Home affiliate A Chicago Cottage Modern Renovation: Photos & House Tour

A Chicago Cottage Modern Renovation: Photos & House Tour

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Jon and Michelle Sturgis weren’t actually looking for a new home — certainly not one to completely renovate — when they stumbled across this Wicker Park workers cottage for sale. But the charming size, history, and potential for an iconic yard made making an offer an obvious yes.

“I have been enamored of workers cottages ever since I moved to Chicago, so when my husband sent me this listing it was love at first sight,” Michelle begins. “It was built in 1892 and is on the back of the lot with no garage, which allows us to have a huge (by city standards) front yard. We love our dog way more than we love our car, so this trade-off was a no-brainer. It needed some love, but had really charming details like the original brick wall, railings, doors, etc. so it was easy to see the potential.”

Thankfully, they are no strangers to renovations. Michelle’s interior design company, Slate Studio, was born out of her keen eye and internal drive to create homes that are easy and comfortable to live in. It’s easy to spot a home designed by Michelle and Slate Studio simply by how happy and immersed her customers are in their new and improved spaces. 

They did the renovation in two stages. “The first was the main floor (gut kitchen renovation, sun porch enclosure, and adding a closet) and then we tackled the other two floors later with cosmetic updates like millwork, paint, and wallpaper. The kitchen was definitely the hardest part to live through (one can only withstand so much microwaved soup), but it was worth it in the end!” she explains.

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