August 10, 2022

Our New Home

On a blustery Friday morning in late March, Andrew and I saw this home for the first time. The listing agent held the front door open for us as we stepped into the foyer. I held my breath, hoping and praying that this could possibly be the one.

After months of searching, we’d grown discouraged. Chicago’s spring market was remarkably competitive this year, and while it thrilled me to see my firm’s sellers receiving multiple offers on their homes, this season was a trying one for buyers — ourselves included! Andrew and I checked for new listings morning and night, scouring both the private market and the public websites. We were running out of space in our condo and expecting our second daughter right around Labor Day — our goal was to move by summer.

Once inside, we kicked off our shoes and started to get our bearings. Andrew and I had both our moms in tow — his was visiting from Georgia that weekend, and mine drove in from Hinsdale for the showing. There was a lot going on with the four of us, plus the listing agent, entering all at once. I split off from the pack and began to take it all in:

The high ceilings. Windows, so many windows. The dark, gleaming hardwood floors. The pristine crown molding. Trimwork galore! The marble fireplace. The built-ins. The regal staircase.

I made my way toward the kitchen, and my mom tugged my sleeve. I saw her face and knew that we were on the same page. My mom, who has the best taste of anyone I’ve ever known, was absolutely, positively glowing.

“Melly,” she tugged my arm and whispered. “It’s perfect.”

And it was.

This vintage duplex stood out as one-of-a-kind, filled with light and charm and a timeless feel. We discovered plenty of bedrooms and closets, two levels of living, a private deck, a spacious chef’s kitchen, and even a powder room (Andrew, Holly, and I were very much ready to graduate from our one-bathroom condo!). Most importantly, the address: our dream location! On one of our favorite blocks in all of Lincoln Park!

Andrew and I rushed home from the showing in a frenzy. We typed up an offer and a letter to the sellers as quickly as we could muster, and sent it off soon after that. There was zero hesitation. Lord-willing, this was the Everetts’ next home.

One month later, we signed the purchase paperwork at Chicago Title. It was official. We were moving into our dream home.

But, not quite yet. The sellers were renting back from us until early June, so we had some time to wait. That was okay with us, since we had a pretty big task at hand… selling our place.

We purchased our beloved Lincoln Park condo in June 2018 — a vintage gem of a property, just one block from Armitage Avenue. Over the course of four years, we filled it with so many memories. It was our first home together. It was Holly’s first home, too. And it was where we found out our family was growing by one more.

Our condo served as the backdrop for candlelit dinners, happy hours, Bachelor nights, holidays, and birthdays. It saw us through growth in our faith, in our marriage, in our parenting journey. It watched as I built my real estate firm, slowly and steadily. It supported Andrew’s career as he navigated new rhythms of working-from-home. Our home provided a place for us to laugh, to cry, to relax, to pray, to be.

Unsurprisingly, I was a ball of emotions from the day we listed it until the day it closed!

The sale itself was seamless. We hit the market just before it started to slow down, and we ended up with ten offers from ten incredible sets of buyers. Andrew and I were baffled at the outcome — it was truly a God-thing. We closed in late May, and our buyer graciously allowed us to rent back from her for a few weeks as we prepared for the move.

While our city welcomed summertime, we were busy packing. (Well, mostly Andrew was busy packing — I was seven months pregnant by this time and much less helpful.) Cue the tears! All the tears. I knew it was important for us to move on and into a larger place, but my heart clung to every single memory in every single room. By the time the movers showed up in early June, I hardly had any tears left.

That was that. We waved goodbye to our home, and we spent our first night in our new one — complete with Athenian Room takeout, tornado sirens (true story!), and boxes everywhere.

It has been a little over two months since we moved in, and oh, have we been busy.

Unpacking. Cleaning. Renovating. Measuring. Decorating. Ordering. Shopping. Returning. Wallpapering. Whew!

It takes a village to make a house a home, and we were blessed this summer by many people who’ve helped us get settled. Friends unpacked with me and came over to see our new space, my mom spent countless hours drawing up floor plans for us and scouring shops of all kinds, our incredible contractor completed a list of projects in a very timely fashion, our sweet nanny watched over Holly despite the chaos going on inside, and our neighbors welcomed us with such kindness.

My husband deserves the highest praise of all. Andrew has handled anything and everything, from the physical demands of settling in, to the emotional needs of his very pregnant (and nesting) wife. I’m the kind of person who treasures the feeling of home, and this move certainly tested my patience. Andrew reminded me, over and over again, that all things would come together — though not overnight.

I’m not missing our old condo as much these days. Finally, this one feels like our home, and we cannot wait to bring our new daughter here next month.

My best friend came over this week to snap a few progress pictures of our living room. We’re not done yet (will we ever be?), but I am so excited to share a sneak peek! More to come — I promise.

Sofa: Baker // Chairs: Hickory Chair // Coffee Table: Highland House // Chinoiserie Stool: Yankee Peddler // Fringe Stools: Target // Lamps: Circa Lighting // Rugs: Linda’s Barn // Chairs & Shelf: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams // Ottoman & Table: Vintage // Lamp: HomeGoods // Fireplace Hurricanes: M on the Square // Desk: Vintage // Desk Chairs: Nancy Corzine

Photos by Courtney Cimo Photo & Film