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Cozy Craftsman Hiding in a Boarded up Bungalow

A tiny craftsman revival bungalow is about to get a full makeover to bring her into the 21st century, while preserving her mid century modern flare.

This boxy little nondescript house would never have caught my eye, but once we set foot inside the front door, we immediately saw its potential. It’s a 2 bedroom, 1 bath charmer that’s been dressed down over the years to function as a rental for university students.

House with boarded up windows and weeds

Most of the innate character has been stripped out or covered up, but it just needs a few thoughtful tweaks to make it shine again.

From Clunky Rental to Craftsman Cutie

Taking a home that’s devolved over several decades into a neglected rental property and making it beautiful again, as well as functional, is no small undertaking.

But we love a good challenge, and these historic homes really grab my imagination and tug at my heartstrings.

With a little TLC, and maybe some tough love along the way, we’ll bring back its style and character, and make it a little more functional for anyone wanting to live near the university. Here’s how:

Entryway & Office

As you walk in the front door, you’re first greeted by a small closet-like room that was converted from the original covered porch by boarding over the windows on the front of the house.

Small dark room with wood paneling and no windows

We plan to replace the windows and convert this room into a sunny front office. There’s no room for a closet, so we can’t turn it into a third bedroom, but we’ll give the new owners options for how they want to use the space.

Living Room

The living room comes next, with its original wood flooring, 8 inch baseboards, and large framed windows. This room doesn’t need much except to refinish the floors and give it a light, fresh coat of paint to bring out its natural character.

Dark living room with beat up wood floors

The gorgeous wood floors flow throughout the whole house, so we’ll focus on restoring and refreshing them in every room. Continuous flooring, especially if it’s as beautiful as this floor, will help the house feel larger and more open.

Fresh paint on every wall will also ease the flow throughout the house and make it feel more comfortable and cohesive.


This kitchen, while spacious and functional, needs a little help. Somewhere along the way, someone replaced whatever cabinetry originally existed with these particle board and melamine cabinets.

Dark kitchen with dated white particle board cabinets

While their mid-century style is intriguing, we’re hoping to replace them, or at least give them a face lift. We envision more open shelving on top, some sort of tile backsplash, and better lighting throughout this space.

When we’re done, this kitchen will keep it’s mid-mod feel, but function like a brand new kitchen.

Sunroom/Dining Room/Laundry Room

Off the kitchen sits a bright sunroom that was converted to a laundry/office space somewhere along the way. We plan to reclaim it as a dining room.

Neglected sunroom with clutter everywhere

We’ll remove the cheap cabinetry and open up this space with a small dining set. We’ll repaint the windows and back door. And if budget allows, we’ll tile the whole room with patterned tile, so it doesn’t look like an afterthought, but ties in with the kitchen’s style and character.

This cozy dining room, along with the kitchen, will become the hub of the home, and its sunny character will flow through the house.


The two bedrooms are small, but potentially quite charming. One has a large bank of windows across one wall that stream in light and add lots of craftsman character with their wood frames.

The other, which we’ll call the master, has an exterior door leading to a side yard that would make a nice little patio for sipping coffee in the morning.

Dark bedroom with exterior door letting in light

The huge baseboards flow throughout these rooms as well, and the master even has crown molding, which we’ll keep and emphasize with paint.

But my favorite thing about these bedrooms is the tiniest detail – original bronze door handles and hinges. These will take a little freshening up because the hinges have all been painted over, but they’re worth it for their authentic style. I just love the little keyholes!

Vintage bronze door knob and plate on white door

It’s these little details that give the house its charm and character, and we’ll be sure to preserve them as we update other not-so-lovely aspects of the house.


This Jack and Jill bathroom between the two bedrooms is truly impressively ugly in its current condition. Wonky tile work, a tiny over-designed vanity, and complete lack of original character make it look like an afterthought.

Tiny bathroom with shower tile falling apart

But as the only bathroom in the house, it needs to be a well thought-out space that meets the needs of either a small family, or possibly two college roommates.

We plan to replace the tile shower with a fresh tub and tile shower surround. We’ll get a new toilet and a streamlined, more functional vanity. And we’ll slightly move the wall to make better use of the limited space in this tiny bathroom.

Curb Appeal

Finally, we’ll tackle the front of the house to bring back its style and add curb appeal.

Adding the windows back to the front of the porch/office will go a long way towards making this home feel cozy and inviting, both inside and out. We’ll clean up the front yard, and add low maintenance landscaping to complete its transformation.

We should probably clean up the backyard a little too, while we’re at it!

Messy backyard filled with weeds, tree branches, and trash cans

The houses in this neighborhood all have their own historic character, and this one has stood a little neglected and sad. But now it’s time to bring out its inner beauty so it matches its neighbors and feels comfortable in its own surroundings.

Soon this little house will be a fresh and clean craftsman, with a new look to show off to the neighborhood.

Boarded Up Bungalow Flip House

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter, so you’ll get updates along the way. And while it’ll be a few weeks before you can get your fix of “after” pics, check out a few of our other flip house reveals for fun before-and-afters:

See ya on the flip side!


Tuesday 14th of April 2020

Can't wait to see where u take it. Sounds like a great project.


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Thanks! It's going to be fun!


Monday 13th of April 2020

That will be so cute. And won't the neighbors be pleased to be rid of an eyesore. If this house wants purple irises in the front and back yards, I know where to get some for free!


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Oooh fun! I'll let you know!

Stacy A Thomson

Monday 13th of April 2020

So cute! That room with the it! it's going to be gem charmer when you through with it!


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Thanks Stacy! I can't wait to see those windows back in place!


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook