PROJECT REVEAL: 1938 bungalow renovation. Before + After: Part II

So far, we’ve taken you along on some of the most noteworthy moments of our beloved Highland Project with #RDHhighland. We’ve detailed our room-by-room renovation of this historic 1930’s bungalow with all its architectural charm and gave you some social media glimpses throughout the process. Here on the blog, you know we love a good before and after series, so today’s feature is dedicated to two unique spaces that deserve a post all their own. We’re revisiting the Highland Project, but this time around, we’re walking you through the entry and dining room — both of which received top-to-bottom transformations.

If you thought you loved #RDHhighland before, just wait until you lay eyes on these two spaces. Although we may be a bit biased, we’d say this place has earned its status as the coolest house on the block.

get the look


With each space that makes up the Highland Project, our overarching goal has remained the same: create a cohesive look throughout the floor plan, develop a tastefully refined style, and make a statement in every room with subtle yet striking features.

To begin this phase of the project, our homeowners agreed on refinish their flooring before starting additional design work. While this change meant cuts to our overall budget, we always advise making flooring changes early-on to ensure the room’s color palette worked seamlessly with final selections. With new flooring in place, we painted all surfaces the same color (“Alabaster” by Sherwin Williams), with the exception of the dining room. For the dining room, we wanted to keep some of the existing wood finish, which was featured on baseboards and casing around the opening as an intentional moment of contrast.

As we approached the overall dining room design, we decided tall wainscoting was going to be the best fit for this formal space, but also allow a focal point moment: the floral wallpaper. With less wall space to cover, we were able to make a luxury selection that brought color, interest, and movement to the entire room. While the pattern itself wasn’t hard to narrow down, the color options took a few tries to get right. Following a design meeting with our homeowners, I decided on my drive back to the studio to grab another color choice. At that time, we were leaning towards a blue and emerald green palette, but I knew we needed something softer. Luckily, our homeowners graciously agreed, and the finished product came together just as we’d envisioned.

During our early design meetings, our homeowner, Lucas, mentioned he had some experience in carpentry and construction. However, it wasn’t until he started a few projects in the home that I realized just how talented he was in carpentry. His handiwork allowed us to pull the trigger on many additional projects that weren’t initially considered due to costs. Homeowner talent for the win!

Our dining room drapery choice was a risky one, to say the least. We went with a darker fabric selection as a way to add drama and contrast, and lucky for us, the risk absolutely paid off. The rest of the window treatments came together with roller shades and drapery panels made by The Shade Store with self-installation courtesy of our handy homeowners.

The dining room table from Anthropologie sold me based on its two key features: brass and acrylic! Our homeowner, Laura, is an avid fan of fashion, pattern, and cool design moments, so a standout table did just the trick! We paired our table with chairs by CB2 featuring cowhide seats for an unexpected look. To tie our space together, we sourced a neutral rug through Restoration Hardware with a subtle play on pattern.

For lighting selections, we turned to one of our all-time favorite retailers, NOIR. The chandelier in the dining room and crystal semi-flush mount in the foyer added just the touch of elegance we were going for with features like opaque glass drops and a gorgeous leaf shape that stopped us in our tracks. Meanwhile, we chose to keep the home’s original lighting in the staircase as a nod to the bungalow's history dating back to 1938.


While entryways are often overlooked, we chose to lean in with a balance of fun design choices and original preservation. We kept the original floor tiles on the landing along with the leopard printed stairs to reflect our homeowner, Laura’s eclectic-cool style. To complete the entryway, we added a touch of drama with a high-gloss black paint throughout the space and finished things off with antique brass accents on the handrail and switch plates for a fresh yet edgy look. The vintage inspired light fixture makes such a statement with it's glowing milk glass against the high-gloss black walls.

Want even more of our Highland Project? Take a look at our Living Room & Library Nook Reveal!


438 N. Main Street, Suite 2

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Phone: 248-982-8447

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