Atascadero, Calif., Yvonne Smith
Our home was built in 1999 by a couple who had previously lived in Pasadena. We purchased the house in the fall of 2005. The house is located on four acres of rolling hills dotted with more than 70 native oaks. Due to the hilly topography, the building plot was wide but shallow, so the house could not have a traditional large front porch. Instead, the original owners included a ground-level porch and designed a front door inspired by the Gamble House. The house has great bones.
Long Beach, Calif., Lisa and Paul Harris
We’ve always had in our minds the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and what better way than bringing life back to these wonderful homes? This house went into foreclosure in February 2010; we bought it in August and moved in after three months of restoration. We knew this house was special when the front door floated open. Even though it had been remuddled, our fantastic contractor worked with us to restore it. The original casement windows still gently swing shut with a gust of wind. Our quest is to find the architect of this house.
Seattle, Wash., Bruce Parker and Vinita Sidhu
My wife and I bought this, our first house, in 2003. We chose it in no small part because it sits high above the street with lots of south facing windows. Even on cloudy days it is full of natural light that makes it seem much larger than it is. We are the second family to live here and the house had mercifully been spared the remuddles of many of the houses that we looked at. With great trepidation we began our own remodel of the kitchen, building traditional cabinetry from reclaimed fir and using recycled materials and finishes throughout. Our new kitchen is the heart of the house.
Chicago, Ill., Patrick Falso and Matthew Mika
We looked at about 20 bungalows in Chicago before we landed on this one in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago. It had all the original parts (windows, trim) that just needed restoring to make them shine. There have been only four owners since it was built in 1913, and each one took very good care of it. Since we have owned it, we’ve restored the downstairs bath and original French casement windows with unique diamond muntins. Future plans include a period kitchen redo and adding copper half-round gutters and downspouts.
Chicago, Ill., Peggy and John Bradley
My husband purchased this 1923 home in the heart of Chicago’s
bungalow belt in 1988. He saw the inherent beauty of the house through paint on the stairs, upper floor, baseboards and front door (all of which he stripped and restored). We expanded not by building out on the small lot, but by building from the basement, adding a family room, guest suite and workroom. The stout construction, beautiful natural wood and stained glass were incorporated into the new living area in a way that we, and homeowners yet unknown, will enjoy through the next century.
Murrysville, Pa., Steve and Vicky Richards
In 2009, we completed construction on our Craftsman home. We wanted the charm of an old house complete with oak hardwood floors and built-in bookcases with stained glass doors along with modern energy-saving technology. It took a year to build, but now we enjoy the view of the woods on our property from our front porch. We paid a great deal of attention to the interior details like woodwork and tile. We spend our leisure time looking for Craftsman pottery and artwork to complete the finishing touches. Thank you for the inspiration.
Newton, Mass., Debbie Kurlansky-Winer
When I purchased this starter home in 1981, I was attracted to the great location and family neighborhood. I enjoy the many different living spaces the house offers even though it’s small. A screened-in porch is well-used, a pleasant office space offers lots of windows, and there are charming built-ins. We morphed a small bedroom into a terrific walk-in closet/room. We are very fortunate to have over-sized windows in our living and dining rooms and wonderfully textured stucco walls. What started out as a starter home has been my home for more than 30 years.
Uxbridge, Ontario, Rebecca Gower and Craig McLean
The moment we saw this Arts and Crafts home, we fell in love with it. Our 1910 bungalow boasts three pairs of original stained-glass windows, two bay windows, pocket doors and solid oak woodwork throughout. The welcoming design utilizes the space beautifully, and the light coming in from all sides provides a bright living environment all day long. Our wedding was the third to be held in this outstanding home.