Vintage Flip: 1922 Craftsman in Claremont, CA

Tina and Jessie Rodriguez take on a restoration of a Craftsman style bungalow on their home turf — in their own neighborhood of Claremont, Calif. It's a historic area where the residents value the history and architecture of the homes. Renovation standards and expectations are high, so Jessie and Tina go the extra mile to ensure that this makeover is especially true to the home's roots.

Risky Business

For the Claremont Craftsman, Tina and Jessie took a big gamble, purchasing the house before ever having seen the interior or knowing a lot about the shape that it was in. Structurally the house was sound, but through the years and various tenants, the home's original charm had been removed.


Jessie and Tina purchased the house for $530,000 with the intent of putting around $70,000 into renovation. Comps in the area – which is close proximity to the Claremont college campuses – range from $750,000 to $850,000. The overall reno plan is to revive the home's Craftsman character with handcrafted wood details and Shaker cabinets, restore the original oak floors and add custom built-in shelves in the traditional arts-and-crafts style.


By the strictest traditions, Craftsman style colors are typically brown and green, but Jessie and Tina strayed a bit from that for a slightly more updated look to appeal to younger buyers. They went with a warm blue-gray exterior with lime green to highlight the trim. To boost curb appeal they also cleaned up the landscaping and improved the front walkway.


At the rear of the house, the back stairway and balcony railing were rotted and falling apart. There were also 13 abandoned vehicles that had been left on the property.


New stairs and railing, along with fresh paint in a contrasting color scheme, help dress up the home's rear entrance and carport.



The all-wood backyard fence is in keeping with the newly handcrafted wood features of the home's interior.

Salvage Safari

Tina and Jessie visit one of their favorite local salvage shops – Silverado Salvage & Design – in search of vintage architectural pieces for use in the renovation. 


Prior to the renovation, the entry to the kitchen entry was narrow and the kitchen itself was closed off and felt isolated from the rest of the house.


In the revised floor plan, the kitchen gets updated in an updated galley style and feels far more connected with the rest of the home. Custom wood trim and door casings help tie the spaces together and reflect the fine craftsmanship that typified the era and style in which this house was built.


The kitchen was not original but was nevertheless badly outdated. The fixtures included an assortment of mismatched and worn-out cabinetry and countertops.


One of the biggest endeavors was the addition of handmande Shaker style cabinetry in the kitchen. Two of the cabinets are given a medium-dark stain to highlight the wood grain but, to keep the small kitchen from feeling too dark and confining, the remaining cabinets are painted white. Black countertops offer a visual contrast, and dark gray slate tile was selected for the floor to help differentiate the space visually from the living room.  

"We wanted to honor the house by doing some simple, clean, strong-line cabinets and not buying mass-produced [cabinetry]," said Jessie. "It's just important to me to make sure we do it right. It's gonna cost us more money and take more time, but I think that the end user, the new buyer, will appreciate what we're doing."

Guest Bathroom, BEFORE

Guest Bathroom, AFTER

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

The master bedroom, prior to the renovation, was indicative of the overall state of the house. All of the original period detail had been removed, with the exception of the original windows which, fortunately, were in relatively good shape and just required some minor reconditioning.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

Maple wood surrounds in a medium stain accentuate the original windows and add the kind of detail that give Craftsman style homes their warm, inviting and distinctive appeal.

Living Room, BEFORE

With all original woodwork and detailing absent, and the hardwood floors covered by worn carpet, the living room was bland and devoid of any true character.

Living Room, AFTER

This space is one of the more dramatic transformations in this remodel. New handmade built-ins added on either side of the windows are stained to match the newly added trim and casings. The shelf units themselves feature matching doors made from 100-year-old windows that Tina and Jessie found at the salvage store and had restored. A window seat with hinged lid was added, and the original oak floors have been restored, refinished and stained to complement the woodwork. Throughout the home, a largely neutral color palette helps keep the spaces bright and airy. "The Craftsman home can be really tricky because of all of the wood," said Tina. "It can make it feel really dark and small. I chose a lot of white pieces,  oranges, and shades of blue to keep the space nice and open."

Design Details

Tina does some staging prior to the open house. According to one potential buyer who toured the newly renovated home: "They have done a a great job keeping the essential look of the house but upgrading it just enough to where it has a contemporary feel."

Local Heroes

The upshot: After the renovation, the house sold for $805,000. With a purchase price $530,000, renovation costs of $75,000 and $85,000 in closing costs and interest, Jessie and Tina turned a profit of $114,000 on this renovation.

Like Tina and Jessie's historic home renovations and design style? Be sure to check out more of their makeovers at the Vintage Flip home page.

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