Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Humble Bungalow beginnings...

This is the background of how we came to live in our Humble Bungalow....the beginning.

Early in our marriage we dreamed of living in a nice area of town and of one day owning our own home.
As luck would have it, we had the good fortune to find and rent a large Edwardian 2 story house with views of the ocean in an old established area close to town. We resided within walking distance to a large city park and small village shops. The rental house had many heritage features and we quickly warmed to it's charms but not to the cold and draughts!

This was at the time my husband was very busy launching his career with an architectural firm and I stayed home to raise our two children. It was such a happy time!
I walked everywhere pushing the buggy with our Golden Retriever Rufus, at my side.
I would choose different routes and look longingly at the wonderful old homes in our neighbourhood. When I saw a For Sale sign I'd look for it in the Real Estate section of the newspaper to see how much it cost. Very few homes were in our price range, with the exception of those listed as "fixer uppers" as our realtor later advised "buy the cheapest house in the best location."

I found our future home on one of my afternoon jaunts....it was a block from the ocean, several blocks from our rental and I thought it looked like we might be able to make it into something beautiful.

This is how it appeared before we took on the restoration!
It had been a rental for many years and was in dire need of TLC.

The house was built in 1912
designed by
Milo S. Farwell architect

A California Arts and Crafts Bungalow
we knew very little about arts and crafts back in 1982
but we learned very quickly!
We visited Santa Monica in California
and purchased a book written by Dr. Robert Winter
also known as "Bungalow Bob"
titled The California Bungalow
he was a pioneer in raising the awareness of the architectural value, 
significance, and importance of Bungalows
from a heritage standpoint.

 The cover has faded from years of sunshine 
as the book sat in the Stickley Brothers bookshelf
( grandmother owned this and she gave it to us when we bought our home)

The restoration and renovations
have taken many years
of research
and work.

We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into...
the scope was far beyond our thoughts
and taxed our budget and challenged our energy.
We tackled one room at a time
and worked on the garden in between.
Everything we did had to be in the arts and crafts style
and look as if it was original.

We are proud to be tenants here in the Bungalow
preserving it for the future having applied and received approval for heritage registry status.

It is Serendipity...
What started as a humble home purchase has turned into a lifelong journey
we have met many people along the way who are dedicated to heritage and preservation of old buildings.
We have journeyed to meet experts in the field
and have had experts come here to visit.

Our modest and tiny bungalow
 Summer 2010


  1. So interesting Hostess.
    I've googled Arts and Crafts design and learnt quite a bit as I confess I was ignorant.
    To my knowledge this style is not familar to Australia (?) but I could be wrong.
    It's obvious you and Mr HB have laboured hard and are to be congratulated.

  2. I loved reading about your home. You've done a wonderful job.

  3. That's a HUGE and charming serendipity! I imagine the house is worthy quite a bit more than you paid for it (although, with the economy as it is.....). However, there is no price that could truly reflect the loving restoration and memories that go into making a house a home.

  4. hi leslie,

    to me this is a love story. what a wonderful job you guys did and to think you went to santa monica (bungalow heaven) to take a look proves your dedication and love.
    no. 2 son lives in santa monica right now and we love visiting him there.


  5. How much fun to hear the story of your home. And, what fantastic changes you have made. It is very, very charming! (-:

  6. It looks just lovely! What a great example of having a vision and following it through -- it seems to me that you live in your bungalow with considerable integrity, and that this extends through the rest of your life. Bravo!

  7. Hi Hostess. I popped into visit from Britta's blog and have loved reading all your posts.

    Your bungalow is fabulous and strikes a very familiar chord. We live in a 1926 Arts and Crafts style house and are slowly renovating it and reinstating the A&C style, but with minimum 2010 modernities - central heating for starters!

    You have done a wonderful job on your home. I hope ours looks as good when we've finished :)

  8. It's so beautiful. And the garden is perfectly suited to the style. Maybe some day you will also give us a tour of the interior?

  9. How wonderful that you respected the history of your bungalow. So many people just rip old buildings apart and put in the latest trendy oversized kitchen, bath or addition with no appreciation of the existing details or floor plan. Usually in fifteen or twenty years the reno is dated and ready to be ripped out again.

    It sounds like you've done a beautiful job, I agree with LPC, I'd love to see more interior detail.

  10. I admit that the arts and craft bungalow style is totally strange for me. Following your blog, I have learned something. I respect you two for respecting the old building, fixing it with a gentle hand!

  11. Anne-Marie- Bungalows were built in Australia...in fact they were some of the first ones because of the hot climate... the roof overhang details and porches were a necessity.

    Fiona-Thanks it has been a labour of love.

    Rebecca-Our home is worth a lot more than we initially paid, and our housing market has slowed down but a home 3 doors away from us sold in 3 days as well as one at the end of our street...but we are not ready to move anytime soon!

    Janet-We love visiting California...there are so many bungalows!
    Love story... I like the sound of those two words!

    La Vie Quotidienne- The changes we made wee really taking it back to it's former glory.

    materfamilias-I feel my head swelling as I read your generous words!

    Nutty Gnome-I popped over to your blog and see that you are very busy! Mod Cons should not be underrated!

    LPC and Northmoon-I posted images way back in the early days of my blog but it is probably time to revisit and reshoot.

    metscan-I do not think arts and crafts were a Scandinavian sensation...England and Scotland had an A&C revolution after the Victorian Era but I am not aware of anything in your area, not to say though that it didn't happen.

  12. Very charming! You've done a marvelous job.

  13. Cherie-I have not mentioned it yet but we still have most of the lower area to refurbish! A laundry room and a very dated 80's powder room...

  14. Wow, Leslie, you and Mr. HB have done an amazing transformation!
    It's clear that it's been a total labour of love. It's so nice to see a house restored, and protected. These days, so many people have a 'tear down' mindset; but what they're building, ain't pretty.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. You have such a lovely home...and amazing gardens! I love your backyard and patio!


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