Category Archives: Vintage Life: Our 1920s Bungalow

Vintage Life: Bungalow Renovation HVAC, Insulation & Drywall

As we are about to move into our 1920s vintage bungalow, I’ve been updating blog readers about the renovations we’ve done since we first saw the house for sale in historic Newberry, SC, in 2011. It was in desperate need of love, as you can see from my two recent posts about the first stages of the vintage bungalow renovation and the second stages of the vintage bungalow renovation.

This is how it looked in summer 2012, soon after we’d done all the landscaping and also added beautiful new siding.

vintage bungalow summer2012

Looks pretty, doesn’t it? But the inside was a whole other picture! Then we took about a year off from working on our little bungalow. Life got busy and home renovation funds ran low. Also, Greg’s carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome in both hands reached the point where he couldn’t hold tools without his hands going numb, which obviously put a damper on progress. Three surgeries and a re-financing later, by January 2014 we could get back on track with the bungalow!HVAC

The first order of business was HVAC. We had ripped out all of the old ductwork, so we ran new ductwork throughout the house and up to the new upstairs space that used to be the attic.AC-Unit for vintage renovation

Luckily the existing AC unit looked to be in good condition, so it just needed to be serviced.

insulation

When we originally pulled down the walls, we were surprised to find that the house did not have any insulation whatsoever. We debated doing foam insulation, but in the end we found a great deal on Craig’s List for enough roll insulation to do the whole house.

radiant barrier in vintage bungalow renovatoin

We did add a foil radiant barrier and foam board behind the insulation for a little extra warmth.

insulationupreadyfor-drywal

Here’s the insulation up, and ready for the drywall. Soon it WILL look wonderful!

Install drywall 2Greg is amazingly accurate with materials calculation. He figured we needed 202 eight-foot sheets of drywall, but all of the contractors who came to quote the drywall job thought it was way too much.

installing drywall7

We hired a company to hang and mud the drywall for us in order to speed up the renovation. With the walls going up, we finally felt we were making progress toward finishing this project. In the end, Greg totally nailed it with his calculations.  It took exactly 202 sheets of drywall to put walls up in the entire house!

upstairswithwalls2

This is the upstairs with the walls in place. Next up is painting inside and out and a new roof!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Our Renovation Continues Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote a post to remind readers of our antiques and home decor blog about the story behind our own 1920s bungalow renovation. It’s been such a LONG story since we first spotted the vintage bungalow for sale in historic Newberry, South Carolina back in 2011. The house was in awful condition… but we saw the potential!

Planning the bedroom ensuiteIn Our Renovation Continues Part 1 I took you up to the first major demolition work we did. Here’s what happened next…

We pulled down walls and changed the flow of the house. We planned a master bedroom with an en suite, and started work on the upstairs attic space, but found a very gross mess that had to be cleaned up. Apparently the former owner had allowed a dog to use the attic as a yard – seriously?

And then we were really on a roll. I admit that I tend to be a little compulsive – actually it is a personality trait that Greg and I share.

Vintage Bungalow RenovationSometimes when I start cleaning, I end up, hours later, having scrubbed the whole house, because since I’ve cleaned this, I might as well clean that… and on it goes. Well, that’s what happened in our little 1920s bungalow. We hadn’t originally meant to replace all the windows, but with the new subfloors in place, suddenly the old ones seemed so ugly. The new sliding glass doors in our sun room bring in so much more light!

Replumbed houseOf course, we always intended to replace all of the wiring in the house. But since we were on a roll, we also buried the ugly electric lines connecting to the roof of the house and had a new telephone pole connection installed to access the City’s power line. We also re-plumbed the whole house, and accessed the City’s water main. We dug a trench through the front yard to connect to the City water line at the street level, and ran all new PVC/CPVC pipes from the street to under the house!

We hadn’t originally planned to replace all of the exterior siding, but once we pulled down the interior walls and could actually see daylight through the old lap siding (because there was not a single piece of insulation), we knew that would have to be done too.

DamagedBungalowSidingWe also found some termites munching away on the house and had to replace a part of the front sill. Now do you see why this project has taken three years?! But the new exterior siding (below) looks so much better, and we added OSB under the siding for more stability too.

