Welcome to the 3rd Annual Bungalow Blog Tour! Be sure to visit all 10 or so bungalows on the tour (links from-and-to the next blog are provided at the bottom of each bungalow’s post). As always, comments and questions welcomed and encouraged!
Built in 1929, our bungalow is a classic Chicago-style brick bungalow, one of about 80-100,000 bungalows built in the Chicago area between 1910-1940. On last year’s tour, I outlined the main, common characteristics of a Chicago-style bungalow, so now I’ll point out a few things that set our bungalow apart from some others.
- Bay Front. Some bungalows have a flat or squared front (probably the majority are this style), while other, more elaborate styles are called octagon-front because of their large, almost round bay of windows. Visit The Bungalow, Chicago-style pool on Flickr to see the wide range of styles in the Chicagoland area
- Brick color. At a distance our face brick appears red, but it actually has a wide range of colors, from reds, browns and grays to olive green and yellow ochre. Other brick color styles are blonde or checkerboard, or they’re more solid-colored, like typical browns and reds
- Art Glass Windows. This is my most favorite feature of our home. Only approximately 1/3 of all bungalows were built with art glass windows, and of those I’ve only come across one other bungalow who has a similar pattern to ours.
We bought our bungalow in 2007, moving two houses away from our previous 1960s-era raised ranch home (a perfectly good home, but devoid of character and charm). We are still in contact with the previous owner of this house, and he recently discovered the blog (Hi D!).
That’s pretty much the overview. You can check out the highlights of many of our projects by looking at last year’s tour. This year I thought I’d highlight our biggest project, the Attic Renovation, since I’ve never properly documented the “after” photos (or shall I say “almost-after” since we still have plenty to do!).
When we moved in, the attic was completely unfinished, just your typical attic except for the 200 sheets of sheetrock scattered about that the PO bought 10 years prior, intending to finish the space one day.
Almost two years ago now, we started construction on a master suite, laundry room and “flex” or bonus room, which now serves as my design/illustration studio space. We hired a contractor for most of the heavy work but chose to do a lot of the finish work ourselves, such as installing the bathroom tile, laundry room tile, doors and all the trimwork. Needless to say, as you’ll see, the doors and trimwork have yet to be installed—and while I dream about it being finished and behind us, alas it doesn’t prevent us from living in the space—the pitfalls of DIY I guess. Now on with the tour!
The first view is looking toward the back of the house in what would become our master bedroom.
The same view, with the dormer addition to allow space for the bedroom and master bathroom. The roof window was moved into the bathroom and provides the only natural light there.
And as it looks today. We are making some progress on doors for the storage spaces in the nook area. I plan to make the doors flush with the wall using hidden hinges and a push-latch, painting them the same color as the walls. We have enough leftover, original doors (e.g. from a kitchen pantry that the PO tore out) to reuse them for the clothes closets and bathroom/bedroom entries, but they need to be stripped and stained to match the rest of the house first.
The master bathroom, in progress.
Moving toward the middle of the house, the attic stairs were too narrow and steep, with very shallow treads. We had to steal 6″ from the kitchen to widen the staircase, and the pitch of the staircase was lengthened, which created a small wedge in the hallway ceiling on the first floor. With our tall ceilings it goes pretty much unnoticed.
Here’s the before-and-after. The (unfinished/need-to-be-stained) bi-fold doors at the top of the stairs contain a storage closet and HVAC.
And a couple views of the small laundry room next to the staircase. We installed Marmoleum linoleum tiles for the floor—while not cheap, they’re a very eco-friendly product (which we use wherever possible) and I’d highly recommend them for flooring.
As for my design/illustration studio space at the opposite end of the house looking toward the street, I’m afraid
it’s a huge mess we’re out of time, so I’d like to invite you to come back soon for the rest of the tour!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into our bungalow—thanks for visiting!