How a couple of hands-on homeowners took a bungalow from dilapidated to delightful, using home-center finds.
It takes a certain eye to see a smart little cottage where others see a stucco teardown. But Steve and Shauna Mullins had exactly that vision when they first saw this 875-square-foot bungalow in Hermosa Beach, California.
“It was in a great location, less than a mile from the beach, and the basic layout was good—it hadn’t been screwed up,” Steve says. Still, the exterior of the 1941 house was showing its age, and its small rooms needed an update. Collaborating with architectural designer Rosa Velazquez on the front of the house, doing much of the work themselves, and enlisting a general contractor for the bigger projects, the couple lavished the tiny two-bedroom with a proud new facade and freshened the interior throughout.
For nearly all their redo needs, they jumped in the car and hit nearby home centers, scouring the aisles for well-priced shutters, fencing, cabinets, crown molding, paint, and more.
Removing the front wall’s stucco and putting up white fiber-cement lap siding refreshed the front face of the house. The other walls got a coat of white paint. Exposing the rafter tails, as well as topping the roof with new asphalt shingles, added welcome detail to the roofline. Relocating windows created symmetry and allowed room for shutters.
Building a deeper portico with chunky columns and crisp railing made the entry more welcoming. A bright red door with brass hardware, lantern-style sconces, salvaged brickwork, and a rose-entwined picket fence helped give the cottage a classic look.
Beige stucco and a nondescript entry gave the existing bungalow an institutional look, before.
3 Upgrade with Molding, Paint, Refinished Floors
Adding crisp white crown and base molding gave the living areas a tailored, pulled-together look. For contrast, walls got a suede-finish neutral beige. Replacing windows with ones that have simulated divided lights added detail.
Living Room, Before
The original living areas were drab and disjointed, before.
Replacing a small window with French doors brought in air and light, making the 12-by-12-foot bedroom feel larger.