Not just an old house – now it’s This Old House
Bunny Blaha “blames” the national This Old House magazine for awakening in her the desire to restore a historic home of her own some day.
Now it's come full circle. After fixing up her 1899 residence at 1330 W. Pikes Peak Ave., she herself will be featured in the magazine, according to Blaha and TOH field editor Sunday Hendrickson.
Hendrickson and a TOH photography crew shot pictures at Blaha's house this month.
The magazine article will tell how Blaha worked on the house for four years after buying it in 2003. “I acted as general contractor, hired subcontractors, and did what I could myself, mostly demolition, trimwork, door and cabinet hardware, and painting,” she recounts in her proposal letter to TOH in April 2007. “I designed and planned all the work myself including the three-room addition, two additional upstairs bedroom closets, and the built-in pantry and phone niche in the kitchen. My sons helped mostly with demolition and landscaping, and by putting up with life in a construction site while I indulged my passion!”
The letter adds that Blaha has been a “This Old House fan since I discovered the TV program in the early 1980s. I subscribed to your magazine as soon as it became available. In fact, I blame you for my addiction to old houses and restoration!”
Eight months after she sent it, TOH replied favorably. Then, in December, came the call that the film crew would arrive in three weeks. “I had begun to think they weren't going to do it,” Blaha said.
Hendrickson said the magazine was impressed with how the Westside resident had “brought the house back to its original condition, and she did it with style and care.”
The TOH spread will show Blaha's inside work, as well as a photo of herself and one of her sons, Tyler Hixenbaugh, on the front porch.
The expected publication date is December 2009, with Blaha's house on the cover. So the timing of the January shoot worked well, Blaha noted, because most of her Christmas decorations were still up.
Blaha has also received Spirit Awards for two different aspects of her restoration work from the Organization of Westside Neighbors.
Westside Pioneer article