our standish bungalow – the before.


I’m a little behind writing about our home renovation, so let’s start from the beginning with a house tour of the day we got the keys. I’ll post more in the coming months documenting our kitchen and bathroom renos, as well as other projects we’ve been doing (like repainting alllllllll the trim and repainting over the grey walls we initially painted). Follow along here – under the H O M E  T O U R tab at the top of the page – or on instagram at @1925StandishBungalow ♥

Our house hunt started in early 2017, touring homes mostly in south Minneapolis. (We ventured across the river to Saint Paul a few times, but never really found anything we loved – either because it wasn’t near easy highway access, the layout was weird, or it was $300k+ and still needed major renovations.)

Six months and at least 50 homes later – thank you, Gavin! – a cute bungalow popped up on the MLS, and I knew we needed to see it immediately. The second we walked in the front door, both Nick and I knew it would be our home. It was exactly what we were looking for: a fixer-upper with a haven’t-been-updated-since-1980 kitchen. An untouched kitchen was one of our criteria because we wanted to put our own stamp on the kitchen, meaning white cabinets and subway tile, not redo a “recent” renovation.

Our home’s main selling points:

  • obviously the kitchen
  • original woodwork including a gorgeous built-in (on the exterior wall)
  • great layout – meaning we could take down a wall to open the kitchen into the dining and living rooms
  • three bedrooms 
  • one bath with room to add a second upstairs 
  • hardwood floors throughout 
  • fenced yard for Luma 
  • finished basement for our bike room 
  • two-car garage 
  • great location close to several main thoroughfares 

With that, let’s get on with the tour! 


In all her 1980s glory! Functional, yes, and with a decent amount of cabinet space, but definitely not the look we were going for. We couldn’t wait to take down the wall into the living room and demo the faux brick and header (what’s the point of headers anyway?! Such wasted space)! 


The bathroom had no shower, dated tile and more lace curtains. Gutting and redoing it – the only bathroom in the house (for now) – was a must before we moved in. 

Living + dining rooms 

The living and dining rooms were straight from the 1980s. Faux brick, wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpet, tan wallpaper, and more lace curtains. But the bones of the rooms were fantastic – pretty much a renovator’s dream! The first thing I did: take down the curtains. And then our contractor came over and took a sledgehammer to the wall between the kitchen and dining rooms.

We took down the wall on the right to open the kitchen into the dining and living rooms.

Bedrooms / office

More wallpaper! Blue paneling! Shelves! Corkboard! Lace curtains!

This bedroom became our office, main entryway, and Luma’s room.

Master bedroom

The upstairs was a little gem with tall ceilings and a ton of space. We’ll eventually add a master bath up here (and maybe reconfigure some walls) to turn the entire upstairs into a master suite. 

All the natural light and this dormer 


Your typical bungalow basement – partially finished, wood and faux brick paneling (four kinds to be exact!), drop ceiling, dark and kinda dungeony. Nothing some bright white paint can’t fix! It’s a great space for an extra sofa and tv and obviously our bike + treadmill room. 

Doesn’t everyone have a window into their laundry room?

The rotary phone on the left worked when we moved in!


  • Reply Amy Lynn 12/20/2018 at 9:56 am

    These posts are so interesting, Erin! Keep them coming. I grew up in a house without a shower…I didn’t even know how to work one until a was teenager. Oh the joys of a rustic upbringing!

    • Reply erin 04/09/2019 at 7:51 am

      Thanks, Amy! Working on after posts so watch for those soon (finally!). Rustic upbringings are probably the best! 🙂

  • Reply Paige Schulz 12/21/2018 at 8:37 am

    Love seeing the house progress! Was one of your criteria to have tall basement ceilings so you had enough space for the treadmill and your head while running? 🙂 definitely something we talk about all the time when looking at houses.

    • Reply erin 04/09/2019 at 7:52 am

      Thanks, Paige! Sure was a criteria for our house! The ceilings aren’t super high, but just high enough that a low profile treadmill fits 🙂

  • Reply 2018 wrap up. - sweet sweat life 01/08/2019 at 8:16 am

    […] bought our house in summer 2017 (when it looked like this) and since then, we’ve worked on it more or less continuously. We hired a contractor for the […]

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