Bungalow Style. Design ideas and inspirations for the Bungalow design style.          

Bungalow Style

"When you see a cozy one storied dwelling, with low-pitched roof and very wide eaves, lots of windows and an outside chimney of cobble or clinker-brick half hidden by clinging vines -- that is a bungalow, whatever other houses may be." - (Sunset Magazine, Jan.1913)

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.

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.

bungalow interior designDecorative patterns were often created using the exterior shingles as an unique design element.

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.

Bungalow Design Style

Antiquing Video Tutorial

Turn ordinary objects into heirlooms! Creating the 'Classic Antique' glaze finish for objects, furniture, walls and more. This detailed step-by-step tutorial shows how to mix the right colors to create the perfect antiquing solution for any object, furniture, picture frame and more.

Elements of Bungalow Style

Rustic earth tones

Vibrant, colorful patterns underlie this design style.

Feature tutorial.

The Parchment colorwash. Creating the impression of aged walls, the Parchment finish evokes a feeling of history and old world charm. The color density varies over the finished surface and creates appearances of lightly mottled parchment. A soft and airy finish, the Parchment glaze is an ideal way to create mood and character in any room. I’ve found it to be an ideal solution for finishing irregular or textured wall surfaces.

parchment color wash paint finish


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.)


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.


built-in benches, breakfast nooks. Mahogany with mortise-and-tenon and peg construction, inlaid tiles, green marble.


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.


Lots of windows for natural light; many-paned windows, particularly large lower panes and small upper panes; stained glass with Arts and Crafts designs.


wood, tile or stone.


beams, log accents.


wainscoting, stenciling, muted cream, yellow, sage. Fieldstone, brick.

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