Home Tour over at The Joyful Cottage

Last week I was featured in Nancy’s “Living Large in Small Spaces” series over at The Joyful Cottage. 

Now that she’s on to another lovely home, I wanted  to have the tour on record here, before I forget to do so :)

Rather than re-shoot pictures of my house I have chosen a variety of existing ones. The place is too small to move furniture around, so nothing much changes here aside from changing out curtains or pillow covers or decorations. So you might see a few seasons in this post. :)


My neighborhood in Southwestern Pa. is comprised of many similar homes built in the early 1900’s. Many of them were kit homes, as I imagine that mine was.   According to real estate records, my home was originally built in 1917. A few blocks down from here, there is what is known to be a Sears Kit Home. I do not believe my home to be a Sears home though it is very close to one of their models.

When I moved here there was no landscaping whatsoever. Each year I added more and more as time and money permitted.


My bungalow is a small one :  1110 square feet.  ( First floor 648 / second floor 462 =1100 net living area )   The unfinished basement is 648 square feet. It is quite sufficient for me, and has often been full over the years with family picnics, dinners, holiday celebrations and grandchildren over for the day or evening.

The hardest thing for me to get used to was the galley kitchen.

It measures about 8 x 12.

Chippy Shelf over Microwave

Basic prep and cooking can be accomplished in the small kitchen area. For anything more extensive such as rolling out dough or other activities, the dining room table is used.  There is a small cupboard off to the right when you head down to the basement, and items such as the blender, crockpot, and cleaning tools are stored there. There’s more storage space in the basement, of course, and then for every day things such as cereal, pasta, canned goods, garbage bags, etc. a tall cabinet in the dining room is used. I bought a very cheap one in the beginning and replaced it with this one later on.

short view into kitchen

Pussy Willow

The dining room is the heart of this home.


Food prep, paperwork, crafting, sewing, eating…everything is done in the dining room. In the above photo you can see a dry sink over to the right. Various baskets are stacked there holding sewing supplies.

A view of the other side :

Dining Room Hutch Side View

The house has a boiler and steam heat radiators. No whole house air. So while a serious home decor enthusiast might shudder at the paddle fans in each room and prefer a ‘chandy’ or something else, these fans are a lifesaver in the hot summer when the window air conditioners are straining to cool the house. Because the upstairs does not have an attic, the rooms up there are stifling on hot summer days.

Looking in to the living room from the dining room:

long view into the living room

The living room is long and narrow and hard to photograph. It’s divided into two sections…what you see above is one area with a piano off to the right and a seating area to the left. There is no foyer; you enter directly into the living room.

autumn colors in the house

its over there that etc

in the door

Upstairs is a very small bathroom, a small bedroom that is used as a toy room, with some books and fabrics stored there as well, and my bedroom. Two long narrow closets with deeply sloped ceilings run the length of that bedroom.


There are two porches. One is in the back, accessed from the kitchen, and it’s used for a bit of storage, depending on the season. Underneath that porch is a little door, and the lawnmower and rakes and shovels etc. are stored there.

The front porch is another room in three seasons of the year. Unless it’s unbearably hot, in the spring, summer and fall, I’ll just pass right through the living room and take a book or a quilting project out to the front porch.


The grandchildren drag their blocks and toy cars and dolls out here in the warm months…they don’t want to be inside either.


I will usually plant some vines in early summer such as morning glory or thunbergia or hyacinth bean vine and by late summer and into fall the porch has a nice enclosed feel to it.  And the squirrels are frequent visitors as well.


The back porch :

morning glory growing up the hollyhock before taking all down

Some views of the back and sides of the house later in the summer last year.

side of house with calendula

backyard collage early July

It might be small but every inch of space is utilized here :)