SEOP stories – Melissa Elsmo

We’re excited to share another SEOP story. Meet Melissa Elsmo, from the 1150 block of Taylor Ave.

SEOPCO: Tell us a little about yourself.

ME: My husband, Leif, and I bought our home in SEOP more than 20 years ago. We fell in love with our tiny bungalow and our SEOP community immediately. We raised two kids, Emma and Finn, in the community and still miss spending time at Irving School. These days I am a food writer for Wednesday Journal and work on Oak Park Eats–a food related vertical supported by Growing Community Media. I adore celebrating our local food artisans!

I am also a passionate chef and my SEOP bungalow has become a sort of secret (ish) dining destination for food-lovers who live both locally and globally. Sharing my SEOP home with both friends and strangers has become on of the greatest and most unexpected joys of my life!

SEOPCO: What do you love most about living in SEOP?

ME: I love the smaller footprint living exemplified in our SEOP community–as a result I find our little corner of Oak Park is made up of very close knit families and tight friend groups who are committed to celebrating our community and setting the stage to keep things great for the next generation. SEOP is made up of forward thinking, open minded and down-to-earth people who are thoughtful about creating and maintaining our vibrant section of Oak Park.

SEOPCO: Tell me something interesting you’ve learned about your house/block/neighborhood?

ME: I learned my house and the houses to the north and south of me were all build by the same person. They were identical in layout and completed in 1921, 1922, and 1923. I learned the builder, a mailman, was running out of money so each home had less woodwork than the next. The house to the north had two oak cabinets flanking the fireplace, my house only had one, and the home to the south had none. Today my 1922 bungalow still sits between its siblings, but is the only home with any of the original woodwork in tact- including that lopsided fireplace cabinetry. The vintage touches in my house makes it feel more like a home.

SEOPCO: How would you describe SEOP in one word or phrase?

ME: Genuine. 🙂