Dorie’s Charming Bungalow in Arizona

Dorie’s 1916 bungalow in Mesa, Arizona, was kind of a mess after a series of remuddles that former owners had inflicted on it over the years. She set out to fix that, though, and boy, did she! I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the before and after photos and couldn’t wait to share them with you. Take a look at how it looks now…

One thing they did was restore the exterior to the way it looked originally by opening the wraparound porch back up (former owners enclosed part of it):

I have porch envy.

Here’s how the porch looked when part of it was closed in:

And now:

Former owners removed a staircase and a load-bearing wall (never a good idea!):

Here’s how it looks now, the way it should be:

That’s her adorable French Bulldog Wallace helping with the tour, by the way.  :)

Here’s the state the kitchen was in before, with an odd layout that had the oven in the middle of the room and a built-in wine rack across an entire wall (maybe all that wine they were drinking explains some of the remodeling choices former owners made?):

Dorie says it’s too bad there’s no Smell-o-Vision on the Internet to really make these kitchen photos come to life!

You’d never know this was the same space today, would you?

She couldn’t decide whether to go with green cabinets or white, so she opted for a mixture of both. Gorgeous.

This is an antique candy-maker’s cabinet:

The bathroom has come a long way, too, from this:

To this:

One more thing I’ve got to show you is the small room at the top of the stairs that she turned into a Craft Room. Here’s the before:

And now:

A sweet space to create in!

You can see more photos of her house on her blog Tuesdays with Dorie. Thanks to her for letting me share her beautiful bungalow with you today! :-)

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  1. Neesha says

    I’m sorry but I had to keep looking at the Before and After pictures and I cannot believe that they’re the same house at all. The kitchen is so lovely. I can just spend hours making a mess in it. Love the green and white, not something I’ve seen a lot of but definitely refreshing and cool to the eyes.

  2. says

    Wow! Didn’t know houses like this existed in Arizona! So used to seeing nothing but stucco and red tile roofs! They did a beautiful job restoring it. Especially love the kitchen with the mix of green and white cabinets. What a great idea. Heading over to see more photos…..

  3. says

    It seems like a good idea to enclose a porch, but I have always thought it was a shame. The after pictures are so pretty!! Thank you for a lovely post.

  4. Susan Cicero says

    The kitchen, stairway and porch left me breathless. But I kept clicking back and forth on the exterior shots …Call me quirky, but I liked the “before” way more! Notice no one else mentions anything about that aspect. Is there much sitting out porch time in Arizona?

    • says

      Oh yes indeed, Susan, sitting on a beautiful Arizona wrap around porch any time of year (except mid summer) is as good a reason as any to live in Arizona.

      Of course, those of us who live in Tucson get to enjoy our porches far more than those boiling up in Phoenix!

  5. Deb! says

    Now THIS is a beautiful house!

    Dorie (and whomever she may have hired for professional creativity) has fabulous taste!

    • Bridget says

      I totally agree! So far with all the houses I’ve seen here this is my favorite by far! I love it!

  6. T says

    The kitchen is pretty, but I’m worried about that green. I know from my years of using green that shades of green go in and out of fashion pretty quickly. If she wants to get new towels or new paint or a new kitchen rug 10 years from now, good luck finding something in the green family that won’t clash with those cabinets.

  7. Magda says

    Interesting that they removed two dormer windows from the second floor during the course of their renovation. I’m usually not one to want to block light from coming in. And while I mostly like the look of the completed exterior with the wrap-around porch, I think the house is crying out for some color.

    • DonnaMarie says

      Then I’d say Magda that’s it’s a good thing you don’t live there.

  8. says

    I want to live in this house! I love it.

    It must have been such a huge job to renovate. It looks like the previous owners made quite a mess of it.

  9. Farmeress says

    Lovely redo with a classic & welcoming feel! I love the way she has has used the subtle similar earthy green from the front door on through out the house. The kitchen cabinets will never stand alone. Bet she is a master at dressing with just right accessories as she has done this with her green…a wall here, curtains there, furniture, a door. We moved often with transfers when we were young and I worried as how to buy furniture bit by bit as we had to when some homes were just 6 months in duration and others averaged 3 years. All very different. Each choice made became imagined residing all in one room. This way it all worked cohesively no matter what the house configuration in the next move. This is the principle I see here with use of that gentle green. From the porch furniture, through many rooms, cabinets etc. could be in one big space and cohabitat attractively. Makes for a lovely comfortable flow for the eye and living. Well Done! Thanks for sharing this gem.

