Open House: Greg and Maribeth’s Marvelous West Ridge Bungalow


“I would like to have words with whoever the previous owner was that thought it was a good idea to remove all of our stained glass windows, bookshelves and fireplace and put up wood paneling in place of all of that,” says Maribeth (she probably slammed her fist down on her computer desk, but she expressed her seething sentiments to me in email so I can’t be sure).  “They also chose to nail drywall studs into the original subway tile walls in the kitchen and bath in preparation for their wallpaper extravaganza.”

Despite her (possible) rage at prior owners poor design choices, Maribeth and husband Greg, an architect, are a glutton for punishment and are living in the third home they’ve rehabbed together.   Luckily after finally finishing extensive gut rehabs of the kitchen and bathrooms, they’re very happy in their current home of eight years, a West Ridge bungalow.  “In the 1920s, these homes were designed to be simple and practical, so in our remodel we wanted to recreate that orignal integrity,” says Maribeth adding that their projects have entailed removing pink wall-to-wall carpet (Meow!), flocked and vinyl wallpaper and plastic “crystal” chandeliers.

Continued . . .


Despite running the West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors Association blog, the couple are far from purists and have mixed their eclectic belonging seamlessly in with their traditional bungalow pieces.

“The majority of objects in our home are not purely decorative, they usually reflect things we’ve done in our lives or things we believe in,” says Maribeth.  “We’ve been fortunate to travel and live in some interesting places and many of the things in our home are about those locations.”  The dining room exemplifies their interesting style (and life); diverse pieces such as an Eames plywood leg brace (hung like the piece of sculptural art), a contemporary Room and Board purchased dining room table, salvaged stone pieces and a wall a wall of framed black and white family photos combine to make a statement at once personal, interesting and more than a bit neat-o (pronounced neat eau).

Since meeting Maribeth in December, I quickly realized how amazing, helpful and open she is (like Google but much cuter).  She has invited me to their meetings, introduced me to her friends and went out of her way to identify specific types of homes I’m coveting (rock-a-billy doo, where are you?)  I had a terrific time at the West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors group progressive dinner party, so I have declared my intention to join the West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors group (it’s a steep investment at $15 per household, but I’m saving up).  While I don’t live in West Ridge or own a bungalow, I’d like to think my Edgewater residence qualifies me as a neighbor, but if nothing else, I’ve met some of the sweetest and warmest* people one would want to meet.

* I’m laying it on a little thick because I’m hoping Maribeth will waive my $15 entrance fee.











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13 Responses to “Open House: Greg and Maribeth’s Marvelous West Ridge Bungalow”

  1. Lovely – I love getting peeks inside Chicago bungalows!

  2. I love what they’ve done with their house. The kitchen cabinets are very pretty and I love their wall colors.

  3. Love the Chicago bungalows and Greg and Maribeth have done a great job with theirs. Was pink carpet ever in style? Yikes. I hope new owners continue to restore their little gems, instead of more bad rehabbing.

  4. Oh my! or as Etta James (and Beyonce) would say “At last, my love has come along”! That’s the kind of house I could be truly happy in. It sure doesn’t look eighty-something years old from the outside! Fantastic restoration inside, too.
    I once lived in a six-plex in Toronto built in 1926; Greg and Maribeth’s bungalow has the same kind of interior details, like the sizable baseboards and doorway framing. Like my former residence, the dining room and living room appear to be nearly the same size. Or is this just an optical illusion created by a crafty photographer?
    How many bungalows are there in the West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors Association? Are there any vacancies? Just checking…

  5. I adore that she let you take pictures with pots in the sink.

  6. Thanks. I just love bungalows. They’re so comfortable, complete and simple.

  7. THIS IS A SHOUT OUT TO WEST RIDGE!!!!!!! I love this house and my neighborhood. West Ridge is one of Chicago’s best kept secrets- o.k. , it is a little bit quiet ( and a little suburban) but what other part of Chicago has a park with a petting zoo, plenty of parking and nice neighbors??? West Ridge is AWESOME.