My Denver Bungalow

Let me start by saying I ADORE THIS HOUSE.

Almost four years ago I determined it was time to sell our Denver square (only ten blocks down the road from this house) because it was too big and fussy not really our deal. We'd renovated as much of it as we could afford, and because the neighborhood is stupid-popular now, it sold in three days. Huzzah!

Enter the bungalow.
Hold up, rewind. I live in Japan now and I'm renting out this house for the duration. Ideally I will live in it again someday and pick up where I left off with renovations. The sooner the better.
Anyway. This little bungalow. It just felt right. From the minute I walked in. It's small, about 1200 square feet, and it has character. Nothing mind-blowing, just subtle and comfortable and happy and it didn't stretch the budget. Crazy, right?

Stuff I wanted and got with this house:

+ solid 1920s build
+ small, compact space
+ dated kitchen I could renovate
+ dirtscaped backyard I could landscape
+ two-car garage
+ great hilltop location (with no 24-hour hipster yoga studio in my alley!)
+ major remodel potential – plans below

Stuff I didn't even know I wanted but got with this house:

+ insane rental income
+ a garden shed!
+ new roof (replaced as part of the sale)
+ good neighbors who aren't all up in my face and don't have shouty children

Stuff I wanted but didn't get with this house:

+ an entry of some kind
+ normal sized bedrooms
+ established trees/shade

Still, I had work to do. My husband had taken a job in Beijing but I wasn't about to go live there – are you kidding? I can't even drink the water in China without developing intestinal mayhem. I visited him, that was all the China I could handle. I wanted to fixate on the house anyway and then on the Vail studio loft and it all worked out perfectly. I took a boatload of mostly low quality iPhone photos while I was doing the work and since I can't multitask for shit, I'm going to write about it now just for posterity, and very much after the fact. I hope there's no rule against that in the blogger bible I have no intention of ever reading.
ANYWAY. Off the bat I refinished the original floors from that standard golden oak to a dark grayish-brown. I painted all the interior things white, of course.
Next up we planned a low-maintenance, low-water back yard with a landscape architect friend. The house being so small, I wanted to add serious livable outdoor space back there. It went from all dirt to all this:
Not everything went so well. The house had pathetic water pressure, which turned out to be very costly to repair and required digging up the entire front yard. And half the street. THEN the kickass new water pressure made the old water heater explode and flood the basement.
But I don't want to talk about that.

Eventually I got back to the fun stuff, namely the kitchen overhaul. I overshared about that here.
Someday I'll decide on that backsplash. Maybe.

A note about the spartan state of the house in these photos: These are the shots I use to advertise it as a rental. They work.

Here's the rest of the house. Not much to it!
The small awkward bedroom off the living area with a door to the bathroom.
Tiny Ikea bathroom renovated not-so-well by the previous owner. But it's cute and it works for now. (You're welcome for not taking a photo of the bathroom with the toilet seat up. I hate that! But probably because I'm mental.)
Small bedroom/office off the kitchen at the back of the house, overlooking the back yard. Yes, that's a $40 tanker desk and my ONLY killer craigslist find. Sorry but I'm not one of those bloggers.
A small part of the basement was also refinished by the previous owner. Again, it works for now.

I GOT PLANS! Of course I have plans. Because I need to obsess over stuff constantly.

+ vault ceilings in the living area, add skylights
+ install small, stand-alone Scandinavian woodburning stove
+ partially enclose porch with nano windows to create quasi-entry
+ utilize the back half of the attic for a sleeping loft/bedroom
+ renovate the existing bathroom
+ excavate basement and create a real laundry room, full bathroom, TV area, and bedroom
+ replace fence, update garage, plant more trees

You know, nothing much. And by the time I get all of that done, it'll be time to renovate the kitchen again.


  1. If you thought the hipster yoga place was bad before...you should see it now that it's big time corporate yoga! [wink] So glad you posted this about the adorable bungalow. Love that place and miss that fabulous backyard. Didn't realize the water heater blew up when you upgraded the water pressure. Yikes! And for the record, those black doors are DOPE! Happy May Day. :)

    1. Oh no, worse than Core Power or whatever it was called? That stupid place was non-stop, starting at 5AM! It was particularly annoying when people would gather in the alley after class discussing shakras and chi, at length. GMAB!