Saturday, November 22, 2014

Living Large In Small Spaces - Joy In a Little Bungalow

Tenth post in the series

I'm happy to welcome Sue of the blog Impromptu as my guest today.  She and her husband live in a delightful bungalow that boasts a cheery blue front door and a white picket fence. However, it's not just the house that impresses me (although the transformation of their home is amazing), it's the verve with which Sue lives life in their little bungalow. I'll let her tell you all about it. . .

When Nancy invited me to write a guest post for her series, "Living Large in Small Spaces", she asked if I would expand on the focus of Impromptu which is JOY. 

Well, it's a mindful decision I make on a daily basis; to be joyful, to see the beauty and good in all things and to indulge in what brings me pleasure, be it reading, writing, gardening or crocheting.  Life in my little bungalow; my real life dollhouse, is the centre of my JOY. 

front garden

back garden

The Decision

We lived in the country for eighteen years and loved every minute of it; the surroundings, the quiet, the privacy, a pond for swimming, and all the space - just a little under 2 acres.  What we didn't love was the commute to work every day which was over an hour each way.  Two plus hours on the road, five days a week.  We were exhausted, and we weren't getting any younger.  It was time to think about a change.


living room

The Move

The commute  wasn't the only issue.  The kids had moved on from college to jobs in the city and their sporadic visits weren't enough.  I missed them.  And once my son got married, we knew grandchildren would be coming and we didn't want to miss out on a single minute of that! So that was it.  We started looking for a small house that would be close to work and a reasonable distance from the kids.  We went from 3,400 square feet to 1,150 square feet of living space!

dining room


The Adjustment

Sticker shock I think is what they call it!  The area we chose was very expensive and the only way we could afford to live there was to buy a 'fixer' (we were mortgage free and wanted to stay that way).  But it was only 10 minutes from work, we loved the small town feel, and it was right by the lake with shops, restaurants, you name it, at our doorstep!

my office/craft room/studio

master bedroom (crown yet to be installed)

The Work and the Bliss

We found our little bungalow after 3 months of searching.  She was in terrible shape, but we fell in love regardless - plus we could actually afford her; all 1,150 square feet of her.  She had very little storage, lots of charm, and needed a ton of work.  We gutted the kitchen and bathroom, replaced all the windows and doors (garage doors included) and landscaped the front and back garden .  

The basement remains untouched and is currently being used for storage.  We haven't decided whether we will finish it or not; it would be nice, but we really don't need the space.

So the hard work is done!  I feel like the house appreciates all the TLC we've showered on her.  "It feels happy in here", guests have told us more than once, and I agree.  It's a happy little house. 

guest room


Thank you, Nancy, for inviting me to share my story.  I enjoyed looking back on the journey and the experiences of the last five years.  It's a wonderful thing this blogging community and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your friendship and warmth.



Thank you, Sue, for sharing your charming home and life with us.  

To see more of Sue's wonderful cottage (including before and after photos of its aforementioned transformation), the gardens and her creative talent, visit her blog Impromptu

Joy In A Little Bungalow was featured here

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series

 Living Large in Small Spaces

See more home tours in the 
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.

From the comments I've received on this series, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives shared here.
If you live in a small space I'd 
love to feature your story, too.
Send me an email and let's collaborate.
(See the "Contact Me" page for my email address.)


  1. Dear Nancy ... This little house is a "happy little house" ... so charming, shares warmth and I love, love, love Sue's sweet little kitchen! Thank you for sharing. Weekend Blessings ♥ Teri

    1. If you get a chance, Teri, check out the before and after photos on Sue's blog. She and her husband have done a lot of work to bring their little bungalow to its happy state.

    2. I would love to visit her blog. I must have overlooked her website address. Is it in her posting? I am most likely looking in the wrong place. Hugs ♥ Teri

    3. The link to Sue's blog Impromptu is in my comment at the end of the post. Just click on "Impromptu". :)

    4. Ahh, thank you! I have saved it now and am so looking forward to browsing her blog.

  2. I love this series, Nancy. xoxo I loved reading about their transformation. I'm going to go check it out her blog.

  3. You always find such great stuff to share with us ! I love checkin in as I really want to do another guest house on this property. The wee spaces you share just give me more inspiration and time to dream!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I'm very happy to provide some inspiration, Dawna, but I couldn't do it without all these wonderfully creative and gifted people who are willing to share their homes. xxx

  4. I love this house! and that yard is fabulous. Great choice!!

  5. Nancy,
    Another great home in your feature today. What a charming home. Sue did a great job of downsizing and making her new home cozy and sweet. Thanks for sharing Sue's home with all of us.

