This Old House

Obviously we need to start somewhere. So why not introduce you (re-introduce most of you) to our 1930 bungalow?

In January of 2014 we officially became homeowners for the first time. Considering we are both designers full of opinions, finding the perfect place to call home was a bit of a challenge. After 3 months and over 120 house tours (no joke), we finally found a sweet little 1930 Craftsman Bungalow. We wanted an older house with some character that needed a little bit of love. There were countless homes that were either too finished, or not finished enough that we had to pass up because they just didn't fit the bill. Oh you have a house with brand new granite countertops? Pass. Oh half of the walls are down to their studs, and you are still wanting an arm and a leg? Nope. That kind of thing.

We had some difficulties closing on our little Bungie, to say the least. 3 months of difficulties to be exact. The seller lived in Austin and she had been using it as a rental for the past few decades, so clearly there were some items that didn't pass inspection and needed to be negotiated. We had it re-leveled, updated electrical (it had knob and tube people), and reinforced the chimney that was very much leaning toward our neighbors' house. Mix in the holidays, add some inclement weather, and that about sums it up. This wasn't an ideal (or typical) experience when buying a home, but it was a learning experience to say the least. 

All of these photos were taken during our final walkthrough so we like to refer to them as the official "befores". 

Now I think there needs to be a bit of a disclaimer. This house has never been updated (or cleaned for that matter?). So try to look at these photos with fresh paint, modern fixtures, and a whole lot of elbow grease (maybe a power washer?). We are SO excited to share with you guys the minor improvements we've already made that have made a world of difference. Sometimes I forget just how bad it was when we bought it.

Welcome to our home :)

Our first official homeowner photo once we had the keys in our hands.

Our first official homeowner photo once we had the keys in our hands.

I mean, the day after we put an offer on this baby, Derek had already sketched up his ideas for the exterior. See what I mean? SO much potential.

This photo is a little misleading because our realtor is holding the screen door open, so really the door is on the side of the porch, not the front.

This photo is a little misleading because our realtor is holding the screen door open, so really the door is on the side of the porch, not the front.

Picture dark charcoal siding with white window frames, white wood railing, and a fun colored door. Maybe (probably) yellow? 

Oh. And some serious landscaping.

The gutters need a serious overhaul, and we’re still trying to figure out what to do with the driveway. Pavers? Crushed granite? So many options.

There is a detached garage at the end of the driveway behind the house, which we plan to use as a work shop (rather than car storage). I would show you the inside, but it currently looks like a meth lab.

Back to the front! I mean why would you hide this adorable door with a ruddy old screen?

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the door actually needs to be rehung. It is barely latching onto the frame, which isn’t safe. The threshold needs some work too (which you can see). See all the dirt on the siding? I mean it’s actually a lovely mint green beneath all of that grime. This poor house has been so neglected.

And yes, that is carpet on the front porch. Just why.

And yes, that is carpet on the front porch. Just why.

When you walk in, you are immediately in the living room/dining room. It’s a very narrow and long room, which will make arranging furniture a little awkward. We’re planning to make the side with the fireplace our dining room, and the other half the living room.

We eventually plan to frame out the fireplace in wood and replace the hearth to give it a little more oomph, and feel a little more Craftsman and less Fiesta-esque.

This is the only room with popcorn ceilings, so random. Overall the floors are in pretty good condition, they are just absolutely filthy. And we weren't really fond of the orange-y stain.

Through this room is the kitchen. Which was the biggest seller for us. We both agreed that having a large kitchen (after being super cramped at our last two apartments) was at the top of our list. And this baby is not only large, but also FULL of storage. It has clearly never been updated, and I’m so excited to get my hands on it.

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I think an island is a must.

That doorway to the right connects to the master bedroom for some odd reason. We plan to eventually close it in.

hrough the kitchen is the utility room, which also leads to the backyard. It has some very questionable carpet. 

Let us take a closer look. Woof.

To the left are two pantries. Um amazing. I went from zero pantries to one, to two!

On the opposite side are the washer and dryer connections. We plan to configure this area a bit to add better storage. I mean. What is that.

Here is the back door, which is also original to the house. That tapestry hanging over the window has a needlepoint cat on the other side. Don’t worry, it came with the house. Meow.

To the left of the utility room is what we currently use as the office.

What’s that accordion you see? Oh don’t worry. It’s a door. And it’s not the only one.

It’s the smallest bedroom, and has three closets! We think that it was a weird addition at some point.

We plan to remove the sliders on this closet and install some built-in shelving down the road. That door to the right leads to the middle bedroom (also known as the master).

I told you that there was another accordion door. This one is shiny plastic. Because it's fancy.

The master also has two closets which is SO nice. His and hers. Oh and lots of windows!

When we close in the door to the kitchen (midnight snack anyone?) we plan to extend my closet because let’s be honest. That sucker is way too small. 

Through the accordion door is the hallway. Straight across is the front bedroom which we use as the guest room/pillow hoarding room.

Oh you wanted a better look at the accordion door? Here it is.

Who doesn't want a giant breaker box in their already tiny hallway? Oh but it's framed out because obviously we want it to feel dressy.

In the middle of the hallway (right across from the living room) is the bathroom.

I think those floors deserve a second glance.

Be. Still. My. Heart.

I literally squealed when I walked into the bathroom for the first time. Derek can vouch. Because he followed it up with a “relax. look at all of the problems” ha. I mean clearly it’s filthy. But hexagon tile? I can’t.

Oh hey neighbors! Wanna watch me brush my teeth? We plan to frost that window immediately. And that wall hung sink with two different faucets? What is happening.

I am so thankful that the tile in the shower is neutral. You have no idea how many hundreds of bathrooms we toured while house hunting that were purple, green, pink, orange, or blue tile. From floor to ceiling. One even had green shag carpet. ON THE WALLS. I can’t even make this stuff up. We will eventually replace it when we renovate the bathroom, but I can definitely handle it for a while.

There is even a cupboard above the tub, which we will probably eventually take out to make the shower/tub area feel larger. Plus, what could we store in there that wouldn't eventually be covered in steamy mold?

To the left of the sink is a small vanity with a hamper below. And plenty of cabinets on every wall. It’s kind of overkill.

The last bedroom to the right of the bathroom is the guest room. It’s actually the largest room, but only has one closet so we decided that it would be better suited for guests. And also. 80% of the closet houses a  giant duct to our HVAC system. Lovely. But did you see the hexagon tile in the bathroom? Let's just remember that.

The hallway connects back to the living / dining room, so now you can see what the other side looks like back toward the front door.

You know its bad when even your ceiling fan is mopey. Let’s head to the backyard shall we? We plan to put up a privacy fence (and planting grass seeds) immediately. Our neighbors have a lot of stuff we rather not look at.

It's a pretty teeny yard. But it's big enough for Geoffrey and an intimate dinner party, and that's really all we need.

So there you have it. Are you excited or scared for us? We've tackled a few projects in the short 18 months we've been living here. And we've definitely had our fair share of "old house problems" so we can't wait to get you guys up to speed on our progress! 

We plan to re-share some of the project we shared on the old blog, just so that we have all of this home's progress in one place so bare with us if it feels a little deja vu to you.