New siding on vintage Bungalow

Oh, and we’ve been doing landscaping for three years now. The little yard is starting to take shape, but still has a long way to go. First we clear-cut the jungle, removed all the poison ivy, and hauled out about 9,000 pounds of yard debris. That is not an exaggeration – truly about 4.5 tons!

antique brick pathWe painted around the brick base of the house, and created large flower beds in the front yard, where we planted baby roses, camellias, azaleas, gardenias, hydrangeas, crepe myrtles, and boxwoods, and a large variety of bulbs (most of which did not come in). We shoveled 18 cubic yards of mulch and started grass from seed. We planted baby trees around the perimeter of the privacy fence we put up, and we even built a brick sidewalk with old, antique bricks. We have plans to build a new driveway with antique bricks too, but we haven’t gotten there yet.

FrontPorchInBloomThe last Vintage Life blog post was from the end of the summer of 2012, with the landscaping in full bloom. Everything was coming up roses, but we still had a long way to go. We finally plan to move in to our 1920s bungalow before Thanksgiving this year, whether it’s finished or not. So, what has happened in the past two years? Stick with me, I’ll show you how much further we’ve come!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Our Renovation Continues Part 1

Many of you have asked whatever happened to the little 1920s bungalow we were restoring. Have we finished it? No, we haven’t yet – although we are now very, very close! We will move in prior to Thanksgiving 2014, whether it is completely finished or not. As you can imagine, we are currently in a race against time to get it done. Just to bring you up-to-speed, I’ll tell you how we started this labor of love.

1920 bungalow before renovation

Our 1920s bungalow on the day we bought it

Greg and I just love old things, and especially old houses. One crisp day in late September 2011 we were out with our dogs Jake and Rudy on our favorite dog-walking street. (Jake and Rudy like the street too, so that’s always a good omen.) The road is in a historic neighborhood here in Newberry, and as we wandered along we saw a “For Sale By Owner” sign outside a 1920s bungalow.

LeftSideWe had noticed this bungalow before when we walked past, and we always thought it had great bones, but we had also wondered why the owner didn’t seem to take better care of it. As I explained in my very first blog post on our 1920s bungalow renovation, the front yard was a mess and the back yard was literally a huge, overgrown jungle of poison ivy. Still, we were curious enough to want to see the inside.

DiningRoombefore

FamilyRoom2What a disaster! There were horrible paint choices, yucky flooring, ugly paneling, and nasty kitchen cabinets. There was only one tiny bathroom that seemed it would soon fall through the floor.Add to that a burned out fireplace, a dilapidated lean-to garage, and a stairway that lead to an uncompleted renovation project in the attic. You can see the full interior horror story in my Look Inside the 1920s bungalow posts.

Stairsbefore

Of course, our minds were racing. If we took out a fireplace here, moved walls there, added bathrooms, finished the attic to make a guest bedroom, added a charming, custom kitchen, and cleaned up the yard – it could be a showplace!

FrontDoorWe mulled it over for a few days and then, much like our decision to start EuroLux, we decided we just had to take the plunge. That little house needed some love! We planned to do much of the work ourselves, with the help of our cherished handyman, Frank. We planned that we would do it over time.  But when we stepped inside that front door, we just didn’t know the house would turn into a three-year project!

SecondBedroomDemolishedWe purchased our little money pit in October 2011 and immediately went to work ripping it apart. As part of the demolition work on the bungalow, we took it down to the studs and joists, and even survived a killer bruise and a few broken ribs. We pulled down the false popcorn-textured ceiling and found original beadboard ceilings. Wait until you see how beautifully they have turned out!

My post on Our Vintage Bungalow Renovations Part 2 tells you about some of the other renovations. Ready or not, we can’t wait to move in!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Antiquing and Ziplining

Greg and I have just taken a five-day vacation in Asheville, NC, for Greg’s birthday. We arrived in good time at Campfire Lodgings so we could get the tent up before sunset.
Camping in Asheville, NC

We had found a very funky restaurant called the Stoney Knob Café in Weaverville on Trip Advisor, so we headed over there for dinner. The food was awesome and the desserts were even better. Then we kicked back beneath the night sky with some beers beside the fire. The next morning we enjoyed a fantastic view with our breakfast.

Beautiful view in Asheville NC
Then we went antiquing in Asheville, starting at one of our favorite places – the Antique Tobacco Barn. It sounds like a busman’s holiday, I know, but we’re on the lookout for cool, funky stuff for our bungalow. We also visited a very cool antiques shop called Oddfellows Antiques and chatted with the owner Kelly for awhile. We bought this awesome 3 piece 1960s vintage green leather chesterfield sofa and 2 chairs. The complete vintage leather set hails from England. We love it!

vintage leather sofa

Our other buys from this trip included this beautiful hand-painted sign and a very cool oyster shell light fixture for our new bathroom.

