Introducing the Bitty Berkeley Bungalow

Oh my goodness, I have waited a long time to share this! Last year Alex and I embarked on the grand adventure of turning my Grandma’s 1905 garage in Berkeley into a home for the two of us (and our three pups). Through two surgeries, a lost Bogie, more Craigslist searches than you could possibly imagine and what felt like actual millions of nails, it’s done! Today, on Domino, you can see the debut of our Bitty Berkeley Bungalow. Design and styling by yours truly and photography from Ashley Kelemen.

I suppose I should show you the “before” now…

Yeah, it’s honestly hard to believe it is the same space! The shape of the room and beams are really the only ways you can still tell.

After cleaning, patching holes, and sanding the beams we were ready to start adding insulation and start creating the framing for the reclaimed oak strip flooring to be attached to (which would also flatten out the slanted concrete slab floor). It was my goal not to buy any new building materials so I had to rely on the Craigslist Gods to find the materials we would need at each step. Certainly our wood floors were the biggest undertaking. Alex spent days removing nails from the flooring, then I laid out the pattern, Alex cut it, then we nailed it down (oh, yeah. By hand. Two nails, every foot or so), wood-filled, sanded it and sealed it! I could not be more happy to have that process over, and I think Alex would intensely agree.

Certainly one of my favorite pieces I found for our house was the teak mid-century double drop-leaf table. In addition to how narrow it is, and the fact that when it’s set-up it can seat six, is that there are four folding chairs hidden inside! I had my eye on this table for a YEAR before I found one at a steal on CL. It was absolutely a challenge at points during this process not to just cave and buy the new version of something, or to spring for the item that I KNEW I could find for cheaper at some point, but just wanted to have be over now. But, I held strong and it was so worth it!

The next, and arguably most important piece, is our Murphy bed that my dad made us to house our beloved king sized temper-pedic mattress. Having a Murphy bed (as opposed to a lofted bed which we technically could have fit) allowed our dogs to be able to have easy access, keep the ceilings feeling high and therefore the room less cramped, and allows the house to double as a studio for shoots, an office and an entertaining space.

I’m excited to be sharing more small space interior design and styling tips soon! In the meantime, read more about our Bitty Berkeley Bungalow and our story on Domino!

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