Casey and Finn of DIY Playbook took a chance on their 1921 fixer-upper, and have been no strangers to DIY renovation projects since.
Originally, the couple planned to refinish the existing wood flooring in the home. But after discovering that the flooring was unsalvageable and the subfloor was in unstable shape, they needed another option, quickly.
After discovering Stuga, Casey chose Moonlight to achieve the white oak look that she envisioned for the home.
Keep reading for our full interview with Casey!
Tell us about your home. How did you find it and why did you choose to renovate?
Our home was built in 1921 here in Chicago. It started as a small worker’s cottage back then and has had many additions over the last 100 years. We were looking for a fixer upper and found this home in the spring of 2019. I’d be lying if I said it was “love at first sight.” But luckily, we were able to see past the outdated style and the strange layout to see the potential in this space. We love this neighborhood and we are so happy we took a chance on this fixer upper.
When we bought the house, it was beige, on beige, on beige. Sadly, all of the historic elements of the home had been removed over the years and what was left was a big beige box. We ended up removing walls, replacing all of the flooring, redoing the electrical, and swapping out the doors and trim. It was a lot of work upfront, but we were then left with a good shell of a home to move into. Since then, we’ve worked on the home room by room. Most recently, we gutted our kitchen and we are very happy with the new space.
How would you describe your interior design style?
I describe my style as organic modern. I like to incorporate colors and tones that you find in nature (deep greens, blues, earth tones, etc.) and I like furniture with clean lines. Most importantly, I think your home style should reflect your personality and describe who lives there. We are very casual people and we want our home to feel welcoming and warm. We want our house to tell the story of who we are and reflect our family history. That’s why you’ll find a lot of personal touches throughout, each one telling a story.
Where do you find inspiration for your home renovation projects?
All over! As a blogger, I love following other designers, bloggers, and content creators for inspiration. But I also find new ideas just from being out and about in the community….new restaurants, hotels, and cafes always give me ideas that we can incorporate here at home.
How did you hear about Stuga? What did you enjoy about the experience?
I found Stuga through a friend and fellow blogger. I searched Stuga’s website and social media platforms and instantly fell in love with their flooring options. It was incredibly easy to order everything I needed right from the website and my new floors were delivered quickly.
What made you choose Moonlight? Did you consider other colors?
I ended up ordering a few samples so I could see the colors in our home. Once I saw Moonlight, I knew it was right for us. Not too pink, not too gray...just the perfect white oak look. I knew it would complement the warm paint colors and furniture we were planning for our house.
What do you love about hardwood floors versus other options?
I love that hardwood floors can last for decades and that these can be sanded down by a new owner someday (no need to tear them out and start over!). Unlike carpet, hardwood floors are easy to keep clean. Plus, they’re super durable. We’ve had our floors in for almost two years now and they still look like new.
What are your three best pieces of renovation advice?
I always tell my readers to slow down when it comes to renovation. Sometimes the best thing you can do is live with a space for a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Which can be hard when you hate a room! We recently completed our kitchen renovation and we lived with it for a year to figure out our dream plan for the new space. If we would have renovated it right away, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the dream kitchen we have today.
Project days can be long and grueling, so we’ve learned along the way that the best thing you can do is have a big breakfast, stay hydrated, and keep the snacks coming! If one of us gets “hangry” (hungry/angry) our DIY project is sure to take a turn. Blast the jams, nourish your body, and keep your project going!
When it comes to big projects, find a contractor that you can trust. We asked friends for referrals and found an amazing contractor who gets the job done right and on time (which seems like a rarity these days!). Do your homework, get several bids, and find someone who has good communication skills.