What 5 Changes Would You Make to This Sears Bungalow?

by hookedonhouses on July 8, 2009

Check out this bungalow that was bought from a Sears catalog in 1933. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and is on the market in Claverack, New York, for $199,000. I thought it had so much potential that I knew it would be perfect for one of our “5 Changes” challenges. If you’ve never played before, it’s simple. Take a look at the photos of this house and then tell us: What 5 changes would you make?

In the right hands, I think this house could really be a charmer. Do you agree? What 5 changes do you think would make the biggest difference?

Thanks goes to Hooked on Houses reader “Just Off the Taconic” for giving me the link to the listing.

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Kristin July 8, 2009 at 7:44 am

OMG this is so cute. I want to do the whole thing. I’ll have to restrained myself to 5.
1. Lose the two tone paint on the outside. Paint the house a nice neutral with a dark trim around the windows and get a new front door.
2. Rip out the carpet and get some nice reclaimed wood floors.
3. Add some crown
4. Get rid of the colonial mantle and replace with a vintage Craftmens design.
5. The kitchen is a gut job. Wow, shake shinlges in a kitchen? The layout is a functional “L” and it looks like an island could be added to the middle.
FYI …I learned in my Green Design Summit last week that this style house has one of the most timeless appealing designs, so by virture, is technically “Green”. People don’t tear them down they update them. Great post!
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Repurpose =-.

cynthia July 8, 2009 at 7:48 am

1) a new front door
2) paint the cabinets (with the addition of new hardware) and the brick? if that’s real brick?? (possibly #1)
3) new appliances
4) new flooring, most likely throughout the house
5) add lighting…there is NO lighting in the dining room!

oh, and i’m sure there would be more!
.-= cynthia´s last blog ..the 5th of july, cabin hunting and chiggers =-.

Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS July 8, 2009 at 7:50 am

I love, love, love kit houses. Here are my five changes to this one:
1) New front door with a pop of color
2) New hardwood floors throughout the home
3) New kitchen – everything!!!
4) New landscape
5) New flower pots to add more color to stair walls and added window boxes!

Cindy July 8, 2009 at 7:54 am

1. Change the storm door.
2. Redo the kitchen.
3. Replace the floors with wooden floors.
4. Add a little bit of one more color to the house.
5. Get few pots of flowers.

Its a beautiful house.

grace garland July 8, 2009 at 8:00 am

1) i’m with jamie and i would change the front door to one with more of an arts and crafts style door
2) add some arts and crafts style architectural details to the outside
3) paint the outside all one color
4 change out the columns off of the front room and put in more of an arts and crafts style column similar to the outside.
5) new kitchen, although i love the fact that there is brick in the kitchen. i would probably keep it and paint it.

Jane July 8, 2009 at 8:00 am

1. Get rid of the green paint on the outside.
2. Swap the cheap screen door for something more period appropriate.
3. Get rid of the z-brick and shingles (the shingles for certain), if they can’t afford to replace the brick, paint it white or cream at the very least.
4. Paint the cupboards white or cream and replace the hardware.
5. Replace the carpet. (hopefully there’s wood floors underneath that can be refinished)
.-= Jane´s last blog ..EVERYTHING’S ROSEY! =-.

Rob July 8, 2009 at 8:01 am

Wow! Great idea. Love the house.
1) New screen door.
2) New front door.
3) Find a salvaged mantle
4) Front windows need mullions to match the side windows.
5) The kitchen… gut it including the brick veneer.

Shaybert July 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

This is fun. I just got back from my daughter’s Craftsman home in Upstate NY (celebrates it’s centennial birthday next year) and since son-in-law goes active air force when he finishes his med residency next year, we are very much in the “what few things can we do” mode before they have to sell.

For this lady:
1. Paint the exterior following original trends
2. Peel away that nasty carpeting and find those original hardwoods where possible
3. Lose the Z brick and somehow accentuate the original woodwork, maybe in white? Paint the interior a neutral color throughout.
4. strip and paint the kitchen cupboards and paint the kitchen a cheery color after losing the z brick and shingles and can we do anything about the range?? sigh
5. Some colorful foundation plantings for some curb appeal

Guess I need to blog about her house before they move out, huh?

