A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Happy Anniversary, Bungalow!

Wow, I just realized that we closed on the bungalow exactly two years ago today!

While a lot has changed in a relatively short period of time, some things remain the same in a manner of speaking, so I thought I’d do a little That was then, This is now picture show.

Then, the PO’s storage pod sat on the lawn:

Now, our dumpster sits on the lawn:

Then, lots of weeds and a bunch of crap in the yard:

Now, less weeds, a bunch of dirt and a little crap in the yard:

Then, painted woodwork, textured walls, plaster cracks everywhere:

Now, woodwork refinished, cracks repaired, and we have color:

Then, fireplace takes over the living room:

Now, fireplace still taking over the living room (but looks a little nicer overall):

Then, guest room not very welcoming:

Now, guest room says, “Come for a visit” (but don’t stay too long):

Then, TV room doesn’t look too comfortable:

Now, sometimes it’s hard to get off the couch:

Then, attic sat unused, had no insulation and too much drywall:

Now, attic is well on its way to becoming the coziest spot in the house:

That’s it for now. Tomorrow: report on the insulation


  1. Rene on June 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Congratulations! You’ve already accomplished so much. Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us! Rene

  2. Carol on June 26, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Wow, all that in two years? Man, we’ve been here in our Oak Park bungalow for 11 years and haven’t been able to restore as much as you have. Bravo.

  3. southsideandy on June 26, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I have to say, your place is much, much more beautiful on the outside than it was in the before picture. I would have not bought your house if I was looking and saw it before. But I’d buy it now (though I’m not looking!)…

    Great work…too many times, the first set of before and after pictures are reversed, it seems. You’ve taken the bungalow back to what it “should” look like…congrats!

  4. Kathy on June 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Wow. You totally deserve a break! See you soon! 😉

  5. Jen on June 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Was that a fire hydrant before? Congratulations on such huge progress in such a short time.

  6. denise on June 30, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Thanks everyone! Looking back, I am a little amazed at all we’ve done, although we have had help.
    Carol: even though it’s only been 2 years, I’ve probably been planning something like this in my mind for another 9, so I guess I was prepared to hit the ground running!
    southsideandy: I consider that to be the highest of compliments, thanks!
    Kathy: yes, I do deserve a break. Looking forward to it!
    Jen: Good eye! Yes, there’s one of those “doggy” fake fire hydrants — funny thing is, the PO never had a dog!

  7. Delightful Dwelling on June 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Congrats on two years of your bungalow. You have made some wonderful changes, it looks great.

  8. Karen Anne on July 1, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Super job.

    I really like esp. the “we have color” treatment with the ceiling color coming down aways onto the walls. I have just wall meets ceiling rooms that cry out for a moulding. Were yours original, or did you add them? What are they shaped like? Thanks.

  9. Nicole on July 1, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Awesome! Happy anniversary! always nice to look back on your achievements. it’s amazing how much gets done over time.

  10. denise on July 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Delightful Dwelling, Karen Anne and Nicole: Thank you!

    Karen Anne: Those are original picture rails. They are a fairly simple shape, with the top of the molding extending more outward toward the room, like this. The top has a channel or groove that is designed to secure picture hooks. This way you don’t have to drive picture nails into the plaster walls and can hang artwork from a rope on the hook. The living room and dining room are the only 2 rooms that have the picture rail lower on the walls because these rooms have cove ceilings. I like the effect it gives too.

  11. bungalowbliss on July 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Fabulous! The love and effort you’ve poured into your bungalow definitely shows. Congrats on two (productive) years!!

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