Before & After: My Home Renovation, Part 2

Part 1 of this before and after renovation story in photos about how we transformed our fixer upper DIY style is RIGHT HERE. Before & After: My Home Renovation, Part 2 continues the tour of my house with the master and great room renovation. Hope you enjoy and find these resources helpful!

Before of catwalk at Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper - come explore Before & After: My Home Renovation.
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio. Renovation Reality! Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor.

This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.

Why, yes, that’s a toilet in the middle of the catwalk! Living through a renovation is glamorous business.

Before & After: My Home Renovation, Part 2

Master Bedroom Before & After

Let’s turn our attention to the master bedroom. Here is a taste of what we finally arrived at…

Knotty alder door in serene white bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Similar chair: FIND HERE. Alder door: HERE and hardware HERE. Similar table HERE.

But what we lived with before we ever got there was this:

Ugly light switches and dimmers before upgrade - Hello Lovely
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio. See THIS POST about the upgraded light switch covers.

Note the awful color on the wall which made everything feel THAT much more dingy, dark, and (sorry for this) urine-soaked. The BENJAMIN MOORE White paint did wonders (just look at the contrast when I rolled on a sample, above), as did a major upgrade of outlet covers and light switches.

Before light switch upgrade in fixer upper - Hello Lovely
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

You can also get a sense of the subpar “design features” we inherited with the master bedroom. Cheap, hollow core interior doors with awful hardware, taupe carpet installed over pet-soiled carpet pad, and worn out everything!

I painted the room a bright white, took down some odd wall sconces flanking the window, ripped up the carpet (and ALL THOSE AWFUL NAIL STRIPS!!!), and the white oak hardwoods went in!

before of master bedroom in Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper
DURING. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor.

Wood Statement Wall in Master Bedroom

One of the yuckiest ‘befores’ in here was the wall behind the bed which had these horrible repairs (repairing textured walls is an art and a toddler may have been the artist in charge before we got our hands on the place.) We covered it with reclaimed pine Stikwood (Hamptons). You can buy it RIGHT HERE, and for details on how easy this peel-and-stick project was for us (it only took an evening of easy work), SEE THIS.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Stikwood (Hamptons) going up on the bedroom wall - Hello Lovely Studio.
DURING. Hello Lovely Studio.
Nordic French cottage bedroom with neutrals and white. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Stikwood reclaimed peel and stick wood HERE. Vintage antique brass sonces HERE. Pillows: RH. Burlap pillow options HERE. Similar bedding options HERE and HERE.
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master bedroom with Stikwood wood plank wall and knotty alder door in Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor. Door: HERE. Pillows: RH. Burlap pillow options HERE. Similar bedding options HERE and HERE.
Detail of white oak hardwood floor in farmhouse style master bedroom in Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor. Crochet bedskirt option HERE. Stikwood (Hamptons) for wall RIGHT HERE. Flooring: White oak, left natural and finished on site. Lamps: RH. Candleholder: similar HERE.

Upgrading the Interior Doors

We took our time deciding what to do about the his and her closets situation. Since we were totally gutting the bathroom, we considered converting them into one walk-in closet accessible in the bath, freeing up this wall below. But after living with the closets, we sort of enjoyed having our own spaces so we worked with them and added beautiful rustic alder doors with oil rubbed bronze hardware.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master bedroom with white oak flooring and knotty alder doors - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Door: HERE. Door hardware: HERE. Three leg teak stool: Homegoods. Exact Mirror (I painted black frame light grey): Home Depot.

We chose to not stain the alder and sealed them with poly for a natural look. These solid doors are wonderful to live with.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master Bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Door: HERE. Door hardware: HERE. Find a globe chandelier HERE.

Master Bathroom Before & After

Fortunately we had plenty of space to work with! We took our time coming up with a design plan and ended up with a totally unique and custom final outcome.

Clawfoot tub in master bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Clawfoot tub: vintage; find options HERE. Turkish towels: Pamuk & Co. Find options HERE. Find a globe chandelier HERE.

You can see in the photo below that I opted to paint the inside of the alder door white to keep things spa like when you’re in the bathroom. However, I didn’t paint any of our other alder interior doors.

White vanities with carrara marble tops and Kohler Purist bathroom faucets. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Freestanding vanity options HERE. Vanity sconces HERE.

There were more awkward moments than I can say in this strange master bathroom. I diagrammed it for you to explain it all.

Master Bathroom before picture from Chicagoland fixer upper of Hello Lovely Studio
Before.

