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

Happy 8th House-iversary

EIGHT YEARS! How time flies—I really can’t believe we’ve lived here for 8 years already (technically I’m two days early, but still)! Unfortunately I missed our anniversary last year, but we’ll just chalk that up to the 7-year itch with houseblogging, as I strayed a bit from that last year. 🙂

On our House-iversary two years ago, I did a little before-and-after of the exterior and yard since we were working on that so much at the time and the year before was a summary of yearly exterior changes.

Now that the interior has changed over the past year with my craigslist “Purge Splurge” among other changes, we’ll focus on the latest updates and how the rooms have evolved over the years.

I’ll keep this thread going in future posts, but let’s start with the most recent update: The Main Floor Bathroom.

After eight long years of bitching and moaning about how much I hated the 1990s-era blue-and-yellow bathroom remodel I finally did something about it (yes, dragging Pete with me, kicking and screaming but eventually relenting). Despite his reluctance, I have a wonderful husband and am very grateful that he puts up with me.

I would also get some opposition from a few friends who would say, “I don’t know; I kind of like it!” or “It’s not that bad!” (many thought it was an “original” retro style similar to the pink 1960s bathrooms, and no, I didn’t hold it against them). I think Pete must have paid them to say it, but I was not having any of it. I can be a little stubborn, especially when it comes to my own design aesthetics.

The first few years were focused on remodeling the attic into a master suite and “bonus” area, but starting in 2012 the bathroom was high on my Project Goal list. Along with Pete’s grumbling however, some other project would take precedence. I guess it just wasn’t time because I’m sure it would have turned out much differently had we done that early on, so no regrets about waiting.

Since I realized I need to update my Before and After pages, I plan to add additional photos and links there in the near future.

In a nutshell, here’s the bathroom over the years, starting with pre-ownership.

The owner (whom we knew as our neighbor two doors away) planned to take the green toilet with him. No problem there!

April 2007

We removed the beige basement toilet and used it here for a while.

July 2007

Trying to embrace the color scheme. With the addition of the white toilet, at least it’s looking fresh and clean.

February 2010. Trying to embrace the color scheme. With the addition of the white toilet, at least it's looking fresh and clean.

February 2010.

Enough was enough, I decided this was the year for this project, and I might as well see what the original floor looked like. I had to tear the top layer off anyway even if we had to re-tile.

January 2015

Luckily, it turned out beautiful!

Demo time!

March 2015

March 2015

Getting the walls up and everything functional before guests arrived for a weekend.

April 2015

April 2015

As of today, it is thisclose to being completed. We installed a glass corner shelf and remounted the toilet paper holder (I decided it was too far away). Pete also finished the window ledge.

June 2015

The tub deck (formerly the pool table slate) is installed now that the bathtub has been refinished. Pete caulked everything yesterday as well. We just need to finish gluing the seams and then install the shower screen door. I also need to do some paint touchups and  general cleaning, but I think we can wrap it all up this weekend and take a well-deserved break over the 4th.

June 2015

It is definitely the best House-iversary present ever!


  1. traci on July 25, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Happy house-iversary! I recently bought a Chicago style bungalow and have loved reading your blog. I have no idea where to start so I appreciate your organization tips.

    • denise on July 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Traci! Congrats on your bungalow, and I’m happy to hear you enjoy reading my blog (I love to organize!) 🙂

      • Traci on July 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        Thanks! You may have posted this before but when you first moved in did you make a list of all the updates and then form a strategy from that?

        • denise on July 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm

          Yes, I did make a list of all the things I wanted to do, whether they were tasks like cleaning windows and painting or goals like “gut 1st floor bathroom”. 🙂 Some were easy to knock off. I would go to each room, look around and make a list of all the things you either need to fix or want to change. Take your time and get to know the house for the bigger remodeling stuff and work on things that you probably won’t alter or will save money, like insulating, fixing plaster cracks, etc. Your goals and priorities will probably change as time goes on. E.g. I have on my list “Acid etch concrete floor in basement?” because I always thought that looked cool. I still do, but I don’t really want to spend the money on that so I doubt that will ever happen. Also check out my Apartment Therapy “Cure” posts (read in reverse order) or go to their site–they’re great for helping you reach goals in a month and assessing your space. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions! Good luck!

          • traci on July 27, 2015 at 11:06 am

            Ok, better start writing!

  2. Rachel on August 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Your blog is so encouraging/inspiring. We are renovating a 1913 bungalow in Chicago and have experienced much of what you write about. We don’t have any friends who are doing anything similar and most think we’re a little crazy 😛 It’s great to spend time on your pages and realize there’s other people who are this special kind of crazy. Thank you!!

    • denise on August 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Rachel! I’m so glad to hear you’ve gotten inspiration and encouragement from our blog. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep up the motivation on projects (and blogging about it!), so it’s always good to hear from others in similar situations. Good luck with your bungalow!

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