A Heartwarming/ Heartbreaking Renovation

I was in the middle of a full fledged renovation meltdown yesterday- back-orders, high quotes, days ticking away before we begin and way behind on designing it- panic was clawing it’s talons into my chest and threatening to render me to tears in public several times.  And then I read this story and thought, “I am damn lucky to be able to be here to do this renovation. Get a grip.”  A couple years ago we were all heartbroken in the blogging world when design blogger Marija was killed in a car accident coming home from an antiquing trip.  She had been blogging and planning a renovation of a gorgeous new home and in the middle of it she was taken away not only from her dream project but her loving husband and children.  It’s on of those things we all think will never happen to us, but in reality, it does.   However, in a wonderful turn of events, Marija’s dream home design was seen through thanks to designer Julia Edelman of Buckingham Interiors + Design and showcased in Chicago Home Magazine this month. While it’s incredibly sad she’s not here to see it I am sure that from wherever she is she is so pleased her family has such a lovely space to call home and be together. I hope they all continue to heal within these walls.


  1. Truly stunning! It’s wonderful that her design was turned into reality. I remember that tragedy so well and can’t imagine what her family has gone through since then. It’s great that they can live in the space that their wife and mother dreamed up for them.

  2. Her home is fantastic. Enjoy the process of renovating your home, because, it is a process. I have lived in my home for 14 years now and we still are renovating (1940’s center hall colonial). Every year we have our interior winter project list and our summer outdoor project list. Plus, those not so fun projects that cost a fortune like roofs and septic systems. After we had kids, we changed the way we used many of the rooms and exterior space, so our original plans/thoughts changed. What we thought we wanted as a couple without kids changed onced the kids arrived. It’s definitely a journey that’s never complete, at least in our house! Enjoy!

  3. Erin,
    I do believe in silver linings – and heavenly divine intervention.
    How beautiful for her family to live in this home of her design.
    How proud they must feel each day. I sketched her home and sent it to the family after their loss.
    We all need to give love each day.
    Your home will be full of love too. I know it will.

  4. Such a beautiful house, and so bittersweet. I recall reading in that article that the family has since relocated to
    Lincoln Park (north side of Chicago) from Hinsdale. Maybe living in the house was too much to bear?

  5. oh my word this is amazing! So happy they finished AND kept the bedroom side tables that she got right before passing. She was a beautiful person inside and out.

  6. Perspective is a wonderful thing to have. I live in New Orleans and everyone here was forced to renovate, sometimes with no resources whatsoever, when our homes were destroyed after Katrina. It is a wonderful gift to be able to renovate a home when you want to, on your own terms.
    Enjoy all of the decisions and stress!

  7. It is remarkable the good that surrounds good people! May her family live a long and blessed life in a place so filled with her memory!


  8. Thanks for sharing the photos. The home is beautiful and I’m glad it was completed for her. I still think of Marija. I believe the family has since sold the house or at least moved away. I’m not sure where I read that.

  9. Hang in there, Erin. Yes, it’s all much more expensive than one can ever anticipate (adios steel windows!) and it’s hard to let go of some of the gorgeous design elements that we have drooled over for years and feel like we must have (I’m looking at you, reclaimed wood floors). I think the way forward is to trust that your ingenuity with the materials you can afford will make up for some of the deficiencies in budget.

  10. What an amazing space and incredible story. I hope that things get a little bit easier for you and that you can enjoy the process, even though it is stressful. Hang in there, and know that we’re here…listening and thinking you are wonderful!

  11. Thanks for sharing, I remember reading the post in tears. What a beautiful home! A little perspective is always good. Whenever I am freaking out about all I have to do and am stressing, my boyfriend he always says, “these are all good problems to have” and indeed they are!

  12. I remember reading of her passing- such a beautiful family and woman. Definitely a reminder to count our blessings.

  13. does anyone else remember that she was with another blogger? i’ve often wondered how the woman that survived is doing.

  14. Life is so heartbreaking…my tears stream every time I think about her story and her husband’s beautiful last post for her blog. This home renovation is such a beautiful thing.

  15. Erin,
    I was alerted about your post from a client of mine this morning.
    I can’t tell you how meaningful it was to read it and to again feel the vibe that we all experience from time to time that our design lives are wreaking havoc with our ability to focus in on the “real stuff.”
    Marija was the “real stuff” and her legacy lives on within all of you that knew her and treasured just that about her.
    Completing her family home was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
    It remains a compelling force within me each day to live life to the fullest and to really try to not sweat the little stuff.
    A great reminder to us all, no?
    Thank you for sharing!

Comments are closed.