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

Our new temporary home office setup
  • Built in 1921
  • 2-story Red Brick Bungalow
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 3.5 Bathrooms
  • Paint Colors (found in this blog post)
Our home's paint color palette

The Living Room

Before photos of our finn Fixer upper
Our home renovation tour three years in
Living room at kenneth before renovation
Our living room home anniversary tour
Before of our living room and old oak hardwood floors

Our new living room gallery wall

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!

The Kitchen

Family photo before kitchen renovation
Kitchen renovation reveal
Kenneth kitchen before
Our kitchen renovation
Our kitchen before renovation
Our kitchen reveal
Empty side of the kitchen
Our kitchen renovation reveal
An honest review of my Castlery dining room table

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

Creme shower tileBathroom afterDIY wood wall treatment in the 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.

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

The staircase makeover before
Our new stairwell accent wall

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 BedroomMaster bedroom before

Our main bedroom in our finn fixer upper

Master Bedroom Closet Before

Our new closets in our main bedroom
Enjoying our modern organic 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

Before master bathroom at finn fixer upper

My new black and gold marble bathroom
Removing the bathtub
Main bathroom after
our old bathroom
The tile in our black and gold marble 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.

Ellis’ RoomGuest bedroom before

Ellis' nursery

Ellis' nursery reveal
Our baby boy nursery reveal
Ellis' nursery reveal

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

Rory in her new 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

Old doors in office
My wood desk from Article
Our office before the renovation
My favorite room transformations
Top 5 common home design mistakes

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.

Rory’s RoomExtra bedroom in our Finn Fixer upper

Our baby girl's nursery
Our nursery before
Our baby girl's green and pink nursery
Our baby girl's closet in the nursery
Our daughter's sweet nursery

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.

The Basement

Our basement before
Our new basement furniture
Kenneth basement before
Our basement after the renovation

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.

Basement Bathroom

Our new dark green bathroom in our basement

Paint Colors: Dark Green (custom color found in this blog post), Valspar’s “Clay Angel” (upper walls and ceiling) // Penny Tile with “Ivory” grout // Vanity // Toilet // Gold Faucet // Toilet Paper Holder // Sconces // Towel Ring // Hand Towel // Wood Mirror // Turkish rug from this seller // Wood Stool (similar) // Soap Dispenser // Black Marble Tray // Candle Hurricane // Toilet Tank Basket // Gold Frame // Art in Gold Frame // Matte Black Toilet Handle // Overhead Light Fixture // Bud Vase // Picture Frame

During the spring of 2023, I spent a couple of months renovating this space from top to bottom. I gutted it myself, added penny tile floors, added beadboard to the walls, and then painted the walls a gorgeous dark green color. You can find all of the tutorials and sources right here.

The Backyard

Backyard of our Finn Fixer Upper
Our Chicago backyard review
Our garage before
Our Chicago backyard one year later
Our chain link fence before
The dining area in our backyard
Our rotting fence
My favorite place to hang during the fall months
Our backyard after
Our backyard at night

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.

Our Finn Fixer Upper home tour

We can’t thank you enough for following along on our Finn Fixer Upper journey.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

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.