3rd Annual Bungalow Blog Tour

by Josh on May 14, 2011 · 21 comments

in Journal

This post is part of a 10-site blog tour.  Follow the links at the end of the post to move forward or backward through the tour sites.

Welcome to Bungalow ’23!  Whether you are a regular reader or a first-time visitor, I’m delighted to have you here for the 3rd Annual Bungalow Blog Tour.  For this year’s tour I picked a theme of “past/present/future.”  As we move through some of the spaces in the house, I’ll compare current photos to pictures from when I bought the house nearly seven years ago.  I’ll also share my ideas and plans for how I hope to change these views in the future.


Exterior from sales brochure

This is how the house looked when we bought it in 2004.  In fact, this is a scan of the actual photo the previous owners used for their marketing brochure.  The trim was green and the yard was freshly landscaped.

As it appears now, the house trim is  red/brown following last summer’s paint job.  The windows are a bit of a color mix, because my plans for the near future include replacing the almond-colored aluminum storm windows with wood-framed combination storms painted in my gold accent color.

Exterior front today

Grrrrrr-een roof

Living Room

When we bought the house, most of the walls were white or off-white, the crown molding was painted white, and the fireplace brick was painted red and covered with brass doors.  The antique art deco ceiling pendant (and a match in the dining room) went with the sellers.

Living room from sales brochure

Today the walls and crown are the colors we painted them the first week we owned the house.  The wall surface is actually painted wallpaper, so even though Ms. Bungalow and I long ago tired of our muddy tan walls, I can’t bring myself to add another layer of paint to them before I strip off the old wallpaper and get down to the plaster.  I stripped the fireplace brick several years ago.

Living room today (from foyer)

In the “today” photo above, there is a grouping of photos on the left side of the picture.  I’ve discovered that there originally were a pair of square casement windows (like the ones above the mantel) in this wall that looked out onto the front porch.  Restoring these windows and a pair of double-hung windows between the sunroom and the porch is on my someday/maybe project list.

Entry foyer today

The photo above turns the camera around to show the entry foyer from which the earlier living room picture was taken.  (Yes, it’s puddle season.)  The foyer always had a coat closet, but at some point it was rebuilt from narrow and deep with a single standard door, to a wide shallow closet with dual bi-fold doors.  I think the original closet door is down in the basement.


Looking at this picture of the sunroom from when we bought the house, it’s amazing to me that all of the things in the photo belong to the previous owners because we have the room furnished nearly the exact same way today.

Sunroom from sales brochure

Sunroom today

I swear this wasn’t staged, but besides the brown couch and two lamps on the radiator, both the “then” and “now” photos feature sleeping dogs!  The missing double-hung windows I mentioned earlier went in the wall were our entertainment center is.  This room is also covered in painted wallpaper, and someday soon I’ll want to strip the flaking paint off the radiator and rehab the windows.

Dining Room

The dining room might look the most different from the sales pictures and even from the last time I blogged about it.  I’m scooping myself on a couple items I just haven’t gotten around to writing about, so consider the current photos a teaser of more detailed things to come.

Dining room from sales brochure

Today the dining room features several recent additions.  Of course there is still the wallpaper painted a color I no longer like and the contemporary mission light fixture I bought before I knew anything about bungalows, but the table and chairs are new-to-me antiques bought within the past few months.  I just love them!  The kids’ art wall is something I whipped up quickly to fill the wall space left when I decided to sell the Room & Board leaning shelves that made the move from our old house and that never really worked here.  My kids love having such prime space for their gallery and it’s a great talking point with family or other guests.

Dining room today

Picking at the wallpaper in this room, I have found incontrovertible proof that the dining room originally had wainscotting.  Of all these main floor rooms, I am most excited to work on the dining room so I can put back the wainscotting and plate rail when the wallpaper comes down.

Dining room from hall

Additional Rooms

I don’t have sales photos for all the rooms in the house, but I’m going to share some current photos for some additional rooms along with some comments on what I’ve been working on there or what I have in store.


As my recent posts show, I’ve been working on improving the kitchen lately.  A big part of the impetus for this work was the installation of a 1951 Chambers range that I updated and cleaned after debuting it on this blog tour last year.  I’m making some good progress in the kitchen (more photo scoops) but there is still a long way to go– particularly next to the stove where I will be building a kitchen cabinet and installing a subway tile backsplash.

Kitchen with recent improvements

Kitchen area under construction

Main Bath

The main floor bathroom is a real “tweener” space.  No, not a place favored by Justin Bieber fans, but a spot that exists frustratingly in between “lovely” and “must fix.”  I love the original hex tile floor, the super-deep old bathtub, and the new high-efficiency toilet.  However, the sink, faucet, and medicine cabinet all need replacing for various reasons, and the tub–awesome in its depth and heat retention– is impossible to clean because of heavy wear on the porcelain.  What’s more, I know this room used to have lovely white subway tile, and the baby blue squares are a lousy replacement.  Still, things could be much, much worse.

Main Hall

The small main floor hall connects the dining room to the bathroom and two bedrooms, neither of which is in tour condition presently.  For some reason (probably because of the built-in cabinet with the phone nook) houseguests think this space is cute, so I thought I’d include a photo here.

