Category Archives: backstory

“i’ll mess him up!”

there are a lot of things i love about our park hill ‘hood but what i’m loving most these days is the neighbors…

the other day – some sales person came by the house and tried to sell mr. hutch on an ADT security system. since we don’t live in the burbs or anything  resembling pleasantville, we gave the whole having a security system thing a thought…after a few chats with our neighbors, i’m pretty sure bungalowhutch is all set on the homeland security front.

the other day our neighbor vic says to mr. hutch a few seconds after literally hopping over the six foot fence that separates us. “a few nights ago i had to get pulled off a guy for beating his a$$ in the alley. i found him trying to steal from one of the neighbors so i took him down. probably would have killed him if someone hadn’t pulled me off!” he then took mr. hutch for a walk in the ‘hood and introduced him to the fellow bodyguards. including thumper. yes – that is a name. i can’t tell you why his name is thump-her. it’s inappropriate. instead let’s talk about how comforting it is to know vic can hop the fence in .05 seconds.

then meet calvin. calvin is a few doors down on the other end. he just wanted to let us know colorfully that if anyone ever messes with our stuff, our yard, our house, even tries to mess with us to let him know – because he’ll track them down and mess them up. he also wanted us to know that if it weren’t for his child support he’d be on livin’ on the beach. i guess that makes us thankful for his child support!?

then we met the houstons. they live across the alley. i hope they adopt me as their grandchild ’cause they seem like they’d be great grandparents. anyways – mr. houston wanted to let me know he always has his eyes and ears on the block and that if he ever, ever sees anything suspicious or strange – well he just calls the cops. (i have a feeling the cops will be called on me at least once due to my strangeness.) he wanted to emphasize that he takes great pride in looking out for his neighbors and that that was what the block was all about – taking care of and looking out for one another. it was the polite, rated-G version, of vic and calvin’s message.

all these guys have lived on the block  for fifty some years…(vic and calvin both still living in their childhood homes sans parents). they grew up here, raised families here. and tho much of PH is changing as us young yuppie folk move in a renovate homes, we’re enjoying the history and pride that remains on our block.

and as a bonus, for now, we can let ADT know we won’t be needing those services after all…

and no. this one refuses to help with the security detail. something about not being able to see very well...



a very important update

we went to home depot and subsequently have done quite a bit of stripping and mounting* in the last 48 hrs. tho this is miraculous at this point in the renovation game, we’ll have to get to that juiciness later because i have a VERY important update that trumps all.

first, if you are new to bungalowhutch, have a bad memory, or love me and want to make it seem like lots of people read my blog,

click and read here before continuing.

 

 

shame on you for not clicking and reading. anyways…

ardie got a birthday card from betty!!!!!!

it went a little something like this…

“may many special joys

blossom all around you.

and through the year ahead,

may happiness surround you!”

love,

betty

some observations.

OMG!

how can betty not know ardie has passed at this point? i’m beginning to think ardie is still alive and just forgot to forward her mail…. or that i cannot relate to betty’s generation in the slightest. with cell phones, facebook, and twitter, how can you not know your friend is no longer living!?

then i feel sad. the christmas card had a long, albeit depressing, personal note. nada in the birthday card. just a generic hallmark greeting and a measly, “love, betty.”

i can’t help but wonder – does the lack of personalization imply a passive aggressive message to ardie for not reciprocating the correspondence?

“what ardie? you too good to send me a christmas card!? can’t remember my birthday!? don’t care that ronda left bill without paying any bills!?”

but really. all this makes me think about me. i wish i had friendships like betty & ardie. someone who would send me a birthday card even after my expiration date.  if it weren’t for facebook, my generation wouldn’t even know what or when a birthday was.

so – how long do i let this go on? no, not my moral qualms about the lack of personalization in our generation…how long do i let the one-way correspondence between betty and ardie go on?

do i crush betty and fill her in on the fact that ardie has gone from bungalowhutch to bunglowheaven – while simultaneously redeeming ardie’s good name so betty realizes it’s not that ardie didn’t want to send her a christmas/birthday card, rather she was simply not around to do so?

