Historic Bungalow Small Home

by Alysia Angel

Our charming historic 850 sq ft Bungalow style home is in the Cleveland Holloway neighborhood in Durham, NC. It was built in 1920.

What a change we have made since its inception! Anytime we add furniture we have to play an interesting game of tetris or actually remove pieces to accommodate the new item. Both Dante and I are devoted to renewing existing materials and have a huge love of thrifting and garage sale hunting to find inexpensive and quality finds to renovate.

To come into a relationship with this existing passion is exciting and invigorating. As a writer, and a lover of all things beautiful, I am constantly in a state of muse as Dante and I dream up larger remodels to make the house more aesthetically “ours” and more sound. While we attempt patience monetarily, we are having fun doing DIY projects, using existing vintage materials, that cost a lot less.

bungalow porch

One project is the dog bed project:

Another is the writer desk renovation:

Recent working vintage additions via thrifting scores:

fireplace and living room

There are some restrictions for us when it comes to the remodel because this is a historic home. We are not allowed to build additions attached to the house and we cannot change any of the original woodwork such as trim and walls. It must retain its historic integrity. While this can feel challenging with our 850 sq ft, two adorable dogs, and one big personality (ahem, this guy), it’s pretty cool to work around the restrictions while honoring them.


Since I moved in we have tiled the bathroom floors in black and white checker, put in a new steel tub and new shower tiles, and put up new paint on 50% of the house. As we can afford it, we intend to retile the kitchen floor and countertops, build a deck on the back of the house, take off the 1970’s vinyl siding and restore and paint the original wood, and add a writing studio for me in the backyard.

tv and living room

Dante’s blog from before and after I moved in with him is here:

More information of our neighborhood:

Cleveland Holloway Neighboorhood blog: http://clevelandholloway.blogspot.com

easy chair


Dante and Alysia

23 thoughts on “Historic Bungalow Small Home”

  1. Love it!! I live in a bungalow built in 1924; they are SO great… unique and interesting to live in. They sure don’t build them like this anymore. What color paint do you have on the walls: the deep red/orange will the Cramps pic and the lighter coral color?

  2. Lovely, colorful, charming house, and Cramps poster made my day. Poison Ivy was a hero of mine. RIP Lux Interior. Good on you for your appreciation, and Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk. πŸ™‚

  3. It is nice to see your bungalow on this site. I have a 1910 version that is about 840 square feet. It always makes me smile when I walk in the front door. I have been worried that it is too big, but I love it.

  4. That is one sweet house but I could not abide that doll standing in the corner! Even the photo has a mild creep-out factor πŸ™‚

  5. Hi all!

    Cheryl, everyone grows to love Frankie Avalon (the armless mannequin), he’s got the sweetest face.
    Carol, Thanks for the love! Would love to see photos of your place.
    Irene, Grown up punks make good. πŸ˜‰
    PepperReed: The front room is called “Animated Coral” and the living room is called “Daring”. Both are Sherwin Williams paints.

  6. I *think* the color is “poppy” from Sherman-Williams? (I happen to know the owners and recall when this painting was happening…)

    Also love your bathroom – gorgeous!

  7. Thanks Gracie!
    @Alice, that mannequin has no arms and nobody wanted him. He sat forlornly at an antique store for a whole year with his price dropping each month. I finally bought him for super cheap and named him Frankie Avalon. He has moved many times with me, even across country! I adore him and I am fully aware that he has a special audience.

  8. LOVE your sweet bungalow, Alysia!
    The tweaks and changes the pair of you have made are stunning and clever, please keep us posted!

    And enjoyed the photo of you and Dante (?)… Very Betty Page, luv the hair style and red lips (wish *I* could pull that off)
    I, too, am a huge 40’s fan: my wish list includes one of those beautilicious RED Roper stoves (’47, I think), to set my 40’s white and red-trimmed graniteware teapot and saucepans atop of and above, and, newer but no less attractive as a replica, a RED (40’s ColdSpot-ish) fridge. I have tons of 40’s tablecloths, handtowels, etc. to boot.

  9. Love the colors. Love the Cramps poster. Love Frankie Avalon. Great little house with a lot of personality. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  10. Hey,
    Found this link on your blog and loved seeing your cute house. Mine is in Durham too, not historic, but it’s 789 sq ft too and I totally love it.

  11. Abel! Good to see you too. I loved the work you did on the trailer. How’s it coming? Dante and I are in the market for a trailer ourselves.
    Thanks Susan!
    Susie, not called Poppy but thanks for the love. πŸ™‚
    Jipsii, I bet we go on and on with 40’s love!

    • Thanks! If you like trailers, stay tuned, I am restoring a 1969 Fleetcraft trailer right now AND I am commisioned to build a Teardrop trailer in September. I’ll try to get some pics up on my site…

  12. Hi Alysia,

    Sooo good to find a local project on this site! Love your place! I’m in Raleigh in a tiny 300sqft studio apartment. But I frequent Durham’s tasty restaurants and lively markets. Maybe we’ll cross paths on the streets one day πŸ™‚


    • Hey Nicole,

      I would love to see what you do with 300 sq ft. I lived in a historic building in downtown Olympia, Washington for a few years and my first apartment in the building was 350 sq ft. I recall a lot of interesting decorating!


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