Dana's Bungalow Beautification

House Call

Name: Dana
Location: Grant Park — Atlanta, Georgia

We bought the house as a foreclosure in 2009. It had been vacant for over a year and severely neglected. Despite having no functioning toilet or shower, no working appliances, outdated electrical and no heating or air conditioning, we still fell in love with this historic home. We loved the look & feel of the 1920's bungalow, recognized that the house had a lot of potential and knew the neighborhood was great…

The floorplan is perfect for 2 people, and there is a finished attic that serves as a home office/den. The original hardwood floors were in great condition and previous owners had added a bonus mudroom and second bathroom on the back of the house. In the backyard, a covered patio leads to a deck shaded by a 100 year old pecan tree.

The biggest challenge with a foreclosure, besides the repairs, is closing on the house (it took us 5 months from the offer date to closing date!). Also, our goal was to have the house move-in ready a month after the closing. I played general contractor to get all systems in order for the big move. In the first month, we replaced and/or updated the plumbing, electrical, HVAC and appliances. We also put up a fresh coat of paint in every room. As long it was liveable, we would take care of the rest later.

When we merged our furniture, art, and decor, we watched our similar aesthetic come together seamlessly and knew that decorating was going to be fun. We are both lovers of local art, bright colors, vintage and modern, so it is a great collaboration. As a couple that both works in creative fields (Steve, a photographer and myself, an art director), we both have a passion for design and love to recycle & repair. We carefully selected paint colors and discuss every renovation and cosmetic improvement. The house is still a work in progress, but we are having a great time rethinking and perfecting each room as we live, work and entertain in the house.

Thanks, Dana!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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