Oleander & Palm creator Jeran McConnel was on a mission. It wasn’t uncommon to see her walking the tree-lined streets of Bakersfield, CA, but this time she was hunting down a scarce sight — a rather rare sign. Red and rectangular, she simply had to find a quirky, older home that had one. No luck, and then… presto! Sure enough, her dedication wasn’t for naught. Finally, Jeran had stumbled upon a 1920s bungalow with a “For Sale” sign planted in its front yard. Now she and her husband, Lonnie, could leave behind their above-garage studio and raise their family in a lovely home.
The bones of the place were perfect for the young family. The bungalow’s clawfoot tub, hardwood floors and built-in cabinetry added just the right amount of old-world appeal that Jeran wanted. Not to mention, it was a heck of a lot larger than their place at the time. Paperwork signed, and anxious to start crafting their dream home, the family prepared for the big move.
Since Jeran found the three-bedroom house 13 years ago, improvements have given the 95-year-old space a whole new look. The major changes took place in the owner’s suite and kitchen. These two overhauls kept the family on their toes for a bit – four months, to be exact. When all was said and done, the previous owner’s suite became the family’s bathroom, and a new bedroom addition was constructed. During the renovation, Jeran and Lonnie even had to sleep in the dining room. The kitchen was also totally gutted. New IKEA cabinetry, tile and appliances were brought in so the family could have a fresh start in the space. “It was a huge job,” Jeran says. “It definitely still has a way to go, but I’ve loved this house every year, more and more.”
As with all old, stubborn houses, another round of updates is bound to happen at any moment. For now, however, the McConnel family is more than content — and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve built a bright and modern home in which to make memories, while giving their old house a new look. Click through to see the entire space, and enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Jeran McConnel