• 5 Must Haves to Complete Your Family Room

    Everyone thinks the kitchen is the most important room in the house, and they’re not wrong. But I know 9 times out of 10 we’re taking snacks right out of the kitchen and curling up in the family room. It’s a tricky space to get just right – between wanting it to look like an adult space, live like a family space, and still allow for the kids to feel like it’s their space. Here are a few of our must-haves to finally get all of the above:

    Read More
  • Sunday Scrolls: Best Finds of the Week (Jan. 26th)

    We’re always on the lookout for inspiring podcasts, great reads, or a new recipe to try out. So we thought it might be fun to share our favorites every Sunday, in hopes that one or two spark your interest to give a go in the week ahead. Also because, there’s no room for Sunday scaries when you’re looking forward to Monday motivation!

    Read More
  • Dear House Virgin,

    Getting a text this morning from a new client looking to buy her first home made me revisit this post from a couple years back. As it turns out, it’s one of our most-read. That feeling of buying your own piece of the American Dream is one that resonates for a lifetime. Here’s a snippet from the archives:

    I’ve mentioned before that I bought my first home at 21, barely able to celebrate with a glass of bubbly. I’ve learned so much a decade and seven homes later. Man, there are so many things I wish I knew back then. Here’s what I would tell my younger, first time homebuyer self; Read More

  • Pack Picks: Map Out Your Master

    The master suite is actually the last room we design in each house. We thought it was just us, but surprisingly, that’s the case for many. And maybe it’s not surprising at all given how much we devote to others; our kids, our family, work…we’re at the bottom of the barrel. But given that a lot of our friends have declared 2020 to be the year that they start filling up their own cup again; we think design-wise, it starts in your bedroom. Here are some of our must-haves to make this sacred space your haven:

    Read More
  • The Perfect Recipe for a Cozy Night In

    Living in Chicago, cozy nights in are the name of the game for the majority of the winter months. We were on a city tour once that touted “the Windy City got its nickname for the hot air bellowing from the city’s politicians”. And while that may have been true at some point, you can’t discount the actual wind blowing off Lake Michigan that will send chills straight to your bones. So while we have the best intentions to bundle up and head out for the best food in the country (really! a study confirms it), many nights are spent doing this (and loving every minute):

    Read More
  • Ten Minute Fixes for a Happy Home

    You might have stumbled across one of our favorite quotes on our home page. It reads “home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling“. And I really believe that. While people are always kind to compliment the design of our house, or the projects we’ve tackled; the greatest gift is when they tell us how at home they feel while visiting. Here are a few of our favorite ways to create that feeling in ten minutes or less:

    Read More
  • Pack Projects: Pre-Listing Punch List

    While the official start of spring is 70 days away; the spring market for real estate is about to bloom, and we want to be ready for it. A big mistake a lot of sellers make is waiting for the “right time” to list their home. When the leaves on the trees have that perfect shade of lime green, when they can pot colorful annuals on their porch; that one week in the year where all the stars align. Truth bomb: That’s too late. Many buyers have been stalking the market all winter waiting for a gem to come on, and chances are, it hasn’t yet. So once fresh listings start hitting their inbox (in mere weeks), a flurry of activity will erupt, and you want in on that action. (So do we). Read on for what we’re doing to get our own home ready for sale.

    Read More
  • Pack Planning In 2020: Happy New Year!

    2019 was such a transitory year for our family, and we are so grateful for where it led us. We moved back to Chicago, started Grey in preschool, went full speed ahead on projects at casa de NixonPack; and grew stronger as a triangle with the loss of loved ones and fur babies. I used to love making lists full of hope for the New Year, but they mostly consisted of eating better, working out more, the usuals. Like many others, I failed. And over the years, our lists have evolved to spotlight our big picture goals, dreams for our family, and adding in more fun. Because who doesn’t look forward to crossing that off the list?

    Read More