Bigger does not mean better, and bungalows are a testament to this fact. These low-lying homes are recognized for much more than fine craftsmanship and architectural integrity. They are also equated with healthy lifestyles. With welcoming porches and backyards, bungalows are designed for easy access to outdoor living. Known for being well ventilated, bungalows embody light-filled rooms filled with lots of fresh air.
Bungalows are not wasteful when it comes to space. Every nook and cranny comes together with the intention of bringing people together for a lifestyle that accommodates conversation, family meals, and quality time. Structural details pair with warm colors to create an environment that is welcoming and cozy.
Because of these qualities, bungalows are prized by homeowners. If you’ve recently purchased a bungalow, it’s likely that the property hasn’t had many owners in the past. This is because most homeowners with bungalows are content to remain settled. When you want to make a bungalow your own, remodeling should blend personal taste with thoughtful adherence to the bungalow’s distinct character.
Even though bungalows have a history of being mass produced, they never come together in the cookie cutter style of tract housing. Rather, each bungalow expresses a unique combination of shared characteristics. Through your creative planning and the home’s intrinsic architectural sense, remodeled bungalows earn their “charm factor” time and again.
But there’s no better person to ask about living in a bungalow than an actual owner. I found that it was all too easy to get commentary from these homeowners, as they are enthusiastic about their bungalows. Let’s look at what a couple of them had to say, and do some investigating of our own.
Homeowner #1: What do I like most about my bungalow?
The charm, efficiency, and built-ins
Bungalows display little conspicuous ornamentation but lots of charm. Every detail, from the crown molding to the wainscoting to the baseboards and wood flooring, is designed to create a warm, secure series of rooms. Partial walls, with or without pillars, efficiently separate rooms while maintaining an open space. Built-ins can include brick, stone, and tile fireplaces, inglenooks, window seats, cabinets, and kitchen built-ins.
The same homeowner says: My bungalow could be bigger, though.
According to the book, Updating Classic America Bungalows, the best bet to creating space in a bungalow is rearranging the floor plan, without expanding. This is also known as building within the walls. Techniques include adding a dormer, raising the roof, finding storage space hidden behind existing walls, removing nonstructural walls, or even harvesting fallow space under the roof. Other possibilities include remodeling unfinished attic or basement spaces into bedrooms or dens. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to remain within building codes for your area, and taking care to ensure your home relates with the rest of the neighborhood. If you are adding a dormer, for instance, try trimming it out in classic bungalow style.
I love the woodwork details and the built-in china cabinets in my bungalow.
Older bungalows use a lot of dark stained woods, but modern tastes often replace these with lighter and brighter oak, maple, or fir. Since we are talking about woodwork details, let’s define a few of the terms of a major bungalow trait: trim.
- Chair rail – located 2 or 3 feet above the floor, originally installed to protect the wall from the backs of chairs.
- Picture rails – located 2 feet below the ceiling, originally used to anchor wires for pictures, mirrors, or dish displays
- Crown molding – located along the top edge of the wall, just below the ceiling
- Wainscoting – paneling located on the bottom half of the wall
- Baseboard – the trim that runs along the bottom edge of the wall, where it meets the floor
The same homeowner says: My least favorite thing is my bungalow doesn’t have enough storage.
That’s likely why this homeowner loves her built-in cabinets. That’s always a good way to create storage: having your walls do double-duty as cabinets or shelving. And with bungalows, built-ins fit right in. Even window seats can create an entire trunk of hidden storage space!
Need new wood floors or kitchen cabinetry? We recommend professional contractors who understand your home’s specific needs. Once you contact us with details of your project, we’ll get back to you with free estimates from our list of certified contractors.