Blessings, Shay

Your work is never done in one of those aging ladies.
.-= Shaybert´s last blog ..Mom =-.

LeAnn July 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

Hi Julia:

1. Get rid of the screen door.
2. Get rid of any carpet and have hardwood.
3. Kitchen, depending on the money, for a quick fix, paint cabinets and brick, lay new floor and get rid of the wallpaper border. If money is no problem, GUT!
4. The outside should be all the same color, yellow with a black or red door maybe.
5. Take all window treatments down and use bamboo shades to bring in lots of light.

Jen R July 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

Paint cabinets. get rid of z-brick and tile. do an entire fireplace surround. add crown molding. new front door.
.-= Jen R´s last blog ..Top this one… =-.

Brittany July 8, 2009 at 9:25 am

1- Repaint inside and out.
2- Redo entire kitchen.
3- Replace all floors with hardwood.
4- Add and improve lighting throughout.
5- Landscape.

Shannon July 8, 2009 at 9:27 am

You know how much I love bungalows!!
#1 – New front door, all craftsman.
#2 – Bye Bye mini blinds, let the light in.
#3 – All new kitchen.
#4 – All new wood floors
#5 – And I have to agree to change the exterior color to a rich neutral. And paint the window trim a coffee color.
.-= Shannon´s last blog ..The Awesomeness of Boys =-.

SoBella Creations July 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

Update Kitchen
Paint Exterior
New Flooring
Update window treatments
.-= SoBella Creations´s last blog ..Free Shipping =-.

Jill July 8, 2009 at 9:47 am

What a charmer! Loads of potential:

1. Rework the front porch – get rid of the siding on the front and replace with railings/spindles.
2. Paint the outside a solid color – like yellow, or green/gray with crisp white trim.
3. Pull up any and all carpeting and replace with hardwood floors.
4. Gut the kitchen, period. Add a classic craftsman white kitchen, complete with schoolhouse lighting, honned granite, a farmhouse sink and subway tile backsplash.
5. Update all bathrooms – I am just taking a wild guess this may need to be done!
.-= Jill´s last blog ..~~~~~Admiration~~~~~ =-.

rue July 8, 2009 at 9:47 am

I can only think of 4…
crown molding
reclaim the wood floor
put in a more original fireplace surround
gut the kitchen

I wouldn’t touch anything else, I don’t think, because I love the outside, including the screen door :)

.-= rue´s last blog ..I’m still here… =-.

Nell July 8, 2009 at 10:05 am

1.) Trade the white outside paint for a neutral brown. ( I like the green)
2.) New front door
3.) Pull up all carpet and repair wood flooring.
4.) Gut and re-do kitchen
5.) Lotsa landscaping

Love the bungalows…

Blakely July 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

1. definitly paint the outside of the house
2. paint the inside
3. new flooring
4 & 5 will be used up in redoing the kitchen.
.-= Blakely´s last blog ..Summer Reading =-.

Krys July 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

What would I change?
1. The owners – I want that house!!! (Okay I’ll give you 5 more since that’s really not one!)
2. I’d leave the outside two-toned; I’m not a professional so I don’t know if the green and white are technically Craftsman colors, but I’d do some research into authentic colors… This would be the last thing I’d do, though; I could live with the green and white for a while while I work on the inside. I’d probably work on the shrubbery first thing, though!
3. I’d redo the kitchen first – remove the brick and the shingles, lighten up the cabinets (if I could I’d replace them), I’d replace the appliances and maybe add an island…
4. I’d add to the character of the house by adding some molding: crown molding, some more trimwork to carry it from the dining room into the rest of the house.
5. OH, I’d remove all the carpeting – I’m a big fan of hardwood floors – if they’re not in good condition under the current rugs, I’d spend some money on the floors for sure!
6. Some cosmetic changes: remove the blinds and change the window treatments, change that front door to something with some nice leaded glass, and if there’s a place to add some stained glass/leaded glass windows, I would…
.-= Krys´s last blog ..Michael Jackson Memorial =-.

