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  • Writer's pictureTracy Cimba

Our Chicago Bungalow

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Our vintage Chicago bungalow makes the perfect condo alternative but with the added bonus of having a private backyard and a two car garage. While small for a detached home, for the most part it has the same floor plan as many vintage apartment layouts with a large living/dining rooms, small kitchen in the back and a bank of small bedrooms to one side. Many vintage Chicago two flat aparments have this layout just stacked on top of each other. Here is the floor plan of our vintage bungalow along with pre-remodel photos of how the rooms were set up when we purchased it.

A couple things jumped out at us right away that we needed to solve.

We loved the big open living and dining room but it did feel small, dark and tight. We wanted to try and brighten the space and make these rooms more connected, open and accentuate the high ceilings.

Closet space. Basically there really was none. The front room off of the living room did not have a closet and while the middle room had two closets, once you placed a bed in there, there would be no room for a dresser of any type. Not only that, all of the doors in the middle bedroom were very cumbersome and opened in to each other. It made accessibility a frustrating issue.

Master bedroom placement. We were unsure which room to pick to give us the most space and allow clothes storage and a TV. Neither room seemed ideal. The front room had an odd built corner bookshelf that made placing a queen bed difficult. Nor did we like the idea of our master being right off the living room. The middle bedroom would hold a bed and two small night tables but with two clunky closet doors at the end of the bed there would be no room for a dresser or TV. Again not ideal, but the best option with current footprint.

Breakfast area - While we liked the open kitchen and breakfast area it felt disconnected by the hall and back door. The previous owner had placed the fridge in this room and we did not like it. Additionally a dedicated breakfast area was not something we would use. Normally we are grabbing a coffee and bagel and running out the door or in our previous home sat an island, which this home was lacking. Not only that, before this room was a breakfast area, it was a third bedroom. The previous owners took down the wall but they did not properly support the ceiling with a cross beam. This issue would have to be corrected asap.

The kitchen - Like with most bungalow homes, the kitchen was small and located at the back of the house. We did love the vintage sink and stove, but they had seen better days, so they needed to go. We also needed to figure out how to bring the fridge in to this small space. We knew this room was a complete gut job and needed to find creative ways to add storage and fingers crossed - an island seating area of some sort. That was going to be tricky in such a tight space.

Out of the gate we knew we would do some small renovations, mainly:

1. Remove the bulk head and side wall that divided the living room and dining room in order to open up the space.

2. Remove the bulk head between the dining room and back hall.

3. Add the wall back to the open room across from the kitchen and make this the master bedroom

4. Remove all of the kitchen cabinets and appliances and come up with a new plan to include a fridge, more storage and an island.

Time to get started.

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