Upper Hall

Taking the steep staircase up from the dining room leads to a horseshoe-shaped upper hall connecting the three bedrooms in the large attic-level half-story.  The in-wall bookcases in the far wall were originally exterior windows before the previous owners built the tower addition that added the bedroom visible through the glass door.  Amazingly, this space is exactly as it was when we bought the house.  As a “pass-through” room, I’ve always been focused on other spaces and so never even bothered to paint. My plans for the room include installing a skylight or two and adding a bedroom-level laundry, which would be a tremendous convenience.

Master Bedroom

We weren’t shy about color in this room!  This maple/orange was a pre-color consultant choice that I like more often than not, but it isn’t exactly soothing or sophisticated.  For a bungalow, we really have a lot of space for our master bedroom, including a proper 8-foot ceiling in the main part of the room, though the sitting room in the front dormer is considerably shorter.  The bedroom will feel even larger when I finish the expanded master closet created as part of my renovation work with the child’s bedroom in the other side of the attic.

A someday project in the master bedroom is building a window seat below the triple casement windows in the sitting area.

The expanded master walk-in closet is over 16 feet long.  The salvaged strip maple flooring I’m installing here is a perfect match for the original floors on this level.

Thanks for Visiting!

That concludes my past/present/future tour of Bungalow ’23!  It was fun to pull together the old and new photos and I hope you enjoyed it, too.  Be sure to follow the links below to check out the other sites on the 3rd Annual Bungalow Blog Tour.  If you liked what you saw here, leave me a comment, bookmark the site, or subscribe to my post feed or twitter updates in the sidebar near the top of the page.  And a special thanks to StuccoHouse for once again organizing this excellent event.

Next Stop: From the Doll House to the Dog House

Previous Stop: El Paso Foursquare

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

StuccoHouse May 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

I love the discovery of the missing double hung windows and the wainscoting. What’s a bungalow without a good mystery? Thanks for joining the Tour again this year!


Josh May 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

You’re right about the fun of a house mystery, StuccoHouse. It’s tempting to dive into restoring the porch windows because I know the missing casement sashes (not sure about the double hungs) are waiting down in the basement.


Omar May 14, 2011 at 11:55 am

Wow, awesome house! Living & dining rooms are superb. I think adding the wainscoting back in the dining room will take it to the next level. I really like where you’re going with the kitchen. Wish I had an antique stove.. 🙂


Josh May 16, 2011 at 11:40 am

Thanks, Omar. If you’re serious about an antique stove, Craigslist is the place to look. You’ll have to be judicious, but there are some great stove deals there.


denise May 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

After reading your blog for so long it’s nice to get a full tour–it gives a better sense of your beautiful bungalow. I’m really hoping to replace our aluminum storms soon as well; I really really hate ours–too much white! And I immediately thought of our blue-and-yellow bathroom we inherited from the PO when you said “Still, things could be much, much worse.” Yes, yes they could. Nice job!


Michelle May 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Your home is beautiful! I love all the windows and gorgeous woodwork. Thanks for the tour!


mike @HA May 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

I agree with Denise, it’s nice to see a full tour! I went back and forth between your exterior and interiors shots to make a floor plan in my head 🙂


Josh May 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

I should save you and others the mental exercise and post a floorplan sometime, Mike. This was hardly a full tour though, because only 1 of the 5 bedrooms was even close to tour-ready.


threadbndr May 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

I’d love to see a full floorplan, too. It’s sometimes hard to envision how the spaces relate to each other.

I LOVE the sun/media room. I wish I had that space instead of a little wimpy windowseat off the living room. Of course, my bungalow is a baby bungalow compared to yours.


Vinnie May 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Yes, after the past few years of following your blog it’s nice to have this year’s tour show us so much. Thank you for the tour.

It’s nice to see some of the sales brochures and how you have improved the place.


Josh May 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Thanks, Vinnie– I suppose my writing and photos have focused more on the trees than the forest, so sometimes its good to pull back and take in the view.


Adam May 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

This blog home tour is seriously the coolest idea! I loved reading about other house enthusiasts and seeing pictures of their homes. I am becoming strongly infatuated with bungalow style houses… Not good for this small cottage-style-ranch-living guy.


Josh May 16, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Bzzzzzzz! Bzzzzzzzz! What’s that? It’s the bungalow bug and it’s just bitten Adam! Now he’s almost certain to develop the incurable Stickley Fever. Get this man two units of fumed white oak, stat!


threadbndr May 19, 2011 at 9:37 am

LOL, it’s hopeless. Once the ‘bug’ has bitten, you are infected for life.


Rachel @ We Heart Minnesota May 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I love your house, and it was so fun to find a blog from a fellow Minnesotan. I look forward to following your progress, but it looks like you’ve done a lot already.

Your two adirondack chairs out front made me laugh too because we just did a post about how everyone in our neighborhood has two adirondack chairs in front of their house (in St. Louis Park).


Josh May 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Welcome, Rachel! Yes, there are a few other homes on our block with adirondacks out front, too. Sometimes we even sit in them.


Monique May 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

Stopping over from Centsational Girl blog. She posted the True Value Blog Squad winners. Congrats! I love what you’ve done to your house and glad to see you didn’t paint all the molding and every window frame white. Beautiful home.


Chelsea June 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

The Bungalow Blog Tour is great idea! My husband and I are building a bugalow house this summer. Your house has many of the great features that we love!


sabrina July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Is this style similar to the craftsman style?


Josh July 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Yes, Sabrina. Not all craftsman-style / Arts & Crafts-style homes are bunglows, but most bungalows (including mine) are craftsman style.


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