Casey’s Home Tour 2 Years Later
Two years ago, Finn & I closed on our condo here in Chicago. After months of searching and searching, we finally found a space that checked off all our must-haves. When we initially walked in, we weren’t in love with all of the colors/finishes/decor…but we looked past those things and saw all of the potential in this space. Good bones, a large layout, and an ideal location.
We’ve now spent the last 2 years getting it just the way we want it. It was really fun to look back at these old MLS photos of our space before we moved in to see all that has changed in such a short amount of time. We didn’t do any major reconstruction, instead a lot of cosmetic updates to make it more our style.
Casey’s Home Tour
Today I thought it would be fun to celebrate this two-year milestone by comparing what our space looked like then and now. I used the wide lens to try to capture the exact same angle as the “before” photos, so you can get a good sense for all that has changed.
So let’s get to my home tour…
The biggest project in this space was definitely the built-ins we had a carpenter build and install. I really have no idea what I would have done on that wall if we didn’t add these. Definitely worth the money as they add so much storage and style.
We also added blinds on the large front windows for some extra privacy. It wasn’t the cheapest addition, but it was a must as the blinds keep it cooler in here during the summer months, protect against the sun, and provide that necessary privacy.
Calling this space a dining room is a bit of a stretch, as this is just an area with a table. But we looked at so many places in Chicago that didn’t even have room for a dining room table, so we are pretty dang happy to have space for this one!
In here you can really see how we changed the floors from the yellowy color to a nice dark stain. We did that before we even moved in, and it was a game changer!
While I haven’t always been in love with the dark countertops and dark cabinets, I didn’t think it was worth it to change them out right away. Instead, I added a white subway tile to brighten things up, swapped out our appliances, installed a new faucet, and changed out the pendant lights. All little switches that made a big difference in the space.
Well, I think this room wins the award for “most dramatic.” What a difference! The previous owners used this room as a catchall, but we decided to turn it into a functional guest room. The bold color was a scary decision, but in the end, I’m happy we went for it!
Bridget and I spent a whole weekend putting the wood on the wall behind the bed and painting the entire room “Dutch Licorice”. Then I built the fauxdenza for extra storage, added wall sconces, and hung a gallery wall of some of my favorite pieces.
The guest bathroom hasn’t received a ton of TLC, but I did make a few changes right when we moved in. A new light fixture, unique mirror, and some accessories have been a nice update to make this space presentable. I’ve hemmed and hawed about really re-doing this bathroom (new tile, new vanity, etc.), but for now, that project is on hold. Maybe someday soon I’ll get to it!
Even hallways deserve attention, and Bridget & I transformed this small area in an afternoon! You know we love board & batten, and adding it right here by our back door has been a lifesaver. The hooks come in handy, and adding some custom woodwork makes this space extra special!
My favorite room in the house…our bedroom! Right when we moved in, I was eager to get rid of the green walls and replace them with Benjamin Moore’s “Gray Owl.” DIY blackout curtains, a textured window shade, and a sleek black fan upgraded this space. Then I also transformed the corner into a small office area that has served us well over the past 2 years.
A few small tweaks took this space to the next level too. I love the shelves over the toilet (lots of storage!) and after lots of back and forth, I finally settled on these new black pendants for over the sink area.
It may be small, but we’ve done our best to maximize our triangle-shaped outdoor balcony. I couldn’t be happier with how this space has turned out. I think next year we’ll have to re-stain the deck and I plan to upgrade our patio furniture, but for now, it’s working out really well.
I’ve gotta say it was fun to look back at these photos to see how far this place has come. I love our home and while we won’t be here forever, I’m definitely enjoying the years we are here.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.