or…

 

do i pretend to be ardie and start corresponding with betty?!?!?!

i feel like this is a no brain-er, but leave a comment – and the best advice wins a free stay at bungalowhutch.

oh and in other very unimportant updates – i like to play this game (no, not paralyzed) where i suggest to mr. hutch that we wash the sheets late on a sunday night, hoping we fall asleep before the dryer buzzes because i secretly hate sheets and LOVE life with out them. sometimes this strategy results in many glorious nights before either one of us is motivated to make the bed despite the fact that mr. hutch LOVES sheets. other days, mr. hutch dumps the clean sheets on my head a mere ONE day after the buzzer and reminds me of a silly promise supposedly i made, having something to do with me making the bed.

i’m bummed today was the latter.

(food for thought: why the heck does anyone read this blog? i’m writing about a dead person’s mail and my loathing for sheets.)

 


*doors and light fixtures.


christmas card for ardie, gone felony?

is it a felony to open up other people’s mail? what if they are no longer alive? i ask because ardie (our home’s previous owner who passed away last summer) got a christmas card in the mail.

i opened it! i couldn’t help myself. i have self-control issues. it was from betty.

muahahahha. what's worse? the creepy picture i took of myself with the card? or my total lack of self-control....

should i try and justify my actions? or just tell you what it said….

here’s what it said:

“i wanted to let you know that chris has a new address.  dewey & ronda’s son lives with him. ronda said she wanted a divorce and left without paying any bills for a year a half. what a mess. merry christmas. love betty.”

most. depressing. christmas. card. ever. even the dog on the front of it looks depressed….

poor dewey who has obviously been screwed over by ronda!! poor betty who has been so wrapped up in dewey and ronda’s mess she didn’t even know ardie has been taken home by the lord!! poor ardie who has people move into her house that open her mail!! poor me who  is probably going to get charged with a felony for opening ardie’s mail has lost any sense of ethical/legal/moral responsibility when it comes to other people’s mail….

whatever happened to the past-time of writing self-indulgent my world is full of butterflies and rainbows christmas letters?? i’m so glad i intercepted it and ardie never got it! or that she passed away before receiving the most depressing christmas card ever.

oh and just to redeem myself. that same day we also got a christmas card that was delivered to the wrong address. i didn’t open that one. i put it back in the mail….i’m not saying, i’m just saying.

and about bungalowhutch – it’s been neglected by me all week.  i’m over the whole re-doing a house thing.

hehe. just kidding.  i’ve just been having too much fun at christmas parties. i probably shouldn’t have  pushed for buying a house that needed a lot of work with  mr. hutch having to be the faithful one doing it all! big oops.

i plan to redeem myself this weekend so look forward to major progress updates!!

in the meantime. LOVE YOU mr. hutch. you know if i use capital letters i mean it.


a little house history

so we don’t know much about bungalowHutch’s history, but literally peeling back our homes layers certainly makes us not only curious, but appreciative of how much our home has already been loved and lived in by others. so in the midst of the demo – thought we would take a time out to share with you what we do know.

our house was built in 1929 in the park hill neighborhood of denver. the neighborhood is located about two miles east of the heart of downtown denver and actually has kind of a funny story about how it came to be. it involves a guy falling off his horse into the mud. if you’re interested you can read more about it here.

we don’t know much about the early years of our house – tho my uncle seems to think it was a sears kit home. that would be sweet. we’ll have to do some more research before we figure out if it is or not. what we do know is that for the last 49 years a woman named ardie owned it. she lived there with her five (yes FIVE!) children and according to her daughter that sold it to us – she was a total tyrant. hence the pristine condition of the white carpets.

 

sweet wallpaper we found in teh bathroom. it's blue crushed velvet!

sweet wallpaper we found in the bathroom. it's blue crushed velvet!

apparently ardie had her handful with her children who were a bit wayward. we think that’s why there were three doors in the back with so many locks in which you would need the actual key (one of the many things that failed inspection) to get out. plus! there were also deadbolts on the doors of the bedrooms requiring keys. i’m pretty sure her children were unable to sneak out at night. oh and did i mention the bars on the windows? i’d like to think of ardie as a sweet old lady, but with all those locks and keys…..

