Well consider us flattered. After sharing our recent redo in Renee’s charming living room, we were contacted by her friend, Raul, a realtor in our bustling Windy City. After a few emails and a quick phone call, we were officially booked to help him stage a condo up for sale in the eclectic neighborhood of Edgewater, just a quick jog from that massive lake. The catch? Use the existing furniture and decor, and a little of our own elbow grease.
So off we went this past Sunday, where we were met by Raul and the current super-sweet home owner, Margarita. Her living room was pretty large (by Chicago standards), but she had just one too many pieces of furniture, a touch of clutter, and that A/C unit wasn’t doing the room any favors.
After Margarita greeted us with a good, firm handshake and offerings of tea, we got right to work. She gave us her blessing to do as we pleased, and to set the mood, she even queued up some opera music. First things first: get that no-good unit out of those picture-perfect windows. Once that bad boy was gone, Scott and I shuffled around the furniture, eliminating one chair, to make for a more conversational environment. We then used her two small tables to book end the couch, and stacked her many books and magazines in a way that was a little less chaotic and a little more pleasing. By the way, she had an amazing collection of old Architectural Digests and art books. It took all my might to not drop everything and begin skimming my way to magazine bliss.
She had more than a handful of beautiful photos of family and friends, which I know seems a bit taboo to leave out when you’re trying to sell. However, she was very nostalgic and reeled us in with her magical stories of each carefully framed print. Rather than tuck them all away, we displayed a few of our favorites on her entryway console table, and dispersed the rest throughout the home in non-descript places.
Wondering where that extra green-flowered chair went? Why, in the second bedroom. It found it’s way into an empty niche, perfect for keeping that lonely couch company.
I could tell she was sad to see this place go, as her stories of everything I touched (each photo, figurine, and book had a memory attached) not only got her a little misty eyed, but also warmed my heart. Seriously. As we left, she embraced us in hugs and even sent us off with a fine bottle of wine. She is truly a wonderful woman, and we wish her the best in her next venture (we hear she’s headed south to the sun and warmth). Also, a great big thank you to Raul for thinking of us.
In the end, this YBH team spent just 2 hours revamping the space, which is not a bad deal considering we got to meet such an adorable lady. And the budget spent? Why, just a measely zero bucks. A few switcheroos and this place is prepped for the market. It’s just too bad that all the potential home-buyers can’t meet the lovely Margarita.
“After” photos courtesy of the MLS listing. In the market? Check it out. You’ll see that this baby’s a whole lotta house.