Living Large In Small Spaces - Frugal Little Bungalow

Twenty-ninth post in the series 
"Living Large in Small Spaces"

Welcome Cottage Friends.  Thank you for joining me for another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.

My special guest today is Debra from the blog Frugal Little Bungalow. About her blog Deb writes, "This blog is dedicated to small space living and small budget spending, basic simple pleasures in life, with a bit of coping in general thrown in there as well."

This is a woman after my own heart. I'm very happy to have her share her charming home and gorgeous gardens of 15 years, and large life here at A Joyful Cottage. Enjoy!

I have enjoyed Nancy's "Living Large in Small Spaces" series, so it is quite the honor to be able to participate in it! : ) Rather than re-shoot pictures of my house I have chosen a variety of existing ones. The place is too small to move furniture around, so nothing much changes here aside from changing out curtains or pillow covers or decorations. So you might see a few seasons in this post. :)

My neighborhood in Southwestern Pa. is comprised of many similar homes built in the early 1900's. Many of them were kit homes, as I imagine that mine was. According to real estate records, my home was originally built in 1917. A few blocks down from here, there is what is known to be a Sears Kit Home. I do not believe my home to be a Sears home though it is very close to one of their models. When I moved here there was no landscaping whatsoever. Each year I added more and more as time and money permitted.

My bungalow is a small one : 1110 square feet. ( First floor 648 / second floor 462 =1100 net living area ) The unfinished basement is 648 square feet. It is quite sufficient for me, and has often been full over the years with family picnics, dinners, holiday celebrations and grandchildren over for the day or evening. The hardest thing for me to get used to was the galley kitchen.

It measures about 8 x 12.


Basic prep and cooking can be accomplished in the small kitchen area. For anything more extensive such as rolling out dough or other activities, the dining room table is used. There is a small cupboard off to the right when you head down to the basement, and items such as the blender, crockpot, and cleaning tools are stored there. There's more storage space in the basement, of course, and then for every day things such as cereal, pasta, canned goods, garbage bags, etc. a tall cabinet in the dining room is used. I bought a very cheap one in the beginning and replaced it with this one later on.

The dining room is the heart of this home.


Food prep, paperwork, crafting, sewing, eating...everything is done in the dining room. In the above photo you can see a dry sink over to the right. Various baskets are stacked there holding sewing supplies. A view of the other side :


The house has a boiler and steam heat radiators. No whole house air. So while a serious home decor enthusiast might shudder at the paddle fans in each room and prefer a 'chandy' or something else, these fans are a lifesaver in the hot summer when the window air conditioners are straining to cool the house. Because the upstairs does not have an attic, the rooms up there are stifling on hot summer days. Looking in to the living room from the dining room:

The living room is long and narrow and hard to photograph. It's divided into two sections...what you see above is one area with a piano off to the right and a seating area to the left. There is no foyer; you enter directly into the living room.

Upstairs is a very small bathroom, a small bedroom that is used as a toy room, with some books and fabrics stored there as well, and my bedroom. Two long narrow closets with deeply sloped ceilings run the length of that bedroom.


There are two porches. One is in the back, accessed from the kitchen, and it's used for a bit of storage, depending on the season. Underneath that porch is a little door, and the lawnmower and rakes and shovels etc. are stored there. The front porch is another room in three seasons of the year. Unless it's unbearably hot, in the spring, summer and fall, I'll just pass right through the living room and take a book or a quilting project out to the front porch.

The grandchildren drag their blocks and toy cars and dolls out here in the warm months...they don't want to be inside either.

I will usually plant some vines in early summer such as morning glory or thunbergia or hyacinth bean vine and by late summer and into fall the porch has a nice enclosed feel to it. And the squirrels are frequent visitors as well.

The back porch :

Some views of the back and sides of the house later in the summer last year.

It might be small but every inch of space is utilized here :) 

Deb, thank you for sharing your cozy bungalow and beautiful gardens with us. I love your classic home, and the sense of community you have in your neighborhood.

Visit Deb's blog for more home decor, garden, sewing/quilting and simple living inspiration:
Frugal Little Bungalow

Deb sells her vintage and handmade goods in her Etsy shop:
Frugal Little Bungalow

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, 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. Such a cute place! Happy Saturday Nancy!

  2. Very nice and beautiful plantings and gardens . . .

  3. What a sweet, little home! I love the architectural details and the way Deb has used every space. I'd love to have a front porch like that. Thank you for sharing her home today. I look forward to every small space you share!

  4. I do love older homes. They have so much more character than any newer one. I grew up in a California bungalow and at a young age learn to appreciate all its beautiful details. Debra's home is beautiful and you can tell how much time, effort and love she has put in her pretty garden. A happy weekend to everyone.


  5. Good Morning Nancy,
    Deb's little place is so cozy and charming. Loooove that porch. Thanks for sharing her home today.

