Small and crafty makeover

A creative couple turns a nondescript front yard into a tiny oasis to match their house

Crafty porch

After: A new smooth-stuccoed wall provides privacy. Its concrete cap and faux stone columns echo the materials used for the porch.

Jack Coyier

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Crafty front yard before
Crafty path
Craft front yard pot

Crafty front yard before

  • Crafty front yard before

    Before: Wall pictured during construction.

Bungalows come in all sizes. That's what Michelle and Jeremy Walker told themselves when they first laid eyes on their future home in Ventura, California.

With less than 700 square feet to it and few distinguishing characteristics other than evidence of age, the tiny frame house wouldn't have looked promising to many buyers.

But the Walkers design for a living ― Jeremy is a contractor, Michelle a landscape designer ― and their business, Blooming Gardens, is all about transforming outdoor spaces.

So the couple knew they could do something interesting with the modest property.

"We lived near Pasadena before we moved here and loved its Craftsman-style homes and gardens," Jeremy says. Even before the couple signed escrow papers, "we knew we were going to turn this place into a mini-me bungalow."

The Walkers began by replacing the home's original siding with redwood siding on the upper half and shingles on the lower, a detail that immediately made it feel more Craftsman-like.

They also removed the old gable, which covered only the doorway, and added a more imposing one that spans the full width of the house.

Beneath the overhang, they added two widely spaced stone pillars topped with vertical wood posts and an overhead beam to create the look associated with classic bungalows.

They also poured a new concrete porch that's spacious enough for a pair of chairs and small table.

Next: 5 lessons from this makeover


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