Features That Characterize a City Bungalow


A city bungalow, also known as a craftsman bungalow, is a distinct architectural style that emerged in the early 20th century, but the style long predates its appearance in America. Bungalows originated in India, where they were residences for British ambassadors and visitors, possibly as early as the mid- to late-1600s. The style traveled back to Britain in the mid-1800s. Bungalows exude a charm that blends functionality and aesthetics, making it a popular choice among discerning homeowners.

The distinguishing features that characterize a city bungalow have endeared homebuyers who want to live in an urban environment but don’t want to share walls in an apartment building. These features make bungalows immediately recognizable. Although their styles and materials may display regional differences, the following attributes are in most bungalow-style homes.

Low Profile

A notable characteristic of a bungalow is its low profile. Typically designed to be one or one-and-a-half stories, the bungalow’s height contributes to its intimate and cozy ambience. The low profile also means less surface area exposed to the elements, thus improving energy efficiency.

Sloped Roof

Another defining feature of bungalows is their slanting roofs. These roofs often have wide, overhanging eaves that provide shade and reduce heat gain during summer months. Dormer windows are on the roofs of one-and-a-half-story bungalows to expand the upstairs space and provide natural light and ventilation.

Porches Under Overhanging Roofs

We can’t discuss bungalows without mentioning their distinct porches. These usually have a roof overhang and pillars or columns, creating an inviting space for relaxation and socialization. These porches can be spacious enough to add things to your outdoor entertainment space, from seating to dining areas. This seamlessly blends the indoors with the outdoors to enhance living space and foster a connection with nature.

Open Floor Plans

Bungalows often have open floor plans. This feature minimizes wasted space, increases natural light, and allows for easy movement. Bungalows are also easy to remodel, thanks to their straightforward layout and small footprint.

Raised First Floor

The raised first floor is another characteristic feature that allows basement windows to admit light. This architectural detail makes the basement livable, adding valuable square footage to the home.

Regional Differences

California bungalows have spacious, sunlit interiors and use wood, shingled, or stucco exteriors. Chicago-style bungalows, on the other hand, have brick and feature intricate stonework, reflecting the region’s industrial heritage. You may also note the presence of decorative but also highly practical security storm doorson Chicago bungalows. These doors, made of cast iron or steel, add an extra layer of security and resistance to the elements.

Bungalows also offer privacy, with front windows set back in the front porch, roof overhangs, and enough space for privacy hedges or trees. They tend to be more affordable, too, given their modest size and simple design. Their popularity in urban environments stems from their efficient use of space and their adaptability.

The features that characterize a city bungalow make it more than just a house—it’s a lifestyle. Its low profile, open floor plan, and unique characteristics make it a versatile and charming choice.

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