched electrical holes when she needed to focus on more pressing matters.

Ross took a more minimalist approach in decorating the refreshed space. “I am fanatical about not accumulating meaningless or useless stuff. This meant having super-human self control in the décor aisles of Target,” she jokes. Luckily, she was able to repurpose almost all of her furniture from previous residences. The homeowner is inherently more comfortable with grey, black, white, and wood tones, but wanted to prevent the space from becoming a sea of neutrals. Claire Staszak of Centered By Design helped her color-averse client choose furniture, art, paint colors, and vibrant, eclectic furniture pieces to enhance the existing collection. Despite being a lean and mean construction crew of three, the team completed the renovation at once instead of maintaining an indefinite work zone. Though it was a whirlwind, the excitement they felt at seeing it come together, knowing that it was a result of their own hard work, just can’t be beat. —Annie

“After” photography by Joe Tighe

Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
1/20
In her Logan Square living room, homeowner Lauren Ross added architectural moldings and wide-plank hardwood floors.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
2/20
The entryway door was removed during the course of the renovation, revealing the shock of blue beyond.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
3/20
The knit wallhanging was a homemade project done by Ross herself.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
4/20
Detail of an airplant with the room's vibrant Interwoven area rug.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
5/20
Elegant window treatments in the bay window filter warm sunlight throughout the series of rooms.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
6/20
The bright red bookcase, inherited from family members, carries color from the living to the "fireplace room" (Ross hasn't figured out what to call it yet!) through an open threshold onto more subdued tones.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
7/20
The home's stairwell was relocated to this (formerly dining) room and a built-in bookshelf added in dark wood tones to unify the finishes. Wall ladder with folded throw blankets built by Luke Staszak.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
8/20
Ross installed the gas fireplace and designed its custom mantel with grey subway tile surround. Her great great grandfather’s earthy area rug came from a family trip he once took to Arizona. It is oriented on the diagonal to keep the room from feeling like a passageway, and instead, a place to stay.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
9/20
Detail of items above the fireplace mantel, including an inky black-and-white sketch from Minted.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
10/20
In the completely overhauled kitchen, Ross removed a wall to eliminate a bedroom, creating one large open space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. She also closed up the former stairwell, demoed the plaster walls, and built everything back up from the studs. The butcher block top kitchen island waterfalls on this side only.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
11/20
A new dining area where the old kitchen used to sit. Ross painted the white design on it the jute area rug, and combined a custom dining table from Guice Woodworks with chairs passed down by family members.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
12/20
Ross got a great deal on her kitchen cabinets at a Kraftmaid outlet in Ohio; the only catch was they were all different colors and needed to be painted. The butcher block island top and floating shelves are Amish crafted.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
13/20
A crisp subway tile backsplash and marble basketweave accent above the Bosch kitchen range paired with a sleek hood from IKEA.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
14/20
The home's stairwell was moved from a kitchen corner to the middle of the house for improved functionality.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
15/20
Windows, doors, moldings, and floors were replaced in the cozy master bedroom.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
16/20
A much-needed walk-in closet was added to an interior corner of the bedroom, dividing up the large space into a more intimate setting.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
17/20
A custom-made Luke Staszak wooden headboard pops against the Martha Stewart Gabardine-painted walls.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
18/20
A geometric pattern from Cute Stencils is inked on the entryway wall painted in Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
19/20
A red door, contrasting wall treatment, and new slate floor tiles make a statement from the street.
Before & After: A Logan Square Stunner for the Color-Averse, on Design*Sponge
20/20
A deeper, dustier Sherwin Williams Gibraltar paint color updates the home's exterior along with house numbers, a new mailbox, and industrial outdoor light.

Suggested For You

Comments

  • I’ve been looking for some good grey paint colours. Can you share the shades used in these main floor rooms?

    Thanks!

  • Congrats Lauren and kudos to your expert design team of Kevin and his father! It’s a wow!! Enjoy your refreshed and refurbished space !

  • Pippin and Rebecca, here are the paint colors we used downstairs. Thanks for all the nice comments!

    Front living room – Sherwin Williams Simple White
    Middle room (with fireplace) – Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
    Kitchen – Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
    Entryway – Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik

  • Very impressive transformation! Can you share the window treatments in the living room and the type of paint used to paint the cabinets and perhaps what the process was to do so?

    • Thanks, Katie! Those front windows are weird sizes, so we got custom shades from Smith & Noble. (They’re the woven waterfall shades in Kiyoki.)

      They were kinda pricey, but you can find good discount codes and coupons online. And we’ve been really happy with them.

    • For the cabinets, we used Behr Creamy White in eggshell finish. And we used a paint sprayer on the doors and drawer fronts to get a good, even coat. And we used a brush on cabinets themselves. Because there was so little tint in the paint though, we had to do 3 coats.

  • Hello. You took away the chair rail in the fireplace room and replaced what looked like narrower boards with wider ones. Any reasons for those decisions, as we make such choices ourselves? Thanks

    • Hi Aleanor – Yeah, we removed the chair rail since we knew we weren’t going to use that room as a dining room.

      We went with 8″ baseboards because they covered a lot of cracked plaster at the bottom of the wall where we ripped up the old baseboards. And we thought it looked a little more polished.

      Thanks!

  • I bought a house built in 1890 last year, in the Finger Lakes region of NY state. The last people who lived here also had the house in their family for 40 yeas! The downstairs has had a LOT of work done already, but not all to my taste, so I have found a way to incorporate my style while making the existing elements work. We promised ourselves that we would not make any major renovations unless we are here longer than 5 years. The upstairs, on the other hand, needs a LOT of work, but we can’t afford to do a lot right now. This gives me ideas and hope :)

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x