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A 1930 Craftsman House Transformed

How a novice homeowner mastered a DIY renovation of a small bungalow

Classic Craftsman

Photo by Gridley + Graves

First-time homeowner Bradley Huber hit on a rich palette for the exterior of his 1930 Craftsman after an unfortunate experiment involving pea green.

Paint: Behr's Pencil Point (siding), Chocolate Froth (pale trim), Slate Gray (porch floor and ceiling), and Charcoal Black (dark trim).

Read Bradley Huber's renovation story behind the home: How to Update a Small Home Without a Pro

Welcoming Front Porch

Photo by Gridley + Graves, (paint dabs) Ted Morrison

The formerly wan-white house, which he bought for a song, cried out for color inside as well as out.

Pendant light and porch furniture: Lowe's

Hand-Built Oak Mantel

Photo by Gridley + Graves, (paint dabs) Ted Morrison

Brad renovated his living room through trial and error. He built the mantel piece by piece with precut oak plywood, added a gas insert found on Craigslist, framed the flat-screen—hiding its wires and DVD player among books—and finished the walls with two neutral shades.

Paint: Behr's Elephant Skin (hearth wall) and Wheat Bread (window wall)

Living Room: The First Try Paint

Photo by Gridley + Graves

Earlier, he hung the flat-screen down low and tried a wall of bold stripes—but they clashed with the dining room's new wallpaper.

"I put paint chips up against the woodwork, painted samples on the wall. But it's hard to tell if a color is right until you've done the entire room," says Brad.

Framed Flat-Screen

Photo by Gridley + Graves

"TVs above the mantel are not my favorite thing," says Brad, who framed his flat-screen as a way to disguise it "so people would notice the fireplace first."

Patterned Dining Room Walls

Photo by Gridley + Graves

Wallpaper with a Spanish tile design, a band of darker gray above, and a stylish pendant light give the dining room an updated look.

Wallpaper: Lowe's

Area rug: Flor

Pendant light: Overstock

Curtains: IKEA

Travel poster:

Dining Room: The First Try Paint

Photo by Gridley + Graves

The initial scheme—"Too bold," Brad says now—echoed the blues in the now-defunct living room stripes. "I found a wallpaper I liked for the dining room, one with a subtle pattern—the blue walls were too loud. But then it didn't go with the living room...."

Picture Rail Trim

Photo by Gridley + Graves

The house came with minimal woodwork, so "I kicked it up a notch," Brad says, by adding picture rail in the dining room stained to match the existing baseboards.

Yellow and White Kitchen

Photo by Gridley + Graves, (paint dab) Ted Morrison

Brad painted before replacing the kitchen appliances, countertops, sink, flooring, and cabinet doors. "My main concern is that yellow with the black-and-white checkerboard floor reads too retro," he told readers of his blog. "I'd like some feedback on that, so chime in."

Paint: Behr's Galley Gold (walls)

Laid-Back Bedroom

Photo by Gridley + Graves, (paint dab) Ted Morrison

A soothing green complements the front bedroom's wood door and furnishings.

Paint: Weekend Getaway (bedroom walls).

Blue and White Bath

Photo by Gridley + Graves, (paint dab) Ted Morrison

Formerly Pepto-Bismol pink, the bath has a new beadboard ceiling, faux board-and-batten wainscot, and open shelves, all painted with a white "hiding and leveling" latex.

Paint: Muralo custom blend (woodwork and trim) and Benjamin Moore's Blue Danube (walls)

Vanity: The Home Depot

Curtain fabric: DwellStudio

DIY Bath Tile

Photo by Gridley + Graves

Brad retiled the tub alcove with white subways and dark-gray grout—without benefit of a tile saw.

Tile: The Home Depot

Outdoor Room

Photo by Gridley + Graves

Brad chronicled every step of the DIY backyard pergola and patio—made with salvaged pavers—on his blog,