My Favorite Projects from Our Condo
We officially no longer own our condo and will be moving out next weekend. It’s crazy to me how fast all of this happened. I feel like I was just telling you guys how I wanted to move this year, and then boom…our house was on the market, we got 5 offers, and we were under contract within days! My head is still spinning from the speed of it all.
This last week has been full of packing and as I’ve slowly taken down all of our stuff, I’ve realized how much work we’ve put into this place. So many condo DIY projects, so many hours spent overanalyzing pieces of furniture and accessories, so much love into every single room. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of my all-time favorite projects from this home. Some we did right away (like staining the floors), and some we only recently completed (like our fireplace), yet they all came together to create a very special place for us to live.
My Favorite Condo DIY Projects
So let’s get to my list of favorite condo DIY projects…in no particular order.
Wood Wall Treatment
Adding the wood wall treatment to the guest room was a super intimidating project for me at the time. I was new to power tools and the thought of using both a saw and nail gun in one DIY project made me sweat. Thankfully, I loved every minute of this project and it turned out so good (you can read part 1 here, and part 2 here)! It also got me in love with woodworking projects because I saw how a little hard work can make your home look more custom. Here’s a list of more woodworking projects I heart.
No Sew Blackout Curtains
When we moved into our condo, there were these itty bitty curtains on our large windows off the master bedroom. They weren’t the best look and I immediately took them down. That was a bad move because I didn’t have anything to block out the light (and give us some privacy!). I think I had bed sheets taped up to the windows for a good 3 weeks before I got around to creating these no-sew blackout curtains. They took a bit of time, but it’s still one of the playbook’s most popular projects. And to this day, the curtains still look (and work) amazing! I’m sure I’ll do more curtain projects like this one in our new house.
Obviously, you guys are very familiar with this condo DIY project because we just tackled it in February. I’m still kicking myself for waiting so long to give this area of our condo some TLC. But I will say that I truly believe this fireplace transformation helped us sell our place for a higher price. It completed the family room space, tying in all of the white accents throughout the rest of the room. We won’t have a fireplace in the new house, but I’m grateful for the skills both Finn & I learned with this more advanced DIY.
This wasn’t a DIY project by any means, but I’m really happy we had the floors done BEFORE we moved into our condo. They were in rough shape when we bought our place and we weren’t in love with the yellow color. I remember the flooring contractor pouring stain onto the newly sanded floors and my mouth falling open (slightly terrifying when you’re a first-time homeowner). We ended up going with the color “Jacobean” and it’s been the perfect choice for our time here.
4 years ago, when we were condo hunting we really wanted a place with a good amount of outdoor space. Obviously, we didn’t find that haha. But I must say, I’m damn proud of the fact that we utilized every square inch of our tiny balcony space. It ended up being the perfect mini outdoor oasis for us and we made the most of it. From staining the deck to adding lighting, to choosing the perfect furniture, this balcony came a long way from when we moved in! Now we’re going to a house with a deck and a yard and it feels crazy to me! What will we do with all of that space?!
Small “Home Office”
Speaking of small spaces, here’s another one where I think I made the most of condo living…our “home office.” I ended up ditching a dresser and adding this slim desk to create an office area. I added picture ledges from Ikea (but you could make your own), a new file cabinet, and this space became an incredibly hardworking area. Now I’m off to a house where I’m planning to devote an entire room to my office! Say what?! Guys, this is going to be a whole new world for me…
Holiday Home Tour
We were lucky enough to celebrate 3 Christmases here in our Chicago condo and I could not be more grateful. It didn’t take much for our entire condo to transform into a winter wonderland. You can view it 2 years ago right here and last year here. I’m sad because we lost 90% off our Christmas decorations in our flood, so I won’t be able to use any in our new house. But that’s just an excuse to get some new items, right?!
Our Hallway Board & Batten
Another woodworking project that was such a game changer! This hallway was plain and blank, but with some wood and hooks it transformed into our little “mudroom.” I hung my purse on this hook every single day, along with other items (depending on the season). It was such an affordable and easy condo DIY project…highly recommend for any home!
I’ve gotta end this list with the biggest DIY project from our condo…our bathroom makeover! It was long; it was brutal; but gosh darn it, we came out the other side alive (and still married!). I learned a lot from this big project (that I shared in this post), and just like the fireplace, I think this effort helped sell our condo. We have 3.5 bathrooms to redo in our new house, so we’ll have plenty of chances to put our skills to the test again!
Overall, I’m so happy and grateful for this place we’ve called home for almost 4 years. Next week, I’m planning to do a final before and after look at this place (you can see the one I did at 3 years right here). It certainly has come a long way since we first got our hands on it…
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.