20 Quarantine Bungalow Makeovers to Follow on Instagram

To show appreciation for the 20,000+ dedicated homeowners who have joined as members of CBA in 20 years, we are posting one blog each month in 2020 listing 20 things of interest to bungalow and vintage home owners. #Bungalow2020!


On a recent trip to Home Depot, I ran into an old friend who used to work as a bartender before "quarantine" began. Now as an employee at Home Depot, he told me, "I've seen more regulars here that I ever saw at the bar!"


It's true that many homeowners have been using these months to tackle home improvement projects. Two recent polls found that between 60-70% of participants have taken on home improvement projects since March 1st. For the Chicago Bungalow Association, this trend is certainly reflected on our social media feed. The #bungalowners we follow are posting exciting new projects (big and small) all the time!


To be honest, it was difficult to choose only 20 projects for this month's #Bungalow2020 list! There are so many inspiring bungalow projects that you can find on social media, but we've chosen 20 creative, thoughtful, and often inexpensive projects posted by Chicagoland bungalow owners on Instagram that are sure to spark ideas for your own home.


If you've completed home improvement projects of your own—big or small—on a CBA-certified brick Chicago bungalow, nominate it for a Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Award! The nomination deadline for our 16th Annual Driehaus Awards is October 27, 2020. This is our annual juried competition honoring the creativity and efforts of homeowners like you.​ Nominate your projects for a chance to win $1,000 in seven award categories at: www.chicagobungalow.org/nominate.


Now get ready to take notes! In no particular order, here are 20 quarantine bungalow makeovers to follow on Instagram:


1. @mychicagobungalow's wood trim restoration

Chances are you already follow this account! Probably the most established Instagram account by a Chicago bungalow homeowner, @mychicagobungalow is rich with specific how-to info and tips for bungalow restoration. Tracie, the homeowner behind the account, has won two Driehaus Awards for her impressive DIY projects. (See those projects here and here.) If you want to strip and refinish your bungalow’s wood trim but aren’t sure how to best go about it, follow @mychicagobungalow’s journey doing that project in her own home.


2. @chicagojungalow's DIY kitchen remodel

Since this past May, the homeowner behind this account has been posting beautiful photos of her sun-filled Chicago bungalow that would make anyone who doesn’t have a bungalow want one! Follow @chicagojungalow to get ideas for fresh and budget-friendly renovations, like this “dramatic but inexpensive DIY kitchen remodel.”


3. @chibungaho's limewash painting

Did you know you could paint your walls with something other than house paint? Made of crushed limestone and water, limewash is an ancient, natural, and breathable paint-like finish. (If you’re looking for a way to paint your brick fireplace white without causing permanent damage, this is your solution!) Princess, the enthusiastic Chicago bungalow owner behind the @chibungaho account, shares many interesting DIY restoration projects like this limewash project, as well as her gardening accomplishments.


4. @martipalermo's sunroom renovation

The owner of this early 1913 jumbo bungalow (or “jumbalow” as some like to say) gave her enclosed front porch a makeover by replacing the front windows with historically appropriate ones and opening up the interior walls. Now she has a bright and spacious sunroom! Check out the many other beautiful projects on @martipalermo’s account.


5. @diyginnychi's mudroom with temporary wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper is a great option if you like to change up your décor every so often. Ginny, the owner of this River Grove bungalow, beautified her mudroom by adding some temporary wallpaper to accent the upper wall. Go through her posts to see all the cool ways she uses pattern on her walls, like here in her basement where she hand-stamped with paint for a wallpaper look! Follow @diyginnychi for more ideas on how to restyle your home on a budget.


6. @craftingherworld's DIY attic bookshelf

Make the most of those awkward bungalow attic spaces! Portia, the bungalow owner behind @craftingherworld, inspires great ideas with her creative DIY solutions like this book shelf. Also a savvy thrifter, you’ll see on her account how she upcycles cool vintage finds.


7. @restoringgeorge's floor register replacement

The smallest home improvements can still make a big difference. Look at how much character and style these replacement floor registers add to this bungalow. Started just this past August by new bungalowners Ellen and Matt, it’s already been fun to follow along @restoringgeorge’s restoration journey. (We can’t wait to see how the original hexagon tile floor they discovered turns out!)


8. @gracefullyagingchicagobungalow's light cover replacement

Here’s another easy upgrade that can make a big difference. This bungalow owner boosted the vintage bungalow aesthetic of a room simply by replacing the light covers on her fan! Although it’s a private account, @gracefullyagingchicagobungalow is filled with lots of relatable Chicago bungalow content and definitely worth the follow request.


