Tag Archives: old house renovation

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: 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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Vintage Life: Uh-oh, Termites!

 

Although we thought we were finished with the demolition phase of our 1920s bungalow renovation, we realized we weren’t quite done.  The original wood lap siding was in terrible condition, so we decided that had to go too.

We had quite a few people slamming on their brakes while driving past our little bungalow.  It’s not often you can see straight through a house.

Of course, we’ve also learned to expect the unexpected.  (Wait – wasn’t the replacing of the siding unexpected in the first place?  Yep, is the answer to that.)  So we weren’t surprised to find that the front sill had significant termite damage.

Yikes – those termites had been munching out for quite awhile!  Unfortunately we forgot to take the after photos – I think we were too tired from jacking up the supports, cutting out the bad parts, and replacing it with a nice, new sill.  

 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: Mack-Daddy Man Loft

 

Greg is so excited about the upstairs in our 1920s bungalow, as this space will be his mack-daddy man loft where he will be able to play and record music to his heart’s content.  This space will also act as a guest bedroom when family or friends come to town.

On the far side of that chimney column where you see a window, we will add a full bath with another vintage clawfoot tub.  On this side of the chimney, we’ll build a wall and that is where the widescreen TV will hang for unfettered X-box playing and Gamecock football watching.  Greg’s office and computer will be up here too.

We had to pull down all the sheet rock and insulation that the former owner installed up here, but we’ll re-use that insulation as a sound buffer between the floors. 

Remember where we pointed out areas of water damage to the ceilings in the front bedroom and back family room?  We thought it was from a roof leak, but in fact, the truth is much more surprising – and totally disgusting. 

See the area to the left of the image above – where you can see old insulation between the ceiling joists?  The former owner allowed a dog (or dogs?) to use that same area on the opposite side of the attic as a yard. 

What the… what?!  That’s right, there was so much dog poop and pee in the old insulation that it actually caused water damage to the ceilings below!  Barf-a-rama.  I will spare you visuals on this one.

Although it didn’t stink anymore because the attic heat had baked all the poop into rock-hard pellets, it is clear that we had to get all this nastiness out of the house!  Guess who got that job?  Greg pointed out that because I am so short (5 foot 2.5 inches), it would be much easier for me to crawl up into the far corners of the eaves.  uh huh.

We didn’t actually get an action shot, but of course I wore gloves, a mask, and glasses and used a super shop-vac to suck it all up and dump into garbage bags.  I think I filled up about 50 contractor bags full.  I can’t imagine what ServPro would have charged to clean it up.

I also found two perfectly preserved squirrel skeletons and enough acorns to last the winter.  A friend pointed out that I could have sold those squirrel skeletons on Ebay.  It didn’t occur to me at the time, but she is right – they go for about $15 each!

Check out the new windows in the back of the loft that look out over the backyard. You’ll have to come back to see what happens next!

 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: Change the Flow

 

We’re really enjoying figuring out how to best use the space in our 1920s bungalow.  We’re taking down walls, adding closets and bathrooms, and making the whole house flow better. 

Today we’ll start in the former family room that had the beautiful yellow and green patterned linoleum at the back of the house.  I’m planning to make this room a sun room that is really part of a large kitchen space.  The kitchen table will go in front of the fireplace.

To the left of the fireplace is the new pantry, which is on the backside of the linen closet in the master bathroom suite. This area used to be a doorway to the second bedroom with the green painted floors.

Turn to your left and you’re looking into the kitchen, which doesn’t look like much yet.

The old pantry used to be in the far left corner, however we’ve decided to completely change the flow and make that space a mudroom with a new door that will access the new garage we have planned.

You can see the new mud room with the new door a little better from the other side, which is the old garage addition that we plan to tear down.  You’ll really have to use your imagination at the moment, but we plan to build an addition on the back of the house that will include a two-car garage (on the other side of that door), a large second bedroom/my yoga and arts & crafts studio that will extend out 12 feet past the size of this old garage addition (where you’re standing), and a large screened porch area that will attach to the sun room (to the right) directly behind the house. 