 

remember the three back doors??

anyways – her tyranny apparently caused some distance between her and her children, with the exception of deborah. ardie got sick last january and deborah was the one who cared for her until she passed away this past summer. it wasn’t until then that the other four children came out of the woodwork hoping to collect on the profits from the house. ardie had the last laugh i suppose because after her death, the family found out she owed quite a bit on the house. everyone had thought she owned it outright and no one every knew she had been taking equity out of the house all those years. in fact, the estate didn’t walk away with a dime from the house.

deborah was anxious to get the house off her hands. with the estate being broke, mortgage payments weren’t being made and she certainly could not afford to make them working her two jobs as a cook. we could literally feel the relief as she handed over the keys to her childhood home.  deborah warmed our own hearts when she expressed her happiness that the home was going to mr hutch and i.  she could see our excitement and desires to pour our heart (and sweat) into the home.

 

more sweet wallpaper we found in the kitchen.

so that’s about all we know. we can guess a few things – like the fact that ardie must have loved to garden from what we can tell of the yard. and she must have loved a clean house by the condition we found it in.  (i’m hoping her cleaning spirit stays with the house.)  the rest we look forward to continue to uncover as we meet more neighbors (the ones behind us have lived there 47 years!) and continue to peel back the layers of our home.

ok – back to the demo. hoping to post our vision and inspiration for the kitchen tomorrow.

 


tour bungalowhutch

so here’s the house tour. it’s crazy posting these pictures because we have already started demolishing the place and the house looks nothing like this anymore. it is however the way it looked when we fell in love and bought it! enjoy the tour!

view from the street.

front porch.

original front door, one of my favorite parts of the house.

you walk in the front door into a mini foyer and the living room is immediately to your left.

living room with the original beautiful woodwork tho the fireplace has been tampered with and it now needs a face lift.

close up of the woodwork.

mmm love the windows

view into the dining room from the front living room. the kitchen is through the door all the way in the back. and the bedrooms/bathroom are off to the right of the dining room.

 

view of the dining room from bedroom hall.

this lovely art deco lamp along with those beautiful drapes you see above will probably make their way onto craigslist if you don't want them.

beautiful original built in cabinets in the bedroom hall.

the pink bathroom - everything is pink.

sweet light fixture that was destroyed in the demo process but don't worry. i dug through the trash for the crystals and am hoping to repurpose them into something for the house. thoughts?

managed to rescue these as well and hoping after a face lift they will be on the walls once again.

please notice there is no shower head (i'm standing on the bathtub in this picture). i guess they only took baths!?

front bedroom.

back bedroom.

can't get over all the original doors and woodwork. can you tell?

kitchen. fyi -nothing in the kitchen will survive.

view of the kitchen from the back.

basement - nothing will survive down here either.

downstairs bedroom - we think it was used as the master bedroom.

this little beauty was a "selling point" - a HUGE walk-in closet. it is (now was) like a quarter of the basement.

view of basement from the bedroom down there.

stairs back up to the kitchen and outside.

backyard. i couldn't get outside because there are three doors with like eight different locks and i didn't have all the keys. please notice the lime green carport in the back.

the above named doors to complete our tour.

so that’s bungalow hutch in it’s original glory. as you can see, it’s a pretty typical setup for a 1920’s denver bungalow.  do you see the same potential we see?

we’re about nine days and one and half dumpsters  into the demo process and the house already looks pretty different. looking forward this week to sharing with everyone our plans/vision for the house, our renovation progress, and a little bit of the home’s history before it became bungalow hutch.

for now i’m off to take a nap. this renovating business is exhausting…


oops!

ok where were we. oops. oops. oops.

