We are Heather Ferguson and David Chiu. We’ve been restoring a very rundown Arts & Crafts bungalow near downtown Los Angeles, room by room, for longer than I ever thought possible.
In 2002, we decided to do what most couples who have settled down, made it legal, and bought a dog do; we purchased our first home. Our 99 year old bungalow is located in West Adams, one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods.
To call our home a “fixer” is understating the situation. Our home needed everything. By everything I mean a new foundation, new sewer lines, new roof, new electrical, updated plumbing, asbestos siding removal, original wood siding patched or replaced, the front porch rebuilt, the enclosed back porch ripped off and rebuilt, windows restored, landscaping, burglar bars removed and an exterior paint job. And, that was just the outside.
The inside hasn’t been any easier. We have gone room-by-room, restoring one room at a time. Under 18 layers of paint – yes, 18! – we found beautiful Douglas fir woodwork. We also found crumbling plaster, missing light fixtures, a few mummified rats and a kitchen floor covered in 5-inches of plaster.
Being complete novices, and complete idiots, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We have done a lot of work on the house ourselves, but hire people to help us when in over our heads, which happens often. We have learned an amazing amount and met some wonderful people along the way.
After 9 years, we are almost done, but still have some large projects ahead of us. I have been dreaming of a restored kitchen for almost a decade. It has been a an absolute struggle and a joy to restore our home, taking it from crack house to our house.
If you have a house project or story that you would like to share contact me at: heather [at] 1912bungalow [dot] com.