In the early twentieth century, the modest, welcoming bungalow
represented a democratic vision of exceptional home design. Built with wide,
open front porches and small shared yards, bungalows turned outward toward
their surrounding communities. Indigenous materials, open floor plans
and horizontal lines created harmony with the natural landscape.
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After the fussy, parsed spaces of the Victorian house, the bungalow
was an architectural revolution. Dealers in bungalow kits like Sears
made professionally-designed homes widely available. Sophisticated
design, the integrity of natural materials, and an easygoing style were the
driving forces behind the movement.
Decorative patterns were often
created using the exterior shingles as an unique
|Like the Arts and Crafts and Mission schools that influenced it,
Bungalow style emphasizes artisanship, local materials, and rustic detail.
Asian influences are common, particularly in the California bungalows of
Greene and Greene. Informality and openness are key features of the
interior space. Many bungalows replace the formal dining room with a
breakfast nook. There is usually no front hall, and the rough stone or brick
fireplace provides the focus for the living space.
Today's bungalows continue a living, eclectic design tradition.
Wall sconces, art glass and stenciled decoration highlight the original
beauty of architectural features like wainscoting, box-beam ceilings, and wide
wood moldings around the fireplace.
The palette is muted: quiet greens, creams and mustard enhance
natural wood, stone, terra cotta and brick. Natural light and the treatment of the
garden as an "exterior room" link indoor and outdoor space. Craft
is made visible in mortise-and-tenon furniture, hand-hammered copper fixtures,
built-in benches and bookcases.
Elements of Style:
Walls: wainscoting, stenciling, muted cream, yellow, sage.
Ceilings: beams, log accents.
Floors: wood, tile or stone.
Cabinets: built-in shelves or hutches; details like mullioned doors,
beveled glass. (Bungalows in California tend to use redwood, while Midwestern
and east coast Craftsman houses use more oak.)
Fireplace: stone or brick with wide wood molding on the sides, a
mantel above, a beveled glass mirror. Decorative tile around the
edges. An over mantel rustic landscape or scenic tiles.
Furniture: built-in benches, breakfast nooks. Mahogany with
mortise-and-tenon and peg construction, inlaid tiles, green marble.
Lighting: Craftsman lights on either side of mantel. Prairie
style lamps with leaded glass panels, brass base. Simple hanging globe
fixtures in inglenook. Hand-hammered copper candlesticks.
Windows: Lots of windows for natural light; many-paned windows,
particularly large lower panes and small upper panes; stained glass with Arts
and Crafts designs.
Design Style features
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