Dramatic Bungalow Renovations- before and after

January 20, 2010

Everyone loves a good before and after renovation project! In fact, my favorite projects are renovations. It is so rewarding changing a space and reconfiguring it so that it is not only more beautiful, but also more functional. A couple of years ago my business partner and I decided that our Calgary Interior Design firm should try flipping a house. The plan was to buy a dilapidated shack and turn it into something amazing. We decided that we would handle both the design side and the project management (general contracting). Soon, we found a great bungalow that was completely original and completely run down. We fondly nicknamed the project “the Genevieve” and got down to business. The transformation is shocking. I hope you enjoy it!

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

The exterior renovation included removing a car port and adding a new garage, replacing all the windows and doors, re-facing the chimney, adding some cedar details, as well as replacing the front railing, light fixtures, post box and house numbers. Luckily, the roof had been very recently replaced, so we were able to work with the existing shingles. We also added a new deck on the rear of the house and removed a concrete parking pad (not shown in photos).

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After

The front door was replaced with a new fiberglass door with an opaque glass insert. All of the light fixtures throughout the house were also replaced.

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After

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After

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After

The existing red oak hardwood floors were patched, repaired and re-stained a dark color. We chose wall colors that were soft and unobtrusive and would appeal to a broad number of buyers. This one is Tapestry Beige by Benjamin Moore. A house that is staged always shows better then a vacant one, so we used furniture and accessories that we had in storage and from our own homes to make this house feel lived in. We also added drapery in most of the rooms to soften the look. This particular drapery fabric is from Kravet. The area rug was supplied to us by Indo Designer Rugs and all of the upholstered pieces of furniture were custom made by Whittington Furniture.

Before

After

One of the most dramatic changes we made to this home was adding a new window in the small dining area. The window really opens this space up and brightens the entire kitchen. We extended the hardwood floor into the dining room and hung a sweet but affordable chandelier from Cartwright Lighting . The before picture of this dining area gives me the shivers!! This photo was taken on possession day, and we had not started renovating anything yet. It shocks me knowing that the previous owner lived with the wallpaper peeling like this. Yuk!

Before

After

Before

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The old kitchen had the original mustard colored appliances in it and no dishwasher. We kept the layout of the kitchen basically the same so that we could save some money on plumbing costs. The new kitchen sports white custom made cabinets and Caesar Stone countertops from Icon Stone and Tile. We achieved the striped backsplash by layering rows of inexpensive white subway tile with rows of glass and marble pencil mosaic from Universal Slate. The effect is fresh and fun but did not break the budget!

Before

After

We reconfigured the bedroom closets and bathrooms so that we could add an ensuite. Now there is a nice sight line to a wall perfect for artwork at the end of the hall.

Before

After Ensuite

Before

After Main Bath

After Ensuite

Originally, “the Genevieve” had only one bathroom on the main floor. We split this bathroom into two small baths so that there could be a full bathroom off the master bedroom. This turned out to be a great selling feature for the house. We used subway tile for a wainscoting detail in the main bathroom and a simple pedestal sink from American Standard. In the ensuite bath, we tiled the floors with carerra marble and installed a pre-made dark chocolate vanity from Ronbow. We also used white subway tile in the ensuite shower but added some tiled niches for storage and finished them with the carerra marble too.

Before

After

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In all the bedrooms we increased the size of the windows and replaced the light fixtures. Typically, in houses built in the sixties, the windows are not very high. Since we were changing the windows anyway, it made sense to increase their height. This made an enormous difference in these rooms.

Before

After

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After

At the staircase, the old wooden banisters were removed and replaced with a simple stub wall. At the top of the stairs we removed more railing and added a linen closet.

Before

After

Originally we thought we would make the basement family room smaller, and create a laundry room where the old bar resided. Once this area was framed in, we had a second look and decided to keep the family room here and move the laundry room down the hallway. Even designers change their mind during construction! This room had a tiny window on one side and on the other side some plumbing valves that had to stay accessible. Draping both of these walls gives this room a cozy, media room feel and hid the ugly pipes and awkwardly placed window.

Before

After

The basement bathroom is the largest in the house. We created a huge shower with a bench and a frameless glass enclosure and used another pre-made vanity by Ronbow. The rest of the basement included a laundry room, a mechanical room, a bedroom and a flex room that could be used as a home office, exercise room or for storage.

