Bungalow House Style: The Craftsman Bungalows

Bungalow House Style: A bungalow is a type of house or cottage that is generally one storey with a second, half, or partial storey built into the gable ceilings.

Bungalows are usually tiny in terms of size and floor space, with dormer windows and loggias being common features.

But it looks very homely and nice. It is designed elegantly. It is perfect for families living together.

A bungalow nestles low and wide into its surroundings. It was unavoidable that the shape would be adopted by the Arts & Crafts movement’s tastemakers and constructors.

Bungalows were the name given to the millionaires’ cottages by the California designers Greene and Greene. In this publication, The Craftsman, Gustav Stickley sang their praises.

From 1909 and 1925, dozens of design publications advocated “artistic bungalows.” After the rise of a middle-class Colonial Revival, Arts & Crafts principles fell out of favour, and the term “bungalow” became a pejorative term.

The bungalow as a home type has strong links to the Arts & Crafts movement—and even greater ties now, as hundreds of bungalows, some of them quite humble, are picked up to be interpreted in ways that are frequently beyond the original owners’ tastes and means.

Bungalows look very elegant and at home.

Image source: brennancorp.com

Bungalow House Style Characteristics of The Arts & Crafts Movement

Aborigines Resources

River rock, clinker brick, quarry stone, shingles, and stucco are frequently used in creative ways.

Scientism as Painting

The majority of bungalows are low and spaced out, with porches, sun porches, pergolas, and patios connecting them to the outside. The A&C bungalow has a relaxed style, with no obvious references to English Proficiency or classic antecedents.

Foundation is Important

In pillars, posts, eaves brackets, lintels, and rafters, look for artistic embellishment. Ceiling beams, hefty window trim, and broad panelled doors may also be seen on the inside. The importance of horizontal components is emphasised.

Impacts of The Exotic

Stick decoration in the style of Swiss Chalets, Spanish or Moorish arches and tile work, and ethnocentrism, particularly Japanesque, all featured in builders’ homes and the columns of style books and publications.

Variants of The Bungalow

Bungalows from the period might be simple small homes. Other styles referenced include English Tudor, Prairie School, and, ironically, Colonial.

The Bungalow’s Interior

The conventional bungalow interior, at least as shown in period home literature, is easily identifiable. The bungalow’s inside was essentially Craftsman-style.

Bungalow authors frowned on the show of riches and expensive collections, which was a dramatic change from Victorian interior design.

Instead of purchasing items with evident or assigned worth, the householder was advised to seek elegance and build quality: “a richness of taste replacing for a luxury of expense.”

Please remember that bungalows included both Greene and Greene’s Gamble House in Pasadena and a three-room holiday hut with no plumbing.

And they both have an impact on the appearance of a typical year-round home. Rustic furniture and the greatest specimens of Arts & Crafts craftsmanship found a home in the bungalow.

Wooden panelling to chair-rail or plate-rail height was common. Burlap in mild earth tones was proposed for the above-mentioned wall space, or for usage in timber panels in the absence of panelling.

Above a plate rail, landscape friezes and abstract stencilling were frequently shown. Strong colours were chosen over muted, greyed hues and earth tones, including pastels.

It was recommended that the final coast be plaster with sand. To replicate old English woodwork, golden oak or oak brown-stained woodwork, or dull black or bronze green-stained woodwork, might be used.

Painted softwood was also becoming fashionable, particularly in the bedroom, with white enamel being prevalent prior to 1910 and bolder colours being popular throughout the 1920s.

Image source: dreamstime.com

Bungalow builders got obsessed with cramming as many facilities as possible into the smallest amount of room.

By 1920, the house had more built-in storage than a yacht: Banshee wall beds, ironing boards in closets, built-in mailboxes, and telephone books, to name a few.

Writers pushed for the “harmonious usage” of modest and sparse furniture. Oak woodwork called for oak furniture, with the reed, rattan, wicker, or willow in natural, grey, or pastel colours.

Mahogany pieces were considered to look finest against white-painted woodwork. (The most common colour for bathroom trim was pure white; “white” might also mean cream, yellow, ivory, light coffee, or pale grey.)

In the days before television, the living room centrepiece was a big table with reading light. These looked very minimal and were eye-catching.