Jocelyn Stott July 8, 2009 at 10:46 am

I LOVE this house and I think it would be perfect! Here are my changes:

1) Paint the outside of the house
2) Update the kitchen. I mean – a serious update.
3) Replace the fireplace in the dining room with an updated version and paint that brick white.
4) Pull out the nasty juniper bushes in the front yard and plant some flowers
5) New paint on the walls throughout the home

I wish I could really do all this for real. Yay for imagination!
.-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..Happiness =-.

lylah ledner July 8, 2009 at 11:03 am

Wow….I’m just thrilled reading all the other comments. Great ones…seems as if there are some like minded creative ones here.
.-= lylah ledner´s last blog ..Notebook on French Fig and Cherry Torte =-.

Carrie July 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

1. New craftsman style front door instead of that ugly metal door.
2. Remove all the faux brick/wallpaper throughout the house.
3. Paint the cupboards white and replace the pulls.
4. Replace the carpet with wood flooring.
5. Paint the entire house.
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..Happy Canada Day!! =-.

Caroline July 8, 2009 at 11:09 am

I would…
1. Give the exterior a new paint job with one unified color with off-white trim.
2. Paint the kitchen cabinets a light color.
3. Update the kitchen appliances.
4. Add a new subway tile back splash in the kitchen.
5. Get rid of the shingles in the kitchen.
.-= Caroline´s last blog ..Today’s Sales =-.

Robyns Online World July 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

I am not gifted in decorating and design – but I can say that kitchen has got to go – ACK!
.-= Robyns Online World´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

Struggler July 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

I’m tempted to say kitchen, kitchen, kitchen, kitchen and – oh – kitchen.
But on second thoughts,
1 – did I mention kitchen?
2 – hardwood floors instead of carpets
3 – get rid of the brick on the fireplace wall
4 – lights in the dining room
5 – window treatments in the dining room
Overall, I think it’s pretty charming already. I could be happy there I think!
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Unstylish fruit and veg bite back =-.

Bonnie July 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

Only 5? Boo hoo! I love the house.
1. Paint bottom white siding a darker olive green to contrast with the top green siding. Leave the trim white.
2. Add landscaping, especially pretty colorful flowers.
3. In the kitchen, rip out that horrible wallpaper trim andbacksplash and replace it with a white subway tile.
4. Replace kitchen window with a garden window. Lose the valance. Add herb plants.
5. In the dining room, paint the brick around the fireplace white and add a pretty chandelier.

Those 5 changes would make a world of difference. I’d do more, though!
.-= Bonnie´s last blog ..More Flowers =-.

E July 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm

1/2. get a new screen door. Why do they even SELL that model?
the next 4-1/2. remodel the kitchen.

Pat July 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

1. Tale the fireplace back to a look in keeping with the period of the house.
2. Complete kitchen redo.
3. Wood floors, throughout.
4. Open up the windows, with bamboo or some other treatment. No blinds
5. Paint the exterior two different colors. Research original colors.

This is THE house, we’re looking for, in the lake area! We both love this style house.
.-= Pat´s last blog ..~Something Simple~ =-.

Pat July 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Make that take!! Oy!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..~Something Simple~ =-.

sheri howard July 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm

1. Move it to someplace warm…like the beach!
2. Wood floor throughout.
3. Gut the kitchen, add painted pieces that look like furniture…weathered cream colors and new appliances of course…
4. Change the brick fireplace surround to a rock…not river rock.
5. New craftman style front door, and repaint the entire outside a soft buttercut yellow, and put shingled siding in the gables.
.-= sheri howard´s last blog ..NEW MODELS =-.

Kathi July 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

This is MY kinda house! I would love to move in and bring it back to its original character and period style! I would not, however, want to live in New York State!
Too cold for me!
1. Repaint the exterior. Craftsman colors.
2. Rip out all carpeting – hardwoods are surely beneath it!
3. Replace “new” windows with three over one like the ones on the side.
4. Replace front door with a wooden Craftsman door and hardware. Lose the storm door.
5. Don’t even get me started in that kitchen! That would add about 50 more things I would change!

Joan@anythinggoeshere July 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm

1.upgrade landscaping, modernizing it
2.paint exterior all one color, probably beige or tan
3.paint fireplace bricks white
4.paint everything in kitchen white
5 wood floors, remove carpeting
.-= Joan@anythinggoeshere´s last blog ..Blue and White and Was Hot! =-.

