Bungalow Beauty

This 1920s bungalow in Avondale received a masterful renovation that never lost sight of the home’s unique nature.

Photography by Adam Macchia

The re-imagining of a bungalow in Avondale brings home the intimacy and classic architecture that is always a part of this popular American home style. Architect Mark Pledger of Pledger Architecture and Design was charged with striking the right tone in the renovation of this bungalow.

“Our work tends to be historically sensitive and we try and think through what’s going to be compatible and also add to the character that’s there,” says Pledger, “as opposed to a lot of different new trends and tricks.”

Typically many bungalows have a surprising number of rooms and you typically have to go through rooms to get to other rooms. “So in many ways it’s very intimate living, but sometimes isn’t very practical for today’s style,” Pledger says.

“It’s okay for our architecture to be quiet. A beautiful space doesn’t have to scream new. And I think that’s why the client selected us as well. I think what they wanted was something that was humble but still captured the spirit of the bungalow,” Pledger says.

Interior designer Betsy Brown created the interiors of the renovated home, and Day Star Construction served as the contractor for the project.

Cristi Pledger of Pledger Architecture and Design loves the open feeling that the home was left with. “It’s challenging because you know, every room is interconnected. You have to sort of choose your procession of space carefully. It’s also a very efficient type of plan. There are no gratuitous hallways or giant stair halls; you don’t have to deal with anything like that. But you do have to connect space. That was done very purposefully so that everything is visually connected from the front door.”

Mark Pledger says: “I think what’s fun about bungalows is that they are very recognizable to most people. They find it charming and it feels very homey and very comfortable. And so a lot of people couldn’t imagine themselves living in a big fancy columned porch house, but bungalows are very approachable.”

Among the most interesting aspects of the renovation was the creation of a master suite from several existing rooms leaving the homeowner with a master bath, dressing room and bedroom.

One of the windows in the space was removed and the other shifted into proper position on the wall to accommodate the need for more storage space. New millwork was installed that harkened back to what would be expected in a classic bungalow. “We really tried to maintain the character in terms of the millwork,” says Pledger.

Working with Betsy Brown, Pledger said, allowed them to marry her established kind of cool aesthetic with the quietness and humbleness of this architecture. The design intersected with the architecture nicely.

In terms of the construction, Day Star came in and made the aesthetics and vision come to life with a careful attention to detail.

“One thing we’ve found with renovations, especially when you’re limited in your ability to go outside of the existing footprint, is that it’s a lot like doing surgery because every inch matters,”  Pledger says.


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