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

The Annual Recap

It’s that time again folks, when I recap the bungalow accomplishments (or lack thereof) for the past year and set goals for the new year. Are you as excited as I am?

To start, it definitely wasn’t a banner year, both for blogging and for remodeling. That said, we did accomplish one of my major goals for the year: Paint Kitchen Cabinets. More details can be found here if you’re interested.

We made some progress on the never-ending attic remodel by installing knee wall access doors, even if we had to hire our contractor to do it for us.

We managed to install bi-fold doors for the utility and master bedroom closets ourselves. The custom doors, which we ordered online from Kestrel Shutters & Doors, sat on the floor for about a year before we finally installed them last May. They came with the hanging hardware and overall we’re very pleased with the quality of the doors. We worked our way through most of the hanging instructions and they worked pretty well but needed some final adjustments, which we finally tackled this past Sunday. Unfortunately the doors still need to be stained and varnished. I’m hoping this post will spur me into action so that I can finally cross it off the list.

You can see the fixed-louver doors for the utility closet at the top of the stairs in this photo. The closet in the master bedroom has solid doors with panels that look very similar to the rest of the doors in our house.

Here you also see the final paint job for the stairwell (off-white on the top left, “Kangaroo” beige on the right and bottom left) which was another pending project from last year. I had to set up a scaffold of sorts to reach everywhere but it wasn’t too difficult to do.

Other than that, I managed to spend more money on various things. Most notably we said good-bye to our sofa, which didn’t hold up nearly as well as I expected. I really didn’t like how it fit in the room anyway and had hoped to find a nice sectional sofa that would accommodate more people if we wanted to watch a movie or football game with others.

I stumbled upon the one below over the summer for a great price at Domicile Furniture. The big selling point was the low back that allowed it to fit through the door without having to remove the legs, unlike our previous sofa. It fills the space perfectly, just like I wanted.

We had our electrician friend add a receptacle on the wall opposite the sofa so that we could move the TV to this wall (previously located where you see the chair, below). This room was our master bedroom before the remodel and now works well as our TV room.

In the dining room, I recovered the chairs using different fabrics that went well with the teal in our roman shades and the deep orange wall color.

In the previous house we used these chairs in the kitchen, so they had a striped, predominantly red fabric on them. Definitely too kitchen-y. They also needed more padding, especially for long Thanksgiving dinners!

Outdoors we added a few more plants, but we also had a landscape designer friend come up with a plan using some of the existing changes we had already made, like the flagstone patio on the side of the house. Based on our other desires, she expertly made our outdoor area more cohesive by expanding the porch and adding a gravel patio area for a moveable fire pit and spot for our adirondack chairs. We’re hoping to work on building those this year in addition to adding a pergola over the flagstone patio. Fingers crossed.

Finally there was the unexpected addition of Henry and Ella who are a never-ending source of entertainment (and sometimes frustration!). They are currently wrestling and chasing each other all over the house. It’s hard to get a good shot of them because they always seem to be in action!

Next up, the official Goals for 2012!


  1. southsideandy on January 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    “it definitely wasn’t a banner year, both for blogging and for remodeling”…

    Welcome to the club! Sounds like, however, many of us are getting back on the horse in 2012! Good luck and Happy New Year!


  2. Sandy on February 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Especially loved the picture of the kitties! 🙂

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