My Favorite Projects from our Chicago Apartment

Today is the day.

We’re packing up and moving a few miles to a new home in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. We’re thrilled that we finally found a house, but it’s also a little bittersweet saying goodbye to the place we’ve called home for the past 2 years. It feels like it was only yesterday we were moving into this space and I was showing you all of the “before” pictures.

Our little rental has treated us well, but it’s time to become homeowners and get some much needed space! I’ve got big plans for our new home, but I don’t want to forget about all that we accomplished in our small 1-bedroom condo. From here on out my blog posts will revolve around our new place, so I figured I needed one last round-up of my favorite projects that we accomplished here…

Master Bedroom Picture Ledges

Such an easy way to display multiple frames. I’ll definitely be taking these ledges to our new home.

Wooden Chest RefreshSide-View-Wooden-Chest

I still can’t believe I scored such a high-quality wooden chest for only $30. Gotta love thrift store hunting. This piece will definitely find a home in our new place. I love the storage it offers, and it’s still looking buffed and shiny since the day I restored it.

Diamond Tape Wall

Even though it was a bit of a pain to put up (ugh, math), I’m so happy we created this diamond accent wall in our office. I took the tape down a couple of weeks ago and it came down fairly easily. It peeled off a tiny bit of paint in 1 or 2 spots (I think because I was going to fast and just ripping away!), and I simply touched up those areas with paint. Now that we’re moving to a more permanent home, I probably won’t be tackling this project. But it was great for a rental! And P.S. I will NOT miss this room. Zero natural light + awkward space = not fun to decorate.

Shelves in the Family Room


These were a game changer in our living room. Seriously, such an easy project and with such a big impact! I love the storage these 3 shelves offered me, and I had so much fun styling them and changing up the look every now and then. They fit this small wall perfectly, so I’m not sure if they’ll work in our new space. But I certainly love those Ikea brackets and I’m guessing I can find a way to make them work in the new pad.

Dual Flush Toilet

Dual-Flush-Contraption-ToiletNot the most glamorous DIY project, but a very beneficial (& empowering!) one. I changed out the handle on our toilet to a dual flush one and it has worked wonders. We’re being green & saving green. I plan to add many green elements into our new home and installing dual flush handles may be on my immediate to-do list.

Ikea Dresser Hack

Ikea-Hemnes-Dresser-HackThis project was a fun and easy one and I hope to find a good spot for this tall dresser. Right now it holds all of my craft supplies and photo equipment, so it sure is functional.

Over the Couch Art

Caseys-Living-Family-Room-PillowsI’m still obsessed with this HomeGoods art and get so many comments about it! It’s a gorgeous piece and the muted cool tones have worked wonderfully in our family room space. It is definitely staying with us, although I’m not 100% sure where its final resting spot will be. But gotta love a nice piece of art for a steal!

Hanging a Swag Light

Gallery-Wall-From-Afar-officeOh the joys of having a room with zero ceiling lights. But I did learn how to install a swag light, so I can add that to my resume.

Painted Outdoor RugKilim-Outdoor-Painted-Rug-Balcony

I love this project so much that I tackled it TWICE while in our Chicago home. So easy, so inexpensive, and so great for a small space. By far one of my favorites.

Updated Bedroom Accessories

Caseys-BedroomWhile living here, we upgraded a few things in our bedroom including the headboard, a mirror over the bed, lamps, and rug. Combined this created a much more calming oasis and grown-up master bedroom. I may be changing things up in the new condo, but will still keep all of these items (they may migrate to the guest room…)

Casey-bed-computer-laptopI must say that I’m so grateful to have this blog to document all that we’ve done in our home. Whenever I’m feeling a little nostalgic, I can simply look at old posts and instantly be transported back to this small place we made our home. And I’ll still keep our home tour up on the site, so don’t worry… it’s not going anywhere!

Now time to look ahead and get excited for all of the DIY action that will be happening in West Town…



The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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