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Guide to American Bungalow Styles, 1905 - 1930

Favorite Small House Designs


What is a bungalow? It depends on who you ask! From Arts & Crafts to Art Moderne, just about every style you can imagine has found expression in the simple and practical American Bungalow. Check out these favorites forms of the Bungalow style.

Arts & Crafts Bungalow

Craftsman Style Bungalow
Craftsman Style Bungalow. Photo © iStockphoto.com/Gary Blakeley

In England, Arts & Crafts architects lavished their attention on handcrafted details using wood, stone, and other materials drawn from nature. Inspired by the British movement led by William Morris, American designers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Green designed simple wooden houses with Arts & Crafts flourishes. The idea spread across America when furniture designer Gustav Stickley published house plans in his magazine called Craftsman. Soon the word "Craftsman" became synonymous with Arts & Crafts, and the Craftsman Bungalow became one of the most popular housing types in the USA.

California Bungalow

California Bungalow
California Bungalow. Photo © iStockPhoto.com/Diana Lundin

Arts and Crafts details combined with Hispanic ideas to create the classic California Bungalow. Sturdy and simple, these comfortable homes are known for their sloping roofs, big porches, and sturdy beams and pillars.

Chicago Bungalow

1925 Chicago Bungalow
Chicago Bungalow. Photo GNU General Public License

You'll know a Chicago Bungalow by the solid brick construction and the large, front-facing roof dormer. Although designed for working class families, bungalows built in and near Chicago, Illinois have many of the lovely Craftsman details that you find in other parts of the USA.

Spanish Revival Bungalow

Spanish Bungalow near Los Angeles
Spanish Bungalow Photo © iStockPhoto.com/David Liu

Spanish Colonial Architecture of the American southwest inspired an exotic version of the bungalow. Usually sided with stucco, these small homes have decorative glazed tiles, arched doors or windows, and many other Spanish Revival details.

Colonial Revival Bungalow

Colonial Revival Bungalow
Colonial Revival Bungalow. Photo © Forum Member "Karnye2004"

Not all bungalows are rustic and informal! During the early 20th century, some builders combined two very popular styles to create a hybrid: the Colonial Revival Bungalow. These small houses have the simplicity and practicality of an American Bungalow and the elegant detailing found on much larger Colonial Revival style homes.

Dutch Colonial Revival Bungalow

Dutch Colonial Revival Bungalow in Baltimore, Maryland
Dutch Colonial Revival Bungalow. Photo © the homeowner

Here's another type of bungalow inspired by the architecture of the North American colonies. These quaint homes have rounded gambrel roofs with the gable at the front or the side. The interesting shape resembles that of an old Dutch Colonial home.

Swiss Chalet Bungalow

Chalet Bungalow in Sacramento, California
Chalet Bungalow in Sacramento, California. Photo © Connie Fanós

With a broad front gable and highly decorative woodwork, these charming California bungalows have a European air.

Art Moderne Bungalow

Art Moderne Bungalow
Art Moderne Bungalow. Photo © the homeowner

While an Arts & Crafts Bungalow celebrates natural materials and hand craftsmanship, bungalows in the Art Moderne style look forward to the future. Factory-made materials take on sleek, streamline forms.

More Bungalows

Californian Bungalow style Residence Glenelg East
Bungalow style Residence by Eurekaone (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The list doesn't stop here! A bungalow can also be a log cabin, a Tudor cottage, a Cape Cod, or any number of distinct housing styles. Many newer homes are being built in the bungalow style. Browse our photo gallery to see bungalow pictures submitted by our readers. To learn more, see the comprehensive guide, American Bungalow Style (compare prices), written by Robert Winter with photographs Alexander Vertikoff.

Bungalow Photo Gallery >>

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