We’re moving! No it’s not to the same scale as our move last year, but we’ve enjoyed Chicago so much we’ve decided to call it home for another year. Just under a year ago we started this journey – and I’m happy to report that ten months later, we are still loving this big, eclectic city. When we first moved here, we picked an apartment based on the friendliest property managers who were willing to send us various photos and answer our many questions. We moved in less than 24 hours after completing our American visa interviews, having never physically seen the space before.
We were pleasantly surprised when we met the property manager, completed a walk through of the industrial, loft-style apartment and were handed the keys. We returned to our hotel that night (with a brief deep dish excursion) to get a good night’s rest. The next morning we were elated as we checked out of our hotel, hopped in a cab and officially “moved in” (with all two suitcases) to our first Chicago apartment.
After dropping off our bags, we picked up our rental car and made our way to IKEA with the sunroof down – not by choice… I couldn’t figure out how to close it – and a soundtrack of Kanye West, Desiigner and J reassuring me I was driving really well (“no one would know you weren’t from Chicago”). We made it to IKEA, bought an entire apartment worth of furniture, loaded up the SUV and drove all the way back with only two meltdowns – one just three blocks from the apartment when a driver honked and gave me the finger, the second when we arrived to our parking garage and I couldn’t park the bus-sized SUV between a BMW and Porsche.
This apartment has treated us well: it saw us drink beer and eat pizza on the floor while we assembled our new furniture, it housed our first Christmas away from home, it is just walking distance from some of our friends, and it saw me wear my pyjamas for entire days when Jason was away for work. We have absolutely loved our little space in the South Loop. It was the perfect home-base to better acquaint ourselves with the city.
One of our favourite parts about Chicago is how it is so neighbourhood-centred: West Loop, River North, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, we spent almost a year exploring all of the different neighbourhoods, steeping in their unique character and enjoying how different they are.
When J’s office announced it would be moving, we started looking to close-by neighbourhoods so he could still walk to work. Luckily for us, our favourite neighbourhood is just over the river from his new building. After a few walk-throughs, we bit the bullet and signed a lease for our new apartment in the Fulton Market district. We upgraded from our current one bedroom “convertible” apartment to a proper one bedroom (which has me surprisingly excited – I never imagined I’d be so happy to have a bedroom door again). We also opted for a tenth floor apartment and I’m already daydreaming of the beautiful natural light we’ll get each day.
So with our move less than a month away, I’ve started making a wish list for our new home:
- Unlike our current apartment (with its light grey walls), the new space has white walls and unique light fixtures, I want to capitalize on this.
- I’m not much of a minimalist but I do love bright, airy, Scandinavian vibes so accent pieces (preferably in gold and pastel tones) are totally necessary in the new space.
- Greenery – I want our apartment to basically be a greenhouse.
- I literally kick myself every day for not buying a rug at the souk in Marrakech last year. I will be on the hunt for a rug that will add warmth to our new space.
- I am looking forward to not having as-high ceilings. I often feel swallowed up in our current space which makes it difficult to feel cozy.
Working from home most days, I feel like I really need to make the new apartment feel like home – something I failed at in our current place.
I’m totally an interior decorating rookie so if you have any recommendations for inspiration, let me know! I tend to re-purpose pieces (ie. the credenza that I turned into a dresser and centrepieces from our wedding that are now coffee table conversation pieces) and like to get resourceful with spaces. The new apartment is smaller than our current place so I’m looking forward to getting creative with less space and storage.
Stay tuned as our journey unfolds! I’ll keep you all in the loop (ha!) as we begin our transition to our new home.