Tag Archives: Bungalow

Heritage Society Home Tour, Part II

28 Oct

As you know, last week we were fortunate enough to have our home included in a Home Tour.  In Part I’s post I showed pictures of the inside of the house and as promised photos of the yard in Part II.  Today I’m making good on my promise.


Here’s a shot of the front of my house.  I love decorating for the holidays and really enjoyed putting together the fall display.  It’s different every year and I’ve even added more pumpkins since the picture was taken.



This area in my front yard is almost completely shade which presents a challenge when all you want to see is color.  I’ve learned to compromise and appreciate all the different shades of green.  I recently removed a large tree from here and have to say I’m enjoying the space much more.



Moving into the backyard, we have a large open grass area with flower beds and several different sitting areas along the edges.  I love my garden shed and spend quite a bit of time in there potting flowers.



One of our favorite features in the yard is the fountain.  Guests are encouraged to take pennies and make wishes.  The vegetable garden along the driveway now has just a variety of peppers.  I’m anxious to remove them and use the space for something else until it’s time to plant next season’s vegetables.



With the exception of a few roses, most of the plants along the driveway are succulents.  It was important to me to have quite a bit of drought tolerant plants since the majority of my yard takes regular watering.  And I have to admit, I love finding different varieties to add texture, color and shape to the spaces.



I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the yard.  Living in Southern California we spend a lot of time outdoors so having a yard like ours is perfect.  We love to hang out, BBQ, have friends over and just enjoy the beautiful weather.  And you never know when an impromptu game of horseshoes or Bocce ball will break out.

Heritage Society Home Tour, Part I

21 Oct

On Friday, we were fortunate enough to have our bungalow showcased in a Home Tour.   Approximately 50 people made their way through the house, asking questions and taking in all the great craftsman detail our home has.

Built in 1920, our little bungalow has a very rich history.  It was originally owned by a Justice of the Peace who later became our town’s mayor.  He married the daughter of one of the original families that settled here.   Together they owned a market and department store in our downtown Village.  Though the market and store are long gone, the Village remains the focal point of our Foothill community.  Since buying the house 23 years ago, we’ve done our best to restore it to its original roots and maintain the integrity of the bungalow style.  It’s hard to believe but we’re only the third owners in this house that’s nearly 93 years old.

Since you probably missed the tour, here are a few photos I took on Friday…

They were able to tour the outside as well, so I’ll post more pictures soon.  I hope you enjoyed this little tour.  I’d love to hear from you, especially if you were here on Friday!  Be well.


1 Oct

I know writing about the transformation of our hallway doesn’t seem all that exciting, but the reality of the before and after is as dramatic as any of the other rooms you’ve seen here.

In keeping with the way the rest of the house was, the hallway was quite dark.  Since it serves as the main artery to get from here to there in our bungalow, in those days it felt more like a tunnel than a hallway. 

Pulling up the carpeting and painting the walls white certainly was a huge improvement all by itself. 

When the girls were little this wall graced framed photographs of them chronicling the years.   As they got older, we started replacing those pictures with artwork and this is what we have today.

This is the piece that’s on the opposite wall…

Each room has a sign above the door that gives you an indication of what you’ll find inside…




This is a great mirror my husband and I picked up at a flea market, it’s perfect for outside our daughters’ room and is opposite their bulletin board.



We need one more sign, for the back room.  This is that catch-all room that most of us have.  It serves as guest room, den, office, etc.  Maybe one day I’ll find the perfect sign to grace its doorway… any suggestions?

And finallly, here’s the light fixture that really helped transform our tunnel…

Living/Family Room and Dining Room

10 Sep

Like I mentioned in my post “Our Bungalow – The Early Days…” the elderly couple we purchased the house from were very comfortable in their home but it was also very dark.  They had lived there a long time and I’m sure loved every square inch of the house.  For us, we saw each room not so much as a challenge, but an opportunity to start from scratch, which we literally had to do.  Here’s a glimpse at what it looked like while they still lived there.


Once we had the keys to our new home in hand, we quickly began cleaning and trying to get to bare surfaces.  Here is what these rooms looked like when we first took possession.   

As we all know, life has a way of taking over and things we want to do often take a backseat to those things we need to do.  While I was busy raising twin daughters and working, re-decorating just wasn’t a priority, nor did we have the money to do it.  In 2004 we were finally able to transform the two front rooms (dining room and family/living room) into what we really liked.

My husband and I had become big fans of a young Spanish artist named Didier Lourenco.  We familiarized ourselves with most of his work and then began our hunt to find just what we were looking for.  The piece we chose became the anchor item in the room that everything else would revolve around.  Still, choosing a paint color was really tough for me.  So many colors really complemented the piece but ultimately I liked the yellow/gold.  Here are a few after photos.

I don’t have many good “before” photos but suffice it to say the after was nothing short of dramatic.  Everything in the rooms was new… paint, furniture, window treatments.  Some of these pictures were taken while the house was decorated for Thanksgiving…

One thing we didn’t change was a vintage piece of art I picked up at the Pasadena City College swap meet years ago.  I don’t know what caught my eye about it initially, but it was love at first sight and I didn’t want to change a thing about it.  We put a nail in the wall, hung it up and called it a day.  I don’t remember what we paid for it, but it’s priceless to me.


While on a weekend getaway to Solvang in 2007, my husband and I wandered into an art gallery and bought a few original pieces done by a local artist.  We thought this one worked nicely in the living room.