You might be wondering what that area is to the right corner of this image. It is the new full bath with shower for the guest bedroom/yoga and arts & crafts studio, which is where that old nasty utility room used to be!  Remember the rotting floors and mold?  All gone now with new joists under those subfloors.

You’ll have to come back for the next blog to see what’s happening upstairs!

 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: Master Bedroom Suite

 

Next up on the bungalow renovation project schedule:  change the flow throughout the house.

Originally the front room did not have access to the front bedroom.  The previous owner had added a door to the left of the fireplace, but we thought traffic would flow better with the door to the right of the fireplace.  We plan to use the front room as our living room and the TV will hang above the fireplace.

The front bedroom will be our master bedroom and I requested a floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelf, which will run along the right wall as you walk through the door from the front room to the bedroom.  The space for the bookshelf was stolen from the room that used to be the only bathroom in the house.

The former bathroom and part of the former hallway will now be a master walk-in closet.  On the far side of the closet, which used to be hallway, will now be a half bathroom accessible from the front room.

You’ll walk from the front bedroom, through the master walk-in closet to the…

…new master bathroom suite, which used to be the second bedroom with green painted floors.  To the left, you see the beginning of a separate private room for the toilet.  We’ll move the firebox up two feet, which will then be eye level when you’re soaking in the vintage cast iron clawfoot tub that will be to the right of the toilet room, right in front of the fireplace.

Keep an eye on that work bench so that you stay oriented in the next photo.  This is the rest of the master bathroom suite.  Where there used to be a doorway to the left that went to the family room, there is now a linen closet.  In the right far corner will be a large walk-in shower and directly to your right will be a double sink vanity.  Straight ahead was the former second bedroom’s closet.  That area under the stairs will now be the utility room with washer and dryer, accessible from both the master bathroom and the kitchen.

I love my master bedroom suite with walk-in closet and huge bathroom with shower and bathtub!  I haven’t lived in a house with a bathtub for eight years – I am so excited to finally be able to take bubble baths again!  Calgon, take me away!

 

Come back for the next blog to find out how we’re changing the flow in the rest of out little 1920s bungalow!

 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: To the Floor Joists

 

During the two month-long demolition phase of our 1920s bungalow renovation project, we discovered that the original pine floors, which we had planned to refinish, were actually completely dry-rotted due to a moisture problem under the house.  So not only did we tear the house apart to the studs, we went all the way down to the joists.

I don’t know why we didn’t take more photos of the house without any floors – I think we were too focused on trying not to fall while stepping from joist to joist.

It didn’t work though – I got a little too careless and ended up slipping off a joist and falling through. Yep, huge ugly bruises.

 

Greg stepped on the end of a board that suddenly became a see-saw – he ended up with a couple of broken ribs from falling right on the joist.  Bungalow 2, Aimee & Greg 0.

We did have to replace some rotten joists in the bathroom, kitchen, utility room and the family room.  Then we put down new, tongue-in-groove subfloors throughout the entire house.  Below is the front room with the new subfloor.

We also began to change the flow throughout the house by removing and building walls.  Below is a view from the front room toward the front bedroom.  We have closed up the door to the left side of the fireplace and made a new opening to the right side of the fireplace.

You’ll have to read the next blog post to find out how the flow will change as walls come down and new ones go up.

 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: Bungalow Demolition!

Have you ever dreamed of working out your frustrations with a sledgehammer?  Well my husband and our handyman, Frank, did just that in our 1920s bungalow renovation project.  First to go was that startling yellow-gold front room – down to the studs.

You can already see that the front bedroom in two shades of blue was next to go.

Remember the second bedroom with the seafoam green floor?  Recognize it now?

Beyond the fireplace, you can see the family room.  Here’s another shot with that ugly wood paneling on its way out.

