Casey’s Home 3 Years Later
Finn and I have officially been in our Chicago condo for 3 years now. And over that time, we’ve worked hard to improve every square inch of it. The more we makeover this place, the harder I fall in love with it. It truly feels like “us.”
Last year, I did a before and after tour of our home to commemorate 2 years. We’ve made some updates since then, so I figured I’d do that same post idea again this year!
Our Chicago Condo
We live in a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago. I absolutely adore our location because we’re a quick stroll away from amazing coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping (read about my favorite neighborhood spots here). Not to mention, my mom, sister, and brother all live within walking distance. Although our place isn’t huge, we couldn’t be happier with our location and it’s more than enough space for just us two.
It took us a while to find “the one”. The Chicago real estate market is competitive and things go fast! We lost a bid on a place before we found this one and I was so sad at the time. Looking back, I’m so happy it worked out the way it did because this home is much better suited for us. I actually looked past this listing online multiple times before we finally decided to go see it. Luckily, we were able to look past the decor that wasn’t our style, and see a condo in an amazing location, with tons of natural light, and good bones! One visit and we knew it should be ours!
Patio – Before & After
The patio has come a long way over the past 3 years. I finally got around to staining the deck this year, which greatly improved the look of the wood. I also added some new outdoor patio furniture to make this space feel like an extension of the interior. While we only get to use this space about 4 months out of the year (dang Chicago weather), we take full advantage of those summer nights.
With the twinkle lights on, it truly is a magical place to be.
Master Bedroom – Before & After
Yes. It was green…oh so very green. Not exactly our vibe, so we painted the walls the color “Gray Owl” by Benjamin Moore immediately! I also swapped out the fan, added DIY blackout curtains, a bamboo shade, new bench, new bedding, and floor-length mirror. We also converted this little corner to a small office that has served us well for the past few years. It’s the perfect spot to charge your computer and get some work done. And we’ve been really great about keeping this space clutter-free and organized (which I was nervous about from the start!).
Master Bathroom – Before & After
This room hasn’t changed at all since last year’s post. When we moved in we made some simple upgrades…adding shelves over the toilet and swapping out the pendants over the sink. While the beige tile isn’t totally our style, we won’t be making any large changes any time soon.
Guest Bedroom – Before & After
This is probably my favorite before & after of the whole bunch! I love that we turned this room into a functional space for our guests. While I was hesitant to go bold with the dark navy color, I’m sooooo pleased with the end result. It makes for the coziest guest room vibe and the “Dutch Licorice” color is absolute perfection.
Bridget & I spent 2 days adding the wood wall treatment behind the bed and that is still going strong. I also changed the light fixture, built the fauxdenza for storage, and hung the gallery wall in here. The space hasn’t changed much in the last year, although we’ve definitely pared down on the number of accessories (except for our beloved guestbook!). It’s a small space and it was feeling a little jampacked with items.
Someday we hope to turn this space into a nursery, but for now, it’s the coziest spot for our guests to relax when they visit.
Hallway – Before & After
When you live in a small space, you’ve gotta make every spot work for you. This hallway (with a door that leads out to the back of our condo) was begging for some attention. Bridget & I added the board & batten in a single afternoon and I use it every.single.day to hold my bag and other random items. It still looks white and fresh and adds so much character to this otherwise boring hallway.
Guest Bathroom – Before & After
You guys definitely know about this transformation…our bathroom reveal! This project was on our to-do list for 3 years and I’m so happy we completed it in July. The guest bathroom before wasn’t the cutest and we were eager to get rid of the tub we never used. We love the new shower and the fresh look of this black and white space.
Kitchen – Before & After
I’m not going to lie…the kitchen is my least favorite room in the house. And no, not just because I hate cooking (although that is true!). The dark cabinets and black countertops have never been my faves, and we never thought it was worth it to completely renovate this space. Maybe someday, but for now we’re happy with the small upgrades we’ve made. Like a subway tile backsplash, new pendants, and all new appliances. I also changed the bi-fold doors that lead to our laundry and hot water heater. I always hated the cheap slatted ones and instead bought nicer ones and added molding as detailing. It made a big impact in our space and was an easy DIY project.
Dining Room – Before & After
When looking for a Chicago condo, Finn & I reaaaaally wanted to find one that had room for a dining room table. It’s amazing how many places don’t have the space. The floor plan in our place worked out and luckily we were able to add our own “dining room.” We still adore the marble table and the assortment of chairs. I keep it styled like this for every day and often find myself working at the kitchen table because this room gets such great light!
Family Room – Before & After
A new layout and built-in bookshelves transformed the space from the start. We also stained the floors before we even moved in…changing them from a yellowish color to the Jacobean color we have now. We added electronic window shades to increase privacy and those have served us well over the past few years too.
3 Years Down – How Many to Go?
While I’m so pleased with where we’re at in our home journey (honestly…there isn’t much left to do), we realize we can’t stay here forever. I’m not totally sure what is next for us, but for now, we’re going to continue to love this place a while longer.
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.