Alyssa July 8, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Oh where to begin, where to begin…
1) change exterior paint color choices…this is a craftsman style home and the exterior should reflect that (either more vibrant or dark with neutral trim)
2) take out that CARPET and replace with dark hardwood floors.
3) I’m not digging the brick in the DR or kitchen…take it out and replace with something else (maybe wood)
4) ummmmm…the kitchen is hideous (sorry previous owners). gut it and replace with new cabinets, counters and appliances
5) Interior paint (especially with the columns in the LR) s/b switched out to a creamy color on the columns and a deeper hue on the walls
.-= Alyssa´s last blog ..A Little Bit Of Heaven =-.

Kris July 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm

1st of all I love this style home – so much character! Without sitting and staring at the photo’s over and over here are my top 5 things that I would immediately do.

1) Take off the storm door and replace inside door with a beautiful dark wood door with 3 glazed windows.

2) Paint the house – just about anything would be an improvement.

3) New kitchen. Period.

4) If there are hardwood floors hiding under that carpet – bring it out and let it shine.

5) The “brick” looks fake – if it’s not, paint, paint, paint.

I’d live there in a second.

Angela July 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm

1) Remove the carpet…there’s bound to be hardwoods beneath it.
2) Is that real brick? Paint it – around the fireplace and in the kitchen
3) Paint the cabinets or get new (if you can afford them)
4) Add moldings
5) Paint the outside a solid and add nice shutters.

It’s a very nice house!!!
~angela @ peonypatch
.-= Angela´s last blog ..Rewind Wednesday: Bridezilla?? =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I see a LOT of potential with this house. :)

1. Ditch the two-tone exterior paint
2. Give the walls inside a splash of color
3. Lose the wallpaper (?) border in the kitchen
4. Paint the brick and cabinets…needs to be lightened up!
5. New flooring
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Off the Deep End =-.

a little twig birdhouse July 8, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Cute house with great potential! But . . .
1) The kitchen, all of it, it’s dark and dated, needs to be competely gutted.
2) Exterior painting.
3) Hardwood flooring throughout would be a nice upgrade.
4) Change the front door / screen door thing.
5) Crown molding would look nice.
6) Landscape
Oops, that’s 6. :)

TheOldPostRoad July 9, 2009 at 9:26 am

I have the same ‘brick’ in my kitchen – those are probably slices of real brick stuck on the wall – not the full brick. (I think it was an early 70′s fad) We painted them a creamy white and the cabinets a creamy white – much better!
.-= TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..Tomatoes and Recipes =-.

Paula July 9, 2009 at 11:07 am

1) Pull up the carpet and restore the wood floors that are likely underneath.
2) Paint the walls.
Pratt and Lambert Gloaming is a good starting place for the walls. Whitecap Gray for the trim and paint the ceiling Dawn Mist. Since my screen colors are probably not true, may need some adjustment.
3) Gut the kitchen, removing the brick veneer and improve the lighting.
Remove the shingling on the soffit, even though it was probably original, not really essential to the historical accuracy of the house. If possible remove the entire soffit, provided no duct work behind the walls.
4) Paint the exterior.
The upper shingles and the upper and lower porch shingles were likely left natural, originally. The original look can be recreated with subtle shades of a brownish taupe. Hoping those are the original shingles, not the 1940′s cover up fakes. In any case, I’d start Benjamin Moore’s Fairview taupe for the clapboard and shingle areas and Monterrey White for the trim. I’d consider Hampshire grey for shingles. Monitor is not calibrated, so not sure if these would work in real life.
5) That fireplace looks fake, since I don’t see a chimney, may be a cover for a gas stove.
If it is totally fake, remove it completely. If there is a gas stove/fireplace, then create a surround with ceramic art tiles, say Ann Sacks batchelder, and an architectural salvage or a reproduction craftsman mantle.
6) Remove the junipers! I hate Junipers! Plant a scent and herb garden next to the porch.
.-= Paula´s last blog ..My Favorite Paint color =-.

Karen July 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

Not sure why everybody has to rip out a perfectly fine kitchen. And really – there’s not much that this house needs.

