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Bloggers We Love: Q+A with Yellow Brick Home
Images courtesy of Kim and Scott Vargo
The bloggers: Kim and Scott Vargo
The blog: Yellow Brick Home
Passion: DIY home remodeling
Pella: When did you develop a passion for home remodeling?
Kim: As a child I matched my bedding to my school-bus-yellow walls, and I painted my dresser a matte black. I also remember obsessively choosing paint colors in my first college apartment. My roommate and I would spend hours in the paint aisle, landing on the most vibrant blues, pinks and yellow – and we went for it!
I’ve always had a love for it (and I’m glad I got all that colorful energy out of me in my earlier years!), but when Scott and I purchased our first condo in Chicago together, we both jumped in. That’s when we really started to hone our DIY skills, building everything from media cabinets to hallway storage. It all escalated from there!
As a photographer and blogger, what inspires you?
Chicago! We’ve lived here for 10 years and we still exclaim at the green boulevards, the company in our local coffee shop and the grit of this hardworking city. It’s intoxicating, and we’re constantly soaking it in.
What prompted your move from Cincinnati to Chicago?
Adventure, hands down. It was as simple as that!
You first lived in a teeny condo before moving to the fixer upper you're remodeling now. Tell us about your six-year experience at the condo. What did you learn throughout the remodeling process there? How did it feel to leave it all behind and start over again?
We look back fondly at that experience, because it’s where we really started to realize our abilities and love for DIY. Because it was less than 700 square feet, we got really, really good at small-space solutions, and to this day it’s still a puzzle we enjoy solving.
To be honest, we feel more comfortable in a small room than a large one, and when we moved into this home (close to three times the size of our former!), we had to relearn scale. It’s been a challenge in the best possible way. We still own that condo, and we’ve been renting it out ever since the move to our current home.
Yellow Brick Home Living Room
Describe your home in three words.
Cozy, quirky and classic. Our home is almost 130 years old, and so although our penchant is for a more classic taste (think velvets, chrome and brass, black and white, wood tones and texture), we still like to add a dash of quirk. We think every room needs something a little unexpected, and we never take our design style too seriously.
What is your interior design philosophy?
If you love it, that’s truly all that matters!
Tell us about your recent kitchen remodel. What are you loving about the new space?
We were fighting against a furnace closet and oddly spaced windows, and we really wanted to find a way to incorporate our backyard! The yard is right off the kitchen, but there was only a small door that led out to the back. We ended up closing up one window but then added a six-foot wide sliding patio door with Pella® Insynctive® technology*, and now the kitchen is the sunniest room in the house!
By closing off a window, we could run our cabinets along that wall, and we DIYed a small island using a dresser and a slab of maple butcher block. Everything is clean, white and bright, and we warmed it up with the island and added contrast by painting the Pella door black. Although it will always be an oddly shaped room, we couldn’t love it more.
How can windows and doors impact a space?
Before moving into our current home, we would have never considered switching out doors and windows – or better yet, adding doors and windows! But adding a window where there wasn’t one isn’t as involved a process as we once thought. We have also discovered that by swapping a solid door for one that has glass panels, the entire feel of the room changes.
Best piece of home advice you've ever received?
You do you.
Best piece of home advice you've ever given?
No one notices your home’s imperfections (the baseboards that need caulking and the hallway paint that could use some touching up) more than you. Put in some honest work to make your space the one you love, and really live in it.
Find tips and inspiration to plan your next window or door project by visiting our Plan Your Project online resource center.
* This was a sponsored project. Pella provided Yellow Brick Home with a sliding patio door with transom, and all opinions are Yellow Brick Home’s own.
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