literally – that little word ran through my mind for the next three weeks. it sounds incredibly silly – but i didn’t think that putting our house on the market meant we would be selling it. i just thought it would be a fun experiment with a teeny weeny chance we would sell it.

oops.

ok you get it. but we were just starting to. my excitement quickly turned to sadness. it felt like someone was stealing our house from us! we were moving! we’d have to spend our weekends packing up all of our crap. i hate packing! i hate moving! worst of all, we’d have to say goodbye to super fun dance parties in our back yard – aka club hutch. what were we thinking!?!

dramatic? just wait.  a couple of weeks into this mess being under contract, we found out we didn’t even qualify for a loan. how can that be you may ask? you already have a mortgage – you already qualify. you didn’t have a problem getting a loan when B was in grad school and mr. hutch worked for pennies at the non-profit. how could you not qualify now??

about a week away from closing we found out we didn’t just not qualify for (is that too many negatives in a sentance?) homes we had an eye on – we no longer qualified for the home we were about to sell. WHAT!?!?! i mean – we knew the lending market was down in the dumps, but COME ON! turns out, since i technically am self-employed (read the company i primarily contract with doesn’t want to give me benefits) my income doesn’t count. however, the lovely lending industry still took into consideration my debt. thank you graduate school, i owe you. literally.

mr. hutch and i were faced with renting (totally would not have sold our beautiful cozy little home if were just moving into an apartment!!) or chipping off a bit of the ol’ pride block and begging asking someone to be our co-borrower. after much debate which mostly centered around not wanting to live in an apartment. we humbly sought out our co-borrower. i felt like i was in highschool again. asking my pops to bail me out of the latest sticky situation my impulsivity landed me in. ahhh….nastalgia.

anyways – i’m never actually going to get to renovating our bungalow if i keep this up. so longer story longer…. we closed without a hitch. we found our knight in shining credit armour. we packed. i cried. we moved. i cried.  we handed over our keys. i cried.

then we began house hunting for our dream home and i stopped crying.

 

a moment of silence for the wonderful memories at 756. i love you house.
me looking ridiculous as i point out our “new home” (or our area as i like to call it) in my sister and brother-in-law’s living room. did i mention the fact that they were also moving? and we actually moved into their new loft before they did? that’s what family’s for.

 


let’s start from the very beginning

welcome to bungalowhutch! this is our attempt to chronicle our latest adventure – buying a fixer-upper. i say adventure because the husband and i are clueless when it comes to all things house and home. (our renovating resume in a nutshell: one time i tried sewing and one time he messed with the hot water heater).  but before we get right to it, let’s start from the very beginning of this whole process.

must. preserve. the memories.

currently i like to consider ourselves homeless tho we used to have a home. we loved our home . while living in said how i had a slight obsession with looking at real estate, and i’m not sure why. so with no intention of selling our house, i would consistently peruse what was for sale in denver’s hottest neighborhoods. one day it dawned on me – with interests rates so low and it being such a good time to buy, we could get into one of these neighborhoods in a bigger house for not that much more than we were paying on our current mortgage. something that when the market picked up – we’d most likely be priced out of. mr. hutch (the husband of mine) and i talked it over. on a whim, we decided to see what would happen if we put our house on the market. if it sold for what we wanted, great. if not, no worries. we saw it as an experiment that we figured would turn out with us staying where we were at.  and we were perfectly content with that. plus i liked the idea of having to keep our bed made while our house was on the market.

(irrelevant side note – i have an obsession with throw pillows and mr. hutch gets mad because those pillows live on the floor because we never make the bed and then i get in trouble for buying them so if our bed is made all the time i can’t get in trouble….not the most foundational reason for selling a house but motivation none the less)

so anyways – we talked with a few realtors about selling our house. the response we got was that we probably wouldn’t get what we wanted for it in this market. we don’t have very good listening skills and listed it for what we wanted anyways.

it went on the market the thursday of labor day weekend (2010). it went under contract (for the price we wanted) the friday of labor day weekend. a whole twenty-four hours later. oh and they wanted to close in three weeks.

oops…

time to get back to my day job – to be continued…