OK – well I would paint cupboards and brick all a cream color of some kind.
Add a huge colorful rug in the center of the kitchen and add a island of some kind – I’ve used tables, vintage dressers (one of my favs) even a Sears rolling tool chest. Add a light fixture above the island OR potrack with table lamp on island.

Eventually the front door would have to go, and I agree with another reader – the house should be all one color. I’d add plantings and an arbor on the side of the house.

And I ‘m just curious – how hard is it REALLY to paint a bunch of cupboards?

Jenny July 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

That is a cute house! I would take out the brick, replace the carpet with hardwood, gut the whole kitchen and perk up the outside a bit.
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Picnic Table Talk: Vacations =-.

Cristin July 9, 2009 at 6:59 pm

only 5! OK, here goes -
1. gut kitchen
2. paint inside & out (paint or replace entry door)
3. new hardwood floors
4. new window treatments
5. landscape


ps- didn’t get to see the bath, but based on the kitchen, that would need to be gutted too!
.-= Cristin´s last blog ..Home Office by Amanda Nisbet =-.

Lucy July 10, 2009 at 7:10 am

1. Change the siding to one color, paint front door or replace w/craftsman look. If storm door is necessary, replace it with a full glass one. Replace porch light w/attractive craftsman one.
3. Open up the porch enclosure — keeping with craftsman era. Eliminate the walls around the stairway. Add a porch swing. Flagstone the steps and walkway and lose the walkway that juts out towards the street. Widen and curve the remaining walkway towards drive.
4. Inside – wood floors everywhere , remove fake brick, add chandelier in dining room. Change round inside columns to craftsman look.
5. Kitchen – have to gut it. Plus relocate Fridge or stove to make a triangle setup if possible — too many things in one corner and not enough counter space around stove. Use 42″ cabinets and add a farmhouse sink.

Cute house — lots of potential.
.-= Lucy´s last blog ..Parade of Quilts =-.

casual friday every day July 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

Trim up the bushes
Paint the bottom brick on the side to match the rest of the house
Get hardwood floors

What a darling little house that is! And I’m floored that Sears used to sell houses.


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions July 10, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Just 5, huh?

1. I would repaint the exterior (not sure of color, but I don’t like the way it’s divided up in that pic);
2. I might add another column on the other side of the steps to match the two on each end;
3. I would absolutely change the front door;
4. That furniture doesn’t look like it’s doing much for that dining room; I might rearrange things to show off that window area;
5. The kitchen – does gutting it count as 1 thing?

Charlene July 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

This is the style of house I love! There are many things needed doing, and even though they don’t show, I can only imagine what the bathrooms look like based on the kitchen! My list is all cosmetic, I’m “cheating” and assuming the structural things like new roof, electrical & plumbing, and even new windows are done deals :). I’m also going assume I have to be like I am in “real life” – frugal, so with those guidelines the first five for me would be:
1) Remove all wallcoverings in the house…including that atrocious faux brick! Shudder! And repaint with “gracious” and warm colors.
2) Replace the front door with a custom arts & crafts style door & storm door (“vanishing” kind) It looks like they have some dated aluminum job on there now that is not very attractive or efficient.
3) Reclaim the hardwood floors that might be hiding under the carpet or if not, install new ones!
4) Replace the kitchen appliances, and since the cabinets look to be still in usable shape – except for the color, I’d just paint them and change out the hardware for now. Someday when $ was not an issue I’d probably gut it and put in dark granite counters with cream cabinetry, tile backsplash, some cabinets with glass fronts and simple details, new farm house style white sink, and definitely an island in a different color cabinet (maybe dark red/barn red) with a warm wood surface/counter.
5) Can’t really see the fireplace – since I see no chimney outside I’m assuming that one in the dining area is not original to the house, and is one of those no vent ones bought at a store. I’d probably relocate it to the living room – or better yet, if I could afford the cost, have a gas fireplace built in the living room, with a more arts & crafts style mantel with tile surround.
I’d love to see the other rooms of the house to continue the fantasy :)
.-= Charlene´s last blog ..The Longest Post. Ever. Pictures of Summer Fun! =-.