Hand-painted sign

photo 2

It sure was nice to get away for a few days. We felt so adventurous we even went ziplining! We left the phones in the truck as we didn’t want to drop them, so we don’t have any photos. But you can get an idea from the photo at the Wildwater Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures website. 

Jennifer Lawrence ziplined here while filming the Hunger Games. Greg has been afraid of heights as long as I’ve known him, but he said he would try ziplining. Campfire in Asheville NC

Around the third zip, our guide tried to make small talk with Greg. (I think he noticed the sweat on Greg’s forehead too.)
He asked which hobbies Greg enjoyed and Greg responded, “Ummm, living. Yeah, just staying alive.” Apparently that was what was on his mind while ziplining! LOL. In the end Greg said he enjoyed it and that he might do it again!

We enjoyed a campfire every night and I know Greg loved that. A campfire is the best giant birthday candle anyone can have. Happy birthday Greg!

If you are tempted to visit to Asheville, NC, too, check out my previous blog post on the Biltmore House and Gardens Estate.  The photos are pretty impressive.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Hello Flowers!

Everything is coming up roses!  As you’ve been following our progress on our 1920s bungalow renovation project, I thought you’d enjoy seeing the results of our landscaping efforts while everything was still in bloom at the end of the summer.

The grass came in pretty well, even though we still have quite a few weeds.  The baby grass was too fragile to put down weed killer this summer, so we’ll knock out all that crabgrass in the spring.  The caladiums were a riot of red, white and pink, but most of the other bulbs didn’t come in.  We added more ferns, hostas, blue hydrangeas, multi-color azealas, gardenias, and pink camellias.

In the bed to the left of the front porch, we have a Japanese magnolia with purple flowers, gardenias surrounding the magnolia, and (white, lavender, yellow/pink and red) rose bushes with boxwoods in front and clyera behind.

The bed to the right of the porch was extended to include a bed around a trellis.  The trellis isn’t quite all the way up yet, as we have to wait until we finish the screened porch to finish it.  However, you can see that we’ve framed out the screened porch.  The trellis is meant to give privacy and shade to the porch.  We planted jasmine and climbing roses around the trellis with boxwoods in front.

Look how great the sidewalk looks!

For my birthday, Greg bought me awesomely cool 1950s vintage porch furniture in the basketweave pattern (matches the sidewalk!).  We have 2 stationary chairs, 2 rockers, and a glider.  Of course, they all need to be sandblasted and powdercoated – but that is a project for the future (after we’ve moved in!)

Ta-da!  Are you impressed with our landscaping?  We are!  (We’re not for hire though, so don’t ask!  LOL)

This photo was taken the day we closed on our little “money pit”, over a year ago now.  We still have a long way to go, we’re still best friends, and we’re still smiling.

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Vintage Life: Goodbye Garage

We’ve been cleaning up the yard around our 1920s bungalow, and had always planned to tear down the ramshackle garage/workshop (and *literally* half a bath) built by the former owner.  We knew it was full of mold, so it didn’t surprise us when it turned out to be full of termites too.

Below is a view of the side of the back of the house.  We added the door in what used to be the pantry (and was probably originally the back porch).  That will now be the entrance to the mud room (off the kitchen) from the garage, which will be built where you’re standing.  The rest of the ramshackle garage/workshop will be torn down, and then we’ll build a large bedroom addition in that space.

Going…

Going…

Gone!

Greg loves tools and has been able to greatly expand his collection during our renovation.  He is especially excited about his new tool to bust up the concrete slab under the former garage (and eventually the driveway too)… an electric jackhammer!  (grunt like Tim Allen from Home Improvement.)

You’ll never guess what was *under* the concrete slab.  No, not a dead body.  Give up?

 

 

 

old bricks!  (happy dance!)

 

  Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Vintage Life: Good Grass!

While we waited for the grass to grow, we built a brick sidewalk from the porch out to where the new driveway will eventually be.  First we put in the bed, put down landscape fabric, and then added a tamped-down layer of crush and run gravel.

Next came a layer of sand and then we did a basket weave pattern using old bricks.

