Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's All About the Details - Changes at the Not So Basic Bungalow

When we started this project, we wanted to take a basic, nondescript bungalow and make it amazing.  That means celebrating the 95 year old history of the home by highlighting the original details - as well as incorporating some vintage style elements.  It's one of the things that we think sets us apart from your run of the mill 'flip' and gives our homes so much character.  This level of detail is what I truly love!!! 

Original details include all the gorgeous molding and original doors.  But we wanted to add a few details as well, to make this basic bungalow a bit less basic!

First detail - the fireplace mantle.  I shared the story about finding pieces of it at Old House Parts Co and then getting new pieces carved to match a few months ago (click here to read) Sten from Oak & Laurel Workshop did the carving and gave me lots of instruction to get it stained and sealed. And after a little trial and error, I was pretty pleased with how all the old and new pieces coordinated.

Can you tell which pieces are new?  And which are the original antique elements?  (hint - the plinth blocks are a new design, as well as one of the legs)

Once it was installed, I got to work on the tile surround.  I don't want to draw a lot of attention to the tile - the star of the show is the mantle.  So I went with this simple mini marble and grouted it in a neutral colors to blend in.  This will coordinate beautifully with the trim in the rest of the house.

Next detail is the newel post.  The original staircase was in what was essentially a closet, so there was no handrail or newel post.  Once we opened up the walls, they are essential elements - but I wanted them to be pretty and add some style to the house. I had these newels custom made many months ago and recently spent a week staining and sealing them.  Kyle got them installed and I'm pretty thrilled with the result.  Once we get all the painting done, he'll come back and install the handrail and balusters.

Would you have guessed this is a closet?
Another detailed element is the 'dry bar' (okay, so not particularly vintage, but still a cool detail!).  This was originally a closet in the living room, but it looked odd because it had what appeared to be a step under the door and everyone assumed it was a staircase.  When you opened the door, you found shelves behind a curtain.  It wasn't quite the elegant look I was hoping for in the living room.  

So after much deliberation, we decided to keep some storage space with a cabinet, but put a quartz countertop above the cabinet.  That way there is room to put glass display shelves above it with a nice recessed light highlighting the whole space.  Once the original molding was put back in place, it's a pretty sweet spot.
My husband has joined the team!!! 

And finally, we added wainscoting in the dining room.  This is a very traditional treatment for a bungalow and will add a lot of interest to the room.  We use MDF for the panels - it's very stable and won't shrink or expand with the seasons.  We added a plate rail groove into the top of the trim, so it can display artwork as well as the more typical plates.  Soon it will all be painted to match the rest of the trim in the house.

I'll be wallpapering above the wainscoting with this simple, traditional paper.  It's a very muted design (I think of it as William Morris-esque) and will add some antique style to the room. 

We have lots of other surprises in store - it's so nice to be doing all the fun stuff!  

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  1. It’s looking beautiful! That wallpaper will be stunning!

  2. I love the wallpaper! Where can I find it?

  3. The fireplace is gorgeous! And I love the wallpaper. You guys are so talented! Jan in MA


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