This Abandoned House
From vacant and abandoned to the most distinctive house on the block...watch the transformation!
Learn how we bought and renovated our dream home at the height of the recession!

Backyard Reborn: Before and After photos

Posted on 9/25/2013 by Maggie Marystone in landscaping before & after rebates makeover deck outdoor living design ideas

One of the big reasons I wanted to buy a house was to have some outdoor space of our own. Not one of the five apartments I've occupied in Chicago had a yard to speak of. Here's a quick update on how our backyard makeover has come along since we moved in.

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This Abandoned House Gets Curbed!

Posted on 9/24/2013 by Maggie Marystone in chicago afterphotos corrugated metal praise

We got some really nice press from the good people at Curbed Chicago today. Forbes calls Curbed "The granddaddy of all real estate blogs," so we are really excited and grateful they highlighted This Abandoned House!

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This Abandoned House featured on Houzz

Posted on 9/23/2013 by Maggie Marystone in inspiration afterphotos planning

I wish I had known about Houzz when we began planning our renovation. You can create different Idea Books to keep track of ideas you have for your project. You can also browse through other people's Idea Books, save their photos to your own Idea Book, or comment on photos you like.

Like Pinterest, Houzz offers a bookmarklet to help you easily send photos you find on the web straight to your Houzz Idea Book. It's a great site for inspiration.

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Pinterest is a hotbed of ideas for corrugated metal siding

Posted on 9/20/2013 by Maggie Marystone in corrugated metal Pinterest

I've been finding some really great uses of corrugated metal siding on Pinterest lately. Check out (and follow!) my Corrugated Metal Siding board on Pinterest. Take a look below to see what I have come across. It makes me wish we had more leftover siding!

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DIY corrugated metal garden planter

Posted on 6/13/2013 by Maggie Marystone in exterior DIY landscaping corrugated metal garden planter

After browsing Pinterest for corrugated metal garden planters for way longer than you might think necessary, we finally made one ourselves. It seemed like it would be a small project compared to the deck, but it took longer than any other project we've embarked upon so far.

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Bugs!

Posted on 4/18/2013 by Maggie Marystone in planning products Projects pests

Last month, I refinanced the house to take advantage of the super-low interest rates. The application process included a termite inspection, an appraisal, and an inspection by a construction expert from my lender. All 3 inspections happened on the same day, one right after the other.

Since the house was essentially built in 2010 (major renovation), we weren’t expecting any issues, but we were definitely interested in the results of the reports. I remember the termite problem we had in the house where I grew up. It wasn’t pretty. Those little buggers can do some serious damage, and you likely won’t know it until it’s too late unless you have an inspection by a licensed, reputable pest control service.

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Hot off the press: Your Guide to Pinterest

Posted on 1/30/2013 by Maggie Marystone in planning Projects corrugated metal writing Pinterest

I wish I had known about Pinterest while we were planning the house renovation. It is such a great tool for finding amazing products, collecting ideas, and organizing information. It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon, but once I did, I immediately saw how fun and helpful Pinterest can be. That's why I said, "Yes!" when the good folks over at MakeUseOf.com asked me to write Your Guide to Pinterest.

The guide includes everything you need to know to get started with Pinterest. It was really fun to write, and I hope people will...ahem... make use of it. Ha ha.

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Modern kitchen design at Rural King

Posted on 1/22/2013 by Maggie Marystone in inspiration products afterphotos kitchen

Every time the Chiasso catalog arrives, I look for barstools for the kitchen island. Unless you're right in front of the stove on one of those cushiony mats, standing on hard bamboo for any length of time can make your feet hurt.

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it has proved to be a natural gathering place when we have visitors, so we've been on the hunt for some nice, affordable barstools since the day we moved in.

Red ones.

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About

I'm Maggie Marystone. Here's some info about me and some other projects I'm working on.

Ninja Mojo - Custom programming and data-driven websites

Lakeview Strategy Group - Consulting and problem-solving in Chicago

Get into Google+: A Guide for Everyone - Get it free at MakeUseOf.com

Your Guide to Pinterest - Get it free at MakeUseOf.com

Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times - Years ago, I met Studs Terkel, and he interviewed me for his book about hope.  He called me Maggie Morningstone, and he gave me apple juice.