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.

Like the Arts and Crafts and Mission schools that influenced it, Bungalow style emphasizes artisanship, local materials, and rustic detail. 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.

he 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.  Fieldstone, brick.

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.





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