How do I update my bungalow?

Updating a bungalow while maintaining the building's integrity involves using what's fashionable in home design and decor today, and fitting it into the framework of a home built many years ago. Your personal tastes and desires for upgrading play a major factor in the decisions to be made, but keeping to the character of a Craftsman bungalow home is most important.

Recondition the wood flooring, if it still exists, by having it sanded and varnished. Remove carpeting in all the living areas and replace it with wood flooring. Use laminate floors if the expense of wood is too great. Investigate ceramic tiles designed to look like wood flooring.

Replace the kitchen cabinetry with wood-panelled cabinets that include panes of glass exposing the inside of some cupboards. Select stained glass in the Craftsman genre if you want to maintain the home's connection to its history. Add brightly coloured dishware to the shelves of the see-through cupboards.

Install a new countertop of granite, marble, quartz or an artificial surface. Stay within the earth tones of the Craftsman bungalow style while bringing modern conveniences to the kitchen. Select new appliances with integrated front panels to blend into the cabinetry and to create a seamless look in the kitchen.

Refresh the windows with new draperies. Use a shantung silk for its textured, elegant look; find wooden window blinds if you prefer a more casual, clubhouse look, as both suit a bungalow-style home. Maintain the double hung windows as they keep the bungalow style intact, but replace the glass with double glazed panes if you live in a cold climate.

Redecorate the master bedroom by painting the walls a light mossy green to create a mood of harmony and serenity. Clear away all the clutter and keep only a picture of the couple sharing the room on a countertop. Buy matching side tables and lamps in a contemporary style and place two small cotton rugs on either side of the bed.

Update the bathrooms with modern fixtures, or if that isn't possible, just change out the bathroom hardware to something more contemporary. Paint the walls to freshen them. Buy new towel racks and display towels in earth tones. Add a new shower curtain and floor rug.

Paint all the floor mouldings a fresh white and, if possible, add a ceiling moulding. Refinish the porch wood floors but don't paint them. Buy new house numbers in a contemporary style, and if the mailbox is attached to the house, either paint it or replace it. Don't alter the bungalow's exterior look, just make it fresh and clean.

Add landscaping that blends with the look of your home. Plant hedging against the house and layer flowers toward the front of the planted area. Keep all original planters and don't add plastic planters or decorations.

Hang a front porch swing by ropes and add a few pieces of wood furniture purchased at thrift shops for a dated but updated look. Put a cotton or bamboo carpet on the porch floor. Buy flower stands and keep freshly pruned flowers on the porch as long as the weather holds. In winter, replace the flowers with evergreens.

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About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.