Archive: Oct 2007

Happy Halloween From Westview Bungalow!

Westview Halloween

Happy Halloween to all of you out there!

So our Halloween this year may be a little bit humble. But it’s a step up from last year, right? Last year we were somewhere around here in our renovation process. This year we upgraded to well…for one thing living here. So we put our little lit-up pumpkin on the porch so kids would know we’re “open for business”. (When I uploaded the photo I had to laugh for a second because it looked like our pumpkin was “blinging it up” with a gold tooth, haha.)

Since this is our first year in the house during Halloween Patrick and I didn’t know what to expect. We bought two bags of candy figuring we’ll get stuck with all of it. My “bet” was 0-2 groups of kids. We ended up having 5 groups of kids instead!! Our first one was our little one and a half (?) year old neighbor girl dressed up as “a snowman with a big butt” as her mom put it. *LOL* She must have rather been a snowWoman because she was dressed in all red and pink with red paint on her face. I assume the big butt was due to her diaper. ;-) Then we had four more sets of older kids. Since we didn’t think anyone would come after the neighbor we gave her a whole bunch of the candy, but after the next two groups came we started panicking that we may actually run out! Plus who would have known, my “bet” was actually beat with the 5 groups of trick-or-treaters. And we did run out after the 5th group of people and had to turn off our little “blinging” pumpkin and porch lights. Shortly after that we heard more kid noise outside, so who knows, we may have had even more kids! Next year we’ll be more prepared and not give out ALL our candy on the first trick-or-treater.

Happy Halloween from Patrick and Steffi!

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Wow! Want to buy a house in our hood?

There are some AMAZING houses for sale right now! If you have been dreaming of a bungalow you might want to head to the bank and take out that second mortgage. Steffi and I really want to buy a second house… we can’t even start to tell you how many we have fallen in love with (all within a couple blocks of our own house). Of course we should probably finish up with the first one before starting another project.

Nia Knowles is a real estate agent in our area, and she has some great listings on the market! Check out this one at 445 Hopkins Street, 30310. *DROOOOL* This one won’t be around for long – not with all that exposed woodwork and double sized lot. Check out her blog at

445 Hopkins Street Exterior

445 Hopkins Street Dining Room

445 Hopkins Street Living Room

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Living Room / Guest Room Door

One of the drooling parts about our house has always been the door between the living room and guest bedroom. The design matches the exterior windows, the kitchen butler’s pantry, and the coffered ceilings. And of course beautiful unique window designs like that are hard to come by these days.

Bedroom/Parlor Door

We had worked some on the door in March and April before friends and well as my parents were coming to visit. The fact that there was a door at all was somewhat of a luxury at that point. The fact that the door should be able to close wasn’t even on our minds yet. Well, of course for our visitor’s sake we wish we could have provided a closing door, but we just weren’t at that point yet. We have thought about what to put there since, and for a while were intrigued by the Eastlake door set. Though at $182 after shipping we haven’t exactly jumped on the “deal” and I’ve told Patrick we should ask for it for Christmas or something. The exciting part about the Eastlake set from Rejuvenation was also that they offered it for modern “holed” doors. Though our door is anything but modern it has sadly been badly butchered over the years. When we bought the house someone had removed the original mortise door set and carved out a hole to fit a modern door set in it.

Bedroom/Parlor Door Mortise

When we were in Chicago over the weekend we stayed with a friend in a cute old apartment in Rogers Park. The apartment had some really cool door knobs that we hadn’t seen before, but the design seemed perfect for our door and the style in the remainder of the house. Though the Eastlake design is very cool it also seems to lean towards the late Victorian-era style. The design of our friend’s door handles just seemed to fit better with the lines of the windows in our house. (Just to note: our friend didn’t paint the door.)

Historic Door Handle

We joked with her that she would come back from work one day and she would find a cheap door set on one of her doors. Now that we’re back home we’re on a mission to find this style door knob! The unfortunate part is that we don’t know what the name of the style is – which doesn’t exactly help. I found one style on Rejuvenation that is kind of cool but not really that close: Bevel Edge Plate. Though they don’t offer it as a set so we’d have to piece it together ourselves. After that I finally got a little bit closer to what we’re looking for: the Quincy Set where at least the handle is heading in the right direction, and the Heritage Set that seems to be the closest one yet. It’s close, but not entirely there yet. The line seems to be more defined on the plate of our friend’s door knob than the Heritage knob. I wish I could see the Heritage knob from some different angles so I could better determine the resemblance. So I guess that’s where we’re at with our living room/guest room door knob. If anyone reading this happens to stumble across my friend’s door knob, or perhaps recalls the name of the style please, please, please let us know! We would love to get this style for our door – without having to kidnap our friend’s! ;-) And if someone doesn’t feel comfortable leaving a comment we can also be reached via email – info [at]

On a side note, and perhaps reflecting back to my previous entry, we had a great time in Chicago. One thing we were bummed about was that we figured out that we would miss the “Historic Chicago Bungalow Expo” this coming up weekend. (Maybe we could have found our door knob there!) Bungalows aside, one of the first things I noticed was the amazing lawns from the airplane. Then arriving at our friend’s house and walking around town I was only reaffirmed how amazing these lawns were. Growing up as a child in Germany I remember these lush, green, soft lawns. With the Atlanta summer heat the common grass varieties are Zoysia and Bermuda, both of which have never felt as inviting and soft to me. I was starting to think my childhood memories were just false illusions until I saw my dream lawns up in Chicago. How I envy thee! And to answer some Oak Park questions – yes, it was a very friendly and inviting neighborhood. The lady at Caribou was very bubbly and friendly, as was everyone else we encountered there (so don’t let my grouchy tour lady story hold anyone back from visiting). The neighborhood was beautiful and the houses are so huge! We’re definitely looking forward to visiting again sometime (perhaps for next year’s Expo?), and when we do we’ll have to see about getting together with some of you Chicago house bloggers so you can show us what your town is all about! And perhaps share some more funny renovation stories… :)

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Frank Lloyd Wright

This weekend Patrick and I went to Chicago to visit our friend Clementine and to explore the windy city. One stop we couldn’t do without was visiting one of the Craftsman Godfather’s homes: the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.

