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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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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Peoples Gas Grass

Posted on 12/11/2012 by Maggie Marystone in landscaping before & after

It is the Murphy's Law of front-yard landscaping in Chicago: right after you make any improvement, some utility company will necessarily arrive and tear up your hard work. Months ago, Peoples Gas replaced a gas line in the neighborhood and had to (barely) dig up some of our front lawn. We didn't think they'd ever come back, so we sprinkled some grass seed and hoped for the best. It grew...sort of.

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Landscaping This Abandoned House

Posted on 10/10/2012 by Maggie Marystone in exterior afterphotos landscaping

Here's a quick update on some landscaping efforts we have made over the past few months. We started with a mud pit. Trash is a constant problem in the front. Note the Corona bottle and plastic cup in this shot of Java meeting a neighbor dog. Bit by bit, though, things have improved. We (mostly Brad) made a picnic table and chairs, built a deck, assembled a fire table and planted many plants.

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

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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.