Below, you’ll notice there was a pedestal sink with a linen closet next to it. The door to the bathroom actually opened directly into the second sink with vanity! The quality throughout was poor – vinyl cabinets and hollow paper thin doors. Light switches for all of the lighting in the bathroom were located in the bedroom, not the bath! The sconces on the mirror were hideous, but we were grateful the wiring was already there. The vinyl flooring was also not a favorite and had to go. Then again, EVERYTHING had to go so we dem’d the whole thing.

Bathroom Vanity Area

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

Some of the oddity may not jump out at you so do this: enlarge the photo above and check out the light switches and cover plates under the mirror…just not necessary to carelessly design like that!

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

I liked the idea of his and hers vanities with a bridge connecting them. This is a very cost-conscious way to renovate. What an improvement to have two sinks where there was one on this side of the bath.

White vanities with carrara marble tops in renovated bathroom. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.Freestanding vanity options HERE. Vanity sconces HERE.

Carrara marble vanity tops have been wonderful to live with. In our prior home, I chose white granite so I wondered whether the carrara would be more vulnerable. It doesn’t stay perfect, but I like the aged look.

If there is one thing I have learned from designing baths over the years, it is to avoid down lighting bathroom mirrors. For the most flattering light, you always want the light coming from the sides.

Detail of white single vanity. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation - Hello Lovely Studio.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor. Freestanding vanity options HERE. Vanity sconces HERE.

I splurged on the bathroom faucets because I did not want to have to ever replace them. It’s an everyday luxury I highly recommend.

Bathroom Floor Tile

The flooring looks like calacatta marble, but it is porcelain. Find options HERE. This made installation easy and requires no sealing or maintenance. The slatted bench is Ikea’s Molger which I painted BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter.

Hello Lovely Studio. Rustic teak stool in bathroom. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Bench: Ikea (Molger). Candle: HERE.

During Demo of the Bathroom

Where you see blue tape on the floor below is where we decided a new wall should go for a larger walk-in shower.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

We tore out the tub and surrounding apron to prepare for a vintage cast iron clawfoot tub I found in Wisconsin on Craig’s List.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

Here’s that corner now…

Bathroom with rustic teak stool and abstract painting by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor. Porcelain floor tile…see options HERE. Painting: by me. Candle: HERE.

New Bathroom Shower

We traded the fishbowl shower for a great big shower without any glass at all. I know glass shower walls and doors are popular, but I hate the maintenance when you have hard water. I opted for a spa-like shower curtain.

Before Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
DURING. Hello Lovely Studio. Tile: see options HERE.

I chose a marble herringbone pattern mosaic tile for the shower floor. You’ll also note what a difference the light grey grout makes from the photo with before grouting above.

Before Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Herringbone tile: See options HERE.
Master Bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.

Living Through Renovation

HERE’S THE HARSH REALITY OF RENOVATION LIFE: After we moved in, we actually used this sink to get ready in the morning! Toothpaste next to the tube of caulk, anyone?

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master Bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Door: HERE. Hardware: HERE.

Before & After Bathroom Renovation

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

This was my first experience with plantation shutters, and I love their function and beauty. Just perfect for this space where we need privacy.

Clawfoot Tub in Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.

The antique leaded glass window you see below is one I found many years ago and had been storing for the right project. We hung it on the wall here (with hinges) so the natural light could flow into the shower. Inside the shower behind the window is a shelf for products.

Master bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Find a globe chandelier HERE.
Before Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master Bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Find a globe chandelier HERE.
Before Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
DURING. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master bath renovation in Hello Lovely Studio's Chicagoland fixer upper. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.

Black & White Toilet Situation

I don’t have anything positive to say about the toilet area before.

Before Master Bathroom in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio

We moved the toilet away from the closet and extended a wall so that you don’t see it when you walk in the bath. A second slatted bench from Ikea holds bath mats and some bathing essentials.

Master bathroom after renovation of Chicagoland fixer upper of Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.
Master Bathroom renovation in Chicagoland fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.

Great Room Before & After

I love the great big room for living in the center of the house. It has soaring ceilings and overlooks a private backyard with Northern exposure. We painted the walls, ceiling, and trim BENJAMIN MOORE White and removed the colonist style fireplace surround, replacing it with a French style mantel.

Before pic of living room at fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

I didn’t buy anything new for the space besides the fireplace and lamps. Our old 9′ sideboard from Belgium is right at home, and I have left the windows bare.

Rustic oak Belgian antique cupboard in European country styled living room by Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Lamps: HERE. Belgian linen (sand) chaise: RH.

It always happens! You think you’ll just be ripping up carpet in preparation for hardwoods, but then you discover structural issues that must be addressed unless you want to fall into the basement below!

Demo of living room floor in fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

It’s a super simple space! I left the black granite on the hearth and simply removed the glass doors.

