Looking for satisfying before and after room transformations? We got you! This is a master list of every makeover we completed in our Chicago Two Flat renovation.
We bought our Chicago Two Flat – a 130-year-old two story building with an apartment on each floor – in the spring of 2019. It was the biggest project we’ve ever taken on, and the first time we took out a construction loan. We had an 18 month agreement with the bank to complete the renovation, and we just made it, by the skin of our teeth! As of November 2020, both units were rented to tenants that are loving and living in this home, and for that, our hearts are so full.
I Did a Thing.
The week before our first tenant moved in, we spent each day photographing every room, documenting the journey we had just completed. Our last hurrah! was an extensive video walkthrough of both units, and I’m so sad to say that I did the thing, The Thing!, that every photographer fears: I accidentally deleted every single video file. Truth be told, I’m still in shock that happened (let’s just say that a mix of exhaustion + 2020 was surely to blame!), but on the upside, I do have my photos! I have to cling to that silver lining, because I’m still in disbelief.
So, can this be our last hurrah!, please?
Can this master list of every before + after in our beloved Two Flat be the cherry on our 18-month-long renovation cake? We love this house. We saw her soul, her beautiful bones, and we knew she had a story to tell. Thank you for being a part of our journey, through every up, down and the slog of it all! It’s been an experience of a lifetime.
The Exterior + Common Spaces
You enter the home through a common door, come onto a small landing, and enter through Unit 1 ahead, or Unit 2 by walking up the stairs. In the back of the house, there’s a traditional Chicago-style walk-up porch that connects both units. Tip: Tap on the arrows to go forward and backward in each gallery set.
The Exterior | Before
The Exterior | After
Common Spaces | Before
Common Spaces | After
Shade Grown SW 6188 (main) | Pure White SW 7005 (trim) | Heartthrob SW 6866 (door) | Valspar Solid Exterior Stain in November Gray (porch) | Thompson’s Water Seal Timber Brown Exterior Transparent Stain (porch ceiling) | coir doormat | brass sconce | outdoor gooseneck sconces
See also: problem solving a pitched roof, installing new siding, choosing an exterior paint color, the full exterior reveal!
The Two Flat | Unit 1
When designing the layout of the house, we had an opportunity to build out the basement level. This would give Unit 1 an additional bathroom, two more bedrooms and a bonus kitchenette! While Unit 1 started as a first floor apartment only, we created a staircase where there was none, connecting the first floor to the basement level. Unit 1 also has a dining room and the larger kitchen of the two apartments.
Unit 1 Living Room | Before
Unit 1 Living Room | After
See also: choosing contrast trim and window treatments.
Unit 1 Dining Room | Before
Unit 1 Dining Room | After
Dining Room Sources:
See also: our mauve dining room reveal!
Unit 1 Kitchen | Before
Unit 1 Kitchen | After
Unit 1 Kitchen Sources:
Paint + Cabinetry: Wall color is Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 | backsplash + trim color is Sherwin-Williams Pure White SW 7005 | FENIX™ countertop in Nero Ingo | IKEA cabinetry | Semihandmade base cabinet panels | Semihandmade upper cabinet panels | backsplash + shelving
Lighting + Accessories: ceiling pendant light | sconce | ORB ball knobs | ORB pulls | amber glass mugs | blue ceramic mugs | stainless steel cookware | ceramic canisters | large vase | marble cheese board (similar) | soap pump
See also: the kitchen mood board, our DIY beadboard backsplash, all about the Formica countertops, a DIY modern railing solution, and the Unit 1 kitchen reveal.
Unit 1 Kitchenette | Before
Unit 1 Kitchenette | After
SEKTION system + ASKERSUND cabinet fronts | Quartz Vanilla Noir countertop (see IKEA in-store for options) | bar stool (similar) | faucet | handles | frame + art | under counter refrigerator | brass sconce | jar with bamboo lid | bamboo bowls| desk lamp (similar) | plant pot | artist figure
See also: polishing the concrete floors and the kitchenette reveal!
Unit 1 Pink Bathroom | Before
Unit 1 Pink Bathroom | After
Pink Bathroom Sources:
Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 (walls) | marble mosaic 12″ x 12″ | gloss subway 3″ x 6″ | marble skirting | pencil tile | Imperial Bianco Barnes (cap) | charcoal grout | vintage sink + chrome stand | vintage bathtub | Sarasota toilet + black lid | vintage mirror (similar) | toilet paper holder | shower trim kit + head + handle | copper shower curtain | double-arm wall sconce | chrome hooks | artwork + frame | elderflower bar soap
See also: the pink bathroom mood board, how we mixed old + new bathroom fixtures, reglazing a pink bathtub, the cost of renovating a small bathroom, and the pink bathroom reveal!
Unit 1 Den Bathroom | Before
Unit 1 Den Bathroom | After
Den Bathroom Sources:
Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 (walls) | polished concrete floors | blush gloss tile | sink cabinet | toilet | cross-handle faucets | marble shelf | polished chrome sconce | pivot mirrors | extra long shower curtain | cast iron hooks | rain shower head | Delta Trinsic trim kit
See also: the den bathroom mood board and full reveal!
Unit 1 Bedrooms | Before
Unit 1 Bedrooms | After
See also: our hall of doors and door hardware with a vintage twist.
The Two Flat | Unit 2
Unit 2 is my favorite. There, I said it. It’s pint-sized and perfect, in my eyes! Unit 2 has two bedrooms, lacks a dining room and has a small kitchen, but it does have large closets, an open-air private back patio and sweet details throughout (those sloped ceilings!). We kept the millwork blue as a nod to the homes original color scheme, made the bathroom larger and added quality brass hardware throughout.
Unit 2 Hall + Entryway | Before
Unit 2 Hallway + Entryway | After
Unit 2 Bedrooms | Before
Unit 2 Bedrooms | After
See also: Lucy’s composite photo before + after.
Unit 2 Bathroom | Before
Unit 2 Bathroom | After
Unit 2 Bathroom Sources:
Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 (walls) | Sherwin-Williams Magnetic Gray (trim) | tile cap | wall tile | black pencil tile | floor tile | tile cap | brass sconce | mirror | faucet | 24″ vanity | tub + shower trim kit | bathtub | toilet | marble shelf | towel hooks | soap pump
See also: the bathroom mood board and full reveal!
Unit 2 Living Room | Before
Unit 2 Living Room | After
See also: how we exposed and restored the brick chimney.
Unit 2 Kitchen | Before
Unit 2 Kitchen | After
Unit 2 Kitchen Sources:
Paint + Cabinetry: Wall color is Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070 | Accent trim color is Sherwin-Williams Magnetic Gray SW 7058 | Everform™ Solid Surfacing countertop in Bleached Concrete | IKEA cabinetry | Semihandmade base cabinet panels | Semihandmade upper cabinet panels | shelf brackets + shelving | backsplash tile | grey pencil liner
Lighting + Accessories: ceiling flush mount light | wall sconce | brass ball knobs | brass pulls | soap pump | blue dishes | striped vase | cereal jars | small stacking bowls | pour over coffee carafe (similar) | cake pedestal | nesting bowls | linen hand towel | utensil holder
See also: the kitchen mood board, a DIY cookbook nook, open shelving (with an unexpected twist), the Formica countertops, tiling a backsplash, and the full kitchen reveal!
Love you all for being here. Love you for cheering us on. But more than anything, love you for lifting us up when we felt down! Now we’d love to know: Which room is your absolute favorite?