  6. I have been a follower of Debra's for a long time. I can assure you that not only is her space lovingly arranged for optimal performance, but it is also the heart of her lively - and many-grandchildren-ed family! In the summer, when it just blooms with delight, I wonder if the colors can be seen from space - like the Great Wall of China!
    I loved reading this! Great guest post!

  7. I love all the original details and beautiful grounds of Debra's home. I love how she has a three season porch and she walks right past the living room; we do that too.

  8. What a delightful home full of so many things I love! That kitchen is so cozy, and oh my that front porch is just enchanting! I've always loved cottages with porches just like Debs!

  9. Hello Deb, I liked seeing your living space and yard - I can picture you there crafting, cooking, and quilting!

  10. Beautiful!

    I love the gorgeous yard.

  11. Nancy as with every single small cottage post I adore your 29th in the series. Debra's house has a very comfortable and inviting feel. I get a kick out of seeing Sears homes, there are a many in upstate PA.
    I don't have a porch and so wish I did!

  12. Nancy, I just adore Deb and am so happy to see her lovely cottage featured here. I could look at her dining room and that gorgeous built-in forever...swoon! ;)

  13. I love the home and gardens of Frugal Little Bungalow. So nice to see them here!

  14. Thanks Debra and Nancy. Love visiting other small homes and Debra your place is so cute.

  15. What a beautiful home, both inside and out! I adored all the loving touches Debra has given to her little home, and especially the beautiful yard too! Another absolutely wonderful feature Nancy, enjoyed it so much!

  16. Deb's decorating and use of space makes her home warm and cozy-space is not an issue to me! And her pretty gardens...sigh!

    Thanks for her feature!

    Jane x

  17. Good morning, Nancy! How fun it is for me here this morning; just yesterday, Ruben and I took a home tour that started yesterday and goes through today in the Twin Cities...a free tour of many gorgeous cottages and mansions! We had a blast yesterday as we went from one end of St. Paul to the other side of Minneapolis, joining many tourists. We entered into some large, medium and small spaced homes, beautifully renovated and even for sale. This home here you are featuring is similar to a lovely cottage we saw in St. Paul. There's no place like home, that is for sure!

    I must go visit Deb. Have a wonderful Sunday! Anita

  18. Such a darling home Nancy. Everything was very handy. Lots of room to move around and she decorated is so cute. Love the gray paneling. Thanks for introducing me to Deb. Hugs, Jo

  19. I have followed Deb for a long time. I always look forward to her pictures of her garden and the squirrels. Debbie

  20. Your home may be small Deb but it is beautiful and it is very "homey". Your pictures make it looks so welcoming and it amazes me just how many grandchildren (and adults) you can feed in that kitchen some days! You're a wonderful grandmother. Like others I have read your blog for a long time now and it amazes me the little touches you can add to your home to change it up! Glad you got a chance to share it all here.

  21. It's a very inviting home. I love how the living-room and dining-room are separated and yet open to each other.

  22. It's nice to see Deb's house here with so many pictures altogether. It is just charming! I always admire her photograph skills--no one captures squirrels as nicely as Deb!

  23. A wonderful welcoming home. I like the way the furniture all works together with painted pieces and natural wood pieces. It gives me ideas on how to work with mine here at my house.
    The garden by the fence is so neat and pretty. Lucky grandchildren she has and I bet there are some mighty good cookies and other tasty foods coming from her kitchen.
    Happy Sunday

  24. Hi everyone...thank you for all of the kind remarks. I have long enjoyed this series and was so pleased and happy to be a part of it! :)

    I had to laugh when I saw Dewena's comment since I just posted something about a baby squirrel visitor prior to her having even seen it.

    Just to keep it real...I have one cat and two dogs and have to vac up their hair every day, and the grandkids have fingerprints all over the windows as soon as I clean them and basically, it's a very lived-in house :)

  25. Hi,
    I love it. What a Home Sweet Home.
    I just love porches. I do not have one, but dream of one on my next home. :-) I enjoy looking at others. I do love Deb's sweet porches and of course her gardens. :-))

  26. I'm a fan of Deb's blog and I have seen photos of her charming home. I love her front porch and her beautiful gardens. She has rerlly made her home warm and inviting --a happy place indeed!

  27. Wow! I am loving the porch :D Such richness of flowers and plants. Just what I like to see :)

  28. Such a cozy, welcoming home! And don't get me started on the grounds!

    Every inch of space has been utilized beautifully in Deborah's home. It's easy to see it is well loved and well taken care of.

  29. What a lovely cosy home. I like the cat.

  30. Deb this was fun to see your lovely bungalow...and almost 100 yrs old...wonderful garden too.

  31. It was fun to get to know Deb and her lovely home. I am enjoying the series, Nancy!

  32. I love Deb's bungalow! How wonderful to have two beautiful porches. Her gardens are gorgeous and I love the critters that she photographs! Thanks for sharing with SYC.


Your comments bring me joy! Thanks for stopping by.