Modern life and design in our historical American Foursquare home

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Our House | Laura and John | Rather Square

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (William Morris, 1880)

We’re Laura and John, artists and graphic designers who are redesigning our new-to-us “rather square” home, a 1920s American Foursquare in the Chicago area. Our house combines unique historical features with our modern and kid-friendly functionality. We’re embracing challenges and successes and even failures, and making this home our own. Hope you enjoy our story!

Here are a few links to get you started (or keep reading for more info and insights about us):
House tour
Our journey to home ownership
Our State of the House posts
Thoughts on blogging

More about us

We’ve been living in and working on our home for almost two years now. This is the first house either of us has ever owned – and it’s definitely the oldest house either of us has ever lived in! We’re growing and learning together with each project we tackle. As we renovate, update, and design our home, we try to do things intentionally and thoughtfully the right way, rather than slap together quick fixes. Sometimes this approach takes time and a lot of research, since we are not professionals trained in interior design or architecture or construction (we’re merely very enthusiastic DIY-ers and just regular people). But we don’t mind taking our time – we expect to be working on this house for the next few decades. For us, it’s more about the journey than the destination.

We both have creative backgrounds. We’re graphic designers by profession, and we try to apply our design sensibilities to the look and feel of our home. It’s been fun to stretch our creative vision into the interior design world as homeowners, and we’ve learned so much along the way!

John also has a degree in industrial design, and is pretty handy with all sorts of tools and carpentry implements. He has his own woodworking business on the side called Nuzzles, operating out of a studio space in our basement that he’s currently renovating into a proper workshop. He handles much of the big construction projects around the house.

Laura started life out as a fine artist, and leads most of the painting projects we do (she wields a mean paintbrush). She also organizes our project schedules and works on growing our vegetable and herb garden. In addition, she’s been designing and building websites for many years, and is the primary writer-designer-coder-manager for the Rather Square blog.

Our focus is to live a modern life in our home while still respecting its historical significance. We love sharing our successes and failures with all of you – thanks so much for visiting us!

Questions? You can contact us here with any inquiries.

New to our blog? Take our House Tour!

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