We had started deconstructing the whack-a-do fireplace in this photo.

A look toward the kitchen and you’re starting to see what a big mess we’ve created!

Nasty kitchen cabinets are gone – ugly wood paneling is next.

Hallway, schmallway.

We were very excited to find that beneath the popcorn-textured drop-ceiling was the original 10 ft. high beadboard ceiling throughout the entire house!  Here is a view of it in the dining room – it is in mostly very good shape with some areas of water damage in the front bedroom and family room that can be replaced.

Out the front door, you can see the 10-yard construction dumpster that we used to get rid of all of the debris.

Wow – what have we done?  Can we re-build this disaster back into a home?  The demolition phase took about two months and we filled up our 10 yard dumpster three times.  Although we knew it needed to be done, we certainly wondered if we had reached a whole new level of crazy. 

Just in case you are a purist and are now furious with us about this demolition, we do not intend to do a historical restoration to our house.  We are renovating and remodeling to make it more comfortable for us and to suit our lifestyle.  However, we do love vintage and antique things and our home will reflect that.  We will restore the original ceiling.  We plan to use vintage cast-iron tubs in the bathrooms.  We’ll re-use the original doors, and re-purpose some of the original beadboard as wainscoting.  And of course, there will be a great number of pieces of antique furniture and vintage accessories from our favorite resource for exceptional European and Asian Antiques – EuroLuxAntiques.com.

So check back in to see what happens next!

 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: Look Inside the Bungalow 3

 

Thanks for joining me again as I show you around our 1920s bungalow renovation project.  We’ve already seen the outside, and looked around inside in part one and part two.  I left you standing in the family room with the outstanding avocado green and harvest gold patterned linoleum floor.  We were about to head out that door to the left to see the utility room and garage, so let’s go.

We believe this area was the original back porch of the house, as the walls are plank siding. It is possible this area may have been a  bathroom, as bathrooms were commonly installed on the back porch of houses of this era.

You’ve probably noticed the exposed wires running along the wall and the exposed plumbing. The whole house will need to be rewired for and re-plumbed for safety.  The floor is about to give way due to water damage and is quite moldy – don’t stomp your feet!

Continue through the door out to the garage and behold the black mold growing on the rafters.  This garage was an addition that the prior owner (shoddily) built over a poured concrete floor.  The door goes out to the driveway.

The window looks back into the utility room.  I really like that vintage blue enamel gamecock – I’m keeping him, but everything else out here has to go.

The door straight ahead goes out to a partially built bathroom that the prior owner never finished.  Go back through the door to the left, through the utility room, kitchen, and dining room.  I’ll meet you at the bottom of the stairs in the hallway.

The prior owner started quite a few projects, but didn’t seem to finish very many of them.  Converting the attic to livable space is a great idea, but it requires a staircase to get there.  The prior owner knocked through the hallway and used the space in the second bedroom’s closet to get there – that’s the seafoam green floor of the second bedroom you see to the right of the stairs.

He didn’t finish, but the prior owner had started to build a bedroom in the far area of the attic and was planning to leave space for storage on either side of the main area.

This room looks out over the front of the house to the front yard, and the brick fireplace goes right through the middle of the room.

Looking back out toward the stairs, we can see that the prior owner wasn’t very adept at hanging drywall.  Hmmm, what was he planning to do to about the ceiling?

He also made a little closet next to the bedroom. Unfortunately, he only used R17 insulation behind the drywall in the whole attic conversion project. In a hot climate like South Carolina, we’ll need to use R35 or spray foam insulation to keep the heat out.

Although converting the attic to livable space is a wonderful feature, the work has been so poorly done that we’ll need to pull it all down and start over. Luckily the stairs are well-built and will stay.

So now that you’ve seen the “before” photos – do you think we’re crazy? 

Be sure to stay tuned for the next blog post to see what happens next!

 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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