Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I love our little house, but I'm not crazy about only having one bathroom. The original owners who built our bungalow in 1922 had five children. That's seven people sharing one bathroom. They eventually installed a half bath in the attic, climbing a ladder to get there. They owned this house for 47 years and I hope to be here just as long, but not with one bathroom.

Mr. Dukes, the original owner's son, was born in Lilly and Jonathan's bedroom in 1923. We recently gave him a tour of the house and he confirmed that not much has changed. Our water heater is located where the kitchen pantry used to be and a small back porch has been closed in to house the washer and dryer. When we moved in 6 years ago, we bought new windows and had the exterior painted. Besides painting the bedrooms and kitchen cabinets, we haven't done much else but dream about what we'll someday do.

Our house turns 90 years old this year. To celebrate, we're going to give the old girl a facelift. People in our neighborhood tend to go up, adding an entire second story to their homes, but we're doing a much more subtle addition. We love the character of our house and want to preserve all of its charming elements. For example, one of our bedrooms, which we currently use as a den, has 7 beautiful windows, and I'm not about to lose 3 of them just to have a bigger house. Case in point:

I wrote my bungalow a love letter, pointing out all of its attributes. Then I focused on what wasn't working:

the tiny, dark, dated kitchen (9' 4" X 9' 8"),

the uninsulated porch turned laundry room (p.s. that wall is coming down!),

the pantry turned water heater closet (I can't believe I'm posting this mess),

and the makeshift closets in our bedroom (this is Alan's closet, my closet isn't even IN our room).

Our son and daughter have to share a room, which worked well for the first 4 years of his life, not so well now that she's 8. While we're expanding the kitchen and adding a bathroom, we decided to add a bright, airy den off the kitchen. I hired a fabulous architect, Michelle Krahe, who helped create a plan that will enhance the charm of our house and serve our family for decades to come. She came up with the brilliant idea to move our front door, making our long, narrow living room a much more usable space.

We're only adding 285 square feet, so in the end our house will be 1575 square feet - perfect for our family of 4. I believe 400 square feet per person is about right for us. It's not a tiny house, for sure, but it's not a monstrosity either. We're also going to get a new roof, gutters, air conditioner, furnace, and re-insulate the attic and floors. There will be a root cellar under the new addition, which will house our water heater, bikes, and maybe an additional chest freezer. We hope to get started by the first of October. I promise to post lots of pictures!


  1. How exciting! Renovations finally afoot. I can't wait to see what you guys do with it, and I know it's going to be beautiful, charming, and in keeping with the integrity of the lovely house.

  2. I am so excited, can you tell!? I can't wait for you to see it!

  3. Wow!!! That is super exciting!! I know this has all been a long time coming...can't wait to see it!