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Bungalow Style Homes

The Most Common Features You Will Find in Bungalow Style Homes

Bungalow style homes have been adapted from their original style over time to accommodate new requirements. However, there are still some basic characteristics that make them a great choice for homeowners across America. This article lists these characteristics and provides a brief history about bungalows.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
The word bungalow is actually derived from the Hindi word 'Bangla' meaning 'Bengali'―the word was commonly used to mean 'house in the Bengal style'. This term was used to refer to the style of a house that was typical of the region, and received great attention during the British rule in India. With some of its characteristic features that appealed to the British, this form of architecture was soon introduced in Great Britain, and later found its place all over Europe.

The bungalow's low porches and single-level living space made it a great choice to be adapted into summer retreats in Great Britain and Europe. With its growing popularity in the European continent, it is not surprising that this style of housing found its place in America as well. America was not completely free of the British influence, and it was in the year 1879 that a bungalow was constructed by architect William Gibbons Preston in Cape Cod. While the traditional bungalow had one-and-a-half stories, the first one in the United States was built with two stories.

Characteristic Features
  • Traditionally one or one-and-a-half story (the upper story only covered half the surface area of the lower story) constructions, though some had two stories
  • Cottage-like appearance
  • Low-sloping roofs with eaves
  • Primarily horizontal shape
  • Very simple looking constructions
  • Large porches held together with square columns
  • Direct entry into living room
  • Open floor plans (kitchen and dining were connected to living room)
  • Living space comprised on one floor, i.e, ground floor
  • Absence of hallways; rooms connect with each other from within
  • Living room in the center of the house
  • Exposed wooden beams and rafters
  • Built-in shelving for easy organization
  • Quick access to outside spaces, namely porches and verandas
It is because of these features that the bungalow was a great choice for summer lodging and retreats in the West. They were constructed in a manner that allowed for a lot of ventilation, and since they were simple to construct in terms of cost, time, and effort, it was found to be viable. Apart from this, the 'newness' in the type of construction made it the perfect start beyond the different architectural styles that already existed in the region. Also, as these houses have attics, all the heat is absorbed up there, thereby sheltering the living space below from the sweltering heat. When adapted to the European and American setting for residential living, these houses incorporated fireplaces and chimneys. The features also make this architectural style a good choice for the elderly and disabled as they allow for easy movement around the house.

While maintaining the basic features of the bungalow, numerous styles emerged in America that were variations of the traditional structure. These included the Spanish colonial revival bungalow, the California bungalow, the Craftsman bungalow (inspired from Arts and Crafts architecture), and the Cape Cod bungalow to name a few. All these styles introduced variations in terms of the materials used in construction. However, it is a little difficult to distinguish the traditional style from its counterparts because the changes are not too obvious.

With their easy maintenance and room for convenient mobility, bungalows have become a preferred choice all across America for home owners.
Cape Cod bungalow
Craftsman bungalow
shelve in room
house plan
Open floor plan house
Elegant Home
Two story home
simple constructions home
horizontal shape home
Cottage home
Bungalow Style Home
Bungalow with low porch