Sharing the Lesser Seen Rooms of our Finn Fixer Upper
One of my favorite post ideas from the reader survey was to share a look at the lesser seen rooms of our Finn Fixer Upper. Our living room, staircase, laundry room, and bedroom get a lot of love around here. And that’s because we’ve worked on those spaces and I’m proud to share them. However, there are a heck of a lot of other rooms in this house that I rarely show. Why? Well, I guess you could say they’re not “Instagram-worthy.” Our plan is to renovate this entire home room-by-room and there are some areas we won’t get to for a long time.
But even though these spaces aren’t picture-perfect just yet, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t given them a bit of love. Every room (besides the basement…eek!) has gotten a little decor and a spruce up so we can live with it until it’s time to tackle that space head-on.
The Lesser Seen Rooms In Our House
So, today, I thought it would be fun to share all of those rooms, my short-term decorating solutions for each one, and my long-term renovation plans. I’m hopeful that you’ll learn some tips to decorate your own space that you might not be 100% in love with right now. You can walk away with some action items on how to improve these lesser seen rooms so they make you a bit happier before you have the time/money/resources to overhaul them. Let’s get to it!
Bathroom Refresh // Paint Color: Sherwin Williams HGTV Home “Clary Sage” // Mohawk ForeverStyle Floor Tile // Black Faucet // Brass Vanity Light // Flushmount Fixture // Towel Hook // Toilet Paper Roll Holder // Shower Curtain // Shelf (vintage) // Art (vintage) // Golden Pothos Plant // Mirror // Towels // Soap Dispenser
Okay, so you have actually seen this room quite a bit here in the blog and that’s because we gave it a refresh shortly after we moved in. However, it’s definitely not complete. We didn’t touch the shower at all and the shower tile isn’t the cutest (so very 90’s). Also, the window sill is made out of WOOD! Why would you put that in a shower…with water?! I don’t understand. My contractor used PVC trim to replace the wood trim in the shower, but we didn’t have him reframe the window because it was going to be expensive and we figured we wouldn’t really be using this shower anyway.
Short-Term Updates: As you can read in this post, we replaced the floor, lighting, mirror, and added the wood wall molding in this room. Oh, and we painted it all a pretty sage color. That made a huge difference and I’m really happy we did that right from the start since this is the bathroom all of our guests use when hanging at our house.
Bathroom Styling Tips
- Paint makes any room feel fresh.
- A new toilet paper holder and towel hooks are an inexpensive and easy update.
- Consider adding a wood wall treatment to a blank wall. It is a budget-friendly project and it elevates the space.
- Swap out your builder-basic mirror for something unique.
Long-Term Plans: My guess is we won’t tackle this until at least 2021. I would love to re-do the entire shower area. It would be nice to add new tile, new fixtures, and a glass shower door to allow more light into the room. Plus, we want to fix that crazy wood window. We’ll also probably replace the vanity and toilet at that time. We’ll see, though. This project will be quite a way down the road after we remodel our kitchen.
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” // Counter Stools // Marble Table // White Chairs // Gray Chairs // Dinner Bell // Runner // Scrub Brush // Marble Fruit Stand // Nespresso Machine // Marble Tray // Frame TV
Oh boy, the kitchen. I really can’t complain because this kitchen is massive and it’s been working just fine for us. We have tons of space, the island is great, and the room itself is so big. I will say the cabinets are crap. They are falling off the hinges, peeling in some spots, and the craftsmanship is just not good (you should see the trim work up close – yikes.) We’ve also had a lot of trouble with our appliances. The fridge repair guy has had to come out four times since we moved in and our oven quit on us the week before Thanksgiving. (Luckily, we got it back up and running in time for Finn to make the turkey!) So let’s just say, I’ll be excited when it’s time to overhaul this room.
Short-Term Updates: When we first moved in, I considered doing a Phase One cosmetic update in here. I thought we could paint the cabinets, add a backsplash, etc…. but I think we’ll be tackling this room sooner, rather than later, and it doesn’t seem worth the time or money to go through with Phase One.
Kitchen Styling Tips
- Add a runner you love.
- Comfy counter stools are a must.
- Layer cutting boards to hide your lack of (or ugly) backsplash.
- Use a tray to corral a cute soap dispenser and scrub brush (love this set!).
- Real plants near the sink are always a good idea.
- Add some art to your kitchen counter.
- Style a coffee bar station (this post has more tips!).
- For special art, frame handwritten recipe cards with your fave family recipes.
- If you really need to add a television (cough, cough…Finn) consider a Frame TV so it can act as artwork when not in TV mode.
Long-Term Plans: The more I think about it (and the more I chat with you guys on Instagram), the more I think we’ll tackle the kitchen at the end of this year. It does seem like A LOT, but I would like to get it done before our daughter is up and running around. However, we don’t want to skimp out on this kitchen and we did just spend over $100k cash on phase one of our renovation (writing out that number makes my stomach hurt, but it’s the truth). So I need to sit down with the CFO of our family (Finn) and see how plausible it is to make our dream kitchen happen in 2020.
If we do move forward, we’re going to change the floor plan completely! I mean one-half of the room is completely empty right now! There is so much room to have a massive kitchen with a huge island and I want to make sure we review every possible layout. I think we’ll work with a local designer to nail down the footprint and then I’ll choose the finishes myself. As of now, I have no idea what I would want to do in terms of color. I just know anything will be better than what we have!
