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Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

A few months ago, I shared a peek at our latest project. Questions about our plans for the home poured in and they haven’t really stopped. Today, I am going to (finally) share a few before photos and some of our plans for this beautiful home.

The reason I haven’t shared is that we were working through the details, but it looks like it’s all coming together. I was hoping to share everything once it was finalized, but it’s getting too weird. I can’t let another month or two pass. So are we moving in? Selling it? 

Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

My mother-in-law has redone around a dozen residential and commercial properties, and both she and my husband are realtors in the Chicago area. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that years ago, Conor redid our 1920s condo. I would have loved to have been involved but didn’t have the time with work. Every time he went to look at finished or meet with someone to go over something, I couldn’t go, and I love this stuff, so it felt a little sad.

My mother-in-law had her eye on this project for years, but it would have been a huge project for her to take on on her own. When I sold my company, she asked if we would want to go in 50/50 and restore this house with her. We jumped at the opportunity. 

Our Plans to Restore an (Almost) 100-Year-Old Home

We knew that this would be a great opportunity to promote our store, Anecdote. It is our plan to turn the house into a show house to benefit the Hinsdale Historical Society. A lot of beautiful, older homes in Hinsdale have been knocked down the last few years, and we hope that by making this a show house, people might be inspired to restore and update older homes as opposed to tearing them down. This house was bought for land value and torn down for new construction. 💔

There are a few designers on board, so it’s all coming together, but it’s not 100% set in stone, which is why I hadn’t said anything until now.

We did not purchase the home for our family but if we don’t sell it right away, one of us might have to move in. I would obviously not hate that. But this house is an investment property and passion project. 

home restoration project

restoring windows 

House original windows

The original windows are all being sanded down and restored. Stucco is being redone. Original floors will be restored, and we’re keeping as many details as possible.

All of the bathrooms were redone after the house was built, so those need to be updated. Someone left a comment about not taking down a stained glass window. But it was added between a tub and toilet (in an interior wall) in what I’m guessing was the 80s. It is not staying. 😂 

stained glass window in bathroom

old houses restoration project

old houses restoration project

I promise to share more as things unfold, and I’m excited to share the design and restoration process. We’re working through kitchen design plans now! The house is gorgeous as-is, so it’s going to be incredible once it’s done. 

investment homes

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  • So very excited and love that your are doing this also as a showcase house. Congratulations and Good Luck!

  • This is going to be so fun to watch! thank you for sharing this with us

  • All the rooms are like “wow, wow, gorgeous, wow” and then you get to the bathrooms… 😂 The 80s were something.

  • I am a resident of Hinsdale and I am so excited about this project. I am also a big believer in restoring older homes in the area. I can’t wait to see the final product!

  • I am a resident of Hinsdale and also a big believer in restoring older homes. I can’t wait to see what you do with this beautiful home!

  • I cannot believe that the other house was bought for the land and torn down….soooo upsetting when that happens 😭😭😭

  • It’ll be fun following along. Too many wonderful homes are being torn down. Offering it as a benefit for the Historical Society is a great idea.

  • Cannot wait to see what you do with this property!! It’s going to be outstanding, I already know it.

  • So exciting to see this project!! Restoring old houses is so important, I can’t believe that house was torn down! I would have moved in as-is and lived my best grand millennial life.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do!

  • It‘s sooo beautiful and I‘m excited to follow the project evolve! Thanks for sharing with us. Such a great inspiration. Love from Hamburg, Germany

  • I suspect you will put that stained glass piece somewhere else, even if the somewhere else is a garage, outside, etc.

    1. If we can keep it in tact we’ll donate it but as I mentioned, it was installed in the 80s or 90s. So no, no plans to add it to the outside of this beautiful, historic home.

      1. Donation is a great solution! Sort of fits the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Totally get that it doesn’t fit the aesthetic of the house, but seems a shame to destroy it too, which I suspect you agree with.

      2. We will donate what can be saved/reused. I’m honestly not sure if they can salvage it though.

  • I’m so invested in this project. I cannot believe that beautiful historic home was torn down for “land value”. What is wrong with people?! If/when you sell this home, can you include a waiver that the house cannot be torn down?

    1. I have NO idea. I’d live in that house as-is in a heartbeat. Some paint, a few updates, and it would be stunning. They really don’t make them like they used to, and it’s heartbreaking when yet another white farmhouse (they are lovely, so not knocking them, but let’s save old homes) goes up where a beautiful, old home used to be.

  • I am crushed that that beautiful 1922 home you linked to was torn down for new construction. It was in amazing shape!!! So sad. Thank you for taking us along in your renovation journey!