Holly Hotchkiss August 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

Here’s the problems with some of the recommended fixes:

1. Everyone hates the door. Problem is, most Sears Kit Houses have a door size that isn’t standard anymore. To replace the door and/or screen door, they’re going to have to order a Custom sized door and storm door, which are going to cost over $1,000 EACH. I know, because I live in a similar Sears house and have an ugly storm door because the ugly door still comes standard in the right size. In a house this old, the door frame is probably not perfectly flat anymore – it’s probably twisted from the house settling unevenly, and therefore you’ll need a storm door over that custom door to keep the snow out (literally). Also, the more expensive (and nice looking) the new storm door is, the less flexible it will be – the poorer a seal you’ll get around the no-longer-flat door frame. I’ll post pictures of my house & ugly storm door in a couple of months when I get around to after the fix it projects I’m working on now.

2. Originally the exterior trim would have been a dark neutral. However, because the house has all original uninsulated single-pane glass windows, and they live in upstate NY, storm windows are a must. Storm windows are cheapest to get in a white or aluminum trim. You can get them in a darker trim, but it will cost many multiples of the white version! We’re talking $10,000 for custom storm window trim color! And of course, the extra expense of custom sizes. I know because my house has 28 windows, so to make it affordable, we had to go with the white trim, even though it’s viusally harsh and totally unhistoric. Where some of you ladies see “new windows without mullions”, I think you’re just not seeing through the glare on the storm windows. This may make you think about insulated replacement windows – but not only will the replacements not last a lifetime like the original windows when combinded with storm windows, but original windows are endlessly repairable – the ultimate in ecology – and replacement windows do not have all repairable parts.

Historically the house would probably have had 1 neutral mod-tone color on the clapboard, another neutral mid-tone color on the siding (or siding left natural), and dark neutral trim. Trim catches dirt, so a dark color would be choosen to hide the dirt. Browns and greens were favored.

3. Evergreen shrubbery around the house foundation helps keep the house warmer in winter by slowing down the wind; and cooler in summer. Yes, it’s ugly; but at least it’s not overgrown. Maybe it could grow in a little and just be trimmed more artfully. But a little more garden would be nice, too.

4. All the brick you see is veneer. It should be ripped out. Most Sears kit houses were not luxurious enough to have fireplaces, but if this one is real, it should get an arts-n-crafts mantel, perhaps with an inner surround of arts-n-crafts tile. It might be a real fireplace, because I notice the house has interior doorway columns. The cheaper Sears houses didn’t have columns, they just had ‘cased’ doorways (like my current house and the one I grew up in). Only upscale Sears houses have interior columns.

5. Put that kitchen in a dumpster, soffits and all. Start over. At least the layout is efficient without being cramped. I would add an island, but there might be a wall in the way which would have to be removed to really add an island. The photo is probably taken from the doorway into a dinning room. Most Sears kit houses really didn’t have much sq. footage. The wall that’s undoubtedly in the way is undoubtedly a supporting wall. Call in the structural engineer! (And tell me if you can get one to show up to work on a $199,000 house.) There goes another $20,000 just to have the kitchen expanded to add an island. Before you buy any cabinets, appliances or flooring for the kitchen! For the kitchen, I recommend white cottagey-cabinets from Ikea, and Ikea’s butcher block countertop, which is a steal. I love granite, but trust me, there won’t be any money left for granite. Put in the butcher block now, and maybe in a decade you can afford to put in the granite, or whatever is in fashion in 2020.

6. There might not be hardwood under those rugs. My house had pine sub-floors. Hardwood or a quality laminate (to keep the price down – after all that expensive exterior work) would be a good addition.

7. Yeah, the bathrooms undoubtedly need work too. We’ll leave that for the next owners . . .

Living in a 1,200 sq ft 4 bedroom Sears ‘American 4-Square’ in Jersey. Specific Sears name for my house: The Avalon. I also grew up in a Sears Cape Cod house. Can’t tell you the name right now, I don’t have my Sears house book nearby. When I get ahold of my book, I might be able to look up this house above and post the floor plans here.

