Evan & Dana Gaydon
Evan & Dana Gaydon

Living in a historic Craftsman bungalow on North Center Street, Evan and Dana Gaydon enjoy proximity to everything they love about Old Towne Orange.  Whether the Saturday farmers market, the cafés and coffee shops, or the Orange Train Station, the array of convenient destinations provides the best of all worlds for the Gaydons.

Married in 2016, the couple lived in Costa Mesa before relocating to Old Towne in December 2017.  They moved into a bungalow just blocks from the Plaza.

“We found the house through a friend in Orange, Realtor Heather Garcia from Garcia Kincaid Real Estate Group,” says Dana.  “We were lucky it came available in December, because most people generally aren’t looking to move during the holidays.  We assured the landlord the house would be in good hands with us.”

Meticulously renovated by homeowner Marcel Trepus, the single-story clapboard bungalow was built in 1923 and features a multi-gabled, shallow-pitch roof and large corner-wraparound porch supported by a wide tapered pier with an ornamental brick base.  The quaint front yard includes a concrete entryway that Marcel installed to replicate the historic sidewalks of Old Towne.

For Evan and Dana Gaydon, nothing beats the charm of a wraparound porch on a Craftsman-style home. “We love lounging on the porch and looking out toward our great town and community,” says Dana.

As a professional photographer, Dana appreciates the natural light and colors inside their home, as well as being surrounded by inspirational items in her home office.

The house is primed for entertaining. Dana will find any excuse to put together a vintage outfit.

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“We like to be outside, especially in the summer on the front porch or the backyard,” says Dana.  “We have hosted fun gatherings on the back lawn through the years.  We even had an all-girl band play here on the stage our landlord built under the orange tree.”

A brand and lifestyle photographer who works with many small businesses in the area, Dana has an office at the house as well as a studio in Costa Mesa.  She often does family photo shoots in the Plaza, as well as wedding photography at The Richland Hotel just down the block from their home.  She founded her business, Modern Joy Studio, in 2006, presenting a unique, colorful approach to portrait photography.

A graduate of Tustin High, Evan works as Director of Sales and Operations at ARC Document Solutions based in Costa Mesa.  Specializing in blueprints, graphics, banners and signage, ARC boasts such clients as the County of Orange and the Orange Unified School District.

“Most all of the visual graphics in the Orange schools are from our company,” says Evan.  “Dana helped us with a mural project at Orange High School for the drama team.  We service the local market from our satellite office here in Old Towne Orange.”

As creative professionals, the couple appreciates the authentic vintage aesthetic of their Craftsman bungalow.  With a mutual love for antiquing, they’ve outfitted the home with quite a few pieces from Old Towne retailers like the Orange Circle Antique Mall and De-Lux Clothing.  Their vintage bar cart blends perfectly in the dining nook, as does the small table Dana found at an estate sale.

Busta joins the couple on the couch, showering them with “good boy doggy love” daily.

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In the kitchen and dining room, Marcel’s amazing craftsmanship includes built-ins and cabinetry that seamlessly capture the historical period of the interiors.

“When we purchased the home in 1999, I read the best books I could find about the architecture of that era,” says Marcel.  “I started doing things like crafting authentic wooden window screens to replace the newer aluminum frames or ripping out the drop-down ceiling and fluorescent lighting that had been installed in the 1960s.  Above it was the beautiful, original light fixture that unfortunately didn’t provide enough light, so I added recessed lighting while keeping the focus on the main lighting.  The switches are from Classic Accents, which makes modified pushbutton switches with dimmers.  Another great resource is Crown Hardware and Rejuvenation Lighting.”

In the kitchen, Marcel ripped out the counter from a previous 1960s remodel, building a new counter the same size as the original with a framed-out space for a small dishwasher.  Made from raw wood, the counter and lower cabinets appear period correct and are impeccably integrated with the original upper cabinets.

To maintain his goal of era relevancy, Marcel crafted the glass-paneled built-in hutch in the dining room, mastering the art of painting wood with oil to replicate the type of finish integral to the times.  Requiring weeks of strenuous, tedious work, he also hand-scraped the sand finish from every wall in the house and smooth coated the plaster, painting each room in attractive colors.

With her closet in the middle bedroom and her office in the third bedroom, Dana appreciates the salmon-colored walls and Marcel’s embossed ceiling that looks like the old-style tin ceilings from the 1920s.  She also loves the chocolate-brown stain of the original wood floors that Marcel restored throughout the home.

The couple enjoys their cute, vintage kitchen, collaborating on projects together.  Dana is an avid baker, a.k.a. “Cookie Monster,” per Evan.

This space takes its inspiration from an amazing handmade tiki lamp made by @nine_tikis (Instagram). Utilizing  vintage fabric, Evan built benches via his own Workshop & Whiskey side project. “Someday, we’ll put it all together and host that Tiki Party we’re always talking about,” says Dana.

Dana takes the helm at the vintage O’Keefe oven, where her love for baking takes center stage.  Every Christmas, Dana and her mother bake hundreds of cookies for friends, family and neighbors, often serving their creations on antique-sourced plates and dishes.

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“The whole house was covered in green shag carpeting from the 1970s,” recalls Marcel.  “The original Douglas Fir planks are narrower and thinner than planks typical of that era.  It would have been cheaper to rip out and replace the entire floor, but I decided to restore it, even though portions were damaged by a roof leak.”

Meanwhile, Evan likes to do woodworking himself and is quite handy around the house.  He built some large tables that when bookended together can accommodate 35 people in the backyard.  He spends much of his free time in the garage tinkering with projects.

Their dog “Busta” is a homebody who doesn’t wander into the neighbor’s yard across the shared ribbon driveway.

“Our dog gets us out and about in Old Towne,” says Evan.  “We go to the farmers market every Saturday morning and gather our meals for the entire week.  We usually eat out at the local restaurants on the weekends.  We walk to our favorite coffee shop, Play, every day, and go to Byblos Café almost every Friday night for dinner.”

A train connoisseur, Evan takes the Metrolink or Amtrak to various work locations in Southern California.  For weekend vacations, the couple rides the train to Santa Barbara or San Diego, or even to San Juan Capistrano for lunch at the Ramos House Café.  But for Evan, Dana and Busta, there’s no place like home.

“We love living in Old Towne because it’s centrally located, as well as being such a neighborly community,” says Dana.  “We run into friends and acquaintances every day when we walk our dog to the Plaza.  People here say hello to each other, and it’s always such a friendly, small-town vibe.  We feel so lucky to be here.” 

Article Published in the
May / Jun 24 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
Written by Karen Anderson Photos by Kristin Smetona
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