A Beautiful, Fixer-Upper Bungalow

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Brett’s fixer-upper in Oakland needed work but had a ton of charm. (Image credit: Laurel & Wolf)

Name: Brett
Location: Oakland, California

My home is a 1900 Craftsman that has been a true labor of love. The house was a complete fixer upper when my husband and I bought it earlier this year and we’ve spent nearly half the year completely renovating the entire thing.

My husband and I had been talking about moving from San Francisco to Oakland for a few months and just so happened to stumble upon our house at the right place and the right time. I think the house scared away a lot people because of the overall poor condition and the level of work that needed to be done. It definitely was a HUGE undertaking but I knew it was EXACTLY what we were looking for. We wanted a house that had good bones but that we could make completely our own and that’s what this house was – the possibilities were endless.

While the home showed many signs of aging when we first bought it, some of the vintage charm was still intact. Everything from the custom built-ins to the wood columns, ceiling beams, wall paneling, trim, baseboards, and crown moulding was part of the original design of the 100 year old home and the level of craftsmanship isn’t something you typically come across in many homes these days. I fought to preserve as many of these details as possible while still modernizing the home.

Although my design aesthetic seems to be constantly evolving, I would say it is something along the lines of Scandinavian Minimalist meets Mid-Century California Bohemian. I like to think that my love to create airy, balanced, unique spaces that mix the old with the new is represented in every single one of the spaces I design no matter the “style”.

When it comes to favorite rooms, I would probably say the kitchen. Both my husband and I love to cook and spend the most time in the kitchen whether it’s cooking dinner together almost every night or hanging out with friends. We really took the time to plan and think out every detail of our kitchen so that it was functional for us and a focal point of the home. A few of my favorite features in the kitchen would have to be the open shelving, the light fixture above the peninsula and the french doors that we love to keep open when the weather is nice.

I also love sitting by the front windows on the built-in bench in the living room with a cup of coffee or tea and reading a good book or flipping through a magazine. It’s these little moments that make all of the hard work worth it.

Thanks, Brett!

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