Nathan September 7, 2009 at 11:46 pm

1. Landscaping. The shrubs need to go. Not sure what the walkway is like, but it’s probably not all that great.
2. I guess the only thing I’d change in the living room is maybe to have hardwood (or laminate, whatever really, lol) floors put in. Different furniture, window treatments may look better as well.
3. Different dining table. Paint or cover the bricks in the dining room with something more light, airy and neutral.
4. A complete remodel of the kitchen is needed. I like the kitchen window but that is literally the only thing I like in this room. I guess the fridge doesn’t look horrible either, but it’s not nice.
5. The white and green exterior paint has to go.

Lisa February 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

Holy crow, this house is adorable. I LOVE the idea of owning a Sears home because it’s such an incredible part of history.

This house is screaming for a Craftsman style makeover… I have way more than 5 changes but I’ll separate them into 5 categories so I’m still playing by the rules. :)

1. Curb Appeal: I’d paint it a nice rich neutral color, with cream trim. I’d face the front porch with natural stone and exaggerate the tapered pillars on the porch. I’d get rid of the storm door and put in a nice Craftsman style front door (http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1139/3173244543_859a841fae.jpg). Landscaping would be neat to reflect the lines of the home.

2. Living/Dining room: That double parlor is absolutely AMAZING but it doesn’t quite reflect the feeling of the exterior. I think again, honoring the Craftsman style of the house would be appropriate, with beautiful Mission style finishings, dark wood trims, stained glass accents, and major built-in storage areas.

3. Decoration: I would keep everything earthy but warm, using terra-cottas, sages, ochres, and creams on the walls. Pops of brighter hues could be used in accents for furniture. Lighting fixtures would reflect the times, using some stained glass flush mounts, and Tiffany style lamps.

4. Kitchen: I think that brick would be sort of awesome had it been real, but it looks super fake so I’d get rid of that. I think a nice brown tile with white grout would be a nice backsplash. I’d tile the countertops too, since it’s more historically accurate than today’s Granite fad. I’d choose a cream tile for the counters so that the kitchen isn’t too dark. Nice shaker-style maple cabinets with oil rubbed bronze hardware would complete the finishing touches… new appliances too, please!

5. There weren’t any bathroom photos, but no matter what condition the bathroom was in, I’d put this one in:
Holy gorgeous!

Laura Wilson February 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm

This is my favorite style house! In general I would embrace the Arts & Crafts style from outside to inside!

1. Paint the outside a more traditional style and replace the aluminum storm door (yuck).
2. Replace all the carpet with hardwood flooring (real wood not laminate).
3. Add crown molding around the ceilings.
4. The kitchen is atrocious and needs to be completely gotten rid of and replaced with warm neutral colored granite counter tops, tile floors, Arts&Crafts style glass front mid to ceiling cabinets, and new appliances–no stainless steel!
5. Paint the garage to match the house.
4. Paint the garage to match the house.
.-= Laura Wilson´s last blog ..How Would You Update This Center-Hall Colonial? =-.

Catherine August 10, 2010 at 8:09 am

OMG, paint those cupboards white!
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..Coffee Flavored Coffee =-.

Kellie @ Dime Store Decor September 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I’m loving this! What a genius idea!! I have always enjoyed looking at houses online and figuring out what I’d do to them. I also am obsessed with House Hunters just so I can see how they’ve changed it since moving in. Glad to know I’m not alone in this obsession :)
.-= Kellie @ Dime Store Decor´s last blog ..Cheap and Easy Fall Ideas! =-.

Cindy Knispel March 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

Look at the wallpaper border in the kitchen. I think I have seen that… maybe in the twin bed room (you know where ) :) ha ha could it be?!

Char May 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

1. update landscape, add flowers, wood front door, new outdoor light and add seating to the porch.
2. get rid of all mini-blinds and colonial columns, fireplace and trim, add in craftsmen detail and hardwood flooring throughout with a small tiled area to set apart the entrance.
3. add dining room lighting, furnish with mission style details.
4. gut kitchen
5. add taupe paint to the outside of the house.

Ann May 29, 2011 at 1:04 am

Leave the outside alone.

New Kitchen completely.

Hardwood through out.

Crown loulding

Paint interior including brick. Possibly a soft gray and black contrast. in dining room.
neutral color in living roon with contrasting trim.

Pull out the ugly shrubs and put in lower flowering shrubs.

New pavers and driveway.

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