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Vintage Life: Our 1920s Bungalow Renovation

Vintage Life: Our 1920s Bungalow Renovation

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 23rd Jun 2012

Greg and I love old things. It seems to us things were just made better in the past, and had a great deal more style. Nowadays everything is made from plastic and meant to be thrown away – the hallmark of our “disposable” society.

And while there is nothing wrong with the functional Chevy Lumina, I don’t think folks 50 years from now will want to collect and restore one – it just doesn’t have the pizzaz of say, a 1965 Ford Mustang. To be honest though, we might be a little biased. Greg’s first car that he bought back in high school (and we still have) was a 1965 Mustang convertible, but that is a story for another blog post.

From the 1880s through the 1930s, our little town of Newberry, South Carolina, was in her heyday due to prosperity from several cotton mills.  An Opera House was built and business was booming down on Main Street.

A great number of arts and crafts style bungalow homes were built in the area around Main Street. Harper Street has long been our favorite street in Newberry because of the charming houses and huge oak tree canopies – so we always walk our dogs there.

Last October, we noticed a For Sale By Owner sign had gone up in the front yard of one of the worst lots on the entire street. We had often mentioned in passing that it was a shame the owner didn’t clean up that place, as it really was a cute house. Even though we were not in the market to buy a house, we decided to call the owner to take a look inside.

It was even worse on the inside than we suspected.  This poor house had been sorely neglected for years.  The City had even summoned the former owners to court with mandates to clean up the property.  A neighbor told us that the Fire Department had to rescue a colony of cats that had been living there with an even earlier prior owner.

But as any owner of an old house will tell you, we just knew we were supposed to rescue that house.  Our hearts fluttered as we imagined how great it would look after we renovated.  With a leap of faith, we owned this disaster a few weeks later.

I’ll give you a tour of the property.  Walk up the driveway on the right side of the house, past the dilapidated handicap ramp.

Now you’re looking into the backyard that is completely overgrown (with poison ivy and poison oak as I’ll soon find out), has a rickety old metal shed, and lots of garbage and huge chunks of rotted tree, filled with termites, of course.

There is an addition on the back of the house that was started by the prior owner.  It is a complete mess.  And the left side of the house is completely covered in ivy.

We have our work cut out for us.  I’ll leave the inside to your imagination right now.  You’ll have to read the next blog post to see just how bad it was.

 Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!