Artzenflowers’s Blog

A Pilgrim’s Progress; a closer look at bungalows

Posted on: January 31, 2013


Working in Portland Oregon I have the privilege of expending the greater portion of my color consulting efforts on homes in the age range of 1890 – 1940, which covers a considerably wide range of architectural styling, mix and matches included, multi decade “remodeling” efforts that create oddly disjointed venues of style, some well done, some not so much.

One of the inherent challenges is to identify the essence of the home and then build upon that base. Be it Farmhouse, Victorian, Craftsman, Dutch Colonial or English Tudor the bones of the home are there for all to see if you look close enough. Well, perhaps not ‘all’ to see, but those “with an eye to see” let us concede.

Consider the term ‘bungalow’ which is often the default descriptor folks will resort to in their initial descriptions, there are many, many types of bungalows. A study into history will quickly show that the term though first intended to mean a simple, unadorned dwelling quickly was adapted to cover a ‘multitude of sins’.

Let’s take a quick look back into history to find the source of the term; Bungalow.

The term originated in India, deriving from the Guajarati બંગલો baṅgalo, which in turn derives from Hindi बंगला baṅglā, meaning “Bengali” and used for a “house in the Bengal style”. Such houses were traditionally small, only one story and detached, and had a wide veranda.


From it’s humble beginnings as the mud and straw structure similar to that pictured above the ‘bungalow’ was destined for greatness!
Through the British occupation the term was ‘brought home’ by the sailors and the military personnel who inhabited the East Indies and so began it’s evolution!


Espoused early on by the Arts & Crafts movement, which originated in Great Britain in the mid 19th Century, the artisan styling of what has come to be known as the “Craftsman Bungalow” exemplified their desire to return to a simpler life, rejecting the lackluster style industrialized manufacturing was leading the masses toward via la Revolution!

The Arts & Crafts movement caught on like a wildfire which was able to cast it’s sparks across the Atlantic in its blaze of glory and fortunately so, for some of the most revered architectural heritage in our fledgling country was constructed during this period.

One of the most famous American Craftsman Bungalows is the Gamble House in Southern California designed by the brothers Green, which can still be defined mainly as a modest structure, most commonly one story to one and a half stories, featuring a veranda.

Therefore I say;

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a bungalow!


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  • artzenflowers: Hi Loribeth, Thank you for taking the time to view my post and the feed back noted!
  • Loribeth: Interesting info about red. I think it takes a lot of daring to use it in decor...something I don't have a lot of. But I might consider adding little
  • Emmakins: This is so helpful, THANK YOU! I think I will do pashmina in bedroom since it is a cooler color and may not work as well in the main area. Hush throu
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