Paradise Wrapped Up in an Adorable 934 Square Feet

22 Aug

“It’s not having what you want but wanting what you’ve got….I have no master suite but I’m still the king of me.” (Lyrics from Sheryl Crow~ and… words Ileana likes to live by)

Wow! I can’t (or won’t) tell you how long Ileana and I have known each other. Let’s put it this way, we met when she graduated elementary school and I graduated elementary school and met at EL Paso High! GO La High! Go Tigers! Here’s a picture of us when we were juniors and part of the cheerleading squad.

1923 Craftsman

For us from the late 1960’s early 70’s, we are so thankful (well most of us) for Facebook. It has given us an opportunity to peek into our friends lives and become a part of their world. Seeing how they changed, who they have become as a person and enjoying the little “Mini-Me’s” /their children, and how much they look like your best school mate when you were that age! I was lucky enough to reconnect with Ileana and am so thankful!

You see, Ileana get’s it…yup. She not only get’s it…she’s got it! She has a beautiful 1923 Craftsman with a Double-Clipped-Gable roof that she has lived in for over 5 years. Her castle is an amazing 934 sqft, 2 bedrooms 1 bath and all the charm in the world.
Guest Suite or Family Retreat!
Ileana said she had been living in the area and for some reason this house called to her. She found it and for 9 months, she would go by this” diamond in the rough” and say to herself…”This house is going to be mine.” She would tell her boys, anyone who would listen…”This is my new house!” Not everyone could see this house the way Ileana did. I guess many people would say Ileana viewed the house through beautiful stem wine glasses as she must be tipsy or plain crazy to want to purchase this house. From what she said, the house needed a lot of attention and love and she was the up for the challenge.

Rudy enjoying the deck

The house needed a new roof; a large hole in the foundation that if not stabilized would find its way down to PCH, weeds as high as 4-5ft high, many issues. However, she didn’t see those things and probably a good thing as she was so committed in bringing this beauty back to life.

Quiet time for two

So….she took a leap of faith and purchased the house. (Again some people thought she was crazy) After signing the papers and getting the keys to this tiny bungalow, she and her family began outside trying to tackle the landscape (which took 12 weekends of hard work.) Her neighbor comes out one day shortly after she purchased and asked “So when are you going to tear down this place?” Ileana had no plans to tear down the house and over the years she and her family tackled many projects and now they enjoy a beautiful piece of paradise at the beach. When many begin to pack their bags to head back home from their vacation at the beach…Ileana and her family enjoy vacation EVERY DAY!


Party cart on coasters also storage

Ileana and her family have done incredible things in creating a spacious place. One smart and creative idea, they built a guest house suite. It is a beautiful 124 sq ft guest house for when friends and family come to visit. Or…when her sons friends are over, they can hide in their little retreat! This is a great idea if you own a small historic home and wish to add more square footage without damaging the integrity of your home especially if it is of historic value.

Loads of storage

Another thing to bolster more square footage was to create additional outdoor living spaces. They created four separate areas outside where one can escape with a good book, magazine or most importantly a nap. By creating these outdoor relaxed seating areas for cups of coffee in the morning, a casual dining area for impromptu family dinners or a cozy place to lay and bask in the sun…one can have multiple options to escape and enjoy a space of their own.  



Lastly, but HUGE on the scale in the importance of living small….multi-purpose furniture. As Ileana can attest, you have to have the ability to utilize space with functional furniture that can double as an office desk by day and dining table at night. Or storage… as this is vital with small spaces especially much older homes where closets were very small or non-existent. The ability to store extra clothing, bedding or other items is essential. 
Ileana was proud to let me know that this past May; her house was placed on the historic register. It is registered as the Chapman House as this is the original family that built the home. I get the feeling that Ileana and her family are honored to have this house…to make this house their home. A strong memory that she has kept all these years is a conversation she had with her abuelita (grandmother) when she was a very young child. Ileana told her abuelita that when she grows up, she was going to live in a 1920’s bungalow.

Sunsets from the living room

Funny thing…Ileana is living in a 1920’s bungalow; actually the house was built in 1923. Another reason this house belongs to her…the house was built on August 3rd, 1923. Would you believe August 3rd is her birthday. 


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