  10. says

    I LOVE this house and the kitchen is incredible! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. says

    Although I like the idea of restoring the open porch, I lament the loss of the columns, portico, balcony, dormers and planting beds along the front walk. I do like what they’ve done with the kitchen. Are those upcycled mason jar pendants? I’ll never understand why people would put a stove in the middle of a room, and even less one that isn’t built in. I suppose they didn’t fry very much.

  12. says

    OK this was wonderful – I LOVE before and afters – especially kitchens – especially Dorie’s!! lovely post
    Mary :)

  13. says

    Oh, mercy, that “Before” of the kitchen was just awful. I can’t imagine what they were thinking (or drinking). 😉 She really created a beautiful home!

  14. says

    I want to be her and I want to live there. I can’t get over the talent!

  15. Lizzy says

    There is a LOT of porch time in Arizona – no – not in mid-July, but Oct – Apr for sure. I like the kitchen, but I’m not a fan of the drapes that hang to the countertop – that just seems fussy and a mess-magnet.

    Cute house

  16. says

    I actually think I like the ‘before’ exterior better. I mean, it could still use some work, but I love the little balcony, and I’m not crazy about the brown color in the ‘after’ photo.

  17. says

    But I do like the kitchen and think everything done was done well. :) I didn’t mean to sound rude before.

  18. Kim says

    I love what Dorie did to the interior, she did such a great job. The kitchen, and staircase left me breathless. As for the outside, I like the before so much better, and I can’t stop looking at it. The porch on the after is nice though.

  19. says

    Beautiful, huh? This is the kind of post that inspires me. I love handy people!!! :-)

    Julia, please drop by if you have a minute. I’m posting my 1st giveaway and I’m so excited about it! :-)

    Have a wonderful day!


    Luciane at

  20. Marlene says

    Interiors are lovely and such an improvement but I am with others on the exterior in that I prefer the before–miss the dormers, portico, balcony, fan vent etc. and not a fan of the brown and think the upper middle windows really detract from the whole look.

  21. Julianne says

    This is a wonderful wonderful house. I think my favorites are:

    1. The window in the front room and kitchen – those little diamond shapes above the standard windows adds so much interest and beauty.
    2. The green and white kitchen with butcher block countertops.
    3. The antique candy-maker’s cabinet
    4. The curtains in the craft room – I love the pieced-together look!

    So well done – both the house and this post! Thank you!

  22. says

    First, a big thank you to Julia for posting about my home sweet home:) And thank you all for your sweet comments. I do however feel like I need to do some explaining:) We have lived in the house now for 10 months. The “after” pic you are seeing was taken 2 weeks after move in, hence the new plants,sod and no flowers. The exterior color is actually green, I blame my horrible photography skills for the mistaken brown color:( And speaking of exterior- the key word here would be RESTORATION. It was very important to us to restore the elevation to it’s original. We were lucky enough to find a picture of the house from 1920, when it was only 3 years old. In said picture there were no dormers, balcony or portico. All those were added in the early 1980’s. I hope this little bit of explanation helps:)

    • hookedonhouses says

      Thanks, Dorie! I’m totally in love with your house and am amazed by the transformation. So glad you let me share it today! :-)

  23. Tracey says

    Thanks for the explanation, but I don’t think I could have gotten rid of extra windows and a balcony, no matter what it looked like before. I do love the porch though!

  24. cbean says

    Perfect. Lovely. How could anyone close in that porch???

    Everything a home should be: warm, welcoming, personal and useable. (:

  25. Lauren says

    heeeeeey!!! thats my neck of the woods!! i have definitely peeked in the windows of this house as it was being renovated! i’m soooo glad to be able to see the inside better!!! i LOVE it!!

  26. Jackie W. - Kanasas says

    Wants one of those apron/farm sinks ….

  27. Dawn says

    The redo is wonderful!

    It’s amazing what a difference what good taste and some money can make!

  28. Deb in Oz says

    Lovely home! I love what they’ve done to the exterior. Not keen on the green in the kitchen though or the curtains. I prefer venetians on windows.

  29. Destiny says

    Amazing! A real house (liveable!) by, and for, a real person. There isn’t anything that I don’t love. Great job, Dorie. Thanks for inviting us in…

  30. says

    This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing these wonderful pics with us. An inspiration to us all.

    Susan and Bentley

  31. Wendy says

    What a fabulous restoration, with beautiful interior choices. That is my dream kitchen. Love, love, love the green and white. I was puzzled by the curtains too, that was one of the first things I noticed. They seem like real drapes. Maybe there is a very public view that requires privacy sometimes? But the porch: I can’t decide if I love the porch or the kitchen more. Porch. No, kitchen. No, porch. Definitely the kitchen.