Belgian style living room with linen upholstery, white oak flooring, and stone fireplace - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor. Copenhagen egg chair: RH.

An Open Floorplan

Here’s how the space looked when we were just getting started. You can see the great room, dining room, kitchen, and hall.

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

The white oak hardwood flooring (no stain, finished on site by hand with just a clear matte sealer) and white paint make a huge difference. We also smoothed the hallway and dining room ceilings with plaster since I am not a fan of textured ceilings.

Living room and hallway to kitchen in fixer upper by Hello Lovely.  Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor.

Why White Paint?

There are multiple reasons why the old yellowy antique white paint on the walls didn’t work. For one, it made less than desired design features like white painted closet bifold doors jump out in contrast. White paint calmed and unified everything, making even the sub-par stuff easier on the eye.

Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation. Wall paint: Benjamin Moore White. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Paint color for walls, trim, and ceiling: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Painting ceilings DIY style in a 2-story room? Not for the faint of heart. We rented scaffolding and used our paint sprayer for the huge job!

BEFORE. Hello Lovely Studio.

Even the Second Floor Has An Open Feel

Living room with Benjamin Moore white paint on walls. Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor.
DURING. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio living room. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.
The backyard: a work in progress!

I liked the design of the Belgian paver patio area off of the kitchen, but it was a mess! My sons helped to demo the whole thing, level the ground, and put it back together.

Rattan chairs on patio with RH pillows - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see renovation photos in Before & After: My Home Renovation.
Hello Lovely Studio. Exact rattan patio chairs: HERE. Pillows: RH. Before & After: My Home, Part 2…certainly lovely indeed. Before and after photos of our DIY home renovation as well as shopping sources for European and French farmhouse inspired decor.

There may be a part 3 coming since we have more before and after projects here to show you!

Window seat with linen pillows in European country inspired serene kitchen. Come see more of my home in Hello Lovely House Tour in July. #hellolovelystudio #timeless #tranquil #interiordesign #europeancountry #europeanfarmhouse #simpledecor #serenedecor
AFTER. Hello Lovely Studio.
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Farmhouse Dining Table
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Gertrude Wood Bench
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Oak Accent Stool
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Leather Club Chair
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
French Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
French Country Wood Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool

If you missed part 1 of this story with our kitchen renovation – Go HERE. For more French Nordic inspiration, do visit THIS and THIS.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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8 Comments

  1. futuret
    April 18, 2019 / 6:51 am

    A LOT OF HARD WORK INDEED, AND THE RESULTS ARE MAGNIFICENT. AS FOR ME I AM A BEACH AND SAND LADY, NOT TO MENTION A PASSION FOR COLOUR. I LOVE TROPICAL COLOURS. I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN RAISED IN FLORIDA, AND REMAIN A FLORIDIAN AT HEART, AND ESPECIALLY THE PALM TREES. THEN AGAIN THAT WHAT MAKES ALL OF US AN INDIVIDUAL, IT WOULD BE A BORING WORLD IF EVERYONE OF US HAD THE SAME HOUSES, WITH THE SAME COLOURS.

    • Michele
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 12:19 pm

      The inner beach and sand lady in me longs for those palm trees and the tranquility of the water – what a blessing those tropical blessings must bring. Thanks so much for reading, friend.

  2. Marilyn S.
    April 18, 2019 / 6:53 am

    Lovely indeed (as you say) —- you are cracking me up , it looks like y’all were using some sort of plumbing flange as a cup holder for your soda can during the bathroom reno. Thanks for the ” Reality” photos.

    • Michele
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 12:18 pm

      Can you even believe that awful vignette? Yes – that pop can…oh my soul! 🙂 Thanks for laughing with us.

  3. Amy
    April 18, 2019 / 9:49 pm

    Oh so lovely, restful and serene feeling. And a tremendous amount of work and love. My dear husband would get twitchy living through a reno….bless yours! I adore the rattan chairs but the link took me to Wayfair where I waded through hundreds of nifty chairs but not quite yours. Any additional info to identify them would be much appreciated, thank you.

    • Michele
      Author
      April 19, 2019 / 1:03 am

      Sorry about that and thanks so much for letting me know – I think what happens is when they go out of stock, the link gets redirected. Here are the chairs: https://rstyle.me/+_F9kVi3uzg67Fbc6D1OgWQ and I have updated the post. Best to you. 🙂

  4. Gina
    April 21, 2019 / 11:02 am

    Fantastic decor! What color paint is on the walls in the bathroom?

    • Michele
      Author
      April 21, 2019 / 11:54 am

      Thanks! Benjamin Moore White – that’s the color just WHITE. 🙂

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