The renovation will also include our dining area. I think I want to do some sort of built-in banquette with a table that can fit at least 8 people. I’m also not opposed to changing up the window and door layout. We’ll see what happens, though! I’m excited about the possibility of this huuuuge project.
Our guest bedroom has received zero attention since we moved in. We just plopped in all of the furniture from our condo and called it a day.
Short-Term Updates: I love the dark color on the walls (Benjamin Moore “Tarrytown Green”) in this room because it feels super cozy. I also added these same window treatments and I chatted all about the new fan in this blog post.
Guest Bedroom Styling Tips
- Don’t overthink it. A guest room just needs a comfy bed and nice bedding to work for your visitors.
- Add a guest book to the nightstand. We love ours!
- We keep a white noise machine in here to make guests more comfortable.
- You can’t go wrong with my favorite white duvet.
- We just added a rug and I’m sad we waited so long.
Long-Term Plans: I’m looking forward to making some cosmetic updates in this room, but we won’t get to them until 2021. I would love to incorporate a wood wall treatment behind the bed, a new headboard (maybe something DIY’ed), new bedding, a dresser, and a bench. Plus, I would like to add a mirror over the dresser (for guests to get ready) and some art. It shouldn’t be a tough makeover, but I want to give it the time and attention this room deserves.
This builder-basic bathroom is located right off the guest bedroom near our master. Finn actually uses it as his bathroom for now, but it will eventually be a kids/guest bathroom.
Short-Term Updates: The only thing I really did in here was style it to make it a bit more “us” and a little bit more welcoming and more functional.
Bathroom Styling Tips
- Use an XL shower curtain to hide ugly tile (this post has a list of my favorite long curtains).
- A colorful rug packs a punch in a bland bathroom.
- Splurge on a pretty hook for your hand towel.
- Shelves over a toilet add style, personality, and can be functional too!
- Add cute jars for q-tips, cotton balls, and other bathroom essentials.
Long-Term Plans: I don’t have any immediate plans to fully remodel this room, although that will happen someday! New tile, new vanity, new toilet, new shower…yes, yes, yes! I like the current footprint and we’ll keep the shower/tub combo since it will be a good spot to bathe kids. Before then, I think we’ll probably do a Phase One renovation. I would love to paint the vanity and even paint the floor tile (I’ve seen some cool tutorials out there). Maybe we’ll tackle Phase One late this year or early 2021.
We have a lot of bathrooms to work on around here. They’re all straight out of the 90’s (that floral tile…my eyes!) and in need of work! While Finn uses the guest bathroom to get ready every day, I use our master. It’s a pretty big space but could be 100x better with a new floorplan.
Short-Term Updates: I swapped the lighting and mirrors in here during our renovation and that helped a bit. Other than that, I only added new accessories in here.
Bathroom Styling Tips
- I love the three-shelf system I added over the toilet.
- Hide extra toilet paper in a cute canister.
- If you have a double vanity, consider a small tray with a plant and soap dispenser in between the sinks.
- I use my DIY bathtub tray every time I take a bath. It’s a super easy project.
- Nothing beats fluffy white towels! I use these hooks to hang them.
Long-Term Plans: After the kitchen, this is our next big project around here. There is just soooo much potential in this bathroom and it’s just not living up to it. While I love a good bath, I think we’ll take out the bathtub to make room for a much larger shower. We have two other bathtubs in the house, so I can still get my bath fix in one of those. And everything else will be ripped out completely to make way for new tile, a new vanity, new lighting…the works! Realistically, this will be a 2021 project.
Now, onto the lowest level of the house that is definitely one of the least seen rooms around here…the basement. The basement was not a part of our renovation over the summer, mostly because all of our belongings lived down here while work happened upstairs. So, that means that all of the trim, carpet, paint, and lighting has never been touched. And it shows
Short-Term Updates: Zero, zilch, nada. Well, I did have the carpet cleaned but that’s it! Right now we just store our patio furniture down here during the winter. I only come down here to workout or grab something from the storage room. In fact, I have no styling tips for the basement since I haven’t touched ours.
Long-Term Plans: I think we will eventually make this a playroom and TV room for the family, but probably not until our daughter is a bit older. To do that, we will need new carpet, paint, trim, doors, etc. I would also like to take out the weird platform on the far side of the room. It would be nice to add a big comfy couch down here (that pulls out for extra guests), lots of storage for toys, and much more personality. This is a 2021 into 2022 project…
I bet some of you didn’t even realize we have a bathroom in the basement! I don’t think I’ve ever shared a picture of it – and for good reason, it’s pretty scary. But it is so nice to have down here and I know someday it will come in handy.
Short-Term Updates: I actually ordered the mirror in here for our upstairs bathroom, but it didn’t quite fit. So, I moved it down here and it works out just fine. Other than a good scrub, we haven’t touched this room.
Long-Term Plans: This will be the last bathroom we remodel in our home. New everything!
I must admit, it was super fun to share the lesser seen rooms in our home with all of you! It got me excited about the future projects we’ll eventually tackle around here. Simultaneously, it also made me realize that even though some rooms look amazing, we still have a long way to go until every room is looking the way we want. But that’s exactly what we live for!
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.