Where Bungalows Came From and Where They’re Headed

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Did you know that the term bungalow actually came from the Bengal region of India? This has now become a nation that’s known as Bangladesh. The small habitats in that area were called Bengali and, eventually, bungalow.

The bungalow often rests on a small plot of land and is usually just one story. It is modestly-sized but it comes with a veranda or a full porch. The British expats who worked with the East India Company back in the 1700s became familiar with the said layout and they took the design home with them. Pretty soon, the house style also spread throughout the U.S. The California bungalow became a popular style back in the 20th century.

While bungalow was a term used to describe a single-story home, there are also some spacious, two-story dwellings. The more accepted look, though, is that of the single-story habitat. The U.S. architecture gave this term other styles, with the Spanish bungalow becoming those thousands of little, single-story stucco homes in Southern California.

Some people refer to these as Colonial Revival or Tudor.

The Bungalow Form

Though the bungalow of a craftsman started in California, it became popular throughout the country. Different roof forms are now being used, but the gabled version is the crowd favorite. Majority of plans include two bedrooms and a single bath along with other living areas on just one level.

Attic rooms are often unfinished but later filled with other living spaces when the occupants finally need extra space.

There is also the hipped-roofed bungalow. This style does not have ample space for that unfinished attic so it’s the dormer that holds the ventilation for the roof. The asymmetry of porch columns could frame the main entrance.

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Since most bungalows are space-challenged, there is a need for designers and homeowners to be more innovative. This may be mocked as the house for the infirm or the elderly but the bungalow has a lot of potential to offer.

Rethink the Bungalow Layout

There are many planning restrictions to this house design because of its height constraint, intricate hallways, and space-wasting corners.

One of the key things to a successful bungalow design is to steer clear of deep floor plans. These tend to lock rooms in the footprint which don’t have external walls. This results in doors and windows not having a good view of the beautiful scenery outdoors.

Bring in the light by having the roof glazed but don’t depend on this as the single lighting source.

Use a linear arrangement like the L or T-shaped plans. You can also break up the plan to smaller components.

Another approach is to take the courtyard layout. This should double the external wall numbers that can be made available for glazing. These will also offer amazing visual connectivity between the different rooms. This is, of course, great if you’re looking to have an open space plan.

Courtyard design has one downside, though. This offers poor privacy so you need to carefully think this through before you make your plans final. This privacy issue arises when, say, the bedroom becomes directly and visually available from the living room. Consider screens for privacy.

Another thing that you need to carefully plan about is the absence of corridors. These are crucial when you need to get around the building. Plan your room layout – have the master bedroom close to the master bath, or have the guest rooms placed far enough from the kids’ bedroom.

When you’re done planning, choose from these bungalow styles –

  • Contemporary
  • Barn style
  • Ranch house
  • Schoolhouse
  • Longhouse

And cabin style.

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