Names: Julienne Rutherford, Adam Mackintosh, our 10-year-old daughter, and two ridiculous dogs
Location: Berwyn, IL
Type of vintage home: Chicago-style bungalow
Time lived in: 7 and a half years
Tell us a little about yourself and others in your home: I’m a professor at UIC, and an anthropologist in a college of nursing. My hobby/passion/art form is design and décor. My husband is a musician (singer, songwriter, guitarist, teacher). Our daughter is in fifth grade and is a budding actor. Our dogs are Cheese, a terrier mix, and Skeeter, a tiny chihuahua.
How did you come to live in your home? I had just gotten a divorce and wanted a home of my own but didn’t think it would be possible. But I came across a listing for a Berwyn bungalow and decided to check it out. My boyfriend (now husband) and daughter, then three, came too. The second I walked in and saw the light-filled front room with its arched fireplace, stained glass windows, original woodwork, and pristine 90-year-old oak floors, I just *knew* this was my home.
Describe your home's style in 5 words or less: Colorful, energetic, vintage, thrifted, elegant
Where do you source inspiration from? Vintage design books, especially the old Better Homes and Gardens series of books. Old TV and movies. Travel. Magazines (HGTV, Country Living, House Beautiful). Instagram (e.g., @home_ec_op) and Pinterest.
What are your favorite original elements and vintage details in the home? Stained glass windows, arched fireplace, glass doorknobs, oak floors, staircase, bungalow layout
What areas of the home will we be looking at in this Home Tour?
1. The front room
2. Our bedroom, which we remodeled last spring
3. The kitchen, which we remodeled a few years ago
Tell us about the front room: We painted it a soft green and installed new lighting. The rest is all about the furniture, collections and art. My vintage globe collection lives there, along with paintings, art, books, natural items like shells, rocks, and a LOT of plants. It’s like a conservatory. It faces East and is stunning in the morning light.
Tell us about the kitchen remodel: The house was softly flipped before we bought it and the kitchen was boring. The footprint of the room was large but it was dark and not well planned.
Before (top) and After (bottom)
We kept the cabinets because they were fine and we didn’t have the budget for new ones, but had new laminate countertops installed. The soffits came down and we moved some upper cabinets around to brighten the space.
We installed a vintage cabinet on a blank wall to increase storage and counter space. We moved the refrigerator by repurposing the closet in the adjacent bedroom.
We installed new lighting. We retiled with matte, white, subway tile and a gorgeous backsplash of cement tile behind the stove. It feels fresh and bright and retains the vintage bungalow charm.
The biggest structural change was opening the small, useless passthrough to the old back porch, and putting in a butcher block passthrough breakfast bar.
Before (left) and After (right)
Care to share the cost of this project? The kitchen all-in was around $15-20k.
Tell us about the bedroom remodel: The bedroom is large, but long and narrow, and the location of the door limited furniture placement so it never felt like we used the whole space. Our shared closet wasn’t big enough for us both, so the room was always a mess. It felt chaotic and drab.
We moved the door, and installed a new door connecting the bedroom to the hall closet, so now we each have our own large closet.
We painted the room a soothing color, wallpapered behind the bed, and hung vintage artwork all around the room. It has so much personality now. We use the entire space. It’s full of light and color during the day and supremely comfortable and luxurious at night.
Care to share the cost? The bedroom was around $5k.
List any professionals you hired (if you recommend them):
Power Core Building
List sources for furniture, décor or materials (if you recommend them):
Studio 8 (Forest Park)
Divine Consign (North Riverside)
Reuse Depot (Maywood)
Etsy, Target, IKEA, Menards and Home Depot
Any budget-friendly considerations you want to highlight? Thrift stores, consignment shops, and vintage items on Etsy, Target and IKEA. We installed our own lighting and did a lot of our own painting.
Any proud DIY moments? So many throughout the house! In the bedroom, the shelf over the bed is made from a bleacher seat I found at Reuse Depot, and brackets from Wayfair. I did the wallpaper throughout the house myself. And I’m proud of all of the decorating projects throughout the home.
What are you planning to do next? We need to turn our attention to some less exciting but very necessary exterior projects. We got a new roof a couple of years ago. The original windows need some love. Gotta keep these old bones in good shape!
We invite our members to share photos and narratives about the renovations, restorations, and redecorating they've completed on their vintage homes (not just bungalows!). Submit your Home Tour here, and we will reach out to you about a potential blog post. Not yet a member? Join today!