After we were complete, we had a big party and put it on the market. My wonderful husband, Sam Corea, happens to be a genius realtor and he got us the highest price on the street! Thanks honey!

In the end, we didn’t make much on our investment but we gained some valuable insight and had an opportunity to walk in our client’s shoes. The final product looked great and is something that we are very proud of. I think the new home owners like it a lot too!

Cheers!

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26 Responses to “Dramatic Bungalow Renovations- before and after”


  1. Great project and great ideas. Thanks.

  2. Jane Braun Says:

    Wow! What a difference updating makes! Beautiful.

  3. stacey sharp Says:

    Stunning, simply stunning

  4. Jane Says:

    Your renovations are fabulous. The house looks amazing. The design and your contractor, you should be very proud. I especially like the tile work.

  5. Elaine Says:

    Great reno Jackie. I really liked what you
    did to the house – it turned out beautiful.
    I especially liked what you did with the
    closets and bathrooms to get the ensuite.
    Good stuff
    Elaine

  6. jerry spevakow Says:

    Judith & I enjoyed viewing your project. Keep me in the loop when you do other. jerry

  7. Cathy Stones Says:

    This is the project that inspired us to ask Reena to help us with our kitchen reno. She took us from original 1950′s to today in only a few months! Cathy

    • coreasotropa Says:

      Hi Cathy – Thanks for that glowing endorsement! I am so glad that you were happy with our services and that Reena was able to breathe new life into your kitchen! Renovations are one of our most favorite kind of projects to work on especially when the projects are of the vintage of your kitchen and this bungalow. Thank you so much for your kind comments!


  8. Thank you for another good article. Where else would anyone get this kind of information in such a great way of presentation.


  9. I’d been searching for creative helpful hints for wet rooms when I stumbled your internet site site via Yahoo and this excellent webpage caught my attention.

  10. Hilaire Says:

    what a transformation!!! Amazing.

  11. Christine Says:

    Fantastic reno, I love it! You’ve really given it that “WOW” look. I would not change anything you did.The living room-foyer is the same layout as our home. My husband and I are in the middle of a reno. Regarding the hardwood floors in your project..did you replace them or redo what was there? Is it oak or maple? Was there existing hardwood in the foyer or did you extend it from the living room.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • coreasotropa Says:

      Thank you for your comments! The existing hardwood floor was repaired, patched and some extra boards were added but the bulk of the floor was existing. In order to make the floor look seamless we “feathered in” the new boards laying them in the same direction and removing some additional existing ones. The floor was 2″ wide planks of Red Oak. Luckily, when we ripped up the carpet that ran to the front door, down the hallway and into the bedrooms we found hardwood underneath in perfect condition! That was one of the few areas in this renovation where we discovered a “happy” surprise! Hope the photos help you with your own reno. Best of luck to you on it, and thanks for reading!

  12. kate Says:

    Great renovation! I really liked the light fixtures you used for the hallway, one bedroom, and the top of the staircase. Can you tell me where you got them? Thanks.

  13. Matt Says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I love everything about your redesign! It’s so chic and simple, yet very elegant and calming. I had a question about your paint color on the walls…what brand/color is it? It’s very calming, and i liked how you used it throughout the house…it really acts as a great backdrop to your furnishings & decor choices!

    • coreasotropa Says:

      Thanks so much for your very kind comments. I’m so glad you liked the paint colors. We used several different colors throughout the house and most of them were from Benjamin Moore. The main color was Tapestry Beige, but we used Snowball in the bathrooms and Revere Pewter in the master bedroom. Thanks for checking out our blog! Come visit our new blog at http://www.thepinkchandelier.ca

  14. j-secalgary Says:

    Oh WOW! I stumbled upon this website by Googling 50 year old bungalow renos and I am from Calgary (and I have a 50 year old bungalow in dire need of updates!!) And this is just a wonderfully done reno project. It very much mimicks my tastes and we have the same issue in having only 1 main bath and wanting an ensuite. I’m so happy to be able to see the before and after pics and I am taking this home to hubby to try and coax him into moving into reno-mode with me. I’m sure this will do it!

  15. Heather Says:

    We are so inspired by your work. We wished you live closer so you could help us on bungalow project. Can you please tell us how many square feet this house was.
    Thanks for the inspiration. It is truly incredible.


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