Though we don’t use the rooms as much as we once did, we do love that it’s such a comfortable space to relax.  I knew choosing the yellow paint was a bold choice and I worried it would be too cold, but the rooms are instead quite warm and inviting.  Have you ever taken a big risk on a paint color and then been relieved with the outcome?  What about paint disasters?  We’ve all had those too, right?  The nice thing is that you can paint a small section and see how it looks on the wall, in different kinds of natural and artificial light, with your furniture, art, etc.  Take your time to find just what you’re looking for; you’ll be happier in the long run.  And happy is what we all should be.

Nursery and Bathroom…

6 Sep

I know I said I would post next about the Dining and Living Rooms but it really made more sense to start here.  Where we started.

Not long after we were moved in, we had accomplished removing wallpaper, tearing up carpeting, taking down window coverings and painting everything white, in other words our little Bungalow was getting a fresh start.  A re-birth if you will.

We figured we’d take our time making our way from room to room making the necessary repairs and improvement to turn this old house into our home.  However just a few months after we moved in I found out I was pregnant, so our priority became getting the nursery ready.  At 11 weeks gestation we learned we were expecting twins and neither of us wanted to know the gender(s) so we searched to find the perfect neutral color for their room and bathroom.

Here’s what their room looked like during the walk-through…

And this is what it looked like when we began working on it.

There was a lot to do in a short amount of time.  The ceilings throughout the house were covered in acoustic coating and it would be the first change to be made to ready the room for our new babies.  My husband tackled the job all by himself which was neither fun nor easy.  It’s a messy job that requires a mask and goggles at all times.  Reaching above your head scraping little by little is not only exhausting, it’s a very slow process.

Once the ceiling was done, we could focus on the walls and floor.  I did what I could to help out, but as my pregnancy progressed there was only so much I could do.  I could no longer help with little things like stripping paint off the door and window hardware.  Previous homeowners had painted over the delicate brass hardware time and time again.  I wasn’t interested in exposing myself to the harsh cleaning chemicals, so mostly I did what I could to make the jobs easier for my husband.  I fetched tools, cleaned paint brushes, etc.  Painting was fine too, since we have so many windows and the nursery has 6, it was easy to open them up, let in a breeze and paint away.  The house never had the strong odor of paint.  We chose a pale mint green for the room and decided all the trim and mouldings throughout the house would remain white.

Since my daughters are not babies anymore, their bedroom has seen many changes over the years.  When they were about 14, we re-painted and changed the furniture configuration, added a few style details here and there and this is what it looked like

Now that my daughters are college graduates, they’ve made even more changes, like bedding, lighting, etc.  It’s their room and their personal space so I’ll respect their privacy and not post photos of what it looks like today, but it’s a better representation of their grown up style.

Needless to say, the bathroom needed quite a bit of work as well.  The sink and cabinet were old and outdated.  The wallpaper was faded and the floor was a dark vinyl tile but we kept it for the time being.  The star of the room was the claw foot tub, which we refinished and still use today.

When it came time to tackle the bathroom, we found a cute little striped wallpaper in the same green as the nursery.  Though not a big fan of wallpaper, the lower wall we were papering had been covered in vinyl tile at one time so it had some surface scars we did our best to camouflage.  I couldn’t find any good pictures of their bathroom from those days, but here’s what it looks like now.

Yes, this hydrangea came from my garden…it’s one of my all-time favorite flowers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest tour, stay tuned for the Dining and Living Rooms… I mean it this time.

Have a great today and an even better tomorrow.

Our Bungalow – The Early Days…

28 Aug

When we bought our bungalow in 1989, it was quite different than it is today.  Built in 1920 it had only had 2 owners before us.  The elderly couple we bought it from had lived there about twenty years and I would guess had made some initial décor changes but clearly nothing had been done for a while.  Every wall was covered in wallpaper, the floors were covered in dark shag carpeting or (dingy vinyl tile) and most of the windows had heavy curtains blocking the sunshine.   To say our house was a diamond in the rough would be the understatement of the year.

We knew we wanted an older home with charm and character and its own stories to tell.  We weren’t interested in a cookie-cutter tract home, although there are times when we’d rather not have all the problems associated with a home that’s nearly 100 years old.  Here’s what we initially fell in love with.

The first thing we did was paint every wall surface white.  It was meant to be a short-term solution just to brighten the house up a bit and be a little more cheery.  We ordered mini-blinds from 3-Day Blinds to cover the majority of the 33 windows and 2 of the 4 doors.  Yes, 33 windows.  We pulled up the carpeting to expose the original hardwood floors that sadly hadn’t been very well taken care of.  Every surface of the house needed a lot of attention and we knew we had a gigantic chore ahead of us, but we took it one day at a time.

While both working full-time, we spent our evenings and weekends doing what needed to be done to make it a home.  We knew the initial decorative updates would be temporary but we needed to at least have a clean palette to start.

After two paint jobs, here’s what the house looks like today.

And yes, the water color “banner” on my blog really is my house.  It was painted for me by a friend’s mother many years ago.  The framed painting hangs proudly in our kitchen.

My plan is to post a blog about each room and show you before and after photos.  On occasion we had help, but for the most part we did all the work ourselves.

Stay tuned for the next Around the Bungalow update… The Dining and Living Rooms.  I hope you’ll stop by.

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