A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Storm Windows, Bookcases and Other Miscellany

Ugh, where does the time go? I haven’t been super busy, yet I haven’t managed to find time to post. Time to remedy that!

Lots of little things, and one somewhat big thing, are happening around the house.

In no particular order, here’s the latest:

I’ve been getting quotes to replace the gutters, soffit and fascia, but I think we’re going to have to hold off on that for a while. We have some leaky gutters in the front of the house, so the water drips onto the limestone porch railings, which isn’t good long-term. In a heavy storm, it also pours over the gutter on the side of the house. One of the problems appears to be an insufficient number of downspouts: we only have two at the back of the house and one at each corner was recommended. It’s an awfully long run for all that rainwater to flow from the front to the back.

It’s just a lot of money right now, and while I think it would also boost our curb appeal (I really, really, REALLY want to get rid of all that white!), it probably won’t happen this year.

I’ve also been getting quotes on storm windows for the front of the house. While we do have triple-track aluminum storms that the PO installed, they don’t do a good job of keeping cold air out in winter (plus there’s all that damn WHITE again! It just does not look good with the brick and limestone!).

There is also no storm at all for the arched basement window, and I think that is the first priority.

I think we’ll be going local for that window, but like many owners of old homes who are looking for the more traditional wood storm look (but without the traditional swapping-of-storms-and-screens-from-the-outside-on-a-ladder chore), I’m looking at Adams Architectural for the other storm windows on the bay.

Indoors, we finally received a shade I ordered for the kitchen back in March from Rejuvenation. I was a little disappointed in their updates on the order as well as the long wait time, however the shades are handpainted and they were probably backed up due to the sale they had on at the time. Photos to come.

I finally hung my collection of old family photos in the stairway. It was my initial preferred spot for those, but later I debated about hanging them elsewhere. After thinking about it more I decided it was the best spot after all. I think they fit nicely here.

The big thing that’s been consuming my time is moving my design/illustration studio to the extra upstairs space. While I enjoyed having a separate studio/office space outside the home for over five years now, I don’t have any employees and rarely have to meet face-to-face with clients, so I’ll save a lot of money by moving my studio home, especially now that we have the additional space. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ve been working at home a lot lately anyway, so it just makes more sense.

Right now the room at the back of the house is the dumping ground for everything, but I’ve managed to purge the bookcase in the dining room, donating over 100 books to the local library and recycling ancient computer manuals (“How to Do Everything with your Visor”, anyone?), and rearranged all the books and knick-knacks into a pleasing, organized “composition”. It feels great to have that chore done!

Bookcase, after initial book donation and before organizing and adding in more books from the studio:

Bookcase, after


  1. Devon on May 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Dumb question from Texas: what’s a storm window? I’ve been enjoying reading your blog since I discovered it a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure I understand what storm windows are. Do they attach just like screens, but with an extra layer (or two) of glass for winter?

  2. Bonnie on May 26, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I think the family photos in the stairwell are awesome. I always think a grouping of family pictures grounds the whole household and the stairwell is the perfect place for it because it is not TOO much in the public space, but not completely private either.

  3. denise on May 26, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Hi Devon–thanks for reading! Yes, storm windows are usually affixed exterior to double-sash windows and provide an added layer of protection from cold weather. The air between the storm window glass and window acts as insulation, like double- or triple-pane glass (but only if the space surrounding the storm window is sealed tightly, which isn’t the case for us). Our storm windows are combined with a full screen, so we can either raise or lower the top or bottom portion of glass in summer to let the fresh air in.

    Hi Bonnie–thank you! That’s a good point about the slightly public/private spot. Now that they’re up I see how it really adds interest to the stairwell, but is not too “in-your-face”.

  4. Beth Ann on May 31, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Hi, Bungalow persons!
    I am trying to find a good resource for replacing my original front arched basement window. It’s really two windows, sort of half circles. It is rotting as I write this. Can anyone help? I’m in the Chicago area.

  5. denise on June 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Hi Beth Ann! Here are 2 resources for custom windows that I know of in Chicagoland:
    TMC Windows in Evanston: 847-864-8031 and Just Sashes in Portage Park: 773-205-1429 (no web site). I haven’t used either place at this point, but they both seem to be reputable. Good luck!

  6. Carolyn on July 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Damon from Beverly Wood Works just announced that they’ll be doing custom storm windows and screens. He hasn’t yet posted anything on his website about it, but did post something on Twitter. I recommend checking with him on pricing.


  7. Beverly Wood Works on January 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm


    My name is Damon and I came across your wonderful blog after looking at my stats for the day. Carolyn is right, I am now offering custom storms as well as screens in addition to many of the other items that I handcraft. If you are still in need of a storm or two, let me know and we can schedule a time for an estimate. Just as a point of referrence, although a bit apple to orange, the screens that I produced for a bungalow in Berwyn cost $45 each.

    A bit more info can be found here…http://www.beverlywoodworks.com/2010/08/window-screens-and-lots-of-them.html

    For further info, feel free to call anytime at 312-617-8663


    Damon Nelson
    Beverly Wood Works

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