When Don Fox took his first look at a 1910 Craftsman-style bungalow in Sacramento, CA, he knew he had found his long-sought fixer-upper. The home had "good bones," Fox said, but it was in miserable shape. A homeless man was sleeping on the porch, the windows were shattered, and there was so much grime on the kitchen walls that it "smelled like a restaurant grease trap." After gutting the home to bare studs and rafters, Fox and his wife, Amanda, completed a renovation project that won an award from the Association for the Preservation of Historic Homes.
The remodeled kitchen, bathrooms, and living room were the true stars of what the Sacramento Bee called "One Beautiful Bungalow." An Italian-American from Brooklyn, Don has a particular fondness for the kitchen renovation, which resulted in a room where he spends a lot of his time whipping up traditional culinary faire.
"The house felt good when I first saw it," he explains. "It was a spiritual feeling. That's despite its having been sad, neglected, and uninhabited for years." Fox, a former journeyman carpenter, furniture-maker, and aficionado of period architecture, saw the potential to create a showpiece.