Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Ugly Truth ~ The Humble Bungalow Living room before and after

Renovation and restoration of our Humble Bungalow have kept Mr. HB and I busy for the better part of our "spare time" over the past 30 years...
The living room was a disaster when we moved in...
there was a big black stain on the carpet and the neighbours told us that a renter had changed the oil of his Harley Davidson in the living room....
maybe that's why renters often have a bad reputation!

We had wall to wall carpet installed in place of the stained carpet and knew this would be a temporary measure.
The front porch previously had been opened up and made a part of the living room.
Bungalows typically have porches so this was an unfortunate "muddle."
We made the best use of the space and then one year when we were on the train coming back from Palm Springs  visiting Mr. HB's parents' on their snowbird expedition we decided that we wanted to put the porch back 
despite the fact that it would make our living room tiny.


Fir wainscoting

Here you can see just how much space we are losing in order to restore the front porch
approximately 6 X 12 feet.
This wood window was made by Vintage Wood works 
you'll have to trust me when I say that it was an "investment" piece.
(Several thousand dollars and we got a deal!)

The wall backing onto the newly restored front porch....looking good!

These photos are old and we have had the Morris chairs reupholstered.
The wall to wall carpet is gone and has been replaced by area rugs.

We have a few more bits and bobs in the room now and you'll see when I post the next few images.

We are so comfortable sitting in our Humble Bungalow living room...
it is a great place to entertain.

Mr. HB did most of the work...
 I did do some of the painting, even though Mr. HB says that I am not "a very good painter!"
Good help is hard to find but the price was right!
(scary 80's hair)

More Ugly Truths to come...stay tuned.


  1. Turning houses into homes is a process. I enjoy seeing how people transform their spaces to fit their lifestyle and expectations. This was a great post - before and after!

  2. I love these photos! I always thought everything about your house was original - congratulations on a beautiful restoration job!

  3. Love seeing this transformation and your bungalow is exactly what I love in a cozy home. Those Morris chairs look fab in their new coverings!

  4. I love these before and after posts, and think you made the right decision about restoring the front porch, even if you lost some space in the living room. Your renovations have been perfect, absolutely like everything was original. What a wonderful project to share.

  5. My favourite part of older homes is the front porch. Yours is worth the loss of some living room space.

  6. A front porch adds so much life to a house, it is both a refuge and an outlook and eases the transition from outdoor to cozy... loving the Ugly Truth series and I'm cringing at the Harley oil changes in your living room, wow!

  7. I love connecting with bungalow dwellers! We have a 1921 bungalow that we purchased almost thirty years ago. It was in pristine condition. We have painted and had the wood floors refinished. We also finished the upstairs space into two large bedrooms, a sitting room and bathroom. For such an old house, we were amazed to find the downstairs master bedroom had a walk in closet with large closets in the other two bedrooms. Our living room fireplace has built-in bookcases on each side, It is an unusually large room, 20 x 18. And, best of all, a front porch!! Nice seeing what you've done. These bungalows have such great character.


  8. Leslie, you have the most charming home. . . wish it belonged to me!

  9. I live in a bungalow as well. All of my trim is painted white which traditionally I've been a fan of. Looking at your home however has given me a new found appreciation of dark trim. Your space looks absolutely splendid!

  10. You have done a masterful job of retaining the flavor of an original Arts and Crafts Bungalow. I would love to remove our aluminum siding to see what is underneath. But I have to have a plan if it turns out to be something unsalvageable. When we first moved in, I was very young and didn't appreciate the "old fashioned" bath (claw foot tub, pedestal sink). Had it all removed and "modernized." How I wish I had known more about the Arts and Crafts movement. Fortunately, we will be having the bath redone in the spring and I have the opportunity to undo the mistakes I have made.

  11. I like the way you've added some color and lightness in your rugs and bits and bobs. And that new window is beautiful - worth the investment! Thank you for sharing all this.

  12. I love all these posts about your beautiful home. And, I totally agree--free the porches! Let them be porches again! It makes me sad when I see all the 1920s/30s Tudor style houses in Dallas that have had their porches taken in as sunrooms. Seldom is it well done. Let the porches be--even if it means less living space indoors.

  13. You did an amazing job! I love Mission furniture, it's so cozy. Our family room at the farm was all Mission style from Harvest House, (a local business here in Schomberg) that sadly closed several years ago.

  14. Just beautiful! Windows to me are everything, I too have spent a small fortune to get the right ones.