Chic Chicago Renovation

Design enthusiast, dog-lover and tireless mother Kaylea Nixon of @nixonpack has a knack for turning old homes into real estate treasures. Step inside her latest colorfully calm Chicago row house.

"Growing up in the suburbs, I've always had an affinity for row homes because to me, they scream city chic. We fell in love with the tree-lined street and were surprised how well this space was laid out inside. This is our seventh renovation, and we always live in the house as we renovate, doing all of the design work ourselves. I really believe that your personal style and the design of your home go hand-in-hand. Just as you layer on jewelry to your outfit, we love playing with layers and texture. Sometimes I can't see when something isn't right in a room, but I can feel it. So, we swap out various house plants, throws, books and furniture until we get the feeling we were hoping to achieve." -Kaylea Nixon of @nixonpack

"When we first moved in, I was not in love with the kitchen, nor the lower level that hadn't been touched in nearly twenty years. The kitchen was dark, had far too many appliances that no longer worked, and not a single drawer for utensils. Two days in, we started gutting it, and three weeks later we had a bright, functioning kitchen. The original builder had selected the same light fixtures for each neighboring home, and they just weren't working with our vision. One of the first things we did was meet with our fab Lightology rep (hi Alyssa!) to quite literally swap out every single fixture in the house. For the three pendants in the kitchen, we imagined them like earrings completing the ensemble." -Kaylea Nixon of @nixonpack

"Ultimately, you have to design for what inspires and delights your family. I have a lot of friends who seem to thrive on their living room crowded with colorful toys and games, and many days, I envy them! But for us, we do better with a clean, well organized, cohesive space. Nothing we bring in is too precious that it becomes anti family-friendly. We also follow the one-in-one-out rule, so we don't overcrowd with excess items we don't need. You can go the luxe route with your lighting fixtures, mirrors/ art, and semi-permanent selections like countertops and hardware. Those items are hard to destroy, and they will all work together to elevate your design. But with furniture, you may want to go the luxe-look-for-less route while your tiny humans are still tiny." -Kaylea Nixon of @nixonpack

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