After a long “El” ride to the suburb of Oak Park we hustled to catch the 1:20 tour. We walked up to the home just in time to see the tour leave (and the next one not being until 3:00!). Fortunately we were in luck…a group of another 5 people just missed it as well, so the lady at the ticket counter was nice enough to escort the 7 of us to join the group that had just left. The tour lady didn’t wait to show us that she was quite a bitch. When we joined the group she didn’t hesitate to inform the ticket lady that she didn’t want us to join the group and to just take us back to wait for the next tour. (In such instances I would imagine other tour guides to warmly welcome the late joiners.) Thankfully the ticket lady nicely explained to her that the next tour was not for another hour and 40 minutes, upon which the tour lady discontentedly allowed us to join. Once we entered the house and walked into the living room she told us that they didn’t display the lamps that would have been in the rooms because “YOU will knock them down” – not a nice “people could knock them down” or something less accusing…just plain old “you will.” Wow, we got accused of something before we even did it! Then when we were in the tiled dining room she freaked out at one guy and told him to close the water bottle he was holding – which was closed. Throughout the tour she asked if anyone had any questions, so at one point I was curious to see the interior of a built-in closet in the nursery and asked her if she could open it so we could see inside. All she answered was “NO!” I guess that answered that.

Overall the tour was interesting. The $12 fee was a little bit on the hefty side, but I guess we shall call it our contribution for our Craftsman passion. Based on our tour guide’s description of Frank Lloyd Wright he seems to have been quite an asshole himself. He would make his wife wear dresses he designed that would match the style of the house. Plus the fact that he left his wife and six children for a client’s wife doesn’t make him seem like a very caring gentleman either. But I suppose many influential people have their weird knack’s, so you have to separate his creativeness and what it has contributed to history from his selfish and, as our guide book put it, “not so humble” personality and life.

Here are some photos from our trip:

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home & Studio – front of the house (now facing a side street)

Frank Lloyd Wright Chicago Home

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home & Studio – side view towards studio (now facing a main street)

Frank Lloyd Wright Chicago Home

One of the “Bootleg” houses – one of Wright’s first home designs (for which he got fired by his boss)

Wright Bootleg House Chicago

Nathan Moore House (quite crazy with cathedral-like looking windows)

Nathan Moore House Chicago

Arthur Heurtley House

Arthur Heurtley House Chicago

You can see the Japanese influence on this design

Japanese influenced craftsman home

The Unity Temple (we decided against the $8 tour of the interior)

The Unity Temple Chicago

Unfortunately photography inside the home and studio were not allowed, but the interiors of his home definitely showed the influence of interiors that can be seen inside the common style bungalows with tons of wood work, built-in features, butler’s pantry, etc. (that is, unless they’ve been torn out by careless contractors wanting to make a quick buck). The pictures I’ve found online are pretty bad quality, but to get an idea: living room and dining room. The old dining room converted to the “kidsÂ’ homework room” had very nice built-ins, but unfortunately I can’t find a photo.

On our next trip to Chicago we’re going to have to find and explore the famous “Bungalow Mile”. Plus the German part of the city so I can connect with my peeps and see how much in touch they still are with their German heritage. ;-)

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Living Room & Another Animal Story

Living Room
Our living room has been somewhat neglected throughout our renovation process. Since we haven’t peeled any layers of paint off the woodwork we prefer not to touch the room. Otherwise it becomes the famous started project that doesn’t get finished because you start working on something else. We started with the dining room wood last winter and just about haven’t touched it since. So the thought is that it’ll be best to keep our hands off of the living room until we finish with other rooms. At least that applies to the paint removal process.

When we had our floors redone we weren’t made aware of the fact that they would tear out all the toe kick molding in the house. What we also weren’t made aware of was the fact that after the toe kick molding was pulled out the cost of replacing it was not included anywhere in the estimate. Uhmmmm….yeaaaah. Anyway, old story that I probably shouldn’t think about too much unless I want to ruin the rest of my day. Another thing torn out was the molding around the fire places. It took us a while to find a piece of wood somewhat similar to what had been there. We had bought the wood a while ago but had it laying around the house until now. So we finally took the time to work on it.

The fire place with missing molding…

The fire place after we cut the wood to fit…

The fire place after the wood was stained. And our awesome white pumpkins that our client Julie Stephens from Kimball Hall ( got for us. We love them!!

Here are some of the close-up photos. That $8.00 miter saw from the home improvement store did a pretty decent job!

Patrick applying a special stain blend of “Provincial” (same as the floor throughout the house), and “Cherry” (needed to make the new wood match the color of the aged/old wood)…

And close-ups of the stained molding around the fireplace. Now we only have to see about investing in an air compressor so we can actually attach the molding to the floor!

Another Animal Story
On a separate note we have another sad animal story – in my previous animal story I’ve mentioned the neighbor

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