A Charming 99-Year-Old Craftsman Bungalow Has Been Beautifully Restored

published Dec 11, 2020

A Charming 99-Year-Old Craftsman Bungalow Has Been Beautifully Restored

published Dec 11, 2020
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Christian Doble and Alicia Gbur
Location: Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
Size: 1800 Square Feet
Years lived in: 7 years, owned

Christian and Alicia are both full-time creative professionals, and while they’ve both reworked homes before, this house—a 99-year-old Craftsman bungalow—is the first project together as a married couple. “It was this home that helped us realize our joint passions for restoring and designing spaces,” the couple explains.

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“Gathering with family and friends in each other’s spaces has been an enormous inspiration,” they explain. “It’s something that we’re missing very much during this pandemic. I need the sounds of people being welcomed at the door while one of us is cooking away in the kitchen next to an open bottle of port. Soon.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our style is hard to pin down because we keep changing it up. One thing that we initially talked about was the idea of forest meets formal. That’s where the name BOXWOOD PINE stems from. The boxwood can be shaped into traditional elements while the pine remains wild. It’s this tension that creates harmony when used together.

Our fireplace is an excellent example of this thinking. Originally the stone went all the way up to the ceiling. But we incased the top portion with a formal white mantel and paneling to offset the amount of fieldstone. This balance in design remains an important guide for us.  

Inspiration: We find a lot of inspiration from our talented friends and neighbors who all have their own thing happening. Meeting new friends who invite us into their homes often gets us thinking about changing things and trying something new. I also find a lot of inspiration from Alicia. The way she gets fired up when she’s got an idea is infectious. She has a way of kicking my ass in gear when I need it most. Other notable inspirations include: Reading too many catalogs, Pinterest rabbit holes, The Great Lakes, garden shops, Jean Stoffer Home, and the Jersey Ice Cream Company

Favorite Element: On the exterior, it’s our front porch and front garden. Having our porch recently completed is one of the highlights for me. When we purchased the home, the roof had been removed for whatever reason. Now we can sit out there with a glass of wine in a thunderstorm. Cheers. 

For the interior, Alicia would most likely say the living room right now after our new big sofa was put in place. It is very cozy. But for me, it’s the kitchen. It’s the first thing we had worked on, and there are many things I would change, but I love how much we use our kitchen. We cook every meal in this kitchen, and it’s starting to show wear here and there. I just had to clean up some chips on our cabinets, and our hardware needed another polishing. I believe that’s a sign we’re using it right.

Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge was the restoration of our exterior. Our original siding had been covered with asbestos, and as mentioned, we had to reconstruct our entire front porch roofline while working around an enormous red oak who refused to budge. It was a huge undertaking.

Biggest Embarrassment: When our house was on the market, it was empty, so we decided to sneak over after hours and peek in the windows. Also, known as trespassing. Just when we were about to get a peek inside, the neighbor came around the corner with a flashlight and confronted us. BUSTED. After a friendly talk, he invited us to his annual holiday party. We decided to go and see what the neighbors were like. And here we are.   

Proudest DIY:

  1. Building a railing that tied into our wainscoting going up to our staircase. We saw this idea at a Henry Ford estate, and I couldn’t stop thinking maybe we could do this. It worked out, and we haven’t had another spill since. Knock on wood.

Another DIY highlight would be our basement. We’re lucky enough to have a basement with high ceilings and huge windows that swing open and latch-up to the ceiling. Our goal was to create a creative workspace for the two of us that didn’t feel like a dingy basement.

Credit: Alicia Gbur

I broke the basement into a few sections and built a wood wall with a sliding door to give us a hidden utility storage area. Things really came together once we gave it a fresh coat of paint, added a working table, an old apothecary to hold art supplies, our work desks, and of course, a few dog beds for the pups. Shortly after this build, we were quarantined, and our basement office because a full-time creative office and safe space to continue work. We really lucked out having this space ready in advance.

Biggest Indulgence: Our copper roof. 

Best Advice: Create spaces you’ll use. My grandmother had a room in her house that was never used. It was always neat and tidy, but nobody sat in there; instead, we all gathered where we felt comfortable.

Dream Sources: Current Eye Candy: Kinfolk, Stoffer Home, Jersey Ice Cream Company, Dwell, Apartment Therapy, Carley Rudd Photography, Bastiaan Woudt Photography, Lee Mandy (LadyandPups). Sources I’m dreaming of: Terrain, Materials Unlimited, WWOO, Detroit GardenWorks, Fleur Detroit, Maidenhome, Food52, Parachute Home.












  • Walls, Floor and trim — Benjamin Moore – BASE WHITE
  • Ceiling pendants — rejuvenation 
  • Wall scones — Restoration Hardware
  • Countertop lamps — vintage finds
  • Desks — Crate&Barrel
  • Desk Lamps are vintage finds.
  • Clock — Vibatge IBM wall Clock
  • Vintage Ranger Cookie Jar
  • Desk Flat File Drawer — Ikea
  • Chairs at the table — Vintage Bertoia Side Chairs
  • Table — Saarinen Tulip Table knock off
  • Dog Bed — Crate&Barrel
  • GreenBlue Apothocary — Vintage find
  • Rug — Pottery Barn
  • -End chairs — restoration hardware
  • -Tilt-top wine table — custom build by Mike Doble 

Thanks Christian and Alicia!

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This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.