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

About Us

We are Denise and Pete, married since 1990. We live in Morton Grove, Illinois — a small suburb just north of Chicago.

After almost two years of discussion, angst, and finally, negotiation, we bought a 1929 Chicago-style bay-front brick bungalow from our (now former) neighbor. Our previous house, only 90 feet away, was an okay but unremarkable 1963 raised ranch without much character.

Although the previous house was first owned by Pete's grandparents after they retired, he had no emotional attachment to it (moving out of the suburbs would prove to be another story).

I, your author Denise, after living in a 1920s-era apartment in Chicago, moved in with him planning to stay in the house "6 or 7 years" until his daughters were in college and then finding a home with character to renovate (preferably in the city).

Fast-forward seventeen years.

After looking at dozens of nice and not-so-nice Chicago-style bungalows in several north side Chicago neighborhoods, the bungalow that would make both of us happy was right in front of us all along.

While the “bones” of the house were solid, there definitely were issues: an attic stacked with 200 sheets of 10-year-old drywall, some “interesting” renovating/decorating decisions, original woodwork painted white throughout, damaged plaster walls also covered in white, and a basement-turned-litterbox, to name a few. We‘ve slowly been breathing life (and color) back into the house.

To get a hold of us you can send an email to:

owners [at] bungalowchronicles [dot] com

To see the transformations of various rooms, visit the Before/After page.


  1. This Abandoned House on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Hi, guys! Looks like we’re tackling similar projects! Nice work!

    • denise on December 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Hi This Abandoned House: Thanks for visiting! Nice to connect with fellow Chicago-area bloggers/renovators. Cool reno!

  2. Raymond Minkus on November 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Denise and Pete: I am a former Morton Grover now living in Deerfield and came upon your blog, which is quite interesting, because of a challenge to find out about the Milke’s family which once lived and had at least one business in MG. Apparently, our group research the Milke’s owned a Doberman breeding, training, boarding business on Waukegan Road, south of Dempster and probably of the east side of the street as late as 1948. We have a FB based group which focuses on MG history and personal memories. Any chance you can share other details about the Milke’s other than the were the second owner of your home? I found a Michael Milke’s who has an All State agency on Touhy, but that is as far as I have progressed in the past half an hour or so before landing on your blog. Thanks for the help. You can reach me at rdm@minkuspr.com.

  3. Sean Sullivan on August 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Hey guys-thanks for taking the time to document your remodel as its a great resource. I bought a Berwyn Bungalow a few years back and have been consistently upgrading it. Its time to tackle an attic remodel-Can you shoot me an email as I’d like to get a few recommendations for any architect/design pros you used and the contractors you guys may recommend for HVAC, insulation etc.

  4. Kerry Galson on October 3, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Great blog! I, too, have renovated a (1927) Morton Grove bungalow. We loved the projects, the bungalow, and MG.

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