    The old kitchen plan was weird enough, with the stove in the middle of the room. But think about all that wine stored on an outside wall in the Arizona heat…and then put the stove right in front of it? Don’t invite me over for a drink, please!

  32. says

    I am a follower of Dorie’s blog and a Mesa girl myself. This house was built for my great-great aunt! I love the way Dorie and her husband removed the hideous portico and balcony and gave the home it’s beautiful bungalow face back. I don’t understand the attachment to the ugly columns that some of the commentors have! Dorie has done a lovely job and I, for one, am grateful.

    Porch sitting is a lovely thing to have in Mesa from September through May!

  33. E. George says

    Hi Julia you think you have a problem mine is worse I have porch envy, kitchen envy, bathroom envy and all of the above. Thank you for sharing with us. I’ve been watching a show over here called The Block where 4 couples got these old smelly horrible houses and 8 weeks to revovate so far no envy happy to report. Regards Esther from Sydney.

  34. Amelie says

    I have to say that I prefer the exterior from the before. If the had just painted it, changed out the railings and molding it would have looked better than it does now in my opinion. The porch extension is great but removing the overhead piece in the front loses a lot of specialness.

  35. says

    What a wonderful house…I love every single thing about it and would move in in a heartbeat!

  36. says

    It warms my heart when people look past the “before” state and create an “after” that is period appropriate and as charming as this. My husband and I built our own 1920s-style Craftsman bungalow because there weren’t any in the area we wanted to live. But in the future, we hope to remodel an old house like Dorie did.

  37. pamgalloway says

    Julia, thanks for featuring this scrumptious re-birth! And Dorie….Bravo! Your home is charming and lovely. It has a beautiful soul.

  38. Brehm Trey says

    “maybe all that wine they were drinking explains some of the remodeling choices former owners made?”

    hahahaha i LOVE that!

  39. Decor Girl says

    Wow, what a fabulous remodel. Great before and after pics. Opening the porch back up really helped the exterior. I love the kitchen! This is a great example of why one doesn’t need to be afraid of what first might appear as ugly. These people did a fantastic job.

    Good find, thx for sharing!

  40. Sandy says

    It is so rare to see this kind of home in the Phoenix area that isn’t in a blighted neighborhood or just too expensive to think about! ! I have seen the outside of this house before and I am so glad I got to see inside it! This neighborhood is such a joy to look at! Thank you for sharing these photos!

  41. Nathan says

    I like the new porch but I prefer the dormers and balcony on the “before” version.

  42. Becky says

    Could so move into this house and be perfectly content! Thanks for posting!

  43. Sarah says

    I really like the interior, especially the kitchen layout and that gorgeous bathroom. The decorating is a bit fussy for my taste though – for example the kitchen would be better without the curtains. I also would have liked the portico at the front of the house to stay – I think it gave the house more character. But what a great home, very nice work to bring it back to life!!

  44. says

    Geez I love this highlight of 2011 Julia!!!
    You are so clever with these…my favourites will always be the old houses that
    claim their architectural ‘bones’ back…btw…I have a new blog up…I am no longer
    using “” my new biz is garden design….which is where the house obsession comes in…hehhh:) All the best to you and your family for 2012…its been my pleasure to tell the world about you…

  45. Kel says

    Nice in most respects, but I think removing the second story dormer, balcony and the
    the portico leading to the front door made the house too generic looking.

  46. says

    I know EXACTLY where that home is and used to drive by it daily when I lived in Arizona. The home is beautiful and I wish they could transform the entire neighborhood in a similar manner.

  47. Kelly says

    I think I know exactly where this house is…in the Evergreen Historic District. It as the first district in the Phoenix area that I encountered and I loved the tree lined streets. I almost bought a home on Grand Ave in that neighborhood and I always wish I had. Great little tudors in that neighborhood as well as Craftsmen.

  48. says

    I guess I am going to be the damp rag here. They lost a lot of space and light. Two dormer windows are gone, which makes the rooms in that space darker and relying on light from one vantage point instead of two (I am assuming windows in the gables).

  49. Donna says

    My parents moved to Mesa in 1983, it is refreshing to see renovation since that area seems to have suffered so from the economic decline. The interior is very well done. Thank you so much or sharing, I love it all!

    I must align myself with those who prefer the before front elevation. Changing out the railing and adding wide French doors to replace the small door and window would have added to the charm. The dormers and portico added dimension and much needed visual interest. Sadly, I would probably drive by without noticing the house now.

  50. Amanda says

    Wondering if the house was completed in the before pictures?? It just didnt seem done, where were the cabinets in the kitchen?? Absolutely in love with the kitchen in the after photos.