Our Finn Fixer Upper

Welcome to our Finn Fixer Upper! We purchased this home in May 2019 and immediately started a 3-month renovation to make major changes to the home. We lived in a condo here in Chicago before coming to this home, so this is our first large property and we’re thrilled to have so much space (and a yard…and a garage…and a basement!).

This blog post details our entire renovation process (along with loads of before and after pictures). And the video above shows the complete BEFORE of the home, while this video shows what it looked like right after our renovation, and this video shows it in Spring 2020.

Our Finn fixer upper with modern organic style

To shop any of the below rooms in my house, head to my shop page.warm paint color palette

Finn Fixer Upper Stats

we bought a house

  • Built in 1921
  • 2-story Red Brick Bungalow
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 3.5 Bathrooms
  • Paint Colors (found in this blog post)

The Floor PlanFinn Fixer Upper floor plan first floorFinn fixer upper second floor plan

Finn Fixer Upper – Before & ProgressOur 2 year home anniversary


The Living Roomcasey and finn in the living room beforeCasey And Finn in the living room after

Before photos of our finn Fixer upperOpen concept living roomLiving room revealLiving room at kenneth before renovationLiving room after

Living room TV areaLiving room seating areaOur new living room gallery wallFlooring // Doors & Knobs // Living Room Layout // Living Room Reveal // Accent Chairs // Dining Room // Living Room Before & After // Window Treatments // Gallery Wall

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” // Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

I’m so happy that we ripped that wall down in the center of the room. It opens everything up and makes for a large living room. We also got rid of the bulky fireplace because we didn’t want it to be the centerpiece of the room. You can’t really “see” it in the pictures, but there is a new steel beam holding up the house and the entire ceiling is brand new (more about that saga in this post!). All new electrical, new hardwoods, new millwork, and fresh paint complete this space!

The Kitchen

Before photos of Kenneth

Our kitchen after

Family photo before kitchen renovationKitchen renovation revealKenneth kitchen beforeOur kitchen renovation

Back windows and doorKitchen renovation revealOur kitchen before renovationOur kitchen reveal

Our kitchen before we start our home renovation

Our kitchen renovation revealEmpty side of the kitchenOur kitchen renovation reveal

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” and a custom color from this blog post // Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

In the fall of 2020, we renovated the entire kitchen and it turned out beautifully. We completely changed up the layout (removing a window), built a breakfast nook, and added an entire bar area to the other side of the room. You can read about the entire process in this blog post along with all of the sources for the space.

The First Floor Bathroom

Creme shower tileBathroom afterDIY wood wall treatment in the bathroomFloor Tile // Black Faucet // Brass Vanity Light // Flushmount Fixture // Towel Hook // Toilet Paper Roll Holder // Shower Curtain // Shelf (vintage) // Art (vintage) // Match Stick Holder // Towels // DIY Wood Wall // Wood Mirror // Soap Dispenser // Cloe Tile // Shower Trim Package //  Black Drain Kit // Shampoo & Conditioner Bottles // Plants & Planters (Lowe’s)

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams HGTV Home “Clary Sage”

We ended up doing a mini refresh to our first-floor bathroom. Not a complete gut, but new tile in the shower, on the floor, and other pretty elements in the room. We DIY’ed custom molding on the wall for our towel hooks (such an amazing project). You can check out the transformation and sources in this blog post.

The StaircaseStairwell beforeTips to install a stair runner in your homeOutdated staircase plansTips to install a stair runnerBefore photos of the railings in our homeFinn walking up the stairs

Chandelier // Hardwoods // DIY Stair Runner

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White”; Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

The staircase was one area I didn’t know I would love so much. Honestly, I was a little hesitant about spending the money to completely redo the railing and move the laundry room wall out. I figured we could wait a few years until we tackled that. But holy smokes, I’m so glad we did it right away, rather than waiting. The stairs themselves were sanded and stained a white oak to match our other hardwoods. Then the risers and sides were painted white.

With the wood railing removed, we had a metal one custom built for the space and added a new chandelier. It’s one of my favorite spots in our house right now, especially with our antique hutch that was a family heirloom. Oh, and after Finn fell down the stairs (true story!) we decided to DIY a stair runner.

The Laundry Room

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White”; Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

Our laundry room gained so many square feet of room when we knocked that wall out in the hallway and we gave it a DIY makeover in Fall 2019. You can find all of the sources and the tutorials in this post. And here’s a peek inside the cabinets at how it’s all organized.

The Main BedroomMaster bedroom beforeOur main bedroom makeoverMaster Bedroom Closet Before

Our main bedroom makeover reveal

Our main bedroom makeover reveal

Bamboo Shades // Dresser (Restoration Hardware Outlet) // Door Knobs  // Ceiling Fan // Nightstands // 9×12 Rug // Cream Bed //  Wallpaper // Rug Pad // Mattress // Gray Velvet Curtains // Curtain Rods (with European Gold Rub ‘n Buff) // White Duvet // Sheets // Cream Bed Blanket // Bench // Sheepskin Throw //  Striped Pillows //  Large White Vase // Brass Sconces // Frame TV // Table Lamp // Marble Tray // Marble Picture Frame // Planter // Faux Jade Plant //  DIY IKEA Closet

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Boothbay Gray” // Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

Goodbye, carpet! Goodbye, green ceiling! Goodbye, dated everything! During phase one of this renovation, we replaced the carpet with hardwood and DIY’ed a custom IKEA closet. After living with the space for about a year, we decided to take things to the next level. We wallpapered the ceiling, I painted the walls a pretty blue-gray color, and we added lots of personality with furniture and our new Frame TV. It is now a serene oasis at the end of a long day. You can read all about the transformation here.