9. @thebungalownians' bathroom makeover

Speaking of hex-tile bathroom floors, the new homeowners behind @thebungalownians renovated their bathroom with historically appropriate floors. What a great before-and-after! Follow them for more project ideas as they fix up their 1931 Chicago bungalow.


10. @daskleinerhaus' pocket door installation

Started just this past December, the @daskleinerhaus account shares thoughtful and exciting updates to their 96-year-old bungalow. Projects like the installation of this space-saving pocket door preserve the historic character of the home with gorgeous details like this antique hardware.


11. @brookeandbungalows' custom windowbox planter

A bungalow with empty corbels is begging for a windowbox. This one custom made by Craeft LLC looks gorgeous on Brooke’s bungalow! She also found great replacements for her bungalow’s missing concrete urn planters at Gethsemane Garden Center. Follow @brookeandbungalows for more gardening inspiration, and restoration before-and-after posts.


12. @yellow.bungalow's accent wall

Accent walls are an easy way to add style to a room. Carolyn and Joshua, the homeowners behind this account, found the arched space above their bungalow's faux fireplace to be the perfect spot for a pop of color. Since February, @yellow.bungalow has been posting pictures of updates they've made to their cozy 1924 bungalow, as well as interesting discoveries of what previous owners left behind.


13. @tieredtoday's basement renovation

This impressive basement renovation won a Driehaus Award in 2018. Joshua, the homeowner behind @tiredtoday, completed the workout area this April, with a rustic barn door, new drywall, trim, and stylish dark blue paint to match the ceiling. Unique details of this finished basement, like the acid-etched, dyed, and epoxy-sealed concrete floors, have piqued the interest of many bungalow owners!


14. @arcadiamanor's DIY radiator covers

Radiator covers can give your radiators a clean look, and be simple to make. These sleek radiator covers were a DIY project by the homeowners behind the account. Follow @arcadiamanor to see other great projects and photos of their super cool, Tudor Revival, jumbo bungaloid home!


15. @kerrydactyl's bedroom-to-office conversion

Kerry, the homeowner behind this account, converted her spare bedroom to a bright office enclave for her new work-from-home needs. Why not give new purpose to your least used spaces? Follow @kerrydactyl’s journey sprucing up her 1923 bungalow for more inspiration.


16. @grey_jasmine's pantry perfection

This pantry makeover is a good reminder to prioritize projects that will make your life easier. Nikki, the homeowner behind the @grey_jasmine account, took her time getting the organization of pantry just right, finding all the right specialty containers to help her see what she has (and doesn’t have). And that cool patterned floor? It’s not tile, it’s DIY stencil painting! Follow Nikki for more organizing, decorating, and DIY ideas.


17. @bunga.low.life's window restoration

The bottom front windows of this beautiful 1926 Berwyn bungalow are being stripped of old paint and refinished by homeowners Gretchen and Eric. First, they removed aluminum cladding that previous owners installed, and found that the original wood trim underneath was in great condition! Now, they're happy to be restoring, not replacing, their wood windows. Follow @bunga.low.life to see the progress.


18. @bungalow_in_berwyn's DIY compost bin

Bungalow owners Karin and Nick built their own compost bin for their yard! There are many easy ways to make your own compost bin, and the environmental benefits are worth it. There’s no time like the present to learn how you can compost. Follow the renovation of this 1926 Berwyn bungalow for more ideas!


19. @1928_norwood_bungalow's mudroom makeover

Have a project that’s been slow-going for over a year? @1928_norwood_bungalow’s mudroom renovation had been in progress for two years but they finally tied a bow on it this month! After rebuilding their enclosed back porch, they finished it off with a new color for the already-painted brick, and bungalow-style details like the beadboard ceiling, light fixture, door and trim. It's a private account, but you can request to follow for more inspiration!


20. @circa_1925's framed bungalow relics

When renovating, many bungalow owners find old newspapers stuffed behind walls or in the attic. Instead of throwing them away, put these historic relics of your home in the spotlight! We love how this bungalowner framed her discovered 1930s and 40s newspaper clippings, and hung them (in a very cool way) in a place of honor.



While we miss seeing our members at our seminars and community events, it's been heartwarming to see how the Chicago bungalow community sticks together online through social media. Following each other, commenting on each other's posts, #bungalowners have built relationships around a shared experience with their homes. If you want to seek and share advice with fellow bungalow owners, join our Facebook discussion group! On Instagram, use #chicagobungalow when you post about your home so others can find your account for inspiration.


Now, get recognized and awarded for your own Chicago bungalow home improvement projects! Submit a nomination for a chance to win $1,000 in seven categories. Nominate by October 27th. For more information, visit www.chicagobungalow.org/driehaus-awards

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