You might be wondering where we got such cool old bricks.  We actually dug up quite a few out of the yard itself.  We also gathered some from an old family plot at a local cemetery where a brick wall had fallen down.  We hope we didn’t bring any ghosts home.

Finally, we put sand over the top of the finished brick pattern, and will continue to add sand over time, as it settles down between the bricks.

We plan to put in a brick driveway too, so we’re still on the hunt for more old bricks.  We’ve found some from several different people on Craig’s List and have only paid $20 so far!  We also found a bunch in the basement of a building we own on Main Street.  We still need several thousand more, so please let us know if you want to get rid of some old bricks!

We also needed to give a little love to the backyard too.  We made beds along the sides of the fences where we had planted evergreens, put down landscape fabric, and of course, shoveled more mulch.

Next to that giant pile (another 18 cubic feet!) of mulch that is taunting Greg, we planted two peach trees and an additional fig tree next to the one that was already there.  Now we have an orchard!

Along the back fence, we used all of the cement pieces we dug up out of the front yard to create a bed.  Then we planted leyland cypress trees, which will eventually block out the neighbor behind us as they should grow 50+ feet tall.  Greg and I also took down three relatively small oak trees along this back fence line by ourselves, and we only damaged the neighbor’s fence a little tiny bit.  (sorry.)

And guess what?!?!  The grass is starting to grow!  (Sing with me…) Cel-e-brate good times, come on!  Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!

  Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Vintage Life: Mucho Mulch

 

Cleaning up the jungle that was the yard of our 1920s bungalow was a tremendous effort.  However, the work didn’t stop there.  Greg and I plan to refinance (fingers crossed) next year, and wanted to make sure we worked on the curb appeal too.  We started by painting the red bricks around the bottom of the house.

Next we tilled up the entire front yard and put down lime to improve the ph of the soil.  Then we put down zoysia grass seed and crossed our fingers that it would take, as that is a much cheaper option than sod.

Next we put in large beds on either side of the front porch and in a big heart-shaped area underneath a huge, old oak tree where it is always shady.  We planted hydrangeas around the oak tree and added more azealas to help fill out the existing hedge. I also planted 250+ shade-loving bulbs: caladiums in multi-colors, ferns, hostas, and white and pink astilbes.

Offset from the front porch, we also added a circular bed where we planted a Bradford pear tree in the middle surrounded by pink crepe myrtles.

After we put in the beds, I put down landscaping fabric and Greg ran an above-ground sprinkler system in the beds that will run automatically.  Finally, we shoveled, and shoveled, and shoveled (18 cubic yards! of) mulch.  Here is the mulch pile, which Greg claimed was taunting him.

And a finished product: beautiful, mulched bed with sprinklers running!  In the far bed by the fence, you can see gardenias under the existing Japanese magnolia.

 

  Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Vintage Life: Good Fences…

We’ve knocked out quite a few big projects during our 1920s bungalow renovation.  At the same time, we’ve also been trying to get the yard under control.  I’ll post a few photos to remind you how much the yard resembled a jungle.  The next-door-neighbor swears absolutely no yard work was done for about 10 years.

Although you might not notice it, that is poison ivy underneath the handicap ramp and completely covering the back yard.

Greg and I estimate we hauled about 9,000 pounds (4.5 tons) of leaves and vines, in addition to all of the limbs, from the back yard to the front yard.  We actually got in a fight with the City of Newberry about how much landscaping debris is allowed to be picked up from a residence.  We argued that since the former owner did not put out any debris for years, we had a credit coming to us, and besides, didn’t the City *want* us to clean up this property?  In the end, our neighbors on either side allowed us to divide the piles into thirds, and then the City had to pick it all up.  #Winning.

Yes, you may have noticed that we also put up a privacy fence along the left property line that joined to an existing privacy fence along the back.  There is currently a chain link fence along the right property line that we plan to replace in the future.  We also planted small arborvitae evergreen trees along the sides of the backyard, which should grow 15+ feet tall.

This shot was obviously taken before we put up the new exterior siding.  I wanted to show you how it looked after we cleaned up the front yard, but before we started landscaping – in the next blog.

  Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Vintage Life: Up with New Siding!

 

After we pulled down all of the original, dilapidated lap siding and repaired the termite damage to the front sill, we put up OSB all around the house.

The next step was to put up felt paper, which acts as a water barrier, and then hang the new primed HardiPlank lap siding.

 

And at long last, we finished the exterior siding project!  We think the house looks a million times better already.

 

 Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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