The Main Bathroom


Before master bathroom at finn fixer upperOur bathroom vanity after paintingMirrors // Vanity Lights // Flushmount // Pulls // Floor Tile Project // Paint Vanity

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White”; Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

We’re waiting to renovate all of the bathrooms ourselves. For now, they all just got new millwork, doors, and fresh paint right before we moved in. I also replaced the ornate mirrors with these round black ones, the vanity lights with these, and installed this new ceiling light.

In the fall of 2020, I decided to paint the floor tile and the vanity to tide us over until we fully gut this space.

Ellis’ NurseryGuest bedroom before

Ellis' nursery

Ellis' nursery revealPreparing for the arrival of our son

Our baby boy nursery revealEllis' nursery reveal

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Tarrytown Green”; Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

We welcomed baby Ellis into our family in September 2021 and I spent the summer leading up to his arrival working on his room. We went with a dark color for the walls, I DIY’ed picture frame molding, and we even wallpapered the closet with a fun print. You can find all of the details and sources in this blog post

The Guest Bathroom

Adding wood shelves to a bathroomAdding wood shelves over a toiletTurkish rug for the bathroomPaint Color: Behr “Snowy Pine”; Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

In the summer of 2020, I did a budget-friendly refresh of this entire space. I painted the floor (yes, it’s painted and stenciled!), I painted the vanity, and swapped out the mirror and light fixture for something new and contemporary. We may eventually gut this room and make it even better, but for now, we love the simple upgrades to our guest bathroom. You can find all of the details and sources in this blog post.

The Home Office

Our office before the renovationOld doors in officeMy wood desk from ArticleOur office makeover and wall muralOur new DIY office built-ins and budget breakdownOur home office makeover

How to make your own DIY acrylic erase boardOur home office makeover

Office Design Plan // Built-Ins Part 1: Installing the Base Cabinets // Office Furniture // Built-Ins Part 2: Building DIY Bookshelves // Priming & Painting Built-Ins // Built-In Reveal & Budget Breakdown // Installing a Wall Mural // Home Office Makeover Reveal // DIY Acrylic Dry Erase Board

Paint Color: Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (built-ins), Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls); Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”

This room sat empty until the winter of 2020 when we gave this room a complete makeover. It started with those DIY built-ins that were the biggest project we’ve ever tackled. I still can’t believe we made them all by ourselves. Then I installed a wall mural and added in the furniture. You can see the room reveal right here with all of the sources.

Rory’s NurseryExtra bedroom in our Finn Fixer upper

Our baby girl's nursery revealOur nursery beforeWhite crib with brass legsThe nursery beforeNursery before and after

Our baby girl's closet in the nursery

Wallpapered Closet // Sage Green Built-In Reveal // Adding DIY Chair Rail // Painting the Nursery Blush // Nursery Closet & Organized Drawers // Nursery Reveal // Nursery Before and After + Sources // Nursery a Few Months In // Styling Nursery Shelves

Paint Color: Valspar “Warm Fog” (walls); Trim Color: Benjamin Moore “Simply White”; Chair Rail Color: Custom (formula in this blog post)

Our nursery is my favorite room in the house. We took it from a blank space and added so much personality with DIY chair rail, custom built-ins, and the prettiest blush color on the walls. You can find all of the sources for the tutorials and items in this room right here.

The BasementTips to create a work from home setup in the basementhow to style wood shelves

Finn’s Office Space // Simple Wood Shelves

In the summer of 2020, we made a little office for Finn down in the basement since he is working from home during the pandemic. We have big plans to renovate the entire basement someday, but for now, this is getting the job done.

Basement Bathroom

The basement bathroom before

Our basement bathroom makeover

Before Photos & Design Plan // How to Paint Two-Tone Walls // Tips to Install a Bathroom Faucet // Painted Vanity, New Light Fixture, & Black Toilet Seat // Creating Window Shelves // Painted Floor Tile // Bathroom Makeover Reveal

Paint Color: Valspar “Clay Angel” (bottom wall); Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (top wall); Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (vanity color)

I’m not gonna lie, this bathroom was very low on our priority list. That is until my husband started working from home and now spends all of his days down in our basement. I decided to give it some TLC on a budget and it turned out great. You can see the entire reveal right here.

The Backyard

Backyard shot before
Backyard shot after
Backyard of our Finn Fixer Upper
Our backyard makeover reveal
Our garage before
Our backyard makeover reveal
Our chain link fence before
Our dining area in the backyard
Our deck before
Our new deck in our backyard makeover reveal
Our deck before
Our new deck
Our rotting fence
Our backyard makeover reveal
backyard before
backyard drone shot overhead
Backyard before
Our backyard makeover reveal
Our backyard after
Our backyard makeover reveal

Garage Door Color, Benjamin Moore “Blue Note” // Pavers (color “Greyed Nickel”) // Composite Decking (color “Pecan”) // Black Contemporary Railings // Outdoor Dining Table & Chairs // Umbrella // Umbrella Base // Grill // Outdoor Sonos Speakers // Outdoor Sconces // Lounge Chairs // Side Table // Planters // Lanterns // Outdoor TV // Chaise // Sectional // Coffee Table // Palm Print Pillows // Striped Pillows // Landscaping Details // String Lights // White Tray // Sectional Blanket // Solar Lights // Battery-Operated Candles

During the summer of 2021, we did a full backyard renovation to really take advantage of this space. We had the deck redone, added stone pavers, and created a dining and lounging zone out here. We kept the grass in the side yard (good for the kiddos to play), but then really took advantage of that backyard space. We absolutely love it out here. You can find all of the sources, before and after pictures, and more in this reveal blog post.

Our Finn Fixer Upper

We can’t thank you enough for following along on our #FinnFixerUpper journey.