The common cry of excellent taste was restraint. Clutter was no longer an option—“clutter” is a subjective word.

To fulfil the collecting instinct, pottery, Indian baskets, Chinese and Japanese goods, vases, and Arts & Crafts hangings were suggested.

Rookwood ceramics, tiny Tiffany pieces, hammered copper bowls, and Liberty & Co. ornamental objects may be displayed in more affluent homes.

The final Arts & Crafts expression for the home was a watercolour landscape or two, painted by the family’s hobbyist painter.

Editors’ Book Recommendations for Bungalow Owner

There are many books regarding bungalows and the American Arts & Crafts movement available on Amazon.com.

A few of the present is out of print, but second-hand copies can always be found. For owners of historic and new bungalows, here is a basic library:

• Paul Duchscherer’s The Bungalow: America’s Arts & Crafts Home (Penguin Studio, 1995).

• Paul Duchscherer Inside the Bungalow: America’s Arts & Crafts Interior; Penguin Studio, 1997

• Paul Duchscherer Outside the Bungalow, America’s Arts and Crafts Garden, with pictures by Douglas Keister; Penguin, 1999

• Jane Powell’s Bungalow Kitchens, photographed by Linda Svendsen; Gibbs Smith 2000

• Jane Powell’s Bungalow Bathrooms, photographed by Linda Svendsen; Gibbs Smith Jane Powell’s Bungalow: The Ultimate Arts and Crafts Home, with Linda Svendsen’s photographs; Gibbs Smith, 2001 2004

Image source: bhg.com

• Bungalow Details: Jane Powell designed the outside, and Linda Svendsen photographed the inside; Gibbs Smith designed the interior. 2005

• Interior design by Jane Powell, photography by Linda Svendsen; Gibbs Smith Diane Maddex and Alexander Vertikoff’s Bungalow Nation was published by Abrams in 2003.

• Robert Winter’s American Bungalow Style (Simon & Schuster) 1996

• Bungalow Colors: Robert Schweitzer’s Exteriors; Gibbs Smith, 2002

More Information About Bungalow House Style:

• Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto’s The Beautiful Necessity: Decorating with Arts & Crafts; Gibbs Smith Between 1996 until 2004,

• Dianne Ayres et al., American Arts & Crafts Textiles; Abrams Ann Wallace’s Arts & Crafts Textiles, Gibbs Smith, 2002 1999

• Kevin P. Rodel and Jonathan Binzen’s Arts & Crafts Furniture, Taunton Press, 2004

• Bruce Johnson’s Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture; Popular Woodworking Books 2009

• Robert Winter’s Craftsman Style (Simon & Schuster, 2004).

• Gustav Stickley (David Cathers, Phaidon, 2003)

For Seeing Prairie School Furnishings:

• check Alan Hess et alFrank .’s Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Houses, published by Rizzoli in 2006.

• Thomas A. Heinz’s Interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright; Gramercy Books

• Alan Hess et al., Frank Lloyd Wright: The Houses, Rizzoli, 2005 [Note: this essential book is large and hefty.]

• David Gebhard’s Purcell & Elmslie, Prairie Progressive; Gibbs Smith’s 2006

Bungalows that Have Recently Been Constructed or Redeveloped:

• Bungalow Plans by Gladu and Gladu; Gibbs Smith 2002

• Small Bungalows by Christian Gladu and Ross Chandler; Gibbs Smith 2007

•The New Bungalow by Bialecki and Gladu; Gibbs Smith 2001

• Peter Labau’s The New Bungalow Kitchen (Taunton Press, 2007)

• Treena Crochet’s Bungalow Style: Creating Classic Interiors in Your Arts & Crafts Home (Taunton Press, 2004).

• M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman’s Updating Classic America: Bungalows, Design Ideas for Renovating…and Building New (Taunton Press, 2002).

Image source: theplancollection.com

Bungalow House Style Architecture’s Academic Pasts:

• Anthony D. King’s The Bungalow (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1984) provides a scholarly history of bungalow architecture.

•Clay Lancaster’s The American Bungalow was published by Abbeville Press in 1985.


So, we covered a lot of topics in this article about the bungalows house style. We have explained what were the characteristics of the Arts and Craft Movement. Then we also gave you a list of recommended books. We hope this article helped you in some way or the other.

Home Base Project Team
Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.


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