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 for our family of four.
To shop any of the below rooms in my house, head to my shop page.
Finn Fixer Upper Stats
- Built in 1921
- 2-story Red Brick Bungalow
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- 4 Bedrooms
- 3.5 Bathrooms
- Paint Colors (found in this blog post)
The Living Room
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls) & “Simply White” (trim) // Flooring // Doors & Knobs // Dining Room // Living Room Before & After // Window Treatments // Gallery Wall // Windows // SOURCES
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!
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” & custom color from this blog post // Kitchen Reveal // Budget Breakdown // Dining Room Reveal // SOURCES
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
Paint Color: Sherwin Williams HGTV Home “Clary Sage” // Bathroom Reveal
We ended up doing a refresh to our first-floor bathroom. It wasn’t a complete gut, but we installed new tile in the shower and on the floor. We also added other pretty elements to the room. We DIY’ed custom molding on the wall for our towel hooks and the final touch was a new waterproof window in the shower.
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls) & “Simply White” (trim) // Chandelier // Hardwoods // DIY Stair Runner // Railings // Stairwell Accent Wall
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, especially with our antique hutch which was a family heirloom. Oh, and after Finn fell down the stairs (true story!) we decided to DIY a stair runner. Most recently, I added this DIY accent wall to elevate the entire hallway.
The Laundry Room
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls) & “Simply White” (trim) // Laundry Room Reveal // SOURCES
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 tutorials in this post. And here’s a peek inside the cabinets at how it’s all organized.
The Main Bedroom
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Boothbay Gray” (walls) & Simply White (trim) // DIY Closet // Room Reveal // SOURCES
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 in 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
Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore “Rockport Gray” (lower wall) & “Ballet White” upper wall // DIY Linen Cabinet // Room Reveal // SOURCES
In the spring of 2022, we completely renovated our main bathroom from top to bottom! We removed our outdated jacuzzi bathtub and instead put our shower in that spot. We then DIY’ed a linen cabinet for extra storage (you can find the full tutorial right here!). This post has all of the sources and information about this space, while this one dives into the full renovation budget.
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Tarrytown Green” (wall color) & “Simply White” (trim) // Room Reveal // SOURCES
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 Kids’ Bathroom
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Boothbay Gray” // Room Reveal // SOURCES
In the winter of 2022, we finally tackled the kids’ bathroom and I love the new kid-friendly space. From the blue flowers on the tile, to the gold hardware in the big bathtub, to the cute shelves…it really is the sweetest place for our two kiddos.
The Home Office
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls); Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (built-ins) // DIY Built-Ins // Home Office Reveal // DIY Office Closet // Hanging Planter // SOURCES
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 the furniture. You can see the room reveal right here with all of the sources.
Paint Color: Valspar ” Wall Color: Valspar “Warm Fog” // Chair Rail Color: Custom (formula in this blog post) // Reveal // Gallery Wall // Organized Dresser // Window Treatments // SOURCES
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.
Why Our Basement Flooded // How We’re Preventing Another Flood // Adding a Wall of Shiplap // My Basement Design Plan // Painting The Doors // Painting The Walls “Greige // Installing Panoramic Wallpaper // Our Basement Furniture
Our basement sat mostly untouched for the first three years of living in our home, but then the entire space flooded with sewage water in the fall of 2022. We then proceeded to renovate the space and we’re working to make it a playroom for our kids, a hangout for the family, and an office for my husband. As of early 2023, it’s still a work in progress.
Paint Colors: Valspar “Clay Angel” (bottom wall); Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (top wall); Valspar “Chimney Smoke” (vanity color) // Tutorials & Sources
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.
Garage Door Color, Benjamin Moore “Blue Note” // Pavers (color “Greyed Nickel”) // Composite Decking (color “Pecan”) // Backyard Reveal // SOURCES
During the summer of 2021, we did a full backyard renovation to really take advantage of this space. We added a new deck, 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. I then did a review after living with it for one year and also shared a peek of this space at night.
We can’t thank you enough for following along on our Finn Fixer Upper journey.
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.