  6. Charming . . . indeed.
    Friends of ours recently went from a 2500 sq ft home with separate "outside buildings" to a 900 sq ft house, single car garage. Lots . . . LOTS of work for them. Going from a newly constructed home to an older, needing tons of work . . . is a bit daunting!

    I enjoy figuring it all out in my head . . . but the work of down sizing and getting to the finish line doesn't seem to push me ahead. I think age has something to do with it. Ten years ago I would have been eager for the challenge.

  7. What a wonderful experience to be part of your new home.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Lots of blessings

  8. Nancy, I think Sue's home is wonderful. We do things to be with the ones we love or at least be near them. I wish her a wonderful live in her new home. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  9. Very pretty home. I like everything about it, especially that tiled bathroom. Great post

  10. This is such a nice looking well built little home. Is it in Michigan by chance? Lots of lakes to enjoy there. I live in Indiana.

    1. Sorry, I don't know the location of the home. My husband is a transplanted Hoosier. Lots of good folks in Michigan and Indiana. :)

  11. Another lovely bungalow! The kitchen and master bedroom are so cozy! This makes me even more ready to downsize ;)

    1. Going smaller doesn't have to feel like a sacrifice when it's done right, like this. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. :)

  12. I love Sue's happy little house and her joyful attitude, too! :)

  13. I love so much spaces with character and personal touch, coziness, colors and warmth. Truly enjoyed it!
    Kind regards

  14. What a pretty kitchen and a charming house overall! I just adore all of the built in areas and that bathroom is dreamy! Thank you sharing Nancy, it's always wonderful to read about others who are living with the same mindset! :)

  15. Sue I love your home. It is so pretty inside and out.

  16. What a pretty home and the story is inspiring. I can understand wanting to move closer to your grown kids. :)

  17. Wonderful story. I do love the home, it is bright and beautiful.

  18. So sweet. And the bathroom is that sink!

    1. That's a pretty amazing bathroom. So vintage!

  19. I am familiar with Sue's blog so it was fun to see that she had a feature over here :)

    1. Thanks, Deb. I'm glad Sue shared her home with us. It's certainly a favorite of mine.

  20. Such a pretty home, just the right size for a couple at this stage of their lives. I especially am enchanted with the kitchen for its charming ambiance and cozy feeling. Thanks so much for sharing Sue's beautiful home as part of your wonderful series.

    Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  21. Oh, what a delightful cottage! Each room has its very own charm and sweetness :)

    I enjoyed scrolling through your previous posts - you have a lovely blog! I certainly am looking forward to visiting again! Hugs and blessings!

  22. What a beautiful site to see a snow covered bungalow cottage so postcard perfect.
    Love your many rooms of gathered and collected treasures, your kitchen cozy cottage perfect, as for your bathroom I adore it, so wish it were in my French cottage home.
    Your shring charmed my day, we get very little snow her on the high desert of Southern Ca. When we do we cherish it's beauty.
    We are prep airing for snow, it's going to be a cold winter here.

    Happy ThanksGiving to you and yours.

  23. What a pretty home, I love that kitchen with all the white but I'm also drawn to the bathroom because I love those tiles, they remind me of the bathroom of the house I grew up in.

  24. Just found your blog from Strangers and Pilgrims. What a nice idea to feature smaller homes. I have a smaller home as well so I appreciate seeing other homes and how they decorate. I love Sue's white kitchen. The thing about small is, it's cozy! New follower. Blessings, Diane

  25. Love your little house. We recently moved into a cottage of about 1200 square feet. I hope you'll stop by to visit!

  26. It makes me feel better about my little cottage!
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  27. Sue's home is so cozy! I agree with her in finding joy in each and every day. I try to live my life like that as well. I really enjoyed reading her story. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  28. Good morning Nancy! This lovely post was the #1 most viewed post last week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays and has been *featured* as thus. Thank you for sharing and we hope to have you join in again this week!

  29. Nancy, I enjoyed reading Sue's story and seeing her lovely home. I will be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,

    1. I'm glad, Kathy. Sue's bungalow is very sweet. Thank you.


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