Sarah's Tiny Thirties Bungalow

House Call

Name: Sarah
Location: Austin, Texas

Almost 4 years ago, we bought a tiny, crooked 30s bungalow in Austin, Texas. The plan was to straighten it up and try to add as much space as possible. Our budget was limited but we were tired of moving and wanted this to be THE PLACE.

With a lot of elbow grease and the help of a flexible contractor, we were able to level the house, expand the downstairs and add an entirely new upstairs!

Everything we did was very simple, the main goal was to just get more space. However, I'm an artist with a very particular aesthetic so we found creative solutions wherever we could.

The layout of the house had been two tiny bedrooms, two small bathrooms, a cramped, dark living room and kitchen/dining combo. It is now a huge, airy living room (we incorporated one of the bedrooms into the space), a guest suite (downstairs), a huge kitchen/dining/sitting area, a brightly lit stair case made of huge windows, a lovely, light master bedroom with extremely high ceilings and an office nook, a large yet cozy bedroom for our daughter (the converted attic with a slanted ceiling), and three clean, simple bathrooms.

We got all of the space we wanted but were able to keep the character of the 30s house. I am a collage artist and I think that reflects in our color choices and decor. My husband and I painted each room in our house ourselves. My previous jobs (gallery assistant, prop stylist, graphic designer, artist, teacher) have enabled me to pick up wonderful pieces for not much money. It also helps that I have an unlimited supply of my own art (seen in a lot of these photos, e.g. the piece behind the dining table, the "Onion" piece over the sofa) and have great artist friends who like to trade. My taste is heavily mid-century with some funky bits thrown in here and there. I grew up in a house that was entirely furnished in uncomfortable Empire furniture. This is my